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The trend for ‘just-picked’ posies

Do you prefer structured, formal bouquets or more relaxed, hand-tied posies? I guess it depends on the style of the wedding, but I’ve noticed a definite trend towards loose, informal styles featuring wild flowers or cottage garden varieties that look as if they’ve just been picked. Brides seem to be leaning towards more low-key weddings in general – the more homespun the details look, the better. I suspect there’s more to it than just plonking random flowers together though, and only florists who know their stuff can make it appear effortless. Sabine at G Lily really did pick these flowers from her garden to make this bouquet of roses, pinks, salvia, marguerites, geraniums and mint. Beautiful.

Informal bouquet


Sally & Tim’s wedding flowers

Leela Bennett Sally & Tim

The minute I saw these exquisite bouquets, I knew I had to share them with you. The vibrant shades of the deep pink peonies and bright blue cornflowers create striking pops of colour, while the more subtle hues of the roses, purple scabious, white sweet peas and spires of veronica help soften the design. Bex at Blush Floral Design was responsible for the stunning vintage-style arrangements, which she created for Sally & Tim’s 1940s-themed wedding at Rivervale Barn in Hampshire. The photographs were taken by Leela at Leela Bennett Photography, who has perfectly captured the beauty of the blooms. Thanks ladies and congratulations Sally & Tim!

Colourful peony and rose bouquet

Colourful peony and rose bouquet

Bouquet with locket

Sally’s hand-tied bouquet had a natural, just-picked feel, and was tied with satin ribbon and lace. The bride gave her bouquet a personal touch by fastening a locket that belonged to her grandmother to the stems, which opened to reveal black and white pictures of Sally and Tim. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of Sally’s, and featured peonies, roses, scabious, chamomile and cornflowers.

Peony and rose bridesmaid bouquet

When it came to the ceremony and reception flowers, the couple wanted lots of bright colours and traditional English blooms to complement the 1940s wartime theme. Informal, just-picked arrangements of hydrangeas, cornflowers, irises, sweet peas and chamomile were displayed on vintage cake stands and inside eclectic jam jars, which doubled up as pretty chair-back decorations (below).

Jam jar tablecentres

Cake stand display

Chair decoration

Ceremony flowers



Pretty rose and cornflower bouquets

Just a quick preview of the gorgeous flowers I’ve got coming up on tomorrow’s post. Sally and Tim got married last weekend, and their 1940s-themed wedding was full of colourful country-style flowers created by the lovely Bex at Blush Floral Design. I popped in on Bex yesterday to photograph her preparations for another wedding this weekend – the flowers looked absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to share the pics with you. Super-talented photographer Leela Bennett captured the images of Sally and Tim’s big day, and I’m hoping to feature lots more of her work in up-coming posts. Check back tomorrow for more floral details from this beautiful wedding…

Leela Bennett Photography

Bouquets of peonies, roses, cornflowers, scabious, veronica, chamomile and sweet peas, Blush Floral Design. Photography: Leela Bennett Photography

Flower of the week: sweet peas

The sweet peas I’ve lovingly tended from seed are going mental – they’re growing about an inch a day and I can’t wait for them to come out. They’re such an English classic and perfect for a June wedding (just make sure you put your bouquet in some water during the reception, as they tend to wilt on a hot summer’s day). This simple bouquet by G Lily (below) features unusual green and white euonymous, which perfectly complements the delicate frilled petals of the pink sweet peas. Tomorrow I’m visiting Bex at Blush Floral Design, who’s busy preparing a wedding full of fragrant sweet peas. Can’t wait to see what she’s got planned…

Sweet pea bouquet

How my sweet peas started off as seed in April…

How they looked 10 days ago…

And how they look now! Monty Don, take note…





Stunning pink wedding flowers by Sabine at G Lily

Sabine at G Lily

Small but mighty! Sabine laden with pink larkspur – a good substitute for delphiniums

I spotted Sabine at G Lily’s work during my first few weeks as sub editor of Wedding Flowers magazine, and loved her wonderfully natural style so much that I asked her to do the flowers for my own wedding the following year. As well as being hugely creative, she’s one of those friendly, laid-back people you warm to immediately – it’s so important to ‘click’ with your florist, as they’re probably the supplier you’ll have most contact with in the run up to your wedding.

