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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap 2018: savannah miller for an urban luxe wedding at holmes mill – stacy & andy

May 31st, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Cool Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) S6 Photography (18)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Stacy and Andy’s stunning day represents the best of two very different wedding worlds, with wild, windy Wuthering Heights-style portraits at the top of Pendle Hill placed alongside the laidback industrial cool of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe.

From the moment this decisive pair stepped foot in the venue they just knew it was for them – falling instantly in love with its exposed stone walls, cool lighting and chic industrial features. Their theme evolved organically, with lots of dark red, evergreens, candlelight and Stacy’s Edwardian-style dress setting an effortlessly elegant tone for a spectacular winter feast. The Northern Soul and Hacienda-influenced playlist and pie, pea and chips supper gets a big thumbs up from us and, quite frankly, pushes Stacy and Andy into poll position as our current festive wedspo favourites.

There’s so much to crush on in these images, from the vintage cocktail glasses to the unfettered emotion in those triumphant fist-pumping shots taken outside the church. So, without further ado, it’s time to indulge in some beauty!

With images by S6 Photography.

A Cool Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) S6 Photography (39)

stacy says: Andy’s proposal was a complete surprise. We were spending Christmas 2016 separately with our families (mine in Lancashire, Andy’s in Berkshire) as we both live and work in London so don’t get much time with them throughout the year. On Christmas morning, Andy made the four-hour drive up to surprise me at my parents’. I answered the door, and my mum and dad – who knew he was coming – were so excited that they appeared at the door too, along with my brother. When I opened it to find him on the doorstep on one knee, he proposed to all of us! We had such an amazing Christmas Day – my mum had already set the table for five (I hadn’t even noticed), and we all ate Christmas dinner together, then drank champagne and danced into the small hours.

A Cool Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) S6 Photography (17)

Our wedding was 30th December 2017. The date wasn’t significant, we just didn’t want to be engaged for a long time, and I always liked the idea of a winter wedding over a summer wedding because of all the aesthetics, with cosy candlelight and dark colours and foliage.

The ceremony was at St Peter & St Joseph RC church in Rossendale, Lancashire. The church is special to me because my parents were married there in 1984, and my grandparents in 1946. My grandparents Nellie and Jack attended mass there until their deaths, and we reserved their usual bench with a sign and two red roses, so it felt like they were there. Throughout the ceremony I felt that if I’d turned around I would have seen them, which was a lovely feeling.

A Cool Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) S6 Photography (41)

Our reception was at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. My dad Stuart found the venue, and as soon as we walked in (it was the first venue we saw), we knew it was the one. We’re quite decisive! We loved how it felt almost like a private members’ club, with potted palms and nooks and crannies with comfy sofas. I love all things Victorian and Edwardian, and loved the way they’d made all the old mill equipment the focus of each room. Upstairs the function room was perfect, with exposed walls, Edison bulbs and a glass wall overlooking the brewery. I think we made our minds up before we’d even talked prices.

There wasn’t a theme but I suppose we wanted everything to be seasonal, with natural lighting, dark colours and foliage. There ended up being a lot of dark red – my flowers, my shoes, Andy’s tie – which wasn’t planned but came together well.

A Cool Wedding at Holmes Mill (c) S6 Photography (21)

My dress was from Savannah Miller’s collection at Debenhams. I knew I wanted long sleeves and a high neck; when I was looking at dresses I was drawn over and over again to Edwardian-style dresses with narrow shapes and beautiful detailing. It made it easy to shop for one because at every showroom or boutique I visited (about four in total), they only had one or two long-sleeved dresses. When I tried the Savannah Miller dress on it was just perfect – and it helped that it was about a third of the price of everything else I’d tried!

I shopped around for bridal shoes but found most of them weren’t my style. I eventually chose a pair of Bordeaux velvet court shoes from the V&A collection at Ravel, which was a beautiful contrast to the ivory dress. My earrings were from Latelita London, and I bought an ivory fur cape from Helen Moore to wear outside. My veil was from Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe.

Frankie Noone did my make-up, who I know from school, and Victoria at Spectrum One did my hair.

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perfect partnership. a vintage wedding at wentworth castle gardens – kathryn & george

November 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Vintage Style Wedding At Wentworth Castle Gardens (c) S6 Photography (41)

When looking through the images from today’s real wedding there are some things that are instantly clear to see: the couple have fabulous taste going on with the venue and vintage wedding décor, they also have style – just look at their attire – but above all they have a wonderful connection, with their heartfelt smiles, tears and kisses all captured beautifully on camera.

