COuples engagement shoot in the Cotswolds

Two days in the Cotswolds
Ye Vonn & Nicholas

Cotswold Couple Shoot

Normally when I’m asked for a couples shoot they last 1-2 hours but with Ye Vonn and Nicholas their shoot was a 10 hours across two days sort of affair.

They are from and are getting married in Malaysia but beforedoing so they wanted to have some photos in the UK, namely in the cotswold area.

We started off the day before at Buckland Manor, Broadway where we made the most of the grounds and beautiful sunset. The next day we headed off to Cotswold Lavender where you can get permission to shoot amongst the gorgeous Lavender fields. We were lucky in that a week later it was going to be harvested.

We also stopped by some of the local landmarks at every opportunity and grabbed photos there as well before ending off in a village nearby to capture the spirit of the buildings.

This was a massive shoot compared to those I normally do, with make up and costume changes. There was so many photos at the end of it.

Here are a selection of my favourites from the day:

Cotswold Couple Shoot

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Swallows Nest Barn

Swallows Nest Barn
Jen & Tim

Swallows Nest Barn WeddingSometimes when I’m asked to shoot a wedding there are so many miles between us that the only realistic way to meet is via an online meeting application like Skype. It’s no replacement for a true face to face though and a bit like how some people don’t like leaving answerphone messages the whole experience can be a bit awkward. I still struggle but so long as I have a good connection Skype isn’t that bad. I find Facetime really unpleasant experience though, I had a meet with a couple in New Zealand via Facetime and it was like being in the 90’s again with a seven second delay.

With Jen and Tim I didn’t see them in person until the wedding day itself so I didn’t quite know what to expect but often the nervous anticipation can actually help me to do a really great job, almost as if it focuses me more.

Jen got ready at her parents and during makeup, Dad was in the garden watering the plants. A common morning past time for Dads to do on the morning of a wedding.

The whole wedding was taking place at the Swallows Nest Barn in Sherbourne, Warwickshire. Their wedding was on the last weekend of May (I love May weddings) and the weather was gorgeous.

Swallows Next Barn WeddingInside the Barn it’s split into two distinct areas, the ceremony area that’s turned around for dinner and then a glass fronted reception and dancefloor area. There was around 100 guests seated and waiting alongside Tim for Jen to arrive and after a lovely walk down the aisle they said their ‘I do’s’ and we went outside for some drinks, Fuzzball and Table Tennis.

While their guests were entertaining themselves we headed off to make use of the grounds.

So here is the big strength of Swallows Nest Barn, the grounds. You can leave the main area and use it for photos. At this time of year we struck gold. There was the rapeseed field, the walk to the stream, the log nestled in amongst the buttercups, the standing in the stream and the white blossom still in the trees by the bridge. I’ve already said I love May right?

It helped that I had such a lively couple, warm and open but also comfortable in their own company and not afraid to show it. I usually get the best from couples regardless but these two were effortless (and didn’t mind getting their feet wet)!

Swallows Next Barn WeddingOn the way back to everyone we stopped in another field with some young green corn growing. After we used the manacured garden area for the more traditional formal photos. Dinner came next and their guests not only had a sweepstake placed on the length of their speeches but also had adopted the US style tapping of their wine glasses to encourage the couple to kiss.

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Northbrook Park Wedding Photography

Northbrook Park
Natalie & Graham

Northbrook Park Wedding Photography

Northbrook Park was Natalie and Grahams choice of venue for their wedding in late October. They all got ready in the mews adjoining the Orangery and Natalie was in the perfect spot for photos with light streaming through the French doors during makeup. I spent a little while between there and outside shooting details then, just after Natalie had opened her gift from Graham, I went to see the guys for their prep photos.

Their choice of colours was perfect. The flowers were a mix of pale pinks through to warm oranges and this contrasted with the red ties and grey suits of the Groomsmen. I also loved Natalie’s dress, it had a pastel pink colour underneath white detailing complete with a bow on the back, one of the prettiest dresses I’d seen all year!

Northbrook Park Jewish Wedding

This was a Jewish fusion wedding, so their ceremony was made up of a civil ceremony followed by a Jewish one afterwards. The vine room where the ceremony took place was decorated nicer than I’ve ever seen before. I’ve been the photographer to a good few Northbrook Park weddings but I’ve not seen as much detail go into a wedding there as I did with Natalie and Grahams one.

After Graham had smashed the glass we left the Vine room for confetti and a large group shot (which worked really well using the gravel drive side) before heading off for some smaller family formals and couple shots.

