Behind the Scenes

I am so excited to share the results of my collaberation with the hugely talented photographer Natasha Thompson. I am often asked what it is like being a wedding florist, so I was thrilled when Natasha agreed to come out and take some shots of us setting up for a wedding this spring just so you can see what goes on behind the scenes. We had enormous fun but no time to stop and chat, it was all go! "Camera shy" I most definitely am but Natasha made it so easy.

With weddings my relationship with my couple comes first, earning their trust and agreeing the scope and scale of what they would like for their big day is paramount. Then it's all about estimating, ordering the flowers, getting them conditioned and setting up our place of work, whether it be at the venue or the workshop. Seeing all the beautiful flowers come together is so exciting, it's when I know the time invested in the planning was worthwhile and you will often see me doing a merry jig!

Time to immerse ourselves in the creative art of floristry; the spreadsheets are at the ready but hey, sometimes the numbers are a back up, it's time to go with our instincts. 

My florist buddy, Michele and I hard at work; as you can see it's really not glamorous, and there are a myriad of tools needed to deliver the stunning floral displays. Thanks to our wonderful hosts, there were plenty of cups of tea to keep us going.

It's all about the mechanics, we love to avoid floral foam where we can, but sometimes it's just not possible and it's a serious business making sure everything is secure!

I just adore this soft blush and white colour palette Grace & Dan chose for their wedding, seeing all the subtle tones and textures is a joy.

One pretty candlestick complete, 14 more table centres to go, now it's time to pop into the house to decorate the fireplace.

We love to work in situ when we can, it gives us the opportunity to create much more relaxed displays. 

Grace & Dan had their wedding reception in a stunning marquee attached to the bride's family home, it really was the most glorious setting and when the wisteria and choiysia came into flower early, it meant the marquee was filled with beautifully fragrant blossom, a real bonus.

Huge thanks to Grace & Dan and all the family for making us feel so welcome, and being so wonderful to work for and to Jeni at Vanilla Rose Weddings & Events for all her help and support. Finally a heartfelt thank you to Natasha Thompson, she knows I am a big fan, i so admire her style and her wonderful photography. To see more of Grace & Dan's wedding, please pop over to the Galleries page.  

Source: www.willowandthyme.co.uk

Sarah-Lindsay & David's Wedding - June 2016

I hope you enjoy a peek at Sarah-Lindsay & David's romantic wedding in Buckinghamshire this June. The story is made ever more beautiful thanks to the glorious images captured by Natasha Thompson

We do love a village wedding and what is more magical than being able to walk from your family home, arm in arm with your dad to the village church and then onto a beautiful marque in the grounds of the village hall, immediately adjacent. 

Sarah-Lindsay knew she wanted lots of fresh flowers all arranged in a very informal, relaxed style. She had already chosen her bridesmaids's dresses when she came for her first consultation so we were able to choose her favorite flowers in soft pastel shades to work with the floral prints on the dresses.

Sarah-Lindsay's mum collected a variety of simple, cream enamel jugs and we filled the church with gorgeous, seasonal blooms in soft pastel shades.

Here are the gorgeous newly wed's looking so happy and relaxed, chilled was definitely the order of the day. Oh and the bride's bouquet, the very essence of summer.

So of course we had to fill the marque with beautiful summer flowers, in simple, cream enamel jugs and wooden troughs. All looking beautiful alongside the delicious, artisan platters from Lemon Zest

We couldn't forget the charming village hall that need just a few floral additions, gin bottles, a beautiful vintage stepladder, whiskey barrels and masses of outdoor plants from Lakers Nursery created a wonderful welcome for the guests....

Not forgetting the all important details; buttonholes, corsages & Canapé flowers.

Aaah, what a befitting image to sign off with, huge congratulations to Sarah-Lindsay & David, we wish you a married life blessed with fun, laughter and endless happiness, Joules xx

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Full credit to Sarah-Lindsay & David's amazing team of suppliers who made their day so special:

Photographer - Natasha Thompson Photography

Videographer - Jack Osborn

Caterers - Lemon Zest

Marquee - Joseph Benjamin Marquees

Hair - Aristocuts

Make-Up - Nice Nails & Beauty

Roses

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

William Shakespeare
 

I would struggle to choose my all time favourite flower but I do just love roses with a passion.

