Top 6 Tips: How to have a stress free wedding.

So you’ve just got engaged and everything is rosey. You start thinking about your dream wedding, you start planning it and before you know it you’re swamped in 50 unread emails and trying to answer questions you have no idea the answer of!

 Robyn & Paul. The Kennels Club, Goodwood.

Robyn & Paul. The Kennels Club, Goodwood.

This is NOT how wedding planning should be, and it’s definitely not how you want to feel on the actual day. A well planned and prepared wedding equals a relaxed and stress free day, trust us, we’ve seen it!

So here are our top 6 tips on what you can do to ensure a stress free wedding!

 Sarah & Nick. The Weald & Downland Living Museum, West Sussex.

Sarah & Nick. The Weald & Downland Living Museum, West Sussex.

  1. Connect your suppliers together.

This may not be obvious straight away, but quite often wedding suppliers will have questions which will involve other suppliers. Instead of you having to do all the back and forth explaining everything to both sides it can be much easier to connect both sides via email. This way we can sort out minor on-the-day admin that you do not need to worry about.

As photographers this is also super helpful as we have regular requests from all suppliers for photos from the day. So already knowing and having a relationship with these suppliers makes the process a lot quicker and easier.



2. Plan everything to the minute...then forget about it.

This is our favourite phrase we like to tell couples during their consultation. But it is important! The more planning you do prior to your big day the better. This can be to the minute (we’re not even joking.) Don’t ever worry about having a wedding spreadsheet that is too detailed with timings, it will only help us and in turn make your day run more smoothly.

But the most important thing is...to forget about your timings on the day. Weddings rarely run exactly on time, all suppliers and photographers especially are used to it. (this is also why we personally don’t charge per hour.) The more organised you are prior to your big day the more likely it is to run on time anyway. But if things do get behind, don’t stress. Stressing on your wedding will never solve any issues and only ruin your day!

 Alice & Danny. Horwood House, Buckinghamshire.

Alice & Danny. Horwood House, Buckinghamshire.

Natural Wedding bouquet

3. Give Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Jobs!

You’ve picked them because they are your closest friends and family, they are there to support you on your big day, so give them jobs! They honestly won’t mind once the jobs are spread out amongst everyone. This is also helpful for them to understand the day and know what is happening when. So if we have any questions on the day we’ll always come to a groomsmen or bridesmaid in the know before we ask you.


4. Tell You Photographer Everything!

There is a bit of a theme with this blog post, can you tell? Details, details, details. We can only photograph things we know about or see, so the more we are aware of the more we can be prepared to photograph it. If you’ve organised a surprise car for your fiance, let us know! If you’re parents are divorced and don’t speak to one another, let us know! If you’ve plan to get up and do an impromptu speech, let us know!

 Eloise & Jordan. Woburn Sculpture Gallery, Bedfordshire.

Eloise & Jordan. Woburn Sculpture Gallery, Bedfordshire.

5. Don’t stress about the weather.

You can see it in a brides face in the morning, it’s pouring with rain outside and it’s ruining her entire day already! Don’t let this happen. You’ve put so much effort into this day, you cannot control the weather. As long as you have a solid wet weather plan in place this is nothing to worry about. Also as long as you are up for some fun, we can get AMAZING photos in bad weather, you just have to be open to it.


6. Keep parents in the know.

Now, we love parents, but sometimes they like to get very involved in the day. Just explain to them it is your day and this is what you would like to happen. Let them know your plans and especially what photos are being taken. Show them your photographers website, so they can understand their style. It’s been known for MOTB to be looking over our group shot list and complaining that Great Aunt Sally isn’t in the family shot. Or for them to start art directing shots that we SHOULD be taking. At the end of the day you are our clients, you’re the ones that are paying us. Of course we will try to get as many shots as the parents want, but you are our priority. Just keep keen parents informed of what’s going to happen to keep the stress out of your wedding day.

 Alice & Dan. Private House, West Sussex.

Alice & Dan. Private House, West Sussex.

Hopefully these 6 tips will help keep you on top of your planning and give you the amazing stress-free day you intended to have! If you’re interested to see how we work together as a two-some to reduce our stress on a wedding day then have a look at our blog post here.

Amber & Ed: An Autumn Sunset Engagement Shoot.

Cozy Outside Engagement Shoot
Autumn Country Engagement Shoot
Couple Shoot, Bedfordshire
B&W Engagement Shoot

When Amber & Ed dropped us a message saying they were interested in having an engagement shoot we knew exactly where we wanted to do it. Stephanie had been recently walking Poppy around various Bedfordshire locations eyeing them up for potential shoots and had found the perfect one. High up with open fields (perfect for catching a sunset.) this location had just the right look and was quiet enough for Amber & Ed to relax without too many people walking past.

