Throwing rice at weddings is a tradition. Everybody loves the joy-laden moment of throwing rice at an unsuspecting couple as they walk out of the church with a spring in their step.
It dates back hundreds of years yet nowadays it is frowned upon or even forbidden, for obvious reasons.
“Confetti” is the alternative to wish the newly wed couple prosperity, growth,
happiness and good luck. Usually it is made out of paper in various bright
colours to emphasise the joy that one´s wedding does bring:
But one man thought even further and brought to life a whole new family business :Charles Hudson created The Real Flower Confetti Company twenty years ago, producing Flower Petal Confetti for international weddings and famous couples such as Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall.
On a late spring afternoon, twenty years ago, Charles happened to pause outside the village churchyard on his way home, and strewn around the lych-gate were tiny wet pieces of coloured paper, debris from an earlier wedding, that had turned the church entrance into an eyesore.
Charles appreciated why so many churches ban the use of confetti within church grounds, but it seemed a shame that the wedding celebrations could not have started as the happy couple stepped out of the church.
When he arrived home some petals fell from the flower bouquet Charles was carrying for his wife and he experienced a 'eureka' moment, that later on created the successful The Real Flower Petal Company.
His family run business produces petals by the pint, about 20,000 each year, which come in many different mixes. Delphiniums, Roses and Hydrangeas are the most common flowers that are grown for their
biodegradable, natural petals, which are then handpicked and dried through sunlight and fresh air.
The flower fields are located on the family farm estate based around Wick in Worcestershire, inherited by Charles Hudson over 40 years ago and still run successfully.
I have had the pleasure of strolling through a magnificent field of flowering Delphiniums myself
and to celebrate his 20th anniversary I was lucky to ask him a few questions about his career, the company and his success:
“After having your “Eureka-Moment” thinking about creating flower petal
confetti - how did you start building your successful business?”
It was a process of trial and error to find the right flowers and the best way to preserve them. Eventually we developed the processes we still use today. Then we had to sell the idea of flower petal confetti – it was a totally new concept! But it appealed to brides & grooms and to wedding venues because it’s natural, biodegradable and really very pretty!
We started off selling mail order out of a spare bedroom and then the growth of internet shopping transformed the business and opened us up to a much wider audience.
“Did you always have a connection to horticulture?”
The Wyke Manor farm has been in my family for 250 years old, and I grew up on a dairy farm near Bath, but growing flowers is a new venture!
“Why Wick. Is there a particular reason for choosing your Location?”
I inherited the farm here in Wick over 40 years ago and I have continued the tradition of arable farming. But, as I am sure you are aware, it’s a difficult business and diversification and creative thinking is needed. Growing flowers seemed like a natural side step – they are a crop that can be rotated with the barley and wheat.
“What is the variety of Delphinium that you grow and how did you come about choosing it?”
The Latin name is Delphinium Ajacis. Quite simply the petals are perfect for confetti – they keep their shape and beautiful colour when dried and are light and floaty in the air.
“Are you thinking of expanding your business?”
We are always looking for new ideas and ways to grow. The wedding market changes all the time so it is important to keep up with the trends and fashions.
Ten years ago we decided to add different types of petals to our collection to offers customers more choice and this was a successful decision. It’s important to keep your eyes open for new opportunities.
“What advice would you give a young horticulturist?”
Work hard and don’t give up on your ideas – put the time and effort in to perfect your business venture and then believe in yourself. It’s hard to be the first to try to do something new but it’s all the more rewarding when it succeeds!
“Are you collaborating with other growing sites, or do you use just the farm at Wick?”
We buy in the rose and hydrangea petals from other growers within the UK.
“What was your Highlight in the last twenty years of growing flowers?”
Probably supplying confetti petals for the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla! Three black limousines came and collected an order of Pale Pink Delphiniums and there was a picture in the paper the next day of Prince Harry throwing the confetti over his father! It took a little bit of digging but we did finally confirm they were our petals.
Now, twenty years after having his “Eureka” moment, Charles Hudson is looking forward, creating something new and original one petal at a time, like he created his own success story with belief, passion and persistence.
I congratulate him on his 20th anniversary and on creating something original, standing firmly behind it and even inspiring new upcoming horticulturists to do the same thing with hard work, persistence and believing in ones self.
One petal at a time.
If you need something special for a wedding or event, you can order his natural, biodegradable and beautiful flower confetti at:
The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company
Worcestershire WR10 3NZ
and if you don´t want to miss out on any news follow him and his success on social media: