Paper Lantern Lighting

Are you thinking about a wedding full, and I mean FULL, of colour? Like, having your bridesmaids dressed in jewel-coloured gowns, and your flowers in bright, vibrant tones like these joyous ones from Helen Jane Floristry?

paper lantern

Then I've found just the marquee interior you need to follow that theme through for a really brilliant wedding reception party, one that has loads of colour and dancing and energy. And it comes in the form of paper lantern lighting. Hanging clusters of different coloured lanterns from the ceiling of a marquee can transform it into an Aladdin's cave of dazzling, magical beauty, especially if they are set against a backdrop of twinkling lights on black cloth, as shown below.

Paper lantern lighting

Tops Marquees in Berkshire introduced me to this fabulous marquee interior idea and I just love it. And with such vibrant paper lantern lighting stealing the show, you wouldn't really have to go mad on the flowers for the tables - after all, all of your guests will be too busy marvelling at the lights to pay any attention to the table decorations! But if you want to keep the lighting a surprise until the first dance, just ask your marquee provide to put up a revealer curtain separating the dance floor from the rest of the marquee, so that you can unveil the lanterns when you're ready and start your married life off in a riot of colour!



short black bridesmaid dresses

I know that black is perfect for winter, but don't be put off having short black bridesmaid dresses for a Spring or Summer wedding. The trick is in the accessories:

short Black bridesmaid dresses

Take the girls above; strappy heels or colourful/metallic courts are the order of the day. And the flowers? Bold, breezy, voluptuous creations with spirals of foxgloves and fronds of ferns. Inspirationally oozing joy and fun rather than the more usual slick sophistication of a black-themed wedding.

You'll see more what I mean below. The flowers at this wedding were by Cornwall's Amanda Taffinder and they absolutely capture the vibe of the Very Happy Couple:

short black bridesmaid dresses

And I love the rustic touch of the wicker basket holding the cards (what a clever idea) and the outrageously vibrant table settting:

short black bridesmaid dresses

And they lived happily ever after.

Short Black bridesmaid dresses

With a million thanks to Amanda Taffinder for her amazing floral creations and to Shanna Jones Photography for capturing them on film.

If you'd like short black bridesmaid dresses for your girls, shop the look at The first one I'd recommend is Alfred Sung D701 in Peau de Soie (below left). Its bateau neckline and scoop back are extremely flattering and the cut-a-way tulip sit with is neat bow detail at the natural waist is delightful.

short black bridesmaid dresses

Another pretty option is Dessy Collection Style 2939 (above right) which is a sleepless marquis lace dress with a jewel neckline and a fully shirred skirt. Its scalloped edge is a charming detail.

For a short black bridesmaid dress with a halter neck style front, look no further than Alfred Sung D492; the bared shoulder and low back make for a particularly becoming style.

short black bridesmaid dress

Blossom Pink Bridesmaid Dresses

You might have seen the divine artificial cherry blossom trees that you can hire for your wedding reception from Crescent Moon; so I thought I'd better show you some of the heavenly blossom pink bridesmaid dresses that you could have as well! Blossom pink is such a gorgeous colour; darker than blush and yet as easy on the eye and eternally pretty, it is sits well by itself or can be combined with other colours for an equally as lovely effect.

In the photo above, the lovely bride has chosen to keep it simple and elegant by choosing gorgeous white and blossom-pink bouquets with just a touch of blush and ivory for added interest from Holly's Wedding Flowers. The soft grey of the groom's suit adds to the overall effect of easy, delicate beauty.

Blossom Pink bridesmaid dresses

I love the way that Holly has incorporated some of the other natural colours from the blossom trees into the bridal flowers and it's something that you might want to do with the bridesmaid dresses themselves. Some of the fabulous Alfred Sung gowns from Dessy allow you to do just that as you can see from the image above. From the left I have selected Blossom pink bridesmaid dresses in style D699 with Ivory bodice, style D678 all in Blossom and style D723 with Mojito bodice. I think that the latter is particularly eye-catching.

As the bride, you could also think about including some blossom into your headpiece, as Holly has done here with these fabulous silk flowers:

blossom pink bridesmaid dresses

Doesn't that look beautiful?

