Elegance and Opulence at Kew Gardens
The wedding I’m sharing with you today is a special one for me for many reasons.
Firstly, you’ll notice that I’m not appearing in these images in my trademark Emma Soulsby Flowers uniform, but rather more glamorously in some midnight blue satin. The lovely couple getting married are some of my oldest friends, and I was delighted to be a bridesmaid as well as a florist for their big day.
Secondly, the venue: Oh. My. God. Kew Gardens is a national icon, and with good reason. There are vast, light filled spaces everywhere you turn, the many glass panes of the Orangery catch the sun and hold it there, and it makes for a truly spectacular backdrop to a wedding. I was ridiculously excited when Clarissa and Sho told me their wedding venue choice, and it sent my head into idea overload.
Last, but by absolutely no means least is my teammate on this wedding: the fabulous Krysta Smith of For The Love of Weddings. Back in January, Krysta and I spent the most surreal evening of our lives at The Wedding Industry Awards, when we won National Planner and National Florist respectively. This wedding was the first chance we’ve had to work together since that day, but it definitely won’t be the last. It was an absolute dream to have Krysta’s vision, organisation and effervescence alongside me for Clarissa and Sho’s wedding. We worked closely together to design a sumptuously detailed event that felt richly regal and elegant.
Enchanted Trees and an Indoor Meadow
When you’re working at Kew, it’s not the time to think small. This is a Grande Dame of a venue that demands installations of epic proportions. I wanted the bride and groom to walk into their wedding reception at Kew’s The Nash feeling like they were stepping into another world. My team and I designed an entrance flanked by wild and lush trees – a living corridor to take the couple and their guests into their wedding, where champagne and live music from a string quartet were waiting for them.
For the wedding breakfast, we worked with a colour palette of white and the palest blush, with the statement jewel-like pops of dark burgundy anemones as a powerful accent. I wanted the top table to really make an impact, and to have that enchanted feeling of bringing the outside inside. Using highly perfumed spring flowers including lily of the valley, delicate sweet peas; the flouncing and fabulous frills of Ottara and David Austin Patience roses and tall spurs of stocks, orchids and delphiniums for height and texture, we built our couple a meadow on the grand tiled floor of Kew’s Orangery.
It ran the length of the top table, and the finished effect was just beautiful: elegant, opulent and wild – something of a signature of mine.
The round tables in the Orangery were a beautiful balancing act between the modern and the whimsical. Krysta commissioned elegantly understated stationery in shades of the softest grey from Cassie at Ivy Inks, and styled the tables with contemporary textured linens in pearl grey by Just 4 Linen, contrasted with deep purple napkins. Coupled with the dramatically tapered candles from Curious Egg in shades of burgundy and sorbet housed in glass cylinder vases, the colours echoed those of the flowers beautifully.
I created tall table trees to draw the eye, composed of abundant foliage and threaded with fragrant bursts of flowers in white and burgundy. Interspersed through the venue were low glass bowl arrangements for contrast. I wanted there to be pops of floral colour everywhere you turned, and as we sat down to enjoy the Nigerian inspired feast prepared by Create, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
It’s an odd experience to be surrounded by my flowers as a wedding guest, but I have to say it’s one I thoroughly enjoyed. Clarissa and Sho, I wish you a lifetime of happiness together – thank you for asking me to be part of your amazing wedding day.
If you’re planning a wedding and looking for wow-factor flowers that will make your heart happy, then why not get in touch? I’d love to talk to you about what you’re planning and see what we can come up with together.