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The Botanical Wedding of Michelle & Jack – Gosfield Hall, Essex

Michelle & Jack’s Botanical Wedding

Article written by
Photography by Natalie J Photography

 

On Thursday 25th  April 2019, Michelle and Jack tied the knot after years of planning. However, their story doesn’t start here, it starts a few years prior to this in Santorini…

“Jack proposed to me on my 30th birthday in Santorini on the balcony of our suite in front of the most amazing sunset. He was so nervous, but it was perfect and unexpected as we were buying our own place at the time.”

After letting the engagement sink in, they then decided to start making some firm plans and organising their special day!

“We’d been engaged for nearly 3 years by the time we’d decided to start planning our wedding and so I’d had a Pinterest board for quite a while. The first step really was to choose a venue. We had originally chosen a venue in Santorini, but the waiting list was huge, and we felt like we’d waited long enough to get married and so we decided to look closer to home. “

Before making any set plans, they decided the first thing to do was to look into budgets.

“We found that Hitched.co.uk had some helpful information around setting budgets and getting rough prices together. Our friends got married the year before us, so we asked them lots of advice and for guide prices which really helped, so we kind of worked backwards from that. I had a very complicated spreadsheet which my Dad had made for me, but we did lose track towards the end. I didn’t want to scrimp on anything and so it kept creeping up, but it was definitely all worth it.”

One of the other important decisions was to decide what kind of style they wanted in a venue and what was most important to them.

“We started searching online for venues close by to us in Essex and back in Liverpool where I’m from, also asking friends and family. We actually came across Gosfield Hall on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride – where the bride goes to her dream venue (which she never ends up getting!). I searched online for it straight away and lucky enough there was an open day coming up in the next few weeks, so I got in touch and booked us in!

Gosfield Hall just felt special, from the drive up the driveway, to the beautiful grounds and the amazing bridal suite. We just had so much fun exploring the house and were made to feel so welcome, we wanted that for our guests too. Jack and I have very different tastes, he wanted somewhere modern, but I love anything to do with the Tudor/Georgian era and so Gosfield won my heart straight away. Gosfield was the first venue we viewed and nothing else really compared. We viewed one more venue in Essex straight after and then around 4 or 5 more in Liverpool a few days later, all of them were very different. We went on holiday the next day and so we decided to take some time to think about it whilst being away, but that only lasted a few days and we ended calling up the Gosfield Hall office from a beach in Sardinia to book. We chose 25th April, the beginning of wedding season and hopefully the beginning of spring.”

With the venue booked and the date in the diary, everything else would then fall naturally into place! It was then time to get some Gosfield Hall inspiration and to get booking suppliers.

“I mostly used Pinterest, Hitched and Instagram for inspiration. Once we’d booked Gosfield Hall I found the blogs, particularly the ‘Real wedding’ pieces, really useful for decoration ideas and finding local suppliers.

After booking the venue there was literally no stopping me, I’m a planner and so I was in my element. I had everything set all in my head what I wanted. I sat Jack down one Sunday to take him through my Pinterest board and thankfully he liked everything I was proposing. We made Sunday afternoons our planning day so that I made sure I kept him in the loop on everything I’d done during the week and that he had input on things he wanted to input to.

Our theme was Botanicals. The venue has a lot going on and so I wanted everything to be kept quite neutral. I knew that I wanted the bridesmaids in pale Grey and that I wanted lots of greenery.

I’m a designer and so I designed all of our save the dates, invites, website and stationery around the venue. The stationery was a mixture of pale Grey with Gold and Marble accents and foliage illustrations. The style was a combination of traditional and modern, what we were also trying to achieve in the venue. “

With all of the plans finalised, finishing touches planned, it was then time to arrive at the Lady’s Chambers for Michelle and the girls!

“The night before the wedding we stayed at the Lady’s Chambers Cottage for some final prep and bubbles before getting an early night. The next morning, we were up very early to get started with hair and make-up, there was a lot of us!”

The next day, there was excitement all around, the girls were up and getting ready and keeping Michelle nice and calm. They moved upstairs to the Rococco Suite to get settled before helping Michelle get into her beautiful dress.