They are a joy to work with, from the large open headed garden roses to the tiny, delicate spray roses. With so many varieties to choose from in such a wide ranging colour palette, it's hard not to fall in love with them.

It's astonishing to see how many roses are available as cut flowers and whilst I have a few firm favorites, I am still discovering new varieties that continue to blow me away. Not every wedding has to have roses but those that do will most certainly be transformed by these magical, romantic blooms.

So I can't think of anything better than taking you on a journey with me - I have tried to photograph not all, but many of the roses I have worked with over the last year and now I get to share these with you. It's all love on the roses front and if you're not sure about them, I hope to convert you or at least share the love ❤️

Joules x

Aaah "Secret Love" roses, David Austin "Juliet" garden roses and one of my favorite bridal bouquets with some of the very best roses "Juliet", "Bombastic", & Garden "Romantic Antique", all in a  soft, pastel peach/blush palette.

"Garden Voyage" is another Ecuadorian rose similar in shape, size to the "Romantic Antique" but a soft, dusky pink colour; this sits alongside the beautiful "Bridal Pink Piano" spray rose with it's big blousy heads and delicate buds.

The gorgeous spray roses are "Bombastic", "Irishka", "Creamy Twister" & "Pink Lace"

I love to work with colour, for me these 2 combinations (before we introduce all the other gorgeous blooms) really work by introducing softer, paler tones which bring the brighter colours to life. These gorgeous roses are "Garden Baronesse", "Matchpoint", "Quicksand""All 4 Love", "Blue Berry", David Austin "Kate" "Darcey"& "Juliet", "Silver Lace', "Cappuccino" and "Talea" to name but a few...

It's all in the name! We have David Austin roses in our garden named after 3 of our children, we're just waiting for "George" to complete the set, that is a must surely?

For a bright coral rose with lovely pink outer petals, you can't beat "Miss Piggy", I adore her!

If you are looking for a soft, classic bridal palette, these are just perfect, "Avantique", "Sweet Peach" spray rose, "Maddison Park" spray rose, and one of my absolute favourites, "White O' Hara" which has the most divine fragrance ever.

Whilst I have used some of my favorites here, there are also a few gorgeous antique roses, amongst them "Quicksand", "Amnesia", "Mentha" and "Upper Secret".

Pride of place in this floral door wreath is the beautiful "Princess Charlene" garden rose which has a lovely subtle, fragrance.

...and in their perfect miniature form they make gorgeous buttonholes, corsages and hair combs, all the little details that could be so easily overlooked but not by us!

Roses were a big part of this glorious June wedding, thank you so much to Natasha Thompson for sharing her gorgeous images www.natashathompson.co.uk

and again here but with some bolder colours, the roses working their magic.

Huge thanks to Sarah Vivienne for sharing these gorgeous images http://www.sarahvivienne.co.uk

According to my biggest fan, my youngest daughter Grace, I have to pin my sails to the mast and name my favorite rose but how can I possibly do that??

For a classic bridal rose I would say "Vendela" as it is not cream, not ivory but a soft champagne colour and works well with so many other varieties. But then if we are talking colour, I could name so many for the top spot ......

I have so enjoyed posting this blog and with many more weddings to come this year, I'm sure I will not be able to resist sharing my ongoing passion for roses but for now I hope you enjoy.

Joules x

2015 in a snapshot

It's been an exciting year, surrounded by gorgeous flowers but as always the highlight has been the people I have met along the way, special people who make the journey so much fun, and simply become good friends.

Re-branding

In January we launched our re-brand at the Stowe House wedding fair, it was enormous fun working with the very talented Liz Baird at Schoolhouse Creative. Stylish and elegant was the brief and Liz delivered both, I still love it just as much a year on. Thanks Liz x

Spring Workshops

We love the emergence of Spring, the optimism, and the promise of warmer, sunnier days. Here's a few highlights from our Spring Workshops courtesy of some very creative ladies, many of whom I owe enormous thanks for they keep coming back year after year.

Spring Weddings

I love Spring flowers, especially Ranunculi, Paper White Narcissus and Muscari. Combining these wonderful blooms can make a Spring wedding or celebration really special, here are a few of my favourites.

.... this beauty featured white & lilac Roses, Peonies, Clematis, Sweet Peas and Lysimachus, thank you Emma Watts for sharing her lovely images

It's not all about flowers, it's the images!

