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Nathan & Faye Wedding at Brighton College, Sussex

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Nathan & Faye’s wedding at Brighton College chapel in kemp town. The architecture of this historic college is very beautiful and we used a lot of this for backgrounds in the pictures. The bride had also used this architecture theme in the decoration of the wedding cake. And there was lots of bunting! The dining hall was covered in bunting, bunting on the placards, table plan, and the cake. But why not, bunting is great!

The dining hall was also decorated in lanterns of pink, green and yellow pastel colours. Personalised watches were given to the groomsmen which looked stylish and were a lovely memento. They also had personalised love heart sweets as wedding favours and the tables were named after some of the most beautiful places in Brighton. Fairy lights decorated the evening room, with an ‘F&N’ arranged on one of the college walls.

We even had a bouncy castle to play around with for photographs! Have a look at the groom’s backflip, rather impressive in a 3-piece suit.

Have a look at the full wedding here.

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The perfect proposal?

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The sunset that we experienced on the evening that we got engaged.

Inspired by a rather unfortunate story of an elaborate marriage proposal going rather wrong, I thought I’d share (my version) of how me and my fiancee got engaged last year. We’re getting married in July next year and plans are coming along nicely. But here’s how the process all began.

I bought a fake plastic ring from a high street store as I had spent a few days shopping around but wanted my partner to have some say in what style ring she would have but I was pretty close with what I’d found already (see previous post). We were going on holiday to a surprise location which I didn’t know the location of as my girlfriend wanted to treat us both for our anniversary and it was quite fun having the surprise which I found out at the airport.

Not knowing where we would be for the actual proposal gave me a bit of a challenge and the opportune holiday gave a perfect special occasion to pop the question! So when we arrived at the hotel on the coast of Portugal, near the beautiful area of Sintra outside of Lisbon, the beach seemed like the best place to do it. A west facing beach over the atlantic ocean was surely guaranteed a beautiful sunset which would provide a romantic setting.

So the big evening arrived (our anniversary), we planned to go for an early dinner at around 5-6pm so that we could get back to the hotel beach to watch the sunset over the ocean. We thought we’d walk into the nearby town to the restaurant and order a cab back when we needed to. Not researching or booking a restaurant was my first mistake… The town we were to walk to was Colares, a town rather renowned for it’s Portuguese green wine so we thought we’d find a nice restaurant in this surely rather well populated tourist town, judging by the significant sized font that it was written in on our local map.

After 3 kilometers of walking and not much sight of the town we were both starting to feel a bit fed-up, particularly as my girlfriend was just wearing pumps but we continued on. When we got to the town we found a police station, fire station, town hall, swimming pool and a small restaurant all closed… we continued walking a bit through the town but this place was obviously smaller than we thought. So, after 5 minutes of deliberation we called a local taxi company and continued to wait for 40 minutes for the cab to arrive… oops.

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We got the taxi to drop us in a smaller beach town which we’d visited earlier in the day, this we knew was more populated with restaurants and cafes and we were rather hungry at this point. Past caring, we selected the first place we saw and proceeded to enjoy some Sangria and pizzas in a rather humble cafe. We had an enjoyable meal, good food, nice Sangria and a big screen TV playing the  american version of Masterchef followed by Sex in the City. Hmmm…classy.

So considering that we were at leat 90 minutes behind schedule, the sun started to set a bit earlier than planned and we’d only just finished our meal. Realising the moment was slipping past, but that we still had a lot of sangria left, we grabbed the bill but asked the restaurant to save the drinks for us to come back to (we’re not very wasteful when it comes to alcohol) and I told my partner we HAD to go to the beach and see the sunset right now! We’d gotten onto a second jug of Sangria and I was starting to feel quite tipsy (drinking seemed to calm the nerves a bit) so we rushed down to the beach to be greeted by a stunning sunset and a rather freezing wind.

I found a nice rock for us to sit on, and teeth-cahhteringly told my girlfriends how much she meant to me. Fumbling in my pocket for the ring was rather tricky whilst sitting down, though I thought sitting down was a good idea as it meant I could cunningly swivel into a kneeling position rather quickly. Assuming this position I stuttered in the cold, “Will you do me the honour of being my wife?” to which of course she said yes. Placing the plastic ring on her finger, we became officially engaged.

We then went back to the cafe, polished off the sangria, ordered a cab to get back to the hotel and opened a bottle of Champagne and listened to 80’s music on my phone. Not exactly the perfect proposal but we got there in the end.

Some people plan these elaborate proposals (see above) and even get a photographer along. I’d be very keen to do a shoot of an actual proposal, but I’m glad we didn’t try and do anything like that!

 

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Is your wedding album your favourite book?

This is the book that you’ll show your grandchildren and the book you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. It’s contains photographs of relatives who are no longer with you in 20 years time, or friends you’ve lost touch with; maybe even the book that will be passed down through generations to come…

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What’s your favourite book? Do you own it? Do you have it on a tablet, e-reader or in printed form? I couldn’t pick a favourite, but I suppose some of my favourites would include, my Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe books, The Game of Thrones series (Yes I’ve read them), Harry Potter, A couple of photo books, (We English by Simon Roberts and Magnum stories) my old sketchbooks from college and once we have it, our wedding book. My fiancee has a favourite book which is called Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. I bought her a signed first edition for our first anniversary and it is the only gift I have bought her that made her cry (in a good way).

