Vintage wedding flowers: teacup blooms

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So after three years of constantly swooning over every bouquet, buttonhole and centrepieces I’ve laid eyes on through my work in the wedding industry (and possibly annoying several florists in the process with my, um, constant questions), I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and get some proper floristry training. It’s become more than an addiction for me now, and seeing flowers just isn’t enough anymore – I want to be the one brining them to life!

However, my course doesn’t start until January 2015. And even though I know the time will fly by, it still seems like WAY too long to wait. So when I heard that a branch of St. Michael’s Hospice close to me was holding a vintage fair last weekend, and that as part of the fair there would be vintage flower arranging workshops, I was there. With big flowery bells on.

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It goes without saying that St. Michael’s Hospice is just an incredible organisation. I’ve long supported their work and they are by far one of the best and most influential fundraisers in the area. Their Fabulously Vintage Fair was more than a testament to that. But anyway, back to the flowers…

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I arrived just after 11am and joined the first workshop of the day (there were 2 in total, both focusing on arranging flowers inside vintage crockery). After a brief introduction, the workshop kicked off with a demonstration from one of the two florists on hand…

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At this point, I panicked slightly; a LOT more work goes into these arrangements than I’d first anticipated. It’s all about colour, composition and contrast – your blooms need to all be different, yet still be able to work together at the same time. Which sounds ridiculously easy, in theory.

Next up, it was our turn. We chose our teacups carefully and were guided through the best way to work with oasis. And then we were pretty much off. Here’s how mine turned out…

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And back at home, here’s how it looked in the kitchen. Considering this was my first ever attempt at something like this, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. And although I do work with faux flowers a lot at work, working with fresh flowers is a completely different ball game. The great thing about this is that once you’ve got the knack of styling the flowers in the teacup, the same principals can be applied to styling them in pretty much anything else – jam jars, teapots, vintage vases, etc. My house will never be the same again.

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Want to create something similar? Here’s what I learnt:

1. Foliage is your best friend. And the key to holding this particular look together. We were advised that to make something like this, you need roughly 3 different types of foliage.

2. Condition your flowers. And your foliage. Anything you cut or buy should be soaked for 24 hours before you arrange it.

3. Same goes for the wet oasis. Ideally, soak it for 24 hours before using, but if time’s particularly tight then just a couple of hours in a sink full of water should suffice.

4. Invest in a decent pair of sharp scissors. Everything you use should be cut at an angle before it’s inserted into the oasis as this increases the surface area of the stem, allowing more water to be absorbed.

5. With this type of arrangement, you need to start with the foliage and build it around the edges. Make sure when you insert it that it’s at an angle and pointing in towards the centre, not dead upright.

6. Cut your stems short. Even if you think it’s a crime against flowers, it needs to be done.

7. Once the foliage is in, choose your main flower. I chose a white rose for mine, to complement the white on the teacup. Insert the main flower next and then build around that with your smaller, supporting flowers. Choose around 3 flowers, all in contrasting colours, or colours which match the crockery you’re working with.

8. If you have to, remove some petals from larger blooms. It’ll shorten their lifespan slightly, but will keep size more manageable.

9. Remember not to make something of this size too round – vintage teacups are so small that you need to keep the height in proportion.

10. Once all your flowers are in, check to make sure all the oasis is covered. Add in extra foliage where there are any gaps. Give your arrangement one last drink of water and keep topping up every other day to ensure it lasts (something like this should last roughly a week, give or take the conditions you expose it to).

 

Thank you so much to St. Michael’s Hospice for organising such a thoughtful and interesting workshop, I loved every minute of it!

Marc Jacobs: Daisy Dream

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I’d say there are probably about 5 people in my life that I can identify entirely by smell. As in, if I were blindfolded and any one of them were to walk into the room, I’d instantly know who it was. Sadly, I’ll never be one of those people. I’ve tried and tried to stick to just one signature scent and while there are a couple I always come back to, there’s something I just love about finding a new perfume.

Admittedly I’m a little late to the party with the whole March Jacobs thing. I bought my first ever Marc Jacobs scent this June (Daisy Eau So Fresh – delish) and just as I was getting used to that – bam, the husband goes and throws this one into the mix too with a surprise anniversary present.

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And I have to say, I admire his guts – choosing a perfume for someone else is a tricky old business. But this time (unlike the time I received a bottle of, erm, Peter Andre’s finest eau de toilette) he totally nailed it. Like all the other Daisy scents before it, Daisy Dream stays true to the classic fresh and floral scent with its top notes of blackberry and pear. However, this is a slightly muskier, stronger scent than the others. On me, the top notes last about half an hour, before those muskier base notes come through and take over. I’d say generally, the scent lasts a good 5-6 hours on my skin, though I do tend to get accustomed to scent quite quickly and panic that I can’t smell it anymore (cue excessive perfume spraying whenever the opportunity arises – anyone else get that? And what’s with that?!)

Definitely one to add to my growing collection, this is the perfect transitional scent to take you from summer to autumn.

Charley & Pete’s Spanish Fiesta Wedding at High Hurstwood Village Hall

 

 

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The end of the wedding season always brings with its some mixed feelings; on the one hand, sleep can become a regular part of my weekends again. On the other, I know I’m going to miss the mad rush and excitement of it all. This year’s season flew by faster than any other I’ve ever experienced. It’s been total madness. And while I’m mourning the end of it in one way, I’m also reeling from being able to go out on one MASSIVE last high.

If you’ve been reading for any length of time then you’ll know that for the past year or so I’ve worked closely with Jenny from Bellaboo and Beau on several wedding-related projects – we’ve styled shoots that have ended up gracing the pages of Love My Dress, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings and Rock ‘n Roll Bride, as well as making and creating all sorts of quirky things for real life brides who want something that little bit more unique and untraditional. And Charley and Pete, Jenny’s last official summer ’14 clients, were no exception.

The brief for this wedding was really simple – bright, colourful and fun. Charley wanted to capture the essence of a Spanish street fair with lots of food (paella), lots of drink (Sangria) and LOTS of dancing. And man, if I could have been an actual guest at any of this year’s weddings, this one would have been it.

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Amazing! You can read more about the creative process behind Charley and Pete’s big day over on Jenny’s website here, where she explains how the overall look came together. Here’s to summer 2015!

Ashlee Simpson’s wedding: it’s rocking my world

Yep. Whilst anyone and everyone is seemingly swooning over Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress today (or not, as the case may be – talk about the Marmite of the wedding dress world), I for one was mostly dying a thousand little deaths over THIS lady’s epic wedding:

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Oh Ashlee Simpson, how I love thee. She made an beautiful bride the first time round (gothic Alice in Wonderland amazingness, in case you’d forgotten), but this time? There are no words. It’s THAT good. I can’t get over how beautiful her wedding was – and I love everything about it: from the white bridesmaids dresses and beautiful all-white blooms, right through to her daring lace two-piece gown. And don’t even get me started on that headpiece. I want.

If I were to do it all again then a white colour palate would totally be on my radar. And in an Ode to Ashlee, here’s what I’d be dreaming of…

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1. Hippy style headpiece

2. Maids all in white

3. White lace two-piece gown

4. Wild blooms

5. Dream catchers in trees

6. Wooden tables with floral runners

7. Mismatched white flowers in vintage bottles