Quite simply, a perfect partnership!

With images by S6 Photography.

A Vintage Style Wedding At Wentworth Castle Gardens (c) S6 Photography (21)

kathryn says: We got engaged whilst on holiday in New York. It was a complete surprise and George had even gone to great lengths to make sure I didn’t suspect a thing!

We set the date for 22nd July 2015, 11 months after we got engaged. Our chosen venue was Wentworth Castle Gardens in Barnsley, Yorkshire. We saw pictures of its beautiful conservatory and the long barn online and decided to visit. Upon doing so we instantly fell in love with it and knew it was the place where we wanted to become husband and wife.

A Vintage Style Wedding At Wentworth Castle Gardens (c) S6 Photography (25)

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returning to their roots. a romantic valentine’s day wedding in sheffield – ruth & james

April 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (33)

Today’s real wedding couple are such fans of the north of England that they chose to tie the knot in Sheffield where their family roots lie rather than in the South of France where they currently live.

James and Ruth’s dreamy day says glamour and romance and is captured beautifully by Jon Dennis of S6 Photography – we particularly love the moody countryside shots!

We’re also huge fans of the ladies’ faux fur jackets, Ruth’s gorgeous lace bolero and those incredible blooms!

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (1)

ruth says: We got engaged in Barcelona in a beautiful hotel called Gran hotel La Florida overlooking Barcelona up on Mount Tibidabo. I had no idea as we had just returned from a trip to Dubai and I thought we were taking a connecting flight back to France (where we live). James had other ideas! It was very romantic with champagne and a stunning suite. He got down on one knee to pop the question and of course, I said yes!

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (10)

We had a Valentine’s Day wedding. Although we don’t really celebrate it, we didn’t want a long engagement so we decided to take advantage of my work holidays (I work in an international school) and get married during the half term. The date worked, so we booked it!

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (12)

We were married at Christ Church Gleadless in Sheffield and our reception was held at Whirlowbrook Hall, Whirlow. We chose the church as it is the church where James’ parents and grandparents were married. We chose the reception venue because we loved the setting, grounds and the rooms there. As soon as we visited it we knew it was right because the Whirlowbrook team were so welcoming and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (15)

There was no specific theme, although navy blue was the colour of the bridesmaid dresses and boys’ cravats. The flowers and decorations were a little rustic and my dress had a slight vintage feel.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (18)

I’d say the colour scheme was navy blue and white. James is a Sheffield Wednesday fan and they are the colours of his team so it worked quite well!

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (19)

My dress was a simple evening gown with a long sleeved lace bolero jacket over the top. It had a slight train at the back and was an A line shape. I chose it because I wanted something simple and elegant that I wouldn’t struggle to move around in.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (17)

James wore the Royal Ascot morning suit from Moss Bros in grey and black with the navy cravat.

The best men wore the same as James and the bridesmaids wore long navy blue evening gowns with lace and beading around the neck line.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (27)

I travelled in a Rolls Royce Phantom III Wraith which we hired from Cupid Carriages in Wales Bar.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (29)

Jon Dennis from S6 Photography was our photographer and he was just perfect. I would highly recommend him to anyone for their wedding as he is so friendly and professional and the photos he took were stunning.

Jon took us out towards Derbyshire for some photos in the countryside on the day which was a great idea and really added to the photos. It was special because the area was a big part of both mine and James’ childhoods so it felt important to include that in our wedding shots.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (38)

I carried a bouquet of seasonal flowers and berries in blues, purples and greens. It had ivy trailing down and a fabulous succulent that we named Stanley! The succulent is now growing in a pot at my sister’s house. The bridesmaids had bouquets of gypsophila and some in the hair too. All of the flowers were provided by the lovely Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield. She was an absolute dream and I couldn’t have been happier with everything that she created for us.

Tracey also provided the flowers for the centre pieces which were candelabras with a wreath of gypsophila. The top table had a wreath of gypsophila at each end around lots of candles. It was very elegant and simple, exactly what we hoped for. She also proved a beautiful garland to go down the staircase at Whirlowbrook Hall and few extra vases of gypsophila.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (35)

Favours were three macaroons in a box. We wanted to have a little nod to our French life so it seemed the perfect choice.

