Incredible florist, Jemma at The Flowershed Oxford (TFSO) has visited our luxury barn venue many times over the years decorating the spaces and glamming up the beams with her special floral magic and unique love for the ‘green stuff’ (you’ll find out more about that later!) We wanted to know a little more though about the experience between the wedding couple and florist. What happens along this exciting journey?
We’ve chosen a stunner to delve deeper into – the glorious Autumn wedding of Evenny and Jack back in November 2021. Interested to find out more about the bloomin’ relationship between couple and florist… read on! Keep your eye out for all the gorgeous details – this one’s a real corker!
My first question to Jemma was how it all starts? It’s fundamental to Jemma that they buy into The Flowershed Oxford, that they are “singing off the same hymn sheet” as it were and the vibe is “Naturalistic, soft, textural, a love of green with a little bit of a wild edge.”
Evenny discovered Jemma through fellow wedding supplier Rachel, the founder at Butterfly Bridal Boutique in Bicester. Evenny had found her dream dress at the boutique and after some discussions about florists for her wedding, the introduction was made. Recommendations are so important for all suppliers, as Jemma highlighted – “you cannot beat a trustworthy, from the heart recommendation.”
“Evenny and I communicated via email and fell into a very natural chat. We were able to meet later in the year (with her very cool parents may I add) and it felt utterly natural, free flowing, fun and easy.”
Decorating a barn venue can be very different to decorating other venues. Here we ask Jemma about working with the rustic backdrop of Tythe with all its nooks and crannies, beams and stone features:
“The backdrop of the barn is incredible…Tythe is very special to me. It’s very Flower Shed. Rustic and beautifully elegant in one hit. I have been working here for many years now and know it so well and the staff – we support each other within the industry and being so local to one another – I adore that.”
One of the things that a lot of couples ask for are the beautiful milk churns. “The milk churns are a given at the barn. A must. They are part of the furniture to be dressed.”
Most of the couples already know about our churns from all the social media attention they get (from us and TFSO) so they are always at the top of the list for Jemma’s couples. Emma and Will brought this idea to the venue a number of years ago sourcing them from a little place in Somerset. Perfect for displaying flowers or used as bar stools, Emma loved them so much that over the years she has picked up a few more. Jemma shares the love for these “chuuuurns” and in Jemma’s words “boy do we love a churn in The Shed.”
Couples will always look to the florist for the experience of what works best, and with Jemma’s experience of decking the barn they have come to the right place. Over to you Jemma:
“Lifting the eye up to the beautiful beams is very high on my list in every chat with my couples. Dressing the beams with foliage and installing hanging installations is of great appeal to many where budget allows. Taking the eye upwards to the amazing thatched roof that’s exposed, makes for a very special room. The barn has lots of added extras; hidden nooks, frames, windows, ledges, chalk boards, gates….all of these are discussed when we meet and I bombard the couple with ideas that they can then choose from.”
With some florists you may find they offer different packages suited to your requirements or budgets. However, as with Tythe, The Flowershed Oxford provides couples with a unique service, tailored just for you. Working together, Jemma will ensure she includes as much of your vision as possible, “I see the day through with you until I know my job is done.”
Evenny and Jack married in early November bringing so much choice to flowers, texture and colour. I asked Jemma about some of the requests they had.
“Evenny loved Autumn and Autumn colour. It was a match made in heaven for her stunning auburn hair and after chatting it became clear our words were ‘Earthy and Rustic’. We added a twist with the use of a White King Protea taking centre stage and an Air Plant nestled into the foliage. This brought drama and a slight boho vibe to the bouquet. Evenny also loved the idea of a hanging installation of some kind, I suggested various size hoops hanging off the main beam with foliage entwined. They gently swung in the air with the late sun streaming in from the barn doors onto them.”
Autumn is a season Jemma loves with an armful of texture and “a prime time for my scissors to never leave my pocket”. It’s important she always stays in season as a florist and she loves what is sustainable and to hand at this time of year. “I cut ferns from my garden for Evenny’s bouquet that were just turning in colour and I foraged for seed heads and Teasel.”
Being an early November wedding Evenny and Jemma loved the use of Gourds, Pumpkins and Squashes. Jemma has a friend who runs a ‘pick your own’ and gave exclusive access to the farm when no one was there allowing her to pick green, white and cream pumpkins for the displays throughout the entire barn. “We loaded up a massive trolly full and I was in my element.”
When it comes to colour schemes, Evenny definitely knew she wanted ‘rust’ to play a part in her wedding and so Jemma showed her the ‘Charly Brown’, a variety of Cymbidium Orchid and they ran away with other bits to compliment these stunning dreamy blooms. With years and years of experience and a trust from the couple, Jemma was allowed the freedom to add to these with muted nude tones, a perfect match to soften the colours further. With both having a huge love of foliage (we told you the ‘green stuff’ would get a mention) Jemma suggested having foliage only bouquets for the bridesmaids and with seed heads for added interest I think you can agree that with all that glorious eucalyptus and the gorgeous green dresses this was a match made in heaven!
