Just Engaged…Some tips and advice


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!

Millie’s Cake Smash

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.

Willow’s Cake Smash

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.

Ethan’s Cake Smash

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.

Brampton Grange Wedding Venue

A popular choice for weddings in Northamptonshire. Brampton Grange is one of Northampton’s largest exclusive use venues. It is a beautiful, unique barn venue with a large country house, set in 25 acres of a private estate in Northamptonshire.


I would love to photograph a wedding here and when given the chance to organise the styled shoot, I couldn’t wait to explore the barn and country house for potential areas to photograph. As a wedding photographer I try to create a complete story of the day, include the decor of the venue and the details you’ve chosen.

This unique Northampton venue features several barns with high ceilings, timber beams and exposed brickwork, which makes the ideal setting for weddings, parties, anniversaries and other private celebrations.


The Venice barn features floor to ceiling white drapes, chandeliers and fairy lights. This seemed like the ideal setting for one of the tables to be dressed using the wedding decor we’d been given from various suppliers.

The table centrepieces were made by Sue at DunnCrafting, she also provided us with the wrist corsage and bouquet. All of which are faux flowers but who can tell!?

We were also given crockery, glassware and cutlery by Absolutely Vintage China Hire and candle favours from Kiss Air Candles.

The stunning cake and iced biscuits were made by Laura from The Greenhouse Cakerie. The flowers on the side and top of the cake were made from sugar.

Each piece complimented the next and fit the theme perfectly.

The Oak frame was built by 104 Designworks who make wonderfully bespoke pieces of furniture and the flowers attached to the frame were by Emma at Blossom & Bramble.

We even had some handmade stationary put together for us especially for the shoot, the gold leaf details make the ultimate finishing touch. I just love the drawing of Brampton Grange!

The second part of this photo shoot included our model Karen. She looked amazing and we couldn’t believe how perfectly the boho style Kenneth Winston wedding dress which Anna Wood picked out for her to wear.

I love animals, as you may tell from a couple of my other blogs, so when we spotted the horse in the field next to the house I had to include her in the photographs.

I loved organising this shoot and bringing together so many fantastic, local wedding suppliers. We are all based in Northamptonshire and cover the surrounding areas and have plenty of knowledge on local wedding venues.

I couldn’t have done this without their help and look forward to working with some of them again the future!

  • Absolutely Vintage China
  • Anna Wood Bridal
  • Blossom & Bramble
  • DunnCrafting
  • Kiss Air Candles
  • Love Laura Hair Design
  • Love Tallulah Belle
  • Rachel Chaprunne
  • The Green House Cakerie
  • The Little Details Company
  • 104 Designworks
Emma DB Photography