WEDDING IN GREENWICH LONDON

Who get’s married on a Tuesday? School teachers, that’s who!! Sarah & Simon wanted to say ‘I do’ as soon as they broke up for their summer break, and that’s just what they did!!

The bride got ready at The Mitre in the heart of Greenwich, London. Along with her three bridesmaids, they listened to music and enjoyed a glass of bubbly whilst chatting about the day ahead. The sun was shining, and as Sarah stepped into her wedding dress, everybody was taken back at how beautiful she looked!! This Justin Alexander dress was made for her!

The groom got ready at home, he wanted a photo with his groomsmen overlooking London before heading to St Alfege Church to wait for his bride. As the bride walked down the aisle, James ran up stairs to capture the true glory of this impressive Church.

After a very touching ceremony, everybody headed outside for the confetti throwing. Even a few schoolchildren from Sarah & Simons school turned up to wish them well!

The route master bus arrived and took everyone to the Trafalgar Tavern ready for the evening celebrations. The Nelson rooms at the Trafalgar Tavern were adorned with beautiful flowers, the guests were seated and everyone was treated to a delicious meal. 

Just after the speeches were made, the most beautiful sunset was happening outside by the Old Royal Naval College so we whisked the newlyweds outside for some amazing couple shots! Oh it was magical!! They headed back inside to cut their wedding cake, then took to the dance floor for that all important first dance as husband and wife. 

Wedding dress-Adelaide by Justin Alexander

Grooms suit-French Eye

Bridesmaids dresses-Monsoon

Ceremony-St Alfege Church

Reception-Trafalgar Tavern


Indian Wedding in Greenwich

They had their first date in Shoreditch in the City of London. From the moment they met there was a real strong chemistry. They laughed all evening on that first date, they knew there and then, this was going to be something special. 

Amrik proposed to Prity in Lake Como, it was magical. They took a ferry to the lakeside town of Bellagio. They walked to the end of the pier and were admiring the view across the lake. Amrik turned round to Prity and said he could wait any longer and got down on one knee and asked if she would marry him. Prity was so happy and filled with joy, she said yes straight away!! That is pure romance right there!

They had their engagement shoot earlier this year in Greenwich Park. Fast forward to July 2017 and it was time for this beautiful couple to take their vows in front of all their friends and family at the Historic Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, London. 

Prity wore a traditional maharani style saree for the ceremony, she looked amazing! After the fun confetti shot on the stairs to the Trafalgar Tavern, the bride & groom headed outside for their family shots. Prity changed into a ball gown from Variety Silk & Amrik wore French Connection as they made their entrance to their evening reception to the Dholak being played, everyone was up on their feet dancing! It really was such an amazing day to be a part of, so much love, laughter & romance.

 

Venue: Trafalgar Tavern

Flowers: Mimi Fleur

Cake: Luster Cakes

Hair & Make up: Sara Hussain

Grooms suit: French Connection

 

Photographers in Greenwich, London.

Booking an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer is something you should definitely consider. Not only is it a great way to get to know your photographer before your big day, but is also a chance for you to learn to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Because, let’s be honest, once that little black box with a piece of glass is pointed at you, most of us feel like a rabbit in front headlights! 

We are so glad Clare and Jamie decided to have an engagement shoot ahead of their 2018 wedding. It was so nice to find out all about how they met at work and were friends for a long time before they finally got together one New Years Eve. 

We were smitten listening to how a few days after last Christmas, they decided to head to Edinburgh for a short break. Jamie had planned a trip to Edinburgh Castle, he knew Clare just loved Castles! So right there, in front of Edinburgh Castle, Jamie dropped down on on knee and asked the all important question…..”Will you marry me?” Oh how romantic!!!

We met them early one Sunday outside the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, the sun was shining, and they both looked amazing!! We captured some photos of them laughing and walking through the Old Naval College before heading to Greenwich Park. You could really feel the love between these two, and Clare’s face lit up every time we asked her about her plans for her wedding next year. We honestly cannot wait for their wedding day!!!

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London Wedding Planner

Are you considering hiring a wedding planner for your wedding day? It's becoming increasingly popular here in the UK to hire someone to do all the ground work for you. How can a wedding planner help you plan the day of your dreams? We met with Senel, the owner of The Little Events Co to find out more.

