Brides Up North

full bloom! supplier showcase: red floral architecture

September 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (20)

This afternoon I’m very proud to welcome the fabulous Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral Architecture to the Brides Up North stage. I’m very privileged to be working with Mat on a special project this week and am ready to be lost in the scent and sensation of his amazing blossom masterpieces.  A true architect, this man makes cathedrals and castles from roses and peonies, and we love him here at Brides Up North HQ.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography, or otherwise provided by Red Floral.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (3)

Mat says: My interest in the industry started from a very early age when my family moved house and the new next door neighbours had a local florist shop. I was asked to help out over busy periods and at weekends. At the age of fourteen I ran my own dried flower business from the cellar of the house, going doing dried flower parties in the evenings and selling my wares to the school teachers.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (18)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (5)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (5)

Where do you get your inspiration for flower design?

I am very much inspired by fashion. Looking at the season’s catwalk trends leads to the colour choices I produce for the annual season. The American luxury style is what appeals to me and I research the trends across the world to keep the Red Floral style innovative and at the forefront of design.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Describe some of the most recent weddings you have been working on?

Red Floral are lucky enough to house a team of designers who can create an eclectic mix of designs suitable for any venue. Recently we created traditional grandeur at The Monastery in Manchester and a life-size enchanted forest over in Liverpool. The more outrageous the request the more of a buzz we get here at Red.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (3)

What advice can you give to a bride when working with a florist?

Be aware that your wedding florist is the person who is solely responsible for creating the desired look for your wedding and stamping the luxury throughout the day. Make sure you select a florist who can communicate your vision, likes and dislikes. Red Floral wants to make your wedding absolutely breath taking so you need to relax and put your trust in your vendors. Brides often book the florist last which is a mistake because you need to get an idea of what everything costs and your budget. It’s good to look at your florist’s portfolio and tons of pictures to help what you’d like your floral design to look like. Also pick a florist with a massive portfolio of weddings as they’re more likely to help you.

Facebook and Pinterest are great tools for gathering together your dreams but please make sure when you go to your florist that the work they show you is actually created by their own fair hands and not just whipped off the internet. Believe me I have seen and heard the horror stories first hand. The common problem at the moment is that many of the ‘floral designers’ out there have little experience within the industry and with the ‘trend’ for messy vintage style arrangements created in jam jars it is very easy for someone to label themselves a florist.

Make sure you know the background of your chosen designer, someone who knows the technical stuff and is savvy enough to know what they are talking about and offer expert advice and alternatives.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (9)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (8)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (7)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (10)

Any secret tips?

Brides are often scared off by the more expensive flowers like phaleonopsis orchids and peonies. These flowers albeit more expensive are striking in minimal numbers and are guaranteed to scream luxury at any wedding regardless of volume.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (12)

And what about some advice on picking colours?

So you have set the colour scheme for your wedding, let’s say for example you have chosen purple and ivory. That is a starting point, but please don’t think that everything has to be the exact colours. There is nothing worse than walking into a venue and it looking like an advert for Silk Cut cigarettes. Speak to your florist about tones and contrasts, introducing paler of darker shades from the same palette will give the wedding flowers impact and interest and stop the whole look becoming predictable, tired and dated. A bride’s bouquet created in strong colours will always become the dominant factor in a photograph, so if you want your dress to shine and be the centre of attention, then work the bouquet so it enhances the colours of the bridal gown.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (19)

Can you give us a brief outline of flower seasons?

Certain blooms such as roses and carnations are inexpensive flowers and are available all year around. Other flowers may fluctuate in price depending on the season. Daffodils and tulips are available in the spring-time and are a great way of creating some amazing springtime looks. If you have your heart set on peonies then be looking at May or June for your wedding date. I do have brides who set the date in these months especially to have peonies as the focal flower.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (6)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (8)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Can you tell us about your favourite season?

