LGBT weddings

Parley Manor Wedding Photography | Jemma+Alice

Back in the day, I ran a contest to win a couple’s shoot. I’m not ashamed to say that it was a way to help boost my portfolio. In the process, I met a wonderful couple, Jemma and Alice. We met and had coffee in the sun outside Cafe Flirt in Bournemouth’s Triangle area. We sat and chatted for quite a while about how they met, my style of photography, etc. etc. It was quite obvious that we got on well and that the shoot would be great fun.

When we met for their shoot a couple of months later, Jemma very coyly announced that since we last met, they had got engaged. Amazing!! So it was now an engagement shoot.

We had so much fun walking around Hengistbury Head in the sun, then onto the beach where we chatted some more about their plans for the wedding. They seemed super organised as they had already selected the venue and booked a date. These ladies were my kind of couple. Fast forward to the day they received their photos from the shoot… they liked them so much, they decided they wanted to book me as their wedding photographer. The best result I could have hoped for.

It may seem like a cheap marketing ploy to some, but I’m not that shallow. Sometimes it might make things easier to a certain degree, but that just ain’t my style. I want couples to want to book me; I want there to be a connection between us all; I want them to love my work, but ultimately, I want it all to be genuine.

So the day arrived and I met the ladies in their respective rooms at the Avon Causeway Hotel, just a few minutes from Parley Manor - their stunning wedding venue. Bridal prep was great fun, and a real chance for me to meet a large portion of the wedding guests/family, as they were all there getting ready themselves. It was hilarious. In one room, out and into another, collared by another family member to get some shots of them in their knickers (only joking).

For those who have never been to Parley Manor, firstly, you really should. It’s simply gorgeous and a real photographers playground. Especially on this particular day. Late May bank holiday 2018 was a scorcher; the perfect day to allow guests to fully explore the grounds of the venue, and enjoy some nice chilled boozy bevvies in the gardens. I don’t tend to repeat venues too often, which in a lot of ways I’m very grateful for as I get to expand my portfolio and explore lots of new places, but Parley Manor is definitely a venue I would return to in a heartbeat.

So back to the day…

Jemma and Alice’s bridesmaids were hilarious, really great fun to hang out with and make light work of the day. Helping to organise the troops for the family shots and boy could they all party. The marquee was decked out with all of the decor Jemma and Alice had spent months working on and making themselves, with trimmings of bunting from Bunting By Chris. The barbecue was incredible and I always like this kind of set up for photos of the guests getting their munch on. Speeches were both emotionally charged and funny as hell, there were cocktails served to guests on the lawn and a DJ who played some ace tunes, a random pheasant gatecrashing and a sparkler finish. All in all, a perfect day! Check out the photos below.

If you’re now looking for your wedding photographer, whether it’s for later this year, 2020 or even 2021, I would love to hear all about your plans.

You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date (links below).

Facebook / Instagram

Until next time,

R x

Spoilt For Choice - Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Venue

One of the things I love the most about living in Bournemouth - and subsequently running my business from here - is being surrounded by so many stunning places of natural beauty.  We have the New Forest, Moors Valley Country Park, The Jurassic Coast, The Purbecks, Brownsea Island, and so many more.  On top of that, an almost endless list of venues that fill these areas, which you couples get to choose from. 

Basically, we are spoilt for choice. 

For me as a wedding photographer, it is one of the most amazing things, to firstly be invited into a couple's special day, but on top of that, to get to work within these venues - that's just incredible. 

I've been very fortunate in the (comparably) short time I've been a wedding photographer, by having a portfolio that is now made up of completely different venues for each couple I've photographed - with the exception of just two.  Next year also, the venues I'll be covering weddings at are all different.  So far I've worked at the following: The Legacy Rose and Crown Hotel, Merley House, Passford House Hotel, Poole Guildhall (twice), Bryanston School, Les Bouviers.  This year I still have weddings at Bournemouth Town Hall, Dudsbury Country Club, St. Laurence Church in Upwey (with reception and evening at Upwey Village Hall and The Old Ship Inn), The Holiday Inn - Southampton, and Gorwell Barn, Abbotsbury.  

Next year I've got a growing list of fabulous venues which include: The Hilton - Bournemouth,The Italian Villa, The Old Hall - Ely, The George Hotel - Huntingdon, The Sibson Inn, The Chine Hotel, Newbury Rugby Club, The Orangery Suite, Spitbank Fort, Kingston Maurward, Barford Park and RAC Woodcote - Epsom to name a few.  I'm absolutely loving the variety.  

I've always been a bit of a dreamer, and was always told that unless you win the lottery, you are the builder of your own dreams.  I stand by this.  So in light of this, when I first started down this road of becoming a photographer, I purposely made a 'wish list' of venues/types of weddings I think of as my dream list to photograph.  

The List - or at least a portion of - in no particular order:

  • Same-sex weddings 
  • Bournemouth Beach wedding (obviously)
  • Kew Gardens (and any other botanical gardens)
  • London/Urban wedding
  • Theme weddings (especially Star Wars!)
  • Destination weddings - New York would be amazing (because I LOVE to travel)
  • Festival weddings
  • Barn weddings
  • Cinema/Theatre wedding
  • Forest wedding

Specific venues would include: The Barbican Centre, The Southbank National Theatre, The Sky Garden (Walkie Talkie building), The Shard, so basically most well known buildings in London. 

Anyway, I digress.  Getting back on topic, I suppose what I'm trying to say is; I fully understand the dilemma couples must face when it comes to planning their wedding.  They're a political minefield anyway, but to add on top of that choosing where to hold the day can be (but hopefully won't be) a nightmare.  

