September 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime
image by Gav Harrison Photography
This morning on the blog we’re super excited to introduce you to another of our fabulous Featured Suppliers, welcome Emily of BlossEm.
This lovely Yorkshire florist just can’t get enough of weddings, so much so that she converted her initial flower shop into a dedicated wedding studio to focus solely on creating stunning arrangements for couples’ big days.
For Emily, wedding flowers provide so much more than pretty, as she carefully selects blooms that will suit the season and styling of a wedding whilst bringing fragrance, colour and texture to the proceedings.
To explain more about her passion, we’ll hand over the blog reins to Emily…
image by Chris Stevenson
How did you get into floristry?
emily says: At 18-years-old after college, I deferred my university place to study textiles and embroidery and travelled around the world for 12 months. On my return I enrolled onto a floristry course and the rest is history!
Design was always my passion and floristry allowed me to practice this in a much more natural way. I continued studying floristry up to C&G Level 4 and opened my shop a few days before my 21st birthday. I’m also qualified to teach floristry and I was the tutor at Wakefield College for a few years.
image by S6 Photography
Why wedding floristry specifically?
After my first baby was born I took some time out and focused on a passion of mine – wedding designs. This worked well for me as it allowed me to spend more time on each of my weddings. I had no other distractions. It worked so well in fact I never opened my shop back up, using the premises as a wedding studio.
I also just love weddings – I love couples in love and I love how a wedding makes people feel. It’s a magical experience for everyone involved.
What is your favourite thing about being a florist?
So many things…the change of seasons, when the blossom begins to bloom, when the autumn leaves begin to fall.
The impact that blooms can create, from colours to fragrance, every room feels better with fresh flowers.
Meeting new and working with so many different couples, listening to stories and being allowed into their special days – I could go on!
How can flowers transform a wedding day?
Flowers bring all the elements together in a wedding. The colour, style and texture will complement the bride’s dress and bridesmaid’s dresses. The venue flowers should work with the surroundings as complementing the scenery around will no doubt enhance a reception room. Details and props can be added to reflect the couple’s personality and bring the whole look together.
What can couples expect from a consultation with you?
I like to see as much as possible to get a feel for the couple. Ideas, fabrics, stories – anything that shows the personality and style the couple are aiming for. From there we can discuss flower choices, the designs and budget. The couple can see my portfolio of previous weddings and testimonials and we can drink tea and eat biscuits. I can then create a tailor made quote for each couple. I don’t do packages as I find they don’t work for my brides and they don’t work for me – everything is individual.
What advice do you offer to brides and grooms that aren’t too clued-up on flowers?
Let your florist guide you – trust them, after all that’s what you are paying them for. Stick with seasonal flowers where possible and work with designs to complement your dress and venue. Oh, and have fun exploring new blooms!
As well as colour, what other elements should a bride and groom take into consideration when choosing their wedding flowers?
The season of the wedding is always important, after all if you are having a winter wedding but are dreaming of garden Peonies you need to re-think!
image by Andy Gaines Photography
Are there any particular flowers, colours or arrangements proving popular with couples at the moment?
Woodland, enchanted forest, boho-chic – basically bringing the outdoors in is very on trend right now. Brides are becoming less afraid of foliage and are happy to have very loose, romantic and natural styles and designs.
Tell us about what type of wedding you would like in terms of your flower choices
Every time I leave a wedding I’ve set up I think to myself that’s my ideal wedding, then a few weeks later I think exactly the same at another! I love the change of seasons and constantly go from a spring wedding to a winter wedding, and then I think a summer wedding would be great! One of my favourite all time flowers is Nigella, which is available during May, I also love Ranunculus and Anemones. And Peonies of course. Oh and Delphiniums…
What can a couple who book you expect from you on the wedding day?
From the initial consultation to the delivery and set up the morning of the wedding, it will be me you will deal with. All emails and meetings will be held with me, all designs will be made by me. I believe brides need to feel calm and as relaxed as possible in the run up to the big day and I will be on hand to ensure all runs perfectly.