“I had 7 Bridesmaids and 1 Bridesman, 5 of my best friends from home (Liz, Clare, Carly, Sammy and William) and 3 of my best friends from London (Roisin, Danielle and Carly). I made each of them a photocard and wrote in them why I wanted them to be my Bridesmaid/Bridesman. I gave them to them at dinner (one in Liverpool and one in London) there were tears and bubbles.”

Whilst the girls were upstairs, downstairs the house was being transformed into their vision!

“Jack and I designed our cake together with Jip. Jack had really wanted a Grey marble cake and so we gathered lots of inspiration from Pinterest. We went to Jip’s house for our tasting and we went through our ideas with her and she sketched it out in front of us. We loved the finished product; it was exactly what we wanted and more.

We felt that the Grand Hall could look quite bare and so we decided to dress the bannisters with foliage and gypsophila. We bought our cake stand from made.com to complement the cake, it had a gold stand and a marble top and James provided us with the Grey table cloth which really set it all off.

I created a ‘Meet the Bridal party’ stand with photos and also photos of our Nana’s who couldn’t be with us on the day.”

“My Maid of Honour, Roisin, made us the most amazing confetti stand. It was made from copper piping and the cones were made of little maps of Liverpool and York. She also added in some artificial foliage which matched our theme. We filled the cones with fresh, brightly coloured rose petals.”

Jack and his groomsmen had arrived at the Hall and were busy chatting with guests, whilst Michelle was doing finishing touches.

“I gave all of the Bridesmaids a personalised tote bag, fluffy slippers, a Katie Loxton pouch bag and matching PJs (Rosie for Autograph at M&S). William had colour co-ordinated David Gandy PJs, he also got some Reiss socks and a personalised Gin glass.

We had the best morning getting ready, especially once we moved up to the bridal suite. The bubbles were flowing, music was on and everyone was up dancing and singing it was so much fun.”

“I was pretty certain which designer I wanted but when I went to try on the dresses, they were underwhelming on me and most of the other dresses I tried swamped me, with me being so petit. I wanted something simple and modern but with that something special about it. The stylist recommended a dress by a designer which I’d never heard of, it had an Italian lace applique waistline which I’d never considered. I’m quite fussy so I hadn’t expected to like it so much but when I put it on it felt so silky and smooth and seemed to fit me in all the right places.”

“The back was exactly what I had wanted, low with buttons and a train but the neckline, waist and straps were so different to what I’d had in my head. When I looked at my Maid of Honour I knew it was the one, so I invited my Mum down on the May bank holiday to come and see if before taking the plunge and buying it. She was so nervous to see it, as was I to show her, as I knew she would tell me if she didn’t like it. When I came out of the changing room she cried immediately and came and gave me a hug, she loved it!

It was made to order and so from that day (May 2018) I didn’t see it again until February 2019! I was worried I would no longer like it, but I loved it even more!

Eventually when the time came to put it on for real, and after revealing it to my bridesmaids and seeing their lovely reactions I felt confident and excited to finally walk down the aisle and for Jack to see what I’d chosen.”

“On the day I wore platform shoes by Jimmy Choo in a pinky colour. As I went for a simple dress, I wanted statement earrings and veil. I had a bespoke petal veil made by Heather at Sash + Veil, it was cathedral length and had dried ivory and toffee coloured petals scattered all over it. My earrings were handmade, embroidered silk organza petal earrings from Luna Bea. I also had a Katie Loxton ‘Mrs’ pouch bag.”

Now ready to go, it was time for Michelle to make way to the ceremony. Not before seeing the other important man in her life, her dad.

“I was very chilled all morning until I met with the registrars, then the nerves came flooding in. I was stood at the top of the stairs, my Bridesmaids walking down in front of me when I caught a glimpse of my cousin Luke who had waited at the bottom of the stairs to escort my Mum in. He gasped and started crying, I had to take a deep breath before I made my own way down the stairs.”

With Dad’s tears wiped away, it was time to escort Michelle into the ceremony room to meet Jack, who was eagerly awaiting her arrival.

