July 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its a pretty pop of nostalgia and romance at one of my very favourite venues this afternoon on the blog.
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah of Leafy Couture got in touch to tell me about an authentic little bridal shoot that took place earlier this summer at Denton Hall in Ilkley. With original 1940s bridal attire and military uniforms, a stunning setting and some carefully classic styling, I couldn’t help but share.
With images by Suzy Mitchell Photography.
Suzy says: Quite some time ago make up artist Annabel Bailey and I discussed collaborating on a styled shoot – our ideas went through different incarnations but in the end, after a trip to Glory Days Vintage in York and chatting to Hayley the owner, we decided upon a late 1940′s bridal shoot.
We certainly had some fun with it, not least because Annabel’s Grandfather had fought in the Second World War and she had access to the collection of his uniforms!
Denton Hall was the perfect choice as a backdrop to our shoot. It is a fabulous example of Georgian architecture, set in 2,500 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens. All of us have come to know Hannah Bairstow at Denton Hall over the years and she so kindly facilitated our use of the Hall, helping everything to run smoothly.
The lace wedding dress, veil and pink dress all came from Glory Days Vintage in York; Annabel and I drove over to York on a hot sunny day in June and had the best time with Hayley choosing props and clothing for the shoot. Her boutique is full of vintage finds and so worth a visit if you are looking for a vintage wedding dress.
Our friend Sarah Richardson of Leafy Couture in Otley produced a delicate bouquet with a flavour of the era and table arrangements to match the style of the shoot.
Our great friends at Iain Henderson Designs, makers of bespoke handmade engagement and wedding rings supplied the wedding rings and Barry Nuttall of Classic Wedding Car Hire in Skipton had just the perfect car.
Beth, owner of By Betty, provided fabulous hats to match the vintage dresses for the tea party which took place inside the Hall (as opposed to on the lawn as planned) due to the inclement weather. The dresses and hats complimented each other so well.
You might have thought that early June would have brought beautiful sunny weather! It was sun all the way in the early morning but by the time shooting began we were soaked! The rain meant that we couldn’t shoot as extensively as we would have wished but the light was fantastic. A special thanks to Nicole and Alex our models and also to my dear friend Andrea Pickering for her invaluable assistance in getting through the shots in a short space of time due to the antics of the weather.
Little Black Book
Images: Suzy Mitchell Photography
Venue: Denton Hall
Gowns: Glory Days Vintage
Hats: By Betty
Wedding Rings: Iain Henderson Designs
Styling & Props: Rose Pink Vintage
Bouquet: Leafy Couture
Stationery & Calligraphy: Claire Gould at The English Wedding Blog
Hair: Hannah D’Ath
Make Up: Annabel Bailey
Leafy Couture & Denton Hall are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post
May 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I tend to obsess over one particular wedding element at a time, so for a while I couldn’t stop looking at cakes, particularly naked designs with bare sponge and exposed filling. Then I’d swoon over images and shoots featuring stunning bridal hair and make-up before becoming totally enthralled with wedding videos – often needing the same amount of tissues and comfort food to work my way through them as when watching Marley and Me.
Just recently however, it’s been wedding flowers capturing my attention. I literally can’t stop looking at them. From cute button holes and oh-so-pretty bouquets right through to imaginative table decorations and, better still, ethereal style wedding crowns.
I’m particularly taken by natural, gathered arrangements made up of beautiful blooms fitted to the season. So when I came across this stunning shoot organised by the incredibly talented Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers, I just had to share.
The Sheffield florist is known for vintage inspired, romantic, pretty flowers with that ‘just picked’ look I’m head over heels for. Following a glorious spate of sunshine, this couldn’t come at a better time as it’s a vintage inspired shoot featuring pretty white summer flowers including a personal childhood favourite of mine – daisies!
I’ll hand over to Tracey to explain the thinking behind the pretty…
Tracey says: I gathered together a host of my favourite wedding peeps from the North for this shoot, which took place at the exquisite Losehill House Hotel & Spa, in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District.
I really wanted to do a shoot during the better weather featuring real vintage dresses from the 70′s with a slightly hippy, soft relaxed vibe and use lots and lots of daisies and simple white flowers. Styling needed to be natural to echo our very ‘just picked’ vintage look flowers, but brought up to date – no pastiche or fancy dress for us, so we kept it really simple letting the gowns and the flowers doing the talking.
I’ve worked with photographer Jess Petrie and hair and make-up artist Jenn Edwards quite a few times on ‘real’ weddings and shoots so it was natural they would be our first port of call. I love the really soft, ethereal quality to Jess’s photography.
Relaxed, soft and pretty but just a bit edgy were the requirements for hair and make-up which Jenn delivered perfectly. I particularly loved the models’ amazing lower lashes, messy fishtail plaits and soft romantic up-dos.
