Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

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.

Flowers at the Barn - Hayley Rose Photography (13)

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

Paragon FloralDesign (12)

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!

Paragon FloralDesign (13)

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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all things bright & beautiful: blossem

September 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Gav Harrison Photography (6)

image by Gav Harrison Photography

This morning on the blog we’re super excited to introduce you to another of our fabulous Featured Suppliers, welcome Emily of BlossEm.

This lovely Yorkshire florist just can’t get enough of weddings, so much so that she converted her initial flower shop into a dedicated wedding studio to focus solely on creating stunning arrangements for couples’ big days.

For Emily, wedding flowers provide so much more than pretty, as she carefully selects blooms that will suit the season and styling of a wedding whilst bringing fragrance, colour and texture to the proceedings.

To explain more about her passion, we’ll hand over the blog reins to Emily…

Chris Stevenson

image by Chris Stevenson

How did you get into floristry?

emily says: At 18-years-old after college, I deferred my university place to study textiles and embroidery and travelled around the world for 12 months. On my return I enrolled onto a floristry course and the rest is history!

Design was always my passion and floristry allowed me to practice this in a much more natural way. I continued studying floristry up to C&G Level 4 and opened my shop a few days before my 21st birthday. I’m also qualified to teach floristry and I was the tutor at Wakefield College for a few years.

Image by www.s6photography.co.uk

image by S6 Photography

Why wedding floristry specifically?

After my first baby was born I took some time out and focused on a passion of mine – wedding designs. This worked well for me as it allowed me to spend more time on each of my weddings. I had no other distractions. It worked so well in fact I never opened my shop back up, using the premises as a wedding studio.

I also just love weddings – I love couples in love and I love how a wedding makes people feel. It’s a magical experience for everyone involved.

What is your favourite thing about being a florist?

So many things…the change of seasons, when the blossom begins to bloom, when the autumn leaves begin to fall.

The impact that blooms can create, from colours to fragrance, every room feels better with fresh flowers.

Meeting new and working with so many different couples, listening to stories and being allowed into their special days – I could go on!

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How can flowers transform a wedding day?

Flowers bring all the elements together in a wedding. The colour, style and texture will complement the bride’s dress and bridesmaid’s dresses. The venue flowers should work with the surroundings as complementing the scenery around will no doubt enhance a reception room. Details and props can be added to reflect the couple’s personality and bring the whole look together.

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What can couples expect from a consultation with you?

I like to see as much as possible to get a feel for the couple. Ideas, fabrics, stories – anything that shows the personality and style the couple are aiming for. From there we can discuss flower choices, the designs and budget. The couple can see my portfolio of previous weddings and testimonials and we can drink tea and eat biscuits. I can then create a tailor made quote for each couple. I don’t do packages as I find they don’t work for my brides and they don’t work for me – everything is individual.

BlossEm (1)
What advice do you offer to brides and grooms that aren’t too clued-up on flowers?

Let your florist guide you – trust them, after all that’s what you are paying them for. Stick with seasonal flowers where possible and work with designs to complement your dress and venue. Oh, and have fun exploring new blooms!

As well as colour, what other elements should a bride and groom take into consideration when choosing their wedding flowers?

The season of the wedding is always important, after all if you are having a winter wedding but are dreaming of garden Peonies you need to re-think!

Andy Gaines Photography (3)

image by Andy Gaines Photography

Are there any particular flowers, colours or arrangements proving popular with couples at the moment?

Woodland, enchanted forest, boho-chic – basically bringing the outdoors in is very on trend right now. Brides are becoming less afraid of foliage and are happy to have very loose, romantic and natural styles and designs.

Tell us about what type of wedding you would like in terms of your flower choices

Every time I leave a wedding I’ve set up I think to myself that’s my ideal wedding, then a few weeks later I think exactly the same at another! I love the change of seasons and constantly go from a spring wedding to a winter wedding, and then I think a summer wedding would be great! One of my favourite all time flowers is Nigella, which is available during May, I also love Ranunculus and Anemones. And Peonies of course. Oh and Delphiniums…

BlossEm (3)

What can a couple who book you expect from you on the wedding day?

From the initial consultation to the delivery and set up the morning of the wedding, it will be me you will deal with. All emails and meetings will be held with me, all designs will be made by me. I believe brides need to feel calm and as relaxed as possible in the run up to the big day and I will be on hand to ensure all runs perfectly.

What would you say to couple who are worried about the price of fresh flowers?

Work with your florist and trust their judgement, choose uncomplicated designs and stick with seasonal favourites. Cut back on designs that aren’t necessary and opt for a design that will wow!

