Join L&T on their Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers journey – from our first call to their wedding day
There are some wedding venues that are just made for florals. I was asked to create Lauren and Tom’s romantic wedding flowers in Upwaltham Barns in October. And I’ve been hopelessly – obsessively- in love with the place ever since.
The family-run wedding venue in West Sussex has a rare warmth, and modern rustic charm. And when Lauren and Tom first saw it, they knew they wanted to bring it alive with flowers.
And bring it alive we did! With magnificent floral columns, gorgeous textures, and toasty-warm autumn hues, L&T’s wedding flowers in Upwaltham Barns became the centre-piece of the styling. Lifting the inherent beauty of the space, and elevating it to become something truly special and reflected their unique couple personality.
But as with any wedding flowers, it didn’t all start and end with the day itself. So as I’m sharing their wedding with you, I thought I’d share their journey with you as well. From our very first call together, all the way through to their wedding day. Here’s how we took L&T’s vision and brought it to life.
The first date
The first time I ever spoke to Lauren and Tom was on a wedding flower consultation call, back in 2022. Their enquiry landed in my Inbox 14 months before their wedding day, full of excitement and anticipation at having just made the first steps towards what they deemed as one of the most important parts of creating their dream wedding day vibe.
At this point, L&T were like most couples planning their dream wedding day. They had their venue booked, and their colour palette in mind. But aside from that, all they had was a hazy idea of how they wanted their day to feel. They just knew they wanted to fill their day with the most spectacular florals – but how, and where, were the parts that required some refining and guidance so that they transform their uncertainty into butterflies.
And that’s why our first call is always such an exciting part of the process! It’s our chance to take those brief ideas you’ve had in your head for years, bring them out into the light, give it shape, and get excited about it together for the first time.
Lauren and Tom wanted their wedding flowers in Upwaltham Barns to celebrate the aesthetic of the venue, not overpower it. Complementing the venue’s warm, modern vibes with the soft, romantic tones of autumn. My mind started reeling with toffees and creams, and I got their vision in a heartbeat!
After jumping on a Zoom call to meet, discuss the vision and get excited about L&T’s big day, I went away and compiled a quotation based on their flora wish list, shaping it to their desired spend and what would compliment their stunning venue the most and give them those killer photographs. After pinging the quotation back to the couple a few days following our call, they locked it in with their deposit and contract – game on!
The design proposal for L&T’s Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers
By this point, we had a dreamy plan in place for L&T, and they knew that I was always available to answer any questions, run ideas by, and make any tweaks to their checklist. With just 6 months until their big day, it was time to get granular with the details and create a design proposal that encompassed their vibe and colour story, filled with mood boards, mock ups and suggested florals that would make up the recipe to their designs. An excited email landed in my Inbox in response:
“Hi Gemma. Thank you so much for sending this through – it’s exactly what we had in mind and really brings the vision to life. Love all the colours you have selected. Thanks for taking the time to put it together! I’m so excited to see everything come together on our big day.”
My design proposal was centred around modern elegance and simplicity.
For the colour story, I chose a blend of silky blush, cream, faded apricot and rust hues. Harmonising with the natural wood and brickwork tones throughout the venue, as well as the toffee and gold accents in their styling.
As a floral designer, I love to celebrate the flowers, not the foliage. I adore that modern, romantic aesthetic where there’s more petals than leaves, and each bloom almost deserves its own bouquet. (It’s why I tend to choose premium flower varieties, with larger blooms, and a higher petal count.)
For L&T, I chose a dreamy, textured mix of Toffee, petal-heavy Playa Blanca, and silky Vendela Roses, teamed with apricot fragrant Stock and ruffly Lisianthus.
Making a statement
A big part of any floral design is working with your investment to create the most impact, bringing your vision to life in the most imaginative way possible.
For Lauren and Tom, we identified what was most important to them – creating awesome memories through their photographs – and teamed this with enhancing the key features of the venue with beautiful florals.
I loved the idea of having floral columns for their ceremony. They give you that immediate butterflies feeling as soon as you enter the space. They frame you perfectly as you say your vows. And they can also be repurposed behind the head table at dinner; backdropping your photos during the speeches, which I proposed during our initial call.
