Something Blue...

Planning flowers for Sophie & Luigi's wedding

It's particularly lovely to be asked to do the wedding flowers for a friend of the family. Of course every wedding is very special and I always do my very best for my couples, but I do love to put a smile on the face of someone I know! In this case I was asked by Sophie, a friend of my daughter from university days, to help her plan the flowers for her marriage to Luigi. The wedding was to take place in the gorgeous setting of Froyle Park in Hampshire and Sophie was keen to incorporate flowers in her chosen colours of pale dusky blue and silvery-grey, with white, ivory and cream. Two big challenges as it happens! I mainly work in the areas around Stamford, Rutland and Cambridgeshire and Froyle is 2 1/2 hours drive away, which meant lots of planning to get all the flowers in the right place at the right time and in peak condition. And flowers in pale grey-blue colours (no hint of lilac!) can be particulalry difficult to find (you really can't buy dusky blue roses or chrysanthemums - if you've seen them on Pinterest they are probably dyed!).

My thanks to Sophie and Luigi for allowing me to share some of their fantastic photos with you, and of course to their amazing photographer Paul Read Photography. Read on to see how we approached the creation of these very special flower designs....

Wedding invitation in pale blue and grey

The unusual pale blue and grey shades were key colours throughout the wedding; from the invitations, the wedding decorations and the flowers, as well as the colours chosen for the bridesmaid's dress and the men's outfits - very distinctive and sophisticated!

Pale blue and grey bridal bouquet

It's always very important to get the bride's bouquet just right as that is going to appear in so many of the photographs. Sophie liked the idea of a hand tied bouquet in a round natural style with plenty of texture (and 'spriggy' bits) and incorporating a range of pale blue and silver-grey colours with ivory and cream. Suitable flowers included hydrangeas, roses, nigella, brunia, astilbe and veronica and I was also very lucky to find some of the pretty blue spring-flowering muscari, even though the wedding was in July! Sophie also likes the look of dainty gypsophila, so we included touches through all the designs to give them a dreamy romantic feel.

Flower displays outside St Mary's Church Froyle

The ceremony took place in the historic church of St Mary's next door to the reception venue at Froyle Park, Hampshire. The couple were keen to decorate the entrance to the church to create an impact and set the tone for the rest of the occasion, so we chose to place large floral displays outside the church which would later be moved to the function room for the reception. Towering displays of blue and white delphiniums and hydrangeas looked simply perfect in the July sunshine and were a great way to greet the wedding guests.

Pale blue and white pedestal display inside St Mary's Church

The same flowers were used for the flower display inside the church, which was made on a traditional pedestal stand to suit the historic building. Floral pew ends were also placed on alternate rows of pews, but no other decorations were needed inside this beautiful old building.

Blue & white wedding reception flowers

The reception was held in the fabulous ballroom at Froyle Park. The room is decorated in neutral shades so Sophie and Luigi were able to decorate in their chosen colours. They were keen for the flower arrangements to be the main feature and so we decided on a mix of tall centrepieces (which are great for adding the wow factor!) and low table centres, all made with flowers in a range of blue shades with grey, white, ivory and  cream. The results were truly stunning!

Tall centrepiece with pale blue and white hydrangeas

The tall centrepieces were placed on tall glass vases so that they would not obscure the guests' view across the table. They incorporated some amazing two-tone blue hydrangeas, as well as white hydrangeas, roses and chrysanthemums. Feathery cream astilbe and touches of gypsophila helped to lighten the effect and add texture, while grey-green eucalyptus foliage was used to tone with the other colours and help to keep the designs looking natural.

Low centrepiece with pale blue hydrangeas and white roses

The low table centres were made on glass cake plates using flowers to match the tall designs, including more of those fabulous hydrangeas! As Sophie was keen to have lots of flowers on the tables and touches of candlelight too, all the designs were surrounded by a mix of cut glass and silvered vases filled with a few stems of flowers as well as tea lights. The final effect was so pretty and I know that Sophie and Luigi received lots of positive comments about their flowers.

Long top table flower design with pale blue and white hydrangeas

For the long top table I created a truly special floral design which would work well with the style of the guest table centres, as Sophie was not too keen on a more traditional trailing arrangement. As well as the flowers used in the other designs I added in some touches of mid-blue agapanthus to give the design more impact - this table would also be flanked by the two large floral displays used outside the church, which used a similar range of blue shades.

Blue and white wedding flower arrangement

And just to make sure there were flowers everywhere, even the wall niches were filled with glorious blooms!

So with all the flowers and other decorations in place (despite the very early drive down from Peterborough!!) it was time for the wedding to begin...

Bride with her pale blue and grey bouquet

Sophie looked truly beautiful as she arrived at the church in her gorgeous wedding gown and long floating veil. Her dreamy bouquet worked so well with her romantic look and I loved the finishing touch of trailing grey velvet ribbon to match the ribbon around her waist. Flowers in her bouquet included hydrangeas, roses, gypsophila, astilbe, veronica, brunia, eryngium and muscari - she even had miniature echeveria to pick up the silver-grey colour - gorgeous!

Bride and bridesmaid arrive at church

As Sophie walks to the church with her bridesmaid you can see how beautifully the colours work with the silver-grey colour of the bridesmaid's dress - I love it when everything comes together!

Flower girl with basket and flower circlet

And not forgetting Sophie's sweet little flower girl of course! Doesn't she look simply gorgeous with her circlet of spray roses and gypsophila and little basket of flowers to match the bouquet and bridesmaid posy?

Groom and best man waiting in church

In the meantime Luigi and his best man are waiting in the church - looking very smart in their deep blue suits, grey waistcoats and designer buttonholes to give just the right finishing touch...

Bride and groom leaving St Mary's Church

Married at last...

Guests throw confetti over bride and groom

... and may the celebrations begin!! Many congratulations to Sophie and Luigi! ..... and thank you so much for letting me play a little part in your special day :-)

And if you would like a little help in turning your dreams and ideas into fabulous and imaginative flower designs do get in touch - I'm always happy to talk about wedding flowers!

Helen x