Brixton East Wedding Photography

Brixton East, Maltby Market Ropewalk and Mayfair Library
Gemma & Dan

Brixton East and Mayfair Library WeddingMayfair Library and Ropewalk: Day 1

Usually a wedding is a one day affair but sometimes, just sometimes a couple will split their wedding across two days and have a celebration that leaves you buzzing for ages afterwards.

Gemma and Dan had their official legal ceremony in the Mayfair Library, London. The registrars were lovely. In fact any registrar I’ve worked with in Mayfair has been a scream to be around.

But before I get too ahead of myself, I started off at the Audley pub where Dan and the wedding party got together before leaving for the library a short walk away.

It was late December, so the light left quickly and we hit Mayfair library just as the sun went down.

Brixton East and Mayfair Library WeddingThe ceremony hadn’t even started yet and Dans parents were both in hysterics which set everyone off. This restlessness continued throughout the ceremony disrupting it from time to time. Which wasn’t a bad thing 🙂

The whole experience was totally endearing and wonderful to watch unfold. Until today I’d not met Gem or Dan but felt as if I’d known them for years.

Gemma was in a stunning dress from American Vintage and her bridesmaid created the netted headpiece you see her wearing in the photos.

Once married, we left to go back to the Audley before heading off to the Maltby Street Market, Ropewalk.

Ropewalk, until today, had been somewhere off my photographers radar.

I rocked up and didn’t expect to see the flags and festoons hanging there, asking me to shoot them. One of the benefits of a winter wedding it that light takes on a different direction. The festoons were illuminating the flags and diffusing the light down below. This is a great place for photography.

Their reception was at Bar Tozino, right at the end f the market where they had tapas, speeches and they saw the night out.

Brixton East: Day two

Monday was day one, Saturday was day two. They picked Brixton East which is a large warehouse space with plenty of London charm to it. There are three levels, ground floor for dinner, upstairs for the ceremony and dancing with another level above for smokers and catching some fresh air. It works really well.

This wedding was funky. I arrived early in order to get setup as winter weddings need more consideration where photography is concerned. Plus I was warned there was going to be confetti Canons. Big ones. 58 of them. So I had work to do.

Even though there was a ceremony on the Monday a huge number of Gem and Dans friends were coming to day two, essentially a massive party which contrasted the smaller, more intimate gathering of day one.

So the other ceremony took place led by a Mariachi Band, followed by Gem’s brother and bridesmaid throwing petals and then finally through a cloud of smoke Gem was walked down the aisle by her mum towards Dan.

One of Gem’s best friends had asked her to promise him that if ever she got married that he could hold the service. He got his wish that day.

Brixton East and Mayfair Library WeddingOnce a few readings had taken place 58 industrial sized Confetti Cannons were let off to signify their first kiss. Every guest had one and in my life, I’ve never seen so much confetti.

Afterwards dinner was set for downstairs and speeches took place. The food was supplied by the street vendors of Maltby Street Market.

Bar Tozino, BBQ Lab and Bad Brownie were there catering hot dogs, Paella, lobster, brownies and more. Many times you saw Gem and Dan behind the bar serving drinks to their much loved friends and family.

The Mariachi Band played for most of the reception and then people started to mosey on up to the dance floor once the speeches had finished.

Once on the dance floor DJ Alex was spinning Vinyl whilst an overhead projector was playing Back to the Future and Top Gun on the brick walls of Brixton East and I stayed late, because I didn’t want to leave.

Sometimes you can’t fit everything you want to into one day and by splitting it across two Gem and Dan had two wedding days instead of one. Each day with its own charm and unique touches.

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Cripps Barn at Halloween
Laura & Stuart

Cripps BarnOctober 31st is usually known for the celebration of Halloween, but this year it also became a very special day for Laura and Stuart, who married in the picturesque venue of Cripps Barn, Cirencester.

