Ok, here we go! I have been meaning to write this for AGES. I’m pretty sure most people that know me well know about my obsession with Japan. Then there are those that don’t know me, but within half an hour of speaking to me I’m pretty sure I’ll have mentioned Japan! I’ve been lucky enough to visit and travel fairly extensively there not once (5 weeks) but twice (3 weeks) and I wanted to share why this creative destination should be on your honeymoon list! Japan has so much to offer everyone. This post is lengthy, but bear in mind I probably have about 2000+ photo’s from Japan so be thankful I’ve trimmed it down!
I was thinking how they hell am I going to do this. Where do I start. There is just so much I can share with you, plus this post will take on a slightly geeky element as I love video gaming and so does my husband. Therefore we did spend a large portion of our time indulging our passion, in particular Dan! BUT we also saw so much more than the dizzy heights of Akihabara and certainly more than enough to give you some inspiration for a honeymoon. I thought the best way I can do it is as an exploration of different locations we visited rather than an itinerary, but there are parts that I’d suggest as an itinerary. Like a pick’n’mix!
I’ve picked out the locations that I would definitely revisit and assigned photo’s to those areas. There are a few places that we went that I haven’t included, so this isn’t a limited list. I’ve tried to do it in an order of easy reach within each location, although most of Japan is pretty easy to get around so it doesn’t overly matter. Especially as the trains run to time, within the second I’ll add and to where your feet are as the doors of the train stop where your seats are. I also don’t want to give you an overload of information so I’m going to try and keep it snappy to each area. With regards to hotels, we stayed in a real mix of hotels, but the first time we used Toyoko Inns a fair bit, as they are relatively cheap and uber clean if you want to save some money; think of them as the Japanese version of Premier Inn! Then we splurged on where we wanted a bit of luxury.
I would highly recommend getting a SIM care whilst you are out there, so you can use data and google maps to get directions. I honestly don’t know how visitors or tourists get around Japan without that! It can be a tricky lace to navigate in terms of street directions. Alongside that I would also consider staying close to the main JR stations as it makes transport much easier and you will need to get a Japan Rail pass before you go. Like a multi-pass from Fifth Element! Start the day with a coffee and a hearty breakfast and plan your route! If you don’t already use FourSquare, then download it before you go, it will help you with food and restaurant recommendations. Although you can’t really go wrong in Japan, it’s pretty common to have smaller meals, so if you don’t like the place you’re in just move on! I don’t think we’ve had a bad meal either time we went, which is pretty impressive and says a lot about Japan.
I think the other thing I would say, is that you have to be fairly fit on your feet. There is a lot of walking involved which may seem obvious, even though it’s fairly flat you can easily walk 5-7 miles a day as a minimum if you’re sight-seeing. Plus a lot of the temple sights are surrounded by steps from being generally raised up. Get used to taking your shoes off too, I hope they don’t smell after all that walking, clean socks are a must! As a last cavet, this is literally just me saying what I thought of our two trips there, I am fully aware (thanks internet trolls) that there are other places to explore and that some of my knowledge might not be completely factual, but I love Japan and I just thought I’d share! With that said, I’m going to crack on and talk to you about these amazing destinations.
“Thank you so so so much for our INCREDIBLE wedding photographs!!!! Looking through them was such a special experience and it really helped us to relive the day. We’ll be looking at these memories for the rest of our lives. We can’t wait to share them and we honestly can’t thank you enough. You absolutely captured everything we could ask for and more, the whole story is there. Thank you!”
When Max and Sonnie first got in touch with me about their fun filled wedding in Gloucestershire at Owlpen Manor, I was so excited! They were planning the craziest quirky filled festival wedding with a magician, a fireworks display, home-made lawn games and even an axe throwing competition! Max and Sonnie are the sweetest people, really easy-going and have great easy conversation; the closer their date dawned, the more I couldn’t wait to shoot their wedding! I talk so much in my pre-booking literature about how important it is to get along with your photographer and these guys just made that a breeze. I rocked up at Owlpen Manor, where the boys were relaxing before the big event in one of the many cottages. I love the fact that you can all stay on site at Owlpen Manor, it’s always one of my favourite things about a venue. It takes away a lot of stress and hassle! Plus if you get your timings right I can do a bit of groom preparation before I see the girls. Max and his mates, were pretty chilled playing music, drinking champagne and Woody (their dog) was loving life!