Intimate Couple Shoot
Bedfordshire Engagement Shoot
Happy Couple, Buckinghamshire
Autumn EShoot
Buckinghamshire Couple Shoot
Sunset EShoot
Silhouette Couple Shoot

Our engagement shoots are all about getting to know our couples and equally for our couples to get to know us. Knowing the way we work is so important for our couples to feel more relaxed before their wedding day. Not only does this leave each bride and groom feeling more comfortable in front of the camera but consequently creates much better images.

Sunset Couple Shoot, Bedfordhire
Sunset Buckinghamshire Shoot
Country Engagement Shoot
Sunset Couple Shoot Autumn

If there is one thing we want bride and grooms to know is that engagement shoots are not scary! We totally understand you’re not Naomi Campbell in front of the camera, don’t worry, neither are we! We will always spend the first 5 minutes doing more more chatting then shooting. And honestly, most of the engagement shoot is based around walking, so if you can do that, you’re fine!

Evening Shoot, Engagement.

So there is a little insight into Amber & Ed’s sunset engagement shoot. Maybe we should write a blog post about tips for engagement shoots, what do you think? Let us know on Instagram @stephanieandnicole

Why Two: Do I Need Two Photographers At My Wedding?

 
Glamorous Garden Wedding,

So it’s been the must-have for all weddings couples over the last few years. The rise of the ‘second shooter!’ But do you really need one? What does it actually mean? And how will they help make your wedding the perfect day you’ve been dreaming of.

Having two photographers attend your wedding is a great way to ensure that your wedding will actually be photographed! What happened if one photographer had a family emergency or injured themselves? Although most photographers have great back-up plans for this type of situation, having another photographer guaranteed to turn up already is just fool-proof really!

Outdoor Garden Ceremony

You might have all the perfect ideas of how your wedding photos will look, but occasionally us photographers come against limitations on where and how we can shoot. This is particularly true during the ceremony, we may be told not to move during the service, or only to stand on one side. This is where having two photographers covering two angles can really help. This way we can easily capture everything you want without upsetting the person taking the ceremony, getting you in trouble and still remaining super subtle!

Outdoor Garden Ceremony

Wedding days involve A LOT of people management, and you can often end up with wondering Grandparents who are meant to be in a family group shot. So having one person finding family members, telling them where they need to be and advising on when we’ll need them for photos, whilst the other person is actually taking the photos always makes the day run so much smoother. (And makes the group shots much quicker- So more time for champagne!)

Bridesmaids, Groomsman Group Shot

One little last thing to think about is whether your photographer is offering ‘two photographers’ or a ‘second shooter’. You may not think there is much difference between the two, but there is! A second shooter could be someone who regularly works with your photographer or may just be a junior starting out who has never worked with that photographer before. They don’t know their style, their work flow, or know anything about you as a couple. Or the photographer (like us!) may be a kick-ass awesome-twosome! That is two, fully equipped, fully capable, wedding photography experts, who work together on every wedding and are fully committed to each couple and their big day.

Two Wedding Photographers


So there you go, I think you can probably tell that we think that having two photographers at your wedding day is definitely the way to go and takes the stress out of planning. If you want to know a little more about how we work together then click here to hear more (and meet Poppy the Cavapoo, the brains behind the whole operation!)

Kathryn & Guy - Relaxed and fun back garden wedding

Kathryn & Guy’s wedding; we’ve been saving this one for you lucky people! Beautifully personal, totally relaxed and most of all, a VERY fun wedding! Held in the brides parents back garden, this sunny September day had us grinning from ear to ear from the moment Kathryn’s Mum put HER wedding dress on. Yep, you heard us right…

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Certainly a first for us, Kathryn helping Debbie (exquisite MOTB) into HER wedding dress on the morning of the wedding. The bridal party were treated to a catwalk of 80’s glamour, in the dress that Princess Dianna herself copied! (So we’re lead to believe.)

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Kathryn & Guy had both said how much they loved the ‘golden hour’ style photos, so when we saw this last tiny bit of sun peeping through the trees we knew we had to grab them quick. Holding back the speeches for two minutes, for this, totally worth it!

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Liking what you’re seeing? Drop us an email for 2019 availability (there’s not much left!) - contact us here.

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5 Top Tips to ask a Celebrant

We are so pleased to release our first guest blog post on Stephanie & Nicole, and for it we have the wonderful Jeannene Powell. Jeannene is an experienced London based Celebrant, who makes it her mission to ensure couples know all their options.  With a wide ranging background in the wedding industry, including civil and religious marriage officiating and registration, she has knowledge and expertise covering a variety of ceremony approaches. So with that in mind, we asked her- What are your 5 top tips to ask a Celebrant before you book?

Take it away Jeannene!

ceremony, celebrant, Woburn wedding,

Their training, experience and background Of course you'll want to know about their training and how long they've been performing ceremonies for.   But being a good Celebrant involves a wide range of skills.  So crossover expertise gained from other areas of life are great.  Being able to manage and direct people, public speaking skills and being able to think on one's feet are all useful.

The legalities There are different legalities covering Celebrant Ceremonies in different parts of the UK.  So do ask if you'll need to get the legal paperwork done just prior to your Celebrant Ceremony, or whether your celebrant can cover this.

Who designs the ceremony? This includes writing the ceremony, the running order, length, choosing readings, vows and incorporating other ideas.  You may be happy for your celebrant to write and design the whole thing.  Alternatively, you and your partner may like to write the majority or all of it, just having your Celebrant conduct it on the day.  Others view it as a collaboration, where you and your Celebrant work together to create an order, words and content which suits you best as a couple.  Think about what approach works for you both, and if a potential Celebrant has a different way of working, see if they're able or willing to match the approach you're looking for.

summer wedding, outdoor ceremony,

Ask to meet with them informally Prior to deciding whether they're the right Celebrant for you, ask to meet with them and check if there's a fee for this or not.  Aside from practical knowledge, you both want to get a sense that this is someone you can both see yourself working with, someone you both connect with and who "gets" your vision for ceremony.  In short, it's an opportunity to see if there's a match.  The Celebrant you choose will be conducting a very important ceremony in your lives, and you want to make sure it's the right person.  This is difficult to do by email or even just a telephone call.  So feel free to suggest meeting up over coffee, if they don't suggest it first.  If distance is an issue, video calling would be the next best thing.

If they're unwell on the day, do they have a back-up? Although this very rarely happens, there's enough stress in making sure everything else goes smoothly, the last thing you want is for the Celebrant not to make it on the day.  Ask what their back up plan for this is.  Many Celebrants know others, from their training or other circles, who can competently and professionally take over if needed. 

Oxford Wedding, Oxford town hall,

So, those are 5 top tips to ask.  And just remember, it's your ceremony, so make it count for you both, by having the best and most memorable ceremony you can imagine.  

Jeannene@innerworldouterlife.com www.innerworldouterlife.com

 

Alice & Danny

Alice & Danny planned their big celebration over the August bank holiday and the weather could not have been more perfect. Alice started her preparations with a busy house of 8 bridesmaids, a bride-man and 1 incredible dress! (Can we have a moment for that please.) For the gorgeous outdoor ceremony we headed to Horwood House in Buckinghamshire where Alice & Danny were married in the gardens of the venue. Lots of photos, smiles, and confetti later we headed to the reception in the vintage Jaguar owned by Alice's uncle. The day wrapped up with a bouquet toss where the winner dropped the flowers, a crave-your-own wedding breakfast and a steal drum band- certainly not your average wedding day! 

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Beth & Matt

Beth & Matt chose to have their day at the incredibly grand Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. Every single corner of this venue is incredible! The ceremony was held in the Marble Saloon room, which is a fantastic round entrance hall. After the ceremony was finished Beth & Matt were driven around to the back of the venue where they had their confetti moment as they walked up the grand staircase (Not something we'd ever done before). Following this they went straight into cutting the cake so it could be served during the drinks reception- our kind of wedding! Little did Beth know Matt had a surprise gift as well- two crystal tiffany champagne flutes, how to make your wedding breakfast taste even better, hey! We took the bride and groom for a sunset photo shoot just intake for the evening entertainment to start.

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Lucy & James

Back in August we had the pleasure of photographing Lucy & James' special day. They chose to start their day in Emberton- the most amazingly gorgeous Buckinghamshire village where Lucy grew up. The sense of community was incredibly present with what seemed like the whole village turning up to see Lucy into the church on her big day. For the reception we headed to Chicheley Hall, the picture perfect country house. (If you haven't been you must, it's beautiful!) Lucy & James had organised a vintage Ice-cream stall and garden games to keep everyone entertained. After taking a stroll around the grounds for photos with us Lucy & James were welcomed into their wedding breakfast. The evening continued with beautifully personal speeches, glasses of wine and lots of dancing- (in those pink Monolo's!) 

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2017 - A year in the making!

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2017 - A year in the making!

