Springtime Joy at Ashridge House

July 8, 2020

 

 

On this grey & damp July day, let's cast our minds back to a rather pretty wedding in March earlier this year. Before Covid. Before lockdown. My last wedding, unknowingly, for a rather long time. Who would have thought it...

 

Arms full of the best seasonal bounty, a crisp spring day and one of the grandest stately homes in the Home Counties - this wedding at Ashridge House was always set to be a beauty. I've been sitting on this lovely one for a while now, unable to choose my favourite photos from both Emma Pilkington and my film archives to share with you because I hardly knew where to start. It was a flurry of floral fluff, with all my spring favourites jumbled together to create a truly romantic day. 

 

 

 

 

Buckets of spring joy came into the studio in softest blush pink, white and green; the air quickly heavy with the perfume of sweetpea, lilac and viburnum. It was a sea of sweetly scented frills and frou frou, and I could not wait to get started. The night before prep began I snuck into the studio before bedtime with a cup of tea and sat a while, absorbing the beauty sitting pretty before me. The calm before the chaos, you could say. I was surrounded by floral joy and it was a moment to savour. Once those scissors get going there's no stopping until the final stem has found its home and the bride has made her way gracefully down the aisle. 

 

The following day, with the weather just warm enough to work in the garden under the veranda, I started bringing together the bridal flowers, the wild ceremony installation and the reception flowers for Luke & Sonoko. Delicate spring bouquets for the bride and her maids, with complimentary buttonholes for the gents, using little foliage to really let the flowers sing. Silk ribbon bound and full of spring joy, they were ready to be received by the bridal party. Thoughts then turned to the ceremony and reception flowers, which I merrily worked away on until the early hours. Classic FM and a supply of homemade rose & dark chocolate shortbread my studio companions, as always.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

 

The big day arrived and it was an early start loading and unloading crate upon crate of floral urns and bud vases, alongside buckets of flowers for the ceremony installation. The ceremony was held the heavenly onsite chapel, complete with the most beautiful green stained glass windows. A virtual tour on the Ashridge House website will inform you that this 16th century glass was moved from a monastery in Bavaria - how incredible.  

 

Bringing the outside in was the order of the day, and so I set about creating two freeform floral pillars, asymmetric in style and shape and designed to look as if they had simply 'grown in situ'. A plethora of blush pink and white flowers were used to surround Luke & Sonoko as they said their vows to one another, and create a natural focal point. Following the ceremony, the floral pillars were used to frame special moments of the day including the bridal portraits & that beautiful cake cutting moment.

 

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

 

The Lady Marian Alford Room was my next port of call, and dressing this grand space for the wedding breakfast was a total joy. A room steeped in history (I'd highly recommend a look on the Ashridge House website if you, like me, are a touch obsessed with grand old houses) with its palest peach walls, white marble fireplaces and intricately painted ceiling was the perfect backdrop for soft romantic blooms. Gold urns full of ranunculus, sweetpea, rose, scabious, lilac and cherry blossom took centre stage, with a mass of bud vases weaving their way in between down the centre of the table. Light, airy and ever so delicate, they didn't detract form the beauty of the room but simply added to its romance. 

 

 

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

Photo by Emma Pilkington

 

 

Dressing the tables in and around the beautiful candlesticks and tableware, styled and orchestrated by wedding planner extrodinaire Valentina from The Stars Inside, was a dream. Each bud vases and floral urn was placed beside beautiful glassware, elegant place names and a peppering of tealights. The tables looked both grand and inviting, and no detail was overlooked. It created the most magical of wedding breakfasts - Valentina you wonder woman. Thank you. 

 

I shall leave you with a small gallery of photos taken by good friend and utter talent Emma Pilkington, who captured every element of the day in her usual effortlessly beautiful style. Feel free to click on the individual images to enlarge and take a closer look...
 

 

 

Charlotte x

 

 

The fellow suppliers for Luke & Sonoko's Wedding are as follows...

 

Planning & Styling: Valentina at The Stars Inside
Venue & Catering: Ashridge House
Photography: Emma Pilkington
Floral Design: Verity & Thyme
Bridalwear & Shoes: Claire Pettibone
Cake: Holly Clarke Cake Design
Ribbons & Styling Silk: Pom Pom Blossom
Candlesticks & Charger Plates: Duchess and Butler
Tables & Cutlery: Classic Crockery
Linen & Napkins: Just 4 Linen
Hair & Make-up: Naho Ikeda
On The Day Assistant: Elizabeth Grace Weddings

 

 

 

Please reload