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A Flower Fandango with the Travelling Floral Circus

23 Jul

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Ladies, you’re gonna lose it over this!

So last Wednesday, along with my soul sister Amy, we travelled down to Henley on Thames for a Flower Fandango! The brainchild of Floral Circus, the brief I’d been given was simple: Cocktails, tapas and flower crowns. I mean… Sounds like heaven, right? And it really was!

Set in the vibrant Mexican restaurant, Pachangas, this workshop-come-night-out would make the perfect hen party. Yet again ladies, we’re saving you from those dreaded L-plates and satin sashes; say hello to freshly cut peonies, more nachos than you could fit in a piñata and a stream of deliciously coloured cocktails!

Major thanks go to Amy Shore Photography for the stunning photos. As always, she’s perfectly captured the warmth and energy of the evening.

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Jo & her Floral Circus

Meet Jo (that’s her lovely smile in the above picture), the genius behind this concept. From a theatre set design background, Jo’s take on flowers is totally original and wonderfully lively. The concept of the Floral Circus is exactly as you’d imagine; incredible floral experiences, in a rich atmosphere, travelling to meet you and your party wherever you’re at.

The Flower Fandango was everything a bohemian girl could want: bright, bold shades of turquoise, orange and fuchsia, a sumptuous selection of finger foods and a resulting floral crown, made by your own fair hands for you wear as you dance the night away. But Jo hasn’t stopped there, oh no! If you’re more of a sunny afternoon in a sweet dress kinda girl, the Floral Circus offers an incredible Floral Tea Party workshop too; we’re talking a darling garden posy, afternoon tea and a gorgeous little manicure to finish! And as if that isn’t enough choice, Jo’s travelling Floral Circus will be creating flower hoops with a tipple of Russian vodka in the midst a parade of circus tricks this coming October! Hen Parties have never been so culturally enriched or so straight up fun, right?!

A Flower Fandango

Ok, so let’s talk about this Fandango. I’m not gonna lie, Amy and I took one step into the Floral Circus’ nook of Pachangas restaurant, and I turned to her and said: ‘Mate, this is Clare heaven’. The table was laden with individual tin buckets, bursting with incredible blooms; peonies and roses, in satsuma orange, a deep fuchsia, marbled pinks and a sunshine yellow, with a totally top-table-worthy turquoise horse head statue at the table’s centre, his mane adored with fresh blooms. It was stunning, what a WOW effect entrance!

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On arrival, we selected our complimentary cocktails from Pachangas vivacious menu, as always I managed to choose the most risqué concoction on the menu, which we  renamed ‘Number 7 on the menu’ thereafter! But, from my beautiful blush coloured Prosecco cocktail, to the popular coconut mojitos, the courtyard was an array of exotic colours and excited guests sipping on their fruity delights!

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Margaritas with Carlos

One cocktail down, relaxed and already sharing a joke with our fellow guests, next on the Fandango’s agenda was to learn how to make a Mexican classic, the Margarita. Pachangas‘ Carlos was the life and soul of this demonstration, allowing guests to take their turn at creating traditional and sweet, blended varieties of this South American classic. We took our sweet time, making each drink exactly to our taste, carefully salting the rim of our glasses and shaking our mixed liquors alongside the wonderfully animated Carlos; such fun!

Of course I got roped into it, as if you even needed to ask!

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Flower Crowns & Tapas Treats

Down to business, we were seated at the main table, whereby Jo distributed the sweet tin buckets of luscious flowers, all the equipment we’d need to complete our crowns, and served an easy to eat selection of tapas (more was to come later!) for us to nibble on throughout the workshop. Inspired by the icon that is Frida Kahlo, Jo briefly set the scene for us (don’t worry, it was no history lesson) and began to clearly and gracefully demonstrate the techniques involved.

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The beauty of this workshop, and I’m sure this goes for all of Jo’s marvellous parties, is that it’s totally accessible. You don’t have to be the next winner of the Chelsea flower show to ace this, believe me! Floral Circus takes wonderfully doable techniques, with minimal equipment and a fabulous lesson in the art from Jo, and then releases you to allow your own creativity to flourish! In fact it was so accessible, that the multi-taking goddess that is Amy managed to create her own (seriously spectacular) crown in between shooting the entire event and sipping on a Margarita!

