1/24/2017 0 Comments
It's true that there are some days that will stick with you for the rest of your life, and Bryn and Tamsin's wedding was definitely one of those magic days for me. I wholeheartedly admit that this wedding knocked my socks clean off for so many different reasons, but mainly because this couple are by far some of the nicest, most genuinely lovely people I have ever had the pleasure of having in front of my lens. I could talk about this wedding for hours (and have at great length to whoever would listen!) and I'm delighted to finally get to share it with you all here on the blog. So here goes (you might want to make a brew, it's a big one...).
Enormous thanks to my second shooter on the day, the wonderful Birgitta Zoutman. Without her help shooting this wedding would simply not have been possible.
I met Bryn and Tamsin one very hot May afternoon where we wandered and talked for a good couple of hours about all their plans, and internally I was dancing for joy, just so excited to have the chance to make beautiful pictures in an amazing place for this couple. The Shropshire village of Hodnet is one of those gorgeous gems of the British countryside where not a lot has changed since those beautiful old streets were built, and everyone knows everyone. There was a real sense of anticipation as I chatted away to the shopkeeper and florist by the church, that Bryn from the village was getting married!
Hodnet Hall has 60 acres of stunning tranquil landscaped gardens and is not a wedding venue. However Bryn's dear late father was a gardener there when Bryn was a boy. When he died, the family at Hodnet Hall asked if they would like a tree planted in his memory, but instead they asked if they could have their wedding there, and the rest is history! What a wonderful way to have the spirit of a loved one with them such an important day, by having a celebration in a place that he would have spent so many happy hours. I was truly touched.
The wedding ceremony was original and heartfelt, proving that just because you are having a church wedding that doesn't mean you have to conform to a rigid structure. They chose not one, but two superb musical performances by their very talented families and friends, as well as non-religious readings from their favourite literary works. As both of them live and breathe the arts working in music and theater, it was obvious every word had been carefully hand picked and meant more to them than any wedding poem lifted from Google. There wasn't a dry eye in the house (myself included).
As the guests strolled leisurely through the impressive stone archway and hydrangea lined driveway towards the marquee for welcome drinks, the newlyweds went for a short wander down to the lake for a quick "we did it!" glass of bubbly, and a couple of pictures. Too photogenic for words I could have snapped them by that water for hours, and they were so lost in newly wedded bliss I'm not sure they would have noticed me if I had!
The speeches were like a show in themselves, each one utterly superb. We had genuine hurting belly laughter as Bryn was forced by the best man to wear a series of props ranging from a lion mask to a violin to represent the stages of his life, and when Tamsin told the room how she had always imagined her wedding day to be like the end of the movie 'Titanic' (the part where everyone is in the room smiling, not the sinking ship!!). We also had awe inspiring messages of love and loss, obviously feeling the heavy absence of Bryn's father, which had the entire room in bits. I remember looking over at Birgitta, tears streaming down my face, to find she was exactly the same. I'm amazed either of us could see anything at all through our viewfinders, there was so much emotion filling the air. Last but not least, the couple took to the stage to sing a personalized song to the tune of Jack Jonson's 'Better Together' as a thank you to their guests! Just brilliant.
After such an epic outpouring of emotion and a bit of pudding and tea, it was back out into the sunset to make the most of this most unique of places. The gardens have endless photo opportunities with all the varying terrains, plants and landscapes, it was like a dream come true. As a gentle breeze flecked through the trees and tall grasses, Bryn and Tamsin were just so happy to be stood together as husband and wife and they simply glowed and radiated with happiness. It was mesmerizing.
The perfect Summer's evening drew to a close and everyone really let thier hair down and danced to their hearts content to the sound of folk musician Jackie Oates and her brilliant band. Anyone who knows me knows I am bananas about folk music so this was another real treat for me! The happy pair and thier families and dear friends jigged, stomped and twirled their way well into the night.