And of course, the joy of using silk flowers to recreate something as fragile as cherry blossom is that you aren't beholden to the vagaries of the seasons or the winds; just as well given the continuous storms hitting the UK this year so far! Happy planning.

Primrose Yellow Spring Wedding

Yellow Spring weddingThe yellow flowers of Springtime are so beautiful; yes, you get the brasher yellow of daffodils dancing gaudily in the breeze, to paraphrase Wordsworth rather harshly, but you also get more delicate yellow blooms with other narcissi, fragrant freesias and tuberose. But for me its the woodland primrose that encompasses the most delightful of yellow hues - pale, fragile and charming. Yet like most wild flowers, primroses don't make for the most robust of cut flowers, so if you want a primrose yellow Spring wedding then have your bridesmaids dresses in that colour and choose other flowers for the posies and bouquets.

As ever, take your lead from what's growing in the garden and woodlands in Spring and consider pairing the yellow with its complementary colour, purple, like the pretty maids all in a row at the top in their gowns from Tulle and Chantilly. Alternatively, the peach, pink and orange roses above look absolutely wonderful against the yellow dresses (also from Tulle and Chantilly) and I love the palest of pale pink roses held by the bride.

For a similar look, consider Alfred Sung D650 in Maize or Social Bridesmaid 8136 in Buttercup:

yellow spring bridesmaid dresses

Alternatively, this predominately white bouquet below from Helen Jane Floristry looks so fresh and delightful with its touches of primrose yellow within the narcissi, that it would be perfect for a primrose yellow Spring wedding, and would smell diving too.

yellow spring wedding

For a really delicate look, I'd be tempted to choose a Lela Rose dress, style LR204, from Dessy in Buttercup which is such a charming shade of yellow. The bridesmaids below have partnered their dresses with tiny hints of blush pink in their parasols and posies which gives such a pretty effect:

yellow Spring wedding

And the best thing about choosing this soft yellow for your bridesmaids is that it goes beautifully with all types of hair and skin colouring so everyone will be happy, even the teenagers!

[caption id="attachment_21262" align="aligncenter" ignore-width="292"]Primrose yellow Spring wedding Junior Bridesmaid JR534 in Maize[/caption]

Artificial Blossom Trees

Every year when the blossom trees come out I am struck by the precious, delicate beauty of the flowers and find it one of the most fabulously uplifting of sights. And of course, I'm not the only one! The cherry blossom season in Kyoto is one of the world's most glorious natural events and not just because of its visual allure. In Japanese culture, cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life - "a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short" as Japanese chef Homaro Cantu wrote.

And not only is cherry blossom exquisite in colour and form, its appearance is always a sign of better things to come. How more appropriate could it be to have at your wedding? I'm not talking about the odd sprig in your bouquet either, I'm talking about re-creating the Kyoto Cherry Blossom extravaganza inside your wedding venue:

artificial blossom trees

I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful, show-stopping sight than this incredible set-up from the innovative venue styling, marquee decor experts, Crescent Moon. There are two options to choose from: the avenue of artificial blossom trees as shown above within a marquee or room, or using the fake cherry blossom trees as table centres:

artificial blossom trees

So if you want to have one of the most romantic wedding receptions ever, do contact Crescent Moon and enquire about their artificial blossom trees  - it really would give you a Wedding Day that you and your guests would never forget.

Blue Summer Wedding

Blue Summer Wedding

When you are trying to decide your wedding colour scheme, Nature is a good place to start. Have a think what will be growing in the gardens and fields at the time of year you're thinking about getting married. Not only will the use of seasonal flowers cut down the florist's bill quite considerably, but plants that bloom together tend to go together. You need look no further for proof of that pudding than the stunning floral photos above and below from the divine Amanda Taffinder's website. What a fabulous collation of summer blooms in all manner of hues that work perfectly together.