“The ceremony was beautiful, we opted to have it in the grand salon as the room is so beautiful. JF Styling and Stock florist worked together to transform the room providing the trees, candles and foliage and we had the gold chiavari chairs.”

“We first went to Stock Florist; we sat down and went through all of our ideas for bouquets and decorations around the venue. After that first appointment, we decided that we needed to go back to the venue and plan exactly what we wanted where.

That’s where we met James from JF Styling. James was great, he knew exactly the kind of style we wanted which wasn’t the traditional Essex style wedding. James, along with Stock Florist helped us achieve that natural, romantic look with lots of glass cylinder candles, blossom trees, foliage, and festoon lighting outside.”

“Jack wore Navy, custom made skinny trousers and a slim jacket with tails from Anthony Formal Wear. He had a contrasting grey check waistcoat with matching pocket chief and a Navy polka dot tie with matching polka dot socks and a pocket watch chain. We chose it together; I’ve never seen him looking so handsome – I will never forget it.”

“We had a Pianist, Sandra, play Adele, ‘Make you feel my love’ for my walk down the aisle, it was Jack’s Nana’s favourite song.”

“Jack cried as soon as he saw me! I had been dreading the walk down the aisle but as soon as I saw Jack I couldn’t stop smiling.”

“We had two readers, my bridesmaid Sammy and Jack’s sister Lorraine. My cousin Frankie and Jacks niece Libby were our witnesses.”

Say hello to the very new Mr & Mrs Aaron!

“The pianist played ‘All of me’ by John Legend whilst we signed the register and then ‘All you need is love’ by The Beatles for our exit.”

After the ceremony, Michelle and Jack headed outside for the welcome drinks and canapes reception.

“Luckily the sun came out for our drink’s reception, it had been overcast and drizzly in the morning, but it was perfect by the time we got out into the courtyard.”

Welcome Drinks

Prosecco

Gin Cocktail

Peroni

Corona

Canapé Selection

Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream

Basil crostini with Feta and Tomato Pearls (V)

Tempura King Prawn

Rare roast Beef served on Rye bread with a Horseradish cream mousse

Butternut Squash and crispy Pancetta en croute

Free range honey chilli Chicken skewers

The newlyweds then had a few group sots with their nearest and dearest, before heading off around the house and grounds together with their photographer.

“I looked at thousands of Bridesmaid dresses online, I knew exactly what I wanted in my head and finally, Oasis launched their Bridesmaid range and I found my perfect dresses. They were a pale Grey slim silhouette with a cowl neck and a cold-shoulder. I got the shoes from there to match too.

My Bridesman William wore the same suits as the Groomsmen.”

“Jack had his brother Lea and nephew Ethan as Groomsmen and his friend Jonathan as best man. They wore Navy suits, also from Anthony Formal wear but with no tails, a plain Grey waistcoat and matching pocket chief and Navy polka dot tie. They all received Navy polka dot Reiss socks and Yorkshire Rose cufflinks as gifts.”

“I read a Gosfield Hall blog and Nataly was featured on one of the Real Wedding pieces, I really liked the look of the shots, they were candid and modern. I immediately went on Instagram and knew straight away from her page that I wanted her! Her photographs have a lovely warm tone to them, they’re natural but so striking.”

“I found choosing suppliers the hardest and most time consuming, there’s so much inspiration out there and it’s hard to know who to trust.

We went to quite a few open days at Gosfield Hall and that’s where we met James from JF Styling. I found our florist, Stock Florist, and hair and make-up, Team Glam, on Instagram. Our videographer, Alex, did the filming at our friend’s wedding.  I found Jip who made our cake on Hitched and our photographer Nataly and Pianist through the Gosfield Hall blog.”

“The Ballroom looked amazing, the room is so grand and just having the foliage really set off the colours perfectly. Stock Florist provided the tall Gold stands which complimented the height of the room. Our table names were Liverpool and York landmarks, and we created a playlist of music from both cities for the Wedding Breakfast.”

“Our entrance into the Wedding Breakfast was AMAZING! We had the song ‘Show me Love’ playing by Robin S (a 90’s house classic). Everyone was up singing and dancing right through to the very end of the song, it was unreal!”

“Each guest had a personalised place card which had a photo of themselves on and I wrote the memory on the back.”

