Hello and welcome to the second part of my '2015 wedding couples' blog! If you missed the Part 1, I've chosen one photo of each couple from my weddings over the past year. Each couple I work with meets me several times over the course of the wedding process - starting with an initial consultation, often followed by a site/venue visit, a fun and very relaxed pre-wedding shoot, and the day itself (often 10-12 hours!) And where time and distance allow, I always try to visit my couples in person afterwards to hand deliver their images and run a little video slideshow of their day. Because of this, I get to know my couples pretty well over the course of their wedding and so wanted to add just a few words about each to share a little of their story. I hope that gives you some insight into my personality too, and how much I enjoy working with each of my couples.
Jo & Anna: Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
I first met Jo and Anna at a wedding fair in Brighton and we hit it off instantly. In fact, having ascertained that yes, I would absolutely travel to Cornwall for their lesbian beach wedding (are you kidding?!), they booked me on the spot, some 18 months before their big day! At our wonderfully fun pre-wedding shoot on Brighton beach (click here to view), they excitedly showed me pics of these amazing dresses by Brighton bridal boutique The O Zone, and the excitement grew further as we discussed taking photos of them in the sea, dresses and all! On the day, the brides and I had an absolute blast with my waterproof camera, surfboards and great waves, but it was this photo taken before the plunge, dubbed "mermaids on the rock" that emerged as the favourite. I WILL get round to blogging this amazing wedding soon, which is also being featured in the Spring 2016 edition of Doily Days magazine!
Helen & Taron: Field Place, Worthing
Helen and Taron were actually guests at a wedding I photographed in 2014 - Lisa & Simon's stunning Pelham House wedding - and I'm pleased to say this lovely couple thought of me straight away when they decided to tie the knot themselves. Neither of them like being photographed (in fact, actively dislike would be more accurate!), and greatly prefer candid images to posed. So having gently persuaded them to take just a few minutes away from their guests, a simple request to clink glasses resulted in natural smiles and an image that they felt was true to themselves.
Isabelle & Emyr: All Saints Church, Broad Chalke, Wiltshire and marquee at private residence
Many of my couples find me at wedding fairs or by stumbling across a blog online (note to self: do more blogging this year!) But for Izzi and Emyr, the story was somewhat different. Although we'd never met, our parents are former colleagues and now great friends - and they asked my Dad (a retired clergyman) if he would conduct their wedding ceremony at their local church. My parents handed them my business card.... and the relationship began. I had actually been keeping their chosen Saturday free, as it was the date of our own Wedding Anniversary. But as my Dad would be marrying them (he also married us on that day 17 years' previously), I really wanted to capture their day, and my husband understood. A lovely, lovely day and yes, I did shed a tear as my Dad read their vows.
Jenni & James: East Hoathly Church and Tottington Manor, West Sussex
When I first met Jenni at a wedding fair, she pulled out her phone and excitedly showed me a dress she'd just tried on and fallen in love with. We chatted for ages, and discussed ideas she had for some unique images that would be very special and personal memories to capture. She really liked my blend of story-telling photography combined with the option of more traditional couple poses, so when I contacted her following the fair and she admitted he hadn't actually proposed yet, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. But three weeks' later she got back in touch with the best news and we headed over to the church to cement plans for the images that were most important to her. I'm a great believer in teamwork both before and on the day, and seeing Jenni shed a tear on viewing those images in her wedding slideshow meant the world to me.
Clemma & Matt: Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint and Pangdean Barn, Pyecombe, Nr Brighton
I've photographed at Hurstpierpoint Church before and ended up using some of those images in my Licentiate Qualification for the mpa. So was excited to be returning there for Clemma and Matt's wedding in October. Like Jenni (see above), Clemma also had an image in mind that was important for me to capture: the couple had booked the same wedding car used for their parents' wedding and Clemma wanted to replicate a photo from that wedding with her and her father in the car. Knowing it was important (and with my experience of bridal preparations running a little late!), I made sure we allowed plenty of time for the shot that would still enable me to get to the church before the bride! With the reception at Pangdean Barn being as sunny as Shelley and Kathryn's wedding back in June (see Part 1 of my couples blog), I had fun chasing Matt's nieces around Pangdean's wonderful garden. And when the guests headed inside to warm up, I headed back out with Clemma and Matt for some photos in the late afternoon light before dinner.
Helen & Dean: Long Furlong Barn, West Sussex
I absolutely love barn weddings, which are perfect for my passion for incorporating landscape views into my wedding photography whenever the weather allows. So I was happy that camera-shy couple Helen and Dean chose me because they loved my images from a previous wedding at Long Furlong Barn. Helen is half Italian and many of the guests had flown in from Italy for the occasion. The ceremony was followed by tea and cake served on vintage china, and dinner was an absolutely delicious hog roast by The Gourmet Chef , followed by their Italian-influenced wood fired pizzas in the evening. I am now a recommended wedding photographer at Long Furlong Barn and excited to be headed back there for my first wedding of 2016 in two weeks' time!
Laura & Stephen: Fitzleroi Barn, Fittleworth, West Sussex
Laura and Stephen's wedding was my seventh barn wedding of the year, but my first time photographing at Fitzleroi Barn in West Sussex. The venue is so naturally beautiful, both inside and out, with a working farm and stunning outdoor space, that I can't wait to be asked to return! Happily the rain held off long enough to capture images under magnificent storm clouds and autumn leaves, as well as beside the textures and colours of the farm buildings, such as this image. 'Keeping it real' was the brief and the couple gave me excellent feedback from their engagement shoot on brighton beach as to the images they loved and felt most in keeping with their personalities. Photography is very subjective and personal, and I always find this feedback really helps me create images on the day that my couples will love, especially when time is short or the weather's a little cold to be outdoors for long (such as at this late October wedding).
Rowan & Matt: Stanmer House, Stanmer Park, Brighton
Rowan and Matt's wedding was the last weekend in October, after the clocks had changed and British Summer Time had officially ended. Although a little chilly, Brighton's Stanmer Park is one of the couple's favourite places to go with their son (who made the most angelic page boy), and they knew exactly where they wanted their couple photos. The slope under the trees was perfect to balance Rowan's elegant height with Matt (whose wonderfully dry sense of humour surpassed even that of my husband's!), and I also grabbed a rug from my car to seat them on (somewhat damp!) fallen tree branches, where I'd noted on their pre-wedding shoot that they looked particularly relaxed and comfortable together. Sparklers for all the guests made the most of the darker evening and we had great fun creating light trails with long exposures.
Emma & Simon: Cisswood House Hotel, West Sussex
My husband commutes to London from our home in Shoreham most days and whilst he enjoys the mile-long walk to the station in the mornings, I'm (usually!) happy to pick him up when he arrives home in the evening. Given that this is typically between 7.00 and 8.00 pm and I have to work around dinner and my children's various evening activities, he often has to wait for the lift and has no choice (apparently) but to frequent the local pub while he waits. Occasionally I'll join him for a drink and a bit of couple time, and over the past couple of years we've got to know one of the pub's regular couples, Emma and Simon. For family reasons, their wedding was organised at short notice of just a few weeks, but happily November's a quiet month for me, and I was extremely pleased to be asked to capture their day. No matter that it rained heavily literally all day - Emma and Simon have a great sense of humour and we made the most of the bus they'd hired, not to mention the roll-top bath in the bridal suite (great fun!) and the hotel's spa. A big thanks to the hotel's wedding co-ordinator for being so accommodating at our unusual requests!
So those are my fantastic 2015 couples and I can honestly say I've enjoyed each and every wedding and made several new friends in the process. My 2016 wedding season kicks off with three of my favourite venues - Long Furlong Barn, Worthing Dome and Pangdean Barn - and I'm also looking forward to photographing at some new wedding venues this year, including the beautifully restored Worthing Pier in June. I do have some Saturdays in Spring/Summer 2016 still available, plus plenty of flexibility in Autumn and Winter as well as for mid-week dates, so please do get in touch if you'd like more information on availability and pricing.
Thanks for reading!