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Just 5 days until Valentine’s Day!  My plan today is to convince you to buy or ask for a bunch of beautiful, British grown flowers for Valentine’s Day this year. I had wanted to dedicate more time and promotion to this wonderful campaign that is happening, but a sweet baby is consuming oodles of my attention and time.

The main objective of my message is simple: Buy British flowers. There are so many wonderful flower farmers growing stunning, seasonal British flowers (yes, even in damp dark February!), and lots of florists who buy British grown blooms. Let’s support these fab small growers and businesses, push aside that bouquet of imported and rather stiff looking red roses, and celebrate this year with a bunch of something seasonal and grown with a whole lot of love.

Still not convinced that there are pretty seasonal blooms to be bought from Britain this Valentine’s? Well now I’m going to bombard you with a whole stream of pretty pictures of what these skilled flower farmers are growing right now. They include tulips, anemones, narcissi, snowdrops, iris, pussy willow and more!

(I’ve included links below each picture to the flower farmer/grower/florist who’s flowers they are, where they’re based – in case you’re local – and do visit their website as many of them delivery nationwide)

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The Flower Mill Cornwall :: Cornwall

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Cherfold Cottage Flowers :: Surrey/West Sussex

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Elegant white tiered wedding cake drizzled with chocolate

It’s rainy and miserable outside, so if you are getting married during the winter months (no winter wonderland of snow for us British!) then a cake that brings some cheer is a must.

We’re all about going with the seasons here at The Natural Wedding Company, so lots of colourful fresh flowers isn’t such a viable option for a winter wedding. This simple tiered white cake, with its sharp edges and chocolate dripping down from each layer, seems to be both rustic and yet elegant at the same time.

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Lucy Says I Do handmade wedding stationery

For all of you embarking on the hunt for you wedding stationery, today’s post is bound to inspire you.  We are joined again by the lovely Lucy from Lucy Says I Do, who has been sharing a number of guest blog posts all about the handmade elements of her own wedding (read all about her bridesmaids dresses, homegrown flowers, and antique wedding dress).

Lucy runs her own business (and one of our recommended suppliers) Lucy Says I Do, creating all kinds of beautiful wedding invitations, paper goods and gifts, so it’s pretty cool to hear about how she designed her own wedding stationery.  

Over to Lucy to tell us all about it…

As with all of the inputs to our wedding, the invitations were a real labour of love!  We wanted all our guests to be given a taster of what our day was about, what was important to us, and hopefully generate a little bit of anticipation for the big day!

Wedding map

English country garden floral tag

Elegant English country garden wedding stationery

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Asparagus fern and sweet pea vintage inspired bouquet from http://www.petalandtwig.co.uk/

Today I have another lovely treat from one of our recommended wedding suppliers.  This guest post has been put together by Angela who runs Petal and Twig, a Lancashire based floral designer with an emphasis on seasonality, locally grown flowers and ethical sourcing. 

Over to Angela to tell us all about these wedding bouquets she’s created, each one inspired by a vintage bouquet…

The majority of wedding bouquets we do these days are hand-tied and I have always loved the informality of this style compared to the rather stiff, wired bouquets that dominated weddings from the 60s to the late 80s. I remember staying up late with my mum almost every Friday night in my teens, wiring flowers within an inch of their lives. Looking back, it seems utterly mad to deconstruct and then reconstruct flowers but I never questioned it at the time.

Cascading rose and garden flower bouquet from http://www.petalandtwig.co.uk/

In recent years the availability of “antique” shades in roses have inspired beautifully subtle colour schemes  for weddings and we have rediscovered the potential of garden plant material and more natural styles.  The peach, gold and soft pinks of an antique jug are brought out in the “Faith” roses and garden plant material of this simple hand tied posy. It certainly looks very vintage, although I don’t think my grandmother would have thought much of this as a wedding bouquet – she would have put it straight in the vase.

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For regular readers of the blog you’ll probably know that I recently threw my life into chaos with the arrival of my first baby at the end of last summer – albeit delightful chaos! Having spent the past 5 months adjusting, I’m now looking forward to 2014 and what my lovely business needs…

It needs you!

If you love writing, and fancy getting some experience by writing for my blog then I’d love you to read on – perhaps you’re just the person I’m looking for.

I am on the hunt for an intern/colleague/enthusiastic individual who has about 5 hours a week that they’d like to spend writing blog features for The Natural Wedding Company.

On The Natural Wedding Company directory we have over 300 lovely wedding businesses that we work with. We do our best to share and showcase what they do here on the blog, so I’m looking for a dedicated person to create those blog features and liaise with our recommended suppliers.

I’m looking for someone to work with me, not for me.

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Izzy Burton Illustration

This lovely TNWC Real Bride has become someone I consider as a friend, so it’s been a real treat to hear all about her wedding day (and I’ve been buried in all her ‘official’ wedding photos recently which will soon be gracing these blog pages).  Nik and Chris had, what I think was a very chilled out and down-to-earth wedding (two in fact!) back in July, with champagne on the beach and lots of animal appearances on the farm where they live in Wales.

Over to Nik…

Pete Cranston Photography http://www.petecranston.com/

Six Months On

Recently we celebrated our six month wedding anniversary (ok, I know, not technically an anniversary, but nice to acknowledge it all the same). By a happy coincidence, it turned out our wedding caterer, Trehale Farm, were hosting their annual wassail on the same night, so it seemed quite fitting for us to go along to toast the apple trees, drink cider, eat great food and commemorate our first wedded milestone.

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Taylor & Porter Photographs

A real wedding feature has been long overdue, and what nicer way to kick off 2014 than with the exquisite wedding of Jo and Dom. They got married last July in Scotland with a ceremony in a ruin chapel amongst the dunes, a beach picnic for all their guests, swimming in the sea, foraged and wild flowers for the bouquets and table arrangements, and a beautifully decorated tent – phew!

I could go on and on and on about everything that I love about this wedding, but it’s better than I just let you immerse yourself. Go get lost in Jo and Dom’s wonderful day…

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“We wanted our wedding to be as natural and relaxed as possible. We wanted to be able to enjoy it, and for everyone else to have a good time too! We had a humanist wedding in a tiny ruined chapel on the east coast of Scotland, just down the coast from Edinburgh followed by a picnic on the beach.”

“I grew up there and every Christmas my family walk down the beach to the ruin with some friends and hold an informal Christmas ceremony where we sing carols and have readings and generally acknowledge that its Christmas.”

Country bride with foraged flower bouquet and flower crown - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“Dom proposed on boxing day 2012 on a rock just beside the chapel and there was never any question that we would marry anywhere else. It’s a very important place to me. Our wedding guests had to walk over the dunes for half an hour to reach the chapel so the weather was definitely a concern! But no, we didn’t have a wet weather plan!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

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