A friends wedding
Being the wedding photographer in Brighton at a friends wedding is a funny thing. Amazing to be asked, wonderful to be such a large part of their day and nerve wracking to have so much pressure put on you!! But these two are something different to me. We all stumbled across our friendship some years ago and its grown ever since. They are the emergency contacts on our children’s school papers, the people we would run to in trouble, knowing they would bend over backwards to help. The couple who we know will last.
15 years ago.
When Matt and Brig first met, it was over 15 years ago, when Matt was working as a carpenter on Brigs now eco-house in Brighton; both with children a similar age, there was a moment but it passed swiftly and they both carried on with their lives, raising kids, creating their careers and becoming the wonderful people they are today.
Meeting again at a festival 5 years ago, they started something and it grew slowly and then… Engaged in 2012. Their wedding was held in Brighton and Bevendean where they live, their second ceremony in the local community centre, decorated by friends and family, food supplied by everyone invited; it had a real community feel to the day- Everyone contributing and helping the day happen. Shooting wedding photography in Brighton is always a pleasure, but this was something special.
I can’t express how heartfelt this wedding was to me. Being their wedding photographer was such a moving thing for me to do. I’m a crier at the best of times, but when they said their vows at Brighton registry office (where I was married) and then again at their pagan hand fasting ritual, I was a bit blurry eyed, and even now when I look through their images, it gets me.
They are the type of people you aspire to be like. Loving, warm, open, creative and wholesome. I can hear Matt laughing as he reads this at the idea of him being wholesome! Its true. I see their lives and hope that I can do as good a job as them with their kids and their work. They are our favourite dinner dates, our favourite companions and we love them dearly like family. Wedding photography for my friends? Anytime. You are hand fasted together like no one else Ive seen. Big love you two.
OK so I feel a little like I’m coming out of the winter months, all “Miss Haversham” Style, dusting off my cobwebs and getting ready for the next wedding season. Although people do get married over the winter, the summer in the UK is where its at for most weddings, even though our summers are becoming less and less reliable. Finding the perfect wedding venue for your special day that honours the two of you, and also making sure its big enough, relevant enough and also takes into account your wedding photography, is a hard job! I recently had a client ask me if I had a list of some of my favourites in my years of experience. I suppose I do.. Not all of them are in the UK and its in no way a generic list of “The best places to have your wedding photography shot”. This list takes into account relevance to the couple, space, partying and a sprinkle of romance. If Im being honest, it matters not where a couple marries in the eyes of a wedding photographer, all that matters is the couple, how much in love they are, the families and friends who surround them and most importantly the dress! Ha! Only kidding! (Ok, it is a little important to me- its exciting!) Its about photographing a lovely wedding in a beautiful place… That said, lets see my list of few places- some of which Id like to have my own party in…
1. Fulham Palace– The perfect feeling of good old “London” and yet also perfectly “countryside”. The palace is nestled in a green part of Fulham near Putney and the Church on Putney Bridge is just a small walk through some woods into the Palace. SO perfect for photography, everyone outside for as long as possible, relaxed, no stress travel between venues and the most beautiful backdrop to photograph the couple in. Big Love.
2. Castle Hill Inn– Newport Rhode Island USA- Amazing views of the bay from the Lighthouse which is in the grounds of the Inn, so many nooks and crannies to take portraits in at this venue, an amazing marquee with glass sides.. a total dream to photograph.
3. In the woods. Theres something to be said for being in natural surroundings. I find that even when in the most urban of environments I’m asked to find that little bit of green to take the portraits in, so why not just have the whole wedding in the woods?! Theres so many places that will cater for this, in the UK or abroad so get googling (or ask us!) because if you really want it to happen, it will.
4. London. Aaaahhhh. London, we LOVE you. Whether its good old Chelsea Register office or Marelybone Town Hall, we love a London wedding. Urban, cool, timeless and if it means something to the couple then so worth making the effort to organise. Transport can be tough sometimes so order your Routemaster to get your guests to the reception, and don’t forget a bucket full of champagne to see them on their way!
5. Brympton House in Yeovil, Somerset. When we first shot someones wedding photography here, we were smitten as soon as we drove along the gravel driveway towards the spectacular house. Enough space for all your guests, a front lawn to die for, a back lawn to picnic on and the most romantic shabby chic wedding breakfast room. Finish it all off with marshmallows by the orangery and a dance, and you’re done.. Perfection all in one place.
6. Tuscany. Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it at least once? Choosing to get wed abroad is a risky one for the “big family” types but if you manage it carefully, it can be so rewarding. Italy’s Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places to get married, the weather, the food, the hospitality.. The Photographers (if you take us with you!) will be very happy, you’re guaranteed a set of stunning images with the backdrop of a movie…
7. A good old British pub. I did it and so many have. You’re guaranteed to have a good time, pork scratchings and all, and the older generation will be happy if they like a pint. Theres something perfectly romantic about sitting at the bar in a country pub in your wedding dress. Oxymoron maybe but perfect for the photography! We had Sausage and mash at our wedding, and beer. And everyone was happy.
