Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

beautiful blooms: introducing flowers & finery

September 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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There’s no doubt here at Brides Up North HQ that fabulous flowers are a key ingredient to a wedding. From bouquets and button holes, to centrepieces, arrangements and arches, we’re truly obsessed with beautiful blooms and their ability to enhance any style of wedding.

Not only do they provide a key part of a bride’s big day look through the bouquet, but they also help to transform celebration spaces and venues with their exquisite colour, texture and scent.

Someone who is equally passionate about pretty petals is our new Sponsor, Yorkshire-based florist Karen Peacock of Flowers & Finery, who we’re introducing to the blog today.

Expanding on a career as an antique dealer, creative Karen embarked on a floristry course to provide stunning blooms in vintage style props and her love for flowers has continued to blossom. Here she tells us all about her gorgeous floral creations and how she works with couples to provide seriously swoon-worthy displays for varying budgets, styles and venues.

Main images by Jane Beadnell Photography for UNVEILED Magazine Issue 08.

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Can you tell us a little about your background and how your business came to fruition?

karen says: I was an antique dealer for over 20 years and the weddings came from that really. One of my customers asked if I would hire them an old-fashioned hotel laundry basket to stand at their wedding reception for their wedding presents. They came to collect it and ended up taking a Victorian cheval mirror for their table plan, a three-tier stand for their favours, a collection of lanterns and fairy lights and 30 metres of bunting we’d used a few weeks earlier for the town gala. As a result of that wedding I was asked to supply vintage china for 300 guests at a wedding in London. And so it grew. After a while I found I was saying no to too many people who asked: “Can you put me some flowers in that?”, so I went back to college and studied floristry. I’ve always loved flowers and it pained me to hire out empty baskets etc and watch someone else fill them with gorgeous flowers. It’s the best thing I ever did, I really love how the flowers add to a wedding and my eclectic mix of props means I’m ideal for someone who wants to bring something fresh to a venue.

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings and what is your favorite part of your job? 

I love weddings because I get to meet people at their best, their happiest, even though it’s a huge responsibility to be involved in the most important day of someone’s life. Quite often they’ve planned the day in their heads for years and helping make their dream a reality is special. My favourite bit is the flowers. The bouquet is always nice, it’s what everybody looks at, but actually, it’s the venue flowers I love most. Whether the venue is a bland hotel, a marquee or a gorgeous castle, flowers transform it, they add personality and what the bride and groom choose says a lot about who they are. And I like the variety, I like that I can do two weddings in the same marquee and yet both look so different, because the people are different. No two weddings are ever the same.

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from? 

Style is largely down to the bride, but I do tend to lean towards the more natural relaxed look. I suppose my background in antiques means I go for more traditional flowers, preferably with a scent. I love the country house look so go for masses of seasonal flowers. Where suitable I look for something unusual as a holder or setting and I try to incorporate natural fabrics and ribbons alongside some quirky props.

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What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers? 

I usually meet the couple, or the bride and her mother quite often, either at their home or at the venue. It generally takes about an hour and we go through what they like and don’t like, what sort of look they envisage, quite often brides have a collection of cuttings or a Pinterest board and this helps me get a picture of what would work for them. And I have lots of books and boards to assist too. I like to see the gown and fabric of the suits, colour schemes etc. I always look at the venues, sometimes just little things can make a big impression, a small bowl of flowers can give a big wow if it’s in the right place. Then I prepare a schedule and we go from there. If the couple decide to work with me I take a deposit and I’m available to consult until the big day.

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers and what elements of the wedding should they take into consideration when picking their flowers?

I advise brides to think about weddings they have been to, what they have liked and haven’t liked. What have they looked at in magazines, have they seen anything on their venues literature they particularly liked, and I always tell brides to look at Pinterest, it’s a fabulous source of inspiration. But personality is most important, it’s no good me trying to get a tiny, precise and exact girl to carry a huge, blousy and decadent bouquet if she is someone happier carrying a carefully fashioned spray of delicate orchids. A lot can be learned from the gown the bride has chosen, lots of detail at the front is often better served by simple flowers. The same can be said for hair and venues, what the couple choose tells me what they like and so that helps me tell them what to look for.

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contemporary, caring & cutting-edge: fantail designer florist

July 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (9)

As regular readers of the wedding blog will know, we’re suckers for beautiful wedding day blooms and love to see florists pushing the design boundaries in order to deliver something that is both impressive and individual.

One such florist who does just this is Brides Up North Sponsor, Samantha Coventry, proud owner of Fantail Designer Florist. Supplying dream bouquets, centrepieces and styling for weddings in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, Samantha enjoys nothing more than meeting new couples and translating their personalities and ideas into show-stopping arrangements.

This afternoon on the blog, we’re super excited to be catching up with this talented lady at her Sheffield-based shop to her learn more about her designs, service and style…

With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (7)

Can you tell us a little about your background and how Fantail first came to fruition?

samantha says: Originally hailing from New Zealand, I came to Sheffield to peruse in a career in Interior and Furniture Design. Succeeding in this, and in the meantime having two children, a dog and a cat, I then retrained in floristry and set up Fantail doing freelance wedding floristry from my home studio in 2008. The business outgrew the house and when the local post office moved premises the opportunity arose in the village to open a shop, which I couldn’t allow to pass me by!

How has the business grown since that time?

Since we opened the shop back in November 2016, the business has grown ten-fold. It has given us the opportunity not only to offer more in the everyday bouquet market, including deliveries, but has also allowed us to expand our wedding portfolio. In addition to this we’ve been offering seasonal floral making classes, which have been over-booked to the extent that we had to double the dates! As well as flowers we also supply other, locally made, products, such as Sheffield Honey, Burgon & Ball gardening items, Nathalie Bond organic skincare and cards for all occasions. We’ve also taken the idea of a florist further beyond flowers by offering house plants in designer pots, with our own unique twist.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (1)

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings and what is your favorite part of your job? 

I love weddings and take pride in being involved in one of the most important days of a couple’s life.  I enjoy everything about creating for a wedding. The initial consultation is great – you get to find out how the couple met, what are their likes and dislikes, their honeymoon ideas and by working together with them I can begin to suggest floral designs that work and create something unique that reflects their personality, the venue and the theme. The best part is when we meet them on the day to deliver the designs and they see the venues transform to the vision we created together.

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from? 

We are contemporary florists, with classic style and dip into vintage. We use a range of different textures and tones and try to include something different.  We like to think that we are thorough and consider all the details, such as wiring succulents so they can be planted after the wedding and incorporating plants dependent on the time of year for the same reason. We take inspiration through the seasons, which sounds pretty obvious, but we always like to encourage seasonal availability. Yves Saint Laurent said: “fashions fade but style is eternal” and I think that’s as true for floristry as anything else.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (4)

What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?

We like to invite couples into the shop for a chat. We like to get to know our couples and I think jelling with each other is another key to the success of the relationship. We’ll go through all the nitty gritty things from floral bouquet style, the pins colours on the buttonholes to the length of a trail based on the height of the bride to the height of the candles used on a candelabra.  We then come up with a plan going forwards that suits that couple and their budget.

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?

Most brides will have an inkling as to what they think they would like or want to achieve in the venue for their wedding day. That might be a colour or a favourite flower or style, including bringing along magazine cuttings to the meeting. We can generally get to a finalised design by the time we’ve finished. Pinterest is a massive influence and is helpful for both brides and grooms as well.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (8)

Where do you source the flowers from for your arrangements? 

We source flowers from a range of suppliers including UK-grown flower farms, the Dutch auctions and even as far afield as southern Africa.

