The Old Sorting Office, London
Jess & Ali

If you cast your mind back to last Summer you’ll remember it was uh, a bit of a washout. I’m in my tenth year as a wedding photographer and up until Jess and Ali’s wedding I’d only had 1 rainy wedding!

Last summer I think I had about 7 rain filled weddings across July and August but if you’re worried about rain on your big day, Jess & Ali’s one is a shining example of why you shouldn’t let it play on your mind.

Everything took place in an around the Barnes area of London. With Jess and Ali being about 5 minutes away from each other I was able to bounce between them both before the ceremony which took place at St Mary’s Church.

We were doing ok up until the end of the ceremony when the heavens really did open but it didn’t dent anyone’s spirits. It’s not often you get a confetti throw involving brollies and it’s not often you follow an old orleans brass band 300 metres to the reception venue…in the pouring rain!

But here’s the thing. You can’t do anything about the weather and depending on who you are and what your outlook on life is you can fight it and lose or accept it’s a part of your day. Which is what everyone did.

In some ways it was the glue that helped hold things together. We were all sharing the experience and enjoying it. Jess and Ali’s reception venue was the Old Sorting Office (OSO Arts Centre). A social space with a large main room and side reception right in the middle of Barnes Green.

They had gazebo’s outside where there was ample room to shelter from the rain and because of the trees, we were able to do all the family stuff and couple shots without getting rained on (too much).

In the evening the rain did a major pullback and we were able to venture out for some more pictures and the rest of the evening kicked off spectacularly with their friends Tom and Ruben hitting the decks.

I stayed right until the end for this one, pretty much everyone was smashed, Jess threw her bouquet at the end of their exit line and I made my way home for some much needed zzzz’s after 🙂

M Restaurant Wedding

M Restaurant, Threadneedle Street, London
Laura and James

London Restaurant Wedding in Threadneedle StreetIt’s been a while since I shot Laura and James’ wedding. Late May in fact but blogging takes time and time is something I don’t have much of between May-November. In a way though, it’s good for the soul when I finally do get around to writing up this years weddings gone by and the way the photos remind me of their amazing day is a testament to why I shoot weddings and, the value behind the frames.

I started in Chalcot Square where the girls were getting ready for the day. On arrival it was hard not to notice their home was a nod to their journey in pretty much every corner. From old passport photos among the movie memorabilia to James’ N64 collection….it felt like a home, it felt like theirs and you could get a feel for their personalities as a result.

This first part of the day was a hilarious experience because as Laura was from Australia we had Aussie bridesmaids and those are great to have. Cheeky, outgoing and always funny, they were great to be around.

London Restaurant Wedding in Threadneedle StreetOnce everyone was ready we black taxi’d it to the venue which was M Restaurant, situated in Threadneedle Street. This is a relatively new venue with a really nice modern feel to it. Lots of light and shadow everywhere and it leant an urban feel to the day.

I met up with James and the guys. I spent a little time with them before the girls arrived and as the guests ushered in we got ready for the ceremony. All the guys were in black suit and tie combos. I loved this. Classically simple styling won out.

As Allan walked Laura down the aisle towards James it was to Pink Floyds ‘Wish You Were Here’ which I’ll admit, blindsided me a bit as I love a bit of Floyd. While yes, I have played WYWH to death over the last 20 years – when you aren’t expecting it to be the song the bride is walking down to it blindsided me a bit. Especially when you’re indoors, manually setting flash and trying to stop the motion of a subject coming towards you.

After they became one Laura and James exited through the confetti and we headed upstairs for drinks at the bar and a little while later went for photos.

London Restaurant Wedding in Threadneedle StreetFor their photos we headed to the Royal Exchange and found streets and backgrounds along the way central to the venue so we weren’t away from the guests for too long .

Dinner was next. I really liked M Restaurant, there were booths and banquet style tables for everyone and it broke the area up nicely. You could see everyone but also they could naturally interact in smaller groups. The venue has lots of low lighting everywhere which looks great in the background of photos.

After dinner we headed to the dancefloor and spent the rest of the evening either dancing or going off piste for some night photos.

