Natalie and Chris – Hengrave Hall

IT sounds awful, but if the bouquet makes the bride cry you know you’ve nailed it.

And so it was with our beautiful bride Natalie, who let the waterworks get the better of her when she was handed her gorgeous bouquet of blush pink peonies.

We feel for the make up artists – they must dread the arrival of the bouquet as it often has so much significance for the bride – but not so much that we don’t get a serious sense of satisfaction when a bride is so overcome tears are the inevitable result.

The lovely Natalie managed to avert serious make-up malfunction but the tears were a clear indication we had handed over a perfect bouquet.

We rarely get to see the bride’s reaction to the rest of the flowers but judging from her comments on social media, Natalie was equally moved: “Thank you so much @tudorroseflorist, the flowers were exactly what I dreamed for our wedding…”

Elegant martini vases topped with clouds of blush pink and ivory summer flowers – including stunning scented peonies and sweetpeas – decorated the Long Gallery at Hengrave Hall, alongside lower displays of similar flowers on our eye-catching crystal stands.

The displays were used first – to stunning effect – in the pretty church in the grounds of the stately home.

And Natalie even chose soft, fluffy astilbe for her aisle posies – the flower of the moment since it was used so prominently in Meghan Markle’s bridal bouquet.

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Janay and Fraser – Hengrave Hall

IT was the toughest week of the year – a floral onslaught of gigantic proportions, logistics from hell, a wedding to end all weddings….and then there was the mother of the bride!

Thank God for her – the wonderful Lisha. She was just the most perfect customer in the world – she knew exactly what she wanted and she made all the hard work so worthwhile with her sublime charm and her absolute delight at our heroic efforts. And boy was Lisha’s daughter’s wedding grand!

On asked how many tables, our favourite bride’s mother said the dreaded words “twenty five” like she was ordering a cup of tea! And it wasn’t only 25, metre-high vases topped with statement displays massed with beautiful roses and the whitest hydrangea and finished with cascades of stunning phalaenopsis orchids.

It was rings of roses and hydrangea at the base of each one and every vase was finished with dozens of strands of glittering crystals – a perfect finishing touch – but a logistical nightmare given first access to Lisha’s fabulous marquee was at 9am and the wedding was at 2pm. However, Lisha wasn’t done with the 25 tables, a billowing cloud-like runner for the long top table, hundreds of vases filled with floating candles, several grand urns and a statement vase for the entrance to the marquee. No sir! She had her heart set on a fairytale church.

We tentatively suggested six magical tree-like arrangements lining one of the widest aisles in the country – St Mary’s, in Bury St Edmunds – might be enough. Lisha thought for a minute and said “how about 12?” Another cuppa Lisha?? And so it was…12 trees underlit with an enchanted runway of church candles in gleaming cylinder vases, a 15ft floral arch and two giant urn displays at the front.

Oh…did I mention the giant shower bouquet of phalaenopsis orchids for the bride, the lovely Janay, 10 bridesmaids handtieds of massed roses, 250 buttonholes and a Tudor Rose speciality – a beautiful floral table plan, which every single guest had a good look at.

Here are a few pics by the fantastic Martin Beard Photography which help capture an utterly amazing (if completely exhausting) day.

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Claire and Josh – Hengrave Hall

Congratulations to Claire and Josh!

Our first big wedding of the season and the flowers were quite something!

The soft pinks and ivories – we used roses, some lovely Kloon ranunculus, stocks and some lush white and pink hydrangea – were given a fantastic lift with the use of some deep plummy/raspberry red tones.

Our bride, Claire, wanted classic and romantic with a pop of colour and she chose just the right shades for the beautiful little church at Hengrave and the grand Long Gallery.

Elegant lily vases adorned the altar, flanking a sumptuous long low display and the entrance was draped with a trademark Tudor Rose arch – finished with glorious, trailing jasmine to give a beautiful ethereal feel.

For the wedding breakfast, the tall lily vases on every other round guest table gave some wonderful impact, with the other tables adorned with lower displays on our eye-catching crystal stands.