 

Tell us about the services you offer at The Little Events Co and what your areas of expertise are.

Hello! I’m Senel, and I’m the owner of the Little Events Co and I specialise in planning bespoke weddings and events for clients across London, Kent, Suffolk, Essex, Hampshire, Sussex  and beyond. 

Most of my clients come to me for help once they’ve realised that organising their wedding or event involves a bit more than first anticipated. My level of involvement depends on the clients’ needs and that can range from a Full Planning service to On the Day Coordination – every event is unique and so requires a tailored solution. Through an in depth discussion, I gauge the level of help required and together, my client and myself create a plan which is appropriate and which they are comfortable and happy with. 

How did the idea for The Little Events Co come about and what inspired you to start your own company? 

I’ve spent the last 10 years working as a corporate events manager. I have planned, organised and executed an endless of list of events across a variety of locations. 

For me it seemed a natural career progression to start my own company - The Little Events Co. By coincidence I was asked by a friend to organise her wedding – I had an amazing time being such an integral part of this major life event. The feedback from the bride, groom and guests was phenomenal – it was then I realised I wanted to specialise in this area of event management – to move from major corporate events to the more personal area of wedding planning felt like the right next step for me. 

Tell us why clients need help in planning their wedding or event. 

Planning an event, wedding or otherwise, is a monumental effort that requires a methodical approach, excellent attention to detail, strong negotiation skills, an ability to think on your feet and above all a love and passion for what you do. 

Weddings are no longer simple affairs; often weddings taking place over several days with guests required to travel to far flung corners of the UK. In addition, the choices of services that are available from the wedding industry for couples is phenomenal. Caterers, florists, wedding stylists... there is so much choice out there it’s tough to know where to start. It’s not just about making a choice either, there’s then the added pressure of reading contracts, understanding the small print, making payments, and ensuring that the suppliers you have booked deliver what they have promised on the day. So not only are couples planning one of THE biggest days of their lives, they are also expected to become fully fledged event managers. 

What elements must be considered before clients start planning an event? 

It’s easy to get carried away with all the fun elements (champagne tasting anyone?) of planning your wedding but start at the beginning with the big B – Budget! Deciding what type of wedding you would like and how many people you can chose to have there to share your special day really comes down to how much you are willing to spend. Once you’ve decided on your budget, then consider how many people you want to invite and then start to look at venues. After your venue, the next essential element is your Wedding Photographer! Wedding Photographers are always one of the first things that couples book and therefore tend to be booked far in advance – so don’t miss out. 

How do you remain up-to-date with the weddings and events industry? 

I do a lot of networking within the wedding industry and keep in regular contact with other wedding pros. Blogs are also an invaluable way to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry. My favourite is Bloved by Louise Beukes if you haven’t checked it out yet then do! I also make a conscious effort to visit two wedding venues a month. This is a great way to see a venue, suss out their wedding facilities and importantly a chance to meet with the staff at the venue. One of my favourite places for couples to get married is Lainston House in Hampshire. It’s a 5 star wedding venue with a stunning barn for your wedding to take place in. There are beautiful grounds for your guests to enjoy and the service is top notch. They also have the brilliant Season Cookery school with some of the UK’s best chefs – a brilliant treat for your guests to enjoy the day before your wedding! 

Do you attend the wedding? 

Yes absolutely! It’s all part of the service and if nothing else I would recommend that you always have a wedding planner there on the day to oversee your wedding. I offer a service that is specifically for couples who need On the Day Coordination only. We will meet up a few weeks before your wedding and I will confirm all of the final arrangements with all of your various suppliers on your behalf. I will be there before the wedding to oversee the set up and remain there until after the first dance to ensure that everything you have planned goes off in spectacular style! 

On the day coordination is just a small area of what I cover. The core of my business is Full Wedding planning. This means working with couples as far as two years in advance and covers all the key areas such as the venue, logistics, budget management, supplier sourcing and of course being there on the day itself. My motto is to be as flexible as possible and the best way to work out what couples need is to meet up, have a good chat and let me know how I can help. 

How far in advance do you require to plan a wedding or event? 

I’ve been known to turn an event around in less than a week... however as much notice as possible is always preferable! For my full planning clients, we often start working together as much as two years in advance. For Partial Planning it is usually six to three months. Clients who opt for this service already have their venue booked and the key elements already confirmed, such as their photographer and caterer. The Partial Planning service is perfect for those who would welcome some professional support to ensure that everything comes together in those final few months.   