“We did the speeches before dinner to get the nerves out of the way. They were touching, funny, and even shocking
(thanks to the Best Man Jonathan).”

Starter

Mozzarella and Rocket Salad with Tomato and Chilli Salsa (V)
Toasted garlic bruschetta, topped with rocket salad and slices of creamy mozzarella, garnished with tomato, red onion and chilli salsa

Main Course

Pan-Fried Chicken with Chargrilled Asparagus
Served on wilted Spinach with Roasted Shallots and Thyme Jus

Traditional Roast Topside of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
Served on a bed of Horseradish Mash with a Red Wine Jus

Roasted Vegetable Wellington (V)
Seasonal vegetables, blended and encrusted in puff pastry, finished with red wine and cranberry reduction

Dessert

Lemon Tart (V)
Handmade crisp butter pastry with a rich lemon filling served with clotted cream, raspberries and caramelised lemon zest

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Brownie (V)
With dark chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

After dinner, Michelle, Jack and their family and friends headed downstairs, to cut the cake, have their first dance and party the night away!

“In the disco room, we had LED M&J letters and some white balloons with foliage strings dotted around. I bought LED light up letters from Hobby Craft which spelt out our surname and placed them on the mantlepiece.

For the evening we had a 5-piece band travel down from Liverpool, Loose Moose String Band, who did covers of the likes of Depeche Mode ‘Just can’t get enough’ and Cisco ‘Thong song’.
We then had Jason, the Gosfield Hall DJ who was brilliant! We’d given him a short brief beforehand which was basically anything lively, nothing slow and the dancefloor was booming all night!
We chose The Beatles ‘I saw her standing there’ because we both love The Beatles; we really wanted a lively song so that our guests could get involved.

I also had a special dance with my Dad to ‘Michelle’ by The Beatles, which he chose.”

Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“Our advice would be to spread the organising out as much as possible, that way it’s a lot less overwhelming. We finished our prep a few days before the wedding and took ourselves off for a spa night at Champneys, Henlow for some relaxing time together away from the wedding and it was the best idea. Budget wise our advice would be to double any budget you initially had in mind and that would be more realistic with the final spend (at least it was for us!).

Always remember that it is your wedding day and you should do what you want and not try to please other people too much, you will not be able to please everyone, I think that we forgot that sometimes along the way.

And finally, savour every moment as it really does go so quickly that it’s over in a flash.”

“If we could do it all again, we’d…”
“If we could do it all again, we’d do it exactly the same! It really was amazing, better than we ever could have hoped.
We wish that we could do it all over again, and of course, we would have Tegan (our wedding manager) all over again because she was exceptional from start to finish.”

Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
“The day after the wedding we had a little after-party at our local pub with around 50 of our guests. The next day we flew to Nairobi, Kenya. From there we went on a Safari in the Masaai Mara and then onto the Seychelles. Going away straight away was the best idea to beat the wedding blues, we were on such a high and we had lots of time to reflect on our best day ever!”

Mr & Mrs Aaron, we wish you all the very best for the future and a long and happy life together

 

Credits;

Wedding attire: Dress by Clinton Lotter

Earrings – Luna Bea

Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaid’s dresses & shoes: Oasis

Groom & Groomsmen outfits: Suits – Anthony Formal Wear – Shoes – Kurt Geiger

Hair and makeup – Team Glam 

Wedding rings: Wongs, Liverpool

Wedding cake: Jip’s cakes

Florist: Stock Florist

Styling (candles, trees, festoon lighting, LED letters, Balloons): J F Styling

Invitations & Stationery: By Me (Michelle)

Photographer:  Nataly J

Band/disco/DJ: Jason (Gosfield Hall DJ) & Loose Moose String Band 

Pianist: Piano Perfect

Wedding favours: Photo place cards

Videographer: Alex Haynes Wedding Films

 

Stock Florist: We at Stock Florist loved working with Michelle and Jack and ensuring all flowers were perfect for their big day. Congratulations from all at Stock Florist x

 

Book your free consultation with one of our team to discuss your wedding via our wedding page: https://stockflorist.co.uk/weddings/

 

Article written by Gosfield Hall click here to view.