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At the moment of completion, we of course, headed back out to the courtyard’s mirror like bees to honey, and the crown/hair arranging session began! Our fantastic floral creations and our pleased-as-punch cheshire grins were then photographed in all their glory. Seriously though, aren’t they just gorgeous?

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Inspiring Blooms

The incredible Fandango concluded with a beautiful showcase of Jo’s work. Something a little more avant-garde, we were greeted by two lovely models, whose insanely gorge, glittering make up was by Jade Soar, (jadesoar@hotmail.co.uk), wearing the most incredible flower crowns I’ve ever seen! Tall, elegant, full of vivid colours and the striking addition of ribbons; these crowns demonstrated Jo’s beautifully dramatic interpretation, but also her appreciation for their natural beauty. I’m still in awe of them now!

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Ending the night with our crowns atop our heads, another round of delectable cocktails and share platters of more sumptuous Mexican bites, we admired each other’s creations, continuing to tweak ours as we pleased and chatted to our heart’s content! We’d fitted in such a collection of brilliant experiences into a single evening, yet nothing felt rushed and Jo was an incredibly attentive host, whilst remaining completely unobtrusive. I only wish I’d seen this when I was planning my hen do, it really was the perfect party!

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…Of course, I couldn’t leave out the shot of my (poor) Rupert, who was forced to try on my crown on our arrival home. I know his face may not say this, but he loved it really!

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience of the Floral Circus’ Flower Fandago. If you’re looking for a party that’s quirky, original, creative and suitable for almost every age, then you’ve found it in Jo’s Floral Circus.

Peace + love,

Clare X

Glasto Style for Festival Brides

2 Jul

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Oh Heyy!

So, this hump day I’m gonna do you guys a little roundup on the Glastonbury 2014 fashion! It’s gonna take y’all a little bit of imagination to see how some of these trends can work for you as brides, but that’s what ‘thinking outside of the box’ is! We’re gonna bust up all those bridal traditions and consult some of fashion’s finest for the lowdown on festival fashion! Still swooning over Haim’s performance the day before, I donned my own little Festival eye look on Saturday: a dusting of gold glitter falling from both eyes. This is straight up the easiest way to get that festival vibe on your wedding day. I’ve raved about this stuff before, but Snazaroo’s glitter gel pots are freakin’ awesome! Available in the sweetest colours (I’m wearing Yellow Gold here, but Lavender is so next on my list to purchase!) they’re super easy to apply, way cleaner than a glitter dust, they’re enduring and they’re instant festival fun! Pop it in your bag on your wedding day, and ramp up your subtle dusting for your evening look!

Totally up for this? Read more on our festival makeup ideas in our Dare to Sparkle article, this’ll always be a firm favourite here at Festival Brides!

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So, from my little ode to Glasto over to the real deal; Lily’s Vivienne Westwood couture ensemble. I mean… Seriously, I’m in love! First up, her eye makeup is just ridiculous: underlined with a heavy sweep of silver glitter leading to a burst of pearlescent stars and topped with a sweeping cat line in black and neon pink; it’s festival perfection. A major dose of fun and sparkle, but with that sophisticated cat eyeliner flick and luscious lashes. She’s just such a babe! Also, can we talk about those nails?! They’re like a flower crown for your claws. SO fun.

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We totally loved this Westwood outfit; neon blush, a huge flourish of metallic gold in that skirt, an oversized satsuma coloured tassel, a sheer blush hood-style veil and an ever-changing silhouette. Come on, it’s just everything! There’s some major bridal inspiration to be taken from this. We love the idea of a transforming dress that moves from ceremony right through to partying with you, add in unconventionally boho jewels in that long silk tassel and a hooded bolero-fit veil and it doesn’t get any cooler, girls. Edgy, fun and man alive is it memorable! 17 Lily Concept 16 Lily Pink:Gold 2 Lily Veil

Ok, so now onto a totally different colour palette, my major #womancrushwednesday comes in the form of Este, Danielle and Alana: the super cool Cali sisters that are swoon-worthy Haim. These LA born and bred gals are all kinds of rad and the Other stage at Glastonbury saw them absolutely rocking a white-on-white-on-white palette. I mean, I lost it. BIG time. For summer 2014, there simply isn’t a anything more chic than this clean, simple trend. Add textures: fringing, fur, sheer embroidered pieces and pair with proper wild child hair, nude makeup and a sweep of black liner to avoid looking too angelic.

