Mon 3rd Dec, 2012
I'm absolutely thrilled to share this blog post with you this morning. I'm a big fan of Jay Archer, she's one super talented and... award-winning florist!
I met up with Jay at New Covent Garden Flower Market recently to find out a bit more about the lady behind the flowers. Over to Jay...
"I moved down South from the West Midlands in 2009 and soon met my other half Jamie, aka the Gofer (find him on Twitter @JAFD_Gofer). My business is my passion and has helped me meet lots of new people since moving. I’m loving it down South - the weather is much better and the people are friendlier! I’m a keen gardener, enjoy the outdoors and spending time with my family - I am definitely a home bird! In my spare time I enjoy baking, usually cakes although I am healthy eating at the moment - not the easiest thing in the lead up to Christmas!!
I enjoy the job I do, love meeting people and the process of working with my couples. I take them to the flower market with me to meet their flowers, source props and unique vessels and also help them with other aspects of planning including finding suppliers, and offering advice on how to bring together all elements of the day.
I’m ambitious, passionate and follow the own beat of my drum. I always try to be one step ahead, providing inspiration not copying it. I grow a lot of my own flowers and herbs between my 3 plots and lots of tubs. I also source a lot of flowers from Winchester, Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and the Holland markets. ‘Being green’ isn’t important to everyone but I think if we can source locally, why not? Give the little guy a chance I say!
I’d describe my style as natural and rustic, preferring to leave flowers as close to their natural state as possible - with a bit of gold leaf here and there! I adore wild flowers, seed heads, herbs and unusual foliages although recently have been working on refining my work showing that wild can be up-market and luxurious too. I love all flowers although I’m not a fan of exotics (with the exception of protea) or gerbera. Also, I tend to avoid lots of roses and peonies too as I think they’re often overused, although I do appreciate a good scented garden rose.
I’ve always loved flowers and the natural world thanks to my Grandparents, more my Grandad. I was a bit of a geek at school and remember being part of the school rambling club (yes really!). We also had to do a presentation and stand on our hobbies - I choose natural forms, studying lichen and clouds… as you do when you’re 11!! Pleased to say I won top marks for the best stand though!! Summer holidays were spent with a new pack of pens and paper, sitting in the garden - remember the days we has Summers with Grandma and Grandad and drawing and drinking cherry aid?
Leaving school I did a few random jobs but knew I always wanted to do something creative so when the opportunity came along at the age of 19, I started attending evening classes and building up my portfolio by helping friends at weddings, networking and practicing lots! I didn’t like the way they taught at college, or what they taught, but they helped me the learn the relevant techniques I needed to develop.
My inspirations are my family, my vivid imagination and the world around me. I see inspiration in everything around me, from buildings to the sky to food. I also have lots of art history books and love artists such as Klimt and Mucha- my favourite painting is The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau.
My favoutire flowers are Sweet peas without a doubt - they hold sentimental reasons for me. I love scented flowers like muscari and paperwhites but also English country garden fave’s like astilbe.
Finally, I asked Jay if there were any particular arrangements/bouquets that are particular favourites...
"Mmm… there have been lots! I made my Grandma a bouquet for her 80th last year, using flowers my Grandad would have grown in his garden- montbretia, dahlia, garden roses, scabious, gladioli… that was pretty special."
Jay covers the south of England but is happy to travel further afield!
From concept to creation, you will only deal with Jay, "I will personally deliver your bridal party flowers to you on the morning of your wedding. Together my team and I will complete the set-up of your venue décor and arrangements at your ceremony and reception venues. I commit to only one wedding per day so you can rely on perfect execution and attention to detail.
During your journey with me, I will invite you to New Covent Garden flower market to ‘meet’ your flowers and will also create an interactive moodboard along with sketches to help you visualise the end result. I take time to get to know you, the couple, so I can bring personal details into your scheme."
click to comment & view comments
You might also like:
Tue 10th Apr, 2012
I'm delighted to feature the fabulous Opera Bespoke on the blog this morning.