So if you're pondering a May or June wedding, when the suitably named Love-in-a-Mist and Forget-Me-Nots are blooming, what about a blue summer wedding? Because as you can see from the top left photo, dusky pinks and coral reds will help make up a gorgeous bouquet to go with a blue floral print bridesmaid dress, like this Alfred Sung D723 White Bouquet gown below from Dessy. And I love the red shoes!

blue summer wedding

Continue the abundance of colour from the garden into the Wedding Reception and let the blue flowers stand out by mixing them with reds, oranges and pinks:

Blue Summer Wedding

Alternatively you could steal the differing blue from the season's flowers for your mix and match bridesmaid dresses. Very clever how this beautiful bride chose to accessorise the bridesmaids with the palest of cream roses, each tied with a satin ribbon to match their individual dresses, whilst she visually tied it all together by including each shade of blue into her own bouquet. As ever, it's the smallest of details that create a perfect whole; in this case, the bridesmaids' necklaces echoed the bride's handheld flowers and vice versa. The maids' dresses, Dessy Collection Style 2943, are shown below (from left) in Sapphire, Lapis, Cerulean, Cornflower, Cloudy and Spa.

Blue summer wedding

Whichever way you choose to play it, a blue summer wedding is a really joyous option, and with over 20 shades of blue bridesmaid dresses to select from, Dessy has got to be your first port of call!



Rainy Wedding Day

Rainy Wedding Day

The British weather is enough to weary the strongest heart, particularly at the moment. But as we all know, every cloud has a silver lining and the good thing is, when you're planning a wedding in the UK, you just know that you've got to factor in that it will probably rain! But that's fine, it doesn't mean that you can't wear your gorgeous dress and scrappy sandals. Why not confront the issue head-on and fight the gloom on your own terms?

So here's what you do:

  • Make sure that you choose the most colourful, uplifting wedding flowers that will chase the clouds away no matter what, like this exuberantly fabulous bouquet by the wonderful Amanda Taffinder:

Rainy Wedding Day

  • Be prepared for a rainy wedding day and buy some fabulous large, colourful umbrellas, like this vibrantly striped one from Dessy:

Rainy Day Wedding


  • Make sure that your bridesmaids (and you!) are kept warm with a pretty pashmina (Dessy has a choice of 33 colours of its silk and wool pashminas so whatever your colours scheme, there will be one to suit). I love this photo by Spindle Photography; you can see that the wraps just take the edge off any worry about the weather:

Rainy Wedding Day

Rainy Wedding Day

or if it's cold as well as wet, take a leaf out of this beautiful wedding (shot by onelove photography) and get some real or faux fur stoles:

Rainy Wedding Day

  • Fill your reception area with glorious blooms and decorations so that you create a feeling of summer and warmth inside, even if it is tipping it outside, like in the fab photo below by Gia Canali of Sharla Flock Designs' bright, rich table decs and suitably flippant strings of pink pompoms!

Rainy Wedding Day

So don't get down about the British rain - create your own storm of colour and win the battle!






Kingfisher Blue and Orange Bridesmaid Dresses

I was walking by a stream early the other morning and I saw a flash of brilliant blue and a streak of golden orange out of the corner of my eye as I disturbed a kingfisher from its feeding perch. There are few things more uplifting in life than spotting a kingfisher and it's not just because they are relatively rare; it's more that there is something incredibly awesome about Nature's audacity at pitching such intense colours against each other on one small bird! And of course the result is radiantly superb!

So of course, I thought about how you could use this glorious combo for a wedding, having bright blue bridesmaid dresses and then include flowers of tropical orange in the bouquets to give that flash of brilliance. Or you could even go one step further, like this clever bride from New Jersey, who had both kingfisher blue AND orange bridesmaid dresses, with the ushers wearing ties to match.

kingfisher blue bridesmaid dresses

The pièce de resistance however is the bridal bouquet. Created by the super-talented Holly at Holly's Wedding Flowers, the silk bouquet was made up of not just tropical orange and vibrant blue blooms, but also included vivid magenta which added an extra zing to the whole vision:

Kingfisher Blue Bridesmaid Dresses

If you like the look of the mismatched kingfisher blue and orange bridesmaid dresses from the bridal party above, I've found similar ones from Dessy:

Kingfisher Blue Bridesmaid Dresses

Similarly, provide the ushers with Spa and Clementine matt satin ties and you're away!