We asked Jemma in more detail about decorating a barn venue and whether her couples have a clear idea of what they want and more importantly with all her experience, does she always agree?
“Rarely does a couple know exactly what they want. It’s my job to dig and find that out. But that’s the fab part as I get to know that person through doing so (these people are now friends of mine). Colours tend to have already been decided, but often I can bring something new to the party and it puts a new interest into the scheme. I love doing that. I will always be honest, always. It’s in my nature to do so. I would definitely say so – it’s my responsibility to ensure everything is utilised correctly, displayed to its best ability in the environment its in! Comes with pride I suppose.”
As mentioned already, Jemma builds a really strong relationship with her couples in the months prior to the day but we wondered if there were any problems she may face with a brides vision or trying to re-capture an image they have seen online.
“Pinterest is AMAZING but it does have it downfalls – it can sometimes actually leave a bride with too many ideas floating around and they can feel confused. Filters on photos are a common problem too – where a rose for example is not the true colour it appears to be, so it’s part of my job to ensure that what the Bride sees is ‘real’ and to enable her to visualise her flowers in the best way possible.”
After communicating with the cake maker in the run up to the day, Jemma would have already given a list of the different flower varieties being used in and around the barn. This then allows the cake supplier to pre-make like for like flower -heads if need-be. Always in awe of the talent involved in the cake (as we are Jem), Jemma would supply a range of flowers and foliage to allow the cake maker to dress the cake as they wish. We can vouch for the fact that it always looks absolutely incredible sitting in our little cake window!
Tythe has an abundance of extras available for couples to use and Jemma can also offer a collection of glassware, candles, holders, votives, lanterns, pots and crates to hire for your wedding.
“I add to it whenever something new grabs my eye.”
If Jemma doesn’t have a specific item, then don’t worry she can always recommend a styling company where she would work together with the couple to complete the dream look.
“Most couples like you to help with this. By simply hiring these accessories it makes life much easier for them and I can then choose items that I know compliment the wooden tables.”
About a month before the wedding date Jemma likes to ensure that everything is confirmed.
“Chats with wholesalers and suppliers and growers all come into play at this point, so it’s best to be organised by then. This is especially the case in summer, a very busy time for florists, but I’m always flexible to do what I can, I would never turn something away where it’s still possible to help and change it.”
So the question is, do grooms get involved in the floral arrangements for their wedding? Well, you may be surprised to hear that in many cases, yes they do and Jemma has experienced this first hand…
“I have met a number of grooms recently who have some great ideas, gardeners that have some knowledge, Chefs who like the scents that herbs bring or loves the idea of having something in their button hole that is from their wife-to-be’s bouquet. Also, as the groom is often the first to see the room dressed with his guys in tow, I get to see his reaction before we leave. Even a groom that has had no input always comes up to see me with the biggest grin (and a hug). The enthusiasm and gratefulness is always there, input or not.”
So after all the planning during the months leading up to the wedding day, on the day itself it will always be a very early start for Jemma – normally spending approximately 3-4 hours at Tythe creating her magic.
“I think people are still surprised when you say ‘its all done on the day’ but it has to be for optimum freshness. There’s beams to dress, tea to drink, installations to create, mechanics to get right, brides to hug, staff to see, tables to display, clearing up…”
The vows were spoken, confetti thrown and everyone has shared in the joy and celebrations of the day, but with Tythe’s ever-keen sustainability eye on matters – we asked Jemma what happens to all those gorgeous florals post wedding?
“I tell every couple, don’t leave them behind! Do not forget! I suggest for them to be given as gifts, to be shared with family, some have given them to local Nursing homes to enjoy, some have placed them as an act of love on a memorial site. A Bride shrieks at the thought of not making the most of her bouquet afterwards and lots of companies out there will preserve flowers now and it’s a great way of keeping your floral memories alive”.
“Any large installations I will come and take down but often the wonderful team at Tythe have done this for me already! Any hired items such as vases, candle holders etc I will collect the following day. There is never a need for the couple to have to worry about this – between the lovely Tythe and The Flower Shed Oxford – all is in hand!”
A huge thank you to the incredible Jemma for a peak into her floral world. We hope you agree that this wedding was absolutely stunning and between Evenny, Jack, their families and Jemma – the barn and all aspects of the floral decor looked spectacular!
Want to see more of Jemma’s magnificent creations? Head over to her Instagram The Flowershed Oxford.
Other suppliers involved: