Weddings may be postponed this summer, so what does a florist full of pent-up creativity do during lockdown? She gives rein to her exuberant imagination and takes the plunge with photographic dreams she never had time to achieve before.
Lyn Oswin, who owns Enchanted Floristry based in West Oxfordshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds, had a long tick list when she decided to invest in a lockdown photoshoot that showcased her dream wedding scenes – a milk bath complete with bride and floating blooms, and a series of pond portraits with the bride’s chestnut locks fanned out over a bed of flower stems in the mystical green water.
“I’m so pleased with the photos, they are truly stunning,” said Lyn.
“The milk bath images would enchant any budding Cleopatra and involved emptying an entire tin of dried milk under the taps. The rather authentic-looking pond water was created with a mixture of food dyes in a plastic paddling pool!
“Our model bride, Camille, did us proud – and so did the £99 wedding dress I found on eBay. It went from milk to green food dye and still came out of the washing machine looking pristine white.”
Lyn Oswin set up Enchanted Floristry in 2015. Having been a hairdresser for 30 years, she indulged her creativity in a variety of ways from decorating wedding cakes to making felted teddy bears. As she approached 50, she felt it was time to do something else with her life and decided to indulge her life-long love of flowers by training in floristry.
She began with City & Guilds evening classes and honed her skills at the renowned Judith Blacklock and Tallulah Rose Flower Schools. She also did unpaid work experience with a florist.
She revealed: “I developed my own, quirky style – I’m always motivated to be one step ahead with my floral design, always a bit different, always inspired.”
Photoshoots have included a spectacular ‘walking on water’ theme with a bride balanced on a dam in the middle of the river, then pictured with dazzling floral angel wings at a ruined Cotswold manor house. And Lyn thinks nothing of lugging a large set of mirrored doors, decorated with flowers, into the middle of a poppy field to capture images for her Instagram page.
Lyn launched her business from a shepherd’s hut in the garden of her home but quickly outgrew it, so her husband converted their double car port into a spacious workshop. She has invested in a van, hundreds of props and a flower fridge and her hard work has paid off with a band of happy and satisfied brides the length and breadth of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.
Sadly, Coronavirus has resulted in the cancellation of her 2020 weddings but nearly all the brides have rebooked for 2021 and are keeping their fingers crossed they can go ahead.
Lyn’s innovative touch has seen her business flourish. Props including giant angel wings and a magical moongate, artfully embellished with flowers and foliage, have struck a chord with brides looking to make a unique statement on their Big Day. Another lockdown idea – tilting the moongate and spiking it with a profusion of white flowers and greenery to create a sensational arena for the wedding photos – has been proclaimed iconic on Instagram.
Lyn worked with her chief florist Sue Smith, a former BBC art director who organised the photoshoot with meticulous attention to detail, and talented photographer Jacqueline Cross to capture masses of visionary images which will be used to promote her floral versatility and unique style.
A summery theme ran through the photoshoot on one of the hottest days of the year. Model Camille wore elaborate crowns of British meadow blooms in everything from cottage garden pastels to flamboyant burnt orange and russet, pristine white and a moody mix of blues, lavender and coral. A headdress of the palest pink orchids made enormous impact and dried flowers – a big trend this year – added another dimension. All were echoed in the loose
hand-tied bouquets with trailing ribbons, perfect to nestle in the crook of the bride’s arm.
Showcasing a variety of floral looks, the photoshoot reflected Lyn and Sue’s visionary skill. The bride seated on a blue bench in front of cream shuttered windows created a Mediterranean feel while shots in front of a Cotswold archway felt mystical and dreamy. The bride with lace parasol nestled in a meadow of swaying long grass would grace any Jane Austen novel.
“We certainly crammed a lot into our lockdown photoshoot, and it’s been an inspired move to get this library of images in place,” Lyn revealed.
“As well as portrait shots of myself and Sue, we also mocked up some classroom scenes as we are developing our popular floristry courses, and created a gorgeous crystal table setting with pastel posies in little vases and slim grey candles in tall glass candlesticks.
“This table would work perfectly for the micro weddings – with 30 guests or less – which we are allowed now, and can be adapted to any theme or colour scheme for a special birthday or anniversary.”
Photographs by Jacqueline Cross Photography, www.jacquelinecrossphotography.com