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Autumn Flowers and White Pumpkins

Ever wondered how a florist who lives and breathes all things creative goes about planning their own wedding? It’s over to expert blogger Gemma of Planet Flowers to share. Trust us you are going to fall in love with her wedding as we have (again and again)…

“Autumn is my favourite time of year for so many reasons. All my favorite flowers and colours come out to play the minute we hit the end of September so it was a natural choice to decide to have my own wedding in the Autumn.

“As WFIL are super lovely they remembered that it will be my own wedding anniversary coming up and asked if I would write a little bit on my own wedding flowers. I was slightly anxious thinking how dated the flowers would look now but after some pep talk from Christina and actually sitting looking through my wedding photos by the talented Blue Sky Photography which I actually don’t think I have looked at properly in a couple of years I think that your wedding flower style dating is something to speak about in itself.

“I am not going to lie, when looking through my wedding flowers there are many things I would change. I don’t dislike anything I just would do it differently now. In floristry techniques change constantly and even in the seven years I have been married I have learnt so much about my craft and I would say I have also discovered more about styling weddings and succeeding in looks I am trying to create.

“I spent the day before my wedding with my closest friends and family installing our own wedding – I can remember how surreal it felt but at the same time I just fell in to my day to day role at Planet. It was hard to shake off my bossiness; telling everyone what to do!

“To be able to look back at photos from the day before that Niels from Blue Sky kindly took is such a precious thing for me. Seeing my mum painstakingly working away as she always does, all my helpers soaking wet as it absolutely tipped down the day before and of course remembering the transformation from the day before to the day – these images are priceless for me.

“I could spend quite sometime talking about my flower choice but let’s keep this short! At the time I was asked a lot what I would be choosing for my wedding flowers, it became quite stressful and I decided not to think about it until we had to.

“Truth is I don’t have favourite flowers. I have favourite textures and colours and smells and styles and I know which flowers give me those things. It was almost shock horror to some that I had dared to give my bridesmaids bouquets of carnations – people looked at me with such disgrace when I told them my girls would be holding them.

“Carnations have such a meaning to me. Growing up the carnation was the flower of choice. My parents flower shops were full of them – the smell of fresh carnations was inescapable and now it’s my favourite flower smell it makes me reminisce to my childhood and the smell of the old flower markets. I used to spend hours playing with the massive boxes and making dens and houses in them through busy times in the warehouse.

“After carnations were chosen and the colour I wanted which I thought would perfectly against the grey of the girls dresses that Freja Designer Dressmaking made, the rest of the flowers were chosen on colour (and price!) alone. Mum and I gave ourselves a budget and we just bought everything in the colour we wanted until we had spent up! Now, this was a great plan in our minds.. We took it all to the venue the day before and just kept making until everything was gone.

“The slight faux pas in this was at about 10.30am on the morning of the wedding when we realised (or should I say mum realised) we hadn’t made a bouquet for me! All we had left was some cyclamen plants which I had wanted to put on the windowsills as I love the shape of their petals – so that was it the choice was made for me. I stopped getting ready half way through make up and mum and I made the quickest wedding bouquet we had ever made with almost little to no care!

“Our ceremony room was my favourite room set. It is actually the education room in the venue. I think we are only one of two couples to be married in there. When we went in it was full of kids dressing up clothes, paints, tables and chairs but I just adored the glass doors that looked out on to the drive and the wooden panelling around the room. Chris found some old church pews which he sanded and varnished. We lined the room with candles and made wood stacks with candles layered upon them with autumn leaves.

“Lorraine and I dried and pressed hundreds of my favourite leaf and then spent hours layering the leaves on and old table my brother had removed from a flat clearance. I have always had a thing for wreaths of botanicals. I once read somewhere that it was the meaning of unity, wholeness and infinity. I am not one for seeing the meaning in things but this really stuck with me and I knew I wanted a few at our wedding. In the ceremony room we made wreath of malus apples from our cutting garden and hung them on the walls with the most luxe velvet ribbon I had ever seen.

“Every piece in this room has a special memory but the pièce de résistance for me is the white and green pumpkins that mum grew for me in her garden. I loved them then and I adore them now and wish she would grow them every year for me!

“We had little to know colour in our ceremony room so for drinks I embrace the season and filled the room with quirky autumnal touches. However in the reception room we kicked it up with punches of colour. Burgundy, wine, puce, raspberry and magenta all sitting on a dark grey base colour. I wanted to fill the table with as much texture and detail and interest as I could so that you didn’t really know where to look.

“The most common thing that clients tell me when we speak about table pieces is that they want to be able to see across the table. I didn’t care. I love the atmosphere it created – it didn’t make the job very easy for the Niels and Alie I would imagine but we have so many lovely photos of our guests peeping their faces between vessels.. I love them!

“So all in all my words of wisdom are choose things you like, that mean something to you, involve the people you love and no matter how dated the style becomes every detail will be something you look back at with fondness and a story to tell.”

Feeling more than a little emotional creating this blog post. Loved Gemma’s wedding so much. Be inspired to go and create your wedding your way and see if your Mum will grow white and green pumpkins for you… Alie x

Based in Edinburgh, Gemma has been surrounded by flowers since a very young age, and loves to push the boundaries when it comes to floral art. Along with her Planet Flowers team, she has been adding botanical magic to weddings and events (remember the Chanel Metiers d’Art show in Scotland?) for many years, and is now bringing her crazy skills to WFIL.

Photos by Blue Sky Photography