Posted on January 10, 2021
To continue from my last blog post, for newly engaged couples, I wanted to share my favourite Northamptonshire Wedding Venues with you all.
I’ve lived in Northamptonshire all my life so know the area incredibly well, some venues I will be listing below have been around since I can remember. Others are new (within the last two years), but definitely as good as any which has been trading longer.
Choosing your Wedding venue is the next step in your wedding planning process, as once you’ve found your venue and booked the date everything else follows. This does come with a few questions, in order to narrow down which venue you would like. I think these include,
– How many guests will we be having?
– What time of year would we like to get married?
– Do we want everything held in the same place (ceremony and reception)?
– Would we decorate the venue ourselves (or hire a styling company) to make it our own or keep it as it is?
Once you have these figured out it will help narrow down the search to a select few venues. Hopefully with a style you are both happy with. By style I mean, Hotel, Barn, Stately Home, Castle, Outdoor or any other I’ve not thought of!
I’ve tried to think of a few different style venues to give you an idea of what is available. At the moment Wedding fairs are unfortunately not going ahead, however virtual ones might be. So you still get to have a glimpse of your dream venue before you book it!
These are in no particular order. Some of which I have photographed at previously and other I will be or wish to in the future! And one was mine and my husband’s wedding venue. Can you guess which one? Let me know in the comments!
Brampton Grange Wedding Venue, Northampton
Firstly I will begin with Brampton Grange. This is a barn style wedding venue with country house. It is so spacious, with plenty of outdoor areas as well. They have a traditional courtyard, romantic walled garden, tennis courts and even an outdoor swimming pool!
I organised and photographed a styled shoot here a couple of years ago. The above image comes from that and more can be seen here: Brampton Grange Wedding Venue
Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, Kettering
Next on my list is the 4 star Kettering Park Hotel & Spa. This venue has all you need in one place for your special day. With rooms for your ceremony and reception later on and rooms for your whole wedding party to stay in. For some this is a huge part of their venue, to have everything in the same place, without the need to travel further. They also have a beautifully landscaped garden with an Alfresco Garden Room which is a must see! I have recently been added to their list of preferred suppliers which is a wonderful feeling! I cannot wait to be at more wedding fairs here when they are able and also photograph some weddings here in 2021 and 2022!
Rockingham Castle, Rockingham
If you’re looking for a historic building where you can have your ceremony and wedding reception this is your venue. There is a church just out of this shot on the right if you are looking for a church ceremony. The castle itself is in fantastic condition, considering it is almost 1000 years old! This is definitely my favourite venue and I would love to photograph a wedding here! The grounds are just as beautiful, with a rose garden filled with different coloured roses which smell divine. This venue is exclusive to you on your wedding day as well, as are most of the venues in my list. It means you have the venue to yourselves, which gives your special day a more intimate feel.
Barton Hall, Barton Seagrave
Finally we have Barton Hall Hotel, which like all the above venues, is located in the picturesque county of Northamptonshire. This idyllic award wedding venue has a beautiful Grade 1 listed Orangery next to the hotel itself. It’s such a bright, light room, perfect for your ceremony. I cannot wait to photograph a wedding here later this year!
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my venue choices above.
Which is your favourite of the venues above?
If you need any help your wedding planning and need some advice, please get in touch. I’d love to help where I can!
Posted on January 3, 2021
Congratulations to all you new engaged couples!! How does it feel? Where did you get engaged? Did you get engaged over Christmas or New Year? What’s your ring like?
I’d love to know!
It’s such an exciting time when you are in that newly engaged stage. Where, for some of you, you’ve never started thinking properly about how you would like your wedding to be and all the finer details of planning your ACTUAL wedding.
You may have lots of questions, what to do first when engaged? where do I start planning my wedding?
From my personal and professional experience I’d like to offer some tips and advice.
Don’t rush – engagements on average last just over a year so no need to rush into getting everything booked straight away!
Pinterest – start pinning your ideas on a board on Pinterest. I kept sending my husband ideas for our wedding and he did the same. It helped us visualise our day together.
Start with your guest list – then you know the size of the venue you’re looking for.
Date – think about the time of year you’d like to get married (Christmas? Autumn? Summer? Spring?) The date can have a huge effect on the cost of your venue due to demand.
Get a planner – this is the one I used https://busyb.co.uk/wedding-to-do-s-heart but I’m sure there are many just as effective available.
Get a planner (b) – or hire a professional wedding planner! To help direct you and take care of a lot of the planning so you can enjoy a relaxing engagement.
Plan ahead – some suppliers are booked early (venues and photographers) so make sure the ones you want are available.
Enjoy being engaged – the engagement is about you and your fiancé (though I never personally liked to use that word!) so make the most of the next stage of your relationship.
Hope this has helped you begin your wedding planning. If you have any questions please send me a message!
Styling, Hair & Makeup – Brides by Rachel Williamson
Jewellery & model – Dalia Jankus
Model – Toma White
Faux and real floral crowns – Jane Elizabeth Bespoke Bridal Hair Accessories
Veil – Rebecca Anne Designs
Bouquet – Fauxever Blooms
Lingerie and dressing gowns – The Nottingham Lace Garter Co
Garter – Hayze Boutique
Happy New Year to you all!