Books are important. They’re what I browse in a persons house to see what makes them tick. So when looking at your book collection, do you have a space on the shelf for your wedding album? Will you get a wedding album or print out your wedding photographs? Digital photography has done away with the necessity for printed photographs. It’s a shame really, because photographs are only truly their best when they’re printed. The photograph was always intended to be viewed on paper and I wish I had more photographs around my house than I already do! I started writing a webpage about my wedding albums, which you can read here.

What I love about wedding books is that they are actual photographic prints, you can see all the detail on the page that you would otherwise lose on a computer screen or tablet. The images flow together on the page to tell the story of your day and the book makes it easy to flick through the images at your own leisure. It’s what I would want for the photographs that I would look at for the rest of my life.

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I remember talking with an old friend of mine’s parents about the fact that I wanted to get into wedding photography and they showed me their album. I had only just met them, but they were willing to share their most precious memories with me in this printed album.

The thing that I think about when I think of a wedding album and how important it is, I think that, if my house was on fire, I’d grab that book (and my hard drive of photographs)! Photographs used to be irreplaceable, and some still are. Years from now, you’ll get it down from the shelf, blow off some dust and relive everything all over again. The memories of that day, your friends and your family and your special day of love for your other; they’re worth being put into a book or printed into an album, aren’t they?

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Mona Lisa Photo

One of my more random photographs. I liked this shot so much because it just seemed so bizarre afterwards.

Of course, it’s a print of the Mona Lisa, not the real thing. It was taken in an Italian restaurant in Perugia; the Bride & Groom had set up a DIY photo-booth of basic props and a polaroid camera near to it. I couldn’t resist taking a shot with this print in the background and the more I look at it, the more it makes me smile.

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Confetti Photos – How to get the most from your confetti

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Some couples supply their own confetti, either in bags or baskets for people to grab a handful, or in individually wrapped cones pictured here.

Confetti photos are a fairly standard shot that most couples want to do on their wedding day. Because of the nature of the confetti, lightweight petals or paper being thrown (as hard as people can throw things that are as light as feathers) straight towards two peoples faces, causing them to cower slightly whilst grinning through it; it is a very difficult shot to get right! One tip I’ve discovered lately, is to ask the crowd to thrown some over my head too, that way you can get more in the shot!

The best confetti that I’ve worked with is no bigger than a penny and there should be lots of it. If this shot is important to you, then supply your own, some people will bring confetti, but never enough to get a good shot. You also won’t have consistency if you wish to keep the colours of the colour scheme in your confetti too and you won’t get a say in how large the confetti is.

Larger confetti (usually rose petals or similar), is fine to use, but gets caught by the wind more, and I would suggest having more of it than less if possible. if there isn’t enough, it can tend to look a bit fruitless as there won’t be enough in the shot as the wind whips it away before we’ve had a chance to take a few shots.

You should check with your venue about their rules on confetti. It should ALWAYS be biodegradable, otherwise it’s just litter afterwards! Usually a church doesn’t want it in the grounds as they have weddings often every week and you wouldn’t want someone-else’s confetti rotting away in the grounds on your wedding day. Other venues tend to ask that you do it in a certain place, just so that it’s easy to clean up.

Some people also opt for bubbles instead of confetti, which can work nicely, especially as it doesn’t create any mess, you can do it anywhere. I’ve shot weddings where they blow bubbles for the exit march at the end, but I would recommend setting up the bubbles for afterwards as again, wind can have an effect on the bubbles and as they’re transparent, they’re harder to see in the shot.

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Spot the confetti: Here, larger petals were used in quite windy weather, as you can see, there isn’t really enough and it hasn’t quite gone according to plan.

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Loads of confetti here – This is how you do it! And the venue has it done on the red carpet, so someone just comes to afterwards with a hoover to clean it up! 

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Bubbles instead of confetti can be a nice alternative

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A lot of people do it immediately after the ceremony, but you don’t have to. This was taken in early evening with close friends and family and I had time to get studio lights together to light it properly, this really helped bring out the colours!

Check out the groom’s face in the above picture, it’s something that is inevitable when people shower you with something, even if it’s pretty petals! I always shoot about 10 frames for confetti and even in the best one’s you might have a bit more of a grimace than you’d like! Try and grin through it, focus on looking at the camera during the shot, and SMILE! Be prepared to have it all in your hair and probably don’t the back of your shirt or dress afterwards as well!

You can also have too much of a good thing, the shot below has so much confetti, that you can’t see the couple anymore!

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Christopher & Natasha’s Wedding at Bartholomew Barn, Kirdford, Sussex

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Chris & Natasha’s wedding from back in August at St Giles Church in Graffham and reception held at Bartholomew Barn in Kirdford in West Sussex. This wedding has lots of rustic personality in the decoration details, lots of wicker hearts, lantern jam jars, bunting and hay bales for the authentic, countryside wedding. The kids had a lovely little play tent complete with loom bands and pirate outfits!

A stag features prominently in the details; on the groom’s tie pin, the table plan of antlers, and a rather risk-ay photo booth! The stag is in reference to Richmond Park in London, a place close to their ‘hart’ (oh deer…).

The weather was a bit mixed, and a large rain cloud came over to threaten rain whilst doing the photos, but this atmosphere made a really dramatic backdrop for the bride and groom photos. The Rolls Royce was a really great touch for a couple of photos. Of course, it then bucketed down afterwards, but we were all safely tucked up inside Bartholomew barn for a warming, cosy & rustic wedding reception.

View the whole wedding here or take a look through the photos below.

 

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Preview – Lewis & Rosie’s Wedding at Farleigh Golf Club

A couple of shots from Lewis & Rosie’s wedding at Farleigh Golf Course, just as the sun went down over the Surrey landscape.

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