On a wedding venue visit with a customer of mine, I realised that lots of people don't know how wedding floristry comes together. Often it involves multiple meetings between myself and the couple/bride to discuss colours, themes and budget, as well as a chance to visit the venue and discuss the requirements of each individual wedding. Sometimes it can be sorted in just the one face-to-face meeting. I was trying to think of ways to explain this process to my blog readers, and I realised that documenting a venue visit would be the best way to get across how it all works! Venue visits are definitely one my personal highlights of my job. August bank holiday Monday was no different with a lovely day in the fun at the beautiful Cogges Farm in Witney.
The morning of the meeting:
I wake up and have a coffee - A little energy boost on a busy day never goes amiss! I plan my route towards the venue which happens to be Cogges Manor Farm in Witney. It's not a huge drive away but I like to get there on time, so I plan to leave early.
The excited couple (Tommy and Annie) have chosen the perfect venue to make their own, in expansive garden grounds with an orchard, walled gardens and two barns set in the heart of Oxfordshire. With ideal surroundings the theme soon starts to take shape – Wildflowers picked from the garden.
Both barns hold character and charm perfect to inspire as we walk through the ceremony and reception layouts, when starting with a blank canvas you are able to let the imagination flow. Flowers are a perfect way to enhance a location, in this case using wildflowers to create a special whimsical touch and to bring the outside in.
On the way to the visit:
My imagination goes wild about what the venue will look like and what the flowers will look like in place. In the original consultation I remember the bride saying it was an August wedding she had booked - This means plenty of Summer flowers! It’s also the perfect time to visit as it means we are at the right time of year for their wedding too! I arrive at Cogges Manor Farm ready to chat through some great ideas!
At the venue:
Cogges Manor Farm is a lovely venue. As I park I see the barns, which will be used to host both the wedding and the after-party. They look stunning, and really suit the local area. Meadow flowers will look great in there!
Annie and Tommy (the couple) leads me on a tour of the venue, explaining her vision of the wedding as we go round the barns. This kind of meeting and visit is important for me to really understand exactly what the couple wants, as well as to get an idea of how many flowers and what types to give the perfect look to the venue.
We visited the ceremony barn where we spoke about the couple’s ideas and visions. We spoke about themes, styles, colours and the room layout, flowers, the aisle, how to dress the entrance, chair/bale ends, the front of barn area where the couple will stand, signing table flowers, little nooks in the wall to fill with flowers and tea light votives for added character. Essentially, we spoke about EVERYTHING!
We then went into the main barn where the wedding breakfast and reception will take place. The conversation continued as we discusses table layouts, flowers, style, dressing the entrance, props that are supplied by the venue, chair choice and how to keep the flow throughout the whole venue.
After chatting for ages about venue flowers we went to explore the grounds further. The outdoor space that the couple get as part of their wedding package is beautiful. It’s really typically Cotswold’s market town, which is right up my street - There’s something about stone buildings and wild flowers that is just timelessly beautiful to me. There are plenty of spaces for picture opportunities on the day including the orchard, and there’s a few animals too - if that’s your thing!
It was fair to say that we were very tired after all the exploring and idea creation - time for a cup of tea! Luckily Cogges has a café that was open at the time we visited! We sat and carried on talking about plans. It’s really hard to take a break when you get on a roll. Wedding flowers are really exciting, and I love when a bride and groom are as enthusiastic about them as me! As we got into the finer details about the flowers they required, I began to think more in depth about which specific types of flowers might be suitable. We briefly discussed budget too - it means I can give a realistic quote and plan that suits the couple.
We say goodbye, and I let the bride know that I'll be in touch with a quote and some initial ideas. I can see the excitement in her face - Another happy bride-to-be!
After the meeting:
On my way back from Cogges Manor Farm I start thinking about how both the barns will be dressed. I consider colours, flowers, numbers and space to provide a bespoke plan for every wedding. I type up a quote for the couple, as well as an outline of my ideas for the big day. Last thing in the evening I send it off, and sit down in front of the TV.
Visiting a venue is an exciting day for every couple and for me as a florist. It gives me a real chance to visualise the floristry for the day, and the couple to get an idea of what I can do for them. Ultimately, a venue visit is not essential, but extremely helpful for both the couple and me as a florist. It's not a stressful day at all, and it's another step towards the big day!
Peppermint & Peony.