Tag Archives: statement flowers

Total love in Central London

ICA Carlton House Wedding London

Where do I start with Claire and Paul’s wedding? Perhaps I should start at this point – after the event. I feel absolutely, totally and completely honoured to have been a part of the process towards their marriage. From the first email I received, I think I really wanted to ‘do’ their flowers. I met them, talked to them and (I hope) got what made them tick.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

The flowers were REALLY important to them. At first, I was truly worried about this. Would I ever be able to deliver on the image they had in their heads? They described the wedding they were hoping for (and as an extension, the flowers) as being “relaxed and like us”, “chilled and not like a wedding” and fitting with a contemporary city setting. How would it feel for them (and, OH GOD, for me) if I didn’t do a good enough job?

ICA Carlton House Terrace WeddingICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding






ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding


Claire and Paul had a strong idea of the look they wanted to create and had done a lot of research about flowers that would fit with their stunning colour scheme. We were going to use whites and ivories with elegant lilacy-greys and flashes of deeper clarets and very dark purples. ‘Memory Lane’ roses were high on the list of flowers Claire wanted to include as well as ‘Schwarzwalder’ calla lilies, ‘Claret’ astrantia and dark red ‘Rosie’ cymbidium orchids. Then we really went to town with show-stopping tall white ‘Highwood’ arums and gladioli with small and delicate ‘Versailles’ freesias, ‘Mariachi White’ eustoma, ‘Avalanche’ roses and ‘Snowflake’ spray roses.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding








ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

We used loads of different vases for the tables and I had great fun finding them and bringinICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londong the look togetheICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonr.  No matchy-matchy here!  Some of the vases already reside in Stem’s store but another source of major inspiration was the treasure trove at fabulous Rob van Helden’s prop hire emporium. Hundreds of different cut glass, crystal and silver-leafed vases (as well as the really tall vessels) were all to be found ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonhere and PICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonatrice and Tom coped admirably with my many visits!  We also littered the tables with all sorts of pressed glass and silver-leafed tealight holders. so that there were twinkling candles everywhere when the guests walked in for the meal.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London

Gladioli vase ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding London

Arum lily tall vase ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding London








Why was it all so important to them? They had invited people who really, really mattered to them and every bit of their day was focused on telling those people how loved they were and how precious it was to Claire and Paul to have them there witnessing their marriage. Wow! Properly overwhelming, even writing this now, not long after we were all there at the ICA.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London

The ICA/Carlton House Terrace is a fabulously stylish and intimate place to be. I really enjoyed working with Emelia and her team who made my first job here great fun! I love how the feel of it changes throughout the day – from sophisticated urban Georgian wedding venue to cool and sexy hangout in the evening. The way that gorgeous pinky/purple/red lighting was used completely altered the look of the rooms. And also made the flowers work in a completely different way.  A wonderful venue for a wonderful London wedding.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London


Avalanche rose

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London








ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding


ICA Carlton House wedding london

Thank you very much to Mark Bothwell for the use of all his fabulous photographs.  I think he captured something very special about Paul and Claire and about their day.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

 Biggest love and congratulations from Stem to Claire and Paul xx

A grand affair at Addington Palace

Grand Prix, Amnesia and Piano rose bouquet for Addington Palace

Photo by Kirsten Mavric

Enormous congratulations to Hannah and Alwyn who got married at St Mary’s Church in Hayes and then moved on the the fabulous Addington Palace for the post-nuptial celebrations.  Hannah made really bold choices with the colours she went for and Stemgirl reckons the sumptuous combination of lilacy-grey Amnesia and velvety red Grand Prix and Piano roses are completely fabulous!

Amnesia, Grand Prix and Piano rose bouquet

Photo by Kirsten Mavric





Gypsophila pew end Addington Palace

Photo by Kirsten Mavric

Grand prix bridesmaids' bouquets

Photo by Kirsten Mavric









Addington Palace is one of those venues that really does take your breath away! When I first visited it, I think I uttered a selection of ooohs and aaaahs that made me sound a bit silly after a while.  But it is truly, spectacularly grand!  The tables were laid out under an enormous, ornate chandelier that looks like something out of Versailles so the table centres had to live up to their surroundings.  Stem nailed it with a mixture of tall and short martini glass vases overflowing with vintagey red and lilac roses with splashes of off-white lisianthus and silvery-grey eucalpytus.

Martini glass vase table centre


Abundant Top Table decoration featuring Amnesia and Grand Prix roses

Short martini glass vase with Grand Prix and Amnesia roses, white lisianthus, Granada alstromeria and eucalyptusTall and short martini glass vase table centres


Sumptous Top Table decoration

A massive thank you to Kirsten Mavric for the use of her fabulous photographs in this blog.

Photo by Kirsten Mavric

Photo by Kirsten Mavric

And thanks, too, to Serge for the ones he took.

And the sun shone too – finally!

