Posted on January 14, 2022
The busiest year for Wedding Photographers in the UK!
What a year! 2 years worth of weddings crammed into just over 9 months.
I’ve had the best time capturing weddings for friends, family and couples that feel like friends as we’ve known each other for a couple of years thanks to postponements.
It was also the year I went full time with my photography business and it was the best decision I have made! Doing something you love all the time – what’s not to love?! Although it does take a lot of hard work, motivation and dedication – also a lot of juggling, it’s amazing. I’d recommend it to everyone, follow your dreams!
This year, well last year now as I am writing this in 2022 – which still seems very surreal! I have had the opportunity to visit some stunning venues, on my wish list which I’ve known about for years and always wanted to photograph a wedding there.
Firstly we have Beth & Matt’s wedding back in April 2021 where there were still some restrictions so their day was shorter with an outdoor ceremony. That didn’t take away the love and beauty of their special day. It was a fantastic day, set in the gardens of Kettering Park Hotel in Northamptonshire.
Shaunna & Anthony were married in the summer of 2021 where they could have their wedding in the church they had planned and marquee at a vineyard in Birmingham. This was their 4th wedding date and it was worth waiting for!
Steph and Mick’s wedding was my second working with videographer Jasper from Yellow Glove Productions and first time at the stunning Ashton Lodge Country House in Warwickshire. Definitely one of my favourites from the year with bright orange bridesmaids turned cheerleaders at night, a gender reveal, bridal reveal and sax player!
The August bank holiday I had my first back to back weddings which was both exhilarating and exhausting. I loved it as both weddings were so different. Again both were changed due to lockdown restrictions.
Firstly Laura & Nik had their wedding reception at The Granary at Fawsley which was a traditional Greek wedding celebration. And a celebration it was! Secondly Tracey & Russell married at the lovely Catmose Cottage in Oakham. It was a really great day with the chance to get some beautiful bride and groom portraits including trying to recreate a famous Beatles album image – can you spot it below?
Rachel & Bradley are next from 2021 and were married at the iconic Normanton Church at Rutland Water and then had their wedding reception at Rutland Hall Hotel. They had beautiful burgundy bridesmaid dresses and matching dressing gowns which I had to include in my highlights below. Love that they included their beloved dog in their wedding cake design and had to include that in their gallery!
Towards the start of Autumn Emma & Michael married at the fantastic Macdonald Ansty Hall in Coventry. With so much history in the building and grounds. Some of their wedding images can be seen in this slideshow:
My cousin Laura was due to marry David in 2020 in Vegas. So they incorporated Las Vegas into their wedding at the picturesque Hothorpe, The Woodlands, on the border of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. I was so so happy they asked me to capture their special day and had to include their furry family members in the photographs. Part of being a documentary wedding photographer right?! Also this is the only wedding of the year where I am in the group shot, can you find me?
Jess & Tom married at Catmose Cottage in Oakham which was my second time visiting this year. They then went onto a reception at Quorn Lodge Hotel in Melton Mowbray. Their flower girls definitely stole a bit of the focus which is usually solely on the bride and groom, but I don’t think they minded!
December I had two weddings the on the run up to Christmas, Michele & Ernie’s at Kettering Park Hotel and Katie & Kyle’s at the stunning Barton Hall. Both very local to me, in Northamptonshire and both fantastic venues! They were Christmassy, full of love and magic.
Katie & Kyle’s was due to take place in 2020 but wasn’t meant to be. During 2021 their wedding was surrounded by speculation things would go back to how they were. So we all stayed positive and optimistic and they got to have the day they planned. It was definitely one of my highlights of the year!
2022 sees just as many weddings as 2021 for me which is amazing and I’m so grateful for that! I will be at the following venues and perhaps some more will sneak in that list, although at this point I am almost fully booked with space for 1 or 2 weddings as lots of changes will be on the horizon.
Kettering Park Hotel
The Granary at Fawsley
The Talbot Hotel
A rebrand is coming too, within the next few months so look out for some big, exciting changes!
Thanks so much for reading my blog and look out for more next month.
Posted on May 26, 2021
There is more to wedding stationery than just your invitations! You have on the day stationery, save the dates (if you’re planning super far ahead) and also thank you cards after your wedding day .
If you are planning your wedding year or more in advance I would definitely recommend save the dates, to make sure your guests keep the date free for your wedding.
