As it’s British Flowers Week, we thought it would be the perfect time to share another feature in our ‘an ode to’ floral series, and this time it’s the turn of a quintessential British summer flower: the fabulously fragrant sweet pea.
When we moved into our first house, my mum gave us a pot of sweet pea seedlings she had nurtured from a packet seeds and we had flowers all summer long. The more we picked, the more they kept on blooming and we ended up with flowers to decorate every room. Now, even if we grow nothing else, (which is usually the case!) we always make sure we have sweet peas for summer.
Charlie’s written several of these lovely ‘an ode to…’ posts dedicated to one flower (previously featuring, spring blossom, snake’s head fritillary, old-fashioned roses and dainty violets) so if you’re a spring-time bride looking for inspiration, do have a look at all her gorgeous ideas.
I must admit that the idea of using a seasonal flower ‘en masse’ and making it a feature is something that really appeals to me, purely for it’s beautiful simplicity.
I’ve put together this feature with the help of some of the wonderful businesses listed on the directory. We have a creative bunch of florists and flower farmers up and down the country who are always ready and willing to share their knowledge and ideas. Sweet peas are in natural abundance from from June to early September in the UK so they’re a great choice of seasonal bloom.
Here are a selection of ideas including aisle decorations, miniature bottles, bouquets and flower crowns that you could easily incorporate into your summer wedding.
TNWC Real Bride Miriam told us in her introductory blog post that her wedding would be featuring 1920′s details, and today she is telling us more about her plans for incorporating this beautiful era into their celebrations. I was particularly excited to see mention of two TNWC Recommended Suppliers – Pyrus and Lancaster and Cornish – who are involved in their wedding.
Over to Miriam…
A nod to the 1920′s
John and I have each individually had a long love affair with the 1920′s. We both naturally suit the fashion, with his Italian heritage crying out for sharp grooming and well-fitting suits, and my frame being of the long-limbed-and-necked variety. Add to that a predilection for period films, classic jazz and Charles Rennie Mackintosh art/design, it was inevitable that some of the 1920′s would find a way into our wedding plans.
Wild, flowing, over-sized bouquet inspired by 1920′s originals…
This was confirmed when John presented me with the most beautiful art deco style diamond and sapphire engagement ring, and a celebratory surprise mini-break to Paris (which I think of as a “very 1920′s” city).
This week it’s all about British Flowers Week, a “week-long celebration of the wealth and variety of the Best of British cut flowers and foliage.” At The Natural Wedding Company we have been passionate about supporting British flower farmers since we started out in 2007, and seven years later we feel no different.
If you’re a bride-to-be or family/friend helping with wedding plans and you haven’t yet booked your wedding florist, this week commit to choosing British grown flowers. It’s that simple. And there is so much choice and so many inspiring florists out there dreaming up the most incredible arrangements.
Today we are here to give you a round-up of how we can help you to find that perfect British flower farmer or florist. I’m often told that The Natural Wedding Company directory helps brides to match the perfect suppliers for their wedding day: “All enquiries I get from your website are just my perfect customers – they share the same taste for natural and wild things floral”.
Coming up later in the week we will have a celebratory feature on British grown sweet peas and how you can incorporate them into your summer wedding – think lots of beautiful ideas for bouquets and arrangements.
Choose British blooms for your wedding
We have over 60 flower farmers and florists listed on the directory – and in order to show you all in one place what you can expect we’ve put together collages to showcase all of those businesses…
I can’t think of a nicer outing than a visit to a working cutting garden, full of British blooms – choosing the flowers was definitely my favourite part of wedding planning! I remember visiting a local grower on several occasions and seeing little seedlings flourish into gorgeous wedding-worthy flowers was quite a privilege.
There are some wonderful florists who grow their own on the directory and if you’re lucky, you may even be invited to visit their cutting garden as part of your consultation.
When Charlie was planning the TNWC South West Roadtrip back last summer, scheduling a visit to meet Suzanne of The Blue Carrot in Cornwall was high on her priority list. You can read all about what she got up tohere.
