All our favourites from a great year of Dorset celebrations

Jessie Copper :: Saturday 2nd May 2020 :: Latest Blog Posts

Eleanor and Steve's wedding - Image by Sofie Michelle Photography


Well, we didn't quite have the weather of the previous year, but last summer was a bumper wedding bonanza for us here at WDWF HQ, and I can't believe I've left it until May to share our best bits with you!

Victoria with her bridesmaid - Image by One Thousand Words Photography

Image by One Thousand Words Photography 

 The year began at the same place it finished; Athelhampton House. This beautiful (and conveniently local!) venue has been a favourite of ours forever, and the feeling appears to be mutual, as they have been recommending us as their preferred florist for over a decade now. Victoria and Karl tied the knot in April, but it was their little flower-girl who stole the show, appearing with her little cheeky face in so many lovely photos; I think the photographers Murray and Tom took a liking to her, for sure! Victoria and her bridesmaid's bouquets - image by One Thousand Words Photography

Image by One Thousand Words Photography


Victoria chose that late spring favourite; the peony, which we combined with 'White O'Hara roses, love-in-the-mist and white freesias in a classic palette of white, pale blue and soft peach. 

 Early spring is always the perfect time to arrange a collaborative photoshoot with other leading suppliers as the season hasn't yet kicked off entirely (leaving us all a little more available), plus - selfishly - the flowers are always great at this time of year and, in my opinion, undervalued by many brides who wait until the weather warms a bit more, missing out on earlier spring glories such as hellebores, narcissi and delicate fruit blossoms.

We joined forces with some great bridal specialists on 1st May to create some magic at King John's House, and you can read all about this striking shoot (with a Japanese twist) here.

King John House Photoshoot - Image by Peppermint Love Photography

Image by Peppermint Love Photography 


Next up was a dramatic shift of colour, to Helen and Chris's celebration in May. This venue - Symondsbury Tithe Barn, near Bridport - was reasonably new to us, but is now a firm favourite with many of their 2020 and 2021 brides since choosing us to create their flowers. I loved the shade of these bridesmaid's dresses; not quite burgundy, not quite plum and with definite dusky undertones, they were a joy to flower-match to.

 Helen and Chris - Image by Lyme Bay Photography

Image by Lyme Bay Photography 


It was still peony season (too good an opportunity to miss), so we combined deep red peonies with pinot noir ranunculus buttercups, 'Amnesia' roses, scented lilac and white freesias. Helen wanted a neat style for the bouquets, which looked stylish and suited her slim figure.


Helen and Chris - Image by Lyme Bay Photography

Image by Lyme Bay Photography 


Mid-May and mid-week, we next headed to Devon for Katie and Alex's memorable day...

Katie and Alex - Image by Rebecca Roundhill Photography

Image by Rebecca Roundhill 

You can read more about this special occasion on my dedicated blog post, here


Next, we were ready for a serious burst of colour, and Lisa and Pete were very obliging. They chose the stunning Manor Hotel at West Bexington for their wedding weekend, which is in an amazing location, right on the Jurassic Coast with totally wow sea-views. When I arrived to begin their set-up that morning, the mist was low and I couldn't see a thing, but by the time I was finished, it had lifted and the sight was truly breathtaking. What an amazing location to celebrate an intimate celebration.


Bride and dog with matching flowers - Lisa and Peter - Images by Tristan Gale Photography

Image by Tristan Gale Photography 


A riot of amazing coral peonies, peachy roses, delicate blue oxypetalum, raspberry astilbe, and tactile senecio did the trick, and we incorporated these to create a romantic hanging bower on the verandah, in front of which the happy couple said their vows.


Lisa and Peter's floral hanging bower - Image by Tristan Gale Photography

Image by Tristan Gale Photography 


At the beginning of June we were back at one of our old favourites - Gorwell Barn - for the celebration of Victoria and Ashley. The style here was very meadowy, with delicate pastel shades and more of those super-eyecatching peonies. 

Victoria and Ashley's meadowy flowers, with delicate pastel shades - Image by Linus Moran Photography

Image by Linus Moran Photography 

The overall look was very pretty with a beautiful dreamy edge. 

"Jessie is 100% committed to her work; it shines through as more of a passion than a 'job'. Her work is exquisite, and her knowledge of the varieties of flowers at my initial consultation blew me away. Her communication throughout the stressful wedding planning was perfect, more like a 'florist friend' than a supplier."  Victoria - The Bride.


Victoria and Ashley's wedding flowers - Image by Linus Moran Photography

Image by Linus Moran Photography 

Old Harry Rocks Photoshoot - Image by Leonie May Photography


Another month, another photoshoot and this one - shot at the famous Studland landmark - was more informal than many I am involved with.  The models chosen were a real-life couple, which - in my experience - makes a real difference to getting that natural feel through the lens. Teemed with a simple dress and a classic Dorset location, there was little else needed except a fabulous photographer to capture some memorable images that have become a new brand image on our marketing material here at WDWF.

Old Harry Rocks Photoshoot - Image by Leonie May Photography

Image by Leonie May Photography 


Amy and Matt opted for my bride-on-a-budget package and so I never got to meet them in person, and yet the publicity excitement that surrounded their wedding, and the amazing feedback I have received from them, makes me feel like they are old friends! Held at The Old Milking Parlour at Cavokay House, they have been featured in Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding Magazine as well as various other blogs, and are certainly a couple to remember. Since they've gone viral, I reckon I need to give them their own blog here too..... it's on the to-do list.


