Friday, 13 July 2012

Wedding Trends - Succulent Bouquets

For a while now I've been looking at classic wedding flowers (Lilies, Roses, Orchids) but I've been wanting to look at trends in wedding flowers and to cast my eye over whats going on out there in the wedding industry.  

Over the last few years succulents have become a new favourite for those looking for something a bit different. I put this down in part to the rise in popularity in The States of the rustic wedding. Thanks to the warmer, more reliably summery weather, couples there are making great use of fabulous outdoor spaces, barns, farms and country settings, and they've been opting to style weddings with rustic arrangements to complement their choice of venues.  

Brides who like relaxed, rustic, and country styles are also choosing more loose, natural bouquets with lots of interesting textures, and for these succulents are a perfect choice. Then there's the trend for blush shades of soft peaches and pale pinks, which works so well with dusty blue/grey succulent foliage.

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There are lots of different types of Succulents, but Echevaria and Sempre Vivum tend to be the most popular for wedding bouquets and decorations. They have a strong almost architectural feel and their rosette form and plump petal shapes are very striking. 

They come in so many shades too, from cool ice blues, dusty greys, and greens to warmer toned mauves, lilacs and reds. Thats part of the beauty of using succulents, theres such a vast array of colour and variety available, and they can be used in lots of different ways. 

Here's just a few of my favourite images of wedding bouquets and tips on how to make Succulents work for your bridal flowers 

Mix with other interesting flowers and foliage to create an interesting blend of textures. 

Succulents can be both physically and visually heavy, so use them sparingly and contrast with other flower shapes.

Simple neutral palettes put the focus on the textural elements of the bouquet and mean the bouquet won't be fighting for attention with colourful bridesmaids dresses or venue decor.

If you're using lots of different shades/and/or a variety of textures, you can still achieve a clean looking bouquet by grouping flowers and avoiding too much fluff or fuss.

Then again, a few whispy strands of foliage or feathers (used minimally to avoid the tack factor) can give the illusion of lightness to a bouquet of mixed succulents. 

One of my absolute favourites, this colour combination exudes understated elegance. The ice cool succulents with a blue tone, beautifully set off the creamy lemon/yellow centres of the Peonies. You don't necessarily need a lot of flowers to create a stunning hand tied bouquet.

If you're going to be using lots of large headed blooms with large rosette type succulents, its a good idea to vary the height of each and use tufts of foliage like herbs to soften the effect.

This sweet bouquet is quite compact and manages to keep things simple by sticking to 3 colours and flower types (the grey works like a neutral colour here instead of green foliage). 

Peaches and creams are the perfect partner for succulents. For peach think Talea and Vendella roses, peach Hypericum, Peonies and peach calla. Astilbe, Astrantia, white Eryngium (thistle) and Lisianthus make nice creamy touches. Berried Eucalyptus is a lovely touch with this combination too.

Don't be afraid to add a little colour. I love subtle colour combinations but succulents look fab with stronger vibrant colours too. Love, love, love these fruity numbers. Orange Ranunculus and poppies look great with grey/silver succulents. And the more limey crassula work so well with zingy plump Dahlia. A great little trail too don't you think?

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Hope thats given you some ideas for using succulents in your bouquet. If you are thinking about succulents don't forget that:
  • Less is more with succulents, apart from when it come to texture, when more is more!
  • Colour doesn't have to poke your eye out to be pretty.
  • A great florist knows and loves working with foliage almost as much a flowers, so have faith and ask their advice on what will work with the overall effect your going for.
  • Succulents don't come on long stems and they're gonna need to be wired, so unless you're feeling very ambitious, this is one type of bouquet thats probably best left to the experts.

For a more DIY take on succulents, have a go at the table decorations or favours. And if you need some inspiration for those, I'll be back with some ideas for decorating with succulents soon..

Images via - Project WeddingWedding ChicksBella SignatureStyle me prettyWedding ChicksStyle Me Pretty, Once Wed, Once Wed, Style Me PrettyStyle Me Pretty, Bash Please, Bash Please, Unknown, Style Me Pretty, Pinterest, 100 Layer Cake

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Postage and Packaging

If this blog were a baby I'd be accused of serious neglect! Poor unloved child. I have been busy elsewhere.  You know how today's career minded woman has to juggle a home, family and work? Yeah well, if that was the case for me, I'd not be doing all that well at it.

Still I'm not gonna beat myself up, I've just started a new job (which I LOVE) and I'm trying to get my new vintage shop, Hedgerow Home, up and running. I've mostly been hunting high and low for treasures to stock my shop with, and familiarising myself with the Etsy community... and today I have been working on my packaging.

Its a simple thing, but you know what they say simple things please simple minds!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Styling a Vintage Wedding

There are so many ways to add a little vintage style to your wedding and decor, I thought I'd share a little inspiration via the online crafts and vintage shopping emporium that is Etsy.