The awesome décor continued into the Orangery with each table full and completely covered with scrabble tiles for place holders, moss around the base of the centre pieces, party games and quizzes for the guests. Their table plan was music based with each table named after a musical track important to them.

Northbrook Park Wedding Photography

Before dinner started the guests welcomed them onto the floor and Israeli dancing commenced with everyone going crazy and moving at speed. This didn’t really stop until after 15 minutes or so before dinner started only to pick up again after the speeches. People lost their minds with the dancing getting crazier and in some places, downright dangerous!

Special mention goes to the layout of the Orangery this time around at Northbrook Park. Having the dance floor centralised was a stroke of genius and worked really well. With the DJ booth being slightly offset from the top table it made things much more cosy and intimate. The strings of Festoon lights really added to the ambience too.

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Manor by the Lake Wedding Photography

Manor by the Lake
Megan & Peter

Manor by the Lake Wedding Photography

This is Megan and Peter’s wedding at the Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham.

Everything took place here, with the girls getting ready upstairs in the bridal suite with the guys downstairs in an area which had it’s own pool and football tables, jukebox and an honesty bar. So they were kept happy!

If you were to suddenly appear at this venue you’d think you were way out in the sticks away from everything but the reality is, you’re right on the fringes of the city with the motorway being 5 minutes away. It didn’t change the idillic setting though and you were surrounded by acres of grounds to enjoy as well as having the convenience of being easy to get to.

Manor by the Lake Wedding Photography

We could see the guests arriving from the balcony and they made their way to the end of the path where the ceremony was going to take place outside by the gazebo.

Once dressed, Megan’s mum walked her down the long path leading her to Peter. You’ll see further along this post how pretty the aisle was and I loved the relaxed metal arches that designated the aisle. It really added to the ceremony.

After, we went for confetti outside the main entrance to the house with drinks in the gorgeous gardens there and I spent some time with everyone for their photos.

Manor by the Lake Wedding Photography

I loved the gardens here, there was pretty everywhere and especially at the end of July, the summer heat hadn’t affected the flowers at all.

The main dining area in the adjoining building was a perfect space for their dinner, the fairy lighting really added to the atmosphere and assisted in adding to the photography. After speeches we dissappeared back into the main house to utilise the rock and roll room as well as the hallways running to it.

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Old Kent Barn Wedding

The Old Kent Barn
Sarah & Adam

old-kent-barn-wedding-photography-91

Here is Sarah and Adam’s wedding at Barham Church and the Old Kent Barn. They chose September as their month and we struck gold with a beautiful Indian Summer day!

This was my first time at the Old Kent Barn and while I was covering the prep Laura was with the guys down the road before we all went to the church.

Old Kent Barn Wedding Photography

This was a long day for us as we were there until the end with an epic sparkler line and some cool night shots to finish the day. Even after the msuic stopped the guests were still singing in place of the DJ!

Old Kent Barn Wedding Photography

Here are some more images from their day at the Old Kent Barn:

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Iford Village Hall Weding

Iford Village Hall
Shelley & Scott

Iford Village Hall Wedding PhotographyOne thing I love to do is blog, to write up my weddings in a way that I saw them and in a way, to debrief myself of the day because so much happens. I’m a part of this 12+ hour rollercoaster of emotion that it always has a long term impact on me.

This year though I look back and realise I’ve not blogged since June. Mainly because I’ve been so busy. 2016 marks the most number of weddings I’ve shot and as I now stay later and deliver so many photos something had to take a back seat. As a result I’m now playing catchup.

So for those who follow me online, lurk in the background or whose weddings I’ve yet to shoot, apologies, but watch this space!

 

Shelley and Scott’s wedding was ace. They both live Sussex way, in Hove and with their wedding ceremony at the Brighton Bandstand it was easy enough for them to get ready just a few minutes walk away. I loved the eclectic decor of their home, HRH the queen Victoria was on show and all sorts of things that defined them were everywhere.

I rocked up to find Shelley with her makeup underway and I settled there for a bit before heading off to a nearby hotel for Scott’s prep before returning to Shelley for her final stages before walking to the Bandstand with them.

Iford Village Hall Wedding PhotographyBrighton Bandstand is a nice personable space but it does suffer if the wind is up, which was the case this time around so we used the restaurant underneath for the ceremony. It suited their numbers well and after we went for photos on the beach and used the Bandstand too.

