Friday, 30 August 2013

Summer of Love - A vintage-inspired photo shoot

Hello all

Well, we're just fine and oh so dandy after having spent a lovely lazy, sunny Bank Holiday (I know, what were the chances of that?) daarn saarf with our closest of friends.  Only to return to a wonderful treat for the eyes in the shape of our Summer of Love photo shoot being featured on the truly stunning top wedding style blog Ruffled.  Photos are by the lovely Jess Petrie.

Just before this glorious Summer of ours truly started in earnest, I gathered together a host of my favourite wedding peeps - making our way out to the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, bound for the exquisite Losehill House Hotel & Spa.  A gorgeous venue which I'm happy to say I've decorated in quite a number of varying ways for some of this year's (and next year's!) Brides. And, we couldn't have been better looked after, the staff were incredibly friendly and couldn't have been more helpful or lovely - no wonder so many of you are booking this exclusive venue for your wedding!

I've worked with photographer Jess Petrie and hair and make up artist Jenn Edwards quite a few times on 'real' weddings and shoots and, as we've become really good friends, it was natural they would be our first port of call.  I love the really soft, ethereal quality to Jess' photography and being so lovely she's just brilliant at relaxing everyone right from the outset.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Yorkshire Post - Wedding Supplement

Morning all!

I'm just putting together a really quick blog post before I whizz off to collect this weekend's wedding flowers - we've one for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and with consultations booked in too - looks like those re-charged batteries after the Bank hol will be well needed!

Last week my youngest daughter and I took a couple of days out at a local Spa Hotel just to spend some really chilled time together, get a massage and re-adjust after the busiest July and early August ever. Although we decided that work related stuff was banned, I'd missed a really important business opportunity whilst we were on our family holiday the week before and so was a bit naughty and sneaked a peek every now and then at my mobile. Lucky I did.  I'd a missed call and voicemail message from a journalist at the Yorkshire Post.  The Post was putting together a Wedding Supplement in their Life Style section and would I like to be part of an editorial piece she was writing on using British grown flowers for weddings.  And, would I like to contribute on trends and provide some pictures of my work?!

So here's this week's edition, hot off the press - if you're lucky enough to live in 'God's own County' you can pick a up a copy to read more - if not, I think you can probably get the gist from these few photos!

Here's Izzy on the front page - this is from our latest shoot by our lovely intern for the Summer, Kate Waters, more to come soon!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Briony & Phil - Seasonal Summer Scents

Hello all

We're back feeling all rested after a fab break and thought we'd put together this blog post for you which features the lovely Briony & Phil, whose wedding took place at the beginning of August at the very beautiful Wentworth Church and then the gorgeous Whitley Hall.

When I met them earlier in the year, Briony told me she absolutely loves scent and that this was a really important feature of the flowers we chose.  She also adores big, blousey, beautiful blooms and, as we were planning for mid-summer, this wasn't going to be a problem at all!

With her four adult bridesmaids wearing dresses of dusky pink and soft mink and Briony in an ivory drop A-line halter-neck with bodice embellishment of pearls and crystals - the colour scheme just had to be soft, muted shades of raspberry, shell-pink, rich buttery creams and soft powdery blues.

Here are just a few of the designs we put together ...

We used freesia, veronica, brunia, setaria, lavender, ammi, peonies, astrantia, eucalyptus, echinops, vintage cream roses, Yorkshire lavender, hydrangea and eryngium in Briony's bouquet

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How Much will my Flowers Cost?

Hello lovelies

Today I'm writing about one of the questions I get asked time and time again - how much should you expect to pay for your wedding flowers?

Now, this is by no means a new subject, I know.  Last year I wrote a blog post about budgeting for your wedding flowers and, knowing how much of an issue this can be to couples, I also produced a downloadable pdf about the cost of your wedding flowers as part of my Wedding Hints and Tips on my website.

Having done all I can think of to help and, noticing that this is still a source of worry to some, I thought I'd write a post about my recent experiences of the tricky subject of budgets (or sometimes the lack of them!).

I know when I got married my priority was always going to be the flowers. Many of my brides spend a lot more than I did on their wedding gowns, we all have different budgets, I totally get that.  Different couples have different budgets for their venue, rings, dresses, photographers etc.  This should, and does, apply to flowers. I have weddings this year ranging from £200 to a lot over £1,000.  Different strokes for different folks. Again, I get that.

So why do I sometimes feel I'm in a bazaar haggling about money?

I totally understand the emails I get asking for a rough costing, these are easy to deal with (see second paragraph!) but when I've produced a really detailed quote following a consultation (during which time I'll have identified all the flower varieties, within the correct season, and pretty much designed everything) what I don't get is that my quote used as the basis to 'get the best price'.  I feel this devalues what I do and I'm not sure the same would be done with venues, rings or wedding dresses for example. Maybe it is, I'm not sure!

Generally, I'm really lucky.  The majority of people I see do book with me and I think that most brides come to me because a) they can see I'm creative and they'll get something specially designed for them b) because of my knowledge and c) my customer service means they're going to be looked after in a way they really want.

What I would say is, if this is your business model, then a 'stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap' attitude isn't going to work.  I'm by no means the most expensive in town, but I'm not the cheapest either and, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. And I might be biased, but I happen to think that with Campbell's, given everything we'll do for you, we're a bit of a bargain!

So, what are the solutions? Well, I could get tougher I suppose and stop trying to please all the people, all the time. But that's just not going to happen!

Practically it would be a whole lot easier if brides had some idea of what they wanted to spend and approached their florist knowing their budget. This way, you're truly not going to get a worse deal, you're going to get a better one! If I know how much you're spending, I can make suggestions and come up with clever ways of making your budget fit - this gets you the optimum possible for your money and saves a lot of time and to-ing and fro-ing.

Another way to get what you want, is to plan.  One of my very lovely Brides, Angela, came up with a really clever way of budgeting for her flowers and she's kindly agreed to be part of this post - this is what she had to say ...

"I always knew that flowers were going to be integral to my wedding and that they would be one of the main features in creating a wonderful atmosphere. To start with, though, I had no idea of how I wanted my wedding to look and one of the first things I saw were Tracey's flowers at a wedding fayre.  Their 'just picked' design gave me the idea of bringing the outside in and I knew I wanted everything to have a really natural and ethereal quality.  From these first thoughts I've been able to plan the colour scheme, bridesmaids dresses and invitations.

Because I wanted lots of gorgeous flowers everywhere, I decided to pay for my flowers monthly over the months leading up to our wedding, as this was so much easier to budget for I hardly notice the small payments each month rather than one big chunk near the actual day. I really didn't want to have to take out loans to pay for the big day - especially in this financial climate.  I just thought, why not approach the cost of our wedding in the same way we now pay for many of our outgoings and bills?  Direct debits have always worked pretty well for us!"