What's next for The Little Events Co? 

I have lots of exciting things planned for the rest of 2017. My new website is about to launch and I am also about to launch my new blog! The blog will focus on planning tips and inspiration, interviews with other wedding suppliers and lots of other fabulous insights. I am also going to dedicate a special section of the blog to venues. In my opinion, it’s one of the more overlooked parts in wedding blogs but I think one of the most important elements that couples should consider. It is where your wedding will be taking place after all! 

Finally, we have to ask, what brings out the most excitement for you in event planning? 

Seeing the look on the bride and groom’s faces at the end of the day. Being a wedding planner is not a glamorous job and sometimes I dream nostalgically about my old 9 -5, but seeing the happy couples coming down the aisle really does make it all worth it, and I would not change it for the world.

To find out more, contact Senel on Facebook or Instagram

Her website will be available soon at www.littleevents.co.uk but can be contacted via email at hello@littlevents.co.uk

Wedding at Kew Gardens

It was Autumn 2014 when we first met Annie & George in Victoria Park in London. We spent a few hours photographing them as they laughed and chatted, you could tell these two were just made for each other!
Fast forward to January 2016, we received an email from Annie & George telling us they were getting married and asked us if would we photograph their day!! It was to be held at Kew Gardens in June 2017, we couldn’t have said yes any faster!

On the morning of the wedding day, Annie got ready with her five bridesmaids at the Coach & Horses on Kew Green. The bridesmaids poured champagne and toasted the bride, there was laughter and a very relaxed atmosphere which set the precedent for the day ahead. The bouquets arrived, oh they were so pretty! As the bride stepped into her Suzanne Neville dress, everyone in the room, including Kerrie, gasped! She looked so beautiful! 

Annie & George's favourite film is Love Actually, as we were leaving for the ceremony, Thomas Brodie-Sangster who played Sam in the film, was having a drink at the bar with friends!! One of the bridesmaids asked him if he would mind having a photo with Annie, and he kindly agreed! Annie was over the moon!

Just down the road at The Kew Gardens Hotel, the groom was adding the finishing touches to his speech. George then made his way to Kew Gardens after enjoying a relaxed drink wth his groomsmen. 

The ceremony was held in Cambridge Cottage, adorned with flowers and the piano playing, the bride made her way down the aisle on the arm of Dad. As the registrar performed the service, Annie & George smiled and laughed, the look of love on their faces was enough to melt anyone's heart. We all headed outside for a bubble confetti shot! Then we where whisked away in a Kew Gardens buggy with the newlyweds to capture some amazing portrait shots of them around the Gardens & waterlily house.

Back at Cambridge Cottage, the speeches were made, delicious food was served and the drinks flowed. The wedding Coordinator Sophie made sure everybody was looked after. The tables looked so elegant with jars full of wild flowers.
The grooms mum made their wedding cake. And what a grand job she did! The bride & groom cut the wedding cake then took to the dance floor for their first dance before asking everybody to join in with them. 
Just as the sun was setting, we asked the bride & groom if they wanted a few last photos around Kew Gardens, as we headed outside, a rainbow appeared!! It was so magical! And what a lovely end to a perfect day.

Venue: Cambridge Cottage Kew Gardens

Make up & Hair: Amanda Roberts

Flowers: Annabel Jones Pollen nation

Dress: Scarlet by Suzanne Neville

Grooms suit: Ted Baker

Islington Town Hall Wedding.

From the moment we met Hannah & Frank in early 2016 and heard all about how they were planning to arrive & walk down the aisle together, to all the DIY details that were going to be made, we knew their wedding day was going to be something special!!

Hannah looked simply beautiful in her dress by Fairy Goth Mother. Oh and them bouquets by Crafted Blooms! So pretty! 

The ceremony took place in the Richmond Room at Islington Town Hall. All their guests applauded as they walked down the aisle together! There were a few tears when the vows were taken, you could really feel the love between them, even we had to compose ourselves once or twice.

After heading outside for the all important confetti shot, Easter eggs were handed out as everyone boarded the coach. We headed to the city of London to the reception venue, the Pepys Room. With glass jars full of flowers, Mr & Mrs signs scattered around, to the personalised straws, Hannah & Frank had really thought about decorating the venue perfectly. And with Frank originating from Holland, there were clogs and windmills to be found too! 