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lovers’ lane: a rustic wedding styled shoot in yorkshire

January 30th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Floral Dance Styled Shoot (c) Jenny Maden (35)

One of the things we love most about our Luxury Wedding Fairs, that we host across the north of the UK, has to be the efforts exhibitors go to in order to showcase their talents and capture brides’ imaginations.

During our Denton Hall wedding fair in October last year, we were particularly impressed by the stunning display created by florist Angela Naylor, of Floral Dance, based in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Her creative stand was a beautiful botanical show for the eyes, with green and white flowers and foliage mixed in with accents of luxe copper. How heavenly?!

So, when Angela mentioned that she was teaming up with Yorkshire-based photographer Jenny Maden for a styled shoot the following day to make full use of her wonderful creations, we jumped at the chance to feature it on the blog.

And so, here’s the lovely Jenny to tell us how it all went whilst inspiring us with lots of pretty petals…

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

Floral Dance Styled Shoot (c) Jenny Maden (14)

jenny says: The shoot was an opportunity for both myself and Ange to get creative! We had discussed collaborating for a styled shoot since the week that she opened her gorgeous new florists.

So, when Ange pulled together such a fab collection of floristry pieces for the Brides Up North wedding fair at Denton Hall, we thought that scheduling the shoot for the day after the fair would be a perfect opportunity to make the most of the beautiful floral arrangements.

Floral Dance Styled Shoot (c) Jenny Maden (30)

The shoot took place in the rural hamlet of Denton, which is a really beautiful place, just outside the town that both Ange and I live in. It’s pretty wild and bleak there in the winter month, but just beautiful and fit the ‘rustic’ theme perfectly. Luckily, on the day of the shoot, we had relatively mild weather, so the props didn’t blow away and Ange didn’t freeze!

Floral Dance Styled Shoot (c) Jenny Maden (21)

We called the shoot ‘Lovers Lane’, after the name of the lane that ran through the shoot location. Apparently, it was the place for lovers’ liaisons back in the day.

We both had a rural and rustic theme in mind, with lots of greens and whites, with hints of copper and burgundy.

Floral Dance Styled Shoot (c) Jenny Maden (7)

All the floral arrangements were created by Ange; from the stunning table arrangements, to the dreamy bouquets and flower crown, which we hope will help inspire styling ideas for Brides Up North readers.

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one pretty party. caroline castigliano for a navy & copper wedding at middleton lodge – laura & andrew

December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding comes courtesy of Brides Up North reader Laura, and oh boy, is it a good one!

From the choice of venue through to the stylish colour scheme, fabulous blooms and Laura’s incredible dress, we adore everything about this wedding, which was planned in just four months. Yep, you read right, four months!

We’re also thrilled to see lots of our fabulous Sponsor suppliers contributing to this gorgeous celebration (if you’re on the hunt for talented professionals to make your day perfect, be sure to take a look at our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory).

Laura and Andrew wanted a relaxed and informal big day with a rockin’ party atmosphere, and by the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got!

With images by York Place Studios.

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laura says: We got engaged at home, in September 2015. It was a total surprise – we have been together for ten years, after meeting at Uni. We’d recently moved into our new home and Andrew got up early to do some painting, when I got up he’d written “will you marry me” on the wall!

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We booked the wedding for 12th March 2016, as we fell in love with our venue – Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire – as soon as we saw it and they had an opening for this date. It meant that we had just four months from viewing the venue to the wedding day!

Middleton Lodge had everything we were looking for – character yet it still felt relaxed. We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend party without people having to worry about taxis and getting home. At Middleton Lodge everyone could stay and the house was exclusively ours for the weekend. We also immediately loved the cellar bar as it was totally different from the house and knew we’d completely change the dynamic of the day when we went down there in the evening.

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We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, things were just relaxed and informal, though we wanted it to have a real party atmosphere.

Our colour scheme was navy and copper. We loved the colours as we’d seen them a lot in home interiors but we’d not seen them being used for weddings.

