I always think the best wedding photography comes about when a couple really gives you access to their day. When they let you in as if your part of the family and trust you to make the perfect pictures for them.
I loved shooting every minute of this - and I really love the autumnal touches, the warm colours in the flowers and details that really let you know where you are in the year. All the more amazing was the fact they were supplied by the guests.
"To be honest, we didn't use suppliers for the decoration. Everything was handmade by ourselves, family and friends. The gourds were grown by my dad and my Uncle who also grew some of the pumpkins too. Other friends had a go at growing gourds as well. It was just a really fun year running up to the wedding making and collecting everything and getting close friends and family involved. Everyone was on the lookout for autumnal things and what dried flowers we could use along with fresh My dress was from wed4less at Stockport."
I added my own warmth in the processing - my colours are naturally warm, but here I've left everything a bit warmer and tried to emulate the contrast and feel of that favourite lens you just leave on your family's camera. (I also wanted to emulate the feel of Kodak Gold - an old consumer film that has a real warmth to it and a feel of old family photos - because after all, what is a wedding, if not a collection of family photos)
Odda's Chapel Wedding Photography - Annelies & Louis
Wedding: Odda's Chapel - Ceremony: Overbury Village Hall
Annelies and Louis married twice - their first time was in Belgium and I got to cover the second day of celebrations in England. This part of the celebrations is Super-English
And what a day it was - it was very very rainy and I drove down to Gloucestershire and all the roads were flooded! We met at a rickety old house at Haw Farm. Everyone obviously very concerned about whether we'd actually make it through all the flooding to the chapel -and yet, everyone was strangely relaxed.
But we made it to Odda's Chapel - which is a beautiful Ancient Saxon Chapel in Deerhurst. It was a cold rainy day in October and there was no heat and very little light.
But light isn't all about quantity, sometimes the most amazing light there is very little of it about, and it has this amazing, soft quality. (For the photographers reading, I was mainly using my 33mm 0.95 Mitakon lens, which doesn't give the sharpest photos at the best of times, and has to be manually focused). And I think the technical imperfections give the photos a lovely filmic look that is very hard to fake. (Although I may be trying to push things a bit in that direction this season, as I love the look)
As for heat, I found my own anxiety kept me warm enough...
(Random Fun fact that doesn't fit in anywhere else; The week before I'd been reading Book of Bones by John Connelly - a horror novel taking in a lot of the ancient temples around the UK - and including a ghostly scene at Odda's Chapel)
Where were we? It was an emotional ceremony, held in a beautiful ancient church on a rainy day in Gloucestershire. They used an infinity bottle where family mix a drink in a special bottle to celebrate the coming together of two families. The guy who was supposed to be playing guitar had got stuck up the other end of the country because of all the flooding, and their friend Aaron stepped in at the last minute (we saw the other guy later - he was really good - his name was Morgan T Davis).
The reception was held at Overbury Village Hall. With lots of wonderful DIY decorations. I don't think I've ever seen someone make a village hall look so lavish, decked out with lights and conkers, candles and hundreds of cascading autumnal leaves. Did I mention it was super-english? There was soup and hog roast and conkers and all sorts.
The Old Vicarage Boutique Hotel Wedding Photography - Jo & Jonathan
Wedding & Reception - The Old Vicarage Boutique Hotel
Jo & Jonathan married at the Old Vicarage in Southwell - a Hotel that markets itself as one of the East Midlands best kept secrets - and I'd be inclined to agree. The wedding ran perfectly, the food was amazing and the grounds are beautiful.
Entertainment was provided by Sylar the magician, who did a full on magic show for us in the evening (every wedding should have a magic show!) and a live band in the evening. Another great day captured.
Eyam Hall Wedding Photographer - Julia & Alex
Wedding & Reception @ Eyam Hall
Today I've got a beautiful summer wedding to share. Julia and Alex married at Eyam Hall back in July. Eyam Hall is a Jacobean-style manor house in the historic village of Eyam in Derbyshire - and it is a gorgeous venue for a wedding.
It was a rainy morning, which had us all anxious about the outside ceremony - but the clouds parted minutes before the ceremony began. Julia was running a bit late. which kept us all on our toes.
I started off with Alex in the morning. I always like to get some pictures of the groom and groomsmen getting ready on the day as I think it adds to the story. We also caught some beautiful golden light later in the day (always good for photos!)
What could possibly happen? - West Bridgford Hall Wedding
Emma & Mike
Wedding - West Bridgford hall registry office / Reception - Lutterall Hall
Mike & Emma booked me a couple of weeks before their wedding. And it sounded like a fairly standard registry office, village hall kind of affair. Except they didn't want any preparations and would like me to start at 3pm and stay until the end of the celebrations (usually people book shorter coverage when starting so late). I'll admit - I was thinking, what could possibly happen in that time? Am I going to have enough photos at the end of it? Do they really know what they're buying into here?
Turned out I needn't be worried - they were both insistent that I worked in a natural, unposed style just documenting the party as it happened (the one caveat was that they'd like some detail shots, as they'd put a lot of effort into the styling of Lutteral Hall)
And as for what could possibly happen in that time.... so much. It was a giant family party full of party games, lawn games, family and friends bonding, a lot of Queen songs and so many uses for inflatable pigs.....
But most of all - Emma & Mike made this day. They are both so relaxed, yet still the life and soul of the party and obviously have so much love for each other there was never any need to pose or set it up for the camera.
Who new such an unassuming sounding wedding would end up being so much fun?
A Gay Wedding At The Fishpond Matlock Bath - Brett & Martin
Wedding - The Fishpond , Matlock Bath
I've never seen guests get so emotional at a wedding as this one (and I've seen a lot of emotion in my time as a wedding photographer)
Martin and Brett married at The Fishpond - a boutique pub set amongst the beautiful Derbyshire countryside (and one of Englands first tourist destinations) in the little town of Matlock Bath. (If you've never visited it's like a seaside town as far away from the sea as you can physically get in this country)
In fact - I think the Fishpond website says it best:
"Set in the popular tourist town of Matlock Bath, we have everything the discerning bride needs; candy, motorbikes, ice cream, arcades, and fish & chips. The only thing missing here is the sea . . . Matlock Bath, or “little Switzerland” as its nickname suggests truly is a unique landlocked seaside town."
As you can guess - the celebrations had a lot of character. From the dinosaur / jurassic park themed decor, through to Aura-Jay's drag act as the evenings entertainment. But what really struck me about the day was how much love and support Martin and Brett's friends and family shared. And how much love and affection the couple have for each other
Whitworth Centre Wedding Photographer
Preparations, Wedding and reception @ The Whitworth Centre
That's right, I'm trying something new with the blog and including a slideshow. So take a couple of minutes out of your busy day and press play
And turn down the volume if you're at work (you can thank me later)
This Whitworth Centre wedding was a real joy to photograph.
Phoebe and Ross married at the Whitworth Centre - a beautiful victorian venue situated on a huge park out in Darley Dale. This was back in March - and I think the low sun really adds character to the day. The Whitworth Centre is a beautiful building to get married in (I hadn't photographed here since Bex & Bruce's wedding) and they finished the evening with a Cadleigh and lots of dancing.
Electric Cinema Wedding Photographer
"We wanted natural, unposed photos and loved Simon's use of colours and light in his portfolio. His photos of our day are stunning, and really captured the emotions of a very special day."
Wedding - Electric Cinema Birmingham / Reception - Hotel du Vin
I've been so excited to share this wedding on here.The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is such a fantastic venue for a wedding. Especially if, like me, you have a deep rooted love of the cinema - especially old flea pit ones like this beauty - located just opposite New Street Station. Firstly, Zoe and Karl are such a lovely couple, and a joy to work with (you can see their engagement shoot in Digbeth here). And they got all emotional and it was beautiful, which always adds to the day. They showed short films and slideshows before the ceremony, and a montage of (mainly 80's) classic scenes afterwards.
Then it was a stroll across Birmingham Centre to Hotel Du Vin for further celebrations. Ending up with Karl DJing in the pub in the basement.
Below are some of my favourites pictures. Enjoy!
A Lindy Bop Garden Party Wedding - Jen & Chris
Jen & Chris Married at West Bridgford Hall, followed by a garden party in Jen's parents back garden before heading on to Lubenham Village Hall to Lindy-Bop the night away.
I'm going to hand it over to Jen & Chris to tell the story:
How did you meet? On Tinder! We each swiped right. Chris didn't have good signal where he lived. Every time he messaged me he had to go out onto the street for reception. We met on 27th December, in bar I'd been quite ill over Christmas and almost cancelled. So glad I didn't!
Tell us about the proposal I'd just got back from a couple of weeks in South Africa for work. Chris has planned it all. He based it on our first three dates. We had diet coke - the drink we ordered the day we first met. He had learned how to cook Turkish food and made me a beautiful meal (we went to a Turkish restaurant on our second date). We sat on the floor in my living room and ate it picnic-style by the fire, just like we did on our third date. I could hardly answer for crying. But somehow I managed to squeak out the word 'yes'.
What was the inspiration for your wedding? We knew we wanted to keep it low-key, natural, and not buy-in to the traditional wedding circuit. We discussed what was important to each of us, and went from there. For Chris, it was that we provided lots of food, and all the alcohol. For me, it was that it looked beautiful. We both swing dance and wanted a good party. We thought briefly about just having a small Ceremony and keeping it really simple, but we decided that this was our chance to bring everyone we knew and loved together. We found the hall, a local Community Hall, and went from there - my parents offered their garden for after the Wedding itself. I love making things, and had a picture in my head of how it would look. There wasn't an 'inspiration' as such, I just went with what I found and made it up as I went along!
How would you describe your wedding theme? Home-made! I described it as 'Garden' in the end - with a vintage flavour.
Do you have any particularly significant, funny or important stories about something that happened surrounding your wedding? Originally we were going to get married in September. But one of my brother's lives in Japan with his wife and my two nephews. He's a teacher and can only visit in the summer. This was the only day we could get my whole family, and Chris' family, in one place! Summer wedding it was then.
What was your favourite part of the wedding? The people. For both of us, the process of planning a wedding really made us realise just how many wonderful people we have in our lives - this was a chance to reconnect with people we'd lost touch with, and to see those who lived further afield. My friend Anne flew over all the way from Australia to be there. In the end, we had British, German (Chris is German!), Japanese, Australian, American, Norwegian and Irish. It was a wonderful mix of wonderful people .Chris' mum made my bouquet... My mum organised the 'Garden Party', some of my friends baked cakes for desserts, others brought alcohol - people helped set-up the hall, and clear up the hall the next day. It was us, and our friends. It was real, and it was fun!
What did you choose for readings and music? Why? James Kavanaugh — 'To love is not to possess'. Why? So many wedding readings are so cliche, about roses, waterfalls, and summer days. 'To love is not to possess' is about real, durable love. The kind of stuff that lasts. It was the perfect reading for our day.
What was your wedding budget? Free! We soon realised that wasn't possible, aimed for £5,000 and then decided that £10,000 was more realistic. I think we came in just under!
How did you allocate your budget? We had a whole spreadsheet! We ticked off the important things first: Dress, suit, venue, food, alcohol, accomodation and then guestimated everything else. I set myself a 'decoration' budget, and am proud that I managed to stick to it.
In retrospect, was there anything you would have done differently? Actually, no. For us the whole day was just what we wanted - better in fact. the only thing I (and Chris) would say, is that I wish I worried less about the little things. But then, that's who I am and who I'll always be!
Is there anything else you would like to add? Given our budget, we were reluctant to spend on a photographer, but we also knew we would regret it if we didn't have a good set of photos. Simon was a recommendation from another guy that we approached. We had a shortlist of two, but his style of photos swung it in the end. We wanted natural photos, not posed stiff ones, and Simon's portfolio looked beautifully quirky. I can't tell you how glad we are that we chose him. He was worth every penny and more. Neither of us expected such an array of beautiful photo, it's impossible to choose our favourites, there are just so many! He is a nice, professional guy and clearly loves what he does - it was great to see how he enjoyed taking photos of our day.Not only has he captured every moment, he's captured every feeling. Every time I look at our photos I smile. They are perfect.
Suppliers: Massive thanks to Lubenham Village Hall and of course to Emmerson & Wests - of everything I worried about that day, I knew the food and bar were well taken care of. I couldn't recommend them highly enough!
They're a super-lovely international couple - with lots of great friends and family. The day took in garden games, lots of emotional moments and a lot of great dancing . It's such a smorgasbord of events and stories that I think it's best presented in a totally random fashion... so here goes.
Carriage Hall Wedding Photographer
Natascha & Alex's Carriage Hall Wedding
Those of you familiar with my work will know that I love the Carriage Hall. I've been there many times over my time as a wedding photographer. It's a perfect venue for those that want to put their own stamp on the day. The staff very much tailor the wedding to you.
Natascha & Alex got married a few weeks ago and it was a beautiful day full of wonderful moments. Natascha's family are German, so half the speeches were in German so as to include them. There was beautiful music from Arkangel throughout the day (they played for so many hours and it was all beautiful).
Best moment was getting to see them try and cut the cake with a ceremonial sword.
Pictures below -
Iscoyd Park Wedding Photographer - Abi & Marc
Apologies for the lack of posts - we moved house and it's all been a bit hectic post wedding season. But I'm coming back with some stunning wedding photography from Iscoyd Park in Shropshire.
It was one of those days where it rained all day (Iscoyd park is a Georgian country house wedding venue surrounded by gorgeous countryside - s0 you can imagine the disappointment) - but that wasn't bringing the mood down. You can tell from the photos that it was an emotional ceremony held in the garden room. Followed by a huge party including mealtime entertainment from Main Course - Singing Waiters and a couple of chances to nip off for some portraits in the stunning library.
It was a beautiful day - and there was loads of music and love in the air - but did I mention how much it rained? I drove all 70 miles home at about 20 miles per hour because of the sheer amount of water coming from the sky...
Osmaston Park Wedding Photographer
Wedding - St Albans Church, Chaddesden Reception - Osmaston Park
I had serious deja vu at this wedding - I’d photographed Joanna’s sister, Lizzie’s, wedding at Callow Hall two years previously.
The preparations, the church, a lot of the faces are all very familiar. In a way it was interesting to see how far I’d come - how my style had changed in those two years. I think even now, I’m getting a lot better at nailing the moment I want to get!
Joanna & Scott married on a beautiful sunny day with a wedding reception at Osmaston Park near Ashbourne. Surrounded by lakes and woodlands in the private location they were free to celebrate with family and friends.
So these are the pictures - and there’s a real sense of family, friendship and fun throughout.\