And not only did they have a lovely wedding cake by Jo's Cakes, after 8 the guests were treated to a whole table full to the brim with cakes galore!!! We have never seen so much cake, our kinda wedding right there

The only thing better than all their GORGEOUS details, was the love these two have for one another. It was a joy to be a part of such a wonderful day. As they took their first dance as husband and wife, and the city lights shone over London, there really was a touch of magic in the air.

Advice for Brides

Wedding planning can be overwhelming to start with, we know, we have been there too! Where do you even begin to start planning one of the most important days of your life?  We thought it would be helpful to ask our previous brides for their advice and best tips to help you plan your perfect wedding day. We photographed the beautiful wedding of Jo & David last year in Greenwich, we asked Jo for her advice & tips for future JK Brides.

Firstly, how did you and David meet and how long had you been together before you decided to get married?

David and I had been together for 12 years and had 2 beautiful children together before he actually got round to asking me to marry him!! I thought he would never do it!! We grew up in the same area and knew of each other since school but we didn’t actually get together until our early 20’s.

Tell us how you started planning your wedding day?

Considering we were together for so long our wedding was a whirlwind! We got engaged whilst on a wonderful family holiday last July and I always knew I didn’t want a long engagement so I literally hit the ground running as soon as I got home.  My career as PA and Events Manager in the past definitely helped! We also knew that we wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun so I didn't want to get bogged down with tiny details, which I know lots of brides really do enjoy but this wasn’t for me! Our main brief was.... Love, Fun and Laughter.

Where did you begin to look for your wedding dress, and how did you decide on 'The One'?

My dress was by far the easiest part of my wedding planning. I knew what I didn’t want but was open to trying different styles.  All I had was an idea of how I wanted to feel.

Within 3 days on being home I visited our local bridal shop (with love brida,l new Eltham) with my Mum and bought a dress!  Which I know sounds completely mad and honestly very unlike me and especially my Mum! But it’s true when you know the one, you know!

When I picked the dress out both my Mum and the lovely Shop Owner wasn’t sure but the moment I stepped into the dress I just knew! My Mum fell in love with the dress instantly too, we just knew!

The complete icing on the cake was that my dress, without even having it in mind, matched completely with my Mum’s stunning head dress that she wore nearly 40 years earlier when she married my Dad! It was so so special to me and my family and the headdress is now packed away all safe just in case my daughter would like to wear it one day!

How did you decide on your venue?

The Venue again was easy! I knew I wanted somewhere local so Greenwich and The Trafalgar Tavern was my first thought! I have vivid memories of being a little girl and seeing beautiful Brides (but princesses to me at the time) standing on the balcony when we were walking past on one of our many visits to Greenwich Park. 

David and I have visited the pub over the years for Sunday drinks and David also actually celebrated his 21st Birthday there so it holds a very special place in our hearts!!

We did consider other venues, The Swan @ The Globe Theatre and also looked at some venues  in Kent but I was always comparing them to The TrafalgarTavern!

When we found out that the Trafalgar Tavern had the availability we went for it! 14th October 2016…………………………..11 weeks to plan a wedding! Easy! Ha Ha!

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Did you do most of the planning yourself or did your groom get involved?

David did get involved in all decisions (apart from the dress of course) but I definitely took the lead role! And it worked perfectly!   

Do you have any websites or social media pages to recommend to help future brides plan their big day?

Pinterest, pinterest, pinterest! I loved this for inspiration!

What was the one thing you were most worried about leading up to your big day?

The first dance! I like dancing but I am rubbish so the thought of everyone watching me made me feel a little sick! Actually I think the idea of all eyes on me all day made me feel uncomfortable. But on the day it was fine because I actually realised that it was all of my family and friends and everyone had so much love for us I ended up feeling a million dollars!

Looking back on your wedding day, is there anything you would have changed & why?

Honestly nothing.  I was a relaxed bride and I was marrying my soul mate in front of our children, surrounded by our family and closest friends! What’s to change?

Do you have any beauty secrets or products to share?

Not really! But if you can, make sure to book a professional make-up artist! I used Beau Babbington @Hairbybeaumua for me and my  bridal parties hair and make-up, she made us all look amazing!