Gav Harrison Photography (1)

image by Gav Harrison Photography

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

On my newly re-designed website at www.blossem.co.uk as well as my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

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breath-taking blooms: forage & blossom

September 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

FandB2-Helen Lishman Photography

image by Helen Lishman Photography

This afternoon on the wedding blog we’re delighted to introduce you to a very talented wedding supplier and Brides Up North Sponsor, Alice of forage & blossom.

Now here’s a lady who knows pretty! Alice gained a wealth of knowledge in the florist industry before setting up her own business Forage & Blossom, through which she now supplies couples with beautiful and bespoke creations for their special and individual wedding days.

Not only that, but Alice grows many of the blooms which feature in her stunning arrangements herself, further highlighting her genuine passion for the job!

To fill you in more on what she has to offer, we’ll hand you over to the fabulous lady herself. Take it away Alice…

Forage & Blossom  (4)

image by Jackson & Co Photography

How did you get into floristry? 

I came to floristry in a sideways curve; having weaved my way through an artistic education and a range of jobs in the world of design and interiors, I found myself being pulled unequivocally towards floristry. Perhaps it was a path I would always find, having been drawn to flowers as my mum’s shadow in the garden growing up.

I started on the shop floor of a busy florists in London and trained on the job. I plunged blindly in; it was a steep learning curve and sometimes quite intense and tough. I had great colleagues though and if ever things became a bit too much we would let off steam having a good dance around the shop – much to the amusement of our boss and marketing team in the office at HQ with the security camera screens.

I knew what I really wanted to do though was work in weddings. So from there I moved to work as a freelancer for Jay Archer Floral Design. Working for Jay was incredible and an eye opener, she has now become a great friend and a mentor for me creating my own business. She is fearless with some of her ideas and designs (sometimes creating situations of “so I said I would hang that from there – we just need to work out how…” and there is always a way). Jay has a wonderful freeness and fluidity to her style and being, it was amazing to work for her and learn from her.

Leaving Jay was a wrench, but that was when I felt ready to set up on my own and start my own ventures as Forage & Blossom.

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image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories

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

I just knew before I started that I wanted to work in weddings and events. I like working towards an event and also the opportunities of the one -off things you get to create for weddings. I also like building up a relationship with the couple and getting to know them and their individual vision. Plus, I enjoy how each couples’ personality is unique and that feeds into their style. Hence each scheme is individual and different even when the colour palette is similar.

What is your favourite part of your job? 

Well it’s definitely not the early mornings as I’m more of an owl than a lark and I can’t even speak until I’ve had a cup of tea. Strangely though I do quite like being up before the World and seeing things only a few people are awake for, like strange storms and sunrises.

There are many different parts of the job I love. There are the days in the field and cutting garden, doing the digging where the hard labour is oddly satisfying, the childlike excitement when the first seeds emerge, or a rose I have been waiting for finally flowers. I also can get totally lost in my flowers when I love a particular scheme, it’s only the deadline stress which can bring you back to earth. I also really love getting to know a couple quite closely and being involved with their wedding day. I often get to see a secret picture of the bride’s dress because it is quite key to the style of the day. I think I love that every couple is different and hence every floral scheme is unique. So my favourite part of the job is probably the varied elements of it and that each wedding is very different.

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image by Helen Lishman Photography

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create? Where does your inspiration come from?

My style comes, in part, from my artistic background in the design world and a large part from nature. I draw a lot of inspiration from the surrounding world, things I see – be it magazines, shop displays, a painting or a print, and most often the natural world. I feel my style is constantly evolving and I am always learning.

I enjoy more wild and loose designs and flowers being how they are in nature with kinks and flairs. My style is definitely more on the wild and natural side. I love using textures and tones. The natural fluidity and movement in an arrangement is also really key to me. For me, foliage is just as important as the flowers. A big beautiful bloom has far more impact with contrast. The depth, sensuality and movement comes from all the elements in the design working together.

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image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories

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

The process is different for each couple as everyone’s situations are different. Generally I like to have an initial phone or Skype consultation to chat initial ideas and thoughts and to just gather a vibe and a feeling from the couple. Then I have a face to face consultation which I can come to with ideas and prep from the phone/Skype consultation. This can often be at the venue, or I’ll do a separate venue visit. Some of my couples live abroad or far away so with some couples we carry out all our consultations over Skype, which has worked really well and fits in well with people’s busy lives.

I’m in contact with all my couples up until their big day and some couples like to have a Pinterest board on my Pinterest so we can both Pin, comment and share ideas. For Pinterest people (I’m an addict) this can be a great way of easily sharing images and creating a mood board.

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

From anywhere. Some couples have a strong vision of what they like and others are slightly overwhelmed at the beginning. I find everyone has an individual style and after chatting and meeting (even if it’s on Skype) you can get a feeling off people and start to understand and read their tastes.

