Friday, 30 January 2015

A first winter in Hampshire

Good frosty morning, it's freezing here! Thought I'd share some of the highlights of the inspirational things I've seen here in Hampshire in the past couple of months - pics mainly via my Instagram

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Handmade Vintage Wedding - Paula Pryke

In September 2013, my husband Tom and I married in Bath, and we were privileged enough to have the talented florist Paula Pryke, arranging the flowers for our church and marquee reception.

Last week, Paula launched her new book, 'Wedding Flowers', published by Jacqui Small and featuring the beautiful photographs of Tim Winter. We are ridiculously excited to see our wedding feature, and that some of our handmade endeavours feature alongside her beautiful flowers.
 ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015         
About Paula...     Paula Pryke is a world-renowned florist, with over 30 years experience organising flowers internationally for weddings. She has published 16 floral books, and was recently awarded her OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2014.                      

                                                                                                                                                               The making... We had a very vintage themed wedding with as many handmade elements as possible, and although yes it was a total labour of love, I really want to share this post as I'd love to inspire a few brides to get making for their own special day. The book is crammed full of DIY ideas and inspiration for choosing flowers, themes and even making them yourself.                                                                  
A detail from 'Wedding Flowers', our church pew ends at St Aphege, Bath ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015

About the book...

A beautiful book packed full of gorgeous photos and amazing floral displays for planning every aspect of your wedding day. The book gives the bride the confidence and ability to design her own floral theme and work with a florist to execute it, or perhaps even undertake some of the arrangements herself for a truly personal touch. 
The book has step-by-step instructions throughout, and demonstrates how brides, bridesmaids, friends, and family can make some of Paula's most popular wedding flower arrangements themselves.

A detail from the reception not to mention 200m of home-made bunting!  ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
Wedding Themes section in the book and us looking very happy! ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015


I thought I'd go through a few of the handmade elements with some of my, and some of the book's images. To find links to past posts outlining how to make them, scroll to the bottom of this post and click the links.
The oak stamper we made and used ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
I love how the book nails one of the most important things to consider when planning a wedding - choosing a theme! First thing was first and we decided to have a vintage inspired wedding with flowers and decorations echoing an English cottage garden feel. 

I used acorns as a central motif and designed an oak sprig to use on the invitations and other decorations. I had this made into a stamper by the English Stamp Company.

As well as being super useful on the day it makes a sweet memento, and will be used for years to come! Pinterest is a really useful resource to inspire ideas for making your own stamper.

It's all in the details!

The oak motif design was also used as the central image for the invitations and orders of service, which my sister and I hand letter pressed onto textured card. 

The signage was really important, and to the left is an image from the book featuring some of ours. A wish tree is a a pretty alternative to a guest book and a good excuse to get your stamper out again!

Hand-made hessian table runners,  name setting cards & favours.

So I won't tell a lie, the table runners took an evening to make (with a friend) and nearly broke my sewing machine, but they were the basis of the vintage feel and will be useful for years to come! (see link below for basis outline of 'how to!')
Details from the tables ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
Details from the tables & lovely ushers Will & Chris ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
 Handmade mini jars of apple chutney © Francesca Secolonovo Photography

Use your handwriting!                                                                                                         A time consuming but effective favour, homemade apple chutney, with ditsy floral lids and hand-designed handwritten labels (Another stamper!) -  to go with the cheese and port!
Stamper ideas, for sweetie bags or favours.

Love sweet love book details ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015

Table names, place settings & menus..

You can just about see them in this photo detail of the reception below. We used the names of our favourite places in South West London, and I designed and painted scenes.

Details from the tables ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015

These were also scanned and used on the main seating plan, and on the background of the menu!

Our simple seating plan © Francesca Secolonovo Photography
The bunting...

We matched the seating plan with the English garden decoration theme, and oodles of hand-made bunting! (200m to be precise, eek!) 

Vintage port decanters with hand-drawn labels...

I loved this one, it was so simple and effective. Collecting vintage decanters (They are still ridiculously cheap at car booties and in charity shops!) filling them with port and decorating them with beautiful trailing flowers (in this case, Gloriosa superba or so the book tells me!)

 Vintage port decanters with hand-drawn labels ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015

My top 3 Paula Pryke ideas (pinched from the book!)

The book is crammed full of DIY ideas and inspiration for choosing flowers, themes and even making them yourself.

1. Handmaking confetti cones - there's even a step by step in the book (and biodegradable don't you know!)

Totally worth the effort - handmaking wedding cones ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
Us looking jolly again with the confetti! (Hi Michael & Suzi!) ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
Our home-made wedding cake, decorated beautifully with fresh flowers ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015
2. Decorating your cake with fresh flowers. So my mama and sister made the cake, but boy oh boy did Paula transform it into something wonderful. The book outlines how to make your own herb and flower cake topper - stunning! 

3. Chair Backs. If like us you are seated amidst your guests, or even if you're not, this is a fab way to decorate your chairs.
 Our bride and groom seat backs ©Paula Pryke & Tim Winter 2015

And finally, it is just left for us to say - thank you so very much Paula, you really did make our wedding x

Make your own: Clare makes blog inspiration pages!

Click the images below to go through to some of the making posts for each project!

Handmade Chutney Favours
Hand-drawn menus
Handmade Bunting
Hand-painted Table Names
Hand-sewn Hessian Table Runners

Signage & Stampers for the Wish Tree