We chose a three tier cake; one tier of chocolate, one of sponge and a top fruit tier. It was made by a wonderful friend called Sarah Axe who makes cakes and just asks for donations to her charity; Memories from Isla which creates memory boxes for grieving parents who have lost babies early on. The cake was delicious and was decorated with white icing and white cake lace with navy ribbons. Tracey the florist added some gypsophila for the top of the cake.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (37)

For our wedding meal we went for the Whirlowbrook gala buffet which included lots of delicious meats and salads. A whole poached salmon and lamb. There was also a curry and everything was delicious! We wanted to keep it reasonably informal and allow people a huge choice. We chose a white French wine; Colombard Ugni Blanc, Richelieu and a red Rioja Tempranillo as we used to live in Spain and it’s one of our favourite wines.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (44)

We chose a band called Downtown Underground to provide the entertainment who were a soul/funk seven piece band that we found online. They were fantastic and the dance floor was full all night.

We also had a photo booth from Meridian Entertainment which was so much fun and everyone stuck a copy of their photos in a photo album for us so we had a lot of laughs looking at the photos after the wedding.

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (40)

We would absolutely recommend our venue to other couples. It was beautiful inside and out and the whole day ran smoothly due to the professional team there. We didn’t have to worry about anything from the planning, to the setup, to the running of the day. They took care of everything and were so friendly and fun.

For me my favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of all of our family and friends. It’s something I will never forget and was so special. James loved having a big party with everyone – we love and watching me walk down the aisle to him!

a romantic valentines day wedding in Sheffield (c) S6 Photography (46)

We went to Budapest and Vienna on our honeymoon. We had tonnes of fun – eating, drinking and exploring the cities. We love city breaks and as we only had a week due to our work commitments it was the perfect ‘mini-moon’. In Budapest we went to the Thermal spas and food markets and did a walking tour. In Vienna we went to beautiful restaurants and took in the sights of the city.

My top tip to other Brides Up North is organise your budget early on and try to stick to it. Invest in a great photographer. On the day, relax! It’s so much fun if you take it as one big party and celebration. The day goes so fast so make the most of every second!

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gorgeous grandeur. a simple & stunning wedding at sheffield town hall – dora & matt

July 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

When I was a journalism student I recall going to Sheffield’s Town Hall to interview Lord Seb Coe and being instantly struck by the opulence and grandeur of the impressive building. Fast forward several years and I was recently back there interviewing a long serving BBC radio presenter which reinforced just how stunning the iconic Sheffield venue really is.

So when I spotted Rob and Dora’s beautiful wedding, photographed by the hugely talented Jon at S6 Photography, I was desperate to share it here on the blog to show others just how special the building is.

Some may think a town hall isn’t necessarily the most glamorous venue – but I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any more regal than this – cue spectacular stain glass windows, fine chandeliers and one heck of a marble staircase.

All this coupled with Rob and Dora’s simple yet striking styling makes for an incredibly swoon-worthy wedding.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

Dora says:  We got married on April 12th 2014 in Sheffield, which is where we met while attending Sheffield Hallam University. We chose the Town Hall in Sheffield, because of the amazing architecture and grandeur of the building. The amazing staircase in the middle of the main entrance was very appealing too.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

We wanted the style of the wedding to be quite relaxed. In terms of colours, we used lots of green flowers against the white of the tables because we liked the country style feel. We also liked the clean white look and didn’t want anything too formal. Opulent Styling from Sheffield provided our chair covers and olive green sashes. Bev and Jean were great and helped make our day a success. We would definitely recommend them to other couples.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

My dress was a vintage style gown from Phase Eight. I chose it because I wanted something a bit different, with embellishment, something slim-fitting (not meringue style) that was floor length, a detailed back, but especially I wanted it to be vintage style.

Rob wore a blue Reiss three-piece suit and with a light check while the groomsmen all wore grey three-piece Occasion suits.

My bridesmaids wore floor length grey/purple dresses from Coast.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

I carried a bouquet of flowers from Floral Magic, based in Stocksbridge, Sheffield. I had a mixture of white tulips, paper whites, thesspi green bell, freesia, anemones, ranunculus, and a dusky pink rose.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

Jon Dennis of S6 Photography was our photographer. I would highly recommend Jon because of the exceptionally high quality photos we have of our day. We knew that this was a once in a lifetime day and we are so glad that we have it documented from such a great photographer. Jon made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day and all of our guests noted how good he was.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself. We were both nervous about seeing each other but as soon as we got together and hugged each other after walking down the aisle we relaxed. It felt very important that we were sharing our vows with all of the people who are important in our lives.

