Petal and Wild

Wedding Floral Design Blog - Petal and Wild

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Elegant Meadow Florals with a Neutral Palette at The Old Parish Rooms
Meadow inspired neutral colour palette bridal bouquet

I’m excited to share this gorgeous and romantic styled shoot with you. It makes me think of diffused sunlight and a summer breeze – with a pared back, neutral palette and elegant meadow flowers. 

The concept and styling were by Natasha from The Wildflower Wedding Planner who created the brief: ‘Barely There’, with a focus on lots of natural beiges, whites, nudes, and creams. I was asked to provide flowers to compliment the stunning venue: The Old Parish Rooms. With its original features, and abundance of natural light from the church windows, it was the perfect backdrop to bring the vision to life.  

Alana from Petal and Wild wedding florist installing elegant meadow florals at Essex styled shoot

Bringing The Outside In 

I decided to show off my skills by creating a meadow inspired staircase and window box – really bringing the outside in and creating a luxuriously natural feel. I used a gorgeous array of spring, ‘meadowy’ blooms including delphiniums, ranunculus, aquilegia, pennisetum grasses, sea oats and campanula to name just a few; along with beautifully scented eucalyptus and pittosporum foliage.  

I love how modern details such as the venue’s staircase complemented the classic colour palette, whilst the arched church windows just added to the romance and structure of the shoot.  

Meadow inspired florals in neutral tones at Essex styled shoot

With Natasha’s incredible eye for detail and an amazing group of suppliers, many of whom are local to Essex, we created a beautiful and light-filled design. The simplicity of the soft, neutral tones felt elegantly timeless whilst the sculptural arrangements added a contemporary touch.  

The result was a tactile and fragrant scene that felt alive and yet effortlessly serene. 

Neutral colour table setting with simple flower arrangement

Elegant Styling 

I filled the drawers of a large dresser with beautiful blooms, which provided the setting for Abbie (from Egg and Moo’s) to create a glorious dessert table. It was as if the dresser had sprung up from a meadow, and the cake and other treats had just naturally appeared.  

Meadow inspired florals tumbling out of dresser drawers on dessert table at Essex styled shoot.

There is also something so romantic and luxurious about styling a wedding cake with fresh florals nearby. They both soften and give structure to one another, if that’s possible – enhancing both without taking anything away. Abbie’s stunning sugar flowers looked picture perfect next to the real specimens and once again the pared back hues created a lovely balance.  

The neutral tones and ‘Barely There’ theme carried through to the stationery – created by White Olive Design Studio. The overall simplicity and delicate details in the suite just adding to the effortless and natural concept of the shoot. I love how just the smallest touch of greenery makes the stationery photograph (beautifully captured by Helen from Ivory White Photography) come alive. 

Neutral calligraphy stationery flatlay with copper wax seals

A Neutral Bouquet 

Gorgeous white ranunculus, with their layers upon layers of ruffled petals, and a range of both structural and delicate flowers formed the basis of the bridal bouquet. Sea oats and pittosporum created interest and movement – adding to the natural and meadow-like feel; and the fragrant eucalyptus provided a scent like no other. 

Elegant bouquet meadow inspired neutral colours with ranunculus sea oats and scented eucalyptus

A little side note for you: did you know that we can associate memories with scent? Imagine years after your wedding day being able to transport yourself back to walking down the aisle just from the aroma of a certain flower or foliage. Isn’t that a romantic thought?  

It was such a wonderful experience to work on this shoot, and with such a lovely group of Essex-based suppliers who each brought something so special and complementary to the table. I love the natural, light and airy feel and I am really inspired by Helen’s gorgeous images.  

Meadow florals at Barely There styled shoot.jpg

There are so many ways to use a neutral colour palette. From the contemporary to the classic, and from the simplistically elegant to the luxuriously beautiful. This shoot proves you can even combine all those concepts into one gorgeous design.  

I hope you find the shoot as inspiring as I do, and if you would like to discuss your own pared back or meadow inspired florals for your wedding then I would love to hear from you.  