Founded by professional opera singer, Margaret Cooke, Opera Bespoke provides exceptional, classical musical performances for all parts of your wedding day, whether it's a solo opera singer to wow your guests at the marriage ceremony, a string quartet at your drinks reception, or surprise singing waiters during the wedding breakfast.
All their young experienced artists have performed at the highest level with the country's top opera houses and orchestras, including The Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, English National Opera, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Albert Hall. They have also appeared with some of the top pop acts of our time, most notably Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.
Ever since Margaret was a little girl, performing has been in her blood. Her passion for music was spotted at the tender age of 11 months when she jumped up from the floor and started girating (in the way wobbly toddlers do) to Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing”! Her appreciation of music has accompanied her throughout her life and after dipping her toe into pop, jazz and musical theatre, her heart and talents eventually led her to the wonderful world of opera.
"I’ve performed for many of the UK’s top opera companies in various operas from classics like “Carmen” to modern contemporary productions where I’ve been required to appear on stage covered head to toe in green body paint! Never once have I experienced a moment of boredom – always challenged and exhilarated. There is nothing comparable to the feeling of singing with a live orchestra to an auditorium packed with expectant spectators and critics. On an opera stage, there is nowhere to hide; no room for error and you owe it to yourself and your audience to push yourself to your limits. As Maria Callas, the great soprano said:” An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house”.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2012 Opera Bespoke
"Although performing on stage in an opera is spine-tinglingly exciting, I’ve always loved the curtain call and hearing how the audience communicate their enjoyment of the performance and reward each singer for their hard work. I always wish I could chat to them backstage and find out what they thought of the performance, whether they are opera buffs or newcomers and generally connect and get to know them. Sadly, the professional opera world does not cater for this sort of familiarity and my aim has been to bring the magic of opera performance, up close and personal.
For many opera is seen as entertainment for the upper classes, a very formal event where you dare not sneeze. But without knowing it you will be amazed at how much opera you already know and love. You will have been mesmerised by Luciano Pavarotti’s rendition of “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Puccini during the 1990 Fifa World Cup and delighted as you hear the “Flower Duet” from Lakme by Delibes when played in British Airways adverts and films such as the American President and Meet the Parents."
I set up Opera Bespoke to provide entertainment for weddings. All our singers perform at the highest level with the country's top opera houses and have the ability to transform all aspects of your wedding into a truly unforgettable experience. Solos and duets during your wedding ceremony, a string quartet or live popular opera during your drinks reception? A popular choice with brides and grooms are our surprise singing waiters, chefs and hidden guests. Our fantastic surprise singing waiters and hidden guests can transform your wedding into a day that you and your guests will talk about for years to come. What we love about our Singing Waiter performances is that every wedding is individual and every audience is different. We can never predict how an audience is going to react – “stunned”, “amazed”, “in awe”, “blown away”, “tears of joy” are just some of the comments we have received."
What could add to the sense of occasion more on your wedding day than experiencing the country’s top opera singers singing live, close up, especially for you - and don’t worry, not only are you allowed to sneeze during our performances, you are positively encouraged to sing along and wave your napkins in the air!
All Opera Bespoke packages can be tailored to suit any budget, no matter how big or small, taking pride in making Opera and Classical Entertainment widely accessible whilst maintaining the highest possible standards.
To find out more or discuss your wedding requirements, please contact Margaret on 020 8354 3112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"As performers, we derive immense enjoyment and satisfaction from performing so directly to an audience and immersing ourselves in the atmosphere. The most important thing is that we create lasting memories which will always remain in the hearts of brides and grooms up and down the country but I think the comments from our clients say it better:"
“Words will never be enough to say how much we enjoyed the opera singers. All the guests are still talking about it. They said it was absolutely stunning and even the children were so happy. It was just magical and my husband and daughter cried and said it was the highlight of the evening. My husband congratulated me for organising such a wonderful event and said he will never forget those two opera singers. As I said, I just cannot express how much happiness they gave to our wedding breakfast”.
