Floral Friday : Ranunculus

Ranunculus meaning : Charm and attractiveness

These little beauties are a firm favourite in the WILLOWGOLD studio.  Similar to a peony or tight rose bud, the ranunculus opens up to unfold layers of soft crepe-like petals.  They are in season usually between November to May and come in a whole host of colours and varieties ranging from the burnt autumnal colours to the softest of blush pinks.  We think the Italian-grown ranuncs are the best, especially the glorious Cloni Hanoi (first picture below) - we never fail to oooh and aaah when we see one in full bloom and find ourselves constantly buying them at the market, just because!      

We love them for many a reason, but for Jen it’s a favourite as there is something very romantic and delicate about them and the perfect flower for a wedding. “A lot of our brides ask for peonies to be part of their wedding flowers which aren’t in season for that long and also brides that ask for us to not use roses so these are a great substitute”

As pretty as they are, they’re not always the easiest of stems to work with. Often the stems are soft and prone to tilting. We’d suggest cushioning the head of the flower with some foliage or another sturdy flower-head that is being used in your arrangement to give it some extra support.  They also have hollow stems so a delicate touch is needed when handling them.  The stems will soon degrade which will cloud the water so we suggest recutting the stems and giving it fresh water to drink every couple of days.  

As beautiful as they are in an arrangement, we also love them in a vase by themselves.  A little tip - take off the small offshoots from the main stem and trim the end before adding them to your vase - if you’re lucky they will bloom and open up too! 

Styled Shoot : Magical memories at The Copse

I wanted my first blog post to be about the whirlwind of time I spent at The Copse in Autumn last year for a styled shoot.   I worked with the most wonderful team and starting at the top was the shoots stylist and director, wedding planner Jenna Hewitt.  Her concept was Terracotta & Bohemian Botanicals and she wanted to capture three elements of the bride on the day of the wedding: the moment of time the bride has pre-wedding, the just-married joy and the quiet contemplation at dusk.  Jenna was so passionate about every aspect of this shoot, from the clothing to the plates used for the table-scape, I knew it was going to pull together effortlessly.  

It was shot by photographer Kitty Wheeler Shaw who was such fun to work with and I think you’ll agree she did a fantastic job capturing and storytelling each element with model Eva Dithdoll.  

The florals that were needed for the shoot included 2 bridal bouquets which were needed for look 1 and 2.  It was important to me that they both be very different.  The first bouquet was for the pre-wedding look so I wanted softer tones alongside more of a bridal look.  The second bouquet was for the just-married look.  For this I wanted to bring in more colour and vibrancy in a celebratory way to sit alongside this concept.  

I also created a table-scape which included a dense runner of flowers and foliage that was nestled amongst the beautiful glassware and crockery and a personal favourite of mine - the candlestick holders with thin tapered white candles (love!).  Here I wanted to bring out the tones from the tableware and match it the flowers, so I included plenty of rich oranges and blues alongside varying softer tones.

Now, the arch… that arch! This was to be situated in one of the fields for the just-married scene.  Creating this arch was a mammoth job and certainly my proudest moment of my career.  It involved nearly no sleep, climbing up and down a ladder more times than I care to remember, too many cold and rainy moments in the mud and a little bit of blood but it was all made better when the team brought down hot cups of tea and much needed G&Ts where I was busy working away.

It was all a bit of a blur to be honest, starting early on a Monday morning and calling it a wrap on Tuesday afternoon.  One thing I do remember very clearly was the sadness I felt when it was all over and we left The Copse.  There is really something about this place which I’ve struggled to put into words when talking about it to other people.  The house is situated amongst and abundance of foliages and beautiful landscaped gardens, and calming countryside with horses that are out grazing on the rolling hills.  It's a wedding venue, that with the warm welcome of owners Penny, Tim and their two black labradors, just leaves you feeling like you’re in the most magical place.  

This was the fabulous team I worked with: 
Venue The Copse 
Styling & Direction Jenna Hewitt 
Photography Kitty Wheeler Shaw
Model Eva Dithdoll 
Hair Patricia Soper 
Make Up Mel Kinsman 
Dresses Luella’s Bridal, Otaduy 
Shoes Harriet Wilde 
Accessories Donna Crain, Kelly Spence 
Barefoot Sandals Forever Soles 
Cake Cakes by Yolk 
Ribbon Kate Cullen 
Rings Zoe & Morgan 
Crockery Classic Crockery 
Terracotta Tableware Saudade 
Stationery Merrie & Bright

All images below are from Kitty and more of her lovely pictures can be found on our Rock My Wedding feature too.