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
Just a casual 7 months since my last blog. Oops!! Where does the time go. Seeing as my wedding season has slowed down now, I thought I’d start with the first wedding of the year I shot back in March. Wai and Mark’s colourful Chinese Wedding at Rhinefield House. Man what an awesome day!
These guys landed the best email in my inbox as a referral from the gorgeous Mel & Alex’s Wedding I shot last year. Mark & Wai have been together for just over 7 years, Mark originally from Cumbria and Wai is Hong Kong Chinese, but born and raised in London. They both absolutely love to travel, which has included spending 3 years in Shanghai, China. Wai told me all about Mark’s interesting Mandarin right from the start, ha, sorry Mark! They live in Portland and we communicated at random times, whilst they both organised a Wedding virtually. Hats off to you guys, hats off.
They are both creatives, Mark freelancing with his art, illustration, videos, comic books and Wai working for an advertising agency in Portland. They both describe each other as a chalk and cheese kind of couple, completely different, but they absolutely work together. Wai is super organised, and Mark likes to go where the wind takes him, describing each other as his and hers Ying and Yang. Therefore their wedding naturally reflected this, Chinese influence from Wai’s side, captured in the woods to reflect Mark’s nature and heart.
I haven’t laughed as hard as I did that day at the traditional morning games. Oh goodness, these guys know how to bring the house down! Mark sent me the nicest of emails after I had delivered their wedding including this little line, “On a serious note though (prepare for more tears from me)… Right from start to finish you were the one person involved in the preparations that got us excited and that itself helped enormously. We’d have paid you just for that service!”. Just so lovely. And Wai… well Wai is one of those beauties that stops you in your tracks. I literally couldn’t stop staring at her in her amazing Chinese Wedding dress. Congratulations to you both, you rocked my world.
Thank you so much to my second shooter, the awesome Kirsty Bowen. Mic Drop.
My goodness, Jess and Andy are just such a super couple. They got married at Jess’ family estate in Gloucestershire, last year. They are a large family made up of an English side (Jess) and American groupies (Andy), and they brought together quite the party! Their wedding had a back-yard festival vibe going on, they had hired a marquee to sit on the grounds and decorated it by hand, with home-grown sweet peas lining the tables (the smell was just wonderful). We started the day with an escaped cow on the grounds, but the local farmer soon turned up and directed it away from the wedding! Jess works at Penguin in London so as a gift they brought every single guest a book with a hand-written note inside, plus Andy is quite into his music so in addition everyone got a pass to the Livestock festival! Talk about spreading the love. And that was obvious, they looked so loved-up the whole day and every guest there was just on cloud nine for them. It was a total celebration of two families coming together. They got married at their local family church and it was pretty special to see Andy invite his family pastor to join in the whole day and give his own blessing at the church. It was then a short walk back round in the summer sun to the marquee for champagne and oysters in the garden provided by the Mother Shuckers, what an ace name! Their wedding reception was filled with glorious speeches including a rendition of the American anthem and home-made English roasts. We were basked by the sunshine late into the night and I think I was finally danced off by the kids that were still going at midnight! Absolutely brilliant.
I love my job.
The most gorgeous couple that is Mel & Alex got married in September last year at their family farm, which they turned into a Bohemian Festival! It was such a fantastic day. I absolutely LOVED this wedding. Mel described the wedding perfectly on their recent Boho Feature;
“Our wedding was a joyous coming together of two families and their friends in beautiful surroundings, that we could also call our home. Full of smiles, tears, laughter, well wishes and so much love, it was the best celebration we’ve ever had.”
Mel is a Graphic Designer and used her creative outlet to the max, trying to be as savy as they could without compromising. This definitely extended to the decoration as well; making the table plan and signs out of broken pallets they had found on an industrial estate, plus decorations were made from coloured straws and the dream catchers where made from simple hose pipes! It all totally worked to create a bohemian festival look that mirrored their tastes. Mel’s absolutely stunning Yolan Cris dress paired with Bella Belle Sandals to complete her relaxed look and Alex looked totally dapper in a John Lewis suit.
Both sides of their family were so kind to me and treated me like part of their family, it was a dream to photograph, even through the down pour!!
Now for 3 minutes of silliness, something a little different today! Dax learns to swim at Chapel Farm, Pensford. Most people that know me know that I am an avid animal lover and supporter of animal charities and centres. I make no apologies for giving those who can’t speak a voice. We rescued a sight-hound 3 years ago, who had been abandoned. She was about 4 months old, severely underweight, had bleeding sores on her feet and demodectic mange, leaving her bald in several places on her body. She was a mess, a little shut-down, yet she didn’t stop her wagging that tail! It took us a year to get her healthy. Once she was well enough, we tackled some other issues, one of those being her fear of water. She was never going to be a water-loving dog, she’s no labrador, but we walk near open water and she needed to be safe. Even getting her feet wet in a puddle was a challenge! I enlisted the help of Chapel Farm and had 5 swimming lessons. I took a little video of the first one to remind ourselves how far she had come to even get to that point. By the end of the lessons she was swimming and using her back legs, something which she had to learn!
Chapel Farm are a specialist canine rehabilitation centre about 30 minutes outside of Bath. Honestly you get a dog and you find out about all these cool things that exist! They were really understanding, oh and dogs coming for swimming lessons is more common than you realise. Dax is absolutely fine now, a healthy 3 year old lurcher-mix, who runs in the rain and paddles in the local stream. I thought I’d share this little video for a bit of Sunday fun!
(Disclaimer: I’m a photographer, not a videographer don’t judge my skills too harshly!!)