Cwtch Of the Week: Amanda French Flowers

Virtual Cwtch Alert!

Its starting to get rather festive here at Cwtch HQ today. So much so that we are dedicating our Cwtch of the Week to the lovely Amanda French Flowers.

amanda french flowers

Thank you Amanda for this BEAUTIFUL christmas wreath! We LOVE it! Sending you lots of virtual Cwtches today!

Amanda French Flowers


© Maria Farrelly Photography

If you too would like to hang one of these beauties on your door this christmas, may we suggest you give Amanda a call on 07557 226 731 today. We’re guessing they will sell out soon.


© Maria Farrelly Photography

Still to come…

Stay tuned to the blog today as we have a second post coming. We’re launching this months competition. Make sure you enter! Its a flipping awesome prize!

Styled Shoot: A Vanity Affair- Part 5 Beautiful Blooms by Hilary’s Flowers and Blush Floral Art

Our styled shoot posts are well underway now! We have shared with you the inspiration behind the shoot at Hensol Castle, gorgeous Two Birds bridesmaid dresses and Mooshki bridal gowns from Laura May Bridal, beautiful headpieces from our very own Kate Petersen and this week we are showing you the fabulous flowers that Hilary’s Flowers and Blush Floral Art showcased beautifully on the day.

Whether you are looking for a bridal bouquet or floral venue décor, our talented featured florists will definitely have some inspiration for you. Massive thanks to Hilary’s Flowers and Blush Floral Art for allowing us to use your beautiful creations for our shoot. All images in this post are by Catherine and Angharad, the talented collaboration from Cashiona Photography and Angharad Gwenter Photography. Featuring gorgeous props from The China Library and Belle Journée and stationery from Byjo, we’ll be featuring more from these great companies soon.

I don’t really need to say any more… these photographs speak for themselves!

Bouquetscwtch the bridecwtch the bride cwtch the brideC&A_HENSOL171 cwtch the bridecwtch the bride cwtch the brideC&A_HENSOL169 C&A_HENSOL170C&A_HENSOL175 cwtch the brideC&A_HENSOL166Venue Decoration cwtch the bride cwtch the bride cwtch the bridecwtch the bride cwtch the brideC&A_HENSOL163 C&A_HENSOL164 C&A_HENSOL165 C&A_HENSOL168Dress Decoration!

We absolutely loved this unique way to dress up a bridemaid dress a little bit differently by Hilary’s Flowers.C&A_HENSOL172 C&A_HENSOL173 C&A_HENSOL174We have enjoyed sharing these posts with our readers so much, if you have enjoyed them too please drop a comment in the box :) We have more to come! Including amazing cakes, stationery, props, hair and make up, behind the scenes photos and a fabulous video… it really is VERY good!

Featured Vendor: Luxury Bride Pippa Meets Emma of Love Lily

Our floral series continues this week; we have had floral fashions from Classic Bride Charlie, floral traditions from Vintage Bride Sophie and this week Luxury Bride Pippa talks to Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny about floral trends, DIY and even the Queen!

What is a wedding without flowers? This is something I was torn over when planning our big day. The men in my life (Mr P, my daddy and brothers) are extremely sensitive to pollen and the thought of my dad with streaming eyes from my bouquet whilst walking me down the aisle or spluttering and suffering through his speech whilst tackling the running nose and tickling throat was not pleasant for him. I toyed with other ideas – button and broach bouquets, balloon decorations but I just couldn’t come to terms with a wedding without flowers. After chatting to the boys, we decided to keep the floral arrangements, clean, simple and stick to blooms with the least pollen possible – roses and hydrangeas. Thankfully this worked for us and the end result created by the amazing, talented Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny was superb.

Above images from my wedding taken by Maria Farrelly 

I decided to go back to Emma and pick her brains about wedding flowers – who best to let all us ‘Cwtchettes’ into some inside secrets and helpful hints than the award winning master florist herself – and how lucky are we to have such talent here in Wales! Love Lily are a contemporary and creative master florist based in Abergavenny. They have recently expanded to a second large design studio to help cater for the volume of wedding and event floristry. Emma is well known on the Welsh wedding celebrity scene and although we cannot disclose any specifics, we will share some inside pics with you to help inspire. I won’t waffle on any longer so let’s hear from the lady herself…

Emma of Love Lily

Emma of Love Lily

With the growing trend for DIY weddings – why would you advise brides to hire a professional and not just give it a go themselves? Things can very easily go wrong with flowers.  You must have the knowledge of how to care and look after them and believe me when I say catastrophes happen! Knowing what is in season & understanding the quantities required  is not easy and takes years of experience. Many brides underestimate the scale of creating and setting up for the big day. It is a big job and takes a huge amount of time to plan, design and arrange – you need to ensure the flowers are perfect on the day itself – not peaking a day or two before or after! If you are still keen to have ago yourselves we run a flower school and hold different classes throughout the year – we were rated one of the best flower schools in the UK by “Flower Magazine”. The classes will help you gain an insight into how to form bouquets and arrangements, with handy hints and tips and you should gain an understanding of exactly what is involved before making a decision to go down the DIY route or hire a professional.