What would you say to couple who are worried about the price of fresh flowers?
Work with your florist and trust their judgement, choose uncomplicated designs and stick with seasonal favourites. Cut back on designs that aren’t necessary and opt for a design that will wow!
image by Gav Harrison Photography
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
September 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime
image by Helen Lishman Photography
This afternoon on the wedding blog we’re delighted to introduce you to a very talented wedding supplier and Brides Up North Sponsor, Alice of forage & blossom.
Now here’s a lady who knows pretty! Alice gained a wealth of knowledge in the florist industry before setting up her own business Forage & Blossom, through which she now supplies couples with beautiful and bespoke creations for their special and individual wedding days.
Not only that, but Alice grows many of the blooms which feature in her stunning arrangements herself, further highlighting her genuine passion for the job!
To fill you in more on what she has to offer, we’ll hand you over to the fabulous lady herself. Take it away Alice…
image by Jackson & Co Photography
How did you get into floristry?
I came to floristry in a sideways curve; having weaved my way through an artistic education and a range of jobs in the world of design and interiors, I found myself being pulled unequivocally towards floristry. Perhaps it was a path I would always find, having been drawn to flowers as my mum’s shadow in the garden growing up.
I started on the shop floor of a busy florists in London and trained on the job. I plunged blindly in; it was a steep learning curve and sometimes quite intense and tough. I had great colleagues though and if ever things became a bit too much we would let off steam having a good dance around the shop – much to the amusement of our boss and marketing team in the office at HQ with the security camera screens.
I knew what I really wanted to do though was work in weddings. So from there I moved to work as a freelancer for Jay Archer Floral Design. Working for Jay was incredible and an eye opener, she has now become a great friend and a mentor for me creating my own business. She is fearless with some of her ideas and designs (sometimes creating situations of “so I said I would hang that from there – we just need to work out how…” and there is always a way). Jay has a wonderful freeness and fluidity to her style and being, it was amazing to work for her and learn from her.
Leaving Jay was a wrench, but that was when I felt ready to set up on my own and start my own ventures as Forage & Blossom.
image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories
What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings?
I just knew before I started that I wanted to work in weddings and events. I like working towards an event and also the opportunities of the one -off things you get to create for weddings. I also like building up a relationship with the couple and getting to know them and their individual vision. Plus, I enjoy how each couples’ personality is unique and that feeds into their style. Hence each scheme is individual and different even when the colour palette is similar.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Well it’s definitely not the early mornings as I’m more of an owl than a lark and I can’t even speak until I’ve had a cup of tea. Strangely though I do quite like being up before the World and seeing things only a few people are awake for, like strange storms and sunrises.
There are many different parts of the job I love. There are the days in the field and cutting garden, doing the digging where the hard labour is oddly satisfying, the childlike excitement when the first seeds emerge, or a rose I have been waiting for finally flowers. I also can get totally lost in my flowers when I love a particular scheme, it’s only the deadline stress which can bring you back to earth. I also really love getting to know a couple quite closely and being involved with their wedding day. I often get to see a secret picture of the bride’s dress because it is quite key to the style of the day. I think I love that every couple is different and hence every floral scheme is unique. So my favourite part of the job is probably the varied elements of it and that each wedding is very different.
image by Helen Lishman Photography
How would you describe the style of flowers that you create? Where does your inspiration come from?
My style comes, in part, from my artistic background in the design world and a large part from nature. I draw a lot of inspiration from the surrounding world, things I see – be it magazines, shop displays, a painting or a print, and most often the natural world. I feel my style is constantly evolving and I am always learning.