My dress, plus having my hair and make-up done, I felt it was 100% the best I have ever looked!

What was the best moment for you on your wedding day?

Without a doubt the Ceremony! With all the crazy wedding planning I didn’t really ever focus on that on the lead up, but I will never forget those first moments of walking down the aisle with my lovely Daddy and seeing David and my son waiting for me.  Also the amazing atmosphere of love from all our guest! I literary nearly lost it completely but managed to get thought! Truly magical!

And lastly, what's your biggest piece of advice for all those brides to be out there?

Enjoy it! On the day don’t worry about  the tiny details! Delegate that to your loving friends and family who I sure would be more than willing to help!

Just try your best to take it all in with your lovely new husband!

 

Wedding at The Swan, Shakespeare's Globe.

It was where they had their first date. It was where Matt got down on one knee & proposed to Jude. So where else better to say ‘I do’ than at the very location where their story began, The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe, London! 

They both got ready at the Mondrian hotel on the banks of the river Thames. The groom along with his best man & eldest son made their way along the river to the Globe Theatre to greet guests in a reserved area at the bar at The Swan. 

The bride arrived in a London taxi, the groom was waiting for her in the reception, the first look between them was so emotional! Along with their 3 children, they made their way to the ceremony room.

They walked down the aisle together and took their vows in the balcony room with fantastic views across London to St Paul’s Cathedral & the city of London. What a fantastic backdrop they had! It was a beautiful ceremony and quite a few tears were shed. There was no traditional wedding dress, no bouquet……just a day of pure love & laughter, celebrating family & friends together.

After the ceremony we all boarded a Route Master bus from Southwark Bridge, we arrived at Blackfriars Pier and The Golden Salamander departed and everyone enjoyed a cruise along the Thames. We passed historic London landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben and our favourite bridge in London, Tower Bridge. 

Champagne & canopies were being served, the sun was shining whilst the musician sang away. It was over way too soon & we headed back to Bankside pier to depart for the evening reception. The balcony room looked so elegant with silver candelabras on each table. Everyone was very well looked after by the amazing staff at The Swan, they were treated to delicious food & fine wine whilst the music played & the sun set over the city of London.

Venue: The Swan at Shakespeare's Globe

Hotel: The Mondrian

Make up artist: Elizabeth Hsieh

Wedding photographers in Greenwich

We love it when we get to photograph an engagement session for our clients ahead of their wedding day! It really is a great way for our couples to get comfortable in front of the camera, because let’s face it, most of us tense up when a camera is pointed our way. So we walk our couples through the process to help them feel relaxed, give them a few tips on their posture, and most importantly, make the experience fun!

Prity & Amrik are marrying at one of our favourite London venues, the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, so where better to shoot their engagement shoot than Greenwich Park! We met them early on Sunday morning, they both looked fabulous! Prity wore a beautiful dress from Oliver Bonas which Amrik bought her for Christmas which looked perfect.

When engagement ring shopping, they couldn't find exactly what they were looking for, so Prity designed her own ring. We love unique touches like this!

We took a few shots of our couple around the Old Royal Naval college before moving onto Greenwich Park. Prity & Amrik were naturals in front of the camera! We cannot wait to photograph their wedding later this year! 

Bloomologie Wedding Florist

Whilst browsing on Instagram a few months back, we came across Bloomologie, we instantly fell in love with all the photos of the gorgeous wild blooms! We had to find out more about who was behind Bloomologie, and last week we did just that! We met the very talented and extremely lovely Ali and found out more about her floristry business.

How did you begin your career in the floral industry? 

I love gardening and flowers and plants, so it all began with my own garden. I studied my RHS horticulture qualifications about ten years ago, and I loved growing my own flowers to cut (I'm a big fan of Sarah Raven who grows a cutting garden on the Kent/Sussex border and, at that time, also arranged them and did event flowers). But it wasn't until I had children that I did a college floristry course on maternity leave. I began making christmas wreaths and occasional bouquets and people starting asking if they could buy them, and do wreath-making workshops with me; so it grew slowly each year until 2015 when I finally went and did a business floristry course with Judith Blacklock (the Mary Berry of flowers!) and built a little website while getting experience at Moyses Stevens florists in Chelsea. That Christmas I did workshops at Blackheath Conservatoire and lots of private parties and before I knew it the business was up and running - people loved my Christmas work and images so much that I started to get wedding enquiries and events began to come my way. I was lucky enough to convert some of the skills from my previous work in magazines and newspapers to be able to do floral styling for photoshoots. I worked Rebel Rebel on their events and corporate contracts for the likes of Selfridges and the BAFTAs, as well as some pretty amazing weddings, which has really helped me to think creatively, but it always comes back to the garden and what's in season for me. That's where my inspiration starts. 