The Wedding of Amber & Alex – Braxted Park

As soon as we had our first meeting with Amber and Alex, we felt a connection. They had a beautifully clear view of what they were looking for and came armed with Pinterest boards and bundles of inspiration. Sitting in our consultation room, we presented them with a range of flowers to suit their vision and it quickly became apparent that we were on the same page.  

After the initial consultation, we set about creating a theme based around pinks, lilacs and a range of light pastel colours. As the pictures show, hydrangeas featured heavily in their outdoor setting, so we sourced the very best for Amber and Alex’s day.

Braxted Park
Braxted Park is such a stunning venue and as a lot of Amber and Alex’s wedding was to be outside, we were all hoping for the very best weather. On the morning, we heard that much of the UK was experiencing some pretty heavy downpours, but they had beautiful weather all day long. Braxted Park – ever the professionals – had a lovely back up plan, though, and we could have slipped off to the pavilion if the weather was on the chilly side.

The sprawling grounds at Braxted Park make it the perfect location for a larger wedding. The intricate gardens and interesting features surrounding where they had the ceremony meant that we were able to be inventive with where and how we displayed the flowers.

Our Flowers
We wanted something to compliment the gorgeous gardens at Braxted Park and fit seamlessly with all of the little extras Amber and Alex had picked up for their day. With intricate details like wooden signs and bunting, there was a slightly rustic feel to the day.  

With that in mind, we used foliage in the form of eucalyptus to frame our show-stopping flowers. We particularly love eucalyptus because of the beautiful smell it lets off. It gives off a rustic feel to larger displays; the doorway arch is a prime example of how well this can work.

Our showstoppers were the pink and lilac hydrangeas. Eyes draw naturally to such gorgeous flowers, and when they’re paired with the light greens of the eucalyptus, the colours pop even more. We added sprigs of gypsophila into the eucalyptus to really hone in on the rustic trend.

Amber’s Bouquet
Amber had her heart set on the type of dress she wanted, and it looked stunning. It was by David Tutera for Mon Cheri. The intricate lace and the slight sparkle fitted the day perfectly. She paired her dress with a gorgeous pair of sparkling Jimmy Choos and rose gold jewellery.

We wanted Amber’s bouquet to fit the overall style her and Alex had so lovingly created whilst making sure the flowers would last and look pretty from the beginning to end. We chose the sweet avalanche rose as one of the key components to Amber’s bouquet. It’s got a wonderfully strong stem – making it perfect for when the bouquet is thrown later in the evening!

We styled the sweet avalanche rose alongside the heaven rose; they complement each other beautifully. Heaven roses are pale pink with a slightly smaller head than the sweet avalanche rose, which is why they look so fantastic when paired.

The Day
We’re so pleased that they day was so utterly perfect for Amber and Alex. They are such a wonderful couple and they had such a clear vision of the type of wedding they wanted, which made them a pleasure to work with.

We wish them a long marriage filled with so much happiness and hope to be able to work with them again in the future.

Book your free consultation with one of our team to discuss your wedding via our wedding page: https://stockflorist.co.uk/weddings/

Meet Sam Raindle – Founder of Stock Florist

Stock Florist - Team Member

We know that Stock Florist wouldn’t be where it is today without the people that work with us. We’ve got such a wonderful and dedicated team who all bring such a range of talents to the table.

We know how great they are, but now we’d love to share (just a little bit) of them with you. Our new blog series will give you a glimpse behind the scenes at what makes our shop what is it.

Without further ado (or, ‘I do’ as might be more appropriate) let’s meet our co-founder, the fabulous Sam Raindle.

Hi Sam. Let’s jump straight into it; Have you always wanted to own a florist?
Oh absolutely, yes. My uncle worked at the Covent Garden Flower Market, so I’ve always been surrounded by flowers.

I love that you can create an arrangement for anything; there are no limits. That’s always something that inspired me as a little girl.

And why this particular shop? What was it that drew you to it?
It was a bit serendipitous really — we were walking through the village, which is now also our home, and we stumbled upon the shop. It was a hairdresser at the time. My husband mentioned how beautiful it would look like a flower shop and it almost took me back to being a little girl again.