And here we are already... with our wedding season only just having drawn to a close we are blogging a round up of our whirlwind 2017 for you all to see. It's hard not to go on and on about how lucky we are because, boy we are! The fantastic journeys we have with our brides and grooms every year means we end up friends with so many genuinely amazing couples... And often their furry friends (piglet this shout out is aimed at you!). 

2017- Well, 2017 saw us eat copious quantities of wedding cake, pick and mix and cheese during our first cheese and wine tasting reception! What a treat! It saw Nicole cry at every single speech and certainly produced some exquisite shapes on the dance floor. It was also a year of firsts, our first weekend where we shot more than a single wedding, a first holiday for Stephanie in years (she works far too hard) and also a first, one of our couples is expecting a bundle of joy next year!

With such an incredible year comes lots of learning and developing. And what we have taken away from 2017 is the amazing relationship we have with our clients that we build right from their first email to the final delivery of their images. This is something we only want to improve more and more each year, so with this in mind we have decided to limit the amount of weddings we will be shooting for 2018, this way we can insure that each and every couple has the exclusive experience we offer. If you're interested having us be a part of your day then please get in touch as we now have only 4 dates left for 2018! 

Thank you again, to all our wonderful clients and suppliers that we have worked with throughout 2017 it has been a pleasure. Now time to roll on 2018! 

S&N xx

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Lucy & James, Greenwich Engagement Shoot.

Greenwich Engagement Shoot

Back at the beginning of May Lucy & James ventured out with us for an engagement shoot around Greenwich. Although the weather was looking a little grey in the morning we bypassed any rain and had a lovely day walking around different parts of their neighbourhood. 

Greenwich Royal Navy College Photo Shoot
Greenwich Royal Navy College Photoshoot.

After exhausting the greenery of Greenwich Park we had a little wonder around the beautiful streets finding different coloured walls and blossom to act as interesting backdrops before heading back to Lucy & James' gorgeous house for a cuppa and a catch up on their wedding plans. 

We were so thrilled to deliver Lucy & James' images to them and to hear that they loved them as much as we do. We're super excited to share more images from their wedding at Chichley Hall later this year!

Greenwich Royal Navy College Engagement Shoot
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Greenwich couples shoot.

Top 5 Wedding Blogs Every Bride Should Be Reading!

Gone are the days where newly appointed brides would wonder down to WHS to buy every bridal magazine they can get their hands on. With a huge variety of online inspiration the ‘wedding blog’ has become the new way to shop anything and everything wedding. The question is now, what blogs do you read, which ones can you trust and which ones are right for your big day? So we’ve taken five very different but equally beautiful blogs so you can find what is right for you.

Magnolia Rouge, wedding blog.

 

Magnolia Rouge

First up is one of the most beautifully crafted blogs in the industry. Founded in New Zealand six years ago by Kate Holland, Magnolia Rouge has amazing inspiration for destination weddings, anywhere from chilly Iceland to the coast line of Montenegro they have it featured. But be weary, a lot of the weddings are styled and not real which is great for ideas and styling, but doesn't always work on practicality. If you’re loving what you’re seeing they also have a magazine, which is to die for!

Rock My Wedding, British Wedding Blog.

Rock My Wedding.

Anyone who is anyone in the British wedding industry knows Rock My Wedding, it is one of the biggest blogs on the UK market. If you’re looking for modern, rustic, country wedding inspiration then this is the one for you, RMW features a real variety of weddings, which are separated into real weddings and wedding inspiration- so you know you’re not being tricked! On top of this they have a great suppliers list the ‘Love Lust List.’

BlovedBlog, Luxury wedding blog.

BlovedBlog

Obviously we have to mention our lovely friend Louise from Bloved Blog. Louise runs one of the most beautifully curated blogs. If your wedding style is super white luxe with lovely shades of bush pink then this is the blog for you. BLoved has a variety of weddings and lifestyle giving a great insight into venues, how to’s and wedding suppliers. More heavily based on beautiful inspiration over real weddings Bloved is the one-stop-shop of wedding dreams.

Coco Wedding Venue, Blog.

Coco Wedding venues

Coco Weddings is a great venue finder for any bride that is stuck on where to have their wedding. whether it’s an urban warehouse or country retreat Emma from Coco has any UK venue you can think of (and some Europe based venues too). There is a great search feature based on location, capacity, venue type and wedding style, so you know you will easily find exactly what you’re looking for.

Love My Dress, Wedding Inspiration Blog.