“I wanted to say a big big thank you to everyone at Opera Bespoke for making our wedding day so magical. Although it has been over a month now since we got married, when we see people who were at our wedding, the first thing they say is how brilliant the opera singers were. It made a real difference, and made our wedding so just that little bit more special and unique. My 7 and 4 year old nephews keep singing "funiculi, funicula" and waving napkins around whenever we go to their house!! Please pass on our sincere thanks to the three singers”
“The performers were outstanding and added that extra special edge to our day. The power of the performance was shown on the faces of all of our guests, there was a mixture of initial confusion, followed by sheer delight and enjoyment. Nessun Dorma provoked a few tears amongst family members, but tears of contentment and remembrance. A truly stunning performance for a truly stunning day”.
You might also like:
Tue 20th Mar, 2012
You're invited to join Neill Strain on Thursday, March 22nd to celebrate the beginning of spring with the largest and most diverse display of tulips ever seen in London. The festival will run until Easter at Neill's The Flower Lounge on West Halkin Street, London.
During “Tulipmania”, Neill and his team will be demonstrating design tips and sharing ideas. Brides will be inspired by Neill's floral arrangements for the home, which can be translated into stunning bridal bouquets and table arrangements.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2012 Neill Strain
“For their elegance and versatility, tulips are one of our favourite flowers,” explains Neill. “While they are breathtakingly beautiful in a simple bouquet, they can be even more inspiring when worked into a design.”
Joining Neill’s design team for the celebrations on March 22nd, will be one of Holland’s most reputed tulip growers, Loek van Eeden, with his extensive knowledge on the horticulture, history and traditions of the revered flower. He will offer educational talks throughout the day on how to grow tulips in the garden, how to care for the cut flowers and much more.
With 27 million tulips sold in a single day in the Dutch auctions, there are close to 3,000 different varieties, many of which are never or rarely seen in the U.K. “I will personally be sourcing the tulips in Holland to introduce some unusual blooms for my clients,” promises Neill. “I can’t bring the famous Keukenhof Gardens to West Halkin Street, but I will enjoy recreating the colour and spirit of the Dutch bulb fields in the shop.”
“Everyone is welcome to join us at The Flower Lounge for the first day of spring, or on any other day during Tulipmania,’” says Neill. “We will have literally hundreds and hundreds of tulips, it will be a rare sight in London. There’s so much to learn about tulips, and we hope our designs and inspirations will entice clients to fill their homes with the glory of tulips,”
For further information, please contact Lucinda Addison on: 020 7235 6469 or email email@example.com.
Neill Strain Floral Couture
11 West Halkin Street
London SW1X 8JL
You might also like:
Tue 24th Jan, 2012
I'm delighted to introduce you to one of our latest sponsors - The Wedding Reporter.
The lady behind this great concept is Emma Woodhouse. Emma can perfectly capture your wedding from start to finish but not in the way you would expect. For Emma is a wedding literacy gem, who will document your day including emotions and tiny details, and create a word-based equivalent of a photo album - a literacy legacy.
I was curious to hear more about Emma, her background and how she came to be The Wedding Reporter. Emma happily obliged and what you're about to read is a great insight into Emma's journey to becoming a writer and why she loves what she does...
"I didn’t really fit in at my creative writing classes. I was the youngest person there with the brightest pencil case and biggest notebook. I sat in the same seat every week, on the corner of the horseshoe, so that I could see everybody without being the centre of attention myself.
Each week we would have to read out our homework assignment in front of the rest of the class. The old ladies described vast landscapes from their childhoods as practice for their memoirs. The not-quite-middle-aged men wrote snippets of science fiction or convoluted postmodern nonsense to make them feel intellectual.
I rocked up and with shaking hands and a faltering voice, read my stories about strippers, adulterous presidents and cross-dressing Victorians. My poor teacher, having had the luxury of simply reformulating the same response to everyone else, sat with her jaw agape as she tried to think of some constructive criticism.
The difference between me and them was that I wanted to write about people and more specifically about the relationships between people. I wanted to know what made a great love story and even better, what made a heartbreaking tragedy. I spent pages and pages describing a certain look between characters or the inner monologue of a suitably bereft lover.
It took a while for me to realise that what I am is essentially a romance writer. I thought I was penning great literature, but in truth I am not bothered by metaphors or intricately woven political messages. I love love stories and there is no greater love story than a man and a woman publicly vowing to spend the rest of their lives striving for mutual happiness."
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2012 The Wedding Reporter
"In this day and age, when you don’t have to get married, I think it is a huge gesture when a couple decides to make that commitment. Nine times out of ten, most couples don’t really realise the magnitude of their actions until they are stood at the altar, hearing the words come out of their mouths. I absolutely adore the fact that my job is to watch that moment of realisation and attempt to transcribe it into a literary legacy, so that when they read it back in years to come they feel equally as affected and overcome.
I’ve written a lot of love stories in my time, from secret stories in the back of my exercise book about boys we had a crush on, to lengthy duologues set in a coffee shop for my drama degree. I started writing love stories before I even knew what love was. I started writing before I even knew how to craft a story.
My own story to this point has not been straightforward. In my other lives I’ve moonlighted as a barmaid, television runner, visual merchandiser and most recently a civil servant protecting England’s heritage. I did not even intend to get married, let alone create a career in the wedding industry, in a job title that didn’t exist. But as any writer has to do, I created a world and now I am living in it.
Sometimes when I’m sat at the back of a ceremony room with my trusty notebook, surrounded by someone else’s friends and family, I laugh at the thought of what I’m doing. But then, when those same family and friends start coming up to me and telling me stories about the bride and groom, reminiscing about their own personal relationships and asking me when they can read the story, I know that this new world I’ve created is not so fantastical after all.
It’s just a slightly rose-tinted one in which people are not afraid to admit that they’re a sucker for a love story, too."
You might also like:
Tue 10th Jan, 2012
The recently launched Parallel Venues, boasting two exquisite wedding venues in Surrey and Hampshire, is offering couples the chance to enjoy the elegance of a magnificent exclusive-use venue for less. For weddings taking place in 2012, Parallel Venues is offering £500 off its full-day hire charges.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2012 EFC Photography
Parallel Venues is a part of a privately owned property company and launched its portfolio of two spectacular wedding venues in November 2011. Set amidst beautiful landscaped gardens in the heart of Surrey, Fetcham Park is a magnificent Queen Anne mansion combining historical charm, romantic elegance and modern facilities. Available exclusively for your day, the house is licensed for civil ceremonies and offers a tapestry of rooms ready to be configured to your individual requirements.
Cams Hall is a 300-year old Grade II mansion located in Hampshire and offers an idyllic setting, with outstanding views across Portsmouth Harbour. The house, which has been restored to its original Georgian splendour, is approached by an impressive drive through the immaculate grounds. Cams Hall can cater for wedding breakfasts of up to 60 guests in the beautiful Adam-style Oval Room and for larger receptions, the grounds provide ample space for a marquee. The property is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies for up to 60 guests.
Parallel Venues believes in delivering exceptional events planned to perfection. The company operates a strict policy of only recommending suppliers that the team knows, loves and trusts, ensuring complete confidence with every detail and a truly unforgettable occasion. Providing transparency across all events, Parallel Venues does not accept commissions and there is no corkage fee.
The offer is subject to availability. For further information on Parallel Venues, visit www.parallelvenues.co.uk. To make an enquiry contact Laura Caudery on 01483 230337 / 07966 463719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also like:
Wed 7th Dec, 2011
If you're planning a winter wedding and just can't find that perfect little finishing touch for your tables, then you might have just found them here.
