Monday, 29 July 2013

Something Blue? - Seasonal Flowers for a Cool, Calm, Colour Palette

Morning! As most of you will know, I write regularly for the very lovely Kelly of Boho Weddings and share a bit of flowery inspiration with all her lovely readers, so just in case you missed it, today I bring you some ideas on what’s available if you’re looking for blue flowers.
Here at Campbell’s HQ we’ve noticed lots of our lovely brides have been choosing powder blues in particular to compliment bridesmaids dresses or just to ‘lift’ their flowers.  So if you’re looking for soft blushes and pretty pastels or want something a little more vibrant to create a truly meadowy look, then here are a few ideas which might just be what you’re looking for:

Also romantically known as Love in the Mist, nigella comes in white, but also the prettiest, most gorgeous powder blue colour.  I love this summery, quintessentially British little plant which produces the prettiest seed pods and is just perfect for adding a little texture or a slightly wild, natural look to your florals.  Available in mid-summer it’s just right for a June or early July wedding.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The City of Steel Celebrates

Hello all!

It's been a crazy few weeks with all kinds of beautiful weddings which we'll be bringing you more of soon, in the meantime, team Campbell's have been working away at all kinds of fabulous Events.

Earlier this year we met with a great team of people who were busy organising a whole range of fantastic events Sheffield-wide to commemorate 100 Years of Stainless Steel - part of our fabulous City's proud heritage.  Celebrations culminated in a huge dinner of over 200 which was held at The Millennium Galleries who also recently curated some wonderful exhibitions there.

During our briefing meeting, we were told that the tables would be decorated with white and steely grey tablecloths so we suggested complimenting the linen with florals in the similar colours.  The ceilings in the galleries are really high so we chose tall, elegant vases and filled them with curvy hazel for height and texture, and used seasonal white gladioli, white roses for Yorkshire, teamed with silvery eucalyptus cinerea, senecio and finished everything with steely blue/grey Yorkshire lavender for a delicious subtle scent.  Our client had also seen our press coverage following our photo shoot Women of Steel at Kelham Island and thought that incorporating Sheffield stainless steel cutlery into the arrangements would be just perfect!

The finished designs turned out just how we wanted them to and our clients absolutely loved them - here are some really amazing photos of the event taken by fab Sheffield photographer Jon from S6 - our thanks to Jon for sending them to us.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

These Are Days - My Anniversary story!

So today, I'm going to break my golden rule.  I've never blogged a personal post. Ever.

But, it's my third (leather) anniversary so I thought I'd go out on a limb and bring you my wedding!  Gulp! Here goes ...

I had always intended on getting married to my long-term partner, but somehow the years passed by in a whirl so,  two children and a career change later I found myself pulling a cracker on Christmas Day which my lovely man had somewhat puzzlingly insisted was mine. 
Blissfully unaware, I found the usual rubbish gift had been replaced with a small purple drawstring bag.   On further examination, the drawstring bag contained a platinum band with four gypsy set diamonds, the joke slip (perfectly reproduced in the correct type as only a graphic designer can)  read ‘Will you Marry Me?’ and the hat said ‘You’re my wife now!’  I burst into tears, much to the confusion of the children!  

Once I calmed down, and accepted, of course, Mike explained that a couple of months before, he had contacted jewellery designer Jayne Jordan and together they had designed my engagement ring - each of the four diamonds represented a member of our family … Mike, me and our two girls.

Fast forward more years again, a move to Sheffield later, a change in career, and we still weren’t married.  So, one night whilst sat chatting I suggested that rather than go off to on a fab trip somewhere for my 50th birthday, why didn’t we get married?  On nonchalantly looking up from his Bike magazine, Mike said – good idea. And so it was on!

There were a few provisos though – it had to be informal, we wanted people we really loved to help out,  it had to be relatively inexpensive and must feature a cracking party that everyone talked about afterwards! Music has always been incredibly important to everyone in our house and Mike and I had, for years, played a song which was special to us by Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs called ‘These are Days’, so we decided to build our wedding theme around our song.  We also thought that the beauty of being a bit older would be that we would be left to make our own decisions – and we were right!