Shelley and Scott booked a bus to take them and their guests to Iford Village Hall which is around 20 minutes away an is a typically cute village hall, in a sleepy village with a church nearby and a small row of houses. It was Idyllic, peacful and pretty all around. We didn’t see another soul there all day and I was very impressed because it seems to be the type of place everyone looks for but not somewhere everyone finds when they book their wedding.

It was beautifully decorated inside and a lot of the trinkets were from their home which made it particularly sweet. Teapots, porcelain figurines and polaroids of themselves all helped them to own the venue.

Iford Village Hall Wedding PhotographyEven though we had photos at the beach there was so much pretty it was rude not to take advantage our surroundings. So after tea we disappeared for 15 minutes to the church and the fields.

Their wedding was filled with the most important people and at around 30 guests it was intimate and cosy which was helped by the size of Iford VIllage Hall too.

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Upwaltham Barns Wedding Photography

Upwaltham Barns
Fliss & Alex

Upwaltham Barns Wedding Photography

I shot so many weddings last year I’m only really just getting around to blogging August – here is Fliss and Alex’s wedding at Upwaltham Barns.

They tied the knot near Fliss’ parents at St Andrews Church in Tangmere before heading to their reception at Upwaltham.

I was quite spoilt because we had a good two hours of reception time and as a result, were able to make full use of the grounds for photos without taking them away from their guests too much. The weather helped too and later in the evening just as the sun was low and warm in the sky we had a smaller session resulting in some really pretty and unique photos.

I stayed until the end of the night where they had a slightly dangerous sparkler send off and the day was done. Everyone had a lovely energy about them and it shows in the photos.

Here’s some more images from their day:

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Bingham Hotel Wedding Blog

The Bingham Hotel London
Bonnae & Mike

Here is Bonnae and Mike’s wedding at the Bingham Hotel in London. Overlooking the river Thames, this is a boutique Victorian townhouse and was a perfect setting for their wedding this Summer.

This was the first week of August and HOT, there was no escape from the sun but that wasn’t a bad thing as everyone was outside enjoying themselves.

Bingham Hotel Wedding

Bonnae got ready at the venue with Mike arriving later before saying their vows downstairs. This same room was turned around for dinner while we went ouside for photos and later in the evening had some photos by the river.

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Asia House Wedding Photography

Asia House & The Amadeus Centre
Clare & Sanj

Clare & Sanj at Asia House and The Amadeus
Ha, where do I begin with this one. Ok details. So here is Clare and Sanj’s wedding which took place at Asia House with their reception at the Amadeus Centre in London.

So those are the main details but here’s the real stuff. One of Clare and Sanj’s main requests from me was that they had a nice photo of each other as anything they had was taken years ago and we got plenty of them because of who they were and how much they gave me so much to shoot.

Good wedding photos are not just because of the photographer but the sum of the wedding itself. The couple, the guests, their personalities, the venue and so on.

I like to say to couples that the reality is I’m only 50% of the resulting photos. What goes on during the day, where people are emotionally, how much time I have to do everything and how I fit in with the crowd is paramount to what they’ll get at the end of the day.

Clare & Sanj at Asia House and The AmadeusEssentially I hold a mirror up to a wedding and go ‘This is what it looked like’ – I can’t tell fibs and make a wedding something it’s not. I’m fortunate in that the right couples book me and I’m given a huge amount of awesome each time.

At Clare and Sanj’s wedding it was clear I was welcomed and I had a lot of fun during prep as well as donning my seamstress hat to fix a small tear in Clare’s dress before heading off with them to Asia House where Sanj was waiting with his family greeting the guests on arrival.

I could tell Sanj was excited, as all great guys would be and because of the London traffic we had made sure we were there early. This meant there was a bit of a wait. It doesn’t help knowing the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life with is waiting downstairs!

Clare & Sanj at Asia House and The AmadeusThe ceremony went ahead, they kissed and we left for The Amadeus Centre where on arrival we took a 5 minute walk to Elnathan Mews which is one of those typically cute London back streets and had some photos there.

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A Couples Shoot by the Sea
Beth & Ben

Sussex couples shoot

Say hello to Beth and Ben whose wedding I’m shooting in around a months time at Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds.

They both live in Brighton though so we had a couples shoot there, under the pier, along the beach and at an orchard up the road.

Sussex couples shoot

I enjoy the exclusivity I get with a couple during a shoot. At a wedding you have a lot of distractions but when it’s just the three of us you can really focus on the couple and they can focus on each other!

Here’s some more images from their shoot!

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