Hayley Neil at Glory Days Vintage supplied the stunning dresses for the shoot – I had a very hard time only choosing two gowns per model! Talented fashion designer Lauren Armstrong also created three incredible dress designs for our models which drew on 70′s influences whilst remaining bang up-to-date. She styled our lovely male model too.
To complete the look, crochet whizz Amy Worthington of Minniecrafts created some beautifully intricate stockings as the prettiest ‘something blue’ you ever did see.
The styling for the shoot was a combination of myself and Julia Harrison from Go Glorious, who hires great props and provides a host of lovely styling. Accessories were provided by Karen Kench from Kettle of Fish, whose hand-crafted creations included bouquet brooches, chair backs, ring boxes and place settings.
Finally, we just needed a cake. Claire Kemp worked her magic here to produce a soft and pretty, yet architectural and graphic design, incorporating the main theme of daises into both the motifs and colours – beautiful!
Little Black Book
Photographer: Jess Petrie
Floral Design and Concept: Campbell’s Flowers
Venue: Losehill House Hotel & Spa
Hair and Make Up: Jenn Edwards
Accessories: Karen Kench, Kettle of Fish
Styling: Julia Harrison, Go Glorious
Vintage Dresses: Hayley Neil, Glory Days Vintage
Dress Designer & Male Model Stylist: Lauren Armstrong
Blue Stockings: Amy Worthington of Minniecrafts
Cake: Claire Kemp Studio
Models: Izzy Lindley, Kate Waters, Georgia Symonds & Alex Davies
This is not a sponsored post
May 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon it’s off to sunny Ilkley for a Yorkshire wedding with Latin sprit! Francine and Harry used their favourite elements from their two cultures to create a unique and beautiful celebration which stayed true to both their roots. One thing’s for sure, those
Brazilians Yorkshire folk know how to party!
With images by Richard Wynn Davies.
Francine says: We got engaged on a trip to Paris just before Christmas 2012. Harry and I took my parents for a trip and Harry asked my dad for permission to marry me. A few moments after that, Harry proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. We then headed to London to celebrate Christmas with Harry’s family for the first time. It was a special few days!
We had an engagement party in April 2013 in my hometown of São Paulo. All my close family and friends were invited, along with Harry’s parents
We got married in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. The ceremony was held at St. Helen’s Chapel, Denton and the reception was at Denton Hall.
We knew we wanted something very personal to us. We weighed up the pros and cons of having a wedding in Brazil, but because we wanted to be very involved in the preparation of the wedding, we decided it would have to be in Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
We looked at lots of different wedding venues in Yorkshire. Denton Hall was the most immaculate estate house we visited. Nicely painted walls, good quality furniture, oh, and that staircase! Its grounds are breath-taking! The guest rooms are also beautifully decorated and good value for money. The landscape around Ilkley is so beautiful and the town is so welcoming so we thought that it would also be a very pleasant stay for our guests coming from all over the world.
I always dreamed of a church wedding, so having a little chapel only five minutes away was the icing on the cake. We felt very welcome when we started participating in the church sessions there.
We felt a very positive vibe when we had our first meeting with Hannah from Denton Hall and Michelle from Box Tree Events. We felt confident that they would help us to deliver the most beautiful and intimate wedding. They are exceptional hospitality professionals!
I chose a Pronovias lace, strapless, mermaid silhouette dress covered by a tulle over skirt with Chantilly lace appliqués. For the church I had a lace bolero on and a short veil, all also from Pronovias. I wore champagne coloured shoes from Jimmy Choo.
I had the names of my single friends attached to the inside hem of my dress. The tradition says that if you are single and looking for love, having your name attached to the bride’s dress gives you good luck in love.
I wore my mum’s diamond and platinum earrings, my make up was by Annabel Bailey and hair by No. 1 Hair & Beauty in Ilkley.
My sister wore a long light pink dress she bought in New York and my other two bridesmaids who live in London wore long dresses in mint green from Coast.
Our flowers were by Leafy Couture. I carried a loose bouquet of succulents, David Austin Pale pink roses, sweet avalanche roses, ranunculus, viburnum opulus, muscari, gyp, camomile with lace binding the stems, but keeping it visible.
All my bridesmaids carried a smaller version of my bouquet in different colours. The chief bridesmaid had white flowers to compliment her pink dress and the other two had pinks to complement the green dresses. They were all bound in mint green ribbon.
The original idea was to walk to the church, since the church was only five minutes away, however, because it was a bit windy, my mum convinced me to take a lift with Harry’s big sister and her husband in their car.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony, entering the church with my dad and finding the church completely full with our families and close friends.