The summer season is the season that really does it for me in the flower world because I am a huge fan of blousy fragrant blooms. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some exquisite English blooms and the sunshine brings out masses of flowers. The vibrancy of dahlias, the aroma of sweet peas and of course the beauty and colour range delphiniums and peonies make for some show stopping designs. With so many flower choices, Red Floral can create lavish wedding displays that are so sought after. Blush pink flowers, lilacs and lavenders with hints of nude and peach are available widely and produce stunning loose ethereal designs…

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (17)

 How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

Visit our website at www.redfloral.co.uk  

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Flower Power. Charlotte Balbier For A Real Wedding In Lancashire – Caroline & Stuart

April 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Natural Touch Photography (30)

It’s off to Ormskirk, Lancs this evening as we join Caroline and Stuart to share in their gorgeous Real Wedding.  Caroline chose to style her day with an abundance of floral displays – to blooming beautiful effect!

With images by Stephen Rooney at Natural Touch Photography

Natural Touch Photography (54)

Natural Touch Photography (55)

Natural Touch Photography (1)

Caroline says:  We got engaged in Cyprus in July 2012 and were married on 11th October 2013 at West Tower Country House Hotel, Ormskirk. 

Natural Touch Photography (2)

We had looked at about thirteen venues across the North West but we couldn’t decide on any. There was something not right about all of them for us, but then we visited West Tower and it was absolutely perfect. Beautiful setting, friendly staff, incredibly organised – it just felt right.

Natural Touch Photography (3)

I stayed at Formby Hall the night before with my family and bridesmaids and my chief drove us over to the West Tower in the morning where we got ready.

Natural Touch Photography (6)

I chose quite a vintage style dress. It was Mocha in colour with cream lace over the top. It was a Charlotte Balbier dress from The White Closet in Didsbury.

Natural Touch Photography (5)

After lots of shopping around and trying on, the bridesmaids were in navy dresses from Coast and the groomsmen were in grey tails from Groom in Liverpool.

Natural Touch Photography (7)

Natural Touch Photography (8)

I carried a hand tied bouquet of whites and creams, the majority of which were roses.  We used Flowerstyle by Laurie who is in Formby – an absolutely amazing florist.

Natural Touch Photography (9)

Natural Touch Photography (10)

Natural Touch Photography (11)

Natural Touch Photography (12)

Natural Touch Photography (13)

Natural Touch Photography (14)

Natural Touch Photography (15)

Natural Touch Photography (17)

As a special treat for our guests we used Ice Cream Dub who provided our chosen ice cream and sorbet and served them from their vintage VW camper van.

Natural Touch Photography (18)

Natural Touch Photography (19)

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Natural Touch Photography (20)

Natural Touch Photography (21)

Natural Touch Photography (22)

Natural Touch Photography (23)

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Natural Touch Photography (27)

Steven Rooney of Natural Touch Photography was our choice of photographer.  He was very easy going and professional.

Natural Touch Photography (26)

Natural Touch Photography (29)

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Red Events Creative provided the chair covers and sashes and Flowerstyle By Laurie our beautiful centrepieces.  Our table plan was our favourite places we had travelled to together rather than numbers. 

Natural Touch Photography (34)

Natural Touch Photography (36)

Our cake was the “Vintage Fairy-tale” design from Waitrose – just beautiful. 

Natural Touch Photography (38)

Natural Touch Photography (37)

Natural Touch Photography (39)

Natural Touch Photography (40)

We used Steve Mitchell Wedding DJ in the evening.  He really was excellent.  Our free bar also helped too get the party going!

Natural Touch Photography (41)

Natural Touch Photography (43)

Natural Touch Photography (44)

Natural Touch Photography (45)

I loved every bit of the day!  I really enjoyed getting ready with bridesmaids in the morning, I loved the actual ceremony which surprised us both, the speeches were fantastic and I finished off the day dancing with my new husband and then my Dad! Just seeing everyone having a blast was amazing!

Natural Touch Photography (49)

Natural Touch Photography (51)

After the wedding we went to Australia for an epic honeymoon for five and a half weeks, stopping in Dubai on the way home.

Natural Touch Photography (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that flowers make such an impact. Shop around for the best but always barter!

Natural Touch Photography (53)

Congratulations Caroline & Stuart!

Would you like to see your Real Wedding on Brides Up North? Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Natural Touch Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Grow Your Own. Supplier Showcase: Firenza Floral Design

March 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ann-Katrin Koch

Image by Ann-Kathrin Koch

A few weeks ago we welcomed Brides Up North Featured Supplier and award winning Yorkshire wedding florist Fiona Pickles, director of Firenza Floral Design, to the wedding blog to tell us all about her home grown wedding flowers. 

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Image by Laura Calderwood 

This afternoon I’m doing something rare and reposting that content for you here, following controversy last month about a supposedly British grown Valentine’s bouquet supported by the Royal Horticultural Society … that turned out to contain no British grown flowers at all, as they were out of season!  The story was covered in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and other titles and after much pressure from the British flower growers (under #britishflowers on twitter) the RHS removed the incorrect labelling and personally responded to every single tweet of complaint (and there were lot!).  The RHS are also working with British growers now for something for Mother’s Day.  

Guaranteed:  all the flowers you see in the piece that we share here this afternoon have been home grown by Fiona’s fair hands.  That’s something pretty special.  Imagine choosing your wedding flowers and seeing them grown from seed!  Fiona is passionate about her love of British flowers and is here to tell us how she continues to develop her own crop to incorporate more locally grown blooms into her beautiful wedding bouquets.  Let’s hear from her…

James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

Images by James Melia

James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

Fiona says: I’ve always had a passion for flowers and really love being at work in my garden. Even though the weather isn’t great at the moment we’ve been outside in the wind and rain preparing the cutting beds, and in a few months, with a bit of luck, we’ll have flowers in bloom and I can’t wait!

Having locally grown flowers and herbs adds an extra special and personal touch to a wedding knowing the flowers have been grown right here, in the Yorkshire countryside.

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Images by Laura Calderwood 

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

As a wedding florist we are incredibly busy – especially during the spring and summer – and growing our own flowers does mean extra work, but it’s something I love and am passionate about, plus it’s very rewarding, so the extra work is worth it, which is why we started to grow more of our own wedding flowers last year, with wonderful results.  We’re based in West Yorkshire and whilst we seem to have a very pleasant micro-climate, we are still in the Pennines, 1,220ft above sea level and on a substantial slope, so conditions can be a little testing. Before growing in earnest, I wanted to get some good advice from other growers so I attended a “Flower Farming for Beginners” course at Common Farm Flowers run by the fabulous Georgie Newberry, she has a real passion for British grown cut flowers and her business was a real inspiration to me.

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Images by James Melia

James Melia for Firenza Floral Design

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Last year, we had a lot of snow in March so it wasn’t the best start to the growing year, but the beautiful summer meant that our herbs and flowers were very, very happy on our fully south facing plot. We even had a photo shoot here in late June, with a small team of trusted suppliers, all the flowers used in the shoot were grown by us, including the buttercups, which I just adore!

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Images by Laura Calderwood 

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

Laura Calderwood Photography for Firenza Floral Design

We use a lot of mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, lemon balm, oregano and sage as well as many beautiful cottage garden-style flowers. We’re extending our herb terraces even further this year, so lots more scented beauties to come hopefully. I love using herbs in our wedding flowers, it really adds a beautiful dimension and helps to create those lasting memories.

We will never be able to grow enough flowers for all of our weddings, but as well as growing more of our own, I am working closely with Gill Hodgson from Flowers from the Farm, a network of flower growers, large and small, across the country, to supplement our flower needs, so we can use as many British Flowers as possible.

Mark Dolby

Image by Mark Dolby

Looking ahead for this year, the beds are being filled with compost, the cold frames are ready, the seed catalogues are being perused and my tools are being sharpened ready for another busy year of weddings and growing. The workshop is being fitted out with shelves and storage to create more space, we are even planning a lean-to greenhouse on our beautiful but rather shabby shed to give us more space for all our beautiful British flowers and I can’t wait!

