Love Southsea

Royal Wedding flowers, with Southsea florist Jo McNamara

Louise WhitmoreComment
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How wonderful was this weekend’s Royal Wedding?! With everyone’s eye’s glued to the telly, we all wanted to know what Meghan was wearing and what flowers they’ll have! Oh, yes, and the cake!

Not only did Meghan’s bridal bouquet include flowers handpicked by Harry himself from Kensington Palace's private garden — it also featured forget-me-nots. Princess Diana’s favourite flower, as a touching tribute to Harry’s late mother.

It was also filled with scented sweet peas, lilies of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle, all designed by florist Philippa Craddock.

Following royal tradition, the bouquet was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey on Sunday.

This tradition dates back nearly a century, starting with Queen Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when she married the future King George VI (then the Duke of York) in 1923.

Today, local Southsea floral artist Jo McNamara — Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist winner and the powerhouse behind Jo McNamara Florist on Winter Road — tells us her expert opinion on how splendid the flowers were!

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Louise: Meghan’s bouquet — is it a style you would see most brides go for?

Jo: I think this bouquet will be very popular for the next couple of years now, as it was with the Duchess of Cambridge. The style is beautiful in its simplicity, a less-is-more theme.

I loved the fact that Harry had selected all the flowers himself from Diana’s garden at Kensington Palace, and the florist had designed the bouquet with Meghan’s guidance from there.

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Louise: Tell us about the church flowers and that beautiful arch leading into the Cathedral!

Jo: The theme of simplicity ran throughout, again all very natural with lots of beautiful foliages in the arch and church, with an elegant cream mix of astilbes, astrantias, and antirrhinums. It will be very popular now.

The florist who created the church and arch is completely eco, and will only use biodegradable products, as Meghan and Prince Harry have been outspoken on the plastic waste problem the world is facing.

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That said, it would have been no mean feat to create all those arrangements on that scale on moss, and to keep it in such a state of freshness. Hats off to the designer, Philippa Craddock!

I was very impressed with the flowers, especially even more so now I know how difficult a job working without Oasis floral foam must have been.

Louise: what about that cake!

Jo: The cake looked divine — again, a beautifully simple idea with natural fresh flowers adorning the tiers. Very elegant!

Louise: What advice could you give a bride that had no idea on what flowers to have at her wedding?

Jo: We work with each individual bride, and I always explain that it’s a work in progress and comes together organically once I understand her taste and personality. Like everything, it’s a process!

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Here is Phillipa’s team — the flowers were dismantled and delivered as bouquets to the hospices around London, at Meghan’s request.

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Here’s Phillipa on Instagram saying no to floral foam — as Jo says, that would make this job incredibly difficult, a logistical nightmare.

You can find Jo McNamara on Winter Road in Southsea, or call her on ‭02392 827 835‬, or on social media: