Holiday Issue 2019

37 Northamptonshire’s Most OutstandingWedding Florist By Arrangement offers custom-designed and curated floral arrangements for weddings and events. In March, the company was named in LUXlife’s 2019 Ones to Watch in the Wedding Industry feature as the ‘Most Outstanding for Wedding Floral Décor in Northamptonshire’. We spoke with owner and florist Helena Brown to find out more about her work in this highly competitive, and often challenging, sphere. “I am a trained teacher and worked in Further Education teaching computing and IT, and then ran my own business doing the same, but knew I wanted a change. I had always worked with flowers as a hobby, making arrangements and doing wedding flowers for friends. One day I decided it was time to make a business from what I loved.” Floristry is a passion for Helena, that much is clear. Utilising her talents, she has nurtured By Arrangement into one of the leading events florists in the region, thriving through a dedicated customer service ethos that aims to be flexible, adapting to the client’s individual needs. “Every bride is special and deserves beautiful wedding flowers, whatever their budget. That is our aim. We don’t offer packages as they never completely fulfil the floral requirements which results in items being added or taken away – it is then no longer a package!” Helena continues, offering more insight into how she approaches a new client and project. “I carry out lengthy and detailed consultations with couples in their own home. My first aim is to take as much of the stress of the whole process away, so I drive to them, wherever they live. I listen closely to their ideas and themes, and then guide them through a series of pictures that I have prepared beforehand. These images relate to the details I have picked up from them at a wedding fair or through a general enquiry.” Here, Helena emphasises the importance of immediately establishing a fun, relaxed relationship between herself and her clients. “Most consultations are fun events, and the ideas flow naturally. We share stories, and have a giggle.” As a result, Helena has nurtured long-lasting ties: “I often remain friends with couples long after their wedding day. “By the time we’ve been chatting a while I have an accurate idea of what the bride wants, and we start to plan together from there. I always provide a detailed quote which is itemised so that couples can ‘play around’ with the content. This content is never set in stone. Though we use contracts these relate only to the date – brides are free to change the content throughout the process. We also don't require deposits. I truly believe the relationship between a couple and their florist is more personal and rises above this.” Besides her exceptional customer service, Helena ensures that her clients are kept informed of the latest trends, as she works to remain at the forefront of an industry that can move incredibly swiftly season to season. “I try to keep abreast of new trends before they hit the circuit. I am always sourcing new hardware styles and introduce these at the seasonal wedding fairs. It is important to try and stay one step ahead. I believe the day of the high street florist is over. As such, florists who work from home become specialists in a particular field rather than covering all elements of floristry - mine is weddings and events.. Staying ahead of the field is not the only thing that is important when it comes to success in this industry – you need to keep improving the whole Style experience for couples. Emphasis on exceptional service is just as important as providing excellent floristry. For example we do not charge for the loan of hardware, delivery or set up on the day of the wedding.” One of the most prominent trends over the last couple of years or so is the idea of ‘identity’ – namely, that weddings are quickly becoming more personal events, defined with the bride and groom at the centre. This is reflected in the finest of details, “for instance, a recent Secret Garden themed wedding inspired me to revisit the book upon which it was based and which I had not read since I was a child. A bride’s desire for her wedding to be ‘different’ is expressed more often than ever before. It is the florist’s job to achieve this with respect to the flowers. Fashions and trends are always changing and sometimes this is led by florists. I believe that the desire to keep mementos from weddings is becoming more sophisticated – preserving entire bouquets, for example, is big business. The ability to provide an all-round personal and bespoke service is so important today – it is not enough to simply provide flowers. This is the sort of service I aim to provide – always going that ‘extra mile’ for my couples.” Ultimately, the future of By Arrangement is defined by hard work and growth, as they look to expand into new regions of the UK. “We are looking forward to a busy year. Our 2019 diary is now closed and 2020 is half full. We even have bookings into 2021 and 2022. By Arrangement is a recommended florist at a number of top-rated venues and we hope to add more. We generally cover Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, but are increasingly providing floral décor at events all over the country” Company: By Arrangement Name: Helena Brown Address: Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire, NN15 6SZ, United Kingdom Website: Telephone: 07867920958 Facebook: Instagram: @by_arrangement_florist Mar19555 Steve Brill © Brillpix