Jen’s Blog

Phil & Karla’s New Forest Afternoon Tea Wedding

I had another trip to Gaddens Manor in August for Phil and Karla’s beautiful big day; an outdoorsy and pretty afternoon tea wedding, with lashings of casual elegance. It was the couple’s dream to be married outdoors in the beautiful Gaddens gardens, but all morning the weather wasn’t playing ball, so we set up for the ceremony in the marquee and waited…

And the sun came out ten minutes before the ceremony! All the guests picked up their chairs and took them outside- a mad dash, but totally worth it to make the dream come true. I had just enough time to move some of the flowers outside, and watched the ceremony unfold perfectly, as if there hadn’t been a scrabble at all… It was gorgeous.

Muted pinks, greens and creams with a splash of hot pink-tipped roses gave a great look for the flowers; subtle but with some depth and interest.

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Gemma & Kevin’s Larmer Tree Gardens Wedding

Gemma and Kevin were married on the first of August at the gorgeous Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire. There are so many amazing places for photographs and stunning views wherever you look there. It’s a great place to consider for an outdoorsy celebration.

Sunflowers were the order of the day- a super-popular flower this year, and I am not unhappy about that at all! They are actually a really versatile flower, creating impact with their large heads when required or complementing an informal, garden wedding in smaller arrangements. For this couple, who wanted an informal, bright and clashy look, I paired them with pale pink dahlias, delphiniums, scented stocks, roses (‘Miss Piggy’ variety- awesome name…) and zingy green alchemilla mollis.

The beautiful bridal bouquets looked a lot like this:


Daughter Florence wore a delicate crown of flowers to match…

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No idea where to start with wedding flowers?


I’ve never met anyone who instinctively knows how to plan a wedding if they haven’t done it before- it’s usually a mix of trial-and-error, lots of help from wedding mags and the web, and a bit of common sense.

Since you’ve got a lot to think about right now, let me explain how it usually goes with the flowers:

12-18 months to go

As soon as you’ve booked the venue and have an idea (even if vague) about what florals you’d like, get in touch with a florist whose style you like and set up a meeting with them. And I can’t stress this enough- find the florist who’s work you LOVE! There is no point going somewhere ‘cheap’ or ‘just down the road’ and trying to force them into the style and quality of floristry you want- this can only end in disappointment.

Trawl the internet, look at portfolios… you’ll know it when you see it. And book in quick when you find the one. We don’t have eight arms and cannot take an unlimited number of events every weekend.

Oh, and ask your photographer who they would recommend- they are visual, creative people, with a good eye.
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Julie and Jamie’s Purple Wedding in Blandford

Julie and Jamie got married at the Crown Hotel in Blandford on a really sunny July day. They asked me to create a few key pieces to complement their purple colour scheme, and I suggested a palette of purple, lilac and white to give depth and interest.

The hand-tied bouquets for Julie and her two bridesmaids were a mix of roses, carnations, freesias and lisianthus, with a scattering of foliage to soften the finished look. I love how they look all packaged up in water ready for delivery.

purple-lilac-white-wedding bouquets

The buttonholes were made of roses, spray roses and lisianthus…

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A little trip to Devon – with Caroline Hodges Flowers


In mid July I made my way down to the darkest (not that dark actually) depths of South Devon to visit a fellow florist who I used to work with, the very talented Caroline Hodges. She had a big weekend of weddings and was sporting a rather large 7 month baby bump, so she asked me to lend a hand. Luckily I had a quiet(ish) week, so I was more than happy to head west.

It was a little strange at first working in someone else’s studio, but pretty great all the same, and boy did we make up a lot of flowers!

Here’s a little selection of what we made for just one of the gorgeous weddings…
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Katie & Andrew’s Beautiful Church Ceremony

I was so chuffed when Katie asked me to make her wedding flowers- she is a professional singer and performs at lots of weddings herself, so she sees a lot of flowers! The couple decided to have their big celebrations in France, but wanted a small family ceremony in England too, so I provided florals for their intimate wedding at Kingston Lacy church.

Katie asked for a neutral ivory and cream colour scheme to keep things simple. Her bouquet was a little bit wild and rustic, with lots of mixed foliage, roses and gypsophila…


All of the guests were given a buttonhole to wear. I stuck around to help put them on as this can be a fiddly task (blog post on how to wear buttonholes coming soon!). Andrew looked super-dapper in his well cut blue suit. I love the current blue trend for gents.

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Anika & Dom’s Glam Marquee Wedding

This cool pair wed in early July at Cranborne Church in Dorset, followed by a fabulous marquee reception at Anika’s parent’s beautiful home nearby. To say this family are talented creatively is an understatement… Anika and her crew handmade so many of the quirky details for the big day and her mum actually made ALL of the bridal party outfits (including the bridal gown- go mum!).

I was excited about all of the ideas they came to me with for flowers, from the more traditional country-style decorations for the church, to the crazy-fun decor for the marquee. Honestly, it takes a confident couple to pull off GOLD GNOMES on the bar- I absolutely loved it!


The bouquets were a combo of roses, peonies and gypsophila. A little bit rustic, but kept neat enough for a classic look…

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Kate and Tim’s bright summer wedding

Kate had me at ‘we love sunflowers and would like to include them’…

There isn’t really much else to say apart from these being some of most summery and lovely bouquets I’ve had the opportunity to create.


Kate wore the one of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen!!! It was so great to see a bride in colour and it suited her and the style of the wedding perfectly. Just gorgeous…

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Charlie & Christopher’s Refined Cain Manor Wedding

Charlie and Christopher pulled out all the stops for their stunning wedding at Cain Manor, a gorgeous private venue that combines historical character with luxurious modern touches. The couple got in touch when their original florist told them they would no longer be able to provide the flowers for the big day. I was happy to step in at late notice as it was immediately clear that Charlie had a great eye for detail and beautiful taste. She asked for just the sort of flowers I love to create.


Charlie and her army of eight (and why not eh?) bridesmaids carried neat and moundy bouquets of flowers in whites, creams, blush and pale pinks. The flowers included hydrangeas, scented garden roses, peonies and gypsophila for an uber-pretty ruffly look. They looked like ice-creams ready to be devoured, all lined up on their box ready for delivery…

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Wednesday Wedding Wizards – Lisa Notley

On Wednesdays I feature a fabulous wedding supplier in the south of England. From photography and cakes to event planning and entertainment, these are the people I love to work with and want to shout about!

Today, more cake! Lisa makes seriously delicious ones that happen to look great too. She really cares about her creations and I’ve seen some fantastically detailed cakes from her over the years at weddings spanning a wide variety of themes. If you’re looking amazing chocolate work in particular, I would highly recommend you talking to Lisa! A safe pair of hands for cake lovers on their big day…


What service/product do you provide?

I specialise in creating beautiful and delicious wedding cakes, from my farmhouse kitchen in the heart of the Dorset countryside; With every one of my cakes designed to suit the individuality of each couple and their wedding.

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