Lauren & Lee's Italian Romance - Tuscany April 2019

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Tuscany

San Galgano Abbey - 11th April 2019


Lauren & Lee chose the stunning San Galgano Abbey in the Tuscan area of Val de Merse for their wedding ceremony.

This is one of the most suggestive settings in Tuscany, and makes for a truly unforgettable and magical backdrop for a wedding. The abbey is located about 25 miles from Siena, in southern Tuscany. The Cistercian Abbey was built in 1324, and holds a very important place in the art and history of Siena.

Travelling with Lauren’s make up artist Hannah at Lipstick & Hairpins, we both travelled together to Pisa 2 days before the wedding date. Having a giggle on the plane and then having a few issues with which train to catch (there were a few stops and changes to get to Siena from Pisa!) not great with luggage and Hannah with all her kit and me with all mine too, it was back breaking! We arrived at Siena around 9pm and was welcomed by Dan who was our Uber driver, he was a very cautious driver which were were thankful for as the twists and turns and sheer drops on the 40 minute drive to the hotel was hair raising! I was also grateful I couldn’t see much as it was getting dark! I really don’t like heights!

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We arrived at Agriturismo & Casale, a pretty rustic Italian hotel and restaurant just a stones throw away from the abbey. This would be my base for 4 days and I wasn't disappointed as it was picture perfect and everything you can imagine.

On waking the next day, I opened my blinds to see the most beautiful Tuscan sunrise, it was breathtaking with the view of the Abbey just literally a few feet away. It’s was truly wonderful.

Hannah and I spent the day meeting with Lauren & Lee to go over the final details for the wedding the following day, we also has time to go into Siena with Lauren and her bridesmaids Lucy. Lucy’s husband drove, although he wasn’t so cautious as Dan on those twisty roads! (My eyes were firmly shut for at least 25 mins) I’m a bit of a nervous passenger! We got there and back safely, so all good!

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The morning of the wedding arrived, I opened my blinds to a grey, wet day, how disappointing but I wished and prayed for sunshine during the ceremony as the abbey has no roof!

Hannah had an earlier start to me as she headed to Laurens room to make a 7am start of the hair and makeup for the bridesmaids. When I arrived to see Lauren in her room, I was excitedly greeted by Sam her bridesmaid, on hand for all bridesmaid duties including getting the coffee!

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I spotted Laurens dress hanging up, I never tire of seeing brides dresses and I literally let out a squeal! Stunning! I knew Lauren was going to look simply exquisite in this dress.

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Whilst the ladies were prepping themselves, I headed over to the guys to find a few rather brave and crazy groomsmen about to take a dip in the natural outdoor swimming pool, it was pretty cold in Tuscany so probably not outdoor bathing weather!

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Lee wasn’t as brave and spent his morning setting up the garden games and just relaxing with the rest of the groomsmen.

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When it was time for the ceremony, Lee and his groomsmen headed to the Abbey on foot, which was just a couple of minutes walk down a pretty tree lined lane. The abbey was closed for the hour duration of the ceremony for the sole use of the wedding party. San Galgano Abbey is a popular tourist attraction so it was no surprise to see some tourists waiting to see the bride!

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Just as Lauren was about to leave the hotel, the sun shone brightly and the warm Tuscan sun was so very welcome!

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Watched by around 40 of their friends and family, they had a little bit of a wait until Lauren reached Lee.

Lauren was escorted by her father, bridesmaids and her best friend Nuno who would help Lauren down the aisle to Lee.

It took Lauren a whole 2 minutes to walk down this aisle! It was by far the longest aisle I’ve seen!

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When Lauren reached Lee, he kissed Laurens hand and had so much love in his eyes for Lauren, it was very emotional.

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The vows were beautifully translated by Laurens friend Bianca.

Following the ceremony, we did the group photos then bride & groom photos around the stunning Abbey and the sun shone so beautifully thought the ceremony, we were all grateful!

Lauren & Lee celebrated the rest of the day with a stunning meal and emotional speeches, a free bar for their guests and their first dance. I later joined them in their celebrations.

A wedding I won’t forget!

Thanks for choosing me to capture your most wonderful wedding day!