Each unique piece is handmade by skilled artisan Carys Boyle. Carys produces a range interior accessories, jewellery and buttons using porcelain which make ideal gifts and decorations for weddings.
Her inspiration for these minimalist forms comes from the coastal environment. She is interested in how the sea affects objects found on the shore and photographs and sketches these to design her work. She is particularly drawn to the organic forms of driftwood, the smooth contours of pebbles and the patterns created by seaweed left on sand and rocks and this is evident in her work. Slip casting is used as a starting point, and then the forms are slip trailed and manipulated to create pieces that are a lot stronger than their delicate appearance.
She has a studio at her home near Chester which is ideal for a working Mum as she is always around for the children and is able to work unconventional hours.
She sells her work in galleries and boutique shops around the country and on 'Not on the High Street.com'.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Wedding photography copyright 2011 Alison Mclean
You might also like:
Mon 12th Sep, 2011
Today I would like to introduce you to Tempting Cake's fabulous cake tables.
A concept that's been around in the US for a while, has now started to appear at weddings and celebrations over here and is proving very popular! The lovely Emily from Tempting Cake has been creating some beautiful 'Tempting Tables' recently and I asked her to tell me a little more about them...
How do you start planning a Tempting Table?
"First off, we meet with the client to find out the kind of look they’re after, as well as details such as the number of guests, any dietary requirements and where the Tempting Table will be set up.
From there, we’ll draw up the design inspiration from which the details of the Tempting Table will follow. While this is coming together, ideas are already starting to form as to how we translate the client requirements into a Tempting Table. There are various elements to consider including backdrop, table covering, presentation dishes, labels and of course the delicious cakes, desserts and sweeties themselves. We’ll brainstorm some ideas, raid our recipe collection and draw up a list of suggestions which fit the client’s requirements."
How do you decide what to include in a Tempting Table?
"The beauty of a Tempting Table is that the options are endless, although this can make it hard to decide what to include! We take into consideration the guests who will enjoy the Tempting Table, as the suggestions for a sophisticated evening wedding will differ to those for a whimsical children’s birthday party, for example.
We always try to include bites which are first of all a feast for the eyes, whilst ensuring they deliver on taste too. We aim to offer a range of traditional treats and perennial favourites like cupcakes, as well as some more contemporary bites such as dragon fruit, mango and passion fruit spoons to provide interest and a little something for all tastes. We also consider colour, texture and how the various menu items will be presented when making our selection."
Where do dessert tables come from?
"Dessert tables, cake bars, candy buffets and sweetie stations have around in the US for a while now, so it’s perhaps natural that they are proving popular here too.
Buffets are certainly nothing new and the concept of self-service food presented from elaborate tables and ‘court cupboards’ dates back to 16th century Europe. More recently, Californian artist Wayne Thiebaud captured what could be considered an early cake bar in his 1963 painting ‘Cakes’.
Dessert tables could also be described as simply a grown-up version of our childhood party tables. The buffet of pink wafer biscuits, party rings and iced gems of old has evolved into chocolate dipped meringues, black tie strawberries and mini cupcakes, all beautifully styled and presented."
Below is one of Emily's Tempting Tables. The brief was to create a seaside-themed table, and based on a soft colour palette of sandy creams with accents of sea greens and choral pinks. Below is just a hint of what Emily produced on the day!
Displayed on a wooden table with a linen cloth, accessories with two huge glass and chrome hurricane lamps which complement the outdoorsy theme.
Seaside cupcakes decorated with starfish, sea shells and oyster shells sit next to gorgeous mini cakes covered in flaked almonds to give the impression of crushed sea shells.
I think my favourites are the ridged Madeleines which resemble clam shells, filled with a gorgeous pistachio and line filling. Don't they make your mouth water?!
And to top it off, what seaside visit wouldn't be complete without an ice cream cone? Emily created these cupcake cones, each one filled with syrup-soaked sponge and topped with buttercream in a variety of flavours.