Amy and Matt's wedding - Image by OXI Photography

Image by OXI Photography 


June was also Emma and Alex's month, and the weather held off for long enough to allow them to say their vows under the whopping arch that we created for them, over the entrance to Athelhampton House. A classic and romantic occasion all round.


Emma and Alex's whopping floral arch - Image by Linus Moran Photography

Image by Linus Moran Photography 


In early July we had a very busy weekend, with Natasha and Dan getting married at Dewflock Farm, Lauren and Jake at Kingston Country Courtyard, and Eleanor and Steve tying the knot at the stunning Mapperton House & Gardens, so all the team were involved, with multiple vehicles out on the road and a powerful adrenaline rush for us all in the lead up to the weekend. 


Eleanor and Steve - Image by Sofie Michelle Photography

Image by Sofie Michelle Photography


Eleanor & Steve chose the intimate chapel at North Chideock to make their vows, and the sun shone on them and their guests all day. Steve had proposed at Kew Gardens so there was a great importance to the flowers and plants that adorned their day, including Kew earthenware planters on the tables and the inclusion of scented lavender, freesias and tendrils of creamy-white jasmine.


Eleanor and Steve - Image by Sofie Michelle Photography

Image by Sofie Michelle Photography 


On the same day, Sara and Mark were also celebrating at Athelhampton House, and the palette was a unique combination of nudes and dusky pink with hints of strong raspberry, which was a joy to work with.


Sara and Mark's nudes and dusky pink with hints of strong raspberry - Image by Sadie Osborne Photography

Image by Sadie Osborne 


As always, the venue didn't disappoint for this happy pair, and the beautiful & blousy vintage roses stood up to the intense heat. 

"Jessie was awesome from start to finish. She gave me complete peace of mind that all my crazy ideas would come together beautifully, and nothing was too much trouble. The flowers on the day were bloomin' marvellous ... I cannot thank Jessie enough, and would highly recommend her to anyone in need of an honest, reliable and bliming brilliant florist!"   Sara - The Bride


Sara and Mark - Image by Sadie Osborne Photography

Image by Sadie Osborne 


Emma and Rich probably win the award for 'most loveable couple of the year'. Amazing smiles, contagious personalities and great senses of humour made them instantly likeable when I met them the previous year, and their adoration for each other was enviable.

They flew in from eastern Australia for their big day at Bournemouth Beach Weddings (Bellissimo Weddings), and arranged everything from the other side of the world with superb efficiency by choosing great suppliers and befriending them all.... a perfect recipe for success.

"Jessie was incredible throughout ... her assistance when planning a wedding from the other side of the world was amazing. She was easy to communicate with, I put my trust in her completely, and I was overwhelmed with the beautiful flowers on the day."  Emma - The Bride


Emma and Rich's bouquets in yellows and whites - Image by Aimee Joy Photography

Image by Aimee Joy Photography 


Their sunshiney colours will make you smile from ear-to-ear, and having only recently received their pictures at the time of writing this, I can feel a full in-focus blog post coming on, as it is impossible to just choose two of their images. Watch this space...


Emma and Rich's sunshiney flowers image by Aimee Joy Photography

Image by Aimee Joy Photography


Not to be outdone when it comes to colour schemes, Lindsay and Duncan equally brought a riot of sunshine to our lives in mid-August, and it was lovely to visit Bryanston for our first wedding at this striking venue. 


Lindsay and Duncan - Image by Sofie Michelle Photography

Image by Sofie Michelle Photography 


'Deja-Vu' and 'Creme de la Creme' roses with herbaceous snap-dragons, crocosmia and poppy seed-heads gave wonderful texture, and we added huge streaky locally-grown dahlias at the venue for serious wow-factor.


Probably the most striking couple of the year were Oxana and Dan. Models, fashion lovers and instagram icons, these two oozed style and serious X-factor.


Oxana and Dan instagram icons marry - Image by Laura Dean Weddings

Image by Laura Dean Weddings 


If anything, their wedding was more understated than anything else I had seen them do in their crazy and inspiring lives, but their choices were right, as they let both Oxana's beauty and some striking hints of their quirky attitudes shine through.


Oxana and Dan - Image by Julian Giambelluca

Image by Julian Giambelluca 


An intimate reception for just 20-or-so special guests at The Priory in Wareham followed their simple ceremony and their nude/bleached palette was a fantastic artistic challenge to perfect.

And then in September we grabbed a few spare hours to take on another challenge, creating designs for a same-sex environmentally-friendly photo-shoot at Symondsbury Estate. Again a set of highly-experienced suppliers came together to create unique images that you can see in full here in our news blog.


Symondsbury Estate wedding eco-shoot - Image by Sadie Osborne Photography

Image by Sadie Osborne 


Finally, the season went out with a bang when we created a huge eye-catching archway at St Peter's Church in the centre of Dorchester for Rosie and Scott's wedding. As they exited the church together under the floral canopy, almost the entire high street of Saturday shoppers stood in crowds, marvelling at the spectacle, before the happy couple headed to Athelhampton to dance the night away. 


Rosie and Scott's floral archway - Image by Graham Hiscock

Image by Graham Hiscock 


And so there we are! I think it's fair to say that 2019 has been more memorable than 2020 will be, or at least for all the right reasons. As I sit in my office writing this in isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become clear that wedding season 2020 is going to be - frankly - non-existent. I hope and pray that at the same time next year I have at least a few new images to show you of the year that is disappearing before our eyes, but either way I wish all my friends and colleagues health and prosperity through these tricky times. I hope this 2019 rundown has helped to lift your spirits. 

 Stay well and safe - Jx