Cripps Barn is a gorgeous 18th century Cotswold Stone Barn, hidden amongst the breathtaking countryside of Gloucestershire. The grounds at Cripps Barn are spectacular at this time of year with the autumnal colours of orange, yellow and green surrounding them.

Laura looked sensational in a vintage-styled sleeveless two piece wedding dress, delicate vintage veil and flower headband, while Stuart mirrored the essence of the season with a brown, tweed three-piece suit. All bridesmaids, pageboys and flower girls were dressed in shades of purple, complementing both the flowers and the decorations perfectly.

Cripps BarnLaura started her day at Swinbrook Cottage in Oxon, which is a lovely space to get ready in.

Stuart was awaiting Laura in the barn, which was beautifully decorated for the ceremony, with flower baskets draped from the wooden beams, tall plants entwined with delicate lighting, and the candle-heavy stone fireplace; it was an amorously adorned scene for such an important part of their day.

There were Pumpkins scattered around the venue to keep the Halloween theme consistent throughout. Their ceremony was sweet and included some readings which led them to their ‘I do’s’ and first kiss.

Afterwards, once outside we took advantage of the new decking outside for a group shot and then we went into the woodland for their couple shots. Because of the time of year the sun was low and the colours really added to their photos.

 

Cripps BarnThis then led on to dinner. Cripps Barn is well known for

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Firle Place Wedding Photography

Firle Church and Firle Place
Kate & Christian

Firle Place WeddingOriginally built in Tudor times, and transformed in the eighteenth century, Firle Place in Lewes is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the South Downs. It made the perfect setting for Kate, who’s British, and American Christian’s English country wedding – giving one Trans-Atlantic romance the perfect happy ever after!

Kate looked stunning, relaxed and radiant in an unfussy full-length white sleeveless gown, while her four bridesmaids wore similar dresses in midnight blue and two of the younger members of the bridal party were adorable in white dresses with blue sashes.

The surrounding countryside made for a dramatic, romantic background to some of the images of the happy couple under a big sky. Kate grew up locally so one thing she really wanted to do was go up to the Firle Beacon and have photos up there. After the ceremony at Firle Church we headed up to the Beacon straight away and caught some beautiful moments.

Firle Place WeddingThere’s a Georgian Riding School in the grounds of Firle House, but Kate posed with a couple of her own horses. Christian, in his top hat, joined them too!

There were also some good backdrops provided by the many surrounding trees, while the beautiful 13th Century St Peter’s Church where the ceremony took place, and the local village, were also full of interest.

Some guests traveled to the reception in an old Routemaster bus, while the new Mr and Mrs arrived in style in an open carriage.

Firle Place WeddingAs ever, I wanted to capture every second of the day, from the bridesmaids getting ready and chatting over cups of tea in the morning, through to the speeches and dancing in the evening.
Kate and Christian’s reception room at Firle Place really did look incredible, with a glitterball, large chessboard floor and huge white drapes hung hammock-style from the impressive raftered ceiling.

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French Chateau Wedding Photography

Chateau de Reignac
Kate & Steven

Chateau de Reignac WeddingShooting a wedding abroad is always different. You’re in a foreign country, you hope the Sat Nav is correct and you get all excited over what is often your first time at a venue and what cool stuff will be there to shoot.

Until Kate and Steven’s wedding in the Loire Valley I’d not been to Chateau de Reignac, or the Loire.

One of the main observations I mentioned to my wife Laura was that it’s not a valley in the traditional sense (I had visions of standing upon high surveying the area) – but no, it’s an area of France which is full of vineyards and fields upon fields of sunflowers along the roads and beyond. It’s actually quite flat and it’s incredibly peaceful.

Chateau de Reignac WeddingKate and Steven’s wedding was a relaxed and casual affair. Kate looked stunning in her Jenny Packham dress, the detail of which was gorgeous. Steven wore a bespoke number from a tailors in Brighton and together they looked a perfect couple.