He was right; the location is perfect. If you could draw a perfect location for a flower shop; Stock would be what you sketched out. The narrow streets, the old houses full of character, the locals who always stop to say good morning. I really couldn’t have pictured it better in my mind.

Stock is the wedding capital of Essex. There are four very special and very different wedding venues close by. People travel far and wide to come here, though, because there’s something so romantic about Stock.

Ian, my husband, sketched out the shop and it’s a pretty accurate sketch of what it looks like today! We had a few minor disagreements about the colour of the shop (he wanted black, ahem…) but we eventually settled (I persuaded him) on grey!

You’ve been open for 5 years next year & have had great success in the industry. How have you seen the industry change through those years? It has gone so quickly and it changes year on year. We’ve always stayed true to our core values. We’ve never used faux flowers, for example. That’s just one of the trends that didn’t suit our style. We’ve seen colours change, the type of arrangements change and the vase ware change.

At the moment, as an example, we’re investing in some beautiful ironwork. We’re having the pieces made bespoke for the shop and for our clients. They’re subtle, well-designed and really show off our flowers. I’m so excited to share them with everybody! 

What do you think the future will look like? Both for us at Stock Florist & the industry as a whole?
Brexit will make it really interesting for us. Even at the moment, swings in currency make a real difference to us. We import all of our flowers from Holland. If we’re in the wedding capital of Essex then Holland is the flower capital of the world!

We go there 2-3 times a year to meet retailers and source the best products for our brides and grooms and clients.

Some of our readers might not know that you got married recently. For somebody who works with flowers every day, how did you go about picking what you wanted?
Thank you! It was such a special day. The song ‘I’ll bring you flowers in the pouring rain’ was sung as I walked down the aisle because it was pouring down outside. There’s nothing like a bit of good, old English weather! When Ian and I started dating, he bought me the most stunning bouquets of bright flowers, so I knew I wanted all the colours!

The venue — like our shop — looks stunning when there’s colour added to it. We wanted real showstoppers and our fabulous team did us so proud!

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to brides and grooms who are struggling to decide what they’d like?
Be yourself! It might seem like an obvious piece of advice but it’s so important. Most brides have a good idea of what we want. Most of us have been dreaming about this day for their entire lives.

We are here to bring the best out of you. Tell us your style and what you like and don’t like and we can make suggestions based on our years and years of experience. We have a beautiful consultation room and we love having a cup of tea or coffee with our brides and grooms and making lots of suggestions.

Because we’re a working flower shop, we can show our brides and grooms flowers in real time. If they aren’t sure whether a flower would suit their style, we can bring it out and take a look at it mixed in with other flowers. I really, really love that we can do that with them. It makes the whole experience extra special.

How long before a wedding is the optimal time to book a florist?
Honestly, it can be any time from two years to two weeks! Typically, it’s 3-6 months before the wedding. We usually come after the venue has been booked and the wedding dress has been selected – as a general rule.

We think picking your flowers should be like that wedding dress moment. We usually have lots of the family come by to give their thoughts and we make it into a really lovely, collaborative day. We like you to feel that you know us and you can give us a call if you’ve had a new idea or a change of plan. We’re here to help and that’s what we pride ourselves on.

And, what’s your plan for the future of Stock Florist?
Winning British Wedding Florist 2018 at the British Wedding Awards was a huge surprise for us and something we truly didn’t expect. So, in that respect we’ve stopped trying to guess what’s round the corner because we could never, ever have predicted this. We will never get complacent and we do have some very exciting plans in the pipeline. I’d keep an eye on our Instagram because all will be revealed throughout the year! Dum, dum, dum….

OK and here’s the final question. For people visiting Stock for the first time, is there anywhere you’d recommend them visiting (aside from Stock Florist, of course)?
Stock is stunning. If you’re thinking of paying the village a visit, I’d highly recommend it. We’re in the heart of Essex and just ten minutes from Chelmsford city. We have Greenwoods – a beautiful luxury Hotel which was also our wedding venue. There’s Crondon Park, an incredible barn wedding venue.  