Kingfisher Blue and Orange ties

Additional accessories for the girls all add to the fun of the colour scheme, so let your maids experiment with chiffon roses in the hair or as add-ons to their dresses:

Kingfisher Blue and orange bridesmaid dresses

And don't forget, next time you're walking along a stretch of water, keep a look out for that most beautiful of British birds - I'm sure Kingfishers are a sign of good luck!


With huge thanks to Holly's Wedding Flowers and Making the Moment for the wonderful wedding photos and to the very talented Wildlife Photographer Sam Gore for his divine Kingfisher image.



















Blush and purple wedding

There's no doubt that blush makes for a romantic and beautiful wedding, but by throwing in a healthy dash of a darker colour you instantly add a level of drama and energy that is almost tangible. Take a look at this stunning shot below and you'll see just how effective the juxtaposition of delicate hues against the deeper tones is in creating a sensual vibe straight out of Poldark:

Blush and purple wedding colours

The colour scheme and design for this stunning bouquet was created by the superbly talented Susanne Hatwood, the phenomenal florist of Cornwall's The Blue Carrot. If you want flowers for your wedding that are in turn bold, wild, passionate, delicate and vibrant with an ethereal fairy-tale beauty, then Susanne is your girl!

By including a wide variety of plants including foxglove with its darkly-speckled centre, deepest magenta sweet peas and copper beech foliage, Susanne has developed a bouquet of abundance and depth of colour that is bigger than the sum of its parts:

blush and purple wedding

And if these photos have inspired you to have a blush and purple wedding, then you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your bridesmaid dresses. I think if I were lucky enough to have Susanne to do the flowers for my wedding, I'd choose gloriously romantic, floaty chiffon gowns for my bridesmaids like this Social Bridesmaid style 2890 in Blush from Dessy:

blush and purple wedding

or any of these Lela Rose styles in crinkle chiffon are, to my mind, equally as ethereal and beautiful and look fabulous together, also from Dessy:

blush and purple wedding

And I'd definitely have the accessories in a mixture of blush and purple, like this gorgeous matt satin tote bag in Aubergine, shoe clips in Blush and groom's waistcoat in Aubergine, all inspired by the brilliant wedding flowers:

Blush and purple wedding

With HUGE thanks to the fabulous Susanne Hatwood from The Blue Carrot for her heavenly floral creations. For more glorious ideas, do check out her website or keep an eye out on this blog for more of her divine works of art.



Light blue and purple wedding colours

Just when you think you're settled on a blush pink theme for your nuptials, something like the wedding bouquet below comes along and wham, suddenly light blue and purple wedding colours are the order of the day. And who could blame you? I stumbled across this bouquet yesterday and was blown away by the fragile beauty of those hues; I literally don't think that I have ever seen anything quite as beautiful. And what is even more fabulous is that the bouquet is made with SILK flowers. So not only will you have the most exquisite flowers on your wedding day, you will also have them for the rest of your life as a heavenly keepsake - what's not to like?Light blue and purple wedding colours

The creation of lavender roses, lavender hydrangea, pale blue hydrangea and dusty miller silk flowers, wrapped with ivory satin ribbon on the stems, is from the amazing Holly's Flower Shoppe on Etsy which is more than happy to ship its wonderful silk flowers to the UK. Holly also produces the most incredible wedding floral works of art using real flowers so if you're getting married in Northern New Jersey, do look her up at Holly's Wedding Flowers.

And for your bridesmaid dresses? Well, Dessy has a veritable wealth of gowns in light blue and purple so I have picked out just a few of my favourites which would work perfectly for with your choice of light blue and purple wedding colours. Because of the delicacy and romance of the colour scheme I have selected slightly floatier, prettier dresses rather than anything too structured.

Light blue and purple wedding colours

From the left I have chosen Alfrted Sung D691 in Newport Blue, Dessy Collection 2907 in Serenity (one of the two Pantone 2016 Wedding Colours), After Six 6736 in Cloudy and lastly the sweet Dessy Collection Junior Bridesmaid dress JR530 in Suede Rose.

With many thanks to the incredibly talented Holly for the inspiration for this piece. For more ideas, take a look at her Etsy page HollysFlowerShoppe and prepare to have your heart melted at the sheer beauty of her work!