We wanted to be true to the place we chose to marry, our identities and our history together. So everything was themed around the places that we are from. Having the wedding in Yorkshire played a big part in this.
I also introduced some of my Brazilian traditions into the wedding, such as the little cakes filled with dulce de leche called “bem casados” (well married cakes), which were given as favours to the guests. The tradition says it brings good luck and happiness to the couple in their marriage. To complement this, we also offered a little jar of honey from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where Harry grew up.
All table names were places in Brazil which we visited together, along with a photo of both of us.
We designed our own invitations with my watercolour on the front cover. Then we used the same design to plan our seating names, order of services and table names. Sending to print online cost us a fraction of the price that it would cost to ask someone else to design it for us.
We chose a three tiered cake with two types of chocolate and one lemon cake by Patisserie Viennoise in Otley.
We had a crèche from Perfectly Practical Parties to entertain our little guests while the parents were having dinner and this was very appreciated by the parents. It was a very successful alternative to having to change wedding venue because of the dining room capacity after we had fallen in love with Denton Hall. At the start of our research for wedding venues we were struggling to find the right place to get married. We didn’t want to have to leave people out of our day, or choose another venue so, we arranged a crèche for four hours. The children were very well looked after and by the end of the meal we had a children’s parade, showcasing their carnival masks they made in the crèche and were reunited with parents.
The band was also our little surprise for the guests – nobody knew we would bring a full drumming carnival Brazilian band until they started playing a bossa nova song for our first dance. After that, no more quiet music! As soon as the drums started, we put our carnival masks on. Carnival masks and garlands, and funky glasses were also distributed to the guests to join the dance floor.
Our band was Multi Bloco by Alive Network.
For our honeymoon we jetted off to Thailand for two weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you want to give a personal touch to your day and make things yourself, – go for it, but be realistic! There are things we still wouldn’t compromise such as venue, catering, a good photographer, flowers and a good entertainment.
Congratulations Francine & Harry!
April 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Image: Joanna Gower Photography
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
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
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.
March 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Image by Ann-Kathrin Koch
A few weeks ago we welcomed Brides Up North Featured Supplier and award winning Yorkshire wedding florist Fiona Pickles, director of Firenza Floral Design, to the wedding blog to tell us all about her home grown wedding flowers.
Image by Laura Calderwood
This afternoon I’m doing something rare and reposting that content for you here, following controversy last month about a supposedly British grown Valentine’s bouquet supported by the Royal Horticultural Society … that turned out to contain no British grown flowers at all, as they were out of season! The story was covered in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and other titles and after much pressure from the British flower growers (under #britishflowers on twitter) the RHS removed the incorrect labelling and personally responded to every single tweet of complaint (and there were lot!). The RHS are also working with British growers now for something for Mother’s Day.
Guaranteed: all the flowers you see in the piece that we share here this afternoon have been home grown by Fiona’s fair hands. That’s something pretty special. Imagine choosing your wedding flowers and seeing them grown from seed! Fiona is passionate about her love of British flowers and is here to tell us how she continues to develop her own crop to incorporate more locally grown blooms into her beautiful wedding bouquets. Let’s hear from her…
Images by James Melia
Fiona says: I’ve always had a passion for flowers and really love being at work in my garden. Even though the weather isn’t great at the moment we’ve been outside in the wind and rain preparing the cutting beds, and in a few months, with a bit of luck, we’ll have flowers in bloom and I can’t wait!
Having locally grown flowers and herbs adds an extra special and personal touch to a wedding knowing the flowers have been grown right here, in the Yorkshire countryside.
Images by Laura Calderwood
As a wedding florist we are incredibly busy – especially during the spring and summer – and growing our own flowers does mean extra work, but it’s something I love and am passionate about, plus it’s very rewarding, so the extra work is worth it, which is why we started to grow more of our own wedding flowers last year, with wonderful results. We’re based in West Yorkshire and whilst we seem to have a very pleasant micro-climate, we are still in the Pennines, 1,220ft above sea level and on a substantial slope, so conditions can be a little testing. Before growing in earnest, I wanted to get some good advice from other growers so I attended a “Flower Farming for Beginners” course at Common Farm Flowers run by the fabulous Georgie Newberry, she has a real passion for British grown cut flowers and her business was a real inspiration to me.
Images by James Melia
Last year, we had a lot of snow in March so it wasn’t the best start to the growing year, but the beautiful summer meant that our herbs and flowers were very, very happy on our fully south facing plot. We even had a photo shoot here in late June, with a small team of trusted suppliers, all the flowers used in the shoot were grown by us, including the buttercups, which I just adore!
Images by Laura Calderwood
We use a lot of mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, lemon balm, oregano and sage as well as many beautiful cottage garden-style flowers. We’re extending our herb terraces even further this year, so lots more scented beauties to come hopefully. I love using herbs in our wedding flowers, it really adds a beautiful dimension and helps to create those lasting memories.
We will never be able to grow enough flowers for all of our weddings, but as well as growing more of our own, I am working closely with Gill Hodgson from Flowers from the Farm, a network of flower growers, large and small, across the country, to supplement our flower needs, so we can use as many British Flowers as possible.
Image by Mark Dolby
Looking ahead for this year, the beds are being filled with compost, the cold frames are ready, the seed catalogues are being perused and my tools are being sharpened ready for another busy year of weddings and growing. The workshop is being fitted out with shelves and storage to create more space, we are even planning a lean-to greenhouse on our beautiful but rather shabby shed to give us more space for all our beautiful British flowers and I can’t wait!
If you’d like to make an appointment with Fiona to create your wedding flowers please contact visit www.firenzafloraldesign.co.uk or ring 01422 835540.
Images by James Melia
February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding differs from a lot of the submissions we usually receive here at Brides Up North – because this time its the groom in the driving seat. In fact, he loved the whole process so much that he’s considering a career in the wedding industry. Watch this space.
Rob writes: Out of the two of us, I have loads of artistic flare, and Michelle really isn’t fussed on anything creative! When it came to organizing the wedding, Michelle really hadn’t a clue where to start, and so basically left it up to me. Not to say she wasn’t interested – we made a deal – she would concentrate on the dress and I would sort the venue! We did all main bits together but the actual decorating of the venue was all down to me. She was banned until the big day!
I loved every minute of the build up. I knew what I wanted and made most of the stuff myself. In fact I enjoyed it that much I am hoping to start up in the industry this year.
I think the man’s a natural. So, let’s hear all about his vision… over to you Rob.
Images by Helen Hates Peas Photography.
Rob says: I asked Michelle to marry me at home on Christmas day in 2010 next to the Christmas tree. I hid the ring box at the back of the tree. After we had finished getting ready to go to her parents’ house, I said I had forgotten one last gift. When she opened her eyes I was on one knee!
We were married on 18th August 2013 at Trafford Hall, Mickle Traford, Chester. We wanted somewhere pretty and not overbearing that none of our friends or family had been to before. Somewhere all our guests could stay, somewhere we could have free reign over suppliers and not be dictated to by the venue’s preferred suppliers, and above all, somewhere reasonably priced. We loved the old Georgian house and that the venue is run by a charity who promotes eco values. The guests’ rooms were outdoor stables with wild flower turf roofs which were a brilliant talking point as guests arrived and went into their little hideaways. They try and source most of their food locally and try and grow all the veg onsite.
Our theme was country floral. I have had a passion for flowers since a young boy and eventually studied garden design at Uni. I had an idea of the way I wanted the venue to look, and it involved lots of flowers and greenery. The venue and location were perfect for a country fayre style wedding, which I think is what we achieved.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, just lots of floral prints. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it worked superbly!
Michelle wore a crystal and sash White One Bridal sweetheart ball gown from the 2012 collection which she bought from Boda Bridal in Chester. Hannah (bridesmaid) made Michelle’s veil as a personal gift. Her shoes were diamanté flip flops from Oasis.
I wanted to stand out from the best men and ushers, so chose a two piece 0suit from Zara in French Navy. I had a bespoke lilac tweed waistcoat made for me by Crichton of Chester. They also made my shirt and sewed in a contrasting floral pattern to the cuffs and collar for when I took my tie off at night. I wore a silk floral hydrangea tie that I bought from G Room in Hoole, Chester.
We both have a favourite jeweller in Chester called Chique based in St Michael’s Precinct. Michelle’s engagement ring is from there as our wedding rings. As a surprise, I met with Adam, the owner, and selected a pair of pearl earrings for Michelle to wear on the day. I asked Hannah to give them to her on the wedding morning. Little did I know that Michelle had also gone in and spoke to Adam and selected a pair of pearl cufflinks as a surprise for me! Without even knowing we had matching earrings and cufflinks!
Michelle carried a mixture of garden flowers including dahlias, anthirrinun, scabious, everlasting sweet peas, daiseys, astrantia, cornflower, amongst others. I didn’t want to be an understated groom, so my button hole was equally as flamboyant. I had the same flowers as Michelle, but with the addition of a sprig of thalictrum – a delicate purple flower.
Michelle walked down the isle to Etta James ‘At last’ and we both walked out to Jackie Wilson ‘I get the Sweetest Feeling’.