The ceremony was held in the grounds of the Chateau de Reignac. There is a Chapel adjoining the main building. To access it you need to enter from outside however you can look down into it via a balcony in the Chateau.

One thing I noticed during the day was that in France the light falls differently. It’s prettier, more warming and subtle versus the UK. Looking back on the photos we took there is a different feel to them and they embrace you more.

Chateau de Reignac WeddingAs with all international and destination weddings we stay overnight and work until late. We had exceptionally clear skies above the Chateau grounds and spent extra time shooting the stars. Which certainly paid off.

The cutting of the Croquembouche was epic. I’ve never witnessed anything like it and as the evening wound down we made our way to bed and traveled home the following day.

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University Womens Club Mayfair Wedding

University Womens Club in Mayfair, London
Cailah & Duraid

University Womens Club WeddingWhile many couples want to have a rural backdrop for their wedding, large towns and cities have some truly gorgeous venues too.

When Cailah and Duraid got married at the University Womens Club in Mayfair  I loved being able to easily find original and interesting shots at this cool and understated venue.

The club’s elegant drawing room and library are licensed to hold civil weddings, meaning everything can take place in the same building, which is what Cailah and Duraid decided to do.

University Womens Club WeddingInside the UWC was nothing short of a blessing to me because sometimes…it can be difficult to be original as a photographer so I made the most of things like the gorgeous shelving, books and ceiling in the library, and the London architecture outside, as well as things like street signs, to convey a good sense of where we were.

Even though I’m unhealthily addicted to colour the beautiful windows gave a great natural frame to Cailah and Duraid for a lovely black and white shot, which I think has a timeless quality to it.

Cailah looked beautiful in a three quarter length white dress, with long lace sleeves, a sweetheart neckline and a flared tulle skirt, while her new husband was dapper in a bow tie.

University Womens Club WeddingAs someone who was married this year I was completely digging Duraid’s tie and suit combo. (Loved the texture of the material  that made it up). Whilst there were the formal aspect to the day as all good wedding have, things like the Lego buttonholes for the guys and the Jenga guest book and the cutest wedding cake I’ve seen for while all added their personality and kept the day grounded and ‘real’.

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Walking Dead Wedding at Buxted Park

A Buxted Park Wedding with a touch of the Walking Dead
Tara & Chris

Buxted Park Wedding
Buxted Park is the most gorgeous Palladian mansion, set against a breathtaking backdrop of rolling East Sussex parkland.

The lawns, terraces, Orangery and ballroom combine to create a truly magical wedding venue. So there could not have been a more perfect setting for when Tara and Chris tied the knot.

Tara went for an absolutely beautiful but unfussy look with a long, sleeveless white gown with a sweetheart neckline and tie-up back. Chris wore a smart, soft grey three-piece suit.

Everything took place here, it was nice that Tara and Chris got ready near to each other as it’s good to be able to capture both sides of their journey.

Buxted Park WeddingTheir ceremony was held in the Orangery and it was a lovely sunny day. They were also fans of the Walking Dead so I helped them to achieve the themed shot they asked for.

It’s always a challenge to get people to act like a rotting corpse at a wedding.

As always, Buxted Park is a great place for photos in all weathers, this was the time of year that there was lots of long grasses around so we headed for photos near the lake. When I say near I actually means nowhere near it at all…but in that general direction.

Shooting by the lake is a bit like arranging stuff with people you don’t know too well. You think it’s a great idea until you actually have to do it. Then you wish you hadn’t.

Buxted Park WeddingThat’s how it is with the lake. When you’re there it’s like looking through a telescope backwards. It seems miles away!

 

I was also asked to do a TV series style photos. So, in the Coat of Arms room, I got the wedding party to chat to each other with some sitting and others standing. The end result worked really well 🙂

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Duke of Cumberland Arms Wedding

Hawkley Church and the Duke of Cumberland Arms
Lauri & Will

Hawkley Church WeddingPerched on a breathtaking hillside with commanding views, the sixteenth century Duke of Cumberland Arms isn’t just any old pub. With its flagstones and fires in winter, and its long, proud history, it’s hard to think of a more enchantingly perfect venue for Lauri and Will’s wedding day.