Sabine and I have since become friends and I’m hoping to feature lots of her work on my blog, as well as some of her expert tips for brides doing their own flowers. The G Lily workshop is based in a little village in Somerset, and I’m planning to pop down there over the summer to help out with one of her weddings (hopefully followed by a good old natter over a bottle of plonk!). I’ll also be posting about her fab DIY wedding flower courses, so watch this space…

In the meantime, Sabine’s sent me some pics of the flowers she created for Jo & Neil’s beautiful wedding in Wookey, Somerset. Peonies and hydrangeas feature strongly, and I love the combination of grand, glamorous pedestal and ceiling arrangements with more rustic, country-style displays styled in rustic enamel jugs and flower pots. I think some shades of pink can look too sugary and overpowering when used alone, but Sabine cleverly paired the more vibrant pinks with softer pastel tones, and lots of silvery-green foliage – particularly in the reception displays.

Pink wedding flowers, peony  and hydrangea bouquets

Jo had 10 bridesmaids, so Sabine had her work cut out! She kept things cost-effective by giving the young flowergirls just a few roses and hydrangeas to carry. Hydrangeas are a great choice, as just one stem is large enough to create a small bouquet.

Pink wedding flowers, peony  and hydrangea bouquet

Jo carried a bouquet of peonies, roses, spray roses, freesias and bouvardia. How gorgeous does she look? Kate Middleton, eat your heart out!

Pink bridesmaid bouquets

Two of Jo's bridesmaids carrying their posies of peonies, roses, eucalyptus and delicate star-shaped flowers called bouvardia.

Pink hydrangea and rose corsage

Pink hydrangea and rose corsages were another pretty touch.

Hanging marquee display of larkspur, peonies, roses, hydrangeas, stock and asters

Sabine scales a ladder to put her final touches to the marquee display.

Urn display of pink larkspur, peonies, roses, hydrangeas, mauve stocks and orange blossom

A wow-factor urn filled with pink larkspur, peonies, roses, hydrangeas, mauve stocks and fragrant orange blossom.

Hanging marquee display

All that time spent up a ladder is worth it. Puts my pathetic hanging baskets to shame!

Peony and hydrangea tablecentre

Vintage-style jugs make fab containers for blowsy peonies and hydrangeas.

Peony and hydrangea tablecentre

Jo & Neil personalised their tablecentres with photos of themselves.

To see more of Sabine’s work, visit her facebook page or follow her on twitter: @GLilywedding

Lily Allen’s flowers

Just a quicky to say how much I liked Lily Allen’s choice of flowers at her wedding to Sam Cooper on Saturday. The peach David Austin roses in her bouquet looked so fresh next to the blue hydrangeas, and I really loved the big displays of delphiniums placed in rustic turquoise urns at the church entrance. Peach and blue are such an unusual but gorgeous combination and I’m sure lots of brides will be copying this look. I also thought her 1930s-style Delphine Manivet  dress really suited her and was surprisingly similar in style to the McQueen creation worn by Kate Middleton.

Lily Allen's wedding flowers

Image courtesy of

For the full story and more images, click here.

Choosing the right flowers for a September wedding

green and white wedding flowers

My DIY tablecentres of hydrangeas, mint, phlox, ammi, jasmine and roses (from my garden!)

Now that my friend Hannah’s wedding is only a few months away, I thought I’d better crack on and work out which flowers we’re going to use in her displays. We’ve made a shortlist of blooms we like the look of, but of course, lots of them aren’t in season yet. Han wants meadow flowers such as ammi (above right) mixed with cottage garden blooms and herbs such as hydrangeas and mint. She also wants a zesty green element, so I’ve suggested lady’s mantel or delicate mophead hydrangeas (above left). We’ve collected lots of white, green and shimmering metallic containers to use as informal groupings on each table, and although it’s still really rough, I was quite pleased with the result! Having a practice run has made me realise how vital roses or similarly large flowers are in creating a focal point in the main display and also how quickly ammi or dill wilts (something I definitely want to avoid!). All we’ve got to do now is work out where we’re going to order the flowers from. Not relishing a 4am trip to Covent Garden Flower Market, so we’re considering ordering from a more local wholesaler if it works out cheaper. Any tips from floral experts appreciated (please be kind about my cack-handed efforts!)

Silver jug green and white flowers wedding

A single rose and some lady's mantel displayed in a 50p jug! Who says wedding flowers had to cost the earth?

green hydrangea tablecentre wedding flowers

This unusual hydrangea variety is really delicate and pretty.

Hannah loves stocks, but sadly they're in season now – not in September.