Alana x

Supplier List

Venue: The Old Parish Rooms | Photographer: Ivory White Photography | Styling and Design: The Wildflower Wedding Planner | Flowers: Petal and Wild | Cake: Egg and Moo’s | Stationery: White Olive Design Studio | Furniture Rental: Anthology Vintage Hire | Antique Silver Cutlery: Hélène Millot | Dress Boutique: Rock The Frock Bridal Essex | Dress: Mila Mira | Separates: Zetterberg Couture | Silk Runners and Ribbons: Pompom Blossom | Balloons and Perspex Signage: Love Me Do Balloons | Hair: Bridal Hair by Jennie | Makeup: Clarissa Clary | Hair Accessories: PS With Love | Veil: Sash and Veil | Model: Chloe Lloyd

Jen Feroze
A Romantic Garden Wedding in Peach and Pale Blue at The Fennes, Bocking
Statement arrangement of blue hydrangeas and peach roses at the Fennes in Essex

As we start to see the first glimmers of spring weather, it feels like the right time to be sharing a gem of a garden wedding from last year. Yee Lin and Neil married in June at The Fennes in Bocking, Essex. They had their hearts set on an outdoor ceremony, so I joined all their suppliers in crossing our fingers and hoping that the Great British weather would be kind! Thankfully, we were blessed with the bluest of skies, and the couple and their guests were able to enjoy the beautiful grounds of The Fennes.

My brief for this wedding was an absolute delight. Yee Lin is someone with a genuine appreciation for flowers. She wanted something reflective of the season, something that felt natural and pretty and that highlighted shades of peach and pale blue. A colour-based brief like this is always fabulous for me, as it means I can select the very best flowers available, and create something that’s fresh, seasonal and wonderfully varied. As soon as Yee Lin said ‘powder blue’ my mind was already filled with the blousy beauty of hydrangeas. Gorgeous hydrangea varietal ‘Verbena Blue’ is the colour of old china plates, and I knew the big statement blossoms would pair perfectly with peachy pink roses.

Flowers on table in gazebo at garden wedding ceremony
Young page boy runs down the aisle at an outdoor wedding ceremony at The Fennes

A Statement Sweetheart Table

The couple opted for a small sweetheart table seating just the two of them for their reception dinner. This is a lovely idea, popular in US weddings but that’s starting to pop up more and more regularly in the UK. It’s a great way for you and your partner to spend some precious moments just the two of you to enjoy that ‘just married’ feeling, and it makes for an amazing platform for people watching as your loved ones let their hair down and friends from all walks of life get to know each other.

Yee Lin and Neil wanted to make a real statement with their sweetheart table, so I created a low arrangement of Pearl Avalanche roses, hydrangea, delphinium, dianthus and stocks in a soft apricot hue. The finished arrangements were textured and romantic and they smelled absolutely gorgeous. I used a copper frame garlanded with foliage to frame the table, and hung carnations from ribbons at different heights. The finished look was playful and contemporary at the same time - I was really happy with it.

Sweetheart table at Essex garden wedding with peach and blue floral arrangement and hanging carnations on copper frame
Sweetheart table at Essex garden wedding. Statement arrangement in blue and peach and copper frame with hanging carnations.

The marquee was a big one, and there was lots of white space to fill. Table centrepieces needed to be a mix of long, low arrangements and taller, more sculptural pieces. I made sure the flowers I created for this wedding really worked hard, moving the low arrangement from the registrars pavilion in the garden to the sweetheart table and the pew ends to small vases dotted around the venue. The warm peach and pale blue made for lovely summery splashes of colour.


 The Perfect Shade

Designing a bridal bouquet is always something I treasure. Knowing it’ll be gripped tightly and take you through your last moments of singledom before you cross the threshold into married life is a big deal, and I always put a lot of heart into every bouquet I create. The colours in Yee Lin’s bouquet needed to be balanced. I wanted peach shades that were on the pink end of the spectrum for a clean, youthful freshness, and added white flowers too for a little bit of contrast.

A bouquet needs to fire all the senses, and I wanted to make sure that this one smelled great as well as looking gorgeous.I sourced British Ammi and the sweet and herbaceous Apple Mint from The Midnight Garden for a fragrant finishing touch.

Bridal bouquet in peach white and blue, including Pearl Avalanche roses and blue hydrangeas

Looking back over these images has made me so excited for the weddings coming up this summer. Here’s to blue skies and warm sunshine!



Images: Jimmy Cheng Photography

Celebrating British Flowers at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm
Stone urn filled with British flowers at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm.

As the nights are drawing in and the trees are showing off their best autumn colours, I’m reflecting over the last wedding season, and the amazing range of British blooms I’ve been lucky enough to work with. There’s something very special about styling British grown flowers – a more natural, organic and free-flowing quality. Bringing the outside indoors is one of the delights of wedding floristry, and it becomes so much easier and more joyous when the flowers in question aren’t travelling enormous distances to reach the venue. 