From the bottom of my happy heart, thank you Bryn and Tamsin for having me and Birgitta feel like the luckiest photographers on earth. We enjoyed your day as much as if we were your guests and were positively beaming on the drive home.
Second Photographer: Birgitta Zoutman
Marquee: Forecast marquees
Cake: Sarah's Boutique Cakes, Wem.
Fresh Cut Flowers: Combe Dingle Nursery in Somerset
Extra Flowers: Mulberry Bush Studios, Hodnet
Evening Band: Jackie Oates
Hair and Make-Up: Carly from the Secret salon
Signage and Photo Frame Booth: Stuart Allston Designs Ltd
If you enjoyed this blog, please give it a like on facebook. But PLEASE like it on the original Facebook page, and NOT using the button below. It doesn't count! Thank you.
1/19/2017 2 Comments
I was delighted to be recommended to Kate and Ryan by another wedding supplier, the lovely Jessie of Invitations By Jessie, who was to be Kate's bridesmaid. Word of mouth is often how I end up meeting couples, but when another member of the wedding industry thinks you're good enough to work on her best friend's wedding, it's a real honor.
From the minute I met them at their adorable home I could immediately picture Ryan and Kate's wedding day in my mind. Pretty, homely, and understated, with a touch of shabby chic. I was so excited to be shooting for the first time at Soulton Hall in Wem, it's the perfect backdrop for the English country wedding. Kate and her maids got ready upstairs with Nat Ravenscroft and Emily Jane weaving their make-up and hair magic before heading off in the vintage bus to the church.
The venue looked truly stunning, with simple elements all coming together to make it so beautiful. Jessie's gorgeous stationary decked every table with the names of Ryan and Kate's favourite places, country pastel flowers and hessian trims decked ever available space, and pretty bunting gave a real festive feel.
We sneaked off away from the crowd for just a short while to get some romantic shots in the hall's gorgeous grounds in the evening. The couple were so relaxed and happy and clearly so pleased with what a wonderful wedding day they had achieved for themselves and their guests. Everyone was smiling and laughing well into the night and dancing to the live band. It was such a lovely day to witness.
Thank you so much Mr and Mrs Lack for having me photograph your beautiful day!
Venue: Soulton Hall, Wem
Florist: Di Shackson
Dress: Dolly Blue Bridal
Hair: Emily Jane Pitt at Salon Blue
MUA: Nat Ravenscroft
Videographer: Capture It
Stationary: Invitations By Jessie
Decorations: Jam Jar Weddings and Events
1/14/2017 0 Comments
Jason and Emily are a larger than life couple, whose sense of fun, adventure, and desire to have a great time resonates from them to everyone around them. So this wedding was going to be nothing short of big, bold and stunningly beautiful to match their personalities.
From the second I met Emily and her lovely family, I felt welcomed straight away, and it was a real pleasure to see such a close-knit group of people not afraid to laugh and share a bit of banter with one-another, all planning this wedding together as a team to make it the biggest and best celebration it could possibly be. I couldn't wait for the big day to arrive!
Emily and her eight bridesmaids all got ready at Emily's parents home, and there was a great deal of hilarity when they realized the set of matching robes they ordered had an extra bride-to-be one instead of an eighth bridesmaid, and one of the girls mis-took the strawberry milkshake for cranberry juice and tried to mix it with Prossecco! There was a brilliant big reveal as Emily showed her Father and the the girls her amazing dress. She looked amazing and very much ready to wow the guests with her cathedral veil and fishtail gown.
Despite the initial panic as the church choir failed to turn up, the ceremony was absolutley gorgeous. Afterwards I was lucky enough to have Emily and Jason to myself for just a few minutes away from the huge crowd as we took a short trip up Lyth Hill for some pictures before heading over to Millers of Netley in Dorrington. The sky was so dramatic and moody it was perfect for some really dramatic pictures. Luckily we had a wedding to match!
