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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

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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Wedding Planning SOS: Hello Petal!

March 15th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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It might not surprise you that when planning my own wedding, I was one of those brides who kept a wedding scrapbook (more on my own wedding scrapbook coming up very soon on the wedding blog) – not so much a place for collecting ideas – more a work of art to be treasured for centuries to come.  By me and me alone, but still:  it was fabulous!

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So, when it came to finding a florist to turn my dreams into reality (and on budget!) this was no mean feat.  I was lucky to know and work with amazing North East florist Claire De Lune, who absolutely nailed it on our big day (you can see some pictures here, here, here and here if you are so inclined) – but what if you have no idea where to start?

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That’s where my fabulous guest blogger and Yorkshire wedding planner, Helen of Bash comes in!  Take it away Helen! 

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With images by Faye Hatton Photography and flowers by Leafy Couture

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Helen says: As an established Wedding Planner, I am experienced in helping couples at various stages of the planning process to achieve their perfect day. It is something I am particularly passionate about. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than the sight of a gleaming smile on the face of a radiant bride, enjoying every moment as her dream day unfolds. With this in mind, is it surprising that I am ever so slightly particular about the suppliers I choose to work with? It’s essential they share the same ethos: they’ll be prepared to take time to get to know and understand you, and will be determined to deliver a service that exceeds your expectations.

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In many cases, this is often the very reason why so many Brides contact me. Having chosen a venue and visited a number of wedding fairs where they’ve met numerous photographers and tasted great cake, they need a helping hand in refining their choices but don’t know where to start.

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So far in this series, we’ve looked at identifying priorities, choosing a venue, finding the right photographer and sourcing stationery, and now it’s the florist’s turn. Granted, your florist plays a huge part in terms of creating some of the most important accessories for your day, but before you rush out to meet them, please take another leaf out of this little ‘Wedding Planning SOS’ book.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Great florists do get booked early and often impose a limit on the number of weddings they are willing to do to ensure they can offer a personal service so it is worth starting the search as early as possible.  Before you get started, look for testimonials on florists’ own websites. There’s nothing quite like a genuine recommendation.

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Not only is it important to choose wisely, it is vital that you give them all the information they need in order to create what you’re looking for. There are a number of factors which will almost certainly influence your choice of flowers, not least the venue (in terms of its scope and grandeur), the style of your dress and of course, any colour palette you have in mind.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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In preparation for any consultations, it is also worthwhile gathering together fabric swatches and collecting images, clippings and articles which help to illustrate what you do and do not like. Whilst you may not have the time to invest in creating mood boards, at least be prepared to describe what you consider to be the key aspects of your day as these will inevitably have a bearing on the choices you make.

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Even if you haven’t selected your dress, be prepared to talk about the styles you like and what you believe will suit you. Bear in mind that you will be carrying the ultimate accessory which should complement both the dress and your body shape. An oversized bouquet can so easily overshadow a simple gown or cover up gorgeous curves, which could otherwise be accentuated. Visualise yourself carrying your bouquet. How does it look? How do you want to feel?

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Think of a reason… will your bouquet and any other floral accessories contain any flowers which have a special meaning to you? Perhaps there’s a particular flower that resonates with you because its appearance or scent reminds you of a special person, place or time.

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Whatever the season… although it has to be said that some flowers are simply not available all year round, a great florist should usually be able to source what you’re looking for, or at least suggest a suitable alternative. Do bear in mind that seasonality can have a significant bearing on cost. Flowers are particularly expensive around Valentine’s and Mother’s Day and at Christmas time, red and white roses generally become more expensive.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Once you’ve considered these points, you are ready to meet with a florist to talk through your ideas. This is an ideal opportunity to ask questions about the service they offer:

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Who will create your bouquet, bridesmaid’s flowers, ceremony arrangements, centre pieces, button holes and corsages? Many hands make light work but how personal is the service you will receive?

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Will they deliver to multiple locations and will this be included in their quotation or is there an additional cost?

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How flexible are they? If they’re delivering flowers for more than one wedding on your wedding day, can they co-ordinate delivery with your photographer’s arrival? This is particularly important if you want to incorporate the delivery of the flowers into the documentary of your day.

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Is it possible to see a sample of their work?

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Are they prepared to arrange a meeting at the venue?