I remember planning our wedding.  Rob and I did the guest list first, then sorted everything else out around that.  We live in Bournemouth, most of Rob's friends and family who came live in fairly close proximity, so the only challenge was whether we held it here or nearer my family.  Both options caused the similar issues - namely travelling distances.  So we thought about it some more and came to the conclusion; it wasn't about making our families happy, but rather about making us happy.  So we landed on London and had a bloody good long weekend there.  So that would be my advice to all of you future newlyweds; choose somewhere that makes the both of you happy, reflects you as a couple and the guests that join you will enjoy it all the more for doing so. 

Below I've posted a few photos from the venues I've covered weddings at, so expect a follow-up to this post at some point next year.  

Until then, 

R x

 

 

Collaboration - A Vintage Woodland Wedding

The day finally arrived! 

After being rained off on the original day we had planned to do the shoot, this time the sun was out and the light was just perfect.  As much as we'd talked about and planned this, there were certain elements that had been kept secret even from me, which I suppose is fair enough given that social media drives our businesses these days, and you don't want to give it all away before the big day. 

So we arrived at the wooded area Vicki had chosen as our location, unpacked and trekked with all of our gear into the woods.  Luckily, there were no bears, but plenty of wild mushrooms, slimy logs (yuck!) and mosquitos - I have the bites on my arms and ass to prove it.  Back to the photos.  Once we'd got everything to the site, it was immediately clear in my mind that we had to recreate a pseudo-Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter's Tea Party set.  

If you're wanting this theme for your wedding, believe me, we can pull it off for you!  With Vicki's glorious vintage china and Lucie's mind blowing cake creations, how on earth could you go wrong?!  If you're in any doubt, just take a look at their pages (links below).  I suppose you'll be wanting to see some photos...well feast your eyes! 

Until next time, 

R x

Vintage China Hire - www.grannyschinacupboard.co.uk

Stunning wedding cakes - www.lucielovestobake.com

Les Bouviers: A Wedding Showcase

Last month I spent a glorious day capturing the wedding of Chris and Debbie, and today I was able to return to their beautiful wedding venue, Les Bouviers

Today was a first for me.  Attending a wedding showcase is something I would recommend all those new to the wedding industry should do at least once.  It's a great way of understanding and seeing another level of what your potential clients want/expect from us, the suppliers.  Although the showcase itself was a quiet one, it's all part of the process of learning to be a better wedding supplier.  

The venue itself is set in a few acres of wonderfully lush green gardens, just off Arrowsmith Road. It's a perfect example of a 'blank canvas' venue, which is ideal for all of those D.I.Y brides and grooms-to-be, and is so on trend right now in the wedding world.  It enables you to fill a venue with your personality and is a great way to be truly creative with your big day. 

If you are one of those couples looking for a wedding venue in the Bournemouth area, I would seriously consider giving this one a viewing, and come in with an open and creative mind (or I could suggest a few fellow creative suppliers to do that for you).  

Today the main function room - which overlooks the expansive gardens - was decked out beautifully by Party Proppers, venue stylists based in Wimborne.  The colour scheme was a gorgeous deep purple - very romantic.  They've been working the wedding scene for well over fifteen years now, so well worth a call if you're looking for something similar for your wedding. 

Anyway, I've included some photos below from the day, so you can see for yourself. 

Until next time, 

R x

Love is Love

Hi guys and gals! 

So I'm officially back from my days off with the other half - did you miss me??

I've had five brilliant days together with my wonder-man, Rob.  We celebrated his 21st... ahem, 37th birthday, spent a day playing computer games (both massive geeks!), had a wonderful night in Brighton, a day at Moors Valley Country Park, and a day at Compton Acres.  Side note: I can't wait to do my first wedding there in March!!

So what's the reason for this post, I hear you all ask?

Well, when we were in Brighton, we got to walk hand-in-hand and watch other same-sex couples doing the same - it was truly heartwarming.  Brighton was the first place where we shared a night away together back in the early dating days.  Before we came home, we were stood at the Victoria Square fountain, I was taking a photo and Rob tapped me on the shoulder - a couple were meeting there.  What's so special about that you might ask?  It was two young guys, one was waiting by the fountain as the other approached, they immediately went to hug and kiss one another, and then the guy who was waiting by the fountain took the hand of his partner and span him around - it was the most romantic scene I have witnessed in a very long time. 

When we got home, I was going through the photos on my computer and looked through the photos from our civil partnership back in 2011 - there was probably a maximum of 50, all taken on the phones/compact cameras of our guest as we didn't hire a photographer (doh!) - and it got me thinking... Mainly that I wish we'd had a photographer that day, and about how much it means playing that part in another couple's special day.

I know I bang on about this all the time lately and it's probably driving some people nuts - I'm sorry (not sorry) - but I mean this, that it would be everything for me to be involved in another (or many) gay couple's wedding.  I've had two wonderful years of photographing so many beautiful couples with many more to come, but I'm still waiting for the day another gay couple book me as their photographer. 

I've tried many ways to attract more same-sex couples to RGW PHOTOS, and almost got there with one.  So I've put my thinking cap on again. 

I would like to offer a FREE couple's shoot to all you gorgeous gay guys and girls - how's that for aliteration!  You don't need to be getting married (just yet!), but ideally be planning it in the not-too-distant future.  

What do you get?

  • A free (yes, FREE!) photo shoot with me
  • All the photos lovingly edited by me
  • An online gallery to view, share and download all of your photos
  • One mounted 10x8" print of your choice from the shoot

Ideally the shoot will take place in the Bournemouth area, and all travel will be covered, but if you want to do the shoot somewhere else, all I'd ask is for a contribution toward my travel. 

If you're interested, get in touch, I would love to hear from you!  You can email me at: richard@rgw-photos.com - message me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RGWPHOTO - or just give me a call on 07533 401199. 

Until next time, 

R x