Love My Dress

Love My Dress covers everything in super chic and sophisticated weddings. This blog is great if you’re into reading articles on difference aspects on weddings not just scrolling through endless images. LMD features a real mixture of styled and real weddings that all ooze wedding luxe with soft pallet tones. If you're interested in wedding tips there are some fab posts about how to survive weddings, wedding industry costs and insights into wedding fairs.

The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane | BlovedBlog

We were thrilled a couple of weeks ago to be asked to shoot a pretty swanky hotel for Louise at Bloved Blog. The location was the amazing Art Deco Sheraton Grand on Park Lane. If you're looking for a venue full of London luxe then look no further- this hotel is stunning! Between the mirrored surfaces, rose gold walls and exquisite detailing you it screams glam. As well as a great give away Louise has written all about the hotel over on her blog, so we'l let her do the talking, Can we just have some couples getting married there now please!  

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2017 Wedding Trends - Pantone of the Year - Greenery

Pantone 2017 Greenery example
Wedding Photography of a Greenery trend floristry.

Now we are not for a second suggesting you run out and buy bright green, table cloths, favours and bridesmaids dresses (although we're sure they would love you for this!) in the pantone of the year; Greenery. But we are here to show you what this trend is really about and explore how you could incorporate it into your wedding styling if this is what you truly desire! 

While green may not be the colour of choice when you are thinking about your wedding colours, but as wedding photographers it is actually one of our favourites. The reason being that green in all its simplicity evokes so many feelings of; natural; relaxed; freshness; outdoors & countryside. 

“A refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.”
Pantone

Here is some ideas... 

Tablescaping

There is so much you can do with tablescaping and sometimes simplicity is is best. Adding little touches with foliage, glass ornaments, jars, candles. It's the simple touches that just make the difference, sometimes less is more.  

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Flowers

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table plan flowers

Photographs of how Lucy & Will captured Greenery so effortlessly.  

The obvious choice and also the easiest way to incorporate 'Greenery" into your day is to add it into your wedding flowers. It is pretty normal for a wedding bouquet to include green but some extra ways to incorporate and add a little something extra is with buttonholes and lovely embellishments to bridal hair. Emma & Matt nailed this and it was a great extra touch to their DIY styled barn wedding! 

Venue

No your venue doesn't need to be green either!!! We have seen some beautiful countryside wedding venues and churches that have just been elevated with the simple touch of a 'floral wreath thing' over the doors. Don't quote me on that name.. wait.. google.... wedding arch? Maybe best to ask a florist here!

Destination Wedding

We photographed a couple of destination weddings last year that were abundant in greenery, beautiful palms and sunshine of course sounds ideal! 

Outdoor Wedding

Thought about an outdoor wedding venue! Yes somewhat risky business in England I know but outdoor ceremonies are very special! They are often a lot more relaxed and make for stunning photographs. 

Marque Weddings

For some more inspiration we have searched the web and found these beautiful goodies as inspiration for you! Check these dreamy articles out by clicking on images below. 

Thats all for now, looking forward to writing our next blog for you already xx

11 tips on how to have a stress free wedding day…

Stress free wedding,

Any fellow wedding industry friends or unfortunate chief bridesmaids have experienced ‘The Manic Bride.’ The day before the wedding running around like a headless chicken, sorting out where the flower girls dresses need to be, whether Uncle Gareth will make it to the ceremony on time and will the cake be placed in the corner you’ve told the venue a million times. 

It doesn't have to be like that, with a couple of good planning tips we can help you say goodbye to ‘The Manic Bride’ and prepare you for a day that you will remember for the celebrating not the stress.

 

  1. Prep, Prep, Prep.

This goes without saying a wedding day does take a lot of preparation. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but just get everything down on paper (we have known brides to have extensive excel spreadsheets!) Think about everything that is involved during a wedding, what you would like, how far in advance you need to book them… and get cracking!

 

2. Have a minute by minutetimeline of your day.

…and then forget about it on the day. This is our big tip for couples. Plan everything to the minute, what time your leaving for the ceremony, what time you plan on having group photos taken, what time are you cutting the cake.. and then forget about it, as inevitably your timings will run over. But the more information us suppliers can have the more prepared we can be and the less stress it will cause you.

 

3. Connect your suppliers together.

A lot of the time we as suppliers have questions about your day, which often can be answered by other suppliers, so save yourself the work. Where possible we will talk with the venue suppliers to get their timeline of the day. We may need to speak to florists to see when they will have set up flowers or Dj’s to see what lighting they plan on having at the first dance.

 

4. Delegate!

More often then not there will be someone in your wedding party that knows the day as well as you do, so there is no need to try and take everything on yourself during the day. Whether it’s moving chairs, dishing out confetti or lighting candles, pre organise these jobs with your bridesmaids and groomsmen so they know what they need to do.