Tell us how you started your company Bloomologie and what's happened from then up until now

I was so frustrated that none of the flowers that you see in the shops (and many traditional florists) looked anything like the flowers in my garden, and by the stiff, unnatural style of them, that I decided to fill the gap in the market myself! I built Bloomologie from the ground up, using a mix Instagram and social media and local marketing (leaflets and local Facebook forums) to get the word out there, and always staying true to my "garden gathered" style that’s romantic, natural and a little bit wild. I only use seasonal flowers, that are British whenever possible (I even grow as many as I can myself) and I look for unusual flowers and local growers wherever I can fund them. I get my sweet peas and from Sussex, Dahlias from a grower in Essex (although I grow the best ones myself!), roses from Surrey and foliage from Devon (and sometimes even the hedgerows of south-east London). A friend has a farm in Kent and I raid his hedges and meadows for my wreaths at Christmas. In less than two years I’ve done photoshoots for bridal magazines such as You and Your Wedding, been on the cover of Perfect Wedding and Countryside magazine and made it into Vogue. Now we’re doing flowers for some of London’s best hotels and venues and we’ve just opened our flower studio in Blackheath in south east London.

What flowers have been popular this year so far

Without doubt it's greenery - it's the Pantone colour of the year and I've got three foliage-only weddings this year, which I'm really excited about! I love that wild, organic, textured look that you get from foliage – our floral and foliage disco ball is one of our most pinned images and everyone loves them for a marquee or as a wow-statement piece. That is probably the other big trend – creating one-off floral installations that will be instagrammed and shared, and that everyone will remember afterwards. 

What's your advice for brides-to-be on choosing which flowers are best for their wedding day

Start with the season and stick to it. The strongest flowers that will look their best are those that are in season. It will also make your day look in sync with what's around you. My best advice is to choose a rough colour theme and a budget and then trust your florist to create the best of what's out there for you - that way you'll get the best value for your money and the best of the season. If you have one must-have flower, tell your florist but remember that no one can control nature - if it rains a few days before the wedding, there won't be any blossom that week! Or if it's a warm spring, like now, then you might be lucky enough to get a glut of bargain peonies that you weren't expecting (they normally aren't widely available until late May-June). My other piece of advice is spend your money where it will be seen – have a knock-out bouquet as it will be in all your photos and invest in one or two bigger pieces (maybe a show-stopping urn at the entrance or a hanging floral arrangement in a marquee) rather than lots of smaller average ones. And perhaps most obviously, have a look at a few florists’ websites and meet the ones whose style you like. 

Where do you get your inspiration from

From the garden and nature; from the venue I'm working at; and from the couple (or client) I'm working with. I start by looking around me to see what we can use to inspire us – whether it's the view, or something architectural at the venue, or a key flower or plant at the venue. I'm doing a marquee wedding for a couple in the autumn in their parents back garden, so we’re going to create a hanging meadow from the ceiling to echo the surroundings. I’ve got an Australian couple in June and so we’re going to use arid plants and foliage, such as eucalyptus, olive, echinops and protea to bring a bit of the outback to north London! I'm hugely excited about a wedding at the Barbican conservatory and also the Garden Museum – needless to say it will be the gorgeous green surroundings that will dictate what we do at those weddings… 

What has been your career highlight so far

Probably it was my biggest event last year, which was a launch for a new property development in Battersea where we used a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme and took lots of floral inspiration from the old English rose garden in Battersea Park opposite. There were two amazing floral arches, a flower wall six metres wide by 5 metres tall, metres and metres of floral garlanding and lots of urns of scented roses everywhere – we completely transformed the space and did it all using British flowers. It looked (and smelled) phenomenal. 