Posted on June 2, 2020
I thought it would be nice to share more photos from Millie’s cake smash in February this year. It was the first and last photoshoot I’ve done in 2020 with a backdrop and props due to lockdown restrictions.
These were new props that I’m looking forward to using again, it made a nice change to the props I’d used in my previous cake smashes.
My Cake Smash photoshoots will look very different to this for the foreseeable future, with the idea of having them outdoors either in the garden or a meadow filled with daisies and other types of wild flowers. I’m excited at the prospect of changing the set up and trying something new!
Millie needed a little time and guidance from her Mum as she wasn’t 100% sure what she was meant to do.
I’ve found this happens a lot during cake smashes. When the young toddler is placed in front of a colourful cake, although it looks and smells delicious they just look to Mum for help!
Usually they will either begin to crawl or stand in excitement. I think it’s because of the attention they are getting, but could also be that they are encouraged to giggle and smile so much!
Millie seemed to enjoy it once she’d started and forgot all about the headband she was wearing. Although they look cute, headbands and head pieces can be a nightmare. Usually the baby or toddler is not happy to keep it on their head for long!
Alex, Millie’s older brother, was patient throughout the shoot, watching his sister have her fun with the cake. He then joined her later on, which I think she enjoyed from these photos!
It’s always exciting when a sibling joins in the fun, the bond between them is lovely to see.
After Millie had eaten her cake, crawled towards us and played with her bubble machine she was getting tired. Her Dad helped her towards the end, just in case she wanted any more.
To be fair she did pretty well (along with her brother’s help), this was all that was left…
For more cake smashes I’ve captured why not take a look through my other blogs here.
Posted on May 24, 2020
As Willow turns 2 today I thought it would be the perfect time to share photos from her 1st birthday cake smash last year!
We also had some family portraits prior to the cake smash so her older brothers could be included and even her Mum and Dad. It was lovely to get these portraits of them altogether.
Then it was Willow’s turn to take the spotlight! Once she saw her brightly coloured cake she couldn’t stop smiling! She didn’t take long to start exploring the cake with her hands and begin grabbing bits from the cake.
I love how excited she was, so excited that she stood up just before she began tucking in!
Willow has such a cheeky look on her face in this photo don’t you think? Sometimes I wonder what is going through a baby’s mind during a cake smash as they happily eat something so sweet, that they wouldn’t normally be allowed and be encouraged by their parents to do so!
It was at this point Willow decided the cake stand wasn’t needed anymore! This has happened a few times during cake smashes, but usually we take it away before they decide they’ve had enough.
I was sure she’d had enough at this point, but then she had a second wind. Her brothers came in to help her finish the majority of her cake so she decided she’d have a bit more with them.
I thought this was lovely to see them all sharing the cake so nicely. They all were so happy!
For the theme we went for unicorn with Willow dressed in her unicorn outfit. The rest of the props I tried to match the colours with Willow’s outfit which I’d seen prior to the shoot.
I always like to talk through the props with parents so we can create the vision they had in mind when they booked me. Alice asked for the Lightbox and letters and was happy with the other props I included. I decided to use helium in my balloons this time as it meant there was more room for the honeycombs and Lightbox. What do you think to this set up? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Posted on May 4, 2020
So as Ethan turned 2 on the 1st May this year I thought it was time to share the rest of the photos from his cake smash photoshoot last April!
There are a few images already on my cake smash page which I added recently, but it’s nice to see more from the shoot to get a full picture of how things pan out. And how much of the cake is left at the end!
It was one of the hottest days in April and we felt it! The sun was glaring into the kitchen, which was the original place to set this up and where I would usually do a cake smash. So instead we moved into the living room where we could shut some of the direct sunlight out so it wouldn’t affect the photos and melt the cake too quickly.
I used extra white paper to cover the floor so no chocolate cake ended up on the carpet. The props I used were all brand new to this shoot, apart from the cake stand, with the bunting coming from Time 2 Celebrate in Kettering, Northamptonshire. They have been around for years and provide decorations for birthdays, weddings, baby showers and any type of celebration really!
I love this photo – Ethan could hardly contain his excitement!
At first he was apprehensive, not sure what to do with the cake so instead had a lot of giggles. His cheeky smile was infectious; courtesy of his Mum Emma who was sat next to me making sure he was happy to sit for the photos.
Once he had tasted some of the chocolate curls, that was it, he knew he wanted more. The extra props usually don’t last very long, as you can see here with the One lettering on top of the cake. It becomes a distraction, so is nice for the first few photos then I tend to remove it around halfway through the photoshoot in case that looks more appealing than the cake!
The chocolate cake was a great choice for Ethan, he loved it! He also loved to stand up, which I haven’t had happen too often during a cake smash. They would usually crawl towards their parents or to me to have a closer look at my camera!
After about 30 minutes or so, Ethan decided the balloons around him were more fun and exciting than the huge chocolate cake left in front of him. So proceeded to play with them instead.
There was quite a lot of cake leftover which meant there was enough for his older brother and Mum and Dad.
I had a lot of fun capturing these and hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this blog.
For other cake smash blogs I have written please click here.