 

5. Listen to your suppliers!

We’ve been to a million weddings and we've got great advice! All a wedding supplier wants from the day is to give you great service and for everything to run smoothly, so take on their advice, they are experts after all.

organised wedding, stress free, how to organised bride, wedding tips.
best men, grooms men, wedding advice, how to wedding,
wedding advice, how to weddings, stress free wedding day. Wedding preparation

 

6. Do your Research

There are so many amazing wedding blogs, advice websites and magazines that give you information for free! 

 

7. Ask your married friends

And if you don't want to buy the magazines, get first hand advice from your friends. We can guarantee you that although most brides will have loved their wedding they will always have a little advice on something they wish they had/hadn’t done. 

 

8. Get a wedding planner.

If you really want to take the stress out of your day hire a wedding planner. However we understand that not everyones budget will stretch that far. Most venues will provide a wedding coordinator who will definitely help organise parts of your day.

 

9. Don’t leave it until the day before.

This is a real culprit of many a bride. The day before the wedding shouldn't be filled with stressful admin. Try to make sure everything is at the right location and everyone knows where they are meant to be on the day. If you’re brining an overnight bag to the reception, have it packed a couple of days before.

 

10. Check your due payments.

It’s well known that a lot of wedding suppliers take a deposit and then ask for the remainder closer to the wedding day, these often fall 4-6 weeks before the wedding. So make sure you’re aware of what is due when so you can budget yourself accordingly. You can alway pay balances early!

 

11. Get a good nights sleep the day before.

This is a no brainer really and if you follow tip 9 you should be able to make this happen! Your wedding will be an amazing day you’ll want enough sleep to be dancing on the tables until 3am!

relaxed wedding, fun wedding, organised wedding, wedding advice, wedding tips, wedding help.

Planning your perfect winter wedding

Whilst there are many things to think about when planning your wedding - (we don't need to tell you this!) we feel this is one thing that shouldn't be overlooked. If your planning a winter wedding then timings are one thing you need to think about for many reasons but this is key - (of course this post however is a little bias to our needs), but we really feel this will benefit you!  In this post we are talking about winter light!! 

Yes its winter, the weather isn't predictable (but really when is it!) but what is predictable is the fact the sun will set much earlier, it will get dark earlier and on an overcast day its going to be getting dark very early! 

To combat this - Timing is everything!  
It is really important you think about the time of your ceremony. Yes a 2 or even 3pm ceremony is wonderful, in the summer when you can bask in the afternoon sun at your reception, have beautifully lit couple images, find time for group shots and sip pimm's without a care in the world. In the winter you will need to plan your timings a little more carefully to make sure you have enough daylight to be able to capture those precious moments outside.  Now depending on what month you are tying the knot the timings will vary, but it is really worth talking to your wedding planner and photographer about. 

Benefits
Now this is really what you came for, so lets talk benefits of a winter wedding and that light we are banging on about. Winter light can massively work in your favour, the light is low in the sky so there is more chance of those beautiful golden couple shots if you plan your day right.

Winter Sunlight

Golden 'hour' typically is about half an hour before the sun sets, on a crisp winters day this is magic. 

If the day is rainy or overcast this also isn't a problem, provided the couple and groups shots are scheduled in daylight this weather can have stunning softbox effect on the photographs. 

Discuss your vision with your photographer, they will help you schedule the day. 

How to rock your engagement shoot

natural engagement shoot
Sussex Engagement shoot

We love engagement shoots, but we understand not all newly engaged couples do. Some may see them as just an added cost or additional photos they don't need. But we're here to show you why you should ask your photographer about an engagement shoot and how to rock it! We are using the gorgeous Matt & Emma’s shoot as a bit of a case study today.

Matt approached us last spring wanting a photographer for his October wedding. Like many other couples Matt’s first words were “Oh, we aren’t great in front of the camera!” (If we could have a pound for every time a couple said this.) Honestly do not worry about it, very rarely are a couple super confident in front of the camera. We’ll let you into something, You know those cute giggly photos you always see, it’s usually from the couple laughing at how awkward they think they are being.

The best way to view an engagement shoot is as a “trial wedding shoot”. It’s getting you used to being the centre of attention and reacting to the camera. And honestly, 9 times out of 10 couples find out it isn't half as bad as you think it’s going to be.