The wedding took place in the church on the grounds of Owlpen Manor and it looked beautiful with candles lining the aisle, really glamorous. They have an amazing bunch of talented friends (most of them being actors) and one of Max’s usher played and sang on his guitar at the ceremony. What a voice!! I think nearly everyone was brought to tears. Especially as their dog was sat on Max’s best man’s lap throughout just looking right at me, I’m pretty sure he was the one that got me going!! Woody is adorable and was loving all the attention he got on the day, plus a few snacks too! Keep scrolling to see and read more about their day…
It’s another week, another wedding blog. This one is changing direction a little and I’m sharing some of my commercial work. I love the Wedding industry, there are so many like-minded businesses that want to attract their ideal client and Commercial Photography can be just what you need to show the world how fab you and your vision can be.
I’ve had the upmost pleasure to work with Dewsall Court back in 2017 on a Winter Event and it was great fun! With snow, a cracking fire and home-made bread smell wafting in the background honestly, whats not to like! The whole team are just a delight to work with too. They’ve worked alongside Erica from Mr&Mrs Unique to ensure they are setting their brand apart and it’s been a wonderful process to get to know this amazing human along the way!
We collaborated and revisited Dewsall Court once again, but this time focussing on the main house and venue as a whole to refresh their website and marketing photography. I sometimes think as a prospective couple I would always be thinking how can I make my day unique, how can I not be another couple on a conveyor belt. There are lots of great venues that achieve this, but this is why I want to give a shout out to Dewsall, as it really is a special place for creating a unique feel for your day. Plus I always think the toilets at venues say so much about a place, and this one has them to die for!! Ahh the amazing Timorous Beasties wallpaper (https://www.timorousbeasties.com). Keep reading to see what I mean! (more…)
When Jeni and Dan first got in touch with me about their cool wedding in Quantock Lakes, I was so excited! They had loads so ideas planned for their day and when I heard about the surf machine I was totally sold. A surf machine, I mean c’mon! This was just a part of their day, which was super sunny and really refreshing to be at Quantock Lakes, which is a pretty amazing location. They are pretty laid back and the loveliest loveliest people. Jeni wore an AMAZING dress with pockets, who doesn’t love this feature in a dress nowadays, and Dan looked so dapper. The wedding took place in the Barn at Quantock, and had a total beach theme. The flowers from Sarah, at The Petal Shed were just so pretty. You know when you’re on holiday and you get that fresh sea smell, the flowers totally reflected this, a spray of summer! Oh and I’ve never seen or heard a bride shout “look at me” when they get to the end of the aisle, it was hilarious and super cute! Jeni you rock!! Dan is an amazing graphic designer by day and had put so much effort into creating amazing stationary and posters, it tied the whole seaside theme together, I kind of fell in love with Boozy Suzie the Seal!!
I’ve been waiting to share this one, are you ready, it’s quite long which I make no apologies for, go get a cuppa and sit and read through their amazing woodland inspired wedding at the Curradine Barns; loads of delicious food, real ale and RSPB pin badges. Jenny and Matt have just been on-going friends since they booked me a good 18 months in advance of their day. This one was super lovely as well as I got married at the Curradine Barns too. This year is my 10th Wedding Anniversary and I still get goosebumps thinking about our day. “We know Emma through mutual friends and our hometowns are just a few miles apart – instant connection!! Her photos are stunning but always so natural, never staged, full of life, colour, fun and charm. Just what we wanted. She was the one and only photographer we approached – thank the lord she was free! Our wedding photos are just perfect! They’ve immortalised the love we felt from friends and family on the day forever. They capture the fun and carefree feeling of our wedding wonderfully.”
Ahhh the delectable Matt and Jenny, what amazing people you are! I’m pretty sure the sun moved closer to the earth that day by how hot it was and the amount of sweat I lost… it was SO HOT and a bit tricky with the blazing sun (us photographers are never happy!!)… but their wedding was just incredible. I’m a total sucker for details and their day was full of personal touches that expressed them both and elements that had stories behind them. I loved the fact that when we went for a walk in the evening golden sun on their wedding day, Jenny could tell me the the names of the birds we could hear singing. I love that they love a pint of ale, that Jen made her own wedding cake and sent me photo’s of it in the fridge, that they are their best in each others company and that Jenny stood up and not only did a speech, but also talked about her mental health and what a positive effect Matt had had on that. So proud of you and hooray for teamwork! Jenny has done a fantastic write-up so I’m totally letting her take the reins on this one! Enjoy! (more…)
Richard and Craig got married at The Roman Baths and it was super stylish. I’ve been so looking forward to blogging this wedding, I LOVE it. Hugely steeped in history, with its origins dating back 2000 years, it really is a truly magical setting that will definitely make your guests go wow! Richard got in touch a couple of years ago and saved their date in advance. Richard said, “Our plan was to have a small and simple wedding in a city we love. We wanted a venue that would create ever lasting memories for ourselves and our guests. There was only one location in the historic City of Bath that would do. The Roman Baths with its history, architecture, unique atmosphere and the option to have a twilight ceremony made it the perfect setting.”
Ahh look at them, so incredible, that photo that I shared of Richard and Craig on instagram (the one above) has had the most likes, shares, views and enquiries from a wedding I’ve ever shot!! Emma from Coco Wedding Venues also featured this wedding so I’m pleased to finally share it too. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Roman Baths too; having got to know this place pretty well over the last couple of years, the venue is pretty versatile. Upstairs in the Pump Room, there is a choice of rooms, and the venue can therefore cater for intimate groups as well as much larger wedding parties for up to 200 guests. It can be a pretty tricky venue to photograph, as its quite dark and once you lose the light it really does need a bit of flash here and there. I think if that is the kind of look you are going for though, over sun drenched fields for example then that’s fine. I always make sure that my couples understand this though, as I like to be able to shoot creatively and if you’re up for that it’s a fantastic place to get some really cool shots! Plus, what could be more romantic and impressive than exchanging your vows amid the flickering torchlight and rising steam from the waters of the Great Bath?
This wedding is still a firm favourite, I know you are going to LOVE it and it’s perfect for inspiration! The lovely Kelly from Boho featured this wedding and I think the way she describes it is just perfect “It’s a Festival themed wedding held at the brides parents home, with the ceremony in the front garden and the reception in the back! It’s a real celebration of love, colour, vibrant patterns, DIY, and so much fun and laughter! Lauren and Jay really made their wedding a family and friends affair, with so many people pitching in and helping make their day a wedding to remember. From the amazing rag bunting, to the tie died table clothes, the whole look and feel of this wedding is bang on! With a glitter bar, dressing up area, Pizza ovens and a hot dog stand, everything about it is cool, relaxed and full of joy. Even the dogs got in on the wedding action.”
I’m totally starting from the beginning with this one, as I think it gives you a huge insight into how I work and the relationships I form with my couples. So, are you ready!! (more…)
“Emma Emma Emma, where do we blimmin’ start! You’ve made this so difficult for us, because there is so much we want to say to you and I want to be able to write so that it does it justice, but literally from start to finish every single photo is perfect. Fact! You captured it all brilliantly, creatively, naturally and it was all done with such ease and panache. We both feel like we have relived the best day of our lives, and your photos did that. You’re a massive talent!”
Ahhh how lovely is that to read when you’ve just delivered a wedding, the best! When Anna and Jack first got in touch with me about their pizza filled wedding at the Walled Garden in Mells, I was so so excited. They were planning a really fun barn wedding with plenty of home-made touches such as cute succulents for table name holders, a traditional artisanal creperie (oh my these were good!!) and cocktails on request from Event Bars South West. Anna and Jack are the loveliest people, we had great video calls leading up to their day and I couldn’t wait to shoot their wedding!
The Peak District… it’s pretty breath taking isn’t it! Shamefully it’s a place I’ve not really visited much before, passed through and gasped yes, but not taken the time to breath in that crisp air and jaw-dropping views. Chris and Gemma got married here in September last year and it was just stunning. I was actually a guest at this one (hence a few photo’s!) as they are good friends. Chris was best-man at our wedding so it was my hubby’s turn to be best man and did the funniest speech taking time to seek a friendly revenge!
We’ve know Gemma & Chris for well over 10 years now being good pals in Malvern, where we all used to live and take in the many walks to the pub, which was pretty much was ended by a stumble back home with tea and cake. The best! It was a dream seeing these guys finally get wed at Prestwold Hall. Gemma wore a beautiful silk and lace dress from Emily Bridal Wear and Chris looked super smart in his tailored three piece. They filled the room with gorgeous deep burgundy botanicals and berries, then decorated the tables with wooden carved names for the guests and a nod to their worldly travels for their table names. There was even a super cool retro arcade machine for the evening and fish & chips, which is a pretty neat way to celebrate getting married.
The next day they had asked me to do a couple shoot at Higger Tor as their wedding gift. So we all met up and had lunch together, then I helped Gemma get back in her dress, although with wellies this time and off we went. The weather was stunning, it rained, the sun shone, it rained… giving us the most atmospheric skies and these stunning photo’s. Yes to wedding’s in the Peak District and yes to good friends that are always up for a laugh and climbing rocks in bare feet!
So exciting times are ahead… Its already February, how did that happen! Which means you are into wedding planning if you are getting hitched this year. But don’t panic, I’m here to spread a bit of light on planning a relaxed wedding day. My previous couples have all been pretty chilled, I love that about them all. I seem to attract that quality which is absolutely fine by me, a mix between a little bit of tradition with all the quirks in-between! However I do get asked frequently at the start of your journey, “what can we do to make sure it all goes smoothly?” So I’ve put together some tips and timings from my experience as a Wedding Photographer so far in the hope you might find it useful for your day!
Firstly, EVERY single wedding is different but as a general rule of thumb there are still some set timings so hopefully this will still apply to your day! The reason why I go through this so much with my couples is so on the day I know exactly where I need to be and you guys can relax and now and again if needed, just ask me “what are we doing now” etc no surprises for you guys and some gentle structured flow to your day from me. I can then be in the background catching all those moments you booked me for in the first place! I thought it might be helpful if I break it down into sections that as your photographer I’m mostly involved with, you don’t need to get bogged down with the logistics of the day so let me take that away from you; especially as there is so much “wedding” stuff out there, don’t let it put you off from the start! Right lets get started.
Morning preparation & getting dressed // Time allocated 1hr – 1.5hrs before the ceremony.
I love this time I get with you. Its THE best, so much fizz and excitement in the air. I get to see everything you’ve planned come together in one room. This is my chance to grab those stylised shots I love setting up of your shoes, wellies, hair accessories and anything in-between. Its absolutely essential that you only have people in the room that have their positive pants on and are there for you. Don’t go overboard with it either, more people, more chaos! Less interruptions are the key. I love the documentary element to this part so just relax, be pampered and have fun. Definitely create a playlist to have fun with, a good mix of all sorts that will keep your toes tapping. Food is also a vital part of this time, if you haven’t already had your breakfast then get a little spread of fruit, croissants, cookies and plenty of water to keep everyone going. Think about where you are getting ready, the space in-particular. No one wants to put their gear on in a tiny cupboard! Equally important is light, you’ll hear most photographers get over excited about light, we can’t help it, its our thing! So think about natural light. I’m known to kind of come in and move things around if I need to, I might face you a different way for example, but trust me I’m always doing this for you. To get the best shot. Wear something you are happy to be seen in too, treat yourself to a new PJ set or gorgeous kimono dressing gown, oh and think about how you will get it off to put your dress on as well. I’ve cut tops off before now that wouldn’t stretch!
Another happy day from HEART FULL OF TEA. Well it’s February already and I thought I would crack on with my round-up from 2017. I get so many lovely comments from my wedding couples about the slide shows I send them so I thought I’d put one together for my last year of shooting. It was pretty epic! I LOVE looking back at all the photo’s I’ve taken and the moments I’ve been privileged to share with you. My wedding season started in March last year, and then I jetted off to Japan for 3 weeks, not long after Wai & Mark’s Chinese Wedding and then I went straight back to shooting a few days later! It was the second time my hubby and I had ventured there and this time was to catch the sakura season, aka blossom amongst plenty of other geeky days spent in retro game shops! Yet again Japan did not disappoint, I feel so connected to that place. I’ll be doing another blog post on Japan as a honeymoon destination soon so keep you eyes pealed for that!