Hair and Make up by Hannah at lipstick and hairpins https://www.lipstickandhairpins.co.uk/

Hotel: https://www.sangalgano.it/en/

More images of Lauren and Lee’s wedding below


Lauren & Lee’s Gallery

Tuscany April 2019

Kayleigh & Daniel - The Old Nene Golf and Country Club Feb/19

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Kayleigh and Dan chose the Old Nene as their wedding ceremony and reception venue and with the ideal grounds , they chose well for their day. The hospitality at the Old Nene was superb!

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Green was most definitely the theme of the day for Kayleigh & Dan. Choosing a Satin Green pair of shoes and a Green biker jacket proved a great choice for Kayleigh. It worked so very well!

I have to shout out to Kayleigh on her fabulous artistic talents! She made all the paper flowers and her own bouquet herself! pretty amazing!

Kayleigh & Dan chose to both get ready in separate lodges prior to the ceremony.

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Kayleigh’s dress was exquisite! made by Stella York, the back detail was so delicate and intricate. Kayleigh looked radiant!

Dan chose a grey suit complimented with a Green tie, this all tied in with the colour theme. Along with a handmade button hole made by Kayleigh.

I was assisted by the talented Liz Greenhalgh as she captured the Groomsmen and the guests while I concentrated on Kayleigh & Dan.

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They had a retro theme also running through their day, with after ceremony snacks consisting of 80’s crisps such as space Raiders, I used to love those! They also made the cake themselves by opting for a Pringle cake! Yep a PRINGLE cake! It was brilliant, never have I in 10 years seen a Pringle wedding cake.

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The ceremony took place overlooking the lake, with the ceremony room having large windows looking out to the lake, this was a perfect place to say “I do”

After the ceremony we headed out to the large patio and commenced the group photos. I never like to spend too long with this element of the day so I work nice and quickly to ensure the bride & groom and guests can enjoy the rest of the day.

Kayleigh and Dan chose to hop into a Golf buggy and we headed over towards the little bridge for some photos.

The wedding meal was burgers and jacket potatoes, who doesn’t love happy food like this!

As the evening drew in, they chose to have sparklers which were a great idea! I love how these look in photographs.

Kayleigh and Dan celebrated into the evening with their many guests. What a wonderful day!

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Hair & Make up: Georgie Phillipson and Shelley Richardson

Venue: The Old Nene Golf & Country Club - Contact is Matt Brown

Make-up: Rebekka Amos

Flowers: Kayleigh’s own handicrafts

Dress: The Tailors Cat in Cambridge

Disco: Wayne at Wonderland Events

Flower Wall: Elegant Design

Second Photographer: Liz Greenhalgh Photography







Emma & Paul - Poets House Ely

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Emma & Paul chose the stylish Poets house in Ely for their wedding ceremony and reception. Being a very intimate wedding of less than 30 guests, the day was super relaxed, a little chilly but overall simply lovely!

“Poets House is a charming hotel in the heart of historic Ely, perfect for weekend breaks, conferences, weddings and celebrations in Cambridgeshire.
Originally consisting of three Grade-II-listed properties of the early 1900s and the home of a renowned local author, Poets House is a uniquely stylish hotel, restaurant and events venue. Coupling the buildings' original charm with stunningly innovative interiors, Poets House affords guests the perfect blend of luxury and comfort”

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Poets House is perfect for smaller wedding, It has a very homely touch to the atmosphere, while rich dark wood is a vibrant contrast, the hues of soft greys and plush velvet furniture, along with mirrored coffee tables give that perfect balance to the feel of the hotel.

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When i completed taking the detail photos of the flowers and the cake, I headed up to see Emma. She was getting ready in the stunning Bridal Suite, which has an amazing copper bath!

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Emma was accompanied by her mum as they chatted whilst getting ready. Wearing a beautiful elegant gown, Emma looked radiant.

As Paul waited for Emma, he greeted their guests and mingled in the beautiful Bar area.

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They share a love of bears, not teddy bears (although who doesn’t love a teddy bear) it’s the grizzly wild types they love. I even got a photo of their daughters bear with a button hole.

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All the floral woodland theme of the wedding was all down to the clever artistic talents of Julia at “What the Fleur” she’s a super talented lady! Emma’s bouquet was a mixture of wintery whites and soft greens.

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The yummy cake was made by two talented sisters called Claire & Holly at The Isle Bakery in Ely (details at the end) Oh my was this cake something else! Bottom tier - chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream = Yummy!
Middle tier - vanilla sponge with raspberry buttercream = Yep more Yummy
Top tier - chocolate cake (with gluten free ingredients) and white chocolate buttercream = Can you tell I like cake!!