Not all photographers shoot the same way, so during an engagement shoot you’ll pick up how your photographer will direct you and the kind of poses they may ask you to do. Also, lets quickly talk about the word ‘poses’. This sometimes can scare couples off, ‘We really don't want posey shots’ is what we hear a lot. Have a look at your photographers work, if you can’t see ‘posey’ shots in there, then don't worry they wont be making you do it. Posing just means direction, the beautiful natural intimate couple shots you see usually will be directed, rarely do couples jump into that pose without being told to.

Surrey engagement shoot
black and white engagement shoot
couple hand detail

It’s also great to think about how you may use the photos, some couples like to add them onto their wedding website, or as part of the decoration during the reception. They are also a great option for ‘save the date’ cards.

Now we get onto location. Have a chat with your photographer about what you’re looking for, after all it’s your shoot! Do you want something urban, something rural, maybe a specific location that is special to you? Also be realistic about the time of year. A lot of couples imagine having a nice summers weekend shoot but usually this is unlikely to be an option, your busy photographer will be most likely be photographing someone else’s big day then. Most photographers will state this, or may only give you evening weekday off season options. Don't panic. (You know that gorgeous orangey light- you get that mostly in Autumn and winter anyway!) And if you’re having a summer wedding already, you’ll have beautiful summery couple shots, why not go for a shoot with autumn leaves, or frost on the ground. Don’t be worried about asking your photographer for something different, maybe a sunrise shoot, or an early morning urban shoot before the commuters hit the road. The sky is your limit, but be realistic, you may have made that incredible Pinterest board of ideas but unless your willing to get in a lake, climb a mountain or get up at the crack of dawn then don't expect the photos to look like that.

intimate couples shoot

Going back to Matt & Emma, on the day they were both absolutely brilliant, and totally relaxed into the shoot. This actually helped enormously on the wedding day as the timings had run over so we had less then 10 minutes for the couple shoot and it had just started to rain….But look at the photos you would never have known! 

Surrey barn wedding
Autumn Surrey Wedding
rustic barn wedding

Introduction to the Unplugged Wedding

Unplugged wedding guest taking photos

“Unplugged Weddings” it’s been a bit of a buzz word for the 2016 season, yet we regularly talk to people who are unsure of the meaning, so don't worry we are here to explain all.

 

So what is an unplugged wedding? This is a conscious decision from the bride and groom that they would prefer guests to not take their own pictures during the wedding day. This can be all day or just during the ceremony. It’s a bit of a hot topic amongst photographers at the moment and can be seen in two different lights…

unplugged wedding guests taking photos at the ceremony.
iPhone wedding photo. Choose Unplugged Wedding.
Guests photographing the ceremony.

 

This is the biggest day of the bride and grooms life and so they want as many photos as possible, many couples are even setting up websites or hashtags so that they can gather all the images together. ‘What happens if the photographer misses something?’ Or ’This way we’ll have the whole day covered with photos!’ As photographers we totally get it, we love photographs as much as you do but lets face it when aunt Muriel wacks out her flipping great big iPad, which she struggles to use anyway and creates a 50 photo burst of uncle Pete with his eyes closed, are you really going to treasure those images?

Don’t get us wrong, we love that people enjoy photography and us snapping someone else taking a selfie can make a great photograph, but it’s all about balance. This is why the “unplugged ceremony” works well for a lot of people. You are not banning guests photography all day, just during the ceremony. The ceremony is a pivotal part of the wedding day, and isn't made particularly easy for us photographers with dark churches and each officiant having their own rules about the photography during the service. So you can imagine our heartache when we are waiting for the wedding kissing, we’re all framed beautifully, the couple look fantastic and a then through the lens of the camera an arm with an iPhone attached to the end of it appears just as the kiss happens. (This is why you need two photographers!) Anyway, we cannot tell you how many times we’ve experienced it. You’ve most likely paid a lot for a photographer to be their on your day, give them the best opportunity to capture the most amazing images they can. Speak to your officiant, they will happily address the guests at the beginning of the ceremony about your wishes. We found this quote that an American officiant read during a ceremony, isn't it beautiful.

“Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.”

Confetti guest photographer. Unplugged Wedding!
Confetti guest photograph. Unplugged Wedding.
Confetti guest photography. Unplugged Wedding.

 

So unplugged weddings, we hope we’ve made things a little clearer, they are not essential but are something that more and more couples are thinking about. If you’re unsure speak to your photographer about it, we can guarantee that if you talk to your photographer about having an unplugged wedding they will probably kiss you… we’ll maybe not literally, but they’ll definitely be considering it, trust us! And on that note we’ll leave you with some final tips…

 

Things to consider:

-Find out how many images your photographer will deliver to you, we guarantee around 500, which is the general average. Now that is a LOT of photographs, 500 well lit, well captured, beautiful images, do you need another 1000 dark, blurry iPhone shots on top of that? 