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My wedding dress was a 50’s inspired Caroline Castigliano dress, called Hepburn, from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It had a very full skirt but other than that was very plain and simple. The dress was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on if we’re going to organise the whole wedding in four months so I chose this before we committed to the venue and date. My shoes were Jimmy Choos.

On the day of the wedding my hair was styled by Bows Hair, and my makeup was done by Anna Mason of Cordelia & Co – both were great and I’d definitely recommend them.

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wonderfully whimsical: introducing flowers at the barn

August 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Flowers at the Barn - Hayley Rose Photography (5)

If you’re currently at the point in your wedding planning where you’re on the search for someone to provide your beautiful blooms then standby, as we’re introducing a new Brides Up North Sponsor to the blog today who can most certainly assist.

Flowers at the Barn is the creation of talented florist Andrea Moyle, who was inspired to set up her Yorkshire-based business due to her love of all things pretty and floral, not to mention her slight obsession with weddings!

Working with beautiful seasonal flowers and fragrant herbs, Andrea is a pro at creating informal and whimsical style arrangements; from fabulous bouquets and button holes to striking flower crowns and arches.

To tell you more about the business and blooms, we’ll leave you in Andrea’s green-fingered hands…

Images by Hayley Rose Photography & Jane Beadnell Photography.

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Tell us a little about your background and when and why you first set up Flowers at the Barn?

andrea says: Growing up I used to love being outside, I loved anything and everything about nature: animals, flowers, mud, rain – the lot! But it wasn’t until two-and-a-half-years ago when I moved to Yorkshire from the hustle and bustle of the London suburbs that I saw myself wanting to exclusively work with flowers. Prior to this my career was as a Personal Assistant in a far more corporate, desk orientated world – I knew something needed to change! When I fell pregnant with my daughter this was all the spurring on I needed to set about making Flowers at the Barn – a living dream and I’ve not looked back since!

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings? 

I love weddings, in fact some may say I’m even a little bit obsessed! I love not only the flowers, but the dresses, venues and overall styling. You just can’t beat a good wedding! It’s one of the happiest days of a couple’s life and it’s thrilling to be a part of that. I love the planning and thought that a couple put into a wedding and then seeing their vision come to life as the venue is dressed on the wedding morning – it’s very rewarding.

Flowers at the Barn - Jane Beadnell Photography (2)

What is your favourite part of your job? 

Meeting a new bride/couple and learning about their plans for their big day is so exciting to me. I enjoy throwing ideas around and collaborating with them to come up with a design for their day. Also, delivering the flowers to the bride on the wedding morning and seeing her reaction while wishing her all the best for her big day.

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create?

I guess you could say the flowers I create are inspired by my love of nature. I love an informal, whimsical, English country garden style, using seasonal flowers and herbs where possible.

Flowers at the Barn - Hayley Rose Photography (14)

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?

Some brides know exactly what they want but for those who don’t inspiration can be found by looking at the venue they are getting married at. A grand house is often more suited to candelabras, rose bowls and cut glass arrangements whereas a tipi or barn wedding will have a more rustic, country vibe so this can be reflected in the flowers. I also find the time of year the wedding is taking place is also a great source of inspiration if you’ve no idea where to start. And don’t forget Instagram – hours can be lost looking through gorgeous flower images there!

Beyond bouquets and button holes what other elements of the wedding can you assist with?

I undertake all types of floral work, from thank you bouquets to floral arches, flower crowns to decorating a tree!  If you can think it, I’ll try to deliver it!

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petal perfectionists: introducing paragon floral design

July 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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ZT Photography

As flowers are one of our very favourite wedding topics, we’re super excited to be introducing you to a fabulous new Premium Sponsor of ours today – the talented Paragon Floral Design.