You might also like:
Mon 4th Apr, 2011
Yaxley Hall is a unique private home, situated in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Dominic Richards, Yaxley Hall's owner, is delighted to welcome you to his home for your wedding, whether you choose to marry in the music room or outside in their Gothic Temple.
I recently met with the lovely Richard Orton, Yaxley Hall's Wedding Butler, and asked him to tell me a little more about his role and this very special Suffolk wedding venue.
We talked about wedding blogs, wedding trends, what makes a great Yaxley Hall wedding and some funny memorable stories!
Tell us about Yaxley Hall, the beautiful Suffolk wedding venue...
"Yaxley Hall is a beautifully restored and loved Elizabethan/Georgian country house set in the idyllic Suffolk countryside, an hour and a half from London. Built in 1580 with major additions during the late 18th Century, it is a rare example of the Strawberry Hill Gothick stlye of architecture and as such attracts much attention as this style was rarely seen outside of London.
Dominic has brought to Yaxley Hall his enthusiasm for architecture and love of historical buildings to create a home that is a mixture of old and new, and with a passion for modern technology each wedding couple is assured of the best of both worlds."
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Hannah Gooch/Contre Jour
Tell us about you, Richard Orton, the man behind the Yaxley Hall Wedding Butler...
"Born Kettering, market town in Northamptonshire, studied at local Grammar school. Loves Theatre, large scale gardening, people, champagne, shopping for plants and Afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason!"
(Richard is pictured top left)
What led you to become a wedding butler?
"I took time out from my Devon Delicatessen business in 2001 to explore London for six months initially. I took up the position of Dominic's PA and personal chef and when he purchased Yaxley Hall in 2002 he invited me to stay on. It was a defining point in my life, I sold the deli and put my heart and soul into making Yaxley Hall the prestigious wedding venue it is today.
The wedding venue came about through the local authority contacting us following a change in the law allowing privately owned country houses to become approved wedding ceremony venues. With Dominic's business acumen and my experience in hospitality it made sense to develop Yaxley Hall as a country house that was not only a private home but was also able to be open to the public on a limited basis for weddings."
You're Yaxley Hall's wedding butler. What does that mean?
"It means that from the first time a couple visits Yaxley Hall to view, through numerous meetings, their menu tasting, to the moment they leave on the evening of their wedding I am available to advise, assist and in some cases be a shoulder to cry on, at any time throughout the whole wedding journey."
Describe an average day as a wedding butler...
"Up at 6am to get Yaxley Hall ready for the day's wedding couple who arrive at 10am.
Brunch is usually served at 11am whilst the bride is getting herself prepared, and I deal with the various suppliers bustling back and forth; the cake, the flowers, the photographer, the entertainment, making sure everything is in place just as we have discussed over the previous months.
My role is to take away any unnecessary pressures from the wedding couple and the family so that they can relax and enjoy their day.
Ceremonies usually take place around 2pm, though being an exclusive wedding venue the choice of time is between the couple and the Registrars. I will liase with the Registrars on the day and make sure that the bride and her escort are ready to make their entrance.
Keeping the guests together is often a tricky task and keeping the day on time requires a lot of patience and cajoling and sometimes a few gentle but firm words to the photographer in order that the day runs to schedule!
Once the guests have taken their seats for dinner I will announce the arrival of the bridal couple, announce speeches and ask the couple to cut their wedding cake. I can then hand dinner sevice over to the waiting staff so that I can concentrate of looking after the bridal party and any needs that they have during this time.
Once dinner is over, the main part of my role is finished apart from making sure that the bridal party have all they need and indeed it has been known for me to get up on the dance floor with guests to get the party started if they are initially reluctant!! A wedding butler's job is never done!
My last job is to make sure that everyone has arranged transport to take them to their hotels at the end of the evening and when all the guests have departed, its time for a well earned glass of red wine!"
What's the best thing about being a Wedding Butler?
"Working with each wedding couple to help give them the best wedding day they could imagine and to give them memories to treasure for a lifetime."
What makes a great wedding?