On the day stationery includes place name cards on the tables, menu cards and table plans. We went for a flag for our table plan at our wedding and LOVED it! It was fairly new when we got married and from a company that first started the wedding flag trend White Cottage Weddings. We still have it today and it’s a lovely reminder of who we had at our wedding breakfast and also what we named our tables!
Another thing to consider is colour and design, this will include wording and fonts used which will be something your stationer can advise further on if you’re not sure. I love calligraphy as it gives a softer, yet formal feel to invitations and looks amazing. I even include a quote in all my wedding photography packages hand written by a local calligrapher as I think it adds a personal touch and looks stunning! To see her work click here!
Stationery is a huge part of every wedding, large or small, to help guide guests and keep them informed on what is planned for your day. It can tell guests where they are meant to be and at what time, what they will have to eat and anything else you want to include.
Here’s a list of details to include in your invites:
– Parking (maybe include a map?)
– Menu options (if you’re providing a choice)
– Gift ideas (perhaps a note to say you would like a contribution to your honeymoon?)
– RSVP date
Ideally you would need to send these out between a year and 6 months before your wedding day to give guests a chance to respond.
Something else to consider if you want an elegant finish to your invites, wax seals! Your stationer can do these for you, or you could try it yourself if you’re wanting to be creative and make something for your wedding. We did this for ours, though I set one of the envelopes on fire, but luckily we had some spares so it didn’t get sent out to anyone!
Hope this helps with organising your wedding stationery. If you need any advice or looking for a stationer I am here to help! I know plenty of local stationers that I would gladly recommend.
Posted on March 17, 2021
It is a difficult time to feel positive about the future and plan ahead, especially when restrictions are constantly changing. In some ways it’s the perfect time to plan, as suppliers are available and putting everything into the services they offer, compared to a usual year of balancing everything. Also you may have more time at the weekends and evenings to plan and if you are still working then you may have more money to spend on the things you love.
There are still things you can do to bring the planning to you at home, so I thought I would share some of the events I know of coming up in the next month. To hopefully get you excited for your wedding day in 2021, 2022 or even 2023!
To begin with you can order a Wedding Fair In A Box from Noahbella Weddings, it includes lots of goodies you would normally pick up at a Wedding Fair. Each item comes from a local wedding supplier based in Northamptonshire. You get 2 cocktails from The Occasion Bar, a cake treat from The Greenhouse Cakerie, Too Faced mascara (travel size) from Makeup by Liv, Wedding Planning Tee from Bridal Gift Boutique, Lolly favour from Emily’s Lollies, planning consultation from Noahbella Weddings and lots of other goodies. Vouchers include a free pre wedding shoot with me when you book your photography package!
Have you always wanted to go to a wedding fair? Well there are plenty to choose from that you can attend online in your PJ’s if you like! The wedding fair includes videos from various suppliers talking about the services they offer, showing you what they offer and even some virtual venue tours to give you a glimpse into your favourite venues.
The next one to add to your diary is the Midlands Online Wedding Fayre with more details on their Facebook Page. This takes place on Sunday 28th March. You can even meet some of the suppliers live!
Another is the national Just About Weddings wedding fair. This gives you a chance to book one-on-ones with your favourite suppliers and with their online chat feature you can share the experience with other brides and grooms to be. This will be happening across the 17th and 18th April, all weekend!
Both are free to attend so definitely worth a visit to help you tick off the suppliers on your wedding planning to do list! If you are at the beginning stages of planning your wedding, firstly congratulations! Secondly, please check out my blog from earlier this year with advice and tips on where to start with your plans.
Posted on March 31, 2022
Deciding when you want music during your wedding day can be tough! Breaking down the day into sections can help make things a lot easier.
The main parts of the day to choose a specific piece of music for are;
– Entrance into a church or ceremony room
– Signing of the register
– Exit from the church or ceremony room
– The first dance(s) (sometimes there’s more than one so you may want to choose a couple for this part of the day)
There are a few musicians I’ve worked with and would really recommend. Harpist Rebecca Barnes who can play pretty much anything on the harp from Dr Dre, The Beatles to something classical like Vivaldi or Delibes. Check out her Instagram page to have a listen.
Also there’s Brad Matthews who performed at a summer wedding I photographed in Rutland’s stunning Normanton Church, he then played throughout the drinks reception and evening reception!
