HOPEWOOD HOUSE ELEGANCE / ZOE & TOBY / November 2016

Welcome to the elegance of Hopewood House and her gardens, a magnificent heritage estate in Bowral, NSW. This privately owned grand estate hosts just a few bespoke weddings every year and Zoe & Toby's spring wedding was about as romantic and glamorous as they can get....

Zoe and her mother Justine were a lovely duo to chat and design with about the look of this wedding. Their strong bond as mother and daughter made them a brilliant team and helped shape the whole wedding design seamlessly. Our whole design process took place over skype as busy work/life schedules meant it was too hard to meet face to face. I am amazed, even still today at how well this process works and how clear the communication can be and even though I didn't meet Zoe or Justine till the day before the wedding we felt so confident and it was like meeting up with long lost friends.

So, white and green we go..all the way in a lovely crisp and timeless design that suited the venue. What we did focus on was texture...mostly in the foliage as the floral was to focus on the giant fluffy luxe we were after which made it simple landing on huge white peonies and multi-petalled garden roses. Bouquets were enhanced with deep green beech and feathery peppercorn leaf whilst in the reception we had beautiful branched hawthorn with their delicate green leaved dancing up in the ceiling above. Black ceramic footed bowls cradled opulent white floral on the reception tables interconnected with more hawthorn branches and ivy. 

Zoe's bouquet was made up of fully blown white garden roses and peony, green beech and peppercorn arranged into a luxe garden inspired unstructured bouquet.

Zoe's bouquet was made up of fully blown white garden roses and peony, green beech and peppercorn arranged into a luxe garden inspired unstructured bouquet.

Hopewoods secret garden paths weave their magic through the whole estate.

Hopewoods secret garden paths weave their magic through the whole estate.

A word from the Bride...... "Emma, our wedding was insanely amazing, couldn't have been more perfect! The florals were divine, thank you-I had no doubt they would be amazing, your work is incredible. Zoe x"

A word from the Bride......

"Emma, our wedding was insanely amazing, couldn't have been more perfect! The florals were divine, thank you-I had no doubt they would be amazing, your work is incredible. Zoe x"

Such a lot of different creatives go into working on an event like this-to deliver a truly magical moment, these are the credits you have seen in this post.........

Floral by Emma Blake Floral    

Photography by Alma Photography

Venue  Hopewood House    

Dress by Inbaldro Official

Maids dresses by Bronx and Banco       

Make up by Ash Quinn Make Up

Hair by Fiona Diamond 

Candles by Hunter Candles   

   

WINTERS TALE / CATHERINE & DUNCAN / August 2016

Duncan and Catherine came to see me about designing floral for their Highland winter wedding with a very specific brief, a collection of beautiful botanical species..flower, foliage, bark, branch, cone all curated to let their natural forms dictate the beauty of the design. We immediately shared a common love....it was just letting the collection of natures gifts tell their own story.

Catherine and Duncan have a deep connection to landscape and design. Both seriously creative professionals themselves their focus was a simple combination of contemporary elegance and a desire to use premium natural product. The brief was super clear, and then these lovely hearts left me to to find beautiful pieces to bring together for their stunning day. 

Catherine's bouquet was made of white double hellebore, white garden rose,cool water rose, thryptomene, black hellebore, black calla, variegated plum scabiosa, plum tulip, plum anenome, pink pierus, fern, poppy seed and trailing jasmine vine. All put together in an unstructured garden style bouquet with trailing ivory ribbon. The deep, moody winter colour palette was stunning against a vintage inspired wedding dress made by none other than... her beautiful mother.

Bare gnarly virginia creeper and ancient sleeping oak trees provide the most beautiful winter architectural backdrop at Bendooley Estate. 

One design element I am always a big fan of talking through with couples designing floral for their wedding day is to always focus on the key floral and do that well, rather than trying to stretch an existing budget over too many areas. Always choose the main design focus and execute those to perfection. Another wonderful way to maximise your floral choices are also to talk about what can be reused in both ceremony and reception areas. These two large scale garden arrangements on recycled tall wooden plinths gave a beautiful intimate area for Catherine and Duncan to have their ceremony in and were then transferred up to the reception area, therefore really getting the most out of their budget.

