• Emma Soulsby

Contemporary Colour at Cowley Manor

Updated: Dec 10, 2018



Do I have a stunning wedding to share with you today! I knew very quickly after meeting Hannah that her big day at Cowley Manor was going to be something special, but I couldn’t quite have imagined what we’d create with the finished designs. Hannah, Ben and their wedding planner – the exceptional Jenna Hewitt – were a delight to work with and it was such fun brainstorming ideas together. We knew we wanted to create something truly original, and Hannah naturally gravitated towards more unusual, seriously textural flowers, which as you can imagine was music to my ears! The finished suite of florals was contemporary, colourful and completely spectacular. This wedding at Cowley Manor is hands down one of my favourites to date.




The Perfect Couple


One of the most important relationships in a wedding – apart from you and your partner – is that of the venue and the flowers that adorn it. It’s crucial that they marry well together. This marriage might mean seamlessly complementing one another, so it looks like the flowers are as much part of the venue as the bricks and mortar, or else it could be a marriage where opposites attract – where the flowers are designed to make a striking statement. The important thing with either of these options is to be very conscious of what you're doing. Each frond, petal and tendril needs to be consciously placed and have a purpose within the space.




Floating Orbs and Glowing Dandelions


When it comes to incredible spaces, Cowley Manor is one of a kind. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, this country house hotel manages to be romantically traditional, grandiose, contemporary, quirky and design led all at the same time. The room in which Hannah and Ben would be saying their vows and sitting down to dine boasts a selection of the most amazing modern chandeliers. Each one looks like the giant fluffy head of a dandelion – they’re a little bit glorious.



I knew as soon as I saw the space that I wanted to reflect these lights in my designs. I created a range of very tall, spherical arrangements for the tables, and used the most unobtrusive stands possible to give the impression they were suspended in mid air. The lights at Cowley Manor are encased in a very textured geometric cage, which gave me carte blanche to add some texture to the floating orb arrangements. I used dahlias in a rich burnt orange, coupled with Hannah’s favourite – the undulating celosia, a wonderful flower that looks a bit like it should belong on a coral reef. These pops of russet and orange were balanced by white and frothy Queen Anne’s lace, fragrant freesias, sweet peas and roses in shades of pale lilac.



A Splash of Colour


Now, I’ll be honest, orange and purple as a colour scheme is not usually something that will have me jumping for joy, but this colourful Cowley Manor wedding has made me something of a convert. For Hannah and Ben’s ceremony backdrop, they wanted a big wow. Using flowers in shades of lilac, orange, coral and cream, my team and I constructed an enormous asymmetric almost-arch surrounding the fireplace and the huge mirror.


When the contemporary Masters chairs were added to the ceremony set up and also adorned with flowers, it was like stepping into a seriously modern wonderland.






The overall look for this wedding was one I’d describe as ‘eclectic luxe’, and it’s something I hope to do a lot more of in future as it was just so much fun! Hannah and Ben, thank you so much for asking me to flower your fabulous Cowley Manor wedding – it was a joy.


If you’re on the lookout for floral installations that take your wedding from pretty to all out spectacular, then I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch, and let’s talk flowers.


Image Credits:


Modern Vintage Weddings

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