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 Could any elements be re-cycled? For example, flowers used to decorate the ceremony might also be utilised during the reception or evening celebrations. Perhaps they might even double up as gifts?

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 Will they collect any hired items, such as vessels or vases the next day or is it your responsibility to return them?

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What are their payment terms?

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Following the consultation, your florist should write up a detailed proposal, itemising the number of arrangements, the kinds of flowers to be used, and any additional costs associated with delivery and set-up.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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If you have followed this advice and asked the right questions, I hope you will be happy with the outcome and receive precisely the flowers you want. You will certainly avoid some of the pitfalls that are usually the result of a florist having no option other than to create their own interpretation of your ideas, because you haven’t been clear from the start.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Previous guest posts by Helen:

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Wedding Planning SOS- Practical Paper- Wedding Invitations

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect- How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

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Would you like to be a guest blogger for Brides Up NorthContact me

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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WINNER! Bels Flowers Bespoke Bouquet

July 3rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday in the glorious sunshine that we lucky Northerners are getting.  It’s been hard to tear myself away from the garden to update my lovely little wedding blog, but needs must, as I have some exciting news for one lucky Brides Up North reader!

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Bels Flowers

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A month ago, I launched a gorgeous competition for one of my readers to win a bespoke bridal bouquet, hand tied by the lovely Helen of Bels Flowers and worth up to £200.

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Well, you better have a gorgeous gown lined up to match*…

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  • Victoria

    June 27, 2011 | I’m a big fan of brides up north and have been watching it grow over the past few months. It’s great to be able to go to a northern site for help and ideas. I hope it’s not to late to enter, I don’t ever win anything but thought it’s worth a try if it’s not to late! Thanks for the opportunity!

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Many congratulations you lucky thing (and thank you for the lovely comments! *blush*). Contact me to claim your beautiful blooms.  This might be the bouquet toss off the agenda!

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Have a fabulous summer evening Brides Up North.  Fire up those BBQs!

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*Winner drawn at random

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Bels Flowers

This is a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wediing Blog

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Wedding Bels! A Bels Flowers Giveaway (CLOSED)

June 3rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Bels Flowers

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I have a little treat for you today my lovely Brides Up North, brought to you by my new wedding industry friend – the lovely Helen of Bels Flowers, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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Bels Flowers

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I met Helen at the recent Weddings in the City event at The New Northumbria Hotel, Jesmond, where she was dressing tables with her beautiful floral displays. 

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Bels Flowers aims to provide bespoke flowers for every client, focusing on natural beauty with a touch of sophistication.  Brides Up North thinks that her designs are gorgeous!

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Today, Bels Flowers is offering one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to win the bridal bouquet of their dreams, bespoke to them and worth up to £200.

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To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post (click “comments” right at the foot of the post) telling Brides Up North and Bels Flowers why you deserve to win.*

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Good luck!

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The competition closes on 3 July 2011 (not 7 June 2011 as previously advertised in error.  All Brides Up North giveaways are open for 1 month). 

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Bels Flowers

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*The winner will be selected by Brides Up North and Bels Flowers.  The judges’ decision is final.  No cash alternative.  Delivery charges not included.  Upon entry you will automatically be subscribed to the Brides Up North monthly newsletter. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Bels Flowers

This is a sponsored post

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

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In Full Bloom! Supplier Showcase: I Heart Flowers

May 13th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Bloomin’ gorgeous!  This morning, I talk all things flora with friendly florist Sophie Wilson of I Heart Flowers.  This girl turns simple blooms into masterpieces.   A veritable floral artiste!  Brides Up North loves her work.  Prepare to be very, very inspired…

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Lillian & Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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How did I Heart Flowers begin?

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I’ve always had a bit of an artistic streak in me, but I didn’t imagine myself being a florist until a few years ago. I studied Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art after leaving school, originally planning to become
an art teacher after I’d finished my degree. However after four years of art school I didn’t want to study any more, so I started working. For a few years I worked my way through various jobs, with varying degrees of success and enjoyment, but none of them felt like something I could do in the long term. Then I heard of a friend who was doing a course in floristry, and I thought I might enjoy it so I signed up when the next year long course started at the end of the summer. After the first week I knew I had the floristry bug and soon I’d finished the course and was a proper, certified, qualified florist! I went on to work in three different shops in Scotland, picking up different ideas and skills, and learning that it was much harder working in a florist’s shop than it had been at college!

