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:

Queen

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.

 

Real Wedding: Sam & Dan’s Vintage Floral Wedding by Maria Farrelly

Today we have the lovely vintage floral wedding of Sam and Dan who were married on the 27th April 2013. All images in this post were taken by Maria Farrelly Photography. We’ll also thrilled to be featuring the couples wedding film by  the talented Richard from Aurora too. Here’s the bride Sam to give you all the details behind her big day. Enjoy x 

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What was your budget? 

We were very lucky to have saved a lot of money leading up the the wedding and my parents were both wonderful in supporting us too. We had just bought and renovated out first house which made it a little harder but the deal was Daniel paid for all things house related and I got to spend my savings on our wedding. We started out with a budget of £20,000 but we went over …. I was embarrased to admit that at first but now I’m less so because our day was perfect for us & it all worked out perfectly. I still honestly haven’t worked out how much over budget we went because it doesn’t really matter now. We had the prettiest, happiest & special day we could have wished for. I put so much planning in (a lot that my Daniel didn’t even know about) that I was awestruck on the day because everything I had imagined was there in reality.

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My only regret which Daniel laughs about is I wish if hired a vintage ice cream man! Nevermind I keep teasing that in 10 years we can renew our bows and have one then. He’s not falling for it yet mind.

How would you describe your wedding theme?

I love all things vintage and floral … So I guess I would call it vintage floral. I just loved all the research I did before hand & I was so lucky that all the vendors that I did involve totally understood what I wanted. I know vintage is a huge theme for weddings at the moment so I wanted to add my own elements in too – so my bridesmaids and I did a lot of craft work in the lead up to the wedding to make little touches that were perfect. I also roped in my nan & grampa who bless them spent days cutting out fabric triangles for my bunting. All those things made my day more special because people realised the effort we had gone to.

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We added a little bit of our quirkiness with our table names though – poor Rugby playing Dan had to get his stamp in somewhere or else he would have got some hassle from his team mates so we chose our favourite characters from films, books and tv and had them as our table names including a short blurb on their love story. My choices were the as expected … Elizabeth Bennett & Mr Darcy, Othello & Desdemona, Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (that was the top table – I am a huge Harry Potter fan). Dans were more along the lines of Hans Solo & Princess Leia, Aragorn & Arwen and Buffy & Angel.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I genuine loved every minute of it, but two memories really stick out. My parents are divorced and have been since I was 5 years old so I can barely remember a time when they were both together with me. Both are happily remarried now & I have wonderful step parents but I still had the dream of going to the church with both of them accompanying me. I had not asked either of my parents beforehand and on the morning of the wedding as we walked to the car they both got in with me. It’s making me emotional writing about it but it was the most wonderful 25 minute car journey I’ve ever had. It was so surreal for me to be with two of the most important people in my world sharing wine gums as we made our way to the wedding. I will never forget that journey.

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My second memory happened right at the end of the day, I sat with my new husband on the furthest table from the dance floor and we just watched all of our friends and family and saw them all having a fabulous time and I was so overwhelmed. All Daniel & I wanted was a day which everyone enjoyed, our wedding was not just about us.  For us, it was about everyone who had shared in our memories up til now. It was so lovely to see.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

I am so lucky that I have a lot of really close friends, I had 6 bridesmaids, a maid of honour and I got to have a man of honour!. I could never have chosen between the bridesmaids, they are all so wonderful and so different. I chose my oldest friend Kirsty who was always going to be my bridesmaid since the days of playing “house” in primary school ( I was always the daughter and she was the mother, she still as wonderfully bossy and maternal now). Then I picked Jenna my friend from secondary school because she is always there for me when I need her & she gives the best advice. I met Kim & Cooki at University in Chester, where we studied nursing together they are the funniest girls and both so different, Kim is probably the most similar to me personality wise and Cooki and I have the same sense of humour. I then chose Kara who is the nicest, sweetest friend she is married to the bestman so are our closest couple friends so it was inevitable i’d pick her. We also had our beautiful neice Carys which was special for us both as she has grown up infront of us into a spectacular young woman.