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Following on from the ceremony, Emma & Paul braved the cold and we headed out for some photos before the meal commenced.

It was a beautiful relaxed day and one I will always remember.

Further images from their day….

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All the lovely things

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Poets House

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The Isle Bakery

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What the Fleur













Cheryl & Gareth - Barnsdale Lodge Rutland

Ahh I was so made up when Cheryl & Gareth asked me to be the photographer for their wedding day. Cheryl is family, she's my sisters step daughter which make me her step aunty something?  Anyway, she's such a sweetheart and she then announced she's marrying her lovely man Gareth.

I was so so very happy for them both. I had only met Gareth at the initial consultation, he makes a wicked cuppa! and he's a lovely chap with a dry sense of humour too.  I honestly didn't know if he was being serious when he said he was in charge of the flowers.!!...I never like to assume!  But.. that was Cheryl's domain of course as she's also a florist amongst many other creative talents. 

They chose to marry at the beautiful Normanton Church, I love this place so much! It's a quaint beautiful church on the very edge (partly submerged) in the water on the edge of Rutland Water. 

The surprise of the day was when everyone had arrived at Barnsdale Lodge in thinking the wedding would actually take place at the hotel. Little did they know they would all be ushered onto a beautiful old Red Double decker bus over to Normanton Church for the ceremony! Only I, Gareth and Cheryl knew this. It was top secret. 

A beautiful ceremony then followed by a Prosecco bar on a bike! I loved this, such a lovely touch! 

The guests all jumped on the bus and headed back to Barnsdale Lodge for the rest of the celebrations. 

I have to say, I loved it all and I wish them a lifetime of silly giggles, good tea and an abundance of happy days. 

Morning Preparation Hints and Tips

How to get the absolute best from your morning preparation photos


Hey! so I've decided to create a post about how to make sure you get the absolute best photos from the morning of your wedding.

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Having seen more than a few of these mornings and captured many a bride during the morning preparations, I feel its time to write a little blog about this. I want you to get the best out of this with minimum amount of pressure on you.

So first on my list is the location of your preparations. Are you planning on staying at a hotel, or perhaps you are getting ready at home or a relatives house. Either way these little tips will help wherever you are planning on getting ready.

Rooms - Ideally a large lounge area works well as this gives you and me and your bridal party room to mingle without tripping over shoes and clothes. It rarely works if you are in a bedroom upstairs with no space and dim light, so think about the room where there is the most light and space.  Often conservatories can be too bright (and hot) depending on the time of year but it's not to be dismissed as some work well.

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Think light, LOTS of light! my work is soft and bright and having a room where you are getting ready in with lots of natural light is a perfect set up. Ideally your make up artist (if you are having one) should feel the same about the light too.  So if she or he positions you in a dark corner it may be useful to ask to be moved to a window where there's lots of lovely light spilling in.

If your partner has given you a gift or a card, if you can try and wait until I arrive so I can capture the details and emotions as you open this then great!  If not I will do a staged photo of this but there's nothing better than real emotions.

Have your dress, shoes and any accessories you are wearing ready in one place. Tags and labels removed from items,  shoes, dress and bridesmaids dresses hanging up on pretty hangers (plastic ones don't have the same effect) I will rearrange these for photographing.

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Do you have any Save the Date cards and any stationery such as invitations? please have these to hand too as I can create a lovely layout photo of these for you

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Think spacious and clutter free as plates of food, deodorant, perfume bottles, clothes, shoes and bags are a distraction in a photo and can clutter the background. Not only will this look nicer, you will be stress free in a fresh tidy room.

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Often rooms can have too much going on,  such as an abundance of ornaments which are often treasured possessions but could perhaps be popped into a box for the day away in another room. These photos will form part of your wedding album so although I would never insist you make these changes, it's really important to think about how the room looks. . I would also recommend you prepare the room the day before, so you're not doing this on the morning...ask your bridesmaids to help on the day if the day before isn't possible.

What are you planning on wearing? that old t shirt you arrived in or that multi coloured onesie you doss around the house in? no no no!!!! aargh!!! I have actually seen this before and whilst you may be comfy, it wont look good in your photos. Think light neutral colours in pastel pinks, greys or creams if you don't have a theme,  or perhaps think about your theme colours of your wedding and incorporate this into your bridal preparation attire. For example, If you have a Teal accent in your colours then think about some lovely matching robes for you all. It will look fab!