Bright wedding flowers with gerberas,tulips and lisianthus

The fabulous bright colours of Hannah and Adrian’s wedding flowers were totally in keeping with the joyous feeling of the day.  They are a really cool couple and they carried off with style the beautiful clash of dark purples, pillar-box reds and acid greens.

Gerberas, lisianthus, tulips, bright colours

Red gerberas for bridesmaids

I used a combination of gerberas, tulips, lisianthus and bupleurum  to create contemporary, summery bouquet for Hannah with red gerberas for all her bridesmaids and the buttonholes and corsages.  Adrian was happy to go for it with his buttonhole so he got the sexy dark lisianthus too.

Red gerberas, purple lisianthus, bupleurum, bright buttonhole

The reception was held at St. Dunstan’s College in South London which has a large and very grand hall.  Hannah organised the arrangements for the tables but I sorted out the quantities and purchase of flowers from New Covent Garden Market to ensure that the quality was good and costs were kept down.  There are lots of ways of keeping to a budget (something Stemgirl is a bit fanatical about) and this is a nice example of florist and client collaborating to make things work.  Here’s what Hannah has to say about Stem:

“Ruth was a joy to work with, from the first meeting when she welcomed us into her home to her smiling face as she handed over the bouquet on the wedding morning. The flowers were gorgeous, she chose perfectly for a us as we had no idea of all the varities on offer, one of the best things was during the consultation being shown in a book what flowers she was thinking of. The final result was even better than we expected and looking back at the photos they match perfectly with our bright colourful day!”  Thank you, Hannah!

And very well done to you both!


Hannah and Adrian happy wedding bright flowers

Thank you to Rachael Emily Photography for letting me use her fantastic, vibrant photos.  They really capture the  joyous vibe of the day.

roses are really red…

February has been a busy and romantic month for Stem Flowers.  Hooray for brides who choose the most gorgeous, most sexy red flowers for their weddings during this month!  Although the cost of red flowers (in particular) are really a bit silly around the 14th, my brides just went for it and chose rich colours, lots of candles and plenty of seasonal foliage.

We used fabulous ‘Royal Velvet’ and ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis and stunning ‘Majestic Red’ calla lilies.  And then, of course, there were the jewel-like ‘Grand Prix’ and ‘Black Baccara’ roses…..  Completely spectacular!  

a riot of colour

Dendrobiums, delphiniums, roses and mint

“Apart from the vows, the flowers are the most important part of my day” said my bride when I first met her.  No pressure, then!  This wedding was a real challenge for me because I knew how vital it was to get things right.  Not because Emily had outrageous demands but because getting the colours and textures spot-on were fundamental to making a massive, creative impact.  Oh, and the flowers needed to be individual, distinctive and un-weddingy….

Bridesmaid's bouquet of Grand Prix and Milano roses with mint and bupleurum

Flower girl's bucket of dendrobium orchids, Grand Prix roses and bupleurum






I have to say that I absolutely adore the combination of flowers and foliage we decided upon.  Magenta dendrobium orchids, intensly blue ‘Volkerfrieden’ delphiniums, deep cerise ‘Milano’ and garnet red ‘Grand Prix’ roses literally popped out of lush green flowering mint and zinging green bupleurum.  And the little details of red and pink satin ribbons on the bouquets, or the red pail for the flower girl, just added to the slightly quirky impact of the flowers.  Completely gorgeous!

Colour-filled tableAn abundance of flowers for tablesAbundant table vases

Beauberry House is a very beautiful venue and a fabulous backdrop for gorgeous flowers so the absolute abundance we had really did the job of bringing colour and excitement to every room.  A wonderfully riotous and (not so) random selection of vessels and flowers adorned every availabe windowsill, table, mantelpiece and loo with everything coming together in an enormous expolsion of foliage and blooms in a contemporary Entrance Hall pedestal.  The two olive trees at the main doors didn’t get away with staying as they were – red and pink ribbons were candy-striped down the trunks and complementary kalanchoe plants were crammed around the bottom of each.  A rather exhausting day for stem flowers, I have to say, but there’s nothing so good as knowing that a venue looks fantastic and that the bride and groom love what you’ve done!

Olive tree with candy stripe ribbons with red and pink kalanchoes

loving lush greens

Broad beans and my alchemilla

OK, so I swore I wouldn’t bore anyone with unimportant information about what I’m reading or listening to or what I’m going to have for supper. However, my first bowl of this year’s delicious and vivid broad beans reminded me of something I think is simply so uplifting that I want more and more of it! From glossy dark fatsia and berried ivy to emerald trachaelium and fresh green sedum or ‘Green Goddess’ arum lilies. From silvery eucalyptus, through the limes and acids of molucella, shamrock chrysanthemums and bupleurum to vintage ‘Green Shadow’ hydrangeas, abundant use of this colour really is good for the soul.

Green and white

I’m doing a wedding in September and the bride is going all the way with each table featuring lily vases overflowing with nothing but cinerea eucalyptus. How cool is that? Oh, and I’m listening to Rio (Duran Duran) and reading The Importance of Music to Girls (Lavinia Greenlaw). Just in case you were actually interested….

Alium in my garden