September 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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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