Oh and it wouldn’t be a village in Essex without some gorgeous country pubs. We’ve got The Hoop, The Bear, The Harvard Inn, The Baker’s Arms and a lovely bistro called Dandelion & Burdock. And let’s not forget our wonderful neighbours Mr Edward Taylor Hair. Everybody needs good neighbours, especially ones who can do a brilliant blow dry!

*Making notes* Amazing. Thanks Sam!

Make sure you keep and eye out on the blog for more of The Stock Spotlight blog series! If you liked hearing from Sam, give us a follow on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and you can hear from our wonderful co-founder a lot more!

  

Florista

The big day was finally here, after weeks of organising, designing and planning – it was time to set up in the world-famous Covent Garden Market for the Fleurs de Villes exhibition.

Our team had worked through the night packing her up and making sure she would make it one piece – and we arrived at Covent Garden at 5am. As expected, it was an early start! The best things always begin early in the morning (or so we’ve been told!) so we headed into London excited and ready to take on the challenge.

The photo above of us setting up was actually award “Photo of the Day” by The Evening Standard Newspaper – one of the biggest newspapers in London. So that was a great surprise on the day – and added a little more excitement to everything!

Setting up in the market was a fantastic experience. Covent Garden, usually bustling and busy, was absolutely empty and quiet – except for all the florists working hard against the deadline to get their designs finished. As the sun came up, more and more curious people were poking their heads around the corner, curious to see what amazing designs had popped up over night.

It was really something to see, and we loved seeing the other designs take shape just like our own was. Below you can see the team at Bloomsbury Flowers working on their mannequin too!

When our design was finished – What a sight to behold! She was beautiful, and we were so happy with the finished result!

Meet Florista. Dynamic, passionate and here to peel back the curtains of the secret word of fragrance. In her workshop-styled apron of delicate roses, clematis, orchids, scented jasmine and rosemary herb rich with natural fragrance, her jaw-dropping floral gown celebrates beautiful foliages, wygelia, and cinerea combines with other gorgeous scented flowers. She epitomises the elegance and warmth of every woman. Powered by flowers, born in London.

There was no doubting how eye-catching she was – and she demanded the attention of everyone who walked past. The colourful apron dress was the epitome of ‘up-lifting design’ and the fun headpiece and bright colours finished her off perfectly.

But the hard work wasn’t done! We still had a launch event to attend in the evening, which was wonderful fun – especially meeting all the other florists and brands taking part. We sipped Champagne, wore flower crowns and enjoying soaking in the atmosphere – it’s not often you get invited to a private event in Covent Garden!

Over the next few days, our mannequin stood proudly in Covent Garden for all of London to see. Each time we visited the market to check on her, and top-up the design, we saw people smiling, taking photos and texting their friends. It was a joy to see how happy the Florista design was making everyone.

Alongside the mannequin, we also had a pop-up store in Covent Garden during the week, another fantastic opportunity we couldn’t pass up! It gave us a wonderful chance to meet the public and chat about our mannequin design, but it also meant we could launch something very special…. The Florista Bouquet!

Our new bright, bold and beautiful bouquet, inspired by our mannequin for Fleurs de Villes. The idea is to bring the bold, bright colours of our mannequin to life again on a much smaller scale – so you can take a little bit of that vibrance and beauty home with you. A mannequin might not fit in everyone’s lounge – but our florista bouquet will!

Take a look at this beautiful bouquet below, and just how special it is.

This stunning bouquet will be available all year round too, making it the perfect choice for any occasion – Buy our Florisa Bouquet for someone special here

Fleurs De Villes

As florists, there is nothing we love more than a creative brief. When Fleurs de Villes got in touch with us a few weeks ago, we knew it was a creative brief too special to pass up or turn down. The application involved a letter to Fleurs de Villes, a sketch and a brief about our brand/business and we knew we’d be able to create something incredible.

As a small, local business we’re always looking for ways to challenge ourselves, and this was the perfect chance to do just that.

What was the brief?
To creative a floral couture outfit, dressed on a mannequin, in partner with the perfume brand Floral Street. The design would stand alongside other incredible Uk florists inside the central market of Covent Garden – one of London’s most iconic landmarks. The chance for a small Essex-Village florist to display in the world-famous Covent Garden… How could we say no?

