As promised I am sitting down tonight to post a few more pictures from last weeks wedding preparations. The brief for this wedding was all about sunflowers – the beautiful young bride had loved sunflowers since she was a little girl and she wanted the flowers at her wedding to reflect that love. It was important to her that all the flowers came from a garden or hedgerow and that they added a slightly wild and vintage feel to the church and reception.
Our preparations started back in February when the brides mother and I sat down to prepare a list of flowers that we could grow which would fit in with the theme and to plan our sowing times in the hope that we would have as many flowers as possible.
In the build up to the wedding there were a few moments of doubt about how our growing would go (and back up plans to buy in flowers were made!), but any worries about having enough flowers were quashed as we started to cut two days before the wedding – in no time at all my coach house was full and overflowing with sunflowers, dahlias and foliage in beautiful autumnal shades.
On Thursday last week the small flower ‘team’ cut and prepped all of these lovely flowers, leaving them soaking in cool water overnight in the coach house ready for our work on Friday. They then went down to the church to put the little glass bottles in place along the pews – instead of traditional pew ends we had decided to hang groups of 3 bottles over the pews tied with raffia and filled with flowers. These little bottles could then be moved to the reception after the wedding, where they would be hung from shepherds crooks around the garden.
Whilst all this work was going on I hid away in my greenhouse preparing as many flower bases as possible.
Above is one of the ivy flower globes that would hang by the entrance gates. The flowers would be added on the morning of the wedding to ensure that the Cosmos Bright Lights would be fresh enough to last the day.
Plenty of berried hawthorn bushes were cut for the window displays.
A large bowl of elderberries proved very useful.
Buckets of amaranthus came in from the Cutting Garden.
And I finished the apple wreaths that I showed you earlier this week.
At the end of the day as much advance preparation as possible had been done and we said our goodnights knowing that we would be back for an early start on Friday.
The next morning I was up at dawn and back at work – however well you prepare in advance the last day before an event like this is always going to be a long one!
The early morning mist lent a very autumnal feel to my preparations. My first job was to finish the trays of dahlias that would be lining the stone benches in the entrance porch at the church.
Then it was onto making the window arrangements for the 5 long window ledges in the church.
After that I gathered my tools and our wedding preparations moved to the church.
The urns were put in place on the window ledges.
Two vases of sunflowers and grasses were arranged and placed inside the apple wreaths for display at the entrance to the church.
The doorway was decorated with an evergreen swag filled out with the fading heads of hydrangea Annabelle and fresh sunflowers.
The font was filled with sunflowers, grasses and amaranthus.
As the evening light drew in we closed the door on the church knowing that only the final adjustments were left to be made on the morning of the wedding. The brief was complete – everything used both inside and outside the church was homegrown and there were sunflowers galore for the bride to enjoy!
Tomorrow I hope to share with you the photos I took of all the finished arrangements on the morning of the wedding!