I had such a lovely day out last week!
Olley and I took Bex and her fiancé Dan to meet the lovely Julie Bates from Peony at the company’s HQ – and her wonderful home -the Ruckley Estate, near Shifnal in Shropshire. When Julie heard that Bex and Dan had decided to get married she was kind enough to offer to help with the decorating of the hall for their reception. The happy couple feel that it is more important to be able to invite all their many friends rather then have a swanky, ultra-expensive do that would limit the numbers, so we’ll be putting on a DIY-style celebration in our local community hall (pictured below!). That means the decorating is pretty much down to me – so I am calling in some experts to help! And none are more accomplished, generous or helpful than Julie…
It was fascinating to see the set up at Peony – it has the feel of being a real family affair with such a friendly bunch of people working together to create the incredibly life-like plants, flowers and arrangements. Seeing how they make the water in the vases and the real soil in the pots made me realise how clever it all is, and also why these really are the best faux flowers you can buy.
We watched Henni ‘planting’ some orchids in real moss in a beautiful mirrored square bowl, and Sue was arranging a posy of snowberries. We have a Today’s Special Value offer from Peony on Monday 2nd November and I saw some of them lined up ready to send to you – a glorious autumnal arrangement of blooms and berries that I’m sure you’ll love! It will be at the most amazing value too, but I can’t tell you the secret of exactly how much yet – you’ll have to tune in to QVC next Monday for that!
Julie introduced us to Stevie and Verity who are the talented, creative souls who design the stunning arrangements for Peony and are happy to help Bex develop the ‘look’ for her wedding. With the date set for just six days before Christmas the theme is warm red and burgundy colours mingled with wintery woodland foliage. The hall is large, so Stevie suggested some statement pieces rather than lots of smaller arrangements. They have some wisteria trees that could be adapted with extra foliage and flowers and then decorated with fairy lights that would look beautiful in the spaces between the windows. Teamed with large lanterns decorated with foliage and berries entwined around flameless candles, they will add a special touch, and Bex also picked out swags and garlands of pinecones and wintery foliage that will work beautifully.
The table runners and chair bows will be in hessian, so Stevie has offered to cover the plinths we’ll stand the trees on in hessian for me too, and I have bought some hessian ribbon to wrap around some of the candle holders.
The main meal will be afternoon tea served on vintage crockery that will fill much of the space on the narrow trestle tables we’ll be seated at, so the table decorations need to be fairly small. Julie suggested we look at some that are available on QVC right now. They’re spherical candle holders that are decorated with lilac blossom, which wouldn’t be right for the wedding, but you can easily swap it and we thought alternating some winter berries and pussy willow would be perfect. They’ll look stunning dotted along the tables – I’ve already bought some Yankee Candle tealights in lovely fragrances (I especially love the Wild Fig) that will sit in the glass holders to help create a warm, friendly and fragrant atmosphere.
Dan’s mum Mandy is busy making long lengths of bunting to drape across the hall, which will hopefully have the effect of lowering the ceiling, and we are planning to hire some mood lighting so we won’t need to turn on the harsh overhead lights. Overall, the effect will hopefully be one of turning our local hall (one where I have attended Pilates classes and Weight Watchers meetings in the past!) into a magical place to celebrate the marriage of my first born child and only daughter.
With Peony’s help, I think we can do it!