A cluster of beautiful specimens.....bare magnolia branches, succulents, orchid, hellebore, black kale and sea holly in plums, green, black and white floated and danced down the centre of each long banquet table in the Bendooley book barn at reception. Clustered clear glass votives provided the extra romantic twinkle.

Such a lot of different creatives go into working on an event like this-to deliver a truly magical moment, these are the credits you have seen in this post.........

Floral by Emma Blake Floral    

Photography by Jonathan David    

Venue  Bendooley Estate    

Dress by Brides Mother        

Make up & Hair by Bride    

MR & MRS LOVEDAY........EVERYDAY / May 2016

Katie came down from Sydney to see me about her and Oliver's Autumn wedding at Bendooley Estate in Berrima, Southern Highlands.  Katie was open minded, wanted to work seasonally and reflect the Autumn colour palette. She was interested in Australian natives, but mixed with more lush garden floral. It was simple, I got to play with all the things that are my favourite too so I could not have been happier putting together a design concept for Katie and Oliver to consider.

The rest, as they say....is Mr & Mrs Loveday.

All photography shot by the very talented Mr Jason Corroto....who loves the light.

Bridal bouquet is made up of budded pierrus, peony, scabiosa, maple, amaranthys, after dark, cymbidium orchid, rosehips and roses.

Bridal bouquet is made up of budded pierrus, peony, scabiosa, maple, amaranthys, after dark, cymbidium orchid, rosehips and roses.

Bridesmaids bouquets made up of roses, begonia, scabiosa, autumn grasses, peony, banksia and maple.

Bridesmaids bouquets made up of roses, begonia, scabiosa, autumn grasses, peony, banksia and maple.

The boys buttonholes was made up of hukera leaf, scabiosa, rosehips, succulant, maple and budded wax.

The boys buttonholes was made up of hukera leaf, scabiosa, rosehips, succulant, maple and budded wax.

Reception tables filled with individual blooms and foliages in clustered amber bottles.

Reception tables filled with individual blooms and foliages in clustered amber bottles.

This in the only photo, a little crudely taken by me and my IPhone but the only one of the reception ceiling floral, so heavily textural and such a beautiful rich palette. Cymbidium orchid, reed grass, banksia foliage, amaranthys, philodendron leaves and dried date palm.

This in the only photo, a little crudely taken by me and my IPhone but the only one of the reception ceiling floral, so heavily textural and such a beautiful rich palette. Cymbidium orchid, reed grass, banksia foliage, amaranthys, philodendron leaves and dried date palm.

Cheeky!

Cheeky!

Mr & Mrs Loveday were married on the 20th May 2016 at Bendooley Estate, Berrima NSW

MELISSA & SEAN PAUL / March 2016

Melissa contacted me only 7 weeks out from her and Sean Pauls wedding date booked at Wombat Hollow, Kangaloon. We very quickly got down to business and arranged an on site meeting out at the beautiful bush venue, Wombat Hollow as I had never been out to work there. It was going to fall in March so Melissa wanted some sense of the natural surrounding Autumn colours but as there was a berry tone emerging in the floral choices we had to make sure there were no crazy clashing colours in the palette choice, keeping it clean and simple. There was also the need to build a new structure to hang the massed garden inspired floral from in the marquee's ceiling, so along came my very clever friend John who designs and problem solves everything that goes into those outrageous requests. This was such a fun and experimental design to work on, and creating new structures that work particularly well for a ceiling space is always rewarding....and a workout for the lower back!

Grooms buttonhole made up of freesia, snowberry and pittostrom leaf.

Grooms buttonhole made up of freesia, snowberry and pittostrom leaf.

Bridal bouquet made up of scabiosa, roses, Queen Anne's lace, buddlia, snowberry, pittostrom, dahlia and sweet pea.

Bridal bouquet made up of scabiosa, roses, Queen Anne's lace, buddlia, snowberry, pittostrom, dahlia and sweet pea.

Charming Wombat Hollow and all its treasures, Kangaloon, Southern Highlands NSW

Charming Wombat Hollow and all its treasures, Kangaloon, Southern Highlands NSW

The marquee's existing iron chandeliers simply dressed with Autumn foliage and pittostrom.

The marquee's existing iron chandeliers simply dressed with Autumn foliage and pittostrom.

The hanging garden chandelier and berry bliss on the Bridal table.

The hanging garden chandelier and berry bliss on the Bridal table.