November 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This evening I’m sharing a pretty little gem of a styled bridal shoot from my Featured Suppliers Walker & Walker Photography. Call me fickle (and you’d be right) but yesterday I readying my gloves, scarf and bobble hat with glee, and tonight, I’m wishing for summer. That’s what a flower crown will do to you…
Ben of Walker & Walker says: This shoot was a joint collaborative project between Walker & Walker and Wayside Flower and was produced with an audience so potential clients could see how we work.The shoot was staged at The Little Organic Bakery in Bridlington and we hand picked the venue for the colourful selections of flora, foliage and rustic walls that had an English secret garden charm.
Our model was Sophie. She was chosen by us as she’s curvy and demure with beautiful long dark hair and showcased the vintage white wedding dress, floral head wear, shrug, underskirt, shoes and jewellery supplied by Wayside Flower beautifully.
The floral hand tied spray was made up by Lynn Walker from Next Flowers and the vintage wedding ring belonged to Lynn’s great grandmother. Lynn also prepared the props and set styling.
Little Black Book
Images: Walker & Walker Photography
Venue: The Little Organic Bakery, Bridlington
Clothing, Jewellery & Floral Head Pieces: Wayside Flower
Other florals, props and styling: Next Flowers
November 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Sometimes in the wedding World, it seems like everything is always more, more, more. More lace, more skirts, more flowers, more guests, more details… more money. So sometimes, it’s nice to strip everything right back and rejoice in the simple.
This Friday morning, I bring you a small, simple and absolutely beautiful little styled bridal shoot from a group of Yorkshire wedding suppliers whose work I really rate (some of them are even Brides Up North Featured Suppliers). So grab a cuppa and a KitKat, and prepare for something blissful.
Hayley of The Harrogate Wedding Lounge says: The initial idea for the shoot was very ethereal so the location on the Yorkshire Moors was perfect! We set up shop in a lovely warm local inn to do Hair, Makeup and dressing before heading out into the wind and rain. Our beautiful model Amy was a true professional and coped well with the difficult conditions.
We wanted to demonstrate a more simple laid back look and what you can achieve with your bridal look by adding different accessories including belts, shoes, headwear, flowers and dashes of colour. The gowns we used were beautiful yet very simplistic.
We chose Mistletoe from the Mia Mia collection by Alan Hannah and the Ghislaine Dress from the Enzoani collection. Mistletoe is a stylish long sleeved Silk Chiffon gown with pretty covered buttons and a flowing sash. The Ghislaine is a full skirted lace and tulle gown with a beautiful beaded belt. we teamed this gown with a fabulous lace edge cape by Joyce Jackson. Both gowns are available in my boutique, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.
The flowers on the shoot were from Emma’s Home and Garden and featured beautiful details used in unique ways. We styled three looks including: an arc of pale pink astilbe; an asymmetrical head piece of lisianthus, lavender, craspedia, gypsophilaand wax flower and a flower crown of lisianthus, craspedia, lavender, tree fern, and dried protea plus a simple hand tied posy of faded lilac limonium finished with vintage velvet ribbon.
Hair and Makeup on the day was styled by the super talented Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist.
Victoria says: The brief was to create a look that is different to what we have seen on this type of styled shoot with lots of creativity. Think ‘Vogue’ with statement lips and eye liner!
Our model had the most beautiful elfin features and short blonde pixie hair which is perfect to let the makeup speak for itself. Our first look was to show the eyeliner and using lashes on the lower lash line instead of the top, which created the illusion of wider eyes and using an almost white colour on the lips with a matt finish kept the look editorial. The lashes were removed for our second look which concentrated on Amy’s lips. Using the floral arrangements as inspiration and our location, a dark plum was used on the lips to stain them, giving a natural just bitten finish.
Jess of Jess Petrie Photography says: In regards to overall styling I always free-style… it’s the way I work! It helps me have more creative freedom on the shoot. When something is planned expectations are under-met and/or “panic mode” sets in if something is out of place, unexpected, or different. To work on a shoot I have to be calm and embrace things as they happen naturally. The worst thing you can do is over think it!
Everyone had an input on the overall styling, which is what I prefer, as I like to involve the team. It’s not all about the photographer, everyone is bringing the shoot together and working equally as hard.
We are trying to help brides bring out a little creativity in their overall bridal look and feel and by using matching accessories i.e belts, flowers, shoes and so on, you can style a dress in a very unique and individual way.
The colours are always important, especially for great pictures. I would advise brides on choosing pastel colours for their accessories and flowers. It’s nice to create a colour theme throughout and have complimenting colour schemes towards your dress and venue.
Little Black Book
Images: Jess Petrie Photography
Wedding Gowns: The Harrogate Wedding Lounge
Hair & Make Up: Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist
Flowers: Emma’s Home and Garden
October 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime
It’s bloomin’ beautiful on the wedding blog today isn’t it?! After this morning’s gorgeous wildflower wedding, I’m proud to introduce you to Yorkshire based florist and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Fiona of Firenza Floral Design. This talented lady is a wizard with wedding flowers. You need her in your life.
