I first discovered Natalie’s beautiful bouquets and floristry back in 2006 when my Sister got married. Fast forward 10 years and I met her at a local wedding fair in Arundel where both myself and Al fell in love with Amberlilys.  They often say that your relationship with your wedding supplier’s is crucial to the overall success of your special day and Natalie was great at answering our questions, sharing her expertise and putting us both at ease. After trawling Pininterest for just over a year and sending numerous emails and messages to Natalie, me and Al both agreed that we couldn’t think of anyone who we would rather have as our florist, so we went ahead and booked Natalie for our 2018 Summer wedding.


A cute idea for your wedding photograph’s perhaps?

How much of our wedding budget should we allocate for our flowers?

Mmm, general guide would be 5-10% of total cost of wedding.

We are having a 2 year engagement when should I book my florist?

If your florist is recommended she will probably be booking a year ahead especially during wedding seasons typically June through August.


A symbol of a long life and good luck makes the Sunflower the perfect choice for your wedding blooms.

I am on a really tight budget, what can I do to ensure I get the most from it?

Make sure you choose seasonally abundant flowers i.e. Don’t ask for peonies in August as their season is May to June. Ask your florist to help you get the best for your money as they’ve made many weddings to many budgets. Above all be realistic as the Internet can show lots of designs but not all will be in your reach.


Natalie is guaranteed to make all of your floral dreams blossom!

I really want peonies but I am getting married in August. What alternatives should I consider?

There are many open blousy roses such as David Austen or Equadorian varieties that look similar to peonies. Remember that buying peonies if put of season will be costly if they’re available and they’ll not be at their best either!


Peonies are the perfect choice for a Spring Wedding.

What made you want to become a florist?

 I was made redundant from my job, I’ve always been arty so I went to an open day at an Agricultural college and decided to sign up for Floristry! Took all my qualifications and got a job in a florist to get hands on experience whilst I learned.


This stunning assemble would look great during the Summer.

Do you have any other hobbies?

Yes I love to draw and paint, use pastels and I am teaching myself crochet!  I Love to be at the seaside or in the woods with my best friend Little Pip


“Stop and smell the roses.”

What is your favourite flower and why?

Favourite flower is Lily of the valley, beautiful delicate and highly scented


With just over 150 types of roses you are guaranteed to find one that means something to you.

Have you always work as a florist?

No I’ve trained as a mortgage advisor, worked in a bank and in Insurance and whilst in Canada I worked in a telecommunications company!


Another romantic floral dream.


What would look great for a barn wedding?

A barn wedding….most have beautiful interiors and I would always try to keep to the theme to match the venue. Lots of foliage’s and candle light in particular is a favourite of mine.


“Lots of foliage’s and candle light in particular is a favourite of mine.”

Any tips on how to find the right florist?

I think you need to meet the florist, I love meeting my brides to be…it’s an exciting time. Share any ideas with them and ask them for their help as they will guide you. Make a scrap-book of designs and colours you like before meeting as it helps to have a starting point. You’ll know if they’re right and don’t just go for the cheapest, especially if their work is not your style.


Just one of the many bouquets created by Natalie that I am currently dreaming of for our special day.

Well that concludes this week’s Bride diaries from the talented Natalie from Amberlilys. If you are considering a florist and would like to see some more examples of her fantastic creations then you can find her over on Facebook . Whilst I am disappointed that I am unable to create my dream Peony filled bouquet, I am confident that Natalie will exceed all of our wildest dreams when it comes to creating some floral masterpieces for our Summer Barn wedding and I know that with her guidance we will create something that we all love.


Beautiful Almonry Barn in the heart of Somerset.

Beautiful ‘Almonry Barn’ in the heart of Somerset.

So you have finally found that perfect venue for your big day and have booked your first venue visit. Exciting times are ahead, but before you go slipping into your dreamy ‘Pininterest’ inspired world of Weddings.

