Friday, 22 July 2016

DIY Wedding Workshops

This summer I have worked on a few DIY weddings. These are fantastic fun. It involves me working with the lead flower person (this is usually the mother or father of the bride, or the bride herself, or perhaps one of the bridesmaids) to plan the wedding flowers (design, colour scheme, containers etc) and also to source the flowers they would like to use. Then I run a workshop the day before the wedding to help a small team make the arrangements. In this blog, I am showing you pictures from Eden and Phiroze’s wedding. We ran the workshop in Phiroze’s parents’ garage in Nether Edge in Sheffield (set up as a workspace). Here is the team (Eden with two of her bridesmaids, together with two family friends) getting to grips with preparing some of the flowers.
As you can see the colour scheme was pink and white. Phiroze’s parents had sourced some wonderful flowers from the Sheffield Flower Market, including these exquisite light pink roses.
The idea of the workshop is that I show people how to make the different things and then provide help and guidance as they make them. First of all we made 6 posies for the bridesmaids. We used gerberas with gypsophila and a little greenery. These were made using a parallel hand-tying method which works very well with gerberas. We finished them off with lace and white ribbon – really pretty.
Next we made lots and lots of buttonholes. These were made with a single orchid head backed up with a couple of loops of bear grass. It was all held together with florists’ green tape. They were very effective and not too difficult to make.
Then I moved on to help Eden make her own bouquet. This was going to be pretty big using lots of roses with a little gypsophila and greenery around the edge. Eden made it using a spiralled hand-tying method. This is quite a difficult thing to do with no previous experience….but with one-to-one guidance Eden made a truly wonderful bouquet. Here I am helping her, and here she is with it finished. Spectacular!
The final thing we did was to decorate these lovely white birdcages which would make the table centres along with a few roses in pretty jars. We used beautiful pure white orchids and ivy, attached with wire, for the decoration and they looked really striking.
I am very grateful to Eden and Phiroze, and also Lloyd Bunting, the professional photographer, for giving me permission to use a few of the official wedding photographs so you can see how everything turned out. Have a look at Lloyd’s website to see further examples of his work by clicking here:  First of all, here is Eden walking down the aisle with her parents – I think her bouquet looks absolutely beautiful.The edge of greenery works really well in giving some definition to the bouquet against her white dress.
Next you can see a close up of a buttonhole on a jacket.
Then, here are Eden and Phiroze together, first in the church and then in the grounds at Wortley Hall where they had their reception.
The next picture shows how the posies looked with the bridesmaids – so pretty, and so lovely with their pink dresses.
Here is the whole wedding party – this picture shows how the flowers pull everything together by giving a consistency of colour and design.
Finally, here is a black and white picture of the flowers we made to put in a bike basket and a pair of wellingtons to welcome the guests to Wortley Hall.
The DIY wedding workshops have been really successful. They are a wonderful, bonding activity on the day before the wedding, and the workshop participants feel a real sense of pride in the arrangements they produce. It is hard work though, and there is a lot to do in a limited time period. Part of my job is to make sure everything is made in time! This is what Alison, Phiroze’s mother, wrote to me just after the workshop:
Many thanks again to you - I think you took them through it and helped them relax a bit at a point where things were beginning to get fraught so it was brilliant AND the flowers are beautiful.
If you would like to arrange your own wedding flowers with some help from me, please get in touch. I can talk to you about different models of support, whether it is just a bit of advice, or helping you buy flowers and then running a workshop for you.

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