How and when did you become a floral designer?
I’ve always had a passion for flowers and love being at work in my garden, although I actually trained and worked for many years in the print industry. I loved what I did but it was very technical and I am a naturally creative soul. Having always wanted to venture into floristry, I realised I’d regret not trying and so, in 2005, I decided to bite the bullet and do something about it.
I continued working full time and spent my weekends gaining invaluable work experience at a local flower shop. I volunteered help on an ad hoc basis for almost two years before I had the confidence to leave full time employment, retrain and pursue my dream career as a florist.
So, in 2005, I waved goodbye to my company car and pension and headed off to London to attend the Jane Packer Flower School career course. I rented a flat opposite Selfridges, within walking distance of the Flower School and had an inspirational and liberating month living back in London and learning the skills that I’d dreamt of.
Where does the name Firenza come from?
The business is named after my nana, Florence, or “Firenza” in Italian. I wanted to make the business name personal to me and after I had chosen it I found out that the meaning of the name “Florence” is “flowering” or “blossoming”, so it was even more appropriate than I had first realised!
Where are you located and will you travel?
Our large workshop is near my home just outside Halifax, West Yorkshire, overlooking the hills towards Ripponden and beyond. It consists of a large consultation area, an office, workshop, and of course, the all-important cutting gardens. We are very close to the Yorkshire/Lancashire border and we also have a private workshop near Cheadle in Cheshire. Distance isn’t a problem and we regularly travel far and wide – wherever the weddings take us!
What services do you offer for Brides To Be?
Firenza Floral Design is a specialist wedding and event florist and provide flowers for every part of the day. We aim to make the whole process enjoyable and special; from the initial meeting; to the wedding itself where we set up the church and/or venue flowers; delivering the bridal flowers on the morning of the wedding; then taking all the hired items away again afterwards, so our couples don’t have to worry about a thing.
Our style is a very natural, relaxed, garden style, using the sort of flowers you would see growing in a beautiful cottage garden, especially scented flowers and herbs.
What about extra little details? Do you offer a hire service for accessories and decorations?
We have a large collection of accessories including vases, lanterns, candelabra and tea-light holders, to name a few, all of which are available for our couples to hire. All these are on view at our workshop in Halifax and provide a source of inspiration during consultations.
Tell Brides Up North about your “home grown” flowers?
I am already growing a large amount of herbs and foliage for use in our weddings, but this year I have started work to convert an area of ridiculously steep waste grassland within our gardens to grow more cut flowers and herbs, which combined with our established gardens will provide a lot of flowers as well.
Work is well underway on our cutting beds – we have three raised beds all ready to start growing properly into 2014. They are on the steepest land imaginable and have been a challenge to build, especially when combined with a very busy wedding season!
This is something I feel really passionate about, I have always adored gardening and the last few years have been so busy with weddings my poor garden has just been totally neglected, which was making me very frustrated. So my (possibly rather strange) logic was if I make it part of the business I HAVE to do it and it has actually proved to be the case! I must admit though my first foray into serious seed growing was not particularly successful but I don’t yet have a greenhouse so that’s going on my list to Santa!
As part of this process I have met some fabulous growers across the country and I always use British growers where possible. I am also part of the lovely “Flowers from the Farm” network where I keep in touch with, and support, local flower growers.
What sets your business apart from your competitors?
As well as the above, we specialise in using scented flowers and herbs, a lot of which are grown in my own garden. The unique ability of a particular smell to remind us of times, places and memories, is the reason why I’m so keen to use scent as much as possible in my weddings.
We use a lot of typical garden flowers like forget-me-nots, aquilegia, clematis and even buttercups, which give our flowers their very distinctive natural, garden style.
Tell us about some of the industry connections you have made and shoots that you have worked on since launching your business?
We have met some lovely people along the way and have built up some fabulous relationships with many fellow suppliers. We’ve worked a lot with the lovely people from PapaKata and have worked on many of their 2013 weddings, they are great to work with and our natural style flowers particularly suit their tipis.
Since setting up in 2005, we’ve worked on several shoots with great photographers including Damian Hall, Barnaby Aldrick, Shelly from Toast, Sarah Mason and Lissa Alexandra, to name a few. One of our former brides has recently set up her own photography business, Laura Calderwood Photography, her work is beautiful and we have worked a lot together this year as well. We’re currently working on a series of shoots with local photographer James Melia and make up artist Jo BLiham. We all share a similar style and the shoots we’ve worked on so far have been truly beautiful, some of which have been picked up by the wedding media.