L&T were planning on spending a fair amount of time outside as well. So I also suggested floral accents above the barn doors. They’d frame their confetti shot, elevate the background of so many drinks-reception candids, and create a perfect backdrop for family photos.
Et voila! Between the grand floral columns and the floral accents above the barn doors, we’d made sure their visual ‘story’ would flow seamlessly throughout their whole day.
Now we had the big picture, it was time to get granular with the design details.
Bouquets, bridesmaids and buttonholes
With wedding flowers, one of the big responsibilities (possibly the biggest) is ‘building the bridge’ between the wedding party outfits and the rest of the styling. You want it to look like it was all on purpose. It’s why one of the first things I do is ask for photos of your outfits!
Tom’s tie was going to be a deep chocolate brown, and Lauren’s spectacular Suzanne Neville wedding dress a shade of pure white. So I filled Lauren’s bouquet and Tom’s buttonhole with accents of white, and chocolate. And when you see them together in photos, while their outfits are different, the accents in the florals visually tie them together seamlessly.
Lauren’s Pretty Lavish bridesmaids dresses were a gorgeous toffee brown hue, so with this in mind, I added accents of toffee into the bouquet, tying Lauren’s outfit in with her girls’.
I then continued that visual theme throughout the whole florals. So in every photo, as long as there are flowers in the shot, the wedding party is subtly complemented by the shades in the frame.
Tying their florals in with the rest of the styling
Don’t you just love that “oh wow” feeling you get when you walk into a well put-together space? That deeply satisfying, take-your-breath-away perfection, where every detail looks like it just…belongs. That’s how I want you to feel when you walk into your wedding reception.
And you only get that when the whole styling comes together as one.
So when I was designing L&T’s Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers, I worked closely with the other incredible suppliers in their dream team to build cohesion and intention across all the design elements.
I worked with their cake artist, Regan at Wiggle Cakes, to design the statement florals cascading down their stunning three-tiered cake. We took the measurements of each tier, refining how many flowers we’d need, what size booms would look best. I worked with the couple on their stationery too, adding floral accents for their beautiful Table Plan and Order of Day to enhance the stunning work and create further floral moments across L&T’s day.
And for me, it’s this kind of attention to detail that gives you that ‘oh wow’ feeling when you enter the room. Where it’s not just a collection of separate entities thrown together. But a visual symphony where the colours, the details and the florals are all designed together with intent.
The wedding day
I arrived at Upwaltham Barns in the morning, and headed straight to Lauren and her girls to drop off their bouquets. I brought them some empty vases as well, so they could pop their bouquets in there when they weren’t in use. (It may not seem like much, but it’s an extra piece of decoration, and it keeps them looking fresh!)
We’d had our final planning call together 6 weeks before, so every last detail was finalised in advance. And once I’d dropped the buttonholes off to Tom and his boys, I faded into the background and did my thing, waiting to repurpose their abundant ceremony feature to their top table to they could continue to enjoy the design feature. Liaising directly with the other suppliers involved, speaking to the venue team and making sure everything was taken care of without L&T having to pass messages or get involved. Because that’s what it’s all about for me, making sure my couples are at their most relaxed so that they can truly enjoy their special day without any stresses.
Check out the incredible result, captured expertly by Gemma at Romy Lawrence Photography:
Check out the entire Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers gallery here.
“We couldn’t have picked a better florist for our wedding day. Gemma created the most beautiful florals for our day, we were blown away with how she brought our vision to life and had so many compliments from guests and suppliers. She was also a pleasure to work with, really taking the time on our zoom consultations to get to know us and our likes/dislikes, and came up with a beautiful colour palette which tied in perfectly with our venue, the autumnal vibe, and our stationery and bridesmaid dresses. I would highly recommend Gemma to any future couples. Thank you so much! Lauren & Tom xx”
Looking for someone to take care of your Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers?
If you’re looking for someone to work on your Upwaltham Barns wedding flowers and you love my work, I’d be really excited to hear from you.
Get in touch today to start the journey.
Make up @jennyojomua
Lover of bakeries, pretty fabrics and Etsy. When I’m not planning gorgeous wedding flowers for my beautiful couples, I’m doting on my little rescue dog, attending a gig, eating pizza or I’m glued to my laptop working when I should probably be relaxing.