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While you are having your hair finalised, have your bridesmaids get into their dresses. When it comes to you getting into your dress, they can help you and I will capture these moments. With them all dressed and ready, this will look so much nicer in the photos.

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All the above also applies to the guys too! there are things they can do to be prepared if you are wishing me to document your groom and his groomsmen getting ready too.

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Relax! try and relax and don't worry! I will try to be discreet but I do like to have a bit of banter with the girls too. I won't be intrusive and will chat with you all and explain what I'm doing. Rest assured!  this is what I do,  and I know when something does or doesn't work. It's my job to capture you at your best.

By thinking ahead of your day and taking on board some of these tips, this will help me to capture some beautiful moments for you.

 

 

 

Michelle & Gary pre wedding session

A few weeks ago I met with Michelle & Gary for their pre wedding session. We decided on heading over to Castor back water and were blessed with beautiful sunshine for the shoot.  I can't wait to photograph their wedding in July :-)

Kalee & Joe's Wedding - Dodmoor House

It's not often I get called upon at such short notice and on this occasion I was more than happy to help. I was available anyway so I was happy to do Kalee & Joe's wedding at such short notice. Their previous photographer is a photographer friend of mine as she sadly had some upsetting news and couldn't do the wedding photography and passed my details onto Kalee & Joe. 

When Kalee called me I instantly knew we would get along. Her bubbly character was evident as we spoke about her day and how she envisaged the day unfolding. We discussed packages and they were both happy to opt for my full day package as she wanted full coverage from the bridal preparations through to the end of the first dance.

As Kalee & Joe live down South, we never had the opportunity to meet as she was getting married just a week later, so we did everything online and via the phone.  They chose Dodmoor House as it was centrally located for both sides of guests as they travelled from opposite ends of the country. 

I have to say, Dodmoor House is one very special venue, it has everything a wedding would need. a stunning ceremony room and the barn conversion with the mezzanine bar and balcony, lots of space and a pretty courtyard with steps. There's the old house itself which is beautiful as a photo backdrop with a tree lined road leading up to the house. The other great thing it had was extensive grounds to walk around which again made for some really pretty areas for photos.

The other absolute positive of my own experience was when Claire the wedding Co ordinator called me to introduce herself to me and filled me in on the day itself. She then emailed over a detailed schedule of events which I found very useful indeed. I simply created my own timeline and sent this over to Claire. Its useful to do this as there are sometimes discrepancies in times etc.

On the day itself I set off from Peterborough and travelled an hour to Dodmoor house. On arrival I was warmly greeted by Vicky (one of the team) and shown around. I found Kalee with her mum and bridesmaids in a little bit of a panic as Kalee's sister was in suspected labour (a little early) She lived an hour away so hadn't yet made it to the venue. Naturally there was excitement and also nerves as this was to be the first grandchild!  The baby didn't arrive throughout the day but her sister was able to watch the ceremony via Skype on a mobile phone at home. 

I then met with Joe as he arrived with his two best men. Joe is another smiley happy character, it was clear to see why Kalee & Joe are so very suited with each other. They would share pockets of laughter throughout the day and Kalee's infectious laugh had others laughing with them. 

They exchanged their vows in the ceremony room which had beautiful natural light filling the room (always a thumbs up from a photographer)  Claire was on hand throughout the day and worked tirelessly to make sure everything was taken care of.

Following the ceremony,  we took a few minutes out so the bride and groom could enjoy a few moments with their guests and a celebratory glass of bubbly. we then moved onto the group photos which didn't take long at all. I had given Kalee & Joe an example list of 10 group photos and they managed to stick to a max of 10 sets. This not only helped in terms of timing but much to the glee of guests so they weren't having to stand around for ages being photographed.  

I took Kalee & Joe around the gardens and the main house for some photos, luckily just in time before it rained on us. 

Their day ended with sparklers outside in the courtyard, such a lovely idea! I can't wait to do this again at other weddings. 

I know Kalee & Joe will have a wonderful life together, they are made for each other x

Dodmoor House http://www.dodmoorhouse.co.uk

 

Audley End House

What a stunning place! If you've never been then get yourself over to this fabulous House. 

This early 17th Century mansion was once a prodigy house, a palace in all but name and renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England

We wandered the gardens and took in the beauty of all the landscaping. Such beauty! The Greenhouses were fabulous too, housing a variety of Tomatoes.

 

 

Bluebell Walk (2016)

I forgot to write about this little session I did for my best friend and her beautiful children. We headed to Ferry Meadows and just took a relaxed stroll and picked up leaves and threw twigs in the river (stuff little ones love to do)  We sat in a gap in the Bluebells (nothing was disturbed or damaged otherwise I wouldn't have done this session. I'm very outdoorsey so I appreciate all things natural and the wildlife.

Location - Ferry Meadows  Bluebell Walk

Mr & Mrs Woolf - South Farm Wedding

Well what can I say!  This wedding was simply stunning.

Josie & Ashley chose the beautiful South Farm near Royston to exchange their wedding vows and celebrate their special day.  I had met them both a whole year previously and they booked me on the merit of my relaxed soft style of photography.   They had both travelled over from sunnier days in Australia to have their wedding here in our little England.   It was so pretty at the farm, the staff worked tirelessly throughout the day making sure all the little details were taken care of.   Josie and her bridesmaids were getting ready in the wonderful bridal suite with it's loft bedroom and pitched roof, it was so pretty for photos too. Meanwhile, I caught up with Ashley and his groomsmen as they were getting ready in another room across the courtyard. These guys were so relaxed! Beautiful day and I wish them the best of happiness for the future x

Family session at Rutland Water

I met with a lovely family back in the summer for a fun mini session over at rutland water. Here are a few images from their session.

Mini sessions can be purchased for £49 covering the session time and 3 digital files. All edited images are uploaded to a private gallery where you can purchase more images or prints and opt to purchase all images from the session (around 50+ images) 

Jayne & Family - Natural Portrait Session at Hitchingbrook Park Huntingdon

Frank & Vilma Wedding - Peterborough

This was a very last minute wedding and it was fortunate I  had the availability to capture their day as I had another enquiry for the same date just a few weeks before. Frank & Vilma had planned a very intimate wedding of just 30 family & friends to celebrate their day.

Frank & Vilma chose to exchange their wedding vows at Peterborough Registry office and they only wanted a couple of hours coverage from Vilma getting ready through to the start of their meal at the Granary on Oundle Road. 

I started off at the Marriott hotel where Vilma and her best friend were getting ready and captured Vilma having her hair done, her shoes and important details such as her stunning lace gown and fresh flower white rose bouquet. I have to say Vilma looked radiant in her dress!

After capturing the bridal preparations, I headed to the registry office and met with Frank who was sporting a kilt (being Scottish of course!) I couldn't wait to tell him how beautiful Vilma looked and he had a look of pride on his face. 

After the exchange of vows we headed over to Ferry Meadows to do the Bride & Groom photos which was only a short drive away from their reception.

I wish them all the best and a happy healthy future together.

Hannah & Jim Wedding - The William Cecil

The beautiful William Cecil Hotel in Stamford

The beautiful William Cecil Hotel in Stamford

I love weddings,  and every single one is different.  The people, the venue and the weather all have an impact on the images and despite it being a wet day for Hannah & Jim, It didn’t make a difference at all.

They had planned to use the garden for their ceremony and exchange their vows under the newly erected pavilion, unfortunately the weather had other ideas and the ceremony took place in one of the beautiful rooms in the hotel.

My day started at the hotel bright and early and caught Jim outside the hotel cleaning his car! It wasn’t the usual thing I would expect a Groom to be doing on the morning of his wedding, but they had just taken delivery of it the day before and wanted to incorporate this into the photos if the weather played nice.

Hannah was in the beautiful bridal suite along with her 3 bridesmaids sipping champagne and enjoying the morning preparations.

Hannah had been given a stunning sapphire necklace from Jim and I managed to document this as she opened it. Hannah in return had bought Jim a rather posh watch but had in fact presented Jim with a pair of socks instead! He eventually received his watch and was pleasantly surprised!

Hannah wore a stunning light dusky pink lace wedding dress which wasn’t what anyone was expecting! She doesn’t wear dresses and she doesn’t like Pink so this was a surprise for most.  I have to say, she looked absolutely amazing in her dress, what a beautiful bride!

Following their ceremony they were greeted by a traditional chimney sweep to wish them luck with their lives together.

They held their meal in the garden Marquee which is situated at the back of the hotel followed by speeches. We managed to venture out for a while to get some photos around the beautiful garden area.

Overall another fabulous wedding at this beautiful venue. I wish Hannah & Jim all the best for the future x