"The best weddings are when the couple are able to be true to themselves. As a guest I would always want to leave with the thought that the whole day had been an expression of the relationship that the couple had and that it reflected their personalities. Sometimes this can be a really simple affair and others completely over the top and lavish."
Have any couples taught you anything?
"That every couple is different and that you should never prejudge what a couple want from their wedding day. Many people think that weddings are all the same and to a point they do follow a similar format, but every wedding is unique because it has a different set of people and everyone has a different idea of what a great wedding is."
Being so closely involved in weddings at Yaxley Hall, what changes are you seeing with regards to trends and choices couples are making?
"It is quite clear that couples are trimming their budgets to suit the current economic mood and more couples are DIYing their stationery and decoration etc. That said there are still couples out there that have money to spend and it is good to see that the vintage, classic look has returned this year with the huge bridal gowns and tonged hair taking a back seat in favour of soft flowing fabrics and properly dressed hair (french pleats and chignons being my favourite). Flowers are trending towards seasonality too, which is great and the vintage colours of apricot, lilac and muted creams are dominant throughout."
What's been your most unusual wedding request?
"500 candles in the garden - yes 500! All to be lit as dusk fell so that the garden felt as if it were full of glow worms!
Daffodils in the garden in August! One couple visiting Yaxley Hall in Spring asked whether it would be possible to have daffodils in bloom - in August... Anything is possible at Yaxley Hall, but the bride was clearly no gardener!"
And just for fun... Do you have any funny wedding stories that have stuck in your memory?
The day the tent came down...
"Certainly not funny at the time but the way in which our original tent collapsed in the winter storms of 2007 was truly balletic and the sight of my colleagues and I trying in vain to keep it attached to the ground was quite something to be seen. At the end of the day it was a health and safety issue, (my health, their safety!). The couple whose wedding was supposed to be taking place there two days later were absolutely brilliant and we were able to arrange alternative plans for them very quickly."
When the wind blows...
"One windy October day, just as the wedding party were about to sit down for dinner, I heard an enormous explosion in the grounds and saw a flash of green flame. A tree branch had fallen directly onto a power cable and severed the electricity supply to the whole estate! Fortunately we cook by gas, but it meant no lights, no band and no heat until an emergency generator was found! Not to be put off by this, the guests, most of whom were South African and thought it hilarious that they should travel so far only to experience another power cut, it was "just like home" apparently! Mother rallied her church choir to sing acapella instead of the band, empty champagne bottles were used to light the tables and I cooked by candlelight. Power was restored just as pudding was served and the band went on stage only thirty minutes late - what a team effort!"
"On one occasion in Winter, Yaxley Hall was bedecked with candles everywhere and the whole place looked truly magical. As the bride made her entrance into the ceremony room it became clear that her full length net train was floating above the scented candles decorating the corridor and causing them to burn holes in it. A member of staff standing behind the bride looked on in horror as she made her entrance, expecting to have to grab a fire extinguisher at any moment. Standing in front of the bride I managed, just, to retain a look of complete composure whilst thinking of how I would explain to the bridegroom why his bride had been covered in foam from a fire extinguisher should the need have arisen. Fortunately all was well and the bride never knew why there were holes in her train!"
One legged Elvis impersonator...
"One of the funniest and perhaps tragic instances was an Elvis impersonator who had recently broken his leg. Trooper that he was, he persevered by sitting the whole time in full Rhinestoned attire with his broken leg propped up on a stool, and a glass of bourbon to numb the pain. It was, as you can imagine a unique performance!"
Have you met the ultimate bridezilla? Or even groomzilla?
"Not yet.... though there is always a first time. I truly believe that you get the clients you deserve and I always tell brides that we never have bridezillas at Yaxley Hall only "more, or less demanding brides"!
You might also like:
Wed 9th Feb, 2011
Today my Etsy ‘find’ is Bookity.
