One of the very many best bits of my job is talking to wedding couples about their wedding plans, their tastes and lives, their vision for their flowers. Certain words pop up again and again: romantic, natural, wild, informal. As I worked out and planned the flowers for this weekend's wedding, however, the magic word which I had ringing in my ears was "power". Two all green posies for the two adult bridesmaids. Several little buttonholes and corsages for the wedding party, all with a strong orange element. Very many buckets of foliage for the wedding party to decorate the marquee with. A smart, mostly green bouquet for the bride, "not soft or pretty", to work with her dusky pink skirt which kicked open to reveal a sheeny orange lining. Bringing life to a tiny ancient earthern-feeling rural church. Decorating a 5m long, 4m high structural beam with a thick garland of foliage and hanging flowers.
The church, at Tugford, is one of my very favourites, where we have spent happy mornings swellinging the tiny friendly congregation, and where the sun beams into the heavy building through the clear plain windows and glows in the depths of the soft mustard-coloured walls. There is a narrow stair at the back, by the bell tower, which leads up to a creaky unsafe-feeling balcony, an appealling collection of old wooden pews, and a stream bordering the little churchyard with sheep grazing in the field beyond. I can't pretend that it wasn't stressful, with me calling suggestions to a growing-less-patient Barney four metres up a ladder, while merry Oxfordy ushers milled casually about testing out the (very loud) sound system and Henry charged in and out on his new tricycle, or that at this late stage in the season we are entirely on top of every detail (I am remembering here making a dash through the rain to pin the last buttonhole onto the last smiling usher, removing first the piece of orange tape on his lapel labelling him, "usher"), but... It was wonderful. It was wonderful to work together, with help from our friends and team, to create part of the backdrop for the special day of two very special-seeming people. It was an honour to be allowed to probe a little into their lives to enable us to come up with decorations that were beautifully and uniquely and only ever for them.