Set in the middle of a beautiful forest, Clearwell Castle is a gem of the Gloucestershire countryside. This romantic manor house was built in the 15th century, and has experienced many ups and downs over the centuries, with different owners adding their own stamp on the place. Finally in 1998, it was opened to the public as a place to host weddings.
Clearwell Castle has been voted “Best UK Wedding Venue” by the readers of Wedding Ideas for the third year running. Clearwell was also a finalist for the same award in 2015. The blend of Georgian extravagance and Victorian aesthetics makes it a popular choice for couples, with the Jane Austen-era ballroom a particular highlight.
The flowers to suit a venue like this one should reflect its history. We though some Victorian inspiration would go down very well in this regard.
Victorians love of flowers
Take a look at any Victorian design, from the mid-19th century to the beginnings of the 20th century, and you’ll see a theme. Designers of the time, including William Morris and Charles Rennie Mackintosh all favoured florals – and lots of them.
The Victorians were the biggest and most devoted fans of flowers. They saw meaning in almost any flower, from the humble lavender to the gracious rose. As Allison Micarelli writes in The Knot:
“The standard Victorian flower is the rose. But other flowers such as pansies, hyacinths, tulips, and stephanotis evoke similar romantic emotions. Your bridal bouquet should be arranged in the style of a nosegay or tussie mussie, which were then most popular, and should feature blooms symbolic of fruitfulness.”
What to choose
The Victorian era was about decadence, but in the most refined way. Your flowers, be it the bouquet or the centrepieces, should all reflect their taste for the grandiose. A really cute idea is to have a mix and match approach. The Victorians didn’t really care about colour coordination, so blending bold yellows, like sunflowers and daffodils, with bright reds and purples, like with roses and violets, will give a genuine touch of the era.
All about arrangements
The Victorians sought to be both charming and evocative in their floral arrangements. A great idea is to scour sites like Pinterest and put together a moodboard, featuring illustrations of floral arrangements from the period and original photographs. The internet is bursting with content to help you on your way.
A final thing to remember is that the Victorians really did value design individuality, so even if you just want a bit of inspiration from the era, you can still keep it minimalist and get the vibe just right at the same time.