The flowers were made that touch more gorgeous with the welcome appearance of the summer – a few days in late April which fooled us all that winter was over!

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National Wedding Show – Olympia

Wow – what a weekend!

It was our first visit to the National Wedding Show at London’s Olympia and we were a little nervous, to say the least.

But we wanted to show off what we can do and decided to go for a very lavish top table design made up of three very tall fluted vases topped with a canopy of roses, hydrangea and flowing orchids – finished with opulent gold foliage.

The whole display was finished with a bank of glass vases with twinkling floating candles and hanging glass orbs filled with individual orchid heads or tea lights. We decorated the corner post of our plot with a vertical beam of flowers following the ivory, cream, pink, peach and gold colour theme we used for the main stand.

And the finishing touch was one of our beautiful trademark flower frames – perfect for a table plan.

The reaction was fantastic – our stand looked amazing and couples from all over the country were bowled over by what we did. Their comments made all the hard work and planning worthwhile.

Many thanks to @waltergrootscholtenorchid, @meijerroses and @flow_brooks_photography – Flow’s images captured the beauty of the orchids and roses (and, of course, the floristry…)

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beautiful bouquet by Tudor Rose Florist, Suffolk wedding florist, Bury St Edmunds florist

That mother of the bride magic

Claire and Joyce Bury St Edmunds florist, wedding florist, suffolk wedding flowers

IT’S music to any florist’s ears when the bride – and her mother – say in no uncertain terms: “We don’t micromanage – work your magic.”

And so it was with Claire Morneau and her mum, Joyce O’Donnell.

Claire and Joyce gave us a colour scheme, some of their favourite flowers and a rough idea of what they wanted for Claire’s wedding to Jonathan at the beautiful Butley Priory in July.

In fact,we didn’t meet either London-based Claire or her mum until the day of the wedding – dealing mainly with Joyce (both on the phone and on email) from her home thousands of miles away in Texas.

We ran with their ideas and suggested a very muted pink and cream colour palette using beautiful vintage roses, blush peonies and more architectural calla lilies to create dramatic candelabra displays, a gorgeous mantel display lit with church candles and more simple posies for vintage glass vases offset with some lovely low candlelight.

It all sounded great on paper and we do wonderful wedding flowers throughout the year for scores of delighted brides but even with such a vote of confidence in what you do, and especially when the family is as lovely as this one, us wedding florists still worry about getting it pitch perfect.

So it was with some trepidation that we rolled up the Butley Priory drive and set to work. Joyce was out to greet us before the van came to a stop and wasn’t going anywhere until we opened up the doors.

Her reaction on seeing the flowers all boxed up for transportation (not the prettiest of sights) was fabulous. We knew we’d got it right straight away and Joyce and Claire, and their whole party of friends and family, were a delight from the minute we arrived.

Claire sent a lovely thank you note earlier in the week and Joyce continues to be the world’s best mother of the bride. In an email (see below) we received last night, entitled “Thank you for performing magic”,  she made all the anxiety over getting things just right absolutely worthwhile.

Our vote for magic mother – Joyce O’Donnell

James,

I don’t know where to begin with expressing how thrilled I am with the floral and decor that Tudor Rose provided for my daughter’s wedding at Butley Priory on 22 July 2017.
It has been a particular pleasure to work with you, James, from the very beginning.  As we were planning this sight unseen from many thousands of miles and time zones away, it seemed an impossible task. You helped make the planning and decisions so much easier with the wonderful Pinterest board you developed for Claire with the numerous options and suggestions.  You were able to handle everything, including last minute rosemary sprigs for decorating the place setting.   I believe I asked for “magical” and magical it was – the bouquets were absolutely lovely, the pew ends so pretty and summery with the rose petal aisle.  The high candelabra florals with the tapers were so elegant and paired nicely with the low table arrangements with the beautiful glassware and candles.  The mantlepiece with the pillar candles was so very stunning and completed the room perfectly.
You and your team at Tudor Rose handled everything brilliantly the day of the wedding.  I was able to relax and just watch the magic happen.
An eternally grateful Mother of the Bride, 
Joyce O’Donnell
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photos by Phil Hearing Wedding Photography
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Thank you from the bottom of our hearts…

It’s always lovely to get thank you presents – especially large tins brimming with delicious cakes…

But nothing – however calorific or alcohol laden – can beat a thank you card like the one the Tudor Rose team received from one of our favourite couples of the year – the fabulous Emma and Gavin.