I enjoy more wild and loose designs and flowers being how they are in nature with kinks and flairs. My style is definitely more on the wild and natural side. I love using textures and tones. The natural fluidity and movement in an arrangement is also really key to me. For me, foliage is just as important as the flowers. A big beautiful bloom has far more impact with contrast. The depth, sensuality and movement comes from all the elements in the design working together.
image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories
What process will a bride or couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?
The process is different for each couple as everyone’s situations are different. Generally I like to have an initial phone or Skype consultation to chat initial ideas and thoughts and to just gather a vibe and a feeling from the couple. Then I have a face to face consultation which I can come to with ideas and prep from the phone/Skype consultation. This can often be at the venue, or I’ll do a separate venue visit. Some of my couples live abroad or far away so with some couples we carry out all our consultations over Skype, which has worked really well and fits in well with people’s busy lives.
I’m in contact with all my couples up until their big day and some couples like to have a Pinterest board on my Pinterest so we can both Pin, comment and share ideas. For Pinterest people (I’m an addict) this can be a great way of easily sharing images and creating a mood board.
Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?
From anywhere. Some couples have a strong vision of what they like and others are slightly overwhelmed at the beginning. I find everyone has an individual style and after chatting and meeting (even if it’s on Skype) you can get a feeling off people and start to understand and read their tastes.
Once I have started to get to know a couple we can then chat about their venue and see what would work there, fit with the surroundings, their personalities and the vision they have for their day.
I think a florist is there to gather a couple’s taste and then throw suitable ideas back at them to see what they like.
image by Paul Maven Photography
Where do you source the flowers from for your arrangements?
I have my own cutting garden, so as much as possible I try to source from that and I also source from other local growers. I can’t grow everything though, so I also supplement from the import market.
My style is very much bred from the flowers I grow in my cutting garden. I enjoy the ever changing seasonality of if it and there are many things that you can grow that just don’t travel well in the import market so they don’t have them. The imported flowers are also grown for stem strength so scent is bred out of them. I love scent; I feel it is so evocative and important to my flowers.
The import market absolutely has a place and use, the scale of the British Growers is not able to compete with the Dutch import market. There is, however, a building movement from British growers who are trying to establish their place in the Floral Industry. People are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint and wanting to support local businesses. British growers have something to offer and it’s different to what the import market can offer. I’m only a small scale grower myself but, I am very much a keen supporter of the British Flower Movement.
Do you have a favourite type of flower?
Ah, impossible question. I am constantly having new favourite flowers. Seasons come round and I find a new flower and then old favourite returns and I can’t believe I forgot how lovely it was.
The Sweet Pea is a staple favourite and has an element of nostalgia attached to it for me, as I have always grown these with my mum as a girl. This year I have discovered a new favourite, the foxglove. It has just been fantastic in the cutting garden. I love its weird kinks, the beautiful shades of colour it changes through on one stem, the cream ones are gorgeous and then sometimes an odd cross pollination one pops up, which is unusual and beautiful. Oh and then the cornflowers popped up after the foxgloves – I had forgotten how much I loved the deep blue of the cornflowers.
image by Paul Maven Photography
Any particular styles of flowers proving popular with brides at the moment?
Crowns, crowns, crowns.
In your opinion how do flowers enhance a wedding?
Well I am completely biased. I am obviously mad about flowers and for me they bring the whole style and feel of a day together. Often you don’t really need other decorative elements as you can do it all with your flowers.
Flowers also have nostalgia and personal meaning attached to them; many brides ask for a certain flower in their bouquet which was the first flower their spouse to be gave them/ a flower deeply associated with a lost loved one/ a herb with a certain meaning, such as rosemary and fidelity/loyalty and I read somewhere white lavender’s meaning is everlasting love. So for me there are the many depths of flowers which can enhance your day and just add that extra something.
What sets you apart from other florists?