Which areas do you cover and how long do you advise the couple to contact you before their big day

I travel all over the UK, but most of my weddings tend to be in London and the Home Counties, especially in central, east and south-east London. Most couples either contact me really far in advance, or surprisingly close – some even just a couple of weeks before! If we can fit you in, we will always try. 

 

What's the best part of your job? 

I have two favourite parts – sourcing the flowers, which I put huge effort into as I like to by unusual, British and high quality flowers (and who doesn’t love shopping?!), and then seeing them come together to create something really beautiful as a finished product. I love that quiet moment before an event when everything is in place and looks fantastic. 

And finally, what's your favourite flower

Oh that is an almost impossible question. I think it’s the hellebore, but we’re just coming into peony season and they do just floor me, every time I see them…

We want to thank Ali for taking the time to talk to us and let us photograph her beautiful flowers! To find out more about Bloomologie or to contact Ali, head over to her website HERE

Kew Gardens

We have been members of Kew Gardens for many years. We try to spend as much time there as we can, exploring the beautiful grounds and glasshouses. The diverse collection of plants they house there is amazing, and spring is such a lovely time to visit with the magnolia trees in full bloom! We thought it would be fun to interview Alex who is a gardener at Kew Gardens to find out more about this world famous botanical centre in southwest London.

What first inspired you to become a horticulturist? How did you get into it?

I grew up in a small village in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. It is your typical English village. At its heart is a village green, with a country pub and a glorious medieval church. Set back is a large, rambling 17th century manor house clad in the most enormous wisteria. The manor has superb gardens, including a kitchen garden, formal gardens, glasshouses, enriched meadows and even a maze.  This is where I first fell in love with plants and gardens.

At the time the owners opened their garden for a few charity weekends a year but, as they were getting on in years, they put out the word for a Garden boy- young assistant to help out. Like many 12 year olds I was in desperate need of pocket money! I was fortunate enough to be hired on the basis that I had a keen interest in wildlife and had some experience helping my grandmother in her cottage garden.

Very quickly I found the money was not the incentive, just being there absorbing the garden every Saturday afternoon was enough. I remained working at the manor until I was 16, when I left school and went to work for a plant nursery. It was a few villages away and I used to love cycling through the lanes with my wildflower book, admiring the seasonal changes of the hedgerow flora. I spent a very happy year there learning how to propagate and grow a wide variety of plants. I really developed my plant knowledge during this time and it has really stood me in good stead.  As every gardener knows, knowing your plants is SO important. However there is so much to learn in horticulture and you never stop learning (I love this element). I went on to horticultural college to continue learning.

After graduating my course with distinction I knew at this point I wanted to be a master gardener, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work at Aberglasney Gardens, in Carmarthenshire, West Wales for two wonderful years.  Aberglasney is an historic garden, established in the 14th century, which is today renowned for its plants and beauty. It is a real plantsman’s garden, full of rare and interesting plants. Whilst there I assisted in the restoration and renovation of some areas of the garden, primarily managing the walled kitchen garden producing produce for the restaurant and cut flowers to sell.  I really treasure my time there, particularly as I lived on site and was completely immersed in the gardens. However I knew the time had come again to further myself and have a change of scene. My head gardener at the time was Kew trained and he encouraged me to go to Kew to study. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is considered by many to be the greatest and leading botanical garden in the world.

I remembered visiting Kew when I was a child and being in complete awe. I never dreamt I would one day work there. There are 12 spots open to worldwide applicants each year and therefore it is quite competitive. However, I was given an interview which involved multiple practical tests, a plant identification test, timed essay and going before a panel of experts. I remember feeling like I had blown it and would have to reapply next year. However when I did in fact gain a place to study, I was overjoyed.

I moved to London and after three intensive, testing and captivating years I graduated the Kew Diploma with Honors and was awarded the Worshipful Company of Gardeners prize for being the best practical student. Kew approached me and offered me a permanent position helping to manage the Rose Garden, the Great Broadwalk Borders (Longest double herbaceous borders in the world), Palmhouse Pond and the Victoria Gate entrance. I accepted and haven't looked back since. I love my job.

What does your role at Kew Gardens usually entail? What’s a typical day like?

No two days are really the same. The variables such as current projects, weather and seasonality dictate what happens on a day to day basis. Aesthetics and ornamental horticulture are very important to me. I strive to help maintain and raise the horticultural standards of Kew, particularly as Kew is a world heritage site. My areas are known as the 'honeypot' - close to the main entrance and the Palm House, so everyone passes through it. This year alone over 1.5 million people enjoyed visited Kew.