Every June, there’s a whole week of celebration for what this country has to offer. During British Flower Week, lots of the UK’s growers and flower farmers put on workshops and tours for florists and flower enthusiasts to find out more about the provenance of the blossoms and blooms they work with. It’s a great chance to meet others in the industry, and to get creative with varieties that we perhaps don’t work with as often as we might like to. 

Close up of British flowers grown at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm

The Midnight Garden Flower Farm

This year, I visited Cathy Marchant of The Midnight Garden Flower Farm near Newmarket, to take part in an urn styling workshop during British Flower Week. Cathy is a passionate grower and floral designer, and I can count on her for beautiful and well-cared for seasonal flowers. I regularly source flowers for my brides from The Midnight Garden Flower Farm, and Cathy’s stunning Georgian walled garden and Victorian glasshouse is a treat to spend time in. 

The Midnight Garden Flower Farm 13_mini.jpg
The Midnight Garden Flower Farm 12_mini.jpg
Collage of images of urn styling workshop at British flower farm

I had such a lovely time with Cathy at the workshop. We had gorgeous weather, and it felt really special to be able to immerse myself in something creative just for fun and with no specific brief to work to. 

My finished urn was a bit of an homage to early summer. I used a palette of clean whites and greens, and added pops of ice-cream tones in pale yellow, lilac and pink. The overall effect was youthful and fresh, and it contrasted really nicely with the formal grey stone of the urn. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and knowing that I was working with flowers grown and gathered from just a few feet away made it all the more enjoyable. 

The Midnight Garden Flower Farm 7_mini.jpg
The Midnight Garden Flower Farm close up of urn-min.jpg
White flowers at The Midnight Garden.jpg

Supporting Local Growers

Now, it’s not always possible to use 100% British grown blooms – there are certain varieties that simply fail to thrive in our climate. However, the UK boasts an absolutely enormous range of flowers, and I’d love to see more brides and grooms taking an interest in where their bouquets, buttonholes, arrangements and installations come from. 

For me, it’s the equivalent of your weekly food shop. Choosing locally grown blooms is like visiting your artisanal food producers – the butcher, greengrocer or farmer’s market – rather than heading to the supermarket for a one-stop shop. 

Petal and Wild close up photo of British flowers.jpg
The Midnight Garden Flower Farm close up photo of urn

Flowers grown locally tend to be better quality for weddings – they’re more used to the English climate and they’re likely to be more robust having not been flown or otherwise transported from Holland, Colombia or South Africa and risked being crushed or damaged in transit.

There’s a real range of dedicated and talented flower farmers in the UK. As well as The Midnight Garden, I regularly source from The Real Flower Company, Usk Valley Roses, Tregothnan and the Irish Green Guys, to name a few. 

If you’re in the midst of planning and starting to think about your flowers, I’d love to talk to you about the options available. Get in touch, and let’s have a chat about how to include truly seasonal, British grown blooms into your wedding-day flowers. I promise you won’t regret it.


Alana x


Alana Watts
Romantic English Roses at Gaynes Park
Wild rose bouquet on wrought iron chair with calligraphy quote

Gaynes Park in Essex is one of my favourite venues. It's only five minutes down the road from my workshop, and it holds a special place in my heart as the place I got married. So, when Victoria from Victoria Murray Photography approached me about a styled shoot at Gaynes Park, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

Styled shoots are a great opportunity for wedding suppliers across the industry to come together and get creative - putting together looks and themes that will give brides and grooms a taster of what's possible for their wedding day. 

Single pale pink rose

The Quintessential English Rose

The brief for this shoot was modern luxury for the English rose. We wanted to mix classic, traditional elements with contemporary styling for a beautifully opulent wedding day. I can't think of a better venue to meet this brief than Gaynes Park. Its manicured gardens and gorgeous orangery made it the perfect place for our romantic English roses. 

It will come as no surprise to you that roses were the feature flower in the work I did for this shoot. I wanted to include an abundance of full and fragrant varieties, and I chose a palette of white, cream, blush, pale pink and soft peach. This was a real treat for me as I got to use some of my favourite garden roses: David Austen Juliet; David Austin Keira, O'Hara, Margaret Merril, Mansfield Park and lots more besides. 

