A category full of blog posts and articles to do with wedding photography.

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A Romantic Scottish Wedding

When Helen asked me if I would travel to Scotland with my camera to capture her wedding day, I instantly said yes. Helen and I share a mutual friend and so it was a fabulous opportunity to catch up with friends and visit one of the most beautiful venues in the UK.

Helen Langthorne and Matthew Dixon were married at Inglewood House and Spa in Stirling.  It really is a most stunning setting to hold a wedding; magnificent Jacobean architecture, a spectacular ballroom, sweeping landscaped grounds and a rather lovely duck pond.  It’s no wonder Inglewood House and Spa was voted the Romantic Venue of the Year 2017 at the Scottish Wedding Awards.  As I drove up to the venue I knew it would lend itself perfectly to a fairy-tale wedding.  Although I’ve travelled a lot with my work, this was my first Scottish wedding, and it didn’t disappoint.

Whenever I’ve visited Scotland in the past, it had rained so when I arrived in the sunshine it was nothing short of a miracle…but, yes, you’ve guessed it, rain was forecast for the wedding day. But nothing was going to stop us.

Happily, we woke up to a sunny day and everyone was very excited. One of my favourite parts of any wedding is seeing the bride getting ready for her big day. It’s such an intimate time spent with those nearest and dearest to her and can often be quite an emotional experience. At some point, the tissues come out and tears of joy are wiped away before anyone’s mascara runs!

Helen and Matt’s morning was no different. In a wonderfully romantic gesture, Matt sent Helen a card with some lovely words in…she let me have a peak and even I shed a tear (no, I’m not going to tell you what it said, but believe me, it was beautiful).

Of course, you can’t have a wedding in Scotland without going the whole nine yards, and it was great to see all the boys in kilts. I have to say they looked very handsome indeed! Their outfits made the day such an authentic Scottish experience, although I’m afraid I was too shy to ask exactly what they were wearing underneath their kilts (or could say “ too shy to ask THAT question”).

The humanist ceremony was conducted by celebrant Mary Wallace and told the story of the world Matt and Helen have built for themselves, how they met and what they have achieved together. It celebrated how far they have come and the solid bond and love they share. Hearing such personal anecdotes made the wedding very special and there were lots of tears and laughter throughout. Even Helen’s sister, Ruth, shed a tear, and according to Helen, she never cries!

Eventually, the rain did come at around 6 pm, but it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the bride and groom and all their guests as they danced the night away in traditional Scottish Ceilidh style.

Thank you, Helen and Matt, for letting me share such an amazing day.

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Magical Marquee Wedding

When Jess and Dom Carter were looking for their dream wedding venue, they didn’t have to venture far. Jess’s family farm, near the market town of Frodsham in Cheshire, with its stunning views over the River Mersey was simply perfect.

“My family used to grow Christmas trees in the field so I have many happy memories there.  We also wanted somewhere local for the Grandmas!” Jess told me.

“We started looking at local marquee companies, Steve at Posh Frocks and Wellies came to meet us and see the field. We built up a good relationship with Steve and knew they were the company for us. The marquees are stunning! Which also really helped when it came to decorating…it didn’t need much! Just the lighting that comes with the marquee and then the greenery that decorated the king poles”

Even the loos were really posh!

Jess and Dom are an amazing couple, as are their family and friends. Although they didn’t have a specific theme for their wedding, they took inspiration from their romantic trip to Rome where the two got engaged, and every element had a personal touch.

 

They collected flowers and props from family and friends, Jess’s uncle made the wooden boards that went on the tables, the flowers at the venue were arranged by her Godmother, Sarah, the cake, a delicious lemon with white chocolate and lemon ganache, was made by a family friend Jenny and Jess’s hair and make-up were done by another close friend.

“It really made it for me to have my wonderful friend Dawn there in the morning helping me, along with my mum and bridesmaids of course!” Jess said.

 

 

In the week running up to the wedding, I was worried that the weather would be unkind as the forecast was so changeable. The day before was a total washout, but Saturday dawned with glorious sunshine. With the magnificent marquee up and decorated with flowers and twinkling lights, the stage was set for a fairy-tale wedding.

Guests were seated on their country style ‘pews’ (hay bales from the farm!) as Jess and Dom exchanged their vows in a joyful ceremony led by Celebrant Marie McDonald.

 

The beautiful scenery lent itself to romantic, dreamy shots of the happy couple, and I was so pleased to be able to capture the special bond between the bride and groom.

 

After the ceremony everyone was treated to a fabulous feast, including Sue Coward’s famous steak pies, each individually handmade and served with new potatoes from nearby Warburton’s farm.

 

After the ceremony everyone was treated to a fabulous feast, including Sue Coward’s famous steak pies, each individually handmade and served with new potatoes from nearby Warburton’s farm.

 

“Food was super important to us, Ian Beckett did all the catering for us – amazing canapes, gorgeous olives, bread and oils for the starters, and yummy puddings. It felt really homely and great to make use of local suppliers, especially when they taste so good. The Coward and Warburton families have been in Frodsham a very long time, just like my mum’s family, so that felt special,” said Jess.

As the sun began to set, it was time for the first dance, and since it was such a balmy summer evening, Mr and Mrs Carter took to the dancefloor outside, with all the guests joining in with the singing and dancing.  I don’t mind telling you I got goosebumps as I took their photographs against the backdrop of one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

 

This truly is one of the most magical weddings I have ever photographed, one that stole a little bit of my heart.

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Top 5 Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Picking the right photographer to capture your wedding can be daunting and you might be feeling overwhelmed about making such a big decision – after all, your photographs will be a lifetime reminder of your special day!

Here are my top 5 tips to help make that decision a bit less stressful.

Know exactly what you want

You need to have a very clear vision of how you want your wedding photographs to look.For instance, my style is very informal and relaxed, I like to mingle and capture those special candid moments.  Some photographers might do a highly stylized shoot with lots of formal pictures or a fine art approach where the photographer’s style is very much evident, and they have free rein in the creative process?

Looking through magazines and on the internet can help you decide the kind of feel you want for your wedding pictures.  Keep a Pinterest board of your ideas, or even a good old-fashioned scrapbook!

Have a budget in mind

Paying for a professional photographer is possibly one of the biggest investments you will make in a lifetime. There are photographers out there to suit all budgets, but this is not a time to scrimp! A good guide is that around 10% of your wedding budget should go towards your photographs.  The flowers will fade, the cake will get eaten and champagne will all be gone, but your photographs are forever.

Make a date

Once you’ve narrowed down your style and budget, get in touch with photographers that fit the bill and arrange to meet up. I always like to meet my clients in person, for me, it’s the best way to get to know you (although some photographers do offer a Skype call, I believe you can’t beat the personal touch).

Finding a photographer that you click with (pardon the pun) is as important as finding the one whose style you like. It’s no good if you love their work but find out they are a miserable so and so who nobody likes hanging out with. I can’t stress how important this bit is.

Getting to know your photographer a little before the big day will make a huge difference, you’ll feel more relaxed and your photographer is more emotionally invested – you might need to lend them a hankie though in case they get teary-eyed during the ceremony.

A good idea is to meet at your venue, so the photographer can get a real feel for you and your wishes for the day. Engagement shoots are also a great opportunity to get to know your photographer a bit more and you get to practice posing for the camera!

What to ask

When you meet your photographer it’s good to go prepared with a list of questions. For instance, what time they start and finish on the day, do you need to provide food for them, how long after the wedding will you get your photographs?

Ask to see a completed wedding album.  You want to make sure their work is consistent and that their business web page isn’t filled with ‘lucky shots’ from lots of different weddings!  You might have certain photographs that are very important to you that you really want to make sure the photographer gets on the day – one of you with a special friend or relative, the groom getting ready, the father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time in her dress– whatever it is, make sure your photographer knows.

All professional photographers should have insurance, but it’s always good to check, and it might be a good idea to check they have a Plan B should anything go wrong with any of their kit on the day.

Book it!

Wedding photographers are usually booked a year or two in advance. If you’ve found your dream person, book them as soon as you can. Make sure you look over their contract carefully before you sign – but you don’t want some else to swoop in and pinch your day!

I hope you find this blog useful, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to have a chat about your big day.