What is your favourite exhibition / project you have worked on since starting at Kew?

To date I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team that has completed the Great Broadwalk Project (world’s longest double herbaceous border) and the Hive. This year we are redeveloping the rose garden. 

I really feel it is a very exciting time to be at Kew with many upcoming projects and developments including the new children’s garden, Order Bed landscape, the historic chinoiserie landscape around the pagoda (opening summer 2018) and the almighty Temperate House project (opening summer 2018). 

 I really love being creative and have a 'can do' attitude. I thrive off improving areas and getting them to reach their full potential.

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

  • Plants. Simply working with some of the most diverse and unrivalled plant collections in the world.
  • Helping to develop, manage and maintain beautiful Kew, a world heritage site.
  • And ultimately having an incredible work environment. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and better quality of life. I am fortunate enough to live just off Kew Green and the only vehicle I seem to use on a daily basis is a tractor.  I count myself lucky practically living and working in the ‘countryside’. 
  • The weather can be a little challenging at times. But there are always jobs to do – planning, maintenance etc. 

You have a large following on Instagram - do you think there’s been an increase in the number of young people interested in gardening and if so, why? Do you think social media has had an impact on this?

Gardening is really enjoying a renaissance with younger people. I think this is largely down to its image being improved drastically and people realising the joys of plants. They are vital to everyday living and enhance our lives so much. The ‘grow your own’ resurgence and everyone becoming more health conscious has a big part to play in this. Many friends want to improve their outdoor entertaining space with foliage or if they live in a flat they always want houseplant advice. 

Yes. Social media and communication is a part of our lives and has helped create waves of interest in plants. Many of us are visually led and escapism is very important. 

What do you think is the biggest threat to British (London) gardens/landscape and what can be done to combat it?

The lack of investment from local authorities and private individuals in the green infrastructure of our towns and cities. For example there is currently a large age gap between early/mid 20th century street tree/ park plantings, resulting in their being a distinct lack of trees. ‘We’ are planting more (but not enough) and the establishment rate of new trees/plantings is poor. This is due to the lack of aftercare and foresight. We need more gardeners and funds to ensure a green, healthy London. 

How would you describe your own garden style?

The Modern English Garden, because it encompasses our entire gardening history, containing the best of horticultural developments and features (herbaceous borders, kitchen garden, garden architecture, follies and garden buildings). It often has this wonderful balance of structure and architectural form mixed with soft and exuberant plantings.  Gardens like Sissinghurst, and Great Dixter are of great inspiration to me. I find they have wonderful individual personalities, a sense of place and can be ever so romantic.    

If you didn’t work in this industry what would you be doing instead?

I would like to be a specialist in the decorative arts or an antique dealer. I collect ceramics (earthenware, studio pottery) and architectural antiques (Urns and garden pieces).  I also have a passion for architecture and interiors too. 

What advice do you have for someone looking to start a career as a horticulturist?

Get to know your plants. Plant knowledge will always stand you in good stead. Gaining practical experience is just as important as gaining horticultural theory and qualifications, it’s important to strike the balance right. The Kew or RHS apprenticeships are very good. Be prepared to never stop learning and always asking questions. 

What is your best advice for those looking to start gardening at home, where should they start?

Consider the scale and use of the space available. I would like to highlight the importance of seasonality and selecting plants that provide all year round interest. Try to have something in flower every week of the year. Look at the space available, considering light and aspect to help select plants that will thrive. It is important also to be realistic in creating something one can maintain. 


Can you share your top tips for revamping an outdoor space on a budget?

  • Keep it tidy and clean. Hedges and edges are very important. 
  • Get proportions of beds and hardscape right. 
  • Edit your existing garden and ask yourself is each and every plant earning its keep.
  • Keep it simple. Less really can be more in London gardens. 
  • Investigate and select the right plants to suit the site. 
  • Gravel is an excellent fix for hiding rough paving.
  • Bulbs are a quick easy way to inject colour and interest into a space.  

We want to give huge thanks to Alex for taking the time for us. If you would like to follow Alex on Instagram click here.

We will be returning soon to Kew Gardens to photograph a wedding, we can't wait to share the photos with you!!!