  • Start with the stationery and think vintage stamps or repurposing vintage postcards 

  • Use old printing blocks or scrabble letters for table names, and keep names settings in place with an antique key

  • Decorate tables with embroidered tablecloths

  • Make table runners out of a mix and match bunch of doilys 

  • Pop odd stems of wild country flowers in vintage bottles

  • Make your own bunting with book pages or music sheets 

  • For garlands sew doillys or strands of vintage sheets onto strings of cotton or lace and deck the halls, ceilings, mantle pieces - where ever takes yours fancy

  • Make like a pro and style up little areas with old suitcases, collections of books and other props. Little vignettes are lovely for sweet or drinks tables, or for guests to linger over the wedding book

  • Don't forget those who can't be there by including photos of loved ones displayed in hanging mix and match frames. Or use these to tell your own love story

To find all the details of the items shown follow the link to the treasury, and bob over to my shop while you're there.    

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A warm welcome at Sonning Flowers

Apologies for lack of blogging this week. If you follow me on twitter (@tillyblueskies) you'll know that I started a new job at Sonning Flowers this week. It all happened rather quickly and its felt like a bit of a whirlwind, but I'm so happy I made the move.

The team are really lovely and super talented (National Wedding Industry's award winning Best Wedding Florists of 2012 don't cha know!) and the shop based in Reading town centre is a bright and airy space shared with a friendly little cafe.

They do all the usual gift bouquets, local deliveries, national and international orders along with contract, wedding and event work. And they run their own floristry school holding courses on flower arranging for the home, wedding floristry and even a course catering to those wishing to set up a floristry business themselves. 

At the moment they have a competition to win a place on one of the flower arrangements for the home courses. All you need to do is follow the link and enter your details for a chance to win. 

Here are just a few snaps from the shop, and some of the interesting vases, home decor and gifts that they we stock. I'll post more pictures of the shop, displays, flowers and our work soon, and once i've found my feet I'll be blogging for them too. 

So excited to be part of this team, I've been grinning from ear to ear as I walked into work this week. And that can't be bad can it?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

DIY - Little House Favours

Saw this DIY on Etsy a while ago and thought it was really sweet. If you want to add some home made touches to your wedding tables, you could make your own gift boxes for favours. 

For something a bit different, tweak the box pattern a touch as above and hey presto: itty bity houses or cottages. Decorate as you will. I love the red roof and door on these.

Stuffed with sweeties and a personal message they'd make great wedding favours. Line them up in a row and create your own Coronation Street, or decorate your mantlepiece with a few at Christmas time.  

Images and full instruction via Etsy

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pets at Weddings - Bow Ties & Blooms

On your wedding day you want your nearest and dearest around you. Friends and family gather to celebrate with you and everyone loves to get involved, but often a part of the family gets overlooked. For many their pets are like family and although to some it might seem ludicrous, the animal lovers amongst you will understand some wanting their pets to be a part of their big day.

If you have a suitable venue, they're well behaved and you have family or ushers who can help out with doggy/pet duty, why not let them attend or even play a part in the arrangements. And if they're coming, they really ought to look the part.

I have a bit of a thing about animals in clothing, not head to paw in fancy dress or anything - although I did find some pics whilst researching this post, of dogs in full length satin bridesmaids dresses and white lace wedding gowns. Now that IS wrong however funny! - Go ahead and call me cruel, but it really tickles me to see a dog in sunglasses, or a cute little hat, so why not be event appropriate and get your doggy in a dickie bow?

(this fella is happy in his tie, even if he has come straight from work!)

And you could make the four legged critters a part of the wedding party by getting floral garlands made for them to wear round their necks, attach a ribbon collar with a single bloom, or give them a headdress of a floral crown.  I guess it depends on the dog as some will be more happy to wear flowers than others. Well they don't suit everyone I suppose ; ) 

These horses are quite happy with their floral wreaths and don't they look amazing? Is bringing a horse to your wedding a step too far? Not if you're a horsey type, but I imagine you may be better off bringing the wedding to the horse!

Suprisingly I couldn't dig up any evidence of cats at weddings. I think they're possibly too aloof to want a lot of attention and might have some objections about being tarted up in bow ties and flowers. That and the fact they'd probably just wander off and do their own thing. They're like that cats, don't you think?

I did however find this cute little bunny wedding guest. He had his own bunny carry bag decorated with flowers and treats just in case he got peckish. He didn't fancy the victoria sponge, he prefers carrot cake.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ribbon & Wrap

It was Father's Day at the weekend, and I had a little gift to wrap for the old man. On this occasion, I'd bought a small box to present my offering in. Very simple and plain, it was the classic brown kraft paper type which I love - but it needed a bit of dressing up.

Digging into my craft supplies I found thick cotton ribbons in navy and white stripes, white with a contrast running stitch, and a similar style in a pale duck egg blue. Then I raided the paper stash. Mmm lots to choose from.

I liked the simplicity of the gift box so much I decided not to wrap the whole thing. Inspired by all things nautical lately I plumped for the sailing ships, I got busy with the scissors, layered it with a soft grey envelope and played around with ribbon. How cool, I thought, if it looked like the ship were sailing on a ribbon sea... 

Ahoy there!


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