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Any advice when booking a florist and planning your arrangements? We ask brides to contact us when they have chosen their dress and bridesmaids dresses as this sets the brief of the wedding and often the colour palette. Every dress has a style and the flowers need to compliment this. Pictures, magazines and Pinterest boards are helpful if the bride has specific ideas but equally this is not important as professionals are here to help with creative ideas.

What is the typical spend per wedding? I would say around £1500 but it could range from £150 – £5000+ depending on the brief. Every wedding can be tailored for budget and style but I would ask brides to be realistic – flowers are not inexpensive.  

What was your most lavish wedding to date? This was a wedding where flowers were very much the brides priority. It consisted of 3 enormous floral arches, elaborate candelabra centrepieces and many large displays including a 1m2 floral heart.


What is the most expensive flower? Lily of the Valley. Kate Middleton had a bridal bouquet of these which reportedly cost over £1000. A bouquet would start from £350+ since one small stem has a price-tag of about £4.00 – £5.00 and ideally you would need 150 stems per bouquet!  This is the Queens favourite flower and we have a pic of her holding our bouquet below:


Her Royal Highness

Have you had any unusual requests? We had a bride who once requested the whole wedding in died blue roses. I generally don’t like working with artificial products but the whole effect was beautiful. Unusual requests are becoming quite normal today as brides have become more creative and daring. We have been asked for flowers to decorate horses, dogs and even a pair of wellies. Wellies What are bridal favourites?

Flowers – Peonies are a firm favourite all year round but you only get them May to beginning of July so bear this in mind when setting your date if this is a priority.

Winter weddings – Roses are always classic, simple & elegant.

Spring weddings – Anemones and bulb flowers like hyacinths, tulips and narcissus.

Summer weddings – Blousy blooms such as sweet peas and peonies.

Autumn weddings – Rustic blackberries and berried foliage.

BOUQUETS – Round hand-tied bouquets are still popular abut there is an increase in popularity of having something slightly softer and slightly trailing. There is a real divide between styles at the moment. The classic, elegant rose look is very popular but also the vintage ‘meadow’  natural look, very organic and not overly styled.

CENTREPIECES – Think about the space in your wedding venue – do you need height to fill the space or would you prefer to keep it low and intimate? Candelabras are always popular although the mish-mash of jam jars and vintage china to give a more rustic look is still holding a strong trend.  You can go anywhere with  these to reflect the theme, style and personality. They can be tailored to budget and prices can start  from as little as £25 each but for a cost effective table centre, I would suggest looking at plants.

VENUE DECORATION – It is really important to empathise with your chosen venue and to work with what you have. Weddings are not just about centrepieces any more  – everything is taken into consideration and they have become more of a “theatrical production”. There is a trend for more staged areas with props such as ladders, dressing tables etc. and it is more exciting than it’s ever been. I love my job as every wedding we work on and have ever produced has been different. A good florist will tailor the day very much for the individual. It is so involved, so in-depth with so many layers to the decoration now that I love to embrace every brief and can be more creative than ever.

What are your thoughts on the floral trends heading into 2015? The trend for blush or muted pastel tones is still going strong but we are seeing more requests for pops of colour with mixed brights. A shade making a huge impact this year is yellow as a stand-alone wedding colour too.

The’ vintage’ look will still be popular but taking this one step further in 2014 with a  romantic and whimsical element – introducing more of an organic, ‘just-picked’  hedgerow look with organically mixed wild bouquets and foliage. Textured bouquets with a feminine softness will still continue into 2014 complimenting the ever popular bridal lace dresses with scented florals such as Lily of the Valley and Sweet Pea.

The Royal wedding of William and Kate bringing the outdoors inside is still having a huge impact on bridal trends. They had 20ft trees lining the aisle of Westminster Abbey and the English country garden feel is still a firm favourite with 2014 brides.

A big thanks to Emma from Love Lily for her help with this post. I hope this gives you some help and inspiration for your big day…happy planning…Pippa x

Unless stated all images in this post are from Love Lily and Facebook.


Vintage Bride: Flowers

Its been a while but she’s back! Our beautiful Vintage Bride Sophie is here today talking about all things floral. All images in this post are by Maria Farrelly Photography, Enjoy! 

