When wedding planner Kim Balasubramanian asked me about a forthcoming wedding she was planning for last summer, I just said yes...oh and when and where is it?
I'd wanted to work on a wedding with Kim for ages since we'd first met and talked about plans for styled shoots and other projects, so this was very exciting.... and it only got better
This truly beautiful couple were due to be married at April's father's house in the Lake District... an incredible period property full of character and detail positioned at the head of Derwent Water with views to die for
We packed the van, not an easy task when faced with taking enough flowers, containers and tools (and snacks) for a three day wedding in the height of summer over 500 miles away - no chance of popping back to the workshop for an extra vase! (the moral here is always pack a spare and pack it well!) and armed with my trusty co-pilots Charlotte and Claire, off we set up north
Once there we unpacked the flowers and foliage into our cool garage/workroom for the rest of the week, had a quick explore around the amazing grounds and worked out a plan of attack... oh and hooked up with two more members of the BSF away team, Sarah and Lucy from Yorkshire and Wales respectively... I don't do these things by half, we needed a full army of pros on this one
We had brought up with us from my suppliers at New Covent Garden and the Real Flower Co, hundreds of fragrant garden roses, sweet peas, cosmos, scabious, delphinium, frothy ammi, daucus and orlaya, plus buckets of stunning seasonal flowers brought over from Yorkshire by the lovely Suzie at Picked at Dawn
There was a Friday night welcome dinner for c100 to prepare around 40 bowls of flowers for, as well as house flowers, bouquets to prep and arches to create, so bright and early the next morning, we set to, fortified with local croissants, fruit and the aforementioned snacks
Team South, myself, Charlotte and Claire started on the mantlepieces and urns for the house, and I prepped the bouquets for the following day
Over the years, I've been cutting down on my use of floral foam, the substance that has traditionally been used to hold flowers in place for many years now...so the urns, table displays and entrance arch along with this gorgeous mantle display in one of the house's reception rooms were simply in vases/containers with chicken wire or foliage to hold them upright
This style makes for a much more relaxed look and meant that I could leave many of the displays in place after we had left for the family to enjoy for days to come
A section of a longer piece, this comprised delphinium, larkspur, hydrangea, garden roses, sweet peas, scabious, jasmine, geranium and bizarrely a few very late season British peonies. It sat on the mantlepiece in one of the reception rooms which housed a series of artworks hung on the walls giving the impression you are sitting on a boat in the middle of Derwent Water
Meanwhile Team North West, Sarah and Lucy, started on the flowers for that evening's supper... beautiful pale blue ceramic bowls filled with delicate butterfly ranunculas, cosmos, scabious, ammi, fragrant open roses and sweet peas which would dress the long trestle tables in the Ceremony tent. These were to be laid with pale blue/grey linen, lots of pale blue taper candles and fragrant twinkling tea lights to guide the guests into the evening and place cards and menus from Emily and Jo
For the main event the next day we made a beautiful floral arch for the tent which overlooked the most incredible view over the vineyards towards the Lake in the distance... hundreds of Quicksand, Ohara, Margaret Merrill and Majolica roses dressed the arch with sweet peas, hydrangea Paniculata and jasmine, yes, it smelt amazing and also made a great backdrop for the band later into the evening
The other end of the aisle had a pair of oversized urns filled with delphiniums, larkspur, cosmos and roses with beech and prunus foliage, ivy and jasmine trails... we moved these to behind the top table in the reception tent later along with the aisle meadows which dressed the escort card table
Its always a good idea to think about reusing elements of your floral decor around your wedding - urns can move from ceremony to top table, aisle flowers could go onto some tables or to decorate a cake table, just talk to your florist about it
There was a rather badly timed rain shower just as guests came out of the ceremony tent for the outdoor drinks reception... luckily there was the beautiful house to use, and it gave us time to move things and set up the now indoor place card table!
The Saturday night main event tables were gorgeous, wonderful dark blue linen, hand-painted napkins and lovely stationery, gold and crystal candlesticks with tall taupe and ivory taper candles, scented tea lights and gold cutlery all co-ordinated so well with the elegant glass rose bowls in the centre overflowing with seasonal bounty - fragrant garden roses and sweet peas, cosmos and scabious, nigella, astrantia and the very last of the most beautiful white Bowl of Cream peonies plus jasmine trails and scented geranium leaves
The whole event over the 4 days had been expertly organised and corralled by planner extraordinaire Kim... with all the different elements and so many suppliers arriving over a wedding weekend, from cake designer to band, florists to caterers, there is constantly something to be done, someone with a question, someone else with a problem...not to mention last minute guests arriving with hours to spare who needed a whole new table! How would you cope on your wedding morning with all of that going on?
And all through the outside mess and mayhem, happy voices and faces saw a lovely family wedding coming together... stunning cakes, beautiful flowers, gorgeous dresses, amazing food and drink and a perfect match made in heaven
These two lovely people have recently become three, which is so fabulous and really the whole point, yes? x
Stunning film from HD Moments which brings it all to life... grab a tissue!
Planner and designer: Kim Balarubramanian
Videographer and some stills here: HD Moments
Wedding assistant: Emma Joy
Bride's hair: Severin
Bride's makeup: Mariam Jensen
Celebrant: Andri Benson
Stationery: Emily and Jo
Table linen: Just 4 Linen
Caterer: Blakefields Events
Wedding cake: The Frostery
Venue: Underscar Manor