Based in a wonderfully creative workshop in Oldham, there isn’t much that its experienced florist owners, Lisa Holroyd and Kate Whelan, don’t know about beautiful buds and blooms. Having worked together for more than a decade, the skillful ladies say they share a “geeky passion” for both the wedding industry and floral design, which you can see reflected in their stunning work.

Keen to create arrangements that are as individual as their clients, Lisa and Kate take their inspiration from a wide variety of sources and love showing how flowers can really bring the wow-factor to a wedding.

For more details on what they offer and the way that they work, we’ll hand you over to the lovely Kate…

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Can you tell us how did Paragon Floral Design come to fruition?

kate says: Paragon Floral Design came about after Lisa Holroyd and I had worked together in various places for about ten years, both in the UK and abroad. We both share a geeky passion for the industry and design in general. After running a chain of shops and an event studio in Bermuda we decided it was time to come home and do it all for ourselves. It’s been slowly coming together since we arrived back in the UK in 2013 and we have been busy with all the preparation, branding, wedding fairs and promotional gubbins since then! In amongst that Lisa had her second child and I gained a teaching degree (we do like to keep busy!) The website went live back in November and we are really pleased to have bookings coming in already. Lisa and I have the same work ethic, which is nice to have in a ‘work wife’. We are perfectionists so we know how important it is to ‘get it right’ on the big day.

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings? 

It might sound cliché but every day is different; one day you can be cleaning vases and the next you have a massive delivery of beautiful flowers to condition and sort out. Then the next week you might be in the office and in meetings all day discussing new jobs. We love the concepts, that every couple has a different view of their big day and it’s fun to get all those images together and create something new and unique. You meet so many different people; it’s an all-go industry!

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ZT Photography

What is your favorite part of your job? 

For me it’s actually a moment you get on the big jobs, where the flowers are in, tables set, lighting is on and being tested and the music is playing. Just before we leave you get to see it perfectly intact, like the guests will see it just before the party. The calm before the storm sort of thing. I love that – it’s a bit emotional and makes me really proud.

For Lisa it’s the brainstorming with the couples, the making and setting up of an event too. There is a very unique feeling you get when you know you have been a part of helping clients create a beautiful memory. We basically love it all!

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere. We especially love texture and detail – creating new shapes, something a bit quirky but still elegant. We love architecture, nature, fashion and learning new craft techniques. We bounce ideas off each other too, that’s cool when you can say “hey what do you think about this?” and then it suddenly takes a new direction and becomes something awesome you never thought of. We like to spend time just creating, so we can show couples fresh ideas.

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What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?

In the first instance couples can email or call directly if they like. Alternatively, we have a contact form on our website that they can fill in. We always respond within 24 hours and we will send out a wedding welcome letter with some basic info on it about us and how we work. It includes some basic price ranges too so that you can have a stab at a budget to work on. From there we usually have a phone call to get an idea of your vision and then set up a meeting to discuss the bits and bobs. If you are happy to pick us then we take a 25% deposit and you are booked in! We’ll then send you your mood board and you have a full-itemized invoice. Six weeks before the wedding the balance is due and up till a few weeks before we can make little tweaks as those extra guests accept, or you forgot about Aunty Marjorie who needs a corsage!

We collect all the info we need from you to deliver the bridal bouquets, set up the florals and then collect anything that requires doing so after the wedding so that on the day, there is nothing to worry about. Lisa and I are on every job we do. We make the flowers and set up, so all you need to do is be there to enjoy it.

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?,

Every wedding is different. Pinterest is great and it’s a good source but many images are lit/ have filters added so that the colours you see are not really like that. Take into consideration your fashion sense and the colours you like to wear and how you’ve decorated your home? Sometimes you don’t think about that stuff but it really says a lot about who you are every day and we can use that to design something just for you. Take into consideration the venue and your wedding dress too. The style of the venue and the shape of your dress can dictate the feeling and style of floral designs. You don’t just need to show us images of flowers either, perhaps there is some art you like? A photo you love? We can use all that too!

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