Forest Lake Camp wedding in the Adirondack Mountains

Outdoor destination wedding

This wonderfully outdoorsy couple found me from Rangefinder Magazine's 30 Rising Stars Award and I was de-fucking-lighted to come and shoot their destination wedding in the Adirondack mountains at Forest Lake Camp! The bride told me they were planning to take over an American Summer Camp in winter, doing a lot of the DIY themselves with friends and family help to create an Autumnal rustic mountain wedding. They stayed there in advance, decorating the space with greenery, warm flowers and funky shaped squash! We went to rehearse their destination wedding ceremony which was on a look out spot in the Adirondacks and the guests arrived to an informal evening BBQ and campfire. It was the best braised beef I've ever had in my life!!

Camp Wedding Ceremony

On the main wedding day, the bride and groom got ready in separate chalets, it was super cold, probably the coldest wedding I've ever shot! The bride wore an elegant simple silk dress with a warm wrap and gave her bridesmaids custom drinks coolers, the groom wore a blue suit and gave his groomsmen hatchet axes as gifts.

 

They had a first look in a beautiful spot in the forest area before hiking up to the ceremony spot

Their guests sat around wooden log benches amongst the landscape, whilst two of their friends, another couple, conducted the personal ceremony where they exchanged personalised vows

After the ceremony we took a few couple shots whilst the guests went back to the camp to have a ham sandwich lunch! Then the couple went to get changed into casual clothes to prepare for the day of games! They played highly competitive team relays which included canoeing, dizzy bat and cornhole, and friends and family lounged in the sun by the lake, went for swims, played volleyball, boules and archery!

After the games interlude, everyone came back into the camp headquarters for the dinner, seated on long bench trestle tables. The camp has a tradition where every couple who gets married there gets their name up on the wall on a plaque and they give out big hands to people who were awesome across the day, with a big shout out to the brave guest who jumped into the freezing lake!

After dinner they hit the dancefloor before seeing the wedding out with a second night of s'mores and stories around the campfire

Best documentary wedding photography 2018

Best documentary wedding photography 2018

It's time for the wedding photographer's annual round-up! Thank you to all my couples for helping me have a fab 2018. I stood on mountains, in olive groves, amongst childhood backyards. I finally visited all parts of the UK (weird that I had never done this before!), sat in hot tubs under stars and around campfires learning how to make proper smores. I shot in the Houses of Parliament, I covered the Montagues and Capulets and ran with Deckard. I also taught hundreds of other photographers in Leeds, Birmingham, London, Bath and the Lake District and started organising my 2019 event Speak Now, which works towards raising the profile of female photographers. I ended the year on a high when I was invited to become one of Fujifilm's X-Photographers, one of only 16 in the UK. I'm already excited to see what 2019 is going to bring!

Creative wedding photography 2019

Every year I set a singular photography goal to push myself creatively and 2019 will be the year where I take the time to work out what I really want to achieve from couple portraits and to be braver with asserting my signature style. I have intended to push this for a long time, but I do find myself feeling compelled to take the "safe" couple shots for the parent's mantelpiece first, but then I often find myself running out of time as most of my couples are all about the documentary and they want to get back to the party. However, considering I don't make this compromise with my candid coverage, I don't really know why I do it with my couple shots? I want couple photos that are in line with the rest of my work, a shot we collaborate on, both myself and the couple enjoy creating and are proud to shout about. So that's the mission for this year, good luck to my 2019 couples lol!

You have two choices

I honestly don't think this selection does the year, or my couples any justice. It was mind-bendingly difficult to try to draw a handful of images out, cutting tens of thousands into a mere one hundred. So I do definitely encourage people to go visit my full wedding photography galleries to get a better sense of the weddings themselves.

If you like to bop around to beats:

And if you prefer the long scenic route:

 

An elegant relaxed London wedding at Farm Church and Marks Club

Hoxton Hotel Wedding Preparation

I remember when I first Skyped Anne-Sophie and Antoine that I thought to myself, gosh, these guys are way too beautiful and classy for me! Yes, I do actually say gosh in person. Also crikey. I inherited it from my parents and my boyfriend takes the mick out of me all the time for it. Anyway, I digress... although this couple are very cool, they're also wonderfully laid back and were all about just having a good time with their loved ones, which is a trait all my couples share regardless of how traditional or non-traditional they are! I started the day at the Hoxton Hotel, where they were both staying as many of their Swiss friends and family had flown in for the wedding. Anne-Sophie wore a gorgeous and elegant silk dress and Antoine a classic blue suit, with rustic dried flowers for their bouquet and button holes.

Farm Church Wedding Ceremony, Mayfair

They all jumped in a London Taxi to Farm Church, a stunning Catholic Church hidden in a park next to Mayfair Library. It's such a stunning hidden gem, I'd shot a wedding at the Mayfair Library and had no clue this was there!

Mark's Club Wedding Reception

After the ceremony everyone took a short sunny stroll to Mark's Club where they held their afternoon tea reception. They chose this venue because it has uniquely quirky decor throughout and tasty cakes!

Harrild & Sons Wedding Dinner

After their afternoon tea reception at Marks Club they all hopped on a vintage London bus, a rather unique one level gold kind, to go to Harrild & sons for their wedding dinner. Harrild & Sons is a beautiful Farringdon restaurant with a basement cocktail bar where they had dinner and several sets of speeches including Anne-Sophie's mum's surprise of a rendition of a popular Swiss-French song!

In the basement they had cheese and desserts whilst the main area was turned around into the dancefloor

The next day they had a morning after brunch back at Hoxton Hotel. I specialise in shooting multi-day weddings and see the days outside of the main wedding day as my chance to tell the story of family and friends!

A colourful Priory Hall London wedding with a cool bridal jumpsuit!

Colourful DIY London wedding

Thank you to this lovely couple for allowing me to share a selection of their gorgeous DIY wedding, which was full of colour and modern relaxed vibes! The bride wore a stunning simple jumpsuit and a pink and multi-coloured fascinator in her hair. She had these killer neon pink and silver disco ball style heels which were so unique and badass! They decorated Priory Hall with multi-coloured bunting and giant white balloons filled with rainbow confetti. They got married in front of a perfect floral arch, which their planners Devine Bride later moved into the garden for the reception drinks. Laura from Devine Bride is the perfect London wedding planner who can offer a mix of planning help, including on the day coordination. The couple provided all the supplies and Laura and her team made sure everything was decorated perfectly, allowing the couple to focus on enjoying their day. After the ceremony the guests chilled out in the sun in the garden of the neighbouring church, before boarding a classic London double decker bus to head to Hugo's restaurant for the wedding dinner. The wedding dinner was a fabulously casual with waiters bringing around trays of mini burgers and chicken kebabs. They also had a cupcake table for dessert and held their very emotional speeches with everyone casually gathered around the dance floor. They opened the dance floor with shots trays with family and I left before it got too messy!

Marianne Chua.

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