If you’d like to make an appointment with Fiona to create your wedding flowers please contact visit www.firenzafloraldesign.co.uk or ring 01422 835540.

James Melia

Images by James Melia 

James Melia

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Brides Up North UK Wedding  Blog – Images © 2014 as tagged, James Melia. Ann-Katrin Koch, Mark Dolby, Laura Calderwood

Firenza Floral Design is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Fabulously Floral. A Real Wedding In Chester – Michelle & Rob

February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Helen Hates Peas Photography

This wedding differs from a lot of the submissions we usually receive here at Brides Up North – because this time its the groom in the driving seat.  In fact, he loved the whole process so much that he’s considering a career in the wedding industry.  Watch this space.

Rob writes:  Out of the two of us, I have loads of artistic flare, and Michelle really isn’t fussed on anything creative! When it came to organizing the wedding, Michelle really hadn’t a clue where to start, and so basically left it up to me. Not to say she wasn’t interested – we made a deal – she would concentrate on the dress and I would sort the venue! We did all main bits together but the actual decorating of the venue was all down to me. She was banned until the big day! 

I loved every minute of the build up. I knew what I wanted and made most of the stuff myself. In fact I enjoyed it that much I am hoping to start up in the industry this year.

I think the man’s a natural.  So, let’s hear all about his vision… over to you Rob. 

Images by Helen Hates Peas Photography.  

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Rob says: I asked Michelle to marry me at home on Christmas day in 2010 next to the Christmas tree. I hid the ring box at the back of the tree. After we had finished getting ready to go to her parents’ house, I said I had forgotten one last gift. When she opened her eyes I was on one knee!

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

We were married on 18th August 2013 at Trafford Hall, Mickle Traford, Chester.  We wanted somewhere pretty and not overbearing that none of our friends or family had been to before. Somewhere all our guests could stay, somewhere we could have free reign over suppliers and not be dictated to by the venue’s preferred suppliers, and above all, somewhere reasonably priced. We loved the old Georgian house and that the venue is run by a charity who promotes eco values. The guests’ rooms were outdoor stables with wild flower turf roofs which were a brilliant talking point as guests arrived and went into their little hideaways. They try and source most of their food locally and try and grow all the veg onsite.

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Our theme was country floral. I have had a passion for flowers since a young boy and eventually studied garden design at Uni. I had an idea of the way I wanted the venue to look, and it involved lots of flowers and greenery. The venue and location were perfect for a country fayre style wedding, which I think is what we achieved.

We didn’t really have a colour scheme, just lots of floral prints. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it worked superbly!

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Michelle wore a crystal and sash White One Bridal sweetheart ball gown from the 2012 collection which she bought from Boda Bridal in Chester. Hannah (bridesmaid) made Michelle’s veil as a personal gift. Her shoes were diamanté flip flops from Oasis.

I wanted to stand out from the best men and ushers, so chose a two piece 0suit from Zara in French Navy. I had a bespoke lilac tweed waistcoat made for me by Crichton of Chester. They also made my shirt and sewed in a contrasting floral pattern to the cuffs and collar for when I took my tie off at night. I wore a silk floral hydrangea tie that I bought from G Room in Hoole, Chester.

We both have a favourite jeweller in Chester called Chique based in St Michael’s Precinct. Michelle’s engagement ring is from there as our wedding rings. As a surprise, I met with Adam, the owner, and selected a pair of pearl earrings for Michelle to wear on the day. I asked Hannah to give them to her on the wedding morning. Little did I know that Michelle had also gone in and spoke to Adam and selected a pair of pearl cufflinks as a surprise for me! Without even knowing we had matching earrings and cufflinks!

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Michelle carried a mixture of garden flowers including dahlias, anthirrinun, scabious, everlasting sweet peas, daiseys, astrantia, cornflower, amongst others. I didn’t want to be an understated groom, so my button hole was equally as flamboyant. I had the same flowers as Michelle, but with the addition of a sprig of thalictrum – a delicate purple flower.

