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The Wedding Dress Hanging Up

One of my favourite shots at the beginning of a wedding day is this one. Just a nice photo of the dress before it’s been put on. Here are a few of my best, and why I like them.

A couple of tips for Brides:

  • Make sure you have a nice hanger for the dress, usually the shop supplies you with one, but a nice wooden hanger will do.
  • Consider where you’re getting ready from a visual perspective. Staying in a nice hotel room the night before can be pricey, but think of it as an investment your photographs (as they will look nicer) and that the room will be large and tidy which will help you feel more relaxed and give everyone plenty of space to get ready.

There are some good tips for taking photographs of the dress here too!

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The wardrobes in hotels are always usually very ornate and pretty, and most hotel rooms will offer plenty of space to get a really great shot of the dress. The dark wood also helps the dress stand out nicely.

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In nice weather, I’ve actually taken the dress outside (with careful help from a bridesmaid) and hung the dress in a nice nearby tree if there’s one available. This always produces a beautiful result, particularly with nice full dresses like these as they blow in a light breeze.

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Hanging the dress against a window only really works with dresses that have lace patterns as part of the design. The light coming through the dress really helps to bring out the pattern work.

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My absolute favourite, taken in Perugia Italy. We were in a hotel right in the centre of the town, which is right on top of the hill (If you’re never been to Perugia, I throughly recommend it) and so you can see a stunning Italian vista in the background. This shot required a huge amount of flash power to balance the exposure of the curtains and dress against the strong Italian summer sunshine.

Lisa_&_Nicky_Wedding_Eversholt_Hall_Milton_Keynes_0002And I also love this shot of two bridal dresses together from a civil partnership I shot a couple of years ago. I like how the dresses are different and the hangers are different colours.

 

 

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Marc & Hannah’s wedding at Worthing Dome

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Marc & Hannah’s wedding was held above Worthing Dome Cinema, which is a beautiful Art Deco cinema on the seafront, perfect fro a chic, retro and vintage inspired wedding. They served fresh popcorn as wedding favours for guests before we all headed over to the pier for some photographs by the beach.

My favourite shots were actually taken inside the cinema with Marc & Hannah. We snuck in to the movies between screenings and had some fun with lighting, using the seats and the red curtain for the background.

A very musical wedding too, with the Spicer sisters singing during the ceremony, a guitar being used for the weddign guest book and all the tables were named after Beatle’s albums. The evening’s entertainment featured the Vintage DJ stylings of the Still-Moving DJs and was illuminated by vintage string lights and candelabras around the room.

View the full wedding here!

 

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Buying a wedding ring

Johnny_&_Amy_Wedding_The_Bodkin_Gloucestershire_0021  We’ve started shopping for our wedding rings over the past couple of weekends and I’ve learned a few small tips that I thought I’d share with you all.

For once, guys tend to be more fussy than girls. I know, I was quite shocked too; but I can’t choose! Speaking with one jeweller, he said that most guys aren’t used to wearing jewellery at all, so it feels strange to consider buying one piece of jewellery (something we’ve never done for ourselves before) knowing that we’ll wear it for the rest of our lives! It’s a big decision and we don’t want to make it lightly. You want to choose something beautiful and timeless that you can wear forever!

Getting a metal that matches your engagement ring so that when they rub together, they don’t wear against each other unevenly.

Things to look at

Metal Type: This will largely define the price for you, so be realistic with your budget and select the metal first! Then you can look at various designs, based around your budget.

Style: Lots of different cuts will affect how much the wedding ring feels on your finger and how it looks. You can get shapes from squared edges to rounded ones and different cuts to suit you. You can slo put gems in

Weight: Titanium is a much lighter metal than more traditional metals and it is also much stronger! The ring weight will obviously affect how it feels on your finger, so try plenty on at a shop before buying one!

Width: The width is obviously more expensive the larger you want your ring to be. It will depend on your finger size and how large you want the ring to look in comparison to the rest of your hand.

Finish: Grooved edges, brushed metal or polished mirror are all popular styles. Again, try plenty on and see what feels good for you.

Shopping

We’ve considered small, independent jewellers against larger, chain stores here in Brighton. There isn’t much of a price difference, and, unlike the engagement ring you’re not really shopping for the quality of a diamond and it’s usually just about the metal. I bought an engagement ring from an independent but I think I’m going to buy my ring from a chain store, as I believe that I’ll get a bit more for my money.

You could also go online, a number of online retailers claim to be cheaper as you’re buying direct from them but shop around once you’ve found a style, metal and size you like. You could also consider buying your ring second hand if you;re looking to pick up a bargain and get a lot more for your money.

The hierarchy of metals in terms of price, seems to go from Platinum, Palladium, White Gold, Yellow Gold, Titanium, Tungsten & finally Silver. This website article by Wedding Ideas Mag was a very helpful introduction to the various metals you can choose from at most jewellery stores.

What did you find when buying your ring? Please comment below and share your experience with others!

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P.S. For Photographers, when photographing wedding rings, zoom in, use F8 and the fastest shutter speed you can, preferably over 1/100. I find placing rings on simple backgrounds works best, particularly either a textured surface or using the order of service! Don’t forget your rule of thirds, or opt for a central composition instead.