8. At home. If your parents have space, and don’t mind their grass being flattened for a day or so, then stick up a teepee, marquee or whatever other contraption you’d like to party in and do it. Save a few pennies and create some new memories in an already special place. That moment when his little girl walks down the garden path towards an aisle in the same garden she played in as a child, the Dads are always happy. The Mums always end up in their own kitchen making a cuppa late at night too. We always catch them
9. Waston’s Bay, Sydney, Australia. For sea and sun lovers, its seriously one of the most beautiful places I have shot wedding photography in. Watson’s Bay hotel to get ready in, a local church , the view from the lighthouse, the beach, the park, its a photographers dream and watching the sunset on the beach, perfect for everyone at the wedding.
10. PennyHill Park in Surrey. We have a soft spot for Pennyhill. Not sure why, its just so well organised for weddings, grand rooms, wonderful grounds and secret little spots which are perfect for great portraits. All the couples we have shot there seem to be happy and we’ve loved the food!!
This is really just a small handful, we could go on forever but there’s not enough time or blogspace to do so .. Please let us know if you would like to see any more of our venues and our opinions on the photographic opportunities at them…
Being invited to join Regina from Yoga Orchid at her Sussex retreat at Florence House in Seaford was such a pleasure. I really needed it and I was looking forward to being involved in her workshop on the Saturday as well as being her yoga photographer during her practice.
Such a stunning lady and an inspiring teacher, we were led through some of the most opening and surrendering poses Ive ever experienced during her class, incorporating both the feeling of strength and lightness to the body. The narrative during her classes creating a calming influence and a reminder that there was someone there to trust and lean on if you felt insecure at any point within your body.
Regina has a delicate “mat talk” with her students, lightly touching them to remind them where and how their bodies could be better placed in their poses, coaxing the student and enticing them into asanas that both open them to a new physical well-being and creating confidence to the well travelled yogi and newbie alike.
Shooting Regina during her practice and also her break, we had fun. Always modest, always true and absolutely always stunning.
You’re an inspiration to me both as a yogi and as a photographer. Anytime Regina. x
Travelling to Marthas’ Vineyard felt a little surreal for me – always having heard about how lovely it was but nothing prepared me for how romantic and stunning the island is. What a perfect location to document tying the knot for KC and Steve.
The church that they decided to get married in was picture perfect, white wood boarded, was small enough to make the ceremony intimate but large enough to hold their two sets of family and friends who merged together as if one family before the wedding took place.
They decided to do a “first look” session before the wedding and being part of that lovely moment and photographing them together without anyone else around was so special for me, not many UK couples do this so it was definitely a moment I wont forget.
KC arriving at the church wearing her mothers wedding dress, driven by her father was a sight to be behold, so calm and relaxed, she arrived at the alter to greet a beaming Steve who, accompanied by his best man, was so clearly in love with his beautiful bride. The reception was held at her family ranch, the guests being given sunglasses as table place gifts, the band and singers close family and friends, the canapes, chowder and open cocktail bar a success.
It all made the photography so much easier for me from the portraits in the woods to the formals in the barn, all the locations you chose were amazing.
KC and Steve, you made people feel completely a ease and ready to celebrate your day. Thank you for choosing me to document your most important time on such a beautiful island. Much Love Cx
Being asked to travel to Newport in Rhode Island was lovely, after already having shot two couples’ wedding photography out there, it was a pleasure to return. Nestled in a beautiful bay on the western most tip of Newport with its famous lighthouse, the Castle Hill Inn is such a beautiful venue, overlooking the east passage and the Atlantic, Ashley and her family were getting ready in a lovely suite inside the chalet in the grounds while the staff started to lay the tables and arrange the beautiful room for their reception.
Ashley and her family had fun getting ready for her day, being picked up by the Newport truck bus and being delivered to the church, Adam being picked up on the way with his best men and the feeling of the day was calm and loving from the start.
Their ceremony was lovingly heartfelt, their family congratulating them with hugs and smiles outside the church. Back at Castle Hill I took them to the Lighthouse for some sunset portraits, the cold air was harsh but neither of them flinched as we stood above the waves, the sun on them, chatting together, me working around them to capture the best of them.
The reception and family photographs were relaxed and warming, the guests enjoying the gorgeous sailcloth tent where they ate and drank fine food and wine, enjoying the vast array of desserts and dancing the night away with the newly wed happy couple.
Both of you, such a lovely team you are, what a treat to photograph your wedding. x