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Helen Hates Peas Photography

Michelle walked down the isle to Etta James ‘At last’ and we both walked out to Jackie Wilson ‘I get the Sweetest Feeling’.

Helen Hates Peas Photography

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Flower Crown. A Styled Vintage Bridal Shoot In Bridlington

November 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Walker & Walker Photography

This evening I’m sharing a pretty little gem of a styled bridal shoot from my Featured Suppliers Walker & Walker Photography.  Call me fickle (and you’d be right) but yesterday I readying my gloves, scarf and bobble hat with glee, and tonight, I’m wishing for summer.  That’s what a flower crown will do to you…

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Ben of Walker & Walker says:  This shoot was a joint collaborative project between Walker & Walker and Wayside Flower and was produced with an audience so potential clients could see how we work.The shoot was staged at The Little Organic Bakery in Bridlington and we hand picked the venue for the colourful selections of flora, foliage and rustic walls that had an English secret garden charm.

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Our model was Sophie. She was chosen by us as she’s curvy and demure with beautiful long dark hair and showcased the vintage white wedding dress, floral head wear, shrug, underskirt, shoes and jewellery supplied by Wayside Flower beautifully. 

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

The floral hand tied spray was made up by Lynn Walker from Next Flowers and the vintage wedding ring belonged to Lynn’s great grandmother.  Lynn also prepared the props and set styling. 

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography

Little Black Book

Images: Walker & Walker Photography

Venue:  The Little Organic Bakery, Bridlington

Clothing, Jewellery & Floral Head Pieces:  Wayside Flower

Other florals, props and styling: Next Flowers

Walker & Walker Photography

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Walker & Walker Photography

Walker & Walker Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Simple Pleasures. A Small & Stunning Styled Bridal Shoot In Yorkshire

November 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Sometimes in the wedding World, it seems like everything is always more, more, more.  More lace, more skirts, more flowers, more guests, more details… more money.  So sometimes, it’s nice to strip everything right back and rejoice in the simple.

This Friday morning, I bring you a small, simple and absolutely beautiful little styled bridal shoot from a group of Yorkshire wedding suppliers whose work I really rate (some of them are even Brides Up North Featured Suppliers).  So grab a cuppa and a KitKat, and prepare for something blissful.

Be inspired.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Hayley of The Harrogate Wedding Lounge says:  The initial idea for the shoot was very ethereal so the location on the Yorkshire Moors was perfect! We set up shop in a lovely warm local inn to do Hair, Makeup and dressing before heading out into the wind and rain. Our beautiful model Amy was a true professional and coped well with the difficult conditions.

We wanted to demonstrate a more simple laid back look and what you can achieve with your bridal look by adding different accessories including belts, shoes, headwear, flowers and dashes of colour. The gowns we used were beautiful yet very simplistic.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

We chose Mistletoe from the Mia Mia collection by Alan Hannah and the Ghislaine Dress from the Enzoani  collection. Mistletoe is a stylish long sleeved Silk Chiffon gown with pretty covered buttons and a flowing sash. The Ghislaine is a full skirted lace and tulle gown with a beautiful beaded belt. we teamed this gown with a fabulous lace edge cape by Joyce Jackson.  Both gowns are available in my boutique, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The flowers on the shoot were from Emma’s Home and Garden and featured beautiful details used in unique ways.  We styled three looks including: an arc of pale pink astilbe; an asymmetrical head piece of lisianthus, lavender, craspedia, gypsophilaand wax flower and a flower crown of lisianthus, craspedia, lavender, tree fern, and dried protea plus a simple hand tied posy of faded lilac limonium finished with vintage velvet ribbon.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Hair and Makeup on the day was styled by the super talented Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist.

Victoria says:  The brief was to create a look that is different to what we have seen on this type of styled shoot with lots of creativity. Think ‘Vogue’ with statement lips and eye liner!