Once I have started to get to know a couple we can then chat about their venue and see what would work there, fit with the surroundings, their personalities and the vision they have for their day.

I think a florist is there to gather a couple’s taste and then throw suitable ideas back at them to see what they like.

FandB6 - Paul Maven Photography

image by Paul Maven Photography

Where do you source the flowers from for your arrangements? 

I have my own cutting garden, so as much as possible I try to source from that and I also source from other local growers. I can’t grow everything though, so I also supplement from the import market.

My style is very much bred from the flowers I grow in my cutting garden. I enjoy the ever changing seasonality of if it and there are many things that you can grow that just don’t travel well in the import market so they don’t have them. The imported flowers are also grown for stem strength so scent is bred out of them. I love scent; I feel it is so evocative and important to my flowers.

The import market absolutely has a place and use, the scale of the British Growers is not able to compete with the Dutch import market. There is, however, a building movement from British growers who are trying to establish their place in the Floral Industry. People are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint and wanting to support local businesses. British growers have something to offer and it’s different to what the import market can offer. I’m only a small scale grower myself but, I am very much a keen supporter of the British Flower Movement.

Do you have a favourite type of flower?

Ah, impossible question. I am constantly having new favourite flowers. Seasons come round and I find a new flower and then old favourite returns and I can’t believe I forgot how lovely it was.

The Sweet Pea is a staple favourite and has an element of nostalgia attached to it for me, as I have always grown these with my mum as a girl. This year I have discovered a new favourite, the foxglove. It has just been fantastic in the cutting garden. I love its weird kinks, the beautiful shades of colour it changes through on one stem, the cream ones are gorgeous and then sometimes an odd cross pollination one pops up, which is unusual and beautiful. Oh and then the cornflowers popped up after the foxgloves – I had forgotten how much I loved the deep blue of the cornflowers.

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image by Paul Maven Photography

Any particular styles of flowers proving popular with brides at the moment?

Crowns, crowns, crowns.

In your opinion how do flowers enhance a wedding?

Well I am completely biased. I am obviously mad about flowers and for me they bring the whole style and feel of a day together. Often you don’t really need other decorative elements as you can do it all with your flowers.

Flowers also have nostalgia and personal meaning attached to them; many brides ask for a certain flower in their bouquet which was the first flower their spouse to be gave them/ a flower deeply associated with a lost loved one/ a herb with a certain meaning, such as rosemary and fidelity/loyalty and I read somewhere white lavender’s meaning is everlasting love. So for me there are the many depths of flowers which can enhance your day and just add that extra something.

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What sets you apart from other florists? 

At Forage & Blossom you will receive a very personal service as I feel your flowers should reflect you for your special day. I will take the time to understand your vision and personality so it is fed through the scheme we create for you. I will be personally growing many of your flowers and creating something a bit different to the traditional style. I don’t really go by the rules and enjoy approaching each brief individually and with a sense of inspiration and adventure. If that sounds like the path for your wedding flowers please get in touch.

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

If you want to get in touch please contact me at hello@forageandblossom.com or call me on 07495 160525. You can see and find out more at www.forageandblossom.com as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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image by Paul Liddement Wedding Stories

Anything else we should know?

Workshops are on the horizon for Forage and Blossom.

I recently did a Flower Crown Workshop for a friend’s Hen Do which was great fun and we wore them all day and night as we partied out on the town. We all felt that everyone needed a flower crown in their life as they just make you feel better when you’re wearing one. So this and more to come – watch this space!

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petals & pencils. the leafy couture school for florists

February 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (2)

As well as being a source of inspiration and guidance for our brides-to-be we also like to give our supplier followers a helping hand where we can by letting them know about blooming marvellous industry events such as Leafy Couture’s two-day styling class on the 5th and 6th of March 2015, part of their brand new offering – The Leafy Couture School For Florists.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of public speaking on blogging and social media within the wedding and lifestyle sector recently, and I’m honoured to have been invited along to share my top tips in a dedicated session during this special event.

I love hosting smaller group sessions like these, and if hearing about my recent adventures into the world of coaching have peaked your interest a little do watch out for some very exclusive workshops launching here soon.