What have been your professional highlights to date?
In July 2012 we were commissioned to provide flowers for Her Majesty The Queen. This was so exciting, although a little terrifying, if I’m honest. The brief was not to be “too weddingy”, so I stuck with my natural, gathered, garden style and imagined the sort of flowers that she would choose. I opted for bright cerise Yves Piaget rose, which is gloriously scented, with lilac delphinium, blackberries, purple clematis, mint, pink campanula, Artemisia, antirrhinum, stocks and hydrangea. The presentation bouquet for Her Majesty had a selection of these, with pink peony and monarda – it was an absolute honour and a very proud day!
What are your favourite wedding floristry looks for 2013? What trends do you see emerging?
Our style of floristry is timeless and not particularly trend-led and I will always be a huge fan of very natural and unfussy designs. The just-picked look is still very popular and will remain so into 2014. There is a move towards more mixed and bright colours and in a much more unstructured style – less rose domes and more wild, natural and untamed designs.
What would be your top tips for a Bride To Be when choosing her wedding flowers?
Allow your florist to have as much free reign as possible – I don’t mean just let them do what they want, but rather guide them with an idea of the sort of look you are after, what flowers you like and dislike, and then let the florist do the rest. This way you benefit far more from their creativity and you get a totally bespoke look designed specifically for you. If the florist understands your vision, it gives them the confidence that if they see the most beautiful but unexpected flower at the market that week, they can use it and you will love it. The more prescriptive a bride to be is, the less creative the florist can be.
Also, take some time to look at previous work the florist has done and consider whether it is in line with what you want, before asking them to give you a quote. I wouldn’t expect someone to come to us looking for a contemporary and off-the-wall design, because that just isn’t our style. All florists have their own natural style and pictures on their website blog or Facebook page or displays at wedding fairs will reflect this and help to show you their signature style.
Finally, don’t feel you always have to use the colour of the bridesmaid dresses in the flowers, especially if it is an unusual colour, instead you could use the dresses as a backdrop for a different colour scheme. For example, if you have a royal blue colour scheme you could consider opting for flowers that compliment it instead, perhaps using ivories, greens and blush pinks or maybe ivories, peaches and oranges. If your chosen colour scheme is particularly dark, I would always recommend using tones of the colour as well, to prevent a clash of dark and light colours, so instead of just using red and white flowers for example, introduce ivories as well as pale and darker pinks as this gives a far more cohesive appearance.
What would be your no-nos?
I really dislike dyed or artificially coloured flowers, especially the rainbow rose, which in my eyes is just wrong I’m afraid! Nature is so beautiful on it’s own so we should use what nature gave us. I would suggest finding other ways of bringing in unusual colour schemes, maybe through ribbon, or brooches.
Who would be your dream client and why?
George Clooney. He seems to be the sort of person who would choose our flowers, his style is so understated and classy, with nothing too glitzy or bling. I think he would want very natural and beautiful flowers. He has a villa on Lake Como (one of my favourite places) and I have a vision of a ceremony outside, under rose covered pergolas on a late spring/early summer day, it’s sunny but not too hot, with the lake in the background and oodles of displays of scented garden roses, scented stocks, herbs, peonies, delphiniums and hydrangea. His bride is carrying a very simple but beautiful bouquet of herbs, roses and peonies in blush pinks and ivories…ah well…we can all dream… (the number is below George if you’re interested)!
Are there any really memorable weddings that you have worked on?
They are all memorable in their own way, but a recent one we worked on was a little different. Flowers were really important to Georgie, she wanted a very natural, forest floor type theme, which all worked fabulously with her tipi wedding and we created a lot of beautiful displays for her. But, the memorable thing for me was that she arrived at the wedding breakfast on a white horse (something I’d always wanted to do) and I just love this shot of her with her bouquet. Apparently the horse bucked at one point but she clung determinedly onto her bouquet throughout!
Which weddings or shoots do you have coming up that you are really excited about?
We worked on a wedding a couple of months ago where not only did the bride wear a crown of ivy and daisies in her hair, but the groom wore a flower crown as well, which he was most excited about. I imagine this will be the first and last time I design a flower crown for a groom and it was great to get creative!
Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?
It’s a bit “how long is piece of string?” I’m afraid. That is almost impossible to answer as everything is totally designed around each couple, I will say that working on a percentage of your wedding spend, which a lot of magazines seem to suggest, is not always the way to go as it doesn’t take into account whether you want a lot of flowers at the church, whether there are a lot of bridesmaids or table centres, how time consuming the set-up is, or even the sort of flowers/herbs you want and it seems to result in some very unrealistic expectations! It may seem very obvious but the more flowers you want the more it will cost. There is a very rough price guide on our website which can help with budgeting purposes but we always suggest a full consultation before giving more specific ideas on price.
