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A joyful June wedding at Cliveden House...

Hello lovely loyal readers, if I still have any left? You have been most patient and I thank you for that. A special mention to the many wonderful Verity & Thyme bride and grooms who are still graciously accepting the chaos Covid is causing. Gosh, what an 18 months. Whilst it may have all been quiet on the journal front, it has been rather frantic behind the scenes with some weddings on their 3rd or 4th postponement to date. This has often led to a change in season entirely resulting in a rethink of flowers, colour palette and overall design. As usual, my brides have been stoic and I want to thank every single one of you again. We will get there, and when we do it will be a joyous day indeed!

With endless hours spent on my laptop, there hasn’t been an awful lot of floral beauty to write about to be honest, but I couldn’t sit on the most special of weddings for much longer. The loveliest of newlyweds, a jaw dropper of a venue and managing to shoot the entire day on film? It was made for a journal entry.

I am delighted to share with you the wedding of Tania and Laurie, which took place at the beautiful Cliveden House on the 5th June this year. When I first met Tania and Laurie we were looking at wedding in the depths of winter – a celebration around the new year complete with flickering candlelight and wintery elements. Unsurprisingly, the date and season changed overnight due to another lockdown and so it was back to the drawing board for this lovely couple and their new summer date.

I was handed the most delicious brief from the start; something beautiful and romantic but with depth. A modern edge that worked with the grandeur of the French Dining room, yet didn’t compete. A room sparkling with ornate gold fixtures, mirrors and chandeliers set against deep sage green walls needed some careful consideration – it is a room that demands a trained eye and a gentle approach.

Collectively, we decided to bring the lightness of summer into the room with wisps of seasonal June frou frou. Cow parsley in abundance to add height, the palest blush roses I could lay my hands on to add romance, and sprays of delicate quaking grass and the odd twig for a touch structure. Café Au Lait dahlia, peony, ranunculus and scabious filled the lower level bud vases, creating texture and adding focal points to the river of vases meandering down the long oval table. Not forgetting my promise to add a touch of the modern, sprays of preserved broom and lace flower were peppered amongst the fresh blooms with tiny bud vases of dried hypericum berry in inky black just peeping out from below. The overall effect was rather spectacular - the epitome of summer elegance and sophistication.

With both the ceremony and wedding breakfast taking place in the French Room, the impressive fireplace mantle with its charming white marble bust held a collection of flower filled bud vases for the wedding ceremony. The registrars table, windowsills and side tables all received clusters of bud vases too as simple focal points, bringing the outside in to this beautiful room.

For the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations, the long oval dining table was dressed with a runner of chiffon, crumpled up in the right places to add texture and interest. The bud vases sat on top interspersed with tall white dinner candles in clear glass candlesticks, lit to add a touch of romance as night fell.

Lovely bride Tania carried a bouquet of June’s finest blooms in soft white and blush hues, flecked with dried and preserved elements to bring cohesion to the day. Her lovely sister, the maid of honour, carried a smaller version of Tania’s bouquet bound with streams of silk ribbon. The men dressed their tuxedo lapels with buttonholes of barely-there blush roses and textured foliage sprigs. They were the most delicate of bouquets and buttonholes, and a real joy to create.

I’d love to take a moment to say a special thank you to the wonderful staff at Cliveden House who made my job as easy as could be. I received the warmest of welcomes as I walked through the doors laden with flowers (to cheers of ‘Ohh wedding flowers, how exciting!) and their efficiency and kindness throughout the day was second to none. I found I didn’t really want to leave. Whilst setting up the wedding breakfast table I managed to spot the beautiful newlyweds out on the terrace enjoying a drink with their guests, with the grand gardens of Cliveden stretching out behind them and the river sparkling in the summer sunshine. It was the prettiest of pictures. Thank you for having me and my flowers Cliveden House.

Finally, the biggest thank you to Mr & Mrs Billson for trusting me with your wedding day blooms, I had the very best time. A dream floral brief, a beautiful house and a bride and groom that felt like friends from day one? You are utterly wonderful. Thank you for setting off the summer of 2021 in such style…

With love,

Charlotte x


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