We live very close to the Botanical Gardens, one of my most favourite places in Sheffield, which we visit often.  One Sunday, by chance we stood and watched a wedding taking place – and the perfect venue for the ceremony presented itself.  As a florist, I couldn’t image a better place to get married!

Our closest friends Pete and Louise were drafted in as Best Man and Best Woman, together with our two (now) teenage girls and their two girls as Bridesmaids.   Teenage girls have very strong ideas about what they like and what suits them and I knew that one style would not suit four girls, so I asked them to choose something from a theme of white, black and white or black.  Ironically, they all came back to me with simple black dresses, which they could wear again.  My eldest daughter Alice, was given a Vera Wang dress by my Step-Mother which made her look like a screen siren and was incredible! My youngest daughter, Izzy, chose a lovely simple silk dress from Coast which has buttons on the hem to create a soft scalloped edge.

As a more mature bride, I’d ruled out the idea of a wedding dress as such and I’d always planned to wear something (possibly long) in a really bright colour such as magenta or bright red. But on a chance shopping trip I spied a wedding collection in Monsoon, so dragging my sister-in-law, Cas with me, I thought I'd check them out.  She actually cried when I put the first dress on as the empire line style suited me perfectly and, to be honest, I struggled to choose one dress.  I settled on a satin and silk georgette dress with little silk cover-up for the princely sum of £200!!  I’m tall and so decided on flat sandals from Russell & Bromley which were nearly the same cost as my dress, but they completed the romantic look perfectly. I hid my dress at my sister-in-laws house and kept it a complete secret from everyone except the two Mums, right up until the actual day.  Just about everyone spent a ridiculous amount of energy trying to guess what I was going to wear – and no-one got it right! In fact I made my lovely friend Lou cry when I came downstairs all dressed, on the day, as she had no idea what I was going to be wearing!

Mike and his Best Man, Pete, had their suits tailor-made from Barney Goodman on Ecclesall Road, a process they absolutely loved.  Mike choose the sharpest of 60’s Mod-inspired suits in a broad grey pinstripe with a stunning bright red lining and Pete chose a three-piece in a soft green Prince of Wales with a gorgeous gold lining.  We asked Rees Adams and Caroline Green of AAG Photographic to photograph our day as naturally and unobtrusively as possible.

Flowers were always going to be a huge part of our day and three lovely friends Jill, Tina and Mel each of which are  very talented and highly experienced florists  helped me make everything I wanted.  The budget was scary. I bought everything wholesale and my lovely friends gave generously and willingly of  their time.  Had this not been the case, I calculated I would have spent over £1,750 on flowers alone! 

I adore pearls and decided on whites, creams and greens with fine ivory satin ribbon and gold bullion to reflect the gold embroidery detail in my dress, for all the floral designs.  My bouquet was constructed into a cornucopia with a collar of pearls intertwined with organza ribbon and very fine satin ribbons threaded with pearls.  I wanted my bouquet to be totally unique and not anything I'd ever made anyone else before and loved the idea of combining the Austenesque style of my dress with a very similar neo-classical styling.  I used tiny gold beads as well as very fine gold bullion wire too to create the effect I wanted. The collar alone took me about 8 hours to make!

Peonies are very popular now but they  have always been one of my favourites (I have a tattoo from years back!) so they had to be part of my flowers. I also chose white sweet pea, green carnations, green hydrangea, cream freesia, avalanche roses, white trachelium, cream spray roses - it smelt heavenly! For the four teenage Bridesmaids we made hand tied bouquets of the same flowers - again featuring pearls, ribbon and gold bullion collars.  Lou loves foliage so my best mate had, along with the flowers from the teen bouquets, lots of variegated pittosporum, green carnations, green shamrock chrysanthemum and we finished  her bouquet with an ivy collar for a more ‘grown-up’ interpretation.   We made Pete wear a white rose of Yorkshire buttonhole for being a Southerner! Mike wanted a more structural buttonhole so his design featured a mini anthurium for a more architectural look.

The time getting ready was so wonderful, completely relaxed and chilled just me, Lou the girls and hair and make-up done by the lovely Amanda and Becca.