Brides Up North

Full Bloom. Supplier Showcase: Sandra’s Flower Studio

April 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

At last count, we had over 28,000 Brides Up North subscribers, over 18,700 Twitter followers and over 10,400 Facebook likes on our page.  That’s a lot of love people! 

Keep it coming and #jointhenorthernrevolution across our social networks.  It’s an active, diverse and exciting community we have there – updated even more frequently than the blog itself, and the place for all the insider gossip, breaking news and casual content – and we’d love you to be a part of it.

The northern revolution wouldn’t be happening at all without the support of talented regional suppliers like the lady I’m about to introduce you to: the lovely Sandra of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sandra’s Flower Studio.  I’ve invited Sandra along to our pretty pages to tell us all about what she can do for a bride like you on her wedding day.  Let’s meet her.   

How and when did you become a floral designer?

Sandra: I started out in floristry 22 years ago after leaving school and working in a florist shop. and became specifically interested in wedding design in 2000. Each year I increased the amount of weddings I worked on until last year I made it my full time profession setting up fully on my own.

What is your background and qualifications?

I have two NVQ’s in floristry but I was basically bench trained and have learnt many techniques by keeping up to date with trade magazines and going to demonstrations.

Image: Hines-Images Photography

Image: Hines-Images Photography

What services do you offer for Brides To Be?

I offer a full flower service from designing bride and bridesmaids bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, hair pieces, church pedestals, archways, pew ends, altar designs, to venue and reception table designs, entrance displays and anything else floral. I can also add in those little table details such as confetti, table crystals, tea lights and so on. I have also started to offer a dry hire service for all my vases, fish bowls, martini vases and candelabras 

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

I listen to my brides and make suggestions if necessary but ultimately they decide on what flowers they are having. If you want something and it is available and feasible to do, then you have it. So many times I hear ‘Other florists have said I can’t have…’ Of course if you don’t know where to start I will help and guide you through the process and as your plans develop and your flowers need tweaking then so be it. I also don’t mind how many times you get in touch, this is your day and it needs to be right for you and unless you are 100% happy neither am I.

Image: Natural Expressions

Image: Natural Expressions

Tell Brides Up North about making the finals of The Wedding Industry Awards.  Why did you enter and what does this mean to you?

I like these awards. They are, initially at least, voted for by my clients. I entered two years ago when I first started my business to see if I could compete with the best. I was shortlisted. This year I entered again to see if my brides were as happy as they told me – the voting is anonymous – and the comments I got back were overwhelming as were the scores. I was very happy to be shortlisted again. These awards give you a boost but also the comments give you an idea on where you may need a little improvement.

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

Tell us about some of the industry connections you have made since launching your business?

I am a preferred supplier at a couple of venues and well liked at many others. I also have a small network of other suppliers that I am very happy to recommend to my couples. None of us take any commission, it is purely because we admire each others work and know we can trust one another.

What are your favourite wedding floristry looks for 2014?  What trends do you see emerging?

I love the fact that flower crowns are coming back and are bigger and bolder than ever before. As are cake flowers, a couple of years ago these weren’t even talked about and now everyone wants them. Colours are also moving towards a mix of pastel colours. I am seeing a slight move away from hand tie designs to teardrop and shower shapes.

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

What would be your top tips for a Bride To Be when choosing her wedding flowers?

Use the season of your wedding to choose your flowers. Many are now available all year but there are still some seasonal lovelies out there. Even if you just choose a few they are likely to be scented and each year around your anniversary you will be reminded of your day when you see and smell them. Be flexible and give your florist a few blooms to choose from: this way if something isn’t available or not good enough quality there will be something else equally as lovely to replace it.

What would be your no-nos?

Specifying only one variety only for your day. Flowers are natural and the colours can change and may cause disappointment. Try not to rely heavily on one colour overall, a rage of shades helps designs look more natural and give a better effect.

Image: Hines-Images Photography

Image: Hines-Images Photography

Who would be your dream client and why?

I love brides who think outside the box. I have had a few this year that have pushed me hard on design and one I very nearly said no to, but a nights sleep, a re-think and some long hours delivered her perfect table designs. Anyone who pushes me to the next level is a dream client.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Bridal hand ties start at around £60, teardrops from £90 and buttonholes from £2.50.  With my average wedding the bridal party, church and reception flowers cost around £1000. 

Image: Natural Expressions

Image: Natural Expressions

Where are you located and will you travel?

I am based north of Lincoln but am more than happy to travel wherever brides want me. Travel costs would need to be added.

Why do you read and like the Brides Up North blog?

At this time of year I love to catch up on all that goes on in wedding world. This blog has a great mix of suppliers, trends, shoots and those important real weddings, giving me a guide on how the industry and fashion is changing and how I need to keep moving forward with new ideas.

How can Brides Up North see examples of your work or find out more?

You can visit my website at www.sandrasflowerstudio.co.uk or my blog at www.sandrasflowerstudio.blogspot.com.  You can also find Sandra’s Flower Studio on Facebook

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

Sandra’s Flower Studio is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime