Bex’s wedding – 7 weeks to go!


Hello again.

I had such a lovely day out last week!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


  1. susan kramer October 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, we got married in a swanky hotel for less than £2000. I made my own invitations, ordered my own champagne to save on corkage and had the beautiful wedding I wanted with the 35 people who are most special to me in the world. It was an amazing day , oh and my friend from cheshire came up and took the photographs. Unfortunately he is no longer with us but we had an amazing time that was very very special. I think for extra special days its not really necessary to spend tens of thousands of pounds, its not the money that counts its the people there. Im wishing you a beautiful lovely day xxx

  2. Lois Maloney October 29, 2015 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello Kathy I was delighted to read your blog about your daughters wedding. It has brought tears to my eyes with emotion that in this day and age parents and children can give so much care thoughtfulness and enjoyment in preparing for this very special day. It is heart warming to read that you are doing what you call a DIY wedding it will be so special with all the love that has gone into its preparation these are memories that will last forever.

  3. Christine Speight October 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    It sounds wonderful. Hope there’ll be some pictures.

  4. sue November 1, 2015 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for letting us in on this exciting time in your life .Cannot wait for the next blog .

  5. Susan November 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Aw Kathy! It sounds wonderful! I’m so pleased for you all! And I think it sounds perfect. Homely and friendly which is just perfect. Don’t tell us anymore though or it won’t be a surprise! Have you got your outfit yet? You’re going to be gorgeous! Love your coat in the pic BTW!x

  6. Sue Dominey November 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Your wedding aregments sound lovely . And I know all the extra bits from some of the lovely shows at qvc will help it go well . I know how hard it is getting it all sorted as I am doing the same for my wedding next year hope all goes well and hope you all have a lovely time . Enjoy it as it all goes bye to quickly

  7. Maureen November 6, 2015 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy. My son (also Dan) and his lovely fiancee married in the summer in an old barn which was also a ‘blank canvas’ so had a similar DIY style celebration. They were aiming for a country fair style wedding and it was perfect. Both families joined forces in the preparation – the bride’s grandma sewed more metres of bunting than you could imagine. We made all the invites, place settings, signs, order of service and table plans by hand and like you we decorated trestle tables with hessian runners and vintage glassware. It was really hard work but gave the day such a personal and special atmosphere. I really hope you all enjoy your day as much as we did x

  8. GTR November 25, 2015 at 1:04 am -  Reply

    Excellent news! a bang on trend couple. My wife & I had the “no thrills” wedding in 2003.
    It isn’t smart to throw money around, that you can put towards a house or a car. That’s what we did,& have never looked back. “Show off” weddings are on the same acceptance level as VW,s & Rolex watches. Only owned by the undesirables of the world.

    Class! cannot be bought! either you have it or you don’t.
    Good luck guys, be forever happy x

  9. Jayney December 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, I loved reading the wedding blog & have enjoyed hearing u talk about the arrangements on some of the shows, u light up when u talk about it. What u call DIY wedding is wot I call traditional! Years ago this is wot families did, all helped out & enjoyed the build up almost as much as the happy couple. These days I think a lot of decisions are handed over to party planners & weddings can become much less personal & all very alike. I appreciate people have less time these days but I really applaud your families approach & the fact that want all their friends & family with them to enjoy their special day. Can’t wait to hear how the day goes, I’m sure everything will be wonderful. Wishing Bex & Dan the most wonderful Wedding Day.

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