Jay Archer & Friends visit us in Kent

When I heard that Jay Archer was looking for a flowery day out for her and her two main sidekicks (Mand and Mel) I was thrilled to invite her to the Jennifer Pinder studio. After the initial excited high of the dates being confirmed I was hit with a rather big problem... 'What on earth can you do to entertain 3 of the most experienced florists you have ever met?!'

I decided to think outside the box - this wasn't going to be a workshop in the usual sense!

To make the workshop really stand out for the girls I decided to give them TOTAL freedom to create something completely unique. I laid out all of my weird and wonderful props and told them that rather than thinking about colour or seasons the arrangement's focus should be a message. Something important to each of them.

Have you ever tried to channel an emotion while you work? Try it, I often think of my couples when I make bridal bouquets and it is amazing the subtle influence it really can have on my work.

Anyway... to the arrangements. When not influenced by a teacher their own unique styles and background training really came through. Mel teaches floristry and her classic look and attention to detail shines through. Mands just loves nature and wanted to create something playful and interactive - she kept asking for weird and wonderful things so I had no idea what on earth she was planning in her corner of the workshop! Jay is known for her natural and abundant style and for creating showstopper installations. The message behind Jay's arrangement was simple - 'changes for 2017'. Mand madea totally original arrangement for her godchildren - it span around, it contained felted animals hiding under the flowers and fruit to eat! Mel created an arrangement based on childhood memories with her mum in the garden.

In the afternoon I demo'd a bouquet and then the girls made their own. With stunning results of course!

We had lunch at a local pub (the Rock). It was a really fun day of catching up and playing with flowers without any pressure. Matilda also enjoyed being the centre of attention :) I to would like to thank Jay, Mands and Mel for coming to deepest Kent to spend the day with me. Jay has been an inspiring figure in my floristry journey and so it was an honour to host her!

p.s. You can read more about a course I did with Jay here.

Images by Jo Ellen (the good ones! A few are from my phone) x

p.s. Sorry for these pictures of you all grinning but I loved them too much! x

A small proportion of the props...

Thank you so much for coming Jay, Mands & Mel!

Kate and Toby at Dartmouth House


Image by Story Wedding Photography

It was a huge honour to be a part of Kate and Toby's day - especially because Kate booked me pretty much as soon as she got engaged when my floristry business was relatively new. Her engagement ring set the tone for the day - the purchase surely must have been a stressful job for Toby when beautiful Kate has a background in antiques and now works at the most exquisite interiors company. This is a girl with exceptional taste!  Of course he pulled it out of the bag with a unique diamond and sapphire antique piece.

The wedding was elegant and timeless. Dartmouth House sits in the heart of Mayfair in London and is filled to the brim with sleek marble and period features. The venue is a florist's dream to work in because it has a variety of very different rooms with lots of different colours and textures to set off the flowers. The Churchill Room (where ceremonies are usually held) is incredibly grand with dark wood panelling and this contrasts nicely with the duck egg blue and soft light in the Long Drawing Room (used for dining). The grand staircase with marble in the centre of the venue really takes your breath away as guests first enter and Kate and Toby used this marvellous focal point for their speeches. 

Working with Kate was lovely, chatting over a glass of wine it quickly became clear that she was happy for me to do my own thing... Except for one feature of the wedding - a lily of the valley bridal bouquet! Many a florist has had sleepless nights over lily of the valley (it has a tendency to flop) and I am no exception. I am so pleased it all worked out and Kate was able to see her lily of the valley dreams come true!

For the rest of the flowers we took inspiration from the colours in the Long Drawing Room and went for white with touches of blue. We kept things loose and natural looking and created a couple of wild mantel runners to give the venue a feeling of being filled with flowers. 

I must mention that my florist friend Cat freelanced for me and I really couldn't have coped without her!

 Photos by the incredibly talented Lorna at Story Wedding Photography.

Image by Story Wedding Photography

Image by Story Wedding Photography

Image by Story Wedding Photography

Image by Story Wedding Photography