The opportunity was something that got everyone excited, and we dived into the designing process almost immediately. We discussed colours, textures, patterns and shapes – and took a look at their past designs and past shows for inspiration.

The brand we were partnered with, Floral Street, had to inspire the design in some way, so we knew that getting to know their team, and visiting their store would be really important too. We took a trip to London to meet with Michelle, their MD, and were given a tour of the shop and the products.

We were greeted by a rainbow of flowers in the store (their floor is a multicoloured floral design!) and from this point we know our design had to be bright, bold and uplifting. We sat with the Floral Street marketing team and hashed out exciting designs, sketches, and bounced ideas off each other – what a fun way to spend the day! We decided to promote their colourful floral apron worn by al staff in Floral Street and identifying their brand.

The next week of so was full of anticipation and excitement. Waiting for our mannequin was like waiting for Christmas morning – we didn’t know yet what shape she would be in, or exactly how the design would come together. But then she got delivered, and her pose and stance was perfect – we could already see the design coming together in our imagination.

The design team worked behind the scenes to carefully select the sweetest smelling roses, vibrant orchids and deep scented foliage for our design. We wanted the dress to not only look incredible but smell incredible too. We wanted people to stop and stare, and then stop and smell too!

We chose the flowers that suited the Floral Street scents best too, as we wanted our mannequin to be a visual representation of the brand and the beautifully-smelling professional women who wear the scents.

Then the hard-work began….
The first step when designing her, was making the skirt for her out of canes and chicken wire, using a local ironmonger to help build a frame. Flowers weigh a lot, and we knew we wanted a lot of flowers in our design, so keeping the design structurally safe and secure was a major concern. We worked so hard to ensure she not only looked fantastic, but was strong and sturdy too.

Once the structure was in place, the fun began…. And the whole thing took 3 days to construct. What an incredible feeling to see something come to life in front of your eyes, and as each flower was placed – more and more personality shone through. She was going to be magnificent!

A big thanks to everyone who helped during this stage of the design…

Sara – Head designer
Sam – Manager
Installation Crew – Ian & Ben
Florists – Hannah, Carla, Claire, Raynor

Stay tuned to read about the event itself and how we constructed our design in the middle of Covent Garden!

Stock Florist Wins Best British Wedding Florist!!

It was a night of glitz and glamour at the 2018 British Wedding Awards this year as we headed to the beautiful No.1 Whitehall and the stunning Gladstone Library. Being nominated was enough but what happened next was truly magical.

Finalists at previous award ceremonies we had got used to being the bridesmaid but never the bride! Award-winning was always the missing piece of the business we had dreamed off.

After a stunning champagne reception, it was time to take our seats for a beautiful meal and the award ceremony commenced. The mood was hyped by the excitement, the chitter chatter of folk and laughter rang out along with and constant clinking of glasses as people settled at the at tables introducing themselves to others. It was a great feeling to be part of such a wonderful atmosphere.

And there we were, halfway through the dinner, before desert it was time to announce ‘Best Wedding Florist’. We were there to enjoy the experience, never in a million years did we expect to hear our name called out! There’s a scene from my favourite film Four Weddings and a Funeral when Scarlet and Charles realise they were late for the first wedding…that was us!!!

‘And the winner of Best British Wedding Florist goes to…Stock Florist’.

That was it, we WON! As the crowd cheered we walked to the stage to collect our prize. The photographers were clicking away, it felt like a scene from the Oscars!

We have met some amazing people in the relatively short time we have been open. Industry legends, established suppliers and lots of beautiful bride & grooms. As a wedding florist, we love the early preparation on the wedding day, from sourcing the finest flowers, creating amazing displays, arriving at a venue where flowers are the perfect finishing touch to light any room.

From a humble little flower shop with a big heart to The British Wedding Florist of the year it has been a remarkable adventure. We could never have done it without our beautiful brides and the venues we dress. We have been humbled by the support and love from our Stock Florist brides, loyal customers, amazing suppliers, stunning venues, family, and friends.

We have a very exciting year ahead…

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