St Barts Brewery Wedding

St Bart’s Brewery
Harriet & Steve

London Wedding at Mai MaisonHere is Harriet and Steve’s winter wedding from March. I knoi, I know March was 7 months ago I know but the thing is….it’s been a bit of a busy year this one. By the time I was ready to blog this I was full on into the wedding season.

Now though, the weather and the light is about the same so I guess I can show and tell this lovely couple with you.

I started their day at Malmaison in Smithfield. This is a pretty hotel with lots of neat decor everywhere. Harriet was getting ready in one of the suites and due to it’s proximity to their reception venue (St Barts Brewery) I was able to go back and forth for photos. I did fall a little bit in love with the old fashioned tungsten bulbs they had in the suite. You know, the ones with the glowing elements rather than the bright as the sun types.

Their guests were all congregating downstairs in the lobby of Malmaison ready to take a couple of routemasters to St John’s church in Hampstead where Steve was patiently waiting.

London Wedding at Mai MaisonThe first bus took the majority of the guests. The second one was taking us. But before then Harriet’s Dad had to come and get her, brolly in hand before they walked downstairs to the bus.

St John’s in Hampstead is beautiful. I loved the arches in the roof and the sense of space all around, the walk up to the doors is nice too. It was immensely helpful that I was able to move around a considerate amount in order to get the photos I needed to – the aisle Harriet walked down was lovely and long too.

After the ceremony a VERY happy Harriet and Steve walked out into their confetti and onwards to the buses where champagne was served for the return journey to St Barts Brewery.

London Wedding at Mai MaisonOnce back, we did some family photos in the shelter of Smithfield Market and headed off for Harriet and Steve’s couple shots.

Andaz Hotel Wedding in London

Andaz Hotel London Wedding
Elaine & Simon

Andaz Hotel Wedding Photography in the Masonic Temple

Elaine and Simon’s wedding in early October was the first time I’d been to the Andaz Hotel in London and what an epic wedding this was.This sprawling boutique hotel is full of subtle lighting and shiny surfaces which proved exceptionally useful for photos throughout the day.

 

I started off upstairs in the deluxe suite with Elaine, her mum and bridesmaids and after a short time I went downstairs to the gym area when Simon and the guys were getting ready. The gym was a great area to shoot in, you might not think it but the different textures and contrast really helped me to frame the photos before going back to the girls to finish up their prep shots.

Their ceremony was in the Fenchurch room and after the ceremony they exited to a wall of confetti from the guests with their reception drinks being held in the Masonic Temple.

Before they went there though I wanted to make use of the space so for five minutes set up a cool group shot (see above) as well as some photos of just Elaine and Simon using the ceiling above as well as the steps into the temple.

Andaz Hotel Wedding Photography

We then caught a cab to the Royal Exchange which took about five minutes and surprisingly there wasn’t a soul to be seen. It was completely still. Usually the Royal Exchange is a buzz of tourists but on this occassion there wasn’t anyone around so we absolutely made the most of the opportunity.

When we returned dinner was due to be served in the 1901 room. This space worked really well with one half being set for dinner, the other for the dancefloor and DJ. Elaine and Simon do win the best cake / sweet table of the year, it was so pretty to look at and the cake beng surrounded by a wall of white chocolate on each tier was pretty special too!

Before dinner there was the tea ceremony where gifts and regards were given, then dinner and speeches followed.

Elaine and Simon had some post wedding games before their dance. Their master of ceremonies helped to orchestrate these involving such things a ‘Can you identify each other by touch’ – ‘Can you kick an egg in a straight line with a tiny shoe on the end of a string’ and ‘Can you trace an egg from one trouser leg to the other’!

Andaz Hotel Wedding Photography

When it came to the first dance I wasn’t fully aware of what was going to happen. As in a top secret nobody told me full on flash mob with Simon and his groomsmen. It started off as a completely normal first dance, slow and steady, then the confetti went off and we thought that was it. But what actually happened was Elaine got led to a chair and a good 5 minutes of spinning, backflips, electric slides and blow up dolls took over.

The whole thing was amazing to be a part of, although I spent a lot of time thinking OMG OMG OMG to try and anticipate the next shot so I could nail it. Ha.

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.

Hackney Round Chapel London Wedding

The Hackney Round Chapel
Becky & Andy

Hackney Round Chapel WeddingHere is Becky and Andy who were married at the Hackney Round Chapel.

