Alex Jones Wedding

New Years Eve 2015, it’s Alex Jones Wedding to New Zealand born Charlie Thomson at Cardiff Castle and the final Wilde Bunch challenge of the year. And what a challenge…To create a magical design bringing together winter in the Welsh mountains for Alex, with the exotic humidity of a New Zealand Rain Forest, dripping with ferns for Charlie. Now that’s as far apart in terms of floral design as the locations are in distance!!

Staying true to our motto ‘Expect the Unexpected…Beyond Your Wildest Dreams’… here’s how we did it…

The Designs and Ingredients

The Wilde Bunch invasion of Cardiff Castle had begun and here’s the story with a few apt quotes from the great Cardiff born writer Roald Dahl

Alex Jones wedding flowers by top Bristol Florists, The Wilde Bunch
Claire leads The Wilde Bunch team on a floral invasion of Cardiff Castle….Behave!!

‘A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men’ Roald Dahl

Outside Cardiff Castle was at the mercy of Hurricane Frank as inside we gathered together the floral ingredients to turn up the heat with Hot House beauties imported from warmer climates. Plans were laid to deck the beams, balconies and tables with wild garlands of silver glistening, snow covered evergreens with uplifting scents. Added to this mint green eucalyptus, snowberries, cool blue spruce, pine cones and silver grey reindeer moss. Then masses of contorted willow and hanging mistletoe bunches bound with brown twine for first time Mr & Mrs Kisses…

The Ultimate Wilde Bunch ‘Bringing the Outside In’ Design.

Alex Jones : Bridal Flowers

Alex Jones wedding bouquet was simply Lily of the Valley.  A  very humble little flower that grows like a weed and smells like heaven. It oozes class and elegance. Former brides to carry this most sophisticated of weeds include Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco and most recently Kate Middleton.

We love it… and as Eeyore rightly stated,  ‘Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them’ AA Milne, Winnie The Pooh.

Alex Jones Wedding Bouquet
Alex Jones Wedding Bouquet and Bridesmaid Bouquets
Alex Jones Bridesmaids Bouquets
Alex Jones Bridesmaids Bouquets

Cardiff Castle Entrance Designs : The Undercroft

As the guests entered the castle’s dark labyrinth of corridors they encountered a magical world of winter trees illuminated by sparkling lights against the bare rock face of the castle walls.

The entrance designs to Alex Jones Wedding
Before (left) and after decorated with simple Winter Trees with sparkling LED’s

Hello magazine described it as ‘A magical winter wonderland’

Decorative tree designs for weddings
Before (left) and after with decorative tree designs with sparkling lights

Then out of the darkness emerged a whole new setting. The distant  sounds of a rainforest filled the silent  corridors as the landscape changed to dripping ferns and the rich fauna of a tropical forest.

Alex Jones wedding designs
The transition from winter in Cardiff to Charlie’s native New Zealand rain forest

‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’  Roald Dahl, Matilda

What a transformation…from a Cardiff Castle corridor complete with practical, but rather stark chair-lift…

Cardiff Castle wedding entrance undecorated
The rather stark undecorated entrance corridor to the ceremony chamber

To a subterranean walk through a magical tropical cavern with full sound effects et al.

Alex Jones Wedding Flowers, The Undercroft at Cardiff Castle

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”  Roald Dahl

The entrance to weddings at Cardiff Castle
The transformation from a stark stair-lift to tropical exotica.

And finally…Just for Charlie… towering over the guests as they made the final ascent to the ceremony room, a 50 year old native Tree Fern we christened ‘Trevor’. Specially imported and given to the bride and groom as a wedding present from the The Wilde Bunch .

Combining Wales and New Zealand was at the centre of Alex Jones Wedding ideas
‘Trevor’ the Tree Fern stood majestically over the guests as they passed through

‘And Charlie don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted. He lived happily ever after’ . Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl’s, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

The Ceremony Chamber at Cardiff Castle

And so, onto the ceremony room and back to the traditional English winter wonderland.

Alex Jones wedding ceremony room at Cardiff Castle
The Before and After shots of the ceremony chamber
The Wilde Bunch creating wedding flowers at Cardiff Castle
The Wilde Bunch team hard at work in the preparation stage

Alex & Charlie said ‘I Do’ in the Undercroft of Cardiff Castle amid masses of mistletoe, contorted wood, giant cones, eucalyptus & the heady scent of Winter White Company Candles.

Cardiff Castle wedding ideas for the ceremony room
The guests start to arrive

Alex Jones Wedding Breakfast

If ever you wanted a traditional Banqueting Hall then look no further than Cardiff Castle. What a stunning  setting, with the former Royalty  of Wales overseeing proceedings from paintings covering the walls.

Cardiff Castle Weddings the Banqueting Hall
Long tables dripping with ferns and sparkling with LED’s

In traditional Banqueting style the tables were arranged in two straight rows.

Wedding Table Setting Ideas by The Wilde Bunch
The table settings and detail of the tablecentre designs

Floral table  runners of heady scented eucalyptus, pine cones, Star of Bethlehem, seedpods and then rosemary to go with the Lamb! Birch log slices completed the decoration for candles, wine and vegetable platters.

Alex Jones wedding tablecentre designs at Cardiff Castle
The centre part of the Top table with cascading designs

Twinkling with masses of fairy lights to magically illuminate all…

The top table at Alex Jones wedding at Cardiff Castle
The Top Table

‘I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true’ Roald Dahl

The After Party and NYE Firework Display

The theme for the after party at Alex Jones wedding was loosely based around the Great Gatsby. Our floral contribution were large statement pieces resplendent with white Ostrich feathers and moth orchids evoking the glamour of the era.

Dramatic Wedding Flowers for Alex Jones at Cardiff Castle
The ‘showstopper’ Plinths, resplendent with Moth Orchids & Ostrich Feathers

As the clocks struck midnight the guests were treated to the traditional Cardiff Castle New Years Eve fireworks display. Then it was back to the party till the early hours.

Wedding fireworks at Cardiff Castle
The decadent ‘Great Gatsby’ theme with Ostrich feathers and fireworks

‘…A huge heartfelt thank you….the flowers completely exceeded my expectations! We both knew you would deliver what we wanted but it was truly spot on in every way, Stunning! I really hope that we get to work together again, Lots of love’ Alex and Charlie x

‘It was a pleasure to work with you and your team and the result was magnificent. We were all particularly impressed with the Undercroft – I don’t think that corridor has ever looked so good!’ John Furnham, Events Manager, Cardiff Castle

‘Thank you a thousand times for all your hard work, dedication and brilliance not to mention artistic flair that is both unique and captured the day in a way that was in keeping with the whole ethos of the wedding – a private affair from the heart’. Tanya Sheasby, Antica Events

The Wilde Bunch came to Cardiff Castle for the Alex Jones Wedding and in our own little way… ‘Conquered’ it.

Alex Jones and The Wilde Bunch at Cardiff Castle
We invaded Cardiff Castle and we ‘Conquered’…another job full of great memories

Credits & Thanks on The Alex Jones Wedding go to:

  • Alex & Charlie for entrusting us with their Big Day
  • The rest of The Wilde Bunch team for giving up their New Years Eve (Boots,  Lyndi, The Two Amy’s, Viv, Jane & our photographer)
  • John Furnham & his Brilliant Team at Cardiff Castle who made things run so smoothly and were an absolute pleasure to work alongside
  • Tony & Gemma Ward the ‘Hello’ photographers for permission to use some of their images

A Big Thanks to you all,

Claire ‘The Boss’ XX

All images copyright of The Wilde Bunch &  ‘Hello’ Magazine