At my best friend’s (read more about that here) I couldn’t get over how beautiful the floral arrangements were. They were all created by the very talented team at Bels Flowers. I sent Helen (who owns and manages Bels Flowers) my photos for her to put on her Facebook page and thought I’d ask if she’d like to feature on my blog. I was over the moon when she said yes!
It turns out Helen has been responsible for the gorgeous arrangements at quite a few of my friends’ weddings over the years and has also been booked up by another friend for next Autumn!
Here’s a sneak peek at the beautiful flowers I got to photograph at the weekend… just before you read all about Helen and Bels Flowers.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and Bels Flowers… how did it all begin?
I originally started out doing Marketing, after going to University in Leeds and working there after I graduated, then I decided to move to Newcastle to be near my sister, who had gone to University up here. I also met my boyfriend (now husband) through her, so I decided to make the jump and come and live in Newcastle! After working in PR and marketing roles for a year or two I decided that career really wasn’t for me, my husband adores his job and genuinely loves going to work, so I thought, there must be more to life than dragging myself through the working week; I really wanted to have the job satisfaction and passion he had, for what I was doing in life! So I went to college and trained to be a florist! It took a year on an intensive programme, which was quite hard work as I was also working in events at the time to bring in some income! As I learnt about flowers and the different business options I decided I would much rather do event and wedding flowers than opening, or working in a shop as it gave much more flexibility of organising my own work pattern and I got to be part of creating very special touches for peoples special occasions.
2. What inspires you to create such beautiful arrangements?
I LOVE flowers! I just love the English Country Garden style; full, abundant, effortlessness all pulled together to create natural finishes. My mum was an amazing gardener when I was growing up, and our garden was full of beautiful scented roses, hydrangea; wild areas with blue bells and ferns, all sorted of beautiful silver birch and eucalyptus trees…so I take a lot of inspirations from my memories of that garden and all the happy times I spent there. I also just adore creating arrangements which I know are going to add that extra special feel to the occasion, I really think flowers can create such a lovely ambiance to an occasion.
3. Hard question coming up… do you have a favourite flower?
I adore hydrangea, stocks and garden roses… I know that’s not one! But hydrangea for their full, round shape and all the colours they come in, garden roses for the scent and shape and amazing petals, and stocks because the scent is heavenly.
4. Has there been one event that has stood out more than others?
Although there’s massive pressure, I’ve loved doing my friends’ wedding flowers, creating someone’s special vision of their wedding flowers who you love dearly is quite an emotional, but highly rewarding task! And of course doing my own wedding flowers was amazing; to be getting married, loving my job and being able to create exactly what I wanted myself (I’m a total control freak!). And of course when doing peoples flowers you make friends along the way, which is a privilege to have that opportunity, I’ve made some lovely friends through my job.
5. Can you give us a quick insight into a day in the life at Bels Flowers?
Wow… every day is so different! Some days are spend meeting clients and getting admin done, providing quotes and sorting out orders and final details and some days I’m literally up to my ears in flowers! Getting ready for a Saturday wedding I generally get the flowers to the market on a Thursday to check them all and start preparing them, in spring and summer you need to get some flowers earlier (like peonies) to check they’ll be at the right stage of opening for the big day. The Friday before the wedding is spent doing arrangements and getting everything ready for the early start on the Saturday to get to the venue/church/house early and do any other final bits and bobs to the flowers – like adding trailing foliage, binding bouquets, making buttonholes and then doing anything which can’t be done prior to the big day, like in situ flowers – arches, pew ends etc. The key is being super organised and setting off very early! But I’m an early bird so that works for me!
6. Do you have any tips for keeping flowers looking their best for as long as possible?
Flowers like to be cool and out of the sun so that would be the best advice for keeping flowers at their best. Also regularly cutting the stems and refreshing the water (in a sparkly clean vase) will make them last longer for your to enjoy.
Helen invited me along to photograph her setting up a beautiful Autumnal wedding at Jesmond Dene House at the weekend, of course I jumped at the chance… Photo time!
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and thank you Helen for agreeing to feature 🙂