I consider myself very lucky with Becky and Andy’s wedding, everything was turned up to 11 with there being so much to shoot, so much personality and pretty!

Hackney Round Chapel WeddingBecky was getting ready at their home in New Cross before I left to catch up with Andy at the Round Chapel.

Inside the chapel there’s a huge amount of space, you can fit hundreds in there and wherever I looked there was neat touches, paper cranes, flowers and lots of fairy lights, which for a photographer gives me a lot to play with as well as a huge amount of daylight that streams in through the windows too.

Becky arrived by Black cab before walking down the aisle to a patient Andy. The readings were very emotional bringing tears all round and there was a lot of love in the room between everyone.

After the ceremony we did the usual family and couple photos before heading to The Windsor Castle pub across the road for drinks and time out to allow the caterers to turn the space around for dinner and the evening do.

Hackney Round Chapel WeddingBefore the first dance Becky got changed into another outfit and burst back into the room, dancing with Andy straight away so the guests were caught off guard,  surprise and a great big dose of energy was there from the start which carried right on through until close.

St Barts Brewery Wedding Photography

Islington Town Hall and St Bart’s Brewery
Amy & Gavin

Islington Town Hall St Bart Brewery Wedding

I love it when people lose the plot on a dancefloor. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t and you never can tell with each individual wedding I go to what’s going to happen.

Sometimes a wedding will have the ‘shuffle shuffle wave’ or the couple will dance like nobody is watching and everyone will jump in too.

Amy and Gavin’s wedding was the latter, it never really stopped from the first dance through until close!

Islington Town Hall St Bart Brewery Wedding

Their wedding ceremony was as Islington Town Hall with their reception held at a favourite of mine, St Barts Brewery over in Smithfield.

It was November, a bit chilly, definitely windy but crisp and the sun kept saying hi! every now and again.

Wiltons Music Hall Wedding Photography

Wiltons Music Hall
Laila & Chris

Wiltons Music Hall Wedding

I love weddings that are off the beaten track and challenging. When I get them I tend to run off the adrenaline and let go of the reigns to see where the day takes me. Laila and Chris’s wedding at Wilton’s Music hall was the perfect example of this.
Wiltons Music Hall Wedding
So colourful was this day and so spoilt for choice with details was I that I never ran out of things to shoot. From the bubble machine welcoming you, the Pinata that was used for receiving cards from the guests, the Pink Flamingo’s, the face masks on the tables, the US sweets on the candy bar that were there one minute and gone the next to the eclectic collection of balloons at the end of the aisle… this was no ordinary wedding.

Wiltons Music Hall Wedding

Because we were in central London a lot of the more formal photos were taken indoors yet this wasn’t a bad thing and the resulting photos lent themselves really well to the urban feel of Wiltons Music Hall.

The wedding at Wiltons finished at around 7pm but the celebrations continued until late a short walk down the road at Simmons Bar on Royal Mint Street. The party was still going when I left!

Oakley Hall Hotel Wedding Photography

Oakley Hall Hotel
Kimberley & James

Oakley Hall Hotel Wedding
Sometimes I get the chance to shoot for friends and I’ve known Kimberley and James from the very start of my career as a photographer. It made the day all the more special to me to be shooting for them.

I’d never been to Oakley Hall Hotel before but it has some tricks up it’s sleeve photographically. The cottage at the end of the lawn is very reminiscent of the house from the movie ‘Up!’ and the whole venue is surrounded by corn fields which at this time of year proved to be a great backdrop for the couple shots.

Oakley Hall Hotel Wedding

As Kimberley and James were getting ready in the same place I could float between them to cover both sides of their story, the reception was adorned with the biggest floral decor I’ve yet seen at a wedding and it was beautifully laid out.

In the evening ‘The Deloreans’ knocked our socks off and as I now stay later into the evening where I can there was some serious moves and interpretive dance on the floor right until midnight. If you are looking for a wedding band they were one of the best I’ve seen this year. So much energy! See more of their stuff here

Oakley Hall Hotel Wedding

The dancefloor was never empty and it kept rocking all the way through until the end. It was such an epic day!

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.