As always, I am totally honest in my blogs to give you an insight into the weddings and shoots that I create bespoke wedding flowers for. This is a shoot which happened against all odds, it was almost cancelled twice, initially when we first lost our venue and second after we lost our models, props and stylist for the day, just at the very last moment. For anyone not familiar with these shoots, they are essentially when wedding suppliers get together to show off their skills and create a ‘wedding’. We each pay for our materials and bring our skills to get fabulous photos of our work and hopefully get the featured in blogs or magazines, to give couples inspiration and show off what we can do!
When preparing for a shoot, my work starts a couple of weeks in advance (much further ahead for weddings) with idea formation, discussions with suppliers and preparing my flower order. the order goes in a week before collection to make sure my wholesaler has time to source the perfect flowers from auction. I then collect the flowers (around 5am) 3-4 days before the shoot or wedding to strip the leaves, give them a trim and a big drink, so that they open up beautifully before their big day.
It was shortly after I had collected the flowers that we realised we no longer had some of the key suppliers on board and that we might need to cancel the shoot. I felt devastated as the investment in flowers was significant and I was excited to create some new installations. Thankfully, when the rest of the team realised I had already bought the flowers, everyone rallied round in an exceptionally supportive way and it was all hands to our keyboards and phones to fill the gaps and turn this shoot around.
That day started with that horrible shaky feeling of fear, anxiety and quite a few tears but thankfully it finished with relief when we had Illy Goodall from Illy Elizabeth Weddings on board as a planner and stylist and our multi-talented cake artist, Sarah volunteered to model, along with her friend, Nat. Cue frantic sewing from dress designer Marie to alter dresses and create a brand new one for the new bride and some additional suppliers for furniture and tableware sourced by Illy and we were back on board.
I’m always first on site at shoots as I usually have the most to set up when I get there (also the regular 5am starts help). I took a few bumpy wrong turnings on my way to Patricks Barn but when I arrived I was greeted with the relaxing silence I experience so rarely as a Londoner. I got to work creating the large greenery chandelier installation with only a little robin for company who kept flying down and sitting on my flower buckets. I started installing the chandelier once the rest of the team started to arrive as I’m not very confident up a ladder! The ceilings of the barn were higher than expected and we had to think creatively (with a roll of sellotape and a good throwing arm) to attach the hoop securely..
As Toni finished off the makeup and Sarah put the finishing touches to her cake, photographer Roshni started shooting and I started to build the floral arch for the ceremony area. We used some beautiful tones within the florals, from deepest berry to creamy toffee with pinks, peaches and reds in between. We created a small, low bowl design for the table which matched beautifully with the linens, antique wood and stationary. Illy had some small geometric vases which I filled with small blooms and lots of greenery.
I created a floral arch for the ceremony area using my structure made from recycled copper pipes. The arch is a gorgeous frame to say vows under and makes a fantastic focal point for your guests to look at and photos afterwards. For a more modern feel, I made the arch asymmetrical, with a large corner piece and a smaller accent on the side of the frame.
For the bridal flowers, I created a large, wide bouquet featuring all the rich dark purple and red tones from the arch and table designs with burnt oranges and peaches as a contrast. Finished with a hand dyed silk ribbon, it matched perfectly with the deep colours in Nat’s dress.
With the sheer determination and teamwork of some amazing suppliers, we pulled this shoot back and created something rather special. A same sex shoot with some beautiful dresses, bold floral design, a bespoke balloon arch, a dramatic table set up and some epic hair colour, courtesy of Sarah. We were delighted when this shoot was picked up by Unconventional Wedding a blog which celebrates diversity, creativity and uniqueness. You can find the full feature right here https://unconventionalwedding.co.uk/unique-modern-barn-wedding/ The fabulous team involved:
Dresses and veil @mariechandlerbridal ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Make up @tonisearlemua⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Planning and styling @illyelizabethweddings⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Candle holders @gb.elegant.events