Run by UK based Louise Annable, Bookity began as a way for her to recycle books that no one wanted - ones that suffered from unfortunate coffee stains on the pages or were just hopelessly out of date.
“I use these books to create unique and beautiful gifts and decorations, ranging from paper garlands to book handbags. I love old combining illustrations, cheesy book covers, aged brown paper and beautiful fabrics. I make sure that I never use books that are rare or valuable.
By their very nature, most of my products are unique but I do find that certain designs and concepts are very popular, such as garlands for weddings, parties and celebrations, and book handbags for gifts.
I make my own packaging, reusing scrap cardboard and book pages to make my own envelopes and boxes, so that receiving and opening a Bookity item is part of the fun.
I am very open to collaborations and bespoke items. In the spirit of adventure and the creation of shiny things, custom orders are welcomed!”
These beautiful heart garlands catch the light in an amazing way, introducing movement and colour into your room. They are made from a falling apart copy of Shakespeare's plays, old comics or other vintage books.
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Louise Annable | Bookity
This heart shaped paper confetti is hand-stamped from old copies of cheesy romance novels or a copy of Alice in Wonderland. The paper is very thin and light, and they flutter wonderfully in the air!
Each piece is unique, and there's fun to be had plucking them from each other's shoulders to read what they say.
The confetti is packaged in its own stitched paper envelope, which I make from whole pages of the book.
You might also like:
Fri 4th Feb, 2011
A guest post today by the lovely Emily from Tempting Cake on wedding cake trends for 2011.
Over to Emily...
"As with pretty much every aspect of organising a wedding, there is now a dizzying array of choice for wedding ‘cakes’. The cupcake tower with top tier for cutting has been an enduring trend for some years now, and whoopie pie towers, cheesecakes, macaroon towers and cake pops have all recently come to the fore giving today’s bride a lot to consider for her Big Day. Interestingly, we are seeing a strong demand for the more traditional stacked wedding cakes, although traditional in style certainly does not mean traditional in decoration.
We are often asked where we source the inspiration behind our cake designs, and we can honestly say that inspiration strikes anywhere and everywhere, from flowers and foreign cultures to things as seemingly mundane as wall paper patterns and beyond! Fashion trends are an obvious but very rich source of cake themes and with trends constantly changing, there’s a constant stream of ideas to translate into beautiful cakes.
Icing techniques can be used to mimic a multitude of dress designs, such as ruffles, pleats, drapes, quilting and embroidery, ensuring that the cake is unique to that wedding. The use of decorative brooches on wedding cakes can pick out the detail on a dress beautifully and is a simple way of accessorising the cake.
Dresses with crochet, lace and macramé detail have been cropping up in Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Pucci and Moschino collections, evoking a soft, bohemian vibe. This cake pairs a crochet detail top tier over a taupe base colour, with delicate hand piped rose buds in rich burgundy and fresh green leaf detail."
"Pearls are a timeless classic and have been long-associated with fashion icon Audrey Hepburn and the fashion house Chanel. Along with diamonds, they are also synonymous with weddings, and such decadence provides great inspiration for a wedding cake."
"Colour is big, with more and more brides veering away from the traditional white or ivory cake and requesting a real statement cake. Gucci, Diane von Furstenburg all featured block colours in their latest collections and this cake gives it an oriental twist."
"Roses and floral blooms in a riot of colour flooded the Spring/Summer 2011 collections of D&G, Kenzo and Alberta Ferretti, and typically feature heavily in many bridal collections."
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Tempting Cake
"The movie world has also left its mark on cake trends with the all-out glamour of the incredible wedding cake from Sex and The City 2, cakes designed with Alice In Wonderland style tea parties in mind and soft, romantic ballerina designs giving a nod to Black Swan providing inspiration to suit all tastes and budgets.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2011 and the obvious cake trends for the year are likely to come about as a result of the upcoming Royal weddings, with brides looking to capture some of their regal magic in their own Big Day."
You might also like:
PAGE 1 OF 2 | OLDER ENTRIES >