The pair got hitched at Hengrave Hall earlier in June and Danny, Jess and Aimee worked their socks off to transform the gorgeous venue into a fairytale setting for their wonderful, relaxed wedding.

Jess brought together a glorious, billowing church arch, while Aimee and Danny were shinning up ladders to decorate the graceful pillars inside with breathtaking garlands.

Over in the hall itself, the tables for the wedding breakfast were finished with tall, elegant martini vases topped with dreamy white clouds of wedding flowers and low, crystal stands cradling displays in the same style.

A stunning frame of flowers in the white wedding theme held the table plan – a design which is rapidly becoming as  much a trademark for Tudor Rose as our unrivalled flower arches.

Thanks to some serious pre-planning and preparation in the cellar of our boutique style shop in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, and on-the-day hard graft  everything came together beautifully.

But for the team, usually completely drained after big weddings – actually very little in the world of real wedding floristry is anything like the dreamy, flowery world portrayed by the romantics – a thank you like this makes all the hard work totally worthwhile.

Emma and Gavin’s lovely message – attached to the very gratefully received box of cakes – read as follows –

Dear Danny, James and all the Staff at Tudor Rose. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your hard work at Hengrave on June 10th. Every area of Hengrave looked truly stunning and it exceeded all of our expectations. We have had so many messages and all have mentioned how beautiful the flowers were. Thank you for helping make our wedding day so perfect in every single way. Now put your feet up, have a cuppa and enjoy! With love and best wishes, Emma and Gavin (Mr and Mrs Collins) xxx”

We did indeed, Emma and Gavin, thank you so much!

 

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Danny and the Tudor Rose team take centre stage

 

No pressure, no pressure at all.

Get on stage, show off your fantastic floristry skills and wow an audience with your vast knowledge and sparkling wit…Easy!

Well, not quite. Especially when you’re following TV gardening star and garden designer Joe Swift.

But this was the challenge for Danny and the Tudor Rose team at this year’s Bury St Edmunds Whitsun Fayre.

It all sounded so good in the planning – the amazing Jackie Regan, who organised the event for Our Bury St Edmunds, asked if we would like to have a slot on the stage as she knew our floristry to be heavily influenced by nature and gardening – both central planks of the Whitsun event – which was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.

Innocently, we said yes we’d be very interested and came up with a plan. We thought bringing together a romantic, county wedding table would sit quite nicely with the natural theme and drafted in some tall rustic wrought iron candelabra and centred the flowers on British-grown peonies and sweet peas.

Danny and his team, Jess and Dani, would demonstrate how to decorate the table and the candelabras with gorgeous, flowing displays of English flowers.

But as the crowds gathered to watch the wonderful Joe – who had nothing but an easel and marker pens but still managed to make his hour long slot amazingly entertaining and informative – the Tudor Rose nerves cranked to jangling.

Would we be any good? Would the crowds dissolve into the bank holiday sunset? Would there be an awful moment of realisation that demonstrations on large stages at big events are really not for us.

Well, kicking off with a classic handtied bouquet for a low rustic vase – the trick here is to make it stand up on its own – Danny made his craft look like child’s play. Yes it stood up and looked utterly beautiful. And he managed to explain what he was doing to the audience, answer questions and look quite handsome into the bargain.

Meanwhile Jess set about decorating the lower of the candelabra with a beautifully display of flowers in the cascading, country style. Things were coming together beautifully and Danny – known for his speed – power-housed through the taller candelabra and the whole team put the finishing touches to the stunning wedding banqueting table with great aplomb.

A baptism by fire may be – but the Whitsun Fayre was a great experience.

Perhaps demonstrations are something we will be bringing to our boutique shop in Hatter Street, Bury. Watch this space.

 

         

 

http://www.ourburystedmunds.com

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Mother’s jug of birthday sweet peas.