But back to those flowers.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (1)
Our good friend and the wonderful talent behind Leafy Couture Sarah Richardson, has a an amazing portfolio that comes with some serious clout. This incredible lady has vast experience in the world of weddings having worked on hundreds over the past eight years, from marquees to grand stately homes, she is truly passionate about couples’ big days.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (4)

Her work is regularly featured in national wedding magazines and local press as well as on numerous national and international wedding blogs, including Brides Up North. She’s also one of our go-to-girls for styling at our industry events and creative shoots, delivering impressive blooms every single time. To add to her credentials Sarah has taught floristry to BTEC Level 3 as a college tutor, demonstrated at RHS Harrogate Flower Show and has recently been nominated for a Wedding Magazine blogging award, phew!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (5)

She’s therefore incredibly well placed to support others in their passion for flowers through both her group styling events and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Whether amateur or experienced a lot can be learnt from this lady and we’re sure some of our florist friends will be keen to go back to school if it means gaining tricks of the trade from Ms Richardson.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (6)

But enough from me, I’ll hand over the pages to Sarah to explain in more detail what her upcoming styling event has to offer – catch you there!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (9)

sarah says: This class is especially for florists who are wanting to build their confidence in the world of weddings.

We will hold your hand and guide you through a series of arrangements to build your portfolios. We will introduce you to a wedding planner, wedding blogger and events team to get insider tips on how to get on in the industry.

And there’s more. We’ll help you work on building your own style and create images for your websites and social media. We will guide you through our processes with wedding appointments and show you how to create wedding bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns and then style a ceremony and wedding breakfast with large scale designs such as urns and an archway.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (7)

All classes take place in The Chili Barn, Otley – a real wedding venue, where we will show you all the things you need to think about when working on site and fill your head with ideas. You will be working on your own and also as part of a team as you would in a real life wedding situation.

This is a two-day course with all refreshments, including tea and coffee and cake and a delicious lunch, provided. All material, aprons, workbooks and flower material will also be supplied.

Places are limited so each student will get maximum experience and attention. A basic knowledge of flowers and floristry is preferable but we are on hand to guide you every step of the way.

We shall have a photographer on site but you are advised to bring a camera too or a smart phone. All students will get a free skype or phone mentoring session a month after the course to continue the support. Students will also get free access to our new E-Book chapter on wedding flower appointments and session hand outs.

Hope to see you there!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (8)

For more details about the styling class, costing £600 per person, and Leafy Couture’s one-to-one mentoring sessions, please email Sarah at sarah@leafycouture.co.uk, or visit www.leafycouture.co.uk.

Images by James Melia.

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Full Bloom. Supplier Showcase: Sandra’s Flower Studio

April 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

Image: Joanna Gower Photography

At last count, we had over 28,000 Brides Up North subscribers, over 18,700 Twitter followers and over 10,400 Facebook likes on our page.  That’s a lot of love people! 

Keep it coming and #jointhenorthernrevolution across our social networks.  It’s an active, diverse and exciting community we have there – updated even more frequently than the blog itself, and the place for all the insider gossip, breaking news and casual content – and we’d love you to be a part of it.

The northern revolution wouldn’t be happening at all without the support of talented regional suppliers like the lady I’m about to introduce you to: the lovely Sandra of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sandra’s Flower Studio.  I’ve invited Sandra along to our pretty pages to tell us all about what she can do for a bride like you on her wedding day.  Let’s meet her.   

How and when did you become a floral designer?

Sandra: I started out in floristry 22 years ago after leaving school and working in a florist shop. and became specifically interested in wedding design in 2000. Each year I increased the amount of weddings I worked on until last year I made it my full time profession setting up fully on my own.

What is your background and qualifications?

I have two NVQ’s in floristry but I was basically bench trained and have learnt many techniques by keeping up to date with trade magazines and going to demonstrations.

Image: Hines-Images Photography

Image: Hines-Images Photography

What services do you offer for Brides To Be?

I offer a full flower service from designing bride and bridesmaids bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, hair pieces, church pedestals, archways, pew ends, altar designs, to venue and reception table designs, entrance displays and anything else floral. I can also add in those little table details such as confetti, table crystals, tea lights and so on. I have also started to offer a dry hire service for all my vases, fish bowls, martini vases and candelabras 

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

I listen to my brides and make suggestions if necessary but ultimately they decide on what flowers they are having. If you want something and it is available and feasible to do, then you have it. So many times I hear ‘Other florists have said I can’t have…’ Of course if you don’t know where to start I will help and guide you through the process and as your plans develop and your flowers need tweaking then so be it. I also don’t mind how many times you get in touch, this is your day and it needs to be right for you and unless you are 100% happy neither am I.

Image: Natural Expressions

Image: Natural Expressions

Tell Brides Up North about making the finals of The Wedding Industry Awards.  Why did you enter and what does this mean to you?

I like these awards. They are, initially at least, voted for by my clients. I entered two years ago when I first started my business to see if I could compete with the best. I was shortlisted. This year I entered again to see if my brides were as happy as they told me – the voting is anonymous – and the comments I got back were overwhelming as were the scores. I was very happy to be shortlisted again. These awards give you a boost but also the comments give you an idea on where you may need a little improvement.

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