Our model had the most beautiful elfin features and short blonde pixie hair which is perfect to let the makeup speak for itself. Our first look was to show the eyeliner and using lashes on the lower lash line instead of the top, which created the illusion of wider eyes and using an almost white colour on the lips with a matt finish kept the look editorial.  The lashes were removed for our second look which concentrated on Amy’s lips. Using the floral arrangements as inspiration and our location, a dark plum was used on the lips to stain them, giving a natural just bitten finish.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Jess of Jess Petrie Photography says:  In regards to overall styling I always free-style… it’s the way I work!  It helps me have more creative freedom on the shoot.  When something is planned expectations are under-met and/or “panic mode” sets in if something is out of place, unexpected, or different.  To work on a shoot I have to be calm and embrace things as they happen naturally.  The worst thing you can do is over think it!

Everyone had an input on the overall styling, which is what I prefer, as I like to involve the team.  It’s not all about the photographer, everyone is bringing the shoot together and working equally as hard.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

We are trying to help brides bring out a little creativity in their overall bridal look and feel and by using matching accessories i.e belts, flowers, shoes and so on, you can style a dress in a very unique and individual way.  

The colours are always important, especially for great pictures. I would advise brides on choosing pastel colours for their accessories and flowers.  It’s nice to create a colour theme throughout and have complimenting colour schemes towards your dress and venue.

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Little Black Book

Images: Jess Petrie Photography

Wedding Gowns: The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

Hair & Make Up: Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist

Flowers:  Emma’s Home and Garden

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jess Petrie Photography

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge & Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but 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

Firenza Floral Design is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

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

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Fabulously Fitzgerald! A 1920’s Flapper Styled Bridal Shoot In Sheffield

June 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Andy Gaines Photography

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Whoot!  This evening – with the hubby on babysitting duty -  I’m off to the new Everyman Cinema in Leeds (apparently they let you take pizza and wine in with you – result!) with my Mum to catch The Great Gatsby before it leaves our movie theatres for the small screen.  Like all Mr Lurhmann’s films, I think this one is meant to be seen in all it’s cinematic glory.  Plus as a self confessed Leo fan, why not?!

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I might usually shy away from featuring a 1920s “Gatsby” inspired shoot this late in the day, because lets be honest, isn’t it just a little overdone right now?  But as this utterly gorgeous, simple and stunning styled bridal shoot sent to me by Tracey of Campbell’s Flowers and a little collective of really rather fabulous suppliers proves, nothing is overdone if it is done better than the rest!  Enjoy, and be inspired. 

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Tracey of Campbell’s Flowers says:  I’m so delighted to be part of Brides Up North and super excited to be able to bring you a collaboration of really creative local wedding specialists in a beautiful 1920’s flapper-style shoot.

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Andy Gaines Photography

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely Hayley of Glory Days Vintage who told me that she and some other friends were putting together a Gatsby inspired shoot to mark the launch of Baz Lurhmann’s film. Being big fans of a great story, I jumped at the chance and asked my lovely friend Jenn Edwards Make Up Artist along too!  So we rocked up at a gorgeous little venue in York to meet Alison Barrett of Vintage Bridal Millinery and Andy Gaines Photography.

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The idea was to bring you an inspirational and modern interpretation for today’s brides, by adding a contemporary stylish twist to a 1920’s influenced wedding. Drawing on Fitzgerald’s beautiful character, Daisy Buchannan, we created a look which embodies her striking glamour. We used 1980’s dresses alongside the original 1920’s gowns for simple, timeless sophistication.

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Here at Campbell’s Flowers, we adore pretty, textured posy bouquets, which work beautifully with knee length 1920’s wedding dresses. We especially love the versatility of posy bouquets in that they effortlessly compliment the elegance of sheer dresses and they even work to set off and enhance those gorgeous oh-so-very-1920’s beaded dresses. 

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Andy Gaines Photography

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We love the fact that this weddings inspired by this era are so timeless, really accessible to style and so sophisticated. In creating the breathtakingly romantic bouquet we used structured Calla Lilies intertwined with rustic natural Ivy to create our modern vintage take on a 1920’s bouquet. A large urn arrangement of longiflorum lilies, a favourite with 1920’s fashionistas, completed the florals.