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I Heart Flowers was born early in 2010, when I steeled myself and started advertising as an independent freelance florist after being made redundant from the florist I was working at. I wasn’t sure what it would become when I started out but I decided I wanted to concentrate on bespoke designs for people, any excuse to use my sculptural skills! I also wanted to avoid working in a shop and constantly reproducing the same relay order bouquets each day. Creating wedding flowers for people seemed like the perfect avenue
for my creativity, so I went with it. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else!

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Lillian & Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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What services do you offer?

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I Heart Flowers will create beautiful flowers for your wedding day, or any other special event. I can provide everything from bouquets and buttonholes to decorations for your venue. I’m happy to make up pretty much anything you could imagine, floral archways, wild and organic pedestal designs, or even hanging arrangements – the sky’s the limit! As your florist, I will work with you to design something special that reflects your personality. I’m based in Glasgow but I can work on location anywhere in the UK, or worldwide.

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What is your favourite bouquet design and why?

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I love the simplicity of a rounded hand tied posy. Its really versatile as there are so many combinations of flowers you can use and it works well with most dress styles and body shapes. I like to make them a little looser and less structured, giving a more natural and less rounded look. Because you see the handle of a posy style bouquet you can also have a bit of fun decorating the stems with ribbon, pearls or decorative wire; or simply tie on a bow and leave the stems showing.

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Emma Case Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Emma Case Photography

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What are the floral trends for weddings in 2011?

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Blue seems to be really popular for wedding flowers this year, particularly teamed with hot pink for a contrasting look. Antique pinks and creams are still really sought after too. A lot of couples are going for a luxurious, retro look combining simple colours, seasonal flowers and vintage finds like milk glass and old books on their tables. I’ve also been seeing a lot of heavy fabrics used like velvets and damasks which give a luxurious feel to a wedding.

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Any really memorable weddings that you have provided your services for?

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I was lucky enough to be able to do the flowers for the lovely Anna of wedding blog Anna and the Ring at her wedding to Bean. Anna had loads of great ideas and wanted everything in shades of pink and purple, which are my favourite colours. I loved Anna’s chic, vintage style too. My favourite on that day has to be Anna’s bouquet – we used amazing scented roses from the Real Flower Company and I tied on a locket given to Anna which was a really sweet personal touch. I also loved the purple orchids we suspended above the aisle, hanging between two chandeliers. Anna was kind enough to let me stay and enjoy the wedding with all her lovely guests, and helped me dig my car out of the snow the next morning!

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Emma Case Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Emma Case Photography

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Emma Case Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Emma Case Photography

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Emma Case Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Emma Case Photography

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I also did a wonderful, wild wedding in House for an Art Lover in Glasgow which was special to me because it was like creating a fairytale landscape. I was so nervous about the flowers being just right because I hadn’t met the couple, Kristen and Paul before the wedding. They travelled over from America just before the wedding so we’d only been able to chat on the phone and via email. Kristen was great and gave me a free reign on the designs, simply sending me pictures of the kind of flowers she liked and letting me use my imagination on the rest. We used loads of moss, ferns and branches to give a feeling of being lost in the woods, and stuck to whites and creams with hints of purple. I also happened across some beautiful, purple flowering mint when I went to collect the flowers from the wholesaler, which I included in the designs along with some lovely scented lavender.

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What can Brides Up North do to achieve a stunning floral look on a budget?

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My advice to all brides, especially those on a budget is to go for local, seasonal flowers. Not only are they the best quality when they are in season, but they are also more reasonably priced than imports like orchids and flowers grown out of season in heated glasshouses.

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You can achieve a simple yet effective look by using only one type of flower but showcasing it using just a few stems in some interesting glassware. Parrot tulips can be particularly effective in the spring as they come in a variety of unusual colour combinations and have wonderful frilled and textured petals. To keep bouquet costs down, you can hold a single stem of hydrangea instead of a small bouquet. This works well as hydrangeas are a large, statement flower and also come in loads of great colours, including two tone varieties.

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Another great tip is to give your bridesmaids flowers to wear in their hair, or wrist corsages instead of a bouquet.

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Lillian & Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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Are flowers really that important at a wedding?