Melissa & S.P were married on the 19th March, 2016 at Wombat Hollow.

Stunning photography and all round super lovely man... Jonathan David

ALEX & NICK / April 2016

I did not meet Alex and Nick till the day before the wedding when they came by the studio to deliver sheaths of wheat from their farm in far north NSW to be used in all the boys buttonholes. It was a treat, to have something so personal and home grown to use in the wedding. This is one of the reasons I love working (and foraging) in country NSW. The beautiful images you will see in this post are another reason that so many are drawn to the Southern Highlands to get married...and often then end up moving here to live...I can understand why.

All these spectacular images are from the photographer Keegan Cronin www.keegancroninweddings.com shot at a private property in Joadja NSW on March 2nd 2016

Alex wanted an unstructured, simple bouquet with lots of texture and natural elements, we included the wheat from their farm and also all the pretties of open garden roses, cosmos, lissianthus, magnolia, queen anne's lace, buddlia, clematis vine, dahlia and autumn grasses.

KYM & GREG, BELGENNY FARM, CAMDEN NSW / October 2015

The moment I laid eyes on our floral, my heart jumped out of my chest. Everything was absolutely perfect! Thank you so much Emma
— Kym Sheild, Bride

The lovely Kym Berenschot (as she was known before the I Do's), contacted me from Vancouver, Canada whilst she and Greg were still living and working abroad. The plan was to relocate back to Australia just before the wedding which meant we first met and had our design discussions over Skype. Kym was the first Bride I had started a design concept for floral with over Skype, and although I was worried that without the face to face contact it would be difficult to interprate what was in her heart, it couldn't have gone more smoothly. Along with Pinterest, Skype became a brilliant way to manage all the initial appointments that are needed to then go and design and price a quote. 

Kym (a primary school teacher) & Greg (a photographer) are lovers of nature and the great outdoors. They love colour and wanted something creative and unstructured, passionate to have their wedding be vibrant and natural. We dove into a Spring inspired palette and threw into the air every combo we could think of, settling on peachy/apricot hues with ivory, white, green and pink.

Photographer Lillie Brennan from Shutter and Lace

Photographer Lillie Brennan from Shutter and Lace

  Kym's Bridal bouquet included anemone, rose, poppy, sweet pea, ranunculi, reed grasses and fruiting quince blossom.

 

Kym's Bridal bouquet included anemone, rose, poppy, sweet pea, ranunculi, reed grasses and fruiting quince blossom.

Kym & Greg had never seen Belgenny farm in Camden but were drawn the the historic agricultural site that once housed John and Elizabeth Macarthur. Belgenny farm is an open 5000 acres so we were open to ideas about where to locate the ceremony space. I hadn't been to the property either so as soon as they hit Australian soil we had a site inspection and walked the grounds deciding where might work best for all aspects of the wedding. This site has beautiful afternoon light, a weathered backdrop of the old stables and room to seat all the guests-tick, tick, tick.

  Table floral included hellebore, snowball viburnum, snapdragons, honeysuckle, watsonia, ranunculi, chrysanthemum, poppy, rose and sweet pea.......the mother load!

 

Table floral included hellebore, snowball viburnum, snapdragons, honeysuckle, watsonia, ranunculi, chrysanthemum, poppy, rose and sweet pea.......the mother load!

The reception area is an old historic building, the original Granary heavy with wooden ironbark beams and posts and a recycled brick floor which although beautiful really lifted when the room was lightened with white linen and chairs. The floral, although colourful, floated just above the table in glass footed bowls, trails of honeysuckle creeping out to meet the guests, giving a delicate balance to the room and bringing the outdoors in.

  Bridesmaids bouquets included rose, poppy, ranunculi and sweet pea

 

Bridesmaids bouquets included rose, poppy, ranunculi and sweet pea

All these beautiful photographs were provided by Lillie Brennan from Shutter and Lace, based in Brisbane QLD. Kym & Greg were married on Saturday 3rd October 2015, Belgenny Farm, Camden NSW

Something borrowed, something blue. Andrew & Alexis, Berry NSW / December 2015

The Palette-

Something borrowed, something blue-moody blue, smokey blue but only as an accent to work with a pop of deep garnet, green and ivory.