On the day of her trip, Charlie was also joined by Sarah from Sarah Wants, an award winning wedding stationery designer and self-confessed country bumpkin who today shares with us the idyllic visit which inspired a new collection. Plus there’s an exclusive discount for TNWC readers!
Over to Sarah…
On a day of sunshine and blue skies, I met Charlie and Suzanne for a lovely lunch at the Hidden Hut just above the beach in Porthcurnick. Afterwards, I was very privileged to visit Suzanne’s beautiful walled cutting garden which was such a treat, it felt like a little hidden secret!
Clematis has been popping up in bouquets all across the wedding world, and I love it’s inclusion. It’s delicate and dainty and has a beautiful soft movement to it.
To ensure the clematis is British grown and seasonal book one of our flower farmers or florists to do your wedding flowers, they are knowledagble and will be able to advise you on when it’s in season.
The other thing I really love about this bouquet are the many different purple ribbons, all left long and trailing. TNWC recommended supplier Lancaster & Cornish have a beautiful selection of organic lace that would look lovely tied round a bridal bouquet, or I recently came across these exquisite plant dyed ribbons from Silk & Willow in the US.
We’ve got something pretty lovely to share with you all today. Whether you’re dreaming of a flock of petal-scattering mini maids (a la Kate Moss), have an extra special little lady in your life who will be waltzing down the aisle by your side, or you simply need cheering up, then you’ve come to the right place.
As well as some beautiful pictures from their recent photoshoot, they’ve kindly sent us a super cute video – a sneak peak behind the scenes – that might just make your day, and bring to life how pretty these dresses are.
But first, over to Faith to tell you about how the gorgeous shoot location helped to inspire the design of the dresses…
An inspirational setting
The venue for the shoot was Walcott Hall in Shropshire, a truly special place that fits perfectly with the Damselfly aesthetic. The owners are talented curators of gorgeous things and have created an elegant but homely atmosphere that is grand but not over done.
We loved the faded chintz sofas, the ancient silk carpet hanging on the wall with its pattern worn by centuries of dancing feet, and the open fires that we lit to keep our models warm. We had the early 19th century ballroom to ourselves for the day and were in our element.
It is so lovely to be joined by a new group of brides-to-be for the TNWC Real Brides series here on the blog. Last time we heard about Kerry and Nick’s initial plans for their festival inspired wedding, and today Kerry is back with more details on the crafting they’ve been up to.
Over to Kerry to dish the details…
Planning, Making and Gluing
So, it’s May, the last 5 months have been spent; planning, meeting, researching, making and gluing.
We spent hours deliberating over the invites (featured in my last blog post). We both had different ideas of what we wanted, so it was quite tricky to find a middle way. In the end we decided on a PDF printable from STH Blue on Etsy.
Niki customised one of her standard invites especially for ‘Kipstival the Wedding’ and we LOVED it, it’s so personal to us and unique. We liked the postcard RSVP idea, and have had lots of lovely responses back already.
Festival Wedding Programme
The next piece of stationery we created was the programs. We wanted to create something which would inform our guests of what’s happening next. A kind of playlist of the day, as it will be broken up into various sections around the farm. This introduced our first conundrum – what are our timings for the day?
We had to sit down, walk through it in our minds, and try and agree on both format and timings; we got there in the end, after a number of hours sat at the kitchen table and a few glasses of wine! Once that was sorted, we then decided on a front cover and I used old festival programs, which I’ve hoarded over the years, as inspiration for a ‘With thanks’ section on the back page.
I’d bought a pack of blank cards with natural brown envelopes from Papermania, we used the envelopes to send our invites, but had the left over cards, so I put these to good use, and had the programs printed on these. I also wanted to include a handful of confetti in the program, I’d seen a Pin on Pinterest that I liked, so I consulted The Natural Wedding Company directory and found The Confetti Farm.