It’s worth visiting wedding fairs to experience live musicians playing well known pieces of music to inspire you and help you visualise your wedding day.
A couple of the weddings I’ve photographed recently had live sax players along with DJ’s and they were amazing! Really got everyone up and dancing as well as sounding brilliant.
There’s a lot of choice, live musicians, DJ or your own music player
Sometimes it’s nice to have playlists for different parts of the day, bridal and groom prep in the morning, the drive to the venue if you are in a separate location and during your wedding breakfast. During the evening reception if you have a DJ or live musicians they will provide the music for you then, so no need to plan any thing after this point.
If you need help finding a live musician or DJ in Northamptonshire please do let me know! I’d love to help and will have a list of contacts that I have worked with at weddings in the local area.
Also if you prefer to have classical musicians or jazz musicians I cannot recommend Rosie from Tailor Made Music Agency enough! She will be able to find you the music you have dreamt of having for your special day.
With the first dance, something we did for our wedding was make a playlist of tracks we both liked and then narrowed it down from there. You might want to stick to traditional and have one of the popular first dance wedding songs. Or go for something completely different that is personal to you both!
Would love to hear what you have decided to have for your first dance. Let me know in the comments below!
Posted on July 31, 2021
This is a question I’m asked quite a lot by couples usually when we are talking about their wedding plans and photography packages I offer.
If you’ve decided to read this blog is it because you’re not sure what it is and why you would have it? Either way I’m glad you’re here. Even if you know what one is and just want to see some nice photos!
A pre wedding shoot is a photoshoot with your wedding photographer any time from when you have booked them to a few months before your wedding day. Also known as an engagement shoot. It can be at your wedding venue or alternatively at a local venue nearby to where you’re getting married or where you live. It is a chance for you to meet your photographer before your wedding day and experience their photography style.
They usually last for an hour and you will receive some great couple portraits, personal to you and different from every other pre-wedding photoshoot. Perhaps to use as your save the dates if you book early, or use them at your wedding if you are having photos on display.
Locations I’ve photographed at are usually in Northamptonshire, with the exceptions of ones in Birmingham, Bristol and Peterborough. The Northamptonshire venues include East Carlton Park just outside Corby and Abington Park in Northampton.
It’s something I like to recommend, as since I’ve been offering them free with wedding bookings for 2021 and 2022 I’ve found them really beneficial. From a photographer’s point of view it allows us to find out more about your wedding and engagement, which is always exciting to hear! It gives you time to discuss photos you have in mind for your wedding day as well.
If you are feeling nervous to be in front of the camera all day at your wedding, your pre-wedding photoshoot will help calm those nerves. Your photographer will help you feel comfortable having the camera looking at you. This is something I really enjoy with my photography, helping you to feel relaxed and happy during your photoshoot.
Should you bring your dog to a pre-wedding shoot? Absolutely! Yes I would encourage this and look forward to meeting your dog if you do. There are many places they can go for a photoshoot so if you’re wondering if you can or not. Yes you definitely can!
So now you know what a Pre-Wedding shoot is and how great they are! If you are convinced you need one with your wedding photography package speak to your photographer!
Posted on April 28, 2021
This question never crossed our minds when planning our wedding. The faux flowers available at the time weren’t that realistic or natural looking so we knew we wanted real flowers. We were planning our wedding 5 years ago and so much has changed!
After becoming a wedding supplier I now think it’s so important to find out whether you are wanting real or faux flowers. It helps you choose your florist and gives them an idea of how you want your flowers to be on your wedding day. There are so many florists available, who all specialise in different styles and one will be the perfect fit for your wedding.
I’ve worked with florists supplying both real and faux flowers and sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference! Dried flowers and pampas grass were very popular last year and continue to be in 2021.
I thought it would be nice to share some florists in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire that I would highly recommend. All have produced some beautiful floral arrangements for weddings and shoots that I’ve been a part of.
I’ve loved photographing all these different style bouquets and the other floral decoration at a wedding. The floral bow tie? I’d never seen this before but I want to see more of these! Traditionally the groom and his groomsmen wear buttonholes with a singular flower and some foliage to match the bride’s and bridal party’s bouquets.
One of my favourite shots to get at a wedding is the closeup of the bouquet, can you tell?