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The beautiful glossy  hair and stunning make up by Jenn worked brilliantly with the strong accessories and beautiful head pieces designed and created by Alison – drawing on all eras of vintage and completing the look.

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Andy Gaines Photography

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All of us just adored the art deco architecture of the Tiffany Room of York’s trendy 1331 Bar, which would be a lovely place for a really intimate wedding.  We absolutely loved the chance to work with such fab like-minded creative people and hope we’ve managed to bring an essence of the fabulous to you too!

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Andy Gaines Photography

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Little Black Book

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Flowers: Tracey Campbell, Campbell’s Flowers

Hair and Makeup: Jenn Edwards

Model and Vintage Gowns: Hayley Neil, Glory Days Vintage

Photography: Andy Gaines Photography

Accessories: Alison Barrett, Vintage Bridal Millinery

Venue: 1331 Bar, York

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Andy Gaines Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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A Year In Bloom: A Bouquet Of Peonies, Lavender & Stocks For May

May 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Leafy Couture

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May

Sarah Burnhardt Peonies

Pink Ranunculus

Lavender

Viburnum Opulus

Memory Lane Roses

Lilac Stocks

Scented Eucalyptus

Rosemary Foliage

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It’s been a full 12 months since my friend and Featured Supplier Sarah of Yorkshire Florist Leafy Couture started sending flowers to my inbox every month, and this afternoon we conclude our Year In Bloom feature with the prettiest bouquet of them all.  A heady combination of summery scents in pretty pastel shades.  As usual, it’s bloomin’ gorgeous!

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Sarah and the Leafy Couture girls will be back to launch another regular feature here on these swirly silver pages shortly, but for now, enjoy the view!

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Sarah says:  May’s bouquet is a fabulous combination of spring and early summer flowers. The scent is gorgeous from the stocks, peonies and lavender. Scent is such a powerful thing, it can calm the nerves of a excited bride and also bring back wonderful memories of your special day.  The blooms are all billowing, perfect for a English country style wedding.

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Leafy Couture

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In this bouquet we have gone for a textured, relaxed feel. A more "just picked" look with less uniformity. It would work really well with a lace dress or long elegant dress with few embellishments. It would also look great with floral bridesmaids dresses.

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Catch up on the entire Year In Bloom series by clicking here.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Leafy Couture

Leafy Couture is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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A Year In Bloom: Peonies For An April Bridal Bouquet

April 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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(c) JB Creatives

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april

peonies

piano roses

clematis

avalanche roses

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Is it really nearly a year that our fabulous Featured Supplier Sarah of Leafy Couture has been sending us an online bouquet and burst of floral gorgeous every month?  To me, they just keep getting lovelier and lovelier!

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You can see Leafy Couture’s blooms in full blossom this Sunday 21st April 2013 at The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Grand Wedding Exhibition at The National Railway Museum in York.  Do you have the date in your diaries? Click here for all the info and to pre-register as a VIP Bride To Be.

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In the meantime, let’s see what’s in April’s bouquet…

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Sarah says:  With the start of the sunshine and showers season I thought we would do something vibrant and seasonal this momth. The first of the peonies are starting to come through, gorgeous, scented and blowsy. I teamed them here with pink piano roses, a double rose variety with hundreds of beautiful petals, I added texture and movement using the purple clematis. Its a newcomer to the cut flower market and I can’t stop playing with it! We added Peach avalanche roses to give a contrasting colour. The bouquet was bound simply with peach ribbon. The overall feel is that of a bouquet picked from a summers garden, honeysuckle would have worked really well with the bouquet too.

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Deep vibrant dresses would work well with this colour scheme, a vibrant cerise pink bridesmaid’s dress. The shape of the bouquet would compliment most dresses.

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(c) JB Creatives

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(c) JB Creatives

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See more of our Year In Bloom series by clicking here.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 JB Creatives

Leafy Couture is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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