Two weeks ago, we hosted a wonderful wedding for a prominent sportsman and his bride. It was certainly the most-carefully planned and most spectacular we have held here, and the weather was perfect
Over the preceding weeks, Becky Johnson, our weddings co-ordinator was in daily contact with the couple’s wedding planner as the details were worked out: catering, table plans, bedrooms, pre-wedding party, hire of horse & carriage, string quartet, fireworks and arrangements with the parish church in Eastnor. But the real difference came with the flowers and the formal garden created in front of the Castle between the Portcullis and Porte Cochère, with a lawn covering the gravel with urns with flowers on the edges and a pergola in the middle. As the bride set off for the church, a path of white petals guided her to her awaiting carriage. She looked absolutely wonderful.
Inside, the flowers were equally spectacular, with roses, orchids, stocks and hydrangeas in profusion. The smells were delicious, and it was a big bonus for the public visitors when they arrived the next day.
On the lower terrace, a night club tent had been put up, with a trail of candles lighting the spiral staircase that drew the guests down to it after the wedding breakfast. The mirror dance floor may have been less of a draw for some, but the orchids trailing from the chandelier in the middle seemed to tempt most to dance.
All in all, it was a wonderful wedding and a very happy day for the bride and groom and all their guests. We loved the excitement and challenge of it, and the flowers that were left behind reminded us of the happy day for the following week. JH-B
Weddings can be such an exciting time, but there is also a tremendous amount to plan and to do. We help as much as we can to make it a really special day but we also thought that it might be a good idea to ask all the marvellous people who come to the castle to help to see what advice they could give.
Our first interview was with Charlotte Gabb from Superflowers in Chipping Camden.
This is what Charlotte said:-
Because Eastnor is such a wonderful place with so many interesting things to look at my feeling towards the flowers is that you don’t need that many but the arrangements you do have have to be big and bold.I like to use either strong colours (Autumnal Orangey red colours) or white and cream to show up best although summer pastell colours are ok. I like to use large simply flowers such as Lilies and Gerbera (although some people don’t like them) with large headed roses as these are dramatic. Using lots of small flowers tends to make the arrangements over fussy. Also it is important to fill the arrangements out with as many English seasonal flowers as possible as the effect in the Castle is essentially English!!! These arrangements look best with lots of mixed foliages with wild trailing Ivy. (other florists do trendy 1 lily in a vase stuff but I don’t think it looks right in the surroundings.. big is best!!)The places I like to decorate are ………..The marble urns at the bottom of the staircase. These look good with lots of flowers spilling over the edge of them and also look good in the winter with dark, wild foliage and thick candles.The arrangement on the table in the centre of the Octagon room has to be large, striking and arranged to be seen from all angles.The dining room – this is my most tricky room as the lighting is not so good .. (candlelight is important in here for an evening do) tall candelabra look good either with flowers amongst the arms (and above the diners heads) or more simply with a ring of flowers around the base. Or even with nothing although thats not so good for my pocket!!!! or hurricane lanterns with a circle of flowers around them or even more cheaply a ring of flowers around a thick church candle. Summer lunchtime weddings can have low vases filled with flowers.Theses are the essential places but as well as them it is nice to have a tall glass vase in the Great Hall and something a bit more elaborate on the table in the Gothic room (although they do always have one there) Candles in hurricane lanterns look lovely lining the staircase in the hallway.Allergies are normally hayfever so non scented flowers avoid that.. I would replace the scented lilies with a non scented variety although the castle is so big that it is not normally a problem. Other flowers people tend to be allegic to are things like foxgloves or Alstromeria and these are only a problem if they are touched.Every wedding is different and so I need to speak to each bride to make sure I am using the colours and flowers she likes.Bridal work is also very individual … some brides like trailing wired wedding bouquets (£££) whilst others go for simple tied posies.Little bridesmaids look cute with tied posies and coronets ( a circle of flowers on the heads)The church is lovely and looks really pretty fully decorated although most people can back here. Again the essential places are …Other places are an archway around the porch (gorgeous) and wild loose collars of flowers with trailing ivy around the pillars down the centre of the church. Silk flowers in a place like Eastnor would cost a fortune.
We hope that this conveys some of the marvellous choices the bride has to make. Also as a reminder it is worth reiterating that:-
A large arrangement spilling out of the font
2 sprays to hang on the screen
2 windows on the right of the church (medium essential!)
- The Great Hall with it’s 60 foot ceilings is where the reception is normally held.
- The Gothic room is where the civic ceremony usually takes place.
We hope that this , the first of our wedding interviews, is helpful. If there are any questions then please just call.
Eastnor Castle is the perfect, wedding venue where flowers help make your day the most romantic ever!