At Forage & Blossom you will receive a very personal service as I feel your flowers should reflect you for your special day. I will take the time to understand your vision and personality so it is fed through the scheme we create for you. I will be personally growing many of your flowers and creating something a bit different to the traditional style. I don’t really go by the rules and enjoy approaching each brief individually and with a sense of inspiration and adventure. If that sounds like the path for your wedding flowers please get in touch.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
If you want to get in touch please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07495 160525. You can see and find out more at www.forageandblossom.com as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories
Anything else we should know?
Workshops are on the horizon for Forage and Blossom.
I recently did a Flower Crown Workshop for a friend’s Hen Do which was great fun and we wore them all day and night as we partied out on the town. We all felt that everyone needed a flower crown in their life as they just make you feel better when you’re wearing one. So this and more to come – watch this space!
March 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
I’m quite literally wilting over wedding flowers at the moment with inspirational images of how couples are incorporating blooms into their celebrations sending me pin-happy over on our pretty Pinterest boards. This made the theme for our next style sheet post rather easy to select.
To me flowers are the epitome of romance and it’s therefore essential that they’re included in a wedding day – and I don’t just mean in bouquets and button holes.
Clever couples and creative florists are joining forces to think of imaginative ways for blooms to spring up in all elements of the day, from the décor right through to the daiquiris.
So today we take a look at three different ways to achieve a blooming marvellous big day.
in full bloom
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, cake by Cake Ink| image source, dress Ian Stuart| image source, photography by Laura Hotz| image source, photography by Lena Kozhina| image source| image source, invite by Olive Juice Stationery| image source| image source
If you plan to take a ‘go hard or go home’ approach to your wedding theming it has to be full on blooms all the way.
It’s not that you have to incorporate them into every single element of the day for the desired effect, but where you do choose to include them your choices must be bold.
For those wanting to make a style statement with a capital ‘S’ a floral frock is required. Gradually more designers appear to be coming round to the idea of offering a pretty print design within their collections for brides looking to push the boundaries. Ian Stuart’s South Pacific dress is a wonderful example. Meanwhile brides choosing to hop, skip and jump over the boundaries are selecting gowns with in-your-face corsages for maximum impact.
If you’d rather stick to tradition when it comes to your own gown you could always dress your maids in colourful florals instead. Another alternative is to wear a striking flower crown and carry an equally elaborate bouquet, though still aim to keep some focus on your gown. Flower print underwear and shoes provide other ways to get your flower fix.
Décor wise the possibilities are endless. We particularly love hanging paper flowers, which look super cute and can provide a lovely backdrop for photos, and hand-painted floral cake designs offer a stunning focal point at the reception. Colourful patterned stationery can also help keep the theme consistent throughout.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Nicolai Melicor| image source| image source, photography by Abby Jiu| image source, photography by Souder Photography| image source, photography by Bamber Photography| image source, photography by Julia at Swoon Weddings image source, Photography by Krista Fox, cake by Bobbette & Belle| image source, photography by Emily Wren Photography| image source, invite by B Wedding Invitations| image source
Those considering a clean and simple white wedding will be pleased to hear that a flower theme doesn’t have to be fussy. The look can easily be stripped back by picking delicate floral details in the purest possible hue.
There are numerous wedding dress designs featuring sweet floral details that will leave brides spoilt for choice. Some may prefer to keep things subtle with floral lace appliques while others might want something that stands out that bit more, such as little floral corsages over the shoulder of the dress or on the bodice.
White bridesmaids don’t have to be totally plain. Picking dresses with a pale floral pattern can add interest and depth to the wedding party’s attire without detracting from the bride’s gown.
For the décor a bride can choose to keep things delicate with tiny flowers in small bunches hung on the ends of pews, the backs of chairs or dotted in jam jars around the venue. Alternatively they can select large blousy blooms grouped together along table centres and overhead on chandeliers for a little more oomph.
For the bouquet larger, more structured white blooms broken up with natural, green foliage can help to break up the pale palette.
Finally, in terms of food and drink choices white wedding cakes with textured detailing are wonderfully elegant as are beautiful beverages sprinkled with petals, such as chamomile flower wine.