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I think flowers are a very personal thing, and are evocative of special times in people’s lives. Its great to include some of the same flowers that your mother carried on her wedding day, or the flower that symbolises the month of your birth. Flowers are a luxury, and you don’t get married every day so I think its nice to have a bit of a treat and go for flowers to mark the occasion as special. Having a specific flower at your wedding is also a good excuse for your husband to buy them again for you on your anniversary if he’s the romantic type!

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What sets your service apart from other florists?

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I always try to make each wedding unique, and provide truly personal designs for each couple rather than letting them choose a set design from a portfolio. I don’t have the ties of running a shop so I can focus my energy on weddings alone and have more time to work with my clients. I’m fussy when it comes to what I would choose in a supplier so I try and give the kind of service I would expect myself. My time at art school also sets me apart from the average florist, I may not get to use my experience every day but its great to have some technical know how for creating bigger, more adventurous pieces.

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Lillian & Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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What flowers would you choose for your own wedding?

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I’m a single lady right now, but I’d definitely take my own advice and go for seasonal flowers. I love the autumn for its gorgeous dahlias, oak leaves and large, sculptural varieties of chrysanthemum. I’d also use berries in abundance like snowberries (symphoricarpos), wild raspberries and blackberries, and berried ivy along with moss and branches for a wild and unstructured look. I would definitely wear flowers in my hair too!

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on prices for your services?

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Every wedding is different so I don’t have a set price list as I like to provide a personalised quote for each couple depending on their requirements for flowers. As a rough guide bouquets start from around 25 for bridesmaids and from 50 for brides, buttonholes and corsages start from 4, venue decoration can start from just a few pounds per arrangement for simple bud vases and range upwards from there depending on the size and style of the arrangements.

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Lillian & Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I Heart Flowers is delighted to be able to offer a 10% discount for all Brides Up North Readers – just get in touch and let me know you read Brides Up North!

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Lillian and Leonard

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Lillian & Leonard

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Any thing else that Brides Up North should know?

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I only ever take on one wedding per day, so when you book me as your florist you’ve got me all to yourself. I deal with everything personally, from the initial email and consultation right through to delivering and installing your flowers on the day of the wedding. I love getting emails so get in touch for a chat even if you don’t need any flowers – I’m always happy to hear from people!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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You can see more examples of my work on my blog, follow me on twitter @weheartflowers and find
me on facebook.

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If you want to get in touch with any questions or to arrange a consultation for your flowers just email me at sophie@iheartflowers.co.uk – I’d be happy to hear from you.

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Why do you read Brides Up North?

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I like the variety of different wedding styles on Brides up North, from vintage cool to traditional chic and funky modern glamour. Its good to have a wedding blog resource for brides that aren’t based in London – there’s plenty of Northern gals who need wedding inspiration too!

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Dawn Martim Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011 Dawn Martin Photography.

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I Heart Flowers is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Peacock Chic! A Real Wedding – Natalie and Graeme

March 2nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Massive OMG!  Brides Up North Featured Supplier and amazing photographess Karen McGowran Photography has truly excelled herself.  Today on Brides Up North she shares the Real Wedding of Natalie of Purple Peacock, creator of gorgeous bespoke stationery (some of which I showcase below :-) ).

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I couldn’t bear to leave any of the beautifulness out, so it’s a long one, but if it’s inspiration you are looking for… you won’t be disappointed!

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Karen McGowran Photography

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The bride, Ms Purple Peacock herself, tells all: Graeme and I were married on the 28th of August at The Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham (a Brides Up North Featured Supplier no less!).  I really wanted a modern meets classic elegance wedding. Something I can look back on when I’m very old and very wrinkly and still think how lovely everything was. It was pretty cliche, in the best day of my life kind of way. The rest of the wedding was a stylish celebration of how much we love each other.

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Karen McGowran Photography

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*Blooms*

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I really LOVE flowers, I think they really made our wedding. The tone was really set for the day with the arrival of the bouquets. Hydrangeas, roses & orchids were the order of the day! Under strict instructions to deliver Knock-Out-Flowers my florist, the lovely Lisa from The Wild Bunch Sunderland, really excelled herself. My centrepieces truly overwhelmed me, tall vases packed with hydrangeas, roses and orchids hung on ribbon complete with candlelight. The top table, Escort card table and guest book table came completed with mirrored cubes packed full of hydrangeas, tall slim vases of orchids and candles.

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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Karen McGowran Photography

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