Two rose heavy bouquets seen from above. Created by Petal and Wild and including David Austin Keira, David Austin Juliet, O'Hara and Mansfield Park roses.

I know that roses are sometimes seen as cliche when it comes to romance, but I am deeply, deeply in love with them. The rose is a flower with such potential and inherent sophistication. There are so many varieties to choose from, and their petal structure never fails to add a touch of elegance to any bouquet or arrangement. Nothing represents the English garden quite like the rose, and I won't hear a word said against it!

Large bouquet of roses on chair with cream bridal shoes

Something A Bit Special

I created two bouquet arrangements for the shoot - one rich and luscious with luxurious colour, and the other more pared back but no less sculptural, filled with white roses and grey-green foliage. 

I knew that I also wanted to make a statement piece in the orangery - something that would bring the outdoors in and add a rose-scented wow factor to the day. I constructed a half arch with tumbling leaves and full pink roses. It was a labour of love but I'm so happy with the results.

Half arch floral installation with cream and pink roses and foliage at Gaynes Park.
Bride holding bouquet of roses and standing in rose archway at Gaynes Park

Artistic Styling

The brilliant Laura from Devine Bride was our styling superstar for the day. She designed the beautiful tablescapes, including calligraphy from Judy Broad and contemporary agate slice place names. Our bridal model looked incredible in dresses from Blackburn Bridal, and must admit I got goosebumps when she walked under my arch of flowers for the first time. 

I loved being a part of this shoot, and I hope there will be many more opportunities for me to let loose with romantic roses in the future!

Modern English Rose Bride,  Flowers by Petal and Wild, bride in front of floral arch 1 image by Victoria Murray Photography_mini.jpg

Check out the credits for the full dream team, and if you'd like to chat roses and arches and bouquets (oh my!) then get in touch. I can't wait to hear about your wedding plans. 



Collage of images showing wild bouquet of roses in pinks, creams and corals

The Dream Team:

Photographer: Victoria Murray Photography  
Planner & Stylist : Devine Bride
HMUA: Lupton Hair & Makeup Artistry 
Dress Designer: Blackburn Bridal.
Shoe Designer: Freya Rose 
Floral Designer: Petal and Wild 
Stationery: JB Calligraphy 
Venue: Gaynes Park 
Jewellery: Ormolu London 

Wedding Flower Focus: Peonies
White peonies

Wedding season is in full swing, and the weather has been glorious – perfect for beautifully fragrant, colourful bouquets of summer flowers. I’m excited to share some of the weddings I’ve been working on soon, but today I want to celebrate one of my favourite summer flowers: the peony.

We’re pretty much at the end of peony season now, which is always a slightly sad time as they’re just so gorgeous! This summer has been a wonderful year for them though, with late May to early July being the time they’re at their best. The peony has been a sought after bloom among brides for years, and they’re certainly not a fad flower. Soft and elegant yet big, bold and blousy at the same time, this beautifully sweet and somehow timelessly elegant flower adds a real wow to any bouquet.

Blue and white bouquets with peonies on white wooden chair

Part of the reason I love to use peonies is their texture. The delicate ruffles of the petals add a really sculptural finish to bouquets and arrangements, and the colour palette of the peony means they can either form a beautiful backdrop of whites, creams and blushes when used in abundance, or else they give a punchy accent in corals, deep pinks and reds.


The Perfect Moment

Timing with peonies can be tricky, as they don’t show off their full ruffled glory immediately. Order them too early and you risk overblown petals in your bouquet, pick them too late and they’ll be tightly wound little buds. Heat plays a big part in the speed at which the flowers open, so once purchased they need to be carefully tended and looked after to make sure they’re at their best on the big day. Your florist will be experienced in coaxing peonies into beautiful life, and everyone has their own little tricks of the trade to keep them looking plump and gorgeous. My personal top tip is to wrap tights or stockings around the flower to help it keep its lovely globe shape. If possible, I also keep them in a cool, dark place until they’re needed.

This gorgeous little pink number was a cheering sight in my studio for a week. I shot it each day, opening up to reveal its inner loveliness.

Pink peony opening slowly over 8 days
Pink peony opening slowly over 8 days

So thank you, peonies for brightening up my work and my life this summer! I’m starting to look forward now and can’t wait to get stuck into some lush late summer and autumnal colour. Stay tuned for a showcase of some of my recent work, and some details of the lovely weddings I’ve been involved with this year.


Alana x