Dressmaker-Kathy Harris

Dressmaker-Kathy Harris

I was approached by Alexis & Andrew via a friend who reccomended my florals for their wedding at Jaspers in Berry, a beautiful town on the South Coast NSW. Andrew and Alexis had been driving down and staying at Berry for years to get their donut fix and city detox. They wanted to share this special part of the south coast with their friends and family, hoping it would encourage everyone to take the whole weekend and really switch off and enjoy the occasion.

In the few months leading up the the date, I never met Alexis in person and developed a relationship soley via email and Pinterest until the day of their wedding where I handed Alexis her bouquet and pinned on Andrew's buttonhole.

 

Dressmaker-Kathy Harris

Dressmaker-Kathy Harris

For Alexis' part, it was important for the girls not to wear a plain colour dress, and have something that would not scream "Bridesmaid" later on so they could wear it time and time again. If only I could have put my order in for a dress like this myself!

Thankfully this love for florals meant Alexis was thrilled to co create something wild and dramatic for her and the girls to hold. We picked up on the palette from the dresses and extended them through the bridesmaids bouquets using open ivory rose, queen annes lace, smokey blue hydrangea, seaholly, pitcher flowers, vine tendrills, chrysanthemums and dusty miller.

Bridal Bouquet

Bridal Bouquet

Creating something still life and romantic for Alexis to carry softened the dramatic edges of her dress a little but also connected the vintage feel of her fabric choices and bold design. It was a delight to hear later from a Alexis how happy she was with her flowers and how many compliments she received  about the floral design on her special day. 

Alexis carried open ivory rose, seaholly, pitcher flowers, queen annes lace, rosemary, clematis vine, dahlia, dusty miller and sweet pea. In her last email Alexis mentioned that while she and Andrew were on honeymoon trekking in Cinque Terre they found some Queen Annes Lace growing wild on the side of the trail, nice to have a sweet reminder of the magical day even half way across the world!

Lastly, there needs to be a little thank you to Chris from Red Berry Photography who provided all these amazing images from Andrew & Alexis wedding day and helps capture all the visual beauty and drama for every couple he works with.

Seaholly, Rose, Pitcher flower, Chrysanthemum, Queen Annes Lace.

Seaholly, Rose, Pitcher flower, Chrysanthemum, Queen Annes Lace.

The Freelance Florist

The Style Co are an amazing team of creatives focusing all their energy on making your event/wedding the most unique and personally stunning dream come true. The company is an umbrella of stylists, florists, production, planning and design hands and hearts based in Melbourne, now sought after all over Australia to create the party of a lifetime.

I started working with The Style Co in 2011 when I was still living in Melbourne and have continued to travel around with these lovely people even though I moved farthur afield to NSW.

"Life's too short to have boring parties" 

This is The Style Co mantra, and being on the job with them could not be more accurate. They work hard (often upside down hanging from the ceiling), get very tired and sweaty (4am market mornings and 1am bump outs will do that to a gal), but I get to be a part of a hilarious, caring team who are all on the job to create the one, same goal - beauty.

The Style Co are now also taking workshops interstate in Brisbane/Sydney and Melbourne for all those future stylists and dreamers, floral workshops starting for all the green thumbs and closet still-life fanatics, check their website for dates - www.thestyleco.com.au

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Event design and flowers by @thestyleco #thestyleco

Luci & Tim, Exeter, Southern Highlands / December 2014

Luci and Tim were married in the Southern Highlands in December 2014. It started out as a truly glistening summer day, and then in rolled those dark, moody skies and electrical energy as we moved closer to the ceremony... Ahhh, the Southern Highlands, it sure keeps you on your toes!

Luci, a local interior designer - LuciDInteriors -  approached me to do the flowers for her wedding. Luci had a clear vision, a relaxed approach and lots of friends and family who wanted to contribute. There was a whole lot of love and creativity going into this event, and it was going to be beautiful and personal. Luci wanted colour, with local, seasonal blooms in warm, bright shades, but to also have her childhood loves included - from days gone by picking billy buttons and everlasting daisies in the Australian bush. Luci's partner Tim made the raw driftwood teepee for the ceremony, Luci's mum designed flowers I bought to tie in with the bridal party, making the bridesmaids bouquets and reception tables pop. So many professionals working towards this event were good friends of the bride and groom.

Stunning photography captured the day by Liz Ham from lovelizphotography.

Ceremony performaed by local celebrant Nina De Borde