Clockwise from top left: image source, dress by Claire Pettibone| image source, envelopes by From Leoni With Love| image source, garland by La Mia Cassa| image source, robes by Silk and More| image source| image source , photography by 4Eyes Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by JoPhoto| image source, photography by Sarah Bray Photography
In my opinion the most romantic flowers of them all are roses.
Synonymous with love, these blooms are an ideal choice for a floral wedding theme and can be picked to suit a variety of different style weddings, from vintage to modern affairs.
While classic red roses can work well for winter weddings I much prefer the flower in elegant tones of pink, purple, white and peach, which can be styled to suit weddings throughout all the seasons.
To set the theme from the off, why not send your invites out in plush patterned fabric envelopes tied up with rustic string.
Working with your florist you can then choose whether you would prefer tight bud roses, big blousy blooms or a combination of the two, for your bouquets, button holes and decorations.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little by having details such as roses tied to ribbons hanging above your tables to create a flower chandelier effect, or a table seating plan bordered by the blooms. A naked wedding cake simply decorated with flowers would be another simple but striking addition.
For the bride’s dress designs with flirty rose detailing in corsages or embroidery, such as designs by Claire Pettibone, will tick boxes. There are also numerous stunning shoe designs featuring the enchanting bloom – if you find yourself spoilt for choice you could pick a pair of girly heels for the day and some cute pumps for the evening celebrations.
While you might not chose to extend the rose theme to your maids’ attire, a nice idea would be to surprise them on the morning of the wedding with a rose pattered robe in which to be pampered and preened. This will also make a fun photo opportunity for you and your gals.
If roses aren’t your thing you could always change the theme to suit your personal preference or the season by building your day around sunflowers, daisies or peonies.
February 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
As well as being a source of inspiration and guidance for our brides-to-be we also like to give our supplier followers a helping hand where we can by letting them know about blooming marvellous industry events such as Leafy Couture’s two-day styling class on the 5th and 6th of March 2015, part of their brand new offering – The Leafy Couture School For Florists.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of public speaking on blogging and social media within the wedding and lifestyle sector recently, and I’m honoured to have been invited along to share my top tips in a dedicated session during this special event.
I love hosting smaller group sessions like these, and if hearing about my recent adventures into the world of coaching have peaked your interest a little do watch out for some very exclusive workshops launching here soon.
But back to those flowers.
Our good friend and the wonderful talent behind Leafy Couture Sarah Richardson, has a an amazing portfolio that comes with some serious clout. This incredible lady has vast experience in the world of weddings having worked on hundreds over the past eight years, from marquees to grand stately homes, she is truly passionate about couples’ big days.
Her work is regularly featured in national wedding magazines and local press as well as on numerous national and international wedding blogs, including Brides Up North. She’s also one of our go-to-girls for styling at our industry events and creative shoots, delivering impressive blooms every single time. To add to her credentials Sarah has taught floristry to BTEC Level 3 as a college tutor, demonstrated at RHS Harrogate Flower Show and has recently been nominated for a Wedding Magazine blogging award, phew!
She’s therefore incredibly well placed to support others in their passion for flowers through both her group styling events and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Whether amateur or experienced a lot can be learnt from this lady and we’re sure some of our florist friends will be keen to go back to school if it means gaining tricks of the trade from Ms Richardson.
But enough from me, I’ll hand over the pages to Sarah to explain in more detail what her upcoming styling event has to offer – catch you there!
sarah says: This class is especially for florists who are wanting to build their confidence in the world of weddings.
We will hold your hand and guide you through a series of arrangements to build your portfolios. We will introduce you to a wedding planner, wedding blogger and events team to get insider tips on how to get on in the industry.
And there’s more. We’ll help you work on building your own style and create images for your websites and social media. We will guide you through our processes with wedding appointments and show you how to create wedding bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns and then style a ceremony and wedding breakfast with large scale designs such as urns and an archway.