The ceremony itself took place in the gorgeous Norman Church of St Peter and St Paul, Hawkley. It dates back to 1865, and is made from local stone. It’s what I would call ‘A right proper old church’ – Lovely to look at, lovely to be in. It’s one of those cosy churches.

Lauri walked down the aisle in the most detailed Jenny Packham dress I’ve seen to date. The brocading was gorgeous and she carried a bouquet of white, pink and purple blooms, attended by an impossibly cute gaggle of bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys, while her groom was in his morning suit.

Hawkley Church WeddingWill and the guys were at the Hawkley Arms just a stones throw from the Church. If you’d ask me what I expected to see on the wall inside the pub…..a Moose Head wouldn’t of been the first thing I’d of answered… but there it was, staring at me.

Once at the Church Will looked thoughtful and, maybe, understandably, just a little bit nervous as all grooms should be!

Mark, the Vicar won my secret award of ‘Best Vicar of 2014’ as he said ‘I could do whatever I wanted’. This makes a difference, really. If you’re reading this and are getting married in a church always sound out your Vicar about photography. Some are really restrictive….but not Mark!

After the ceremony we nailed the formal photography on the church steps. Going back to how old the church was, it had a really wide staggered half moon step going on in front of the doors. Perfect for group shots.

The rest of the day was logistically simple. The church led to their reception at the Duke of Cumberland Arms where the usual mingling took place.

Hawkley Church WeddingWe used the lovely garden there for photos and dinner followed. Lauri is an accomplished chef so there were lots of surprises there. The kids had a tipi picnic outside and there were party games inside to keep them occupied.

For the grown ups there was a carvery but prior to that, the starters were served in terracotta pots and made to look like plants. (There’s a photo of this further down), very cute indeed.

Other foodies stuff was the nibbles but of special note were the chocolate brownies Lauri had made and I’d like to say this about them:

I’m pretty confident, that when my time comes to leave this beautiful planet, I will remember those Chocolate Brownies

I kid you not.

There was also warm, homemade doughnut balls, rolled in cinnamon sugar (proper ratios of sugar and cinnamon too) which were in endless supply along with ice cream.

Today…was a good day for my belly. By the end of it I felt like I myself, had been rolled in cinnamon sugar and hit with a spoon.

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Brighton Couples Shoot

A Brighton Engagement Shoot
Shoshana & Grant

Brighton Engagement Shoot
Hello winter, remember summer?

Planning a wedding is a busy time for anyone, and it can be easy to forget that, while everyone wants photos of their big day, a lovely set of engagement photos can convey a real sense of excitement at what lies ahead.

Shoshana and Grant live in London and asked to have their engagement shoot in Brighton. You can be quite spoilt in this city. Brighton is a spectacular location, offering some great backdrops, the sea acting as a canvas to he pier with its attractions and amusements.

Brighton Engagement ShootBut it wasn’t all seaside-based – we went and used the local graffiti as an intimidating wrap around backdrop and then we drove to a local apple orchard for some shots amongst the long grass on a gorgeously sunny day, making for some genuinely romantic images.

Pre wedding shoots are a great way to remember that you love each other while forgetting all the stree associated with the planning side of things.

The sea and sky provided restful blue backgrounds for some photos, offering a nice contrast to the fun and brightly coloured, busier images of things like the funfair ride and helter skelter.

You can see from the eye contact and smiles between them that this is a young couple very much in love, who can’t wait to tie the knot and spend the rest of their lives together. With her long red hair catching the light, broad smile and pretty summer dress, Shoshana looks every inch the radiant bride to be.