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

A Wedding at Sheffield Town Hall (c) S6 Photography

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Snap Happy. Extra Shots For An Extra Special Wedding Album?

July 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

S6 Photography

Images in this set by S6 Photography

Wedding photographs have come a long way over the years. When my grandparents got hitched in 1960 they had just a handful of black and white photographs taken by my Granddad’s uncle. Fast forwards several years to when by parents tied the knot in 1982 and things had moved on a fair bit.

They hired a professional photographer to take their wedding snaps and there were plenty of lovely coloured images to create an album. That said wedding pics at that time tended to be more structured so there was the standard bride getting out of the car, groomsmen outside the church, confetti shots and traditional family and friend line-ups.

S6 Photography

Today however, almost anything goes in wedding photography. You can have a mixture of both black and white and coloured images, you can hire a photographer from the morning preparation right through to your guests passing out on the dance floor – you can even hire a team of photographers if you so wish.

Better still, there is the option of an engagement shoot, so you can learn to relax in front of the camera ahead of your big day to avoid an album full of coat-hanger style smiles. The bride can also have another bite at the cherry if she likes in the form of a trash the dress shoot, giving her another excuse to don her dream dress in front of the camera.

It is the big day itself though when the most important images are taken. For this reason some brides and grooms are requesting additional shots to ensure they have lots of lovely memories of their wedding day and some snaps that go beyond the traditional album.

S6 Photography

S6 Photography

One idea to secure super special images is to travel to, or stop off at, a place that is dear to the couple for some extra shots, just as long as the chosen location is not too far away from the venue. So, for example, a couple whose real wedding I featured on Brides Up North recently, stopped off at Ladybower in the Peak District for some stunning shots with breath-taking backdrops as the picturesque destination was on the way to their reception venue from the church. Another couple (whose lovely images are shared in this feature – hello James and Kate *waves*) stole the opportunity to sneak off with their photographer for some sensational shots at Padley Gorge in Derbyshire, which was close by to their rural wedding venue.

S6 Photography

While some couples do like the idea creating a bumper album of wedding day memories, they worry that taking time out on their big day to get the extra shots will take them away from their guests for too long and will mean they miss out on some of the action. But there is an alternative – be it a slightly controversial one – have more images taken at a later date.

Yes, that means both the bride and groom can put on their wedding attire once again and pretty much have free reign on the location for the shots as they don’t have to be rushing back to guests. While some couples will find this an odd suggestion,others love the idea of another moment in front of the lens.

PH Weddings

Images in this set by PH Weddings

But when to do it? A couple whose wedding photos are featured in this post braved to go where few others couples would and had their extra shots taken the day after the wedding. If you just groaned at the thought, you’re not alone. I imagine I will be looking far from my best the day after getting hitched, no doubt emerging from the honeymoon suite with remnants of makeup around my dark, sunken eyes and my hair in somewhat of a disorganised crow’s nest style while my dress will be in desperate need of a deep dry-cleaning session. But for careful couples, having extra shots taken the next day can be a nice way to extend that just-wed feeling and escape for a few precious hours as a new Mr and Mrs.

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

If that all seems like a bit too much hard work, there is the option to leave it a few days, weeks or even months, in a sort of “rock the dress” fashion (just as long as you can both still fit into your wedding day get up that is).

And it’s not always the bride and groom requesting extra images as creative photographers are helping couples to push the boundaries. A northern couple, whose stunning extra wedding images feature here, had an evening ceremony in mainland Ibiza so their clever photographer suggested getting some fabulous coastal shots the following day. The very same photographer is also shooting an urban wedding later this year and has organised a second shoot with the bride and groom the next day to get some contrasting yet completing rural shots to create the perfect package.

S6 Photography

Images in this set by S6 Photography

S6 Photography

S6 Photography

S6 Photography

S6 Photography

So what do you think Brides Up North?  Would you be up for a double exposure? We’d love to know.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 S6 Photography, PH Weddings as tagged

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Flower Power. Supplier Showcase: Firenza Floral Design

October 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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. 

Image (c) Ann Kathrin Koch for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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!

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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!

Image (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Andy Sutcliffe Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) S6 Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Elbowroom Photography

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)!

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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!

Firenza Floral Design

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!

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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.

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image (c) Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

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.

You can follow Firenza Floral Design on Facebook and on Twitter

Image (c) James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as tagged James Melia, Laura Calderwood, Elbowrooom Photography, Ann Kathrin Koch, Andy Sutcliffe, S6 Photography and Lissa Alexandra Photography

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