Here was my challenge, how to capture images I would be proud to share? I invested in a new camera and booked onto one of Clare West's photography workshops. I first met Clare at one of my weddings last year and she was awesome! Here's a few of my photos, I have a long way to go but Clare was a great teacher, thank you so much, you've set me off on the right foot!

Summer Weddings

Roses are a real passion of mine, especially the garden varieties so you will see them featured in many of my weddings, here are just a few of my favourite images.

.. and then came Lyla!

Shredding garden foliage; eating tomatoes, plums & apples from the garden, it's all in a day's work! If you come to visit, she will be here to welcome you, along with her wiser companion "Pippa" unless of course you tell me that dogs are not your cup of tea and then they will be totally discreet, but how could you resist! 

These are some of the moments I wouldn't miss!

It's an utter joy and a privilege to be a part of such a precious day!

Midsummer night's dream inspired, styled photo shoot

We had the most fun working with so many talented wedding professionals in the magical setting of Lila's Wood. Thanks to Matt Bishop for the images, and Bochic Weddings & Events for organising and styling the whole shoot. Full credits and all images are on the Boho Weddings Blog.

Christmas Workshops

I love the whole run up to Christmas, as crazy as it is! It is just wonderful to have the opportunity to inspire, guide and admire the festive creations that result from my workshops. Thank you to Fiona Scott for coming long with her camera and capturing some great shots. 

We ended the year with a magical, winter wedding at Notley Abbey, then headed back to finish our Christmas flower orders before getting ready for our family Christmas and a little more madness that I can only attribute to the 4 children, 2 dogs and 1 cat that provide me with endless fun! Thank you to Sam Docker for your awesome images.

Thank you to everyone I had the pleasure of working with last year, I'm so lucky to have the support of such lovely people. Finally, I couldn't sign off without saying a huge congratulations to all my couples who married last year, I wish you every joy and happiness.

Joules x

How to get the best out of Autumn Flowers

We love Autumn, so many exciting opportunities for creating beautiful flower combinations

It is so easy to feel a little sad as the summer slips away but I love the change of seasons and Autumn is no exception. Beautiful mornings with bright, blue skies and many garden favourites still in bloom, such as Dahlias, Japanese Anenomes, Salvia, Verbena, Sunflowers, Rudbeckia, and later flowering Roses.

We can also still source gorgeous Dutch flowers with their extended growing season so if you prefer a softer palette, with a hint of autumn, panic not! There are so many rose varieties available and mixed with autumnal berries and light foliage you can still create informal, romantic designs. 

Click to see some of our Autumn Weddings

What I most love is seeing the changes in the garden and hedgerow. The rosehips form and start to turn ruby red, the ivy produces beautiful berries, the crab apple trees are full of shiny little apples and seed heads develop such as fennel, poppy & lavender. For me this is a wonderful opportunity to create exciting autumnal wedding flowers by adding a little touch of  something special. 

The colour palette shifts in the autumn and it's a perfect opportunity to be a bit braver, head out into the sun and gather all you can to introduce some "sun" into your home for those days that are a little grey and gloomy.

Rich, berry colours punctuated by softer peachy tones and good textural contrast for a lovely autumnal bouquet combining roses, ranunculi, anenomes, veronica & hypericum berries.

 

A collection of old bottles and bud vases with single stems can look stunning, less really is more for displaying your foraging finds whether it's a garden harvest or a collection of berries, hips and windfall stems from an autumn walk.

A few examples of different autumnal colour palettes. Stronger, bolder colours combined with paler pinks and peaches, can work beautifully, again texture is key to creating a fabulous display.

Fun Autumn flowers in a floral welly!

Try having some fun by using unusual, quirky containers and see what's in your garden, go on, be brave, you can use so much; berries, seed heads, anything to create contrast in colour and texture. That old wooden trough lurking in the greenhouse; an old wine box from that wine club you never admit you're a member of or the Kilner jar you haven't yet filled with chutney; they are all just waiting to be given a new lease of life.

Coral Roses and Autumnal berries in a Vintage wooden box

Miss Piggy roses, Lovely Roccoco spray roses, flowering mint, scabious seed heads, rose hips, brunia & silvery mimosa foliage complimented by the old grey wooden box. 

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If there is a particular floral topic you would like to know more about in future blog posts, please let us know, we would love to hear from you.