Brighton Engagement ShootI think I’ve managed to get a nice range of images for this shoot, including ones of them sitting, standing, literally jumping for joy on the pier, (thanks to the lady who runs the Trampoline ride) and generally looking relaxed and glad to be together!

Genuinely, the smiles and laughter of this shoot were very natural as they should always be.

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Jeremy's Restaurant Wedding

Jeremys Restaurant
Laura & Andy

Jeremy's Restaurant Wedding
Laura and Andy’s wedding a Jeremys Restaurant was a particularly warm and emotional wedding, filled with hugs, laughter…. and a Spitfire.

There was so much to photograph at Laura and Andy’s wedding, I hardly knew where to begin. Jeremy’s really is a spectacular venue, combining a lively, modern feel with the backdrop of a traditional English country garden. But also, we were allowed to use the Gardens of Borde Hill right next door for photos too.

Laura wore a beautifully understated sleeveless white dress with lace for the straps and at the top of the bodice. Her Dad and new husband went for traditional suits and waistcoats.

Jeremy's Restaurant WeddingOne of the highlights was the Spitfire display.

If you’re going to get a Spitfire to fly over and around your wedding it really helps to work at Gatwick.

I knew about this surprise, it was to follow right after the formals however you know, planes, never know where they are exactly when you’re on the ground taking photos but if there ever a memorable thing from the day is was the moment Laura shouted everyones attention and told them to look up to the skies.

Just as her hand reached out and up pointing to the blue sky…the Spitfire flew over, LOUD and LOW

It flew around for over ten minutes and was really nice to see. Much more than I had envisioned it.

Jeremy's Restaurant WeddingThe vine-covered walkway at Jeremy’s was a great romantic spot for taking some shots of Laura and Andy as Mr and Mrs, and, because I was able to be there all day I also managed to get a great image of the two of them against the inky night sky.

The reception was in the adjacent Marquee with shades of blue and as Laura and Andy go lots of National Trust gardens the table names were themed around them.

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Royal Geographical Society Wedding

The Royal Geographical Society and St Barts Brewery in Smithfield
Wendy & Jack

Royal Geographical Society WeddingHere, let me introduce you to Wendy and Jack. You’ll like them a lot.

This dynamic duo made their vows at the Royal Geographical Society in London this October and had their reception at St Barts Brewery in Smithfield adjacent to the market there.

Wendy chose to get ready at the Montcalm in London City before leaving by cab for the RGS

Royal Geographical Society WeddingSometimes things go wrong at a wedding. Best laid plans can go to waste and despite your sincerest efforts stuff doesn’t go according to plan.

Wendy and Jacks wedding took a slight misadventure when a huge part of London was closed off due to a (SURPRISE!) protest march. So London being London on a Saturday it took Wendy’s cab 90 minutes to do 4 miles.

I was caught up in it too and at one point was SERIOUSLY considering dumping the car and using a Boris bike. I kid you not. A wedding photographer not turning up to the ceremony? Not. Going. To. Happen.

But I got there 10 minutes before Wendy’s cab. Result.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE : 0

TWO SAT NAVS AND A SCARED PHOTOGRAPHER : 1

So we were well and truly back on track. Wendy and Jack said their vows in the beautiful Royal Geographical Society building and we used the other room for family photos and some nice shots of the couple after.

With the protest over and the route sorted we headed to St Bart’s Brewery.

Royal Geographical Society WeddingI’d not been to St Bart’s before and it’s a lovely space, wooden flooring, nice bar….good beer and I loved the upper level.

Wendy and Jack had goody bags for the guest on each table. There were masks, conkers, toy planes and some plasticine for the ‘Mould the best Wendy and Jack’ competition.

We all went over to the Smithfield Market for some photos with the groomsmen and bridesmaids and then they all settled for dinner.

Afterwards, when it was dark, myself Wendy and Jack headed back over to Smithfield Market for some more couple shots and then they returned for their first dance. The tune to which was sung by their friend and it was Crowded House’s ‘Fall at your Feet’.

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