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Johnny & Amy’s Wedding at the Bodkin, Badminton, Gloucestershire

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Set in a quiet traditional country inn, The Bodkin, Amy & Johnny had a lovely rustic reception in the Cotswolds. They invited guests to this venue first, before loading them all into a Big Red London Route-master Bus and taking all their guests to the church for their countryside wedding.

Amy arrived in a Studebaker classic car to the Church of St Peter at Wapley Hill for an intimate ceremony followed by a couple of photos in the garden and a nice showering of confetti! We then all traveled back to the Bodkin for a reception breakfast, speeches and then a serving of afternoon tea. The wedding cake featured a traditional tiered cake and a sister cake of a Tardis from Dr Who!  

I got some great photos of the flower girls on swings during the reception, which I learnt how to do at an earlier wedding this year. Then everyone piled in for a great first dance with some wonderful lighting (and a bit of off-camera flash) before having some shots in the Photo-booth with various sunglasses to choose from. The sunglasses were also for guests to take away as wedding favours!

Check out the wedding below, or see the full wedding here.

 

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Giving away the Bride

0306_Shane_&_Rachael_Wedding_Cripps_Barn_Bibury_Gloucestershire ‘Who gives this woman to be married to this man?’ I find the above statement a little bit too much; Giving away the bride is an antiquated tradition from the days when women were their father’s property until they got married and became their husband’s property. A husband may have even paid a bride price for his fiancee or a dowry may have been given to the groom before the ‘exchange’ of female property… romantic huh? If you’re looking to move far away from this archaic practice, this website has a wonderful selection of alternatives: weddings.about.com Oliver_&_Debbie_Wedding_Crockstead_Farm_Sussex_0290 However, it’s a nice tradition and quite an emotional moment on the wedding day and one I always enjoy capturing. The giving away part of the ceremony is very beautiful but also very quick, it’s a very difficult couple of shots to get as I usually want the kiss from the father to the bride and the handshake greeting the father may give the groom in a civil ceremony (above). In church weddings, this doesn’t necessarily happen, but the Father will hand his daughters hand to the priest and the priest follows the motion through by passing the hand to the groom (below). Kevin_&_Michelle_Wedding_Lancing_College_Sussex_0356 It leads on from being walked down the aisle; the father or named person, will stand to the left of the bride after they’ve walked together up the aisle and will be there until they ‘give them away’. Of course, you don’t have to have your father do it, you could always ask your mother or even a close friend to do it, or get both sets of parents to give their blessing to your marriage. Tradition’s are great, but even better when they’re flexible and when you tailor them to suit you both as a couple. Nathan_&_Faye_Wedding_Brighton_College_Sussex_0256

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Kevin & Michele’s Wedding at Lancing College, Sussex

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Kevin & Michelle were married at Lancing College, and were lucky enough to book their wedding on the same day of Shoreham Air Show. Ever since I first drove past Lancing college, I’ve looked over a dreamed of photographing it. It’s chapel is a stunning piece of architecture and stands magnificently in the south downs, north of Shoreham-by-Sea. The chapel’s interior doesn’t disappoint, the vaults, chandeliers and stained glass windows make it a truly beautiful church, and one of the easiest locations I’ve ever worked in. I had so much light during the ceremony, it made photographing it almost too easy!

Michele and Bridesmaids got ready at the Grand Hotel, Brighton and had the wedding ceremony in the college chapel. The service featured a welsh singing choir (as the bride is from Cardiff) and Michele looked radiant in her wedding dress, holding a beautiful bouquet of creams and pinks supplied by Walter Smith Flowers.

The reception was spent on the lawns of the church, overlooking the airshow and in the college quad where we took the group photographs. The dining hall is also beautiful and had long tables with candelabra, butterflies and pink and cream flowers for decorations.

Have a look at the full wedding here.

 

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The Silver Sixpence

 Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something blue; and a silver sixpence in her shoe.

I decided to look this tradition up on wikipedia and came across a few interesting facts about the silver sixpence most notably:

Graham and Jenny_0282“A silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe is a traditional good luck wedding gesture, and customarily it is the father of the bride who places the sixpence as a token of him wishing her prosperity, love and happiness in her marriage.”

It also states that the coin was first minted in 1551 and ended circulation in 1970 (when the British Pound was introduced instead), a sixpence was the cost of a penguin book from Woolworths in 1930 and Brian May uses one instead of a plectrum! Wow, thanks Wikipedia!

I had wondered about the above quote, as I’ve rarely seen the father put it in the shoe, but when I did it was a lovely moment. Some people wear it inside the shoe, but other’s I’ve found will stick the coin on the bottom of a heeled shoe like this:

Weddings-1You could buy one from the Royal Mint (One of the oldest businesses in the UK!) for around £30.00 or treat yourself to a vintage edition from a rare coin collector for probably much more! But if you visit a general online retailer or even go for used goods, such as eBay you can probably pick one of these up for between £5-£10.

It’s one of those lovely details of the wedding that can get overlooked, but these little moments make all the difference in making a wedding day truly special. Even if you don’t want Dad to put it in your shoe, make sure your photographer gets a photo or two of it! You might end up popping it on eBay for someone else to use next year!