January 4, 2014 Simon Whitten

Wedding Flowers, an interview with Kirstie North at ‘Where Angels Play’

Wedding Flowers, an interview with Kirstie North at ‘Where Angels Play‘ by Simon Mark Whitten.
The above gallery is a small selection of images from a recent Swinton Park wedding that both Kirstie and I covered.

I first met Kirstie many years ago. I can’t remember how many, but it must have been 10+?
It was at a wedding of course, – she is a florist after all (and one of the finest in Yorkshire) and we are photographers of course!
Since that time, our paths have crossed (at weddings naturally!) many times and Kirstie remains one of our favourite and recommended florists for weddings in the region.

So welcome Kirstie to the first of this series of interviews that I will be presenting throughout the year (including; wedding planners, venues, car companies, bands, musicians, cake makers…).
I should have got a picture of Kirstie at the last wedding we were at but of course as always, I’m photographing the work rather than the creator. Note to self for next time…

Anyway, on with the interview!

SMW: How long have you been in the business Kirstie?

KN: I have been a florist for 13 years.

SMW: Pretty much the same time as us then, 13-14 years ago. How did you get into it?

KN: I got into floristry in a very strange way. While I worked in London as an interior architect and I used to travel on the tube and I would see girls coming home from work with lovely big bunches of beautiful flowers and I always though , if I had my time again I would be a florist !
I moved from London to Yorkshire when I was newly married and one Christmas my husband gave me a days flower course at Paula Pryke in London. I was heavily pregnant with with my daughter but I had the most fantastic day and I was hooked!!
When my Baby was due, a new tiny flower shop opened on the stray in Harrogate and I told Tim if you get me any flowers after I have had my baby make sure you get them from there.
He did!
I later when into the flower shop when India was about 6 months old and I got chatting to the girl in the shop and I left with a bunch of flowers and a job!

SMW: I didn’t know that and that’s a lovely story! Where are you based and what areas do you cover?

KN: I am based from home in Linton On Ouse York and I cover Yorkshire. If there’s a job I will travel anywhere though.

SMW: I like to think I have a particular area of speciality within wedding photography rather than simply being ‘a’ wedding photographer, do you?

KN: I don’t have an area of speciality as such, but I do love a challenge!! I really like to get to know my clients and understand what look / feel they want to get from their wedding flowers and styling. I think that’s really important and I am happy to work to a budget be it big or small and in fact some of the smallest budgets can get the some amazing results. I did a wedding a couple of years ago for an illustrator who took me into this crumbling barn which was so beautiful and we created together a stunning back drop for her wedding breakfast, found old stuff on the farm and used those to dress the barn. It looked lovely.

SMW: That rings a few bells with me also, ie, size of wedding and overall budget in regard to a wedding doesn’t necessarily inspire me, – rather how inspired the couple are with their wedding.
Without question, some of the best weddings I have covered have been large and lavish affairs, but equally, some of the most lovely and memorable have been small and intimate.
So other than wedding flowers, is there anything else you provide a service for floristry-wise?

KN: I mainly do wedding flowers but have been asked to do flowers for photo shoots, parties and dressing peoples houses for Christmas. I also run flower workshops which I love doing.

SMW: What did you do before you were a florist, you touched on it briefly previously?

KN: Before a florist I was an interior architect working firstly in London designing stores for French Connection, Paperchase, Ralph Lauren, concessions in Liberty’s and Selfridges plus working in London, Paris and New York. I loved it!
Then moved to Yorkshire and set up an interiors practice in Harrogate and then after having my second daughter I found it increasingly difficult to do all the travelling to London and bring up 2 young girls so I had a change of direction!

SMW: London you can keep (other than the occasional visit), but Paris I love and try to visit at least once a year and New York I’d love to return to sometime.
Have you had any strange or outright weird requests? (in regard to floristry!)

KN: Couple of strange requests; flowers for dogs and horses and once a bride asked me to make her bouquet look like Micky Mouse’s head!

SMW: I was doing a photo-shoot in a florists in Keswick in the lakes last year and a lady came in and asked for some perfectly decent roses to be sprayed black and silver for her wedding, but in 500+ weddings to date, I’ve never come across anything so odd on any of my weddings attended…and never the one’s where you were there Kirstie!
So to conclude, – what do you enjoy most about being in the business you are in?

KN: Being involved in weddings is an honour, to be part of someones very special day and I bend over backwards to create a very special day. I love it when the brides go into the venue / marquees and tears of joy are brought to their eyes it makes it all worth while! I always give 110% to all my weddings.

SMW: It was a pleasure talking to you Kirstie and I look forward to seeing you at our next wedding together.


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