Hey Cwtchers! It seems like a lifetime since my last post (huge apologies!), but I’m back and following on from Charlie’s post on floral high street fashion, I will be exploring the wacky world of floral traditions.

imageI wanted to start by explaining how the tradition of using flowers at weddings began, but having spent evening up on evening looking for a definitive answer, I can only provide a couple of theories…

My personal favourite and perhaps the most comical, is that the bridal bouquet was used as a way of camouflaging bad odour. Of course, flowers look pretty which is always a bonus, but during the unhygienic days of the plague, unfortunately the bride didn’t always smell the best. Now, if you’re opting for a bouquet, please don’t skip the deodorant, I do not believe carrying flowers would suffice.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0004 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0023 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0001The second theory is that back in the day, brides were considered lucky. Guests used to rip the brides’ dress and garments to take home as a lucky keepsake, leaving her with a mutilated wedding dress. Understandably, this practice had to stop and the tradition of throwing the garter was born. Men being men ;-) often couldn’t wait for the ‘throwing of the garter’ and would remove it from the bride before the big event. Imagine the fights they used to have! Understandably, this practice also had to stop and the tradition of ‘throwing a bouquet’ was born! Obviously a much safer activity (for most) this is still a popular tradition today. 

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0015throwing the bouquet
Picking flowers for your big day can be as easy as choosing something which compliments your colour scheme but for others it can be much more personal. For me, sweet peas were a must as my late grandfather used to grow them in his garden and would enter them into competitions. If you have no personal connection to a particular flower but still wish to create some meaning in your bouquet, you could look to the various meanings of flowers. You’ll find a list below of some of the better known varieties but you can pop ‘flower meanings’ into a search engine for more detailed results. If that doesn’t inspire you, why not ask your mother, grandmother or someone close to you what they chose on their big day and honour the ladies in your life by using the same?

In my quest to become a professional flower analyser, I also asked the Cwtch girls which flowers they chose for their bouquets and the results are in…

Sophie ~ Sweet peas, peonies, pink carnations and white lilacs

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0019 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0020Maria ~ White roses

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0016Charlie ~ Purple and pink roses, lilacs and sweet peas

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0017 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0018Pippa ~ Lilac, yellow, pink and cream roses and hydrangeaMaria_farrelly_PhotographyJemma ~ Roses

maria farrelly 30
And of course, not forgetting, we have two brides-to-be on the team but we couldn’t possibly give away their plans ;-)

Flowers And Their Meanings

Amaryllis – splendid beauty, pride
Arum lily, calla – magnificent beauty
Bluebell – constancy, forgive and forget
Campanula – white – gratitude
Carnation – red – ‘alas for my poor heart’; striped – refusal; yellow – disdain; pink – woman’s love
Chrysanthemum – red – ‘I love you’; yellow – slighted love; white – truth
Daffodil – regard, chivalry
Dahlia – good taste
Forget-me-not – true love, ‘the key to my heart’
Freesia – friendship
Gladiolus – strength of character
Hyacinth – blue – constancy; white – unobtrusive loveliness
Iris – yellow – flame of love
Lilac – purple – first emotions of love; white – youthful innocence
Lily of the valley – return of happiness
Orchid – longevity, elegance
Peony – bashfulness, romance, good health, happy marriage
Rose – symbolises love and good fortune and the colours have meaning too:
white – truth
white with pink blush – ‘only for thee’
bright pink – ‘meet me by moonlight’
single stem – simplicity
red and white – unity
red – eternal love
Snowdrop – hope
Sunflower dwarf – adulation
Sweet pea – departure, delicate pleasures
Tulip – red – declaration of love; striped – beautiful eyes
Violet – faithfulness, modesty

I hope this helps to inspire you! We’d love to know what you chose or have chosen for your big day :-) Flower analysis is officially hip you know!

Heres a little more inspiration from Maria Farrelly’s collection of weddings.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography0002 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0003 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0008 Maria_Farrelly_Photography0014Till next time, much love x

Fabulous Floral High Street Fashion

June is here and we’re starting to feel all summery here at Cwtch HQ, so what better to talk about than fabulous florals?! Some of the other Cwtch ladies are going to be talking to you about flowers but I am more obsessed with floral high street fashion!

While researching my High Street Bridesmaid Dresses post I came across a number of gorgeous floral dresses, perfect for a floral bridesmaid theme or to wear if you are a guest at a summer wedding. Here are some of my favourite floral frocks:




One of my favourite floral trends at the moment are these fabulous crowns, I wish I could wear one every day! Here are some of my favourites along with some other gorgeous floral hair accessories:


Even the boys can join in and co-ordinate by wearing some of these more manly florals!


I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my fantasy floral shopping list! Would you wear any of these to a summer wedding? If you have a gorgeous floral outfit we would love to see it!

Charlie x