Every year, on July 3rd, my mum’s best friend would roll up with a glorious bunch of jewel-like sweet peas for her birthday.
Auntie Elizabeth, it turned out, put a great deal of love into this little posy. Carefully nurturing her plants and selecting the brightest of varieties as she knew they were a favourite in our house. The sweet pea growing revolved round the big day and a dull and wet June was a depressing affair for this avid plantswoman.
But they were so worth all the trouble – for this one gorgeous bunch of flowers brought an incomparable joy into the house. The rooms were filled with this delicious, unique, subtle and altogether fabulous scent.
And today, when our gorgeous English-grown sweet peas arrive at Tudor Rose Florist I’m transported back in time on a wave of nostalgia to my mum’s birthday kitchen.
And it’s not just me – as I wildly enthuse to anyone calling into our shop in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, I realise that most of us have some wonderful memory of that beguiling smell.
Yes it’s short lived, the loveliness fades after a few days, but what a treat they are! A fleeting wonder of our early English summer – a delicate flower with an enormous aromatic punch.
The sweet pea, alongside the blousy garden rose, the scented narcissi and  the delicate English bluebell, is perhaps the finest advocate of our much maligned seasons.
And when they’re in abundance we can’t get enough of them – especially for our beautiful wedding work. They’re packed into cascading church pillars with the evocative fragrance filling the cool space below and humble sweet peas are often the finishing touches of beauty in candelabra displays destined for grand tables.
However, a steel bucket filled with  bunches of glorious scented sweet peas wins out over all the rest. Taking me back in time to my mum and her most treasured birthday gift…
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Blossom show stoppers

 

If ever there were two florists less moved by the exotic delights of lilies, the mathematical petal patterns of colourful gerbera and the sharp, dramatic lines of strelitzia, it is our own Jess and Danni.
So it came as no surprise when given the job of decorating the banqueting hall at one of the country’s leading wedding venues for it’s spring open day, they chose an installation of billowing blossom trees to frame the aisle.
Tudor Rose, based in Bury St Edmunds, has been the only florist nearby Hengrave Hall recommends to its couples since it opened several years ago, and we take great pride in the displays we dream up for the open days held there.
For the floor to be covered in debris and us to be still up step ladders when couples start arriving isn’t an option – basically, it has to be right and it has to be on time. The mantra of the professional wedding florists the world over.
So, good as they are, Danni and Jess’s scheme was under serious scrutiny from the start.
They came up with an action plan, costings and timings. Trunks of silver birch were set in concrete and the less than attractive plastic tubs used to hold the base together were covered in moss.
The rest, they assured us, would be plain sailing and knocking up tops of gloriously wild blossom a job of only an hour.
Well, seasoned old hands at the other end of the age scale weren’t so sure and insisted on a dummy run. Arching branches of blackthorn, cherry and plum blossom were brought in from our gardens and some ageing spring flowers were used to test the theory.
To the delight of passers by, the mock up was constructed on the pavement outside our boutique-style shop in Hatter Street, Bury.
And sure enough, the more experienced wedding florists at Tudor Rose were right. It took quite a while to get the look and some serious reworking of the mechanics to achieve the desired effect – proving the benefits of serious planning.
A wedding the day before meant that the basic structures has to be stored in the grounds overnight, but Jess got everything there and the necessary greenery in place the evening before. Buckets of blossom were also stored nearby and the flowers transported early on the day.
Sack barrows, a bit of ageing muscle and only minor strained sinews ensured the silver birch trunks were in place in good time and the two eager, nature loving florists were up the ladders like rats up drainpipes.
Seventh heaven notwithstanding, they set their timers and got to work. And in what seemed like no time, a pair of stunning, billowing blossom trees took shape in front of the dramatic minstrel’s gallery at Hengrave. And the dark wooden panelling showed off the delicate and dreamy creations to breathtaking effect.
This pair of florists, who adore this style, proved just what can be achieved in a strict timescale – albeit with some quite rigorous planning.
Three cheers for Danni and Jess – now back to those gerbera bouquets….

 

 

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