-If you’re worried about the photographer missing certain guests that may have travelled from afar to be with you on your day, speak to them about it before, not afterwards. We have a VIP guests list which we ask our couples to fill out this ensures that we capture any distance, but important relative that we might not otherwise we aware of.

-Finally, find out whether your photographer will be providing an online gallery for you. It’s something we do, as we love sharing our images and of course we want as many people to see them as possible! Providing our couples with a password protected gallery leaves them fully in control of who see their images and where they land up and lets their guests experience the day through photographs too.

 Were not saying Iphone WEdding photography is always bad...

Were not saying Iphone WEdding photography is always bad...

Wedding Couple group selfie.

7 Things we learnt today...

Louise Beukes- What a women! Editorial stylist, blogger to over 20K followers and now founder of B.LOVED Hive. So when we found an opportunity to become part of this wedding community we jumped at the first chance. B.LOVED Hive is space developed for wedding industry professionals to come together, work and be inspired. ‘Meet, Learn, Thrive.’ Louise and the team put on a day of workshops covering all aspects of the industry, we're learning so much we’d be here all day telling you about it, so instead here’s our summary.

  • Working in the wedding industry actually means being an, accountant, marketer, PR guru, IT whiz, stylist, and social media addict.
     
  • Us creatives are busy, crazy people who worry too much, but that’s ok.
     
  • How to share industry knowledge with our couples.
     
  • The wedding industry is an amazingly supportive place to be in.
     
  • We’re all obsessed with having a pretty Instagram.
     
  •  Stop worrying about everyone else is doing- ‘Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.’
     
  • Mini doughnuts are as delicious as they sound.
Cream roses floral table decorations.
Hive tribe at bloved blog workshop
Copper Gold Box details at blogging workshop
Wedding inspiration with Louise Bueke.
Pink and Gold wedding styling during the lunch break
minimalist white wedding vibes and table decoration.
Macaroons, mini doughnuts and heart shaped pink biscuits.
Louise Bueke from BLoved Blog

Wedding Industry Awards Regional Finalists!

This week has been one filled with huge excitement as we discovered that we have been awarded a place as a Regional Finalist at The Wedding Industry Awards. Can you believe it? We'd like to say thank you, as we've have been absolutely blown away by the incredible support of our wonderful couples and friends!

As you can imagine we are beaming ear to ear with this news. Looking back at what has been our most wonderful first wedding season makes us so unbelievably happy, hopefully there are many more to come. Thank you to all of our 2016 brides & grooms who have made this possible, here are some of our highlights below. 

The winner of the awards will be revealed on the 16th November at The Granary Barns in Woodditton, Suffolk - wish us luck.

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Sami & Jak's Hertfordshire Wedding

Sami & Jak's wedding at Hunton Park, Hertfordshire was too beautiful for words... but we thought we would share some anyway! 

It’s Feb 2015, we’re sat in a little cafe with coffees on the order and  Sami & Jak are discussing the plans for their wedding which is over a year away. We got as far as glasshouse, a 17 guest wedding breakfast, no speeches and a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, and they had us hooked- We had to shoot this wedding!

Sami & Jak are not only fantastic people but are a great example of how your wedding should be a day of doing exactly what you want to do! From the get go both Sami & Jak had stressed how they wanted their day to be about everyone coming together for a fantastic celebration, their focus was definitely on their guests and not themselves. 

For this reason it was important for them to only get married in front of their closets family members, 15 adults and 2 children in fact! Hunton Park’s glass room in Kings Langley was the perfect location for such an intimate  event.  Neither of us had photographed such a small ceremony before, but we both agreed a we would do it again in a heartbeat - The ceremony felt like one of the most personal we had every been a part of. Charlie & Daisy, Jaks’ niece and nephew practiced their walking for the isle and did it on cue with perfection. (Poor Charlie actually got quite upset after the ceremony stating, ‘He was just so happy for them’!)

The fantastic staff at Hunton Park then turned the ceremony room around into a beautiful single table for all 17 wedding guests to have their wedding breakfast. Sami & Jak decided not to have any speeches as Sami’s parents are Chinese and the best man was Spanish- too much would be lost in translation! 

Come the afternoon another 80 guests arrived and the party fell into full swing. There was a traditional Chinese tea ceremony on the lawn which consisted of tea being pasted to family elders from the Bride and Groom, the cake cutting of Sami’s amazing self made cake and dancing galore.

Thank you Sami & Jak for having such a beautiful day- there were many firsts for us, but will certainly be one we will not forget.

Hunton Park Hertfordshire