It is important to remember that the venue will ultimately set the tone for the whole of your day. What’s more venues do take up a large chunk of your final budget. With this in mind, it is important to make a note of your basic requirements and questions, so you can take these with you when you go to visit your potential venue.

Here is a list of questions that both myself and Al decided to ask our venue:

  • Is our date available?
  • Is Wi-Fi available for guests?
  • Is VAT included in the final price?
  • Do you offer a payment  plan?
  • Are Fireworks permitted?
  • Can we leave cars overnight on the premises?
  • When can suppliers have access to the site?
  • Can our marquee company have access to carry out a risk assessment prior to the event?
  • When can we set up?
  • When do we need to pack up and leave?
  • What is the finish time?
  • Do you have any sound restrictions in place?
  • Do you charge corkage?
  • Can we use external suppliers/Caterers?
  • Do we need a generator for our marquee?
  • What is the typical setup?
  • Do you provide tables/chairs?
  • What’s included in the final price?
  • What is the cost for a civil ceremony?
  • Can we decorate the venue?
  • Are candles permitted inside the barn?
  • Is confetti permitted?
  • Are pets permitted?
  • Are high heel shoes permitted inside the barn?
  • Can we bring our parents to view the venue at a later stage?

Final Notes

Remember to check out their website prior to your visit, as many venues tend to answer some of the basic questions regarding exclusive use, venue capacity, basic facilities, costs and may even provide a basic guide on the venue prior to your visit.

Have you found this post helpful? Make sure you check back next week for an exciting post on a new and upcoming wedding supplier.

Love Emma,








Searching for the perfect wedding venue is without a doubt one of the most important decisions that you will make throughout your entire engagement. Not only will it dictate the feel for the entire day, but it will also determine other factors such as guest numbers, ceremony type, timings, catering and ultimately your budget.

So, where do you start in your search for the perfect venue? I have decided to share a few suggestions to help you find the one.

  1. Budget – Before you do anything you need to first ascertain what you and your partner can afford.
  2. Basic Requirements – Decide what you both want. Do you want a traditional church wedding or do you want a more relaxed affair?
  3. Location, Location, Location – How far are you prepared to travel? Do you have family who will need to travel down to you? What time do you want your wedding to start? These are all things that will have an impact on where you decided to get married.
  4. Size? Discuss your potential guest list with your partner/Parents as this will determine what type of venue you should go for.
  5. Alcohol/ Entertainment – Do you have you heart set on fireworks? Do you want to serve alcohol at your wedding? Remember not all venues have an alcohol license or permit fireworks.
  6. Catering – what type of food and drink do you want to serve your guests? Do you want a formal sit down meal or perhaps a relaxed garden BBQ and Hog Roast. Are you planning on sourcing your own suppliers or alcohol? Some venues charge Corkage or an additional fee for this and other’s have very strict limitations in place that prevent you from even entertaining this idea all together.



Now you should have a good idea of what both of your basic requirements are and what you can realistically afford. The next step is to start doing your research. This may be online or you may decide to attend a few wedding fairs. Don’t forget to consider talking to friends and family who may be able to recommend potential suppliers or venues.

When I was searching for our venue I made a note of mine and Al’s requirements and tried to match this up to venues that were within our budget.Here is an example of what your requirements may look like:

  • Budget £15,000 – £20,000
  • Capacity up to 100 guests
  • Within a 40 mile radius
  • Civil Ceremony License
  • Relaxing atmosphere
  • Don’t charge corkage
  • Allow external suppliers
  • Child friendly
  • Allow Fireworks/ Lanterns
  • Grounds for external Marquee

Unless you are very lucky, then the chances are your dream venue probably won’t have everything that you dreamt off. So you will almost certainly have to decided what factors you are prepared to compromise on.

Once you have a list of potential venues, you need to make a shortlist of three or four venues that you really love and book an appointment to go view them.

Have you found this post useful? I am thinking of doing more ‘how to’ guides, is this something you would like to see more of? Don’t forget to come back next week for more ‘wedding wednesday’.

Love Emma