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Long waved locks, a short white mani, strong brows and a hella dose of attitude is the way to rock this trend. It’s Cali cool and works awesomely for a bride and her maids. Go all white and own it, ladies! Glasto also saw the ladies pairing their clean white looks with a bright rouge lip too. It’s a killer look, sultry, totally rock and roll and ace for a bride. A matte red lip never fails to elevate a bride to a whole other level of effortless cool. Take a cue from Este and the totally gorge Rita Ora…

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Looking for something a little less LA chic and a bit more indian summer? You’ll wanna take your cue from sweet Ellie Goulding, who totally aced her look with a sweet bindi adorning her forehead. Isn’t it incredible the effect a tiny little diamond crest between your brows can have? It totally transforms her look into boho perfection. Paired with a subtle metallic shade, a multitude of rings and of course throw a couple of loose braids through those dishevelled locks and it’s the pinnacle of undone beauty.

On that note, Glasto reaffirmed to us all that the braided trend is here to stay. From the goddess of cool that is Cressida Bonas (my other major #womancrushwednesday) to the dark mane of Daisy Lowe, Glasto revealed that it’s the uncomplicated, chunky braid that’s on the up (of course they are, now I’ve finally mastered the waterfall and fishtail braid… D’oh!) Think loosely gathered hair, teased out and wispy in simple Pocahontas style braids. Man, I love an easy trend!

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Along with the effortlessly amazing Mary Charteris, Daisy also reaffirmed the sheer trend for us Festival Brides with this tiered number. We were already loving the sheer nude lace trend (see more of that here), but that muted gold tone, layered with a black body suit (go on, I dare you!) is just understated cool at it’s finest and would work amazingly for a chilled bride or her maids.

Onto that Wildfox jumper on Mary Charteris, again it’s a trend for the daring bride, but between the gorgeous bell sleeves (which we’re loving for bridal gowns right now) and those stars… I mean! Take a look at the current Wildfox lookbook, it’s host to some trend concepts just begging to be employed by a Festival Bride!

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From muted sheers to blended metallics, Alexa’s Glastonbury style took a turn for the minimal mermaid look. I chatted about my love for a metallic sheen as a white alternative for brides a couple of weeks back, and Alexa’s worked this look beautifully. I love how the colour can’t quite be pinpointed… Nondescript metallics that transcend colour boundaries, are totally where it’s at. Give it that cool factor by opting for slightly creased, crepe-like fabrics… As always, it’s all about looking perfectly undone.

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I’ve got to say, I was so pleased to see that hints of the Navajo culture are still trending with the girls at Glasto. There’s nothing we love more than a good feather headdress and a woven, fringed boot on our brides. Always wear them with natural makeup and a bed head for a look that oozes bohemian wanderlust. Poppy Delevingne, you’re our hero!

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Last, but not least, it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without the wellington! We just adore the flower-topped wellie instalment seen here behind Vivienne Westwood, as she supports Kew Garden’s ‘Grow Wild‘ campaign (a 4 year project supporting the sewing of native wild flowers. Go check it out, flower child!) Wouldn’t they make the sweetest features in or around the edge of your tipis?

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…Come on, those ‘Wellie Crowns’ (yes, I just made that up) are the cutest! With a short little white dress, it’s got to be the sweetest way to don wellies on your wedding day. We outdoor brides have to be practical, yes, but who said that had to be boring?! Wellie Crowns, amazing!

Here’s hoping I’ve ignited that festival-fuelled spark inside of you to take on some of this year’s insanely good Glasto trends for your wedding day!

Peace and love,

Clare X

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