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Then for the maid of honour .. Kerry is amazing, she is the most organised, helpful
And wonderful friend. She knows me perfectly and can tell you my reaction to things before I know what it will be myself, she is fiercely loyal and just all round lush!

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Drew; my man of honour, is my oldest and dearest friend – we grew up together with our mothers as best friends showing us off in our prams. Drew and I have a wonderful relationship, we turn to each other when we need to and I love the sarcastic banter we have. We always said that if we reach 40 and were still single we’d marry each other – luckily we both have our own wonderful partners now.

Why did you choose your venue?

We wanted to find a venue that was different, we wanted to it to be beautiful but a relaxed atmosphere. My maid of honour; Kerry, recommended Oxwich Bay so I went to visit with my mother and step dad one Saturday while Daniel was playing rugby and I fell In love. The marquee was beautiful and the views second to none. The food in the hotel was yummy and who could turn down a beach as perfect as Oxwich Bay!

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When I returned home, I was gushing about it and Daniel immediately agreed as he lost his Mother when he was a child and has memories of spending time with her there as a child. So from that moment we knew it was meant to be.

How did the proposal happen? 

Dan took me on holiday to Icmelar in Turkey during my Easter holidays from Uni. Those who know Daniel know he is a man of very few words – it’s all about quality not quantity when you get a conversation out of him. Anyway he took me to a restaurant on the harbour and I had a suspicion what was coming … The restaurant owners set up a table on a makeshift balcony which I was very concerned would break – neither of us are know for our athletic builds (hah). After the main course Daniel put a jewellery box on the table (unopened) and said “so, err Sam will you marry me then?”.
I just laughed and said “let’s see the ring first then”. I would have said yes anyway mind. The funniest bit was he made me promise to tell everyone else that he got down on one knee hah – oh well the secret is out now. Bless him!

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What was your first dance & why?

We chose our actual song .. It’s not your typical first dance but it is a song we both love and it reminds us of each other. It was “I miss you” by Blink 182. We did try to find a more suitable song but we really couldn’t agree on a final choice so we thought – if it isn’t broke –why fix it?

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Funnily enough – we are big dance of the tv series Bones, and the main characters (who were also table names) just got married and their first dance was the same as ours – it makes it more perfect for us now.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Erm …. I would have been on time at the church. I am now famous amongst our friends and family as I was over an hour late for our wedding ceremony, I still can’t tell you now why I was so late – everything seemed to be going to plan – laughable really. My bridesmaids know me inside out and did not mention the time because I would have had a meltdown if I had realised. I’m so glad they didn’t, everything was lovely and relaxed. Well for me but poor Daniel was pacing at the church. Apparently the guests were asking if he was worried and he just kept saying ” I knew she would be late & I know she’ll be here I’m just wondering what time.” Sadly I am known amongst my friends at being the late one – they always tell me the wrong time if we have any plans because I just can’t seem to adhere to times. It was quite apt that I walked down the aisle to “Etta James “At last” – that always brings a smile to my face.

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I was so lucky though because it could have been disastrous for the organisation of the day, Maria, our photographer was fab she managed to get all the pictures I wanted even in the reduced time, Samantha my wedding coordinator just rearranged things and Oxwich Bay just carried on to my new timeframe. Thank goodness we didn’t get married in our local church though the pastor there is very strict on timekeeping so she probably would not have married us. So I owe Howard our pastor at Mumbles Methodist Church a huge thank you!

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

I can’t remember who told me but somebody said that I should walk very slowly down the aisle, look up and take it all in. That was the best advice.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Everything, I loved having total control and letting my imagination run wild. I would do it again in a heartbeat – I just adored searching magazines and the internet, snapping ideas and then sharing them with my mother & bridesmaids to have their input. I loved that my bridesmaids and I met up every Wednesday for weeks before the wedding and just looked at ideas and had a construction line making bunting, centrepieces and favours. It was just nice to spend so much time together.

Suppliers

 

The Wedding Film by Aurora

Samantha and Daniel from Aurora Wedding Films on Vimeo.

 The Wedding Album by Maria Farrelly Photography