How can Brides Up North see examples of your work or find out more?
We offer consultations our beautiful studio and workshop in West Yorkshire. For more information visit www.firenzafloraldesign.co.uk or ring 01422 835540.
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October 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Brides Up North reader (and Canadian bride) Chelsey and her other half Andy for their gloriously colourful countryside Real Wedding in Yorkshire. The best bit? All the beautiful blooms are picked right from the garden. It’s just one of the special details that makes this pretty celebration stand out. Be inspired!
With images by Andy Gaines Creative.
Chelsey says: Andy proposed in 2011 during our annual “Orphan’s Christmas” that we host every year for friends in our ski resort community who are away from home, sometimes for the first time. I was so surprised and it was so fun to celebrate our brand new engagement with so many friends!
We were married on 30th August 2013. Our ceremony was at All Hallows Church in Sutton-on-the-Forest and our reception followed at the Stone Trough Inn in Kirkham Abbey.
We chose our venue because the manager, Tim was so helpful and the location was like a picture postcard – even on a foggy October afternoon when we first saw it. The food was incredible and they did it up just beautifully for us on the day.
Our theme was vintage English countryside. Andy grew up in a small village in Yorkshire and the surrounding area is so beautiful with amazing views and beautiful landscapes.
Our colours were based on the bright colours of wildflowers – cornflowers, marigolds and meadowsweet, with splashes of poppy and violet. The main colour was bright yellow because it is such a happy colour!
I wore a Manuel Mota for Pronovias lace and chiffon gown. I bought it on a sort of whim very early on in our engagement from Viva Bridal, in my town of Kamloops, BC. I fell in love with it from the first moment I tried it on, and it made my mum tear up right away so we knew we had a winner! It was exactly what I had always imagined I’d wear. My veil came from Sibo Designs on Etsy.
Judy Wright of The Plantsmiths supplied all of our flowers right from her very own garden, which I loved. The bouquets were lovely and full hand-tied bunches with lots of bright colours, wrapped in hessian and ribbon.
My bridesmaids wore yellow sun dresses from ModCloth with nude suede pumps. Andy and his best man wore grey suits from Moores in Kamloops. His other two groomsmen wore their own suits and they all looked so sharp! All of the groomsmen accessorized with yellow seersucker ties and pocket squares. Our little ring-bearer had grey suit from Next and a yellow seersucker bow-tie as well.
We chose a 3 tiered cake with two tiers of chocolate and one of lemon, with a delicious buttercream icing, decorated with silk wildflowers from Cakes Unlimited of Yorkshire. We were so busy visiting that the only piece we had was when we cut the cake! Everyone said it was delicious though.
We had plenty of flowers on the tables, with lots of candles too.
Each table had a photo of a wedding from our families — each of our parents and grandparents. I also made yards and yards of bunting which was hung from the rafters.
We also had a lovely guest book alternative which was a thumb print tree from an Etsy shop called Spotted Nest. She even incorporated our cat, Dominic on it!
Love Invited did our beautiful custom stationery suite. They were wonderful to work with and we got exactly what we were after. I hand made the escort cards with tea-soaked shipping tags and vintage buttons.
My favourite little extras were the cuff links I bought Andy, which were little bits of maps with our birth cities on them, as well as the bird cake toppers, both custom made from Etsy shops Paper Arcadia and Cinnamon Birds, respectively. I love Etsy and went a bit mad with wedding purchases there.
We worked with amazing local vendors. Andy Gaines Creative did our photos and they turned out better than we ever could have hoped. He captured so many special moments of the day and in such a beautiful, artistic way. He was so enthusiastic and we had a great time having him there.
If I had to choose one favourite moment it would be when we had our photos done in the field across from the Stone Trough Inn. It had just been harvested and we got my favourite pictures of the day there and had so much fun while we were at it.
We had the most amazing DJ that we met while clubbing in Manchester, named Melanie Carter. We asked her if she’d like to make a trip out to Yorkshire for our big day and luckily she agreed. She had everyone dancing all night; the music was really one of the highlights!
We honeymooned on the Amalfi Coast and Rome in Italy. We had such an incredible time, and absolutely stuffed ourselves full of pasta, pizza, gelato and wine. It was an unforgettable two weeks. We finished our honeymoon with a quick visit in Manchester with Andy’s family before we flew home to Canada.
My top tips for other Brides Up North are to take in every moment as best you can because the day really does fly by. Try and get a good night’s sleep the night before and don’t fret if something goes wrong; no one will notice (really!). Tell your parents you love them and wear lash extensions instead of mascara, you won’t regret it once the speeches begin.
Congratulations Chelsey & Andy!
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