Thank you so much to all my couples from 2017, it was a utter blast. You trusted me through and through and it made the days so much fun, sometimes I forgot I’m actually at “work”, so much laughter and happiness. I’ve met some amazing people along the way and the stories of finding out all about you both are the best. I love first date stories and how your relationship has played out since, then seeing that reflected back in so many quirky ways throughout the wedding day is the fascinating! I also worked really hard over 2017 to collaborate with some amazing suppliers and create content for the wedding industry. Which by the way had got to be one of the most creative industries to be in, it amazes me what people craft. I’m really grateful for these opportunities and definitely happy to say that 2018 is already filled with more commercial work. It’s also pretty full with new wedding couples too, I can not wait to shoot your day, I love my job!! I still have a few spaces left for 2018 so if you are getting married or know anyone who is then make sure you get in touch! I wrote a little blog post about how to book a Bath Wedding Photographer, if you wanted to read that too, click here for more happy people!
Thank you so much to Kirsty, Alexa, Kate,Naomi, Lydia, for either second shooting with me or for second shooting with them. Then Laura from The Bridal Edit, Emma from Coco Wedding Venues and Ali & Dom from Prezola for all the collaborations.
Have you ever considered having a vegan or vegetarian wedding? Are you yourself a vegetarian, vegan, or full on meat eater? Decided on your Wedding breakfast yet? For those getting married in 2018, its around now or in the New Year you usually get invited for your tasting evening. Generally when it comes to the ‘big meal’ or wedding breakfast you will be asked “should we include a vegetarian option” ? For me it’s always going to be a YES… seeing as I’m vegetarian and dairy free! I will generally ask for a vegan option if there is one. However, if you are committed to a lifestyle like veganism for example, reversing the question and asking yourself “should we include a meat option” seems absolutely crazy to me. Plus people can go one meal and one day without eating meat, surely?
I’m a veggie and dairy free (for allergy reasons), so now and again I do eat a bit of fish. Mainly because whenever I’m out in restaurants the veggie option is either Mac n Cheese, Lasagne or basically anything smothered in cheese. My husband coined a new phrase for me the other day called Seagan, I quite like that! Seems pretty hipster, I’ll go with it. But this post isn’t about getting into any ethical debates regarding my opinion or choices on the meat or dairy industry, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. I’m just trying to share with people how wonderfully creative the Wedding Industry can be nowadays with catering to the way we live. It can be an opportunity to show and hope that your guests enjoy it and learn something from it. Being vegan isn’t scary! I mean look at this amazing feast from Peng Burger Company who wouldn’t want that on their wedding day!!
Happy Friday everyone. With wedding season coming to a close for 2017 I thought I’d take some time to say hello and if you’ve recently got engaged why you might want to choose me as your photographer. I’m a Bath Wedding Photographer and I’ve been shooting for about 5 years. I’ve lived and worked around this area for about 8 years. I never thought I would settle in a city as I’m such a country girl, I’ve grown up in the country side surrounded by trees and open space! But then… then you visit Bath with it’s georgian buildings and tree lined streets its easy to see why you fall in love! It’s a real hub of creative individuals and most importantly independents! I love that about Bath. It is steeped in history yet has a real culture of people wanting to aesthetically develop their brands around it.
So have you recently got engaged? Recently moved to Bath or the surrounding area? Grew up around Bath? Amazing! Let’s swap stories over coffee. I’ve spent 2017 in particular carving out relationships with local suppliers to become more involved in the community I live in. I’ve got some exciting news for 2018 in regards to this and plan to continue to work with Wedding suppliers around Bath and Somerset. This approach to fostering relationships is something that I reflect in the way I shoot, like that friend that you haven’t seen in ages, but as soon as you meet up it was like you saw them yesterday! I really try to achieve a fun and playful way to alternatively document your wedding as I really don’t like having my own photo taken so I am totally aware of how that can feel for a couple to have a camera in your face! Carry on reading and I’ll explain how I work.
In these colder days whilst I’m not shooting I’m catching up on some blogging, showcasing what I’ve been up to this year. Today I thought we’d have a little nosey around the Prezola HQ which is located in the truly beautiful City of Bath. I love Bath so much, I feel incredible lucky to live here, so when Coco Weddings asked me to pop along to Prezola for a meet and greet over the summer it wasn’t difficult to say yes!
So what is Prezola I hear you say? Prezola is the UK’s leading independent wedding gift list service, designed for modern style-savvy couples. Although it doesn’t just have to be your wedding that you can create a list for… I am constantly sourcing my next house purchase or family gift so it really is an inspiration for all. Here a little more from Ali herself on how Prezola came about…
“My husband Dom and I launched Prezola in 2010 from our house and since then, we’ve grown to include more than 30,000 products from 300 top brands on the site. Couples can mix gifts, experiences, charity donations and honeymoon funds on their list with free delivery of their gifts after the wedding. We now have a large office in the centre of Bath with over 50 members of staff – the business has grown so fast in the last seven years! Our new Prezola HQ is a traditional Georgian townhouse in Bath, where the windows and ceilings are huge on the ground floor, and get smaller and smaller as you go up the stairs. We very happy to be located right in the centre of Bath.”
I have to be completly honest, I hadn’t heard of Prezola until this year but now I’m obsessed! I recommend them to all my wedding couples now! I wish they had been around when we got married 8 years ago. I just love the brands they work with. Err also who doesn’t like making lists, I have a lists for a list! I think one of my favourite elements is that you can add literally anything your heart desires from any online retailer you can find. From finding something on Etsy to an obscure little independent shop; of which there are plenty in Bath. It makes it so easy too for your wedding day, I sometimes think getting cash can be quite impersonal so it’s lovely to think you can have a few pieces around the house that will remind you of your day. Plus with offices like Prezola I would happily come along and visit, check out the photo’s below of the home tour I did. I’m was totally swooning over the styling the entire time I was there!
Where do I start with this… well perhaps with a big thanks to Coco Wedding Venues and The Bridal Edit for inviting me down to the exclusive launch of Halfpenny’s Black Edit in London. What a great little adventure!
Many people will know that I’m not exactly the fashion consinour but when it comes to Bridal gowns I go a bit funny and hysterical. I can’t help but get excited, I mean thats the industry I’m in, I adore photographing gowns and I absolutely LOVE getting to see what the bride choses when you walk in on the morning of the wedding. If I haven’t already had sneak peaks! The Black Edit by Halfpenny London is pretty much your dream collection if bold, beautiful designs are your thing – which for me is an absolute yes. I come from a graphic design background so angles and contrast excite me greatly. Plus, what I also love is the fact its 2017 and you can wear what ever the hell you want at your wedding. That includes grooms too!
The Black Edit isn’t really aimed at the Wedding Industry more as exclusive occasion wear and for the Red Carpet. I mean did you catch Liv Tyler on on Jonathan Ross recently? She looked stunning in one of Halfpenny’s Black Edit creations. Kit Harrington didn’t look bad next to her either, but that’s for another blog! As Laura from the Bridal Edit states “What we really love is that Kate’s created this collection from her base as a bridal designer and this works SO well. Let’s face it, when you’re looking for a special occasion dress, it doesn’t get more ‘special’ than a wedding. It’s great to see those distinctive Halfpenny London bridal shapes and silhouettes in this new selection of dresses. Who wouldn’t want to wear one of these?”
Yep who wouldn’t! Seeing the beautiful models gracefully walk around the streets of London in these statement pieces really was a joy to behold, I had to try not to gasp too loudly! As Emma from Coco Weddings said “what really stands out in The Black Edit are all those to-die-for design details. Those fabric combinations with the lace bodices could well be our favourite thing ever but then, the butter soft leather and luxe satins, barely-there backs, big bows, huge heavyweight skirts and the superlight fringing… just imagine how it will feel to wear one.”
Book me a fitting right now! With the champers flowing it was great to talk to the team and Kate… who is unbelievably down-to-earth and was also more than happy for us to look through her bridal collection. What an beautiful space to go and choose your outfit. It was lovely to be a part of this launch and I’m really happy to share the photo’s from the evening. Black is most definitely back.
Jewellery: House of Garrard
Shoes: Malone Soulier
Flowers: Fran the and Flower
Hair: Edward James
MAU: Amy Conway, Bobbi Brown
Models: Dani, Chiara, Sian