Wedding in Waterford Castle Hotel
Today started as almost any day does with a strong mug of coffee for me and a healthy breakfast for the dogs.
While waiting for the water to boil I can’t resist taking a photo with my phone of the beautiful pink tulips in our kitchen that are now so wide open that the hot pink tulip is turning purple and will have possibly lost its petals by the time I arrive home later.
While drinking my coffee I take time to admire the latest spring growth in my garden.
The magnificent Gunnera plant seems to have almost doubled in size overnight after last nights rain fall.
It is a wonderful pleasure to see this plant growing to over 3 meter in a matter of a few months from now.
Halfway trough my coffee I find myself thinking about the flowers on our Easter lunch table this weekend. Hope there won’t be to much rain so these fab. pure white daffs will still look good on sunday so I don’t need to go to my local florist.
Now that I am awake it’s across the garden into our flower studio and work shop and straight into the office to check on the emails, what often means, deleting lots of incoming spam, answering urgent mails and forwarding the rest to any of our 3 flower shops or to Diana in accounts.
Downstairs into the store and loading up all I need for todays wedding in Waterford Castle. But before traveling to Waterford I have to drop off 60 white roses from our cold room to our flower shop in Kilkenny where they will need these this morning for an order for funeral flowers.
Grateful that Julie opens her news agent store right beside our flower shop in Kilkenny well before 9 am gives me my second caffeine intake of the day while driving to Waterford.
Arriving in Waterford at our flower shop in the Superquinn, Kilbarry shopping centre on the Tramore Road just after 9 o’clock where all the outdoor display of flowers and plants is looking bright and inviting and the shop floor glooming after just been washed down is a nice welcome for anyone to walk in to.
My welcome got even better when Mashy, one of our multi-talented wedding florists in Waterford, arrived with her Hungarian style chocolate cake she baked last night in her Grandmother’s enamel baking tray that looked just as beautiful as the the cake tasted fantastic. And as you can imagine this had to be accomioned with some coffee.
After our joint breakfast it was time to get on with the task of the day. While Mashy finished off the last of the floral displays for today’s wedding in Waterford Castle and Tanja was kept busy with orders that had come in overnight trough Interflora and our online florist website I made a start on the bridal bouquet.
The brides bouquet that the bride has chosen for today is one of my very own favorites. An unstructured hand tied bouquet made with white/greenish Avalanche roses, white Ranunculus flowers, white Lilac flowers and the ultimate in bridal flowers; the white Lily of the Valley.
Starting with the white Lilac flowers, a scented flower that needs lots of water. In order to make sure the Lilac will last for the day each stem of flowers is wired and taped after the stems are covered with cotton wool soaked in water to allow for drinking.
The same routine is repeated for each individual Lily of the Valley stem before I start putting the bouquet together.
Creating flowers for someone’s wedding day is no different that most jobs we do on a daily base when it comes down to preparation and planning. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” .
From the first contact with the than “bride to be” well over six months ago, the 3 times myself, Mashy and the bride and her mum have met up to discuss all the details and the many emails back and forward with ideas, suggestions, questions and much more.
After all details were finalized it was up to me and Mashy to order the correct varieties of flowers from the Dutch flower auction and for some direct from the growers as well as deciding on what day did we want the flowers to arrive into our shop in order to have them all at the perfect state of ripeness on the day of the wedding. For instance the white Lilac takes aprox. 5 to 7 days before blooms are perfectly open as with the Lily of the Valley we like to have these come in to us direct from the growers in Holland only one day before the wedding.
After all flowers are prepared the putting together of the bouquet is a delicate but very satisfying job.
I love the movement in the bouquet that is achieved by both the Lilac (Seringa) and the Lily of the valley.
All is left is the finishing of the stem of the bouquet. All stems are tied together and taped to create a neat and comfortable stem to hold. After that we cover the stem with a thick layer of dry cotton wool and tape this once again to soften the handle and take out any uneven surface. Last than is the ribbon around the handle what will match the colour of the brides dress.
This can be a daunting task for many as you want to make sure the finished product reflects the perfection given to every detail of the wedding flowers. The best lesson I ever got was from a nurse who thought me how they put bandage on to someone’s finger.
While Tanja and myself are loading all flowers and arrangements into our van for delivery to Waterford Castle, Mashy checks her emails and replies to some of the brides that we will be doing flowers for over the next few weeks and months.
As the Civil wedding is held in the main entrance foyer of the Castle the bride asked us to provide a natural green arch with some white flowers from where she will enter the ceremony. Most of the arch was made up outside and finished off inside in the hotel.
We used a selection of different greens to create some interesting texture to the arch such as the Cypresses branches, natural green Ivy trails, soft fluffy Asparagus foliage, silver Eucalyptus foliage and small leaved high gloss dark green Ruscus foliage.
The open scented white lilies and than the white baby’s breath (Gypsophylla) are added at the last moment.
Opposite the arch we placed 2 large upright modern pedestal arrangements as a focal point to where the vows will be read by bride and groom.
The flowers used in these dramatic displays are the large open white Amaryllis flowers, the white Avalanche roses, white ranunculus flowers the babies breath and for scent we added some creme/white stock to the arrangements. An equal important element of those displays is the selection of foliages and branches used arrangements such as the large green Monstera leaves at the base of the arrangements, the silver gray Eucalyptus foliage, the upright Aspidistra leaves and seasonal Pussy Willow at the top and dark green Ruscus foliage throughout as well as tied around the base of the stand.
The magnificent foyer in Waterford Castle Hotel with it’s imposing grand fireplace makes for a beautiful rich but also intimate setting for any civil wedding were comfortably up to 80 guests (and possibly more) can be seated.
As Mashy went back up to the bridal suit to give the bride, who she had got to know and like during her many discussions on planning the flowers for her big day, a big hug and wish her a wonderful day, I had a few minutes to walk around the garden and admire the flowering Camellia’s as well as the first of the Rhododendrons that were starting to open.
On the way out while we were waiting for the ferry that brings us from the Island on witch Waterford Castle is positioned we were greeted by some of the deer living the the Isle.
On the way back to the shop, after stopping whit Margaret in our flower shop in the Ardkeen Quality Food store on the Dunmore Road in Waterford I discuss with Mashy our weddings coming up later on that week and over the next few weeks.
While I arrive home todays bride is about to sit down to no doubt an unforgettable meal by Michael Quinn, the award winning head chef at Waterford Castle Hotel in Waterford, Ireland.
For me it’s in front of the fire watching the last two episodes of “True Blood” I recorded earlier.
If you like your wedding flowers to be looked after by a team that is guaranteed to care as much about their work as you do about your special day, and who’s inspiration lies with all that is beautiful in nature, contact us via our website;