We came, we Bo’d, we conquered… in the form of 500 scented narcissi, scented garden roses, bubblegum toned ranunculus, giant coral anemones, tulips, oodles of gypsophila, and bursting cherry blossom. Oh yes, The National Wedding Show was well and truly Bo Boutique’d!
As many of you know, I don’t like to do things by half, so for our wedding show debut I figured we may as well go for the UK’s biggest, and best! Eeeeek! What an experience it was too.
As I was commissioned by the talented musicians, The Dorchester Duo, to create this floral art instillation, my initial inspiration for the set design was musical instruments. So, I set to work by trawling old music dens for used and abused instruments. I found some old music stands, a huge trombone and a guitar, which I spray-painted white… The perfect vessels for stuffing full of flowers, of course!
I wanted to incorporate these instruments into a fresh flower instillation that was so full of various individual arrangements it was almost a visual overload which, when you looked closer, you noticed all of the little touches and detail that work together to created something with a powerful impact, and musical relevance…
I decided to use scented narcissi, 500 of them no less! Not only because I love to use flowers when at their very best and in season, but the scent and the delicate colour perfectly complimented the blush almost bubble-gum toned ranunculus that, quite simply stole my heart the second that I saw them at New Covent Garden Flower Market the previous morning. These ranunculus turned out to be the basis for the entire instillation colour pallet… In fact I’m almost salivating at the mere thought of them! (Yes, I do salivate over flowers. Please don’t judge me!)
I then rummaged my way through antique markets with my (patient) friend Anna, on the hunt for an old chest of drawers to act as the centrepiece of my instillation. (I’m pretty sure people think I’m slightly potty when I start prattling on about needing second hand instruments and battered old chests of drawers, in order to arrange flowers. Bear with me folks …it makes sense in this head of mine!) I got my hands on an old set of art deco style mirrored drawers, a little cracked in places, but I think that added to the charm.
So the day before the show arrived… My bloomin marvellous assistant Maude; wearing her homemade sunflower crown (!), hot crossed buns, flasks of (disgusting) coffee, our flowers, instruments and drawers we’re loaded in the van, and we set sail for the hive of activity that was Kensington Olympia. I can honestly say that an event of this size is a juggernaut of precision planning, and frenzied madness! We worked on our creation for a solid 8 hours, and we were so pleased with the finished piece.
We pulled out the drawers from the chest in a staggered manner, and filled each one full of flowers, until they were bulging to the point of near explosion. The flowers poured out of the drawers, onto the floor and over the instruments which, themselves had been stuffed full of gypsophila which then burst out and trailed out over the floor in an almost fluid form. Atop the chest were varying vase and urn arrangements, teapots with flowers pouring out of the spout, stone busts, old photographs, antique ornaments, sheets of music, jars of yet more narcissi and scented roses galore. Oooh it was delicious.
Hard work it was, but well well worth it, and I’ve been utterly overjoyed with the reaction from visitors of the show.
I’ve also done my bit for the hand cream economy…my workroom gets very cold, and these hands get very gnarled…. Crabtree & Evelyn, you’re welcome!!
This was my first of many wedding shows to come this year; the next being The Dorset Wedding Festival on the 7th April, and we’ll also be at the Miss Vintage Wedding Affair event in spirit, (or goodie bags at least), which takes place in Battersea on the 17th March.
I hope to see some of you at the next show, and if you are thinking of getting tickets then please make sure you come along and say hello. I’ll be in the Vintage Marquee at The Dorset Wedding Festival… If you’re lucks in I might even greet you with a shake from my, inevitably over moisturised hand… Now who can resist THAT!