Gem of the Week ~ Capturing the Dream with Willow and Thyme

When I first started Ice the Cake back in 2011, Wedding Flowers were something that was a little bit alien to me.  I loved having them in a vase in my home, but I’ve never been a keen gardener and my knowledge of designs and types were extremely limited, apart from ‘oh that looks pretty’… 2 years on and to a degree, I am still none the wiser when it comes to more unusual breeds of flowers – lets face it there are thousands of them, but my desire for pretty and innovative designs has flourished and I put that down to spending time with some immensely talented florists, who’s passion for their craft is truly inspiring.

I feel very fortunate to now work with some top floral wedding designers and today it is my absolute delight to introduce you to the newest Wedding Florist to join Ice the Cake.  I caught up with Julie Wrigley (Joules), Owner of Willow and Thyme based in Padbury, Buckinghamshire for a little Q&A session.  Her designs really do leave me in absolute awe and she is a lovely person too (most important when you are putting your trust in a supplier for your big day!)…

When did you launch Willow and Thyme?
Summer 2011.

What did you do before?
I have a degree in Land Management and used to work for a commercial property development company, helping to realise the value of underutilised property assets. It may sound dull, but I loved it and worked with some fabulous people. When our fourth child arrived, I found the confidence I needed to follow my passion for all things floral; leading to the birth of another baby “Willow & Thyme”!

What designs do you create & what is your ‘style’?
Probably Country style, but like most florists I don’t really like to attach a label to my style.  I do however prefer loose, flowing designs and use seasonal flowers wherever possible.  I also love to experiment with different textures/flower combinations, often adding foliage from the garden to achieve a more natural look.

What is your favourite flower?
That’s a tough one as I probably have a favourite for every season, but I guess overall, I would have to say it’s the peony.

What flowers would you recommend for a Summer Wedding?
I would always recommend flowers that are in season, as they will be make your budget go so much further and you will have a more natural look. Just go with what you love and what reflects who you are, a good florist will always tell you if your ideas are sound. Try and incorporate interesting containers and accessories, that will develop your theme further – I love pale pinks & corals with soft greys and I am a massive fan of succulents and gorgeous seed heads mixed with pretty summer flowers.

What inspires you?
Anyone who pursues their dreams and treads outside their comfort zone, just a little!  There are some amazing wedding florists in California and Ohio – I love their laid back style and the way they incorporate less conventional plant material with their flowers but they do have the weather on their side. Oh and my children inspire me every day, they never seem to give up, even when they are finding things tough as we all do from time to time.

Where do you deliver your wedding flowers to?
For wedding work I cover Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. For bouquets and one-off pieces I can deliver within the Buckingham/Aylesbury area but I also run courses at home in Padbury and in Buckingham, for those who want to develop their own skills or pursue a new hobby.

What is your favourite thing about being involved in Weddings?
I love getting to know the couple and feeling a part of making their day truly memorable. It is great when you work with a couple who have chosen you because they love your style, they trust you and they give you a degree of latitude to be creative – it’s the best feeling ever when you capture their dream and deliver even more than they could have envisaged.  When a couple are so generous with their compliments, it’s when you know you’re in the best job.

Thank you Joules for sharing a little insight into your enchanting world… xx

Contact Willow and Thyme:
Location: Padbury, Buckinghamshire
Telephone: 01280 817368 / 07771 613306

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