The marquee was decorated exquistly with towering floral displays, trees, and vintage crockery. At one side of the room was an incredible display heaving with home baked goodies and possibly the most chocolaty cake of all time, the smell was to die for! After a lot of really very emotional, but very funny speeches it was time for some more photographs before a brilliant evening of dancing and confetti canons!
Big thanks to Jason and Emily for having me photograph your amazing wedding!
1/9/2017 0 Comments
Gemma and Zack knew exactly what they wanted when it came to their dream wedding, which is why they chose to have their day at the stunning (now award winning!) Rowton Castle just outside Shrewsbury, despite living about 65 miles away in Coventry. The option to have get married in the open air surrounded by spectacular scenery of the beautiful Shropshire countryside was the perfect antidote to their city lives. Tensions were high leading up to the big day as bad weather forecasts threatened to keep their dream a dream, but somebody must have been watching over them as the sun shone brighter than any other wedding I shot this year, and I was so so happy for them!
I have been lucky to shoot a wedding at Rowton Castle before, but that was back in December 2015 and entirley indoors (you can see the blog here) so I was eager and very excited indeed to be photographing this amazing venue in all it's glory at last. The ceremony terrace looked incredible and I could see exactly why Gemma and Zack, and many other couples, simply fall in love with the place.
The castle looked gorgeous with a simple yet effective scheme of whites, golds and silver. The dining room does all the talking at Rowton, so this complimented beautifully.
A really very special moment of the day was when Zack took the opportunity to announce that him and Gemma were expecting their second baby! Only a short time ago their daughter, the gorgeous baby Harlow was born, which was something they never thought they would have, so this was nothing short of a miracle! The good news was met with deafening whoops, cheers, tears, hugs and clapping! What a brilliant celebration, I'm so happy I was there to capture that special time. I did manage to steal them away from the well wishes for just a few minutes for some romantic shots in the gardens.
Massive thanks to Mr and Mrs Lunn for inviting me to photograph your very special wedding day, I wish you all the best with your growing family life together. Thanks also to the wonderful suppliers who all helped make the day perfect for them.
Videography: Floodgate Films
MUA: Nat Ravenscroft
Floristry: Julie Nicholas
Venue: Rowton Castle Hotel and Restaurant
When I first met Roxann and Edward, I knew we would get along just fine. Just like me, they're a little bit nuts about Jack Russell Terriers, and when I found out their two little cuties, Molly and Link, were going be joining them on the big day, I was totally sold. Oh and not to mention the fact that the wedding would take place at the amazing Walcot Hall, somewhere I've been dying to photograph for quite some time. If you like a quirky venue, they don't come much quirkier than this. Nestled in the hamlet of Lydbury North, Walcot Hall isnt your average country manor house. Slightly unkempt and full of treasures, it is very much still a family home. They just happen to have a bad-ass bright turquoise ballroom round the back, a forest with a iron chapel you can stay in, and spectacular views overlooking the South Shropshire countryside. What more could you want?
Roxann is lucky enough to have a twin sister who happens to be a brilliant hairdresser, so the morning preperations were totally relaxed. The room was filled with smiles and laughter from start to finish, and the look on Roxann's Dad's face when he saw her in her gown for the first time was priceless.
The bridal party entered the room down the grand staircase to the theme tune from Game of Thrones, which was pretty epic!! There were a lot of tears and full on belly laughs throughout the ceremony as various people got their words muddled up! But the deed was done in the end and the couple walked out to a blizzard of confetti on the courtyard.
You can imagine my delight as the two fur-children arrived, dressed in suitably cute outfits! Well if you can't put your dog in a sailor suit at a wedding, when can you?!
After some hilerious speeches and enough buffet to sink a ship, I took Roxann and Edward up to The Chapel and grounds for some photographs just as the sun sank behind the Shropshire hills.
Thank you so very much Mr and Mrs Swift for having me be the one to capture your amazing day for you! I loved absolutley every moment (and I promise it wasn't just because of the dogs...).