All classes take place in The Chili Barn, Otley – a real wedding venue, where we will show you all the things you need to think about when working on site and fill your head with ideas. You will be working on your own and also as part of a team as you would in a real life wedding situation.
This is a two-day course with all refreshments, including tea and coffee and cake and a delicious lunch, provided. All material, aprons, workbooks and flower material will also be supplied.
Places are limited so each student will get maximum experience and attention. A basic knowledge of flowers and floristry is preferable but we are on hand to guide you every step of the way.
We shall have a photographer on site but you are advised to bring a camera too or a smart phone. All students will get a free skype or phone mentoring session a month after the course to continue the support. Students will also get free access to our new E-Book chapter on wedding flower appointments and session hand outs.
Hope to see you there!
Images by James Melia.
November 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I’ve talked about my obsession with wedding flowers quite a few times on the blog before. To me beautiful blooms are central to reflecting a chosen colour scheme or theme and can even help set the mood of the big day itself.
Just like most other elements of a wedding these days, suppliers and couples are getting much more innovative with the ways in which they incorporate flowers into weddings. Beyond bouquets and button holes, flowers are being used to decorate venues, though arrangements and displays are less formal and more adventurous than what’s gone before, encouraging couples to be thoughtful and free in their choices.
We’ve seen pretty petals scattered up the aisle, arrangements in lace adorned jam jars and simple clear bottles as well as hand-tied bundles effortlessly hung upon pew ends and pretty flower heads placed within small glass balls and suspended from the ceiling.
Rather than just one or two arrangements, it seems a ‘the more the merrier’ approach has been adopted by many brides and grooms with blooms flourishing in all areas of the celebration, including decorative floral cakes and hair crowns.
Image via theeverylastdetail.com
However far you choose to take floral additions on your big day, here are some top tips to help you during the picking process:
It’s helpful to have in your mind the type of flowers you want before choosing/visiting a florist. Think about your venue and styling as flowers really help to set the scene or mood. Do you want rustic, vintage, sophisticated, modern, minimalist or romantic? Also are there any blooms you want to incorporate for sentimental reasons or to fit in with the season in which you marry? From there you can figure out the types of flowers you would like and can collect images from magazines, or build up a mood board of images online, which will give your florist inspiration and direction to create something specific to you.
Different florists may do a particular style of flowers better than another (e.g. use beautiful English flowers to create ‘just-picked’ style arrangements) so ask around for word of mouth recommendations, check out real wedding blog posts online and/or ask your chosen venue for suggested suppliers. Once you’ve drawn-up a short list of possible florists arrange a meeting with them to discuss prices/budget, look through portfolios and to see how they connect with your ideas or if you are struggling for ideas yourself, ask them for suggestions.
Image via onehitchedlane.com
Once you have chosen your florist meeting with them regularly not only builds up trust but it also gives your chosen supplier the chance to get to know you as individuals – your likes, dislikes and styles preferences. It also gives you the opportunity to update your florist on other areas of the big day – the venue, dress, theme, style of the ceremony – to help them create designs that are unique to you and your wedding whilst still ringing true to the original brief.
At one point a couple’s wedding flower choices were dictated by which season they were tying the knot in and what flowers were available at that time. However, many florists now buy in blooms from overseas, expanding couple’s options and giving them the opportunity to source more unusual types to push design boundaries. However there may still be times at when you need to be flexible either due to availability of the blooms, colour restrictions or due to your budget – be prepared to comprise and listen to a florist’s alternatives.
The appearance of flowers can change through the budding process so you might want to discuss this with your florist to ensure they order in your choices at the right time ahead of the wedding. Upon request some florists will give couples samples to take away so they can see how they develop over time. They can then pick at which stage through the blooming process they would like the flowers to appear on their wedding day. So while some might like tight bud roses that are just beginning to open, others might prefer them mostly open or even big and blousy.
Other image sources as credited in our gallery
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