Here's my roundup post! I did my first ever "best of" post last year and it's been quite tough to put this one together because inside it feels a bit like a annual exam at school. If you didn't step up your game from last year, you've failed. What I've since realised, having opened and closed this draft about 8 times now, is that with each year of wedding photography I focus on something different. I remember in my second year I spent the whole year mastering my flash work, both on and off camera- I did a heck ton of night time portraits and although they're what we call a "money shot" I realised I didn't love them as much as I loved the kooky and humorous documentary. Last year was a fab turning point for me because I really started to find my voice and having spent a year getting lost in what was expected of me from wedding blogs, I circled back round to what made me original from the start. This year, I feel my focus has been a mix of the kooky angles, but also I'm looking a lot more closely at people. Like literally closer. This is probably due to my move to the Fuji system from Nikon. It's way more discreet to shoot with so you feel a lot more confident to get right into the thick of the action. I think I've also been blessed with some truly wonderful couples, I've seen goats and been on planes and climbed on shoulders on groomsmen several times, I've seen my first arm ladder throw thing (dunno what it's called) several times and I've seen A LOT of PARTAY!! So I guess last year was about me and showing off my style, whereas this year, I'd like to raise a glass and make a toast to the couples. Thank you for getting married. Thank you for letting me shoot you.
P.S I don't know why at some point I changed my sizing for the width of my blog post images, sorry to the OCD peeps out there.
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This couple had a secret wedding, a kind of elopement at home, with 8 of their close friends on Brighton bandstand. They started the day at the Artist's Residence which is a beautiful boutique hotel with really stylish decor. They planned the whole wedding in the space of one week (I first spoke to them 2 days beforehand!), and kept everything super simple with the bride getting her hair and make up done at various high street branches, although she also kept it stylish with Sophia Webster flamingo shoes. Aveda were running a charity event where they will do your hair for a donation to wateraid, and Bobbi Brown charge £30 for a full face with that money going towards the products (so really the make up application is free!). In the morning, as both of them are super fast runners, we all started the day with the Hove promenade Parkrun. I also run so I thought it would be pure jokes if I shot them at the start and finish and raced ahead in the middle. I managed to get a PB whoop whoop! After the parkrun we all went back to the Artists's Residence for breakfast and started getting ready, the groom went to run various errands like getting the nibbles, cake, dog walking and post ceremony bubbles ready. The bride went to get her hair and make up done on the high street with a goldfish shirt and plastic bag skirt to protect her pink elegant wedding dress!
We then met everyone at Brighton bandstand including their cockapoo, who was suitably dolled up with collar flowers. Just before the ceremony one of the guests had spotted rainbow windmills and used them to decorate the register signing table and for the guests to wave. They decided to get married with Haribo rings and the Brighton registrars who were amazing sports actually included the Haribo in the vows! (The Haribo rings got eaten about 5 mins after the ceremony). After the ceremony and the nibbles at the bandstand, everyone strolled down the beach to Lucky Burgers, where they had their wedding breakfast of awesome burger and chips! I love that this couple did it exactly their way, telling people's unique story is my passion!!!
Kate and Jesper wrote on their couple's questionnaire that they wanted to ride fake cows outside The Red Barn and that they'd brought their own Western fancy dress... that's always a good start to a photographer-client relationship! Kate got ready with her bridesmaids at a hotel down the road, she wore an amazing black sequin dress from Macy's whilst her bridesmaids wore dresses from Maids to Measure, with her bridesmen wearing their own suits. Jesper got ready in the same hotel, which I love because it gives me that rare chance to shoot the groom prep alongside the bridal prep, telling a much fuller story of the day!
Their ceremony was full of tears and emotion from all parents and Kate's mum gave a short reading. As Jesper is Swedish, they themed their tables at The Red Barn after various Ikea ranges! The Red Barn itself is a great little venue as it's already well decorated with vintage airplanes hanging from the ceiling, an entire wall of old school books, shelves of vintage quirky nic-nacks... it's ideal for those who want a low key wedding as it doesn't need much decor added.
After the ceremony the guests all had drinks in the sunshine whilst Kate, Jesper and I took some group shots and as per requested, we took some photos atop the fake cows!
Kate and Jesper gave their guests favour boxes which included flavoured vodka and giant lollipops!
Instead of a wedding cake they had a Krispy Kreme doughnut cake!
During the speeches the guests raised vodka toasts as per Swedish tradition!
The sweetie table was supplied by Jesper's family, a whole range of traditional Swedish favourites like Plopp and (AWFUL) salt covered liquorice. Quite a few of the the guests and one unlucky photographer got tricked into eating the liquorice. Don't do it people!
As soon as the music started everyone hit the dancefloor and the photobooth which was stocked with lots of fancy dress hats
Anna and Stu had their wedding day on Chinese New Year, which was a fitting nod to Anna's maternal heritage! Hampton Court House's infamous red room was perfect as red is a lucky colour for us Chinese, and Anna's family decorated various parts of the main ceremony room with oranges, sweets for the children and CNY signs and lucky blessings. As it was the year of the rooster they also decorated the steps with a rooster! As a surprise for the guests Anna and Stuart organised a dragon dance with the help of friends and family.
Anna got ready just down the road at Lion Gate Mews, she wore a second hand dress from Preloved and Stu wore an old suit from House of Fraser. Anna wore her grandmother's pearl necklace and a borrowed veil, the bridesmaid's dresses were from Phase Eight. After their ceremony in Hampton Court House's stunning foyer, the guests enjoyed a range of canapes and CNY sweet treats whilst Anna, Stu and I took some group and couple shots. Everyone then went through for dinner where the table centrepieces were named after places Anna and Stu had travelled to or lived in, with the top table named after the place where they got engaged. After dinner the Supertones, a fab wedding band specialising in indie and rock covers provided the evening entertainment, with the guests enjoying a range of masks and fancy dress bits and bobs collected by Anna and Stu. They ended the evening with sparklers at midnight!