I’ve known Adam for a while now through working at the Bournemouth International Centre and had the great pleasure of meeting his beautiful fiancée (now wife), Chloe, when we all got together last summer at Flirt Cafe for a pot of tea and cake.
I feel very blessed to know and work alongside some fantastic people; local wedding suppliers who get me and my aesthetic. It's one of the things I love most about my job.
This week we brought to life a Scandinavian/Hygge inspired wedding shoot at the East Cliff Cottage Hotel in Bournemouth (you may have seen my first attempt at a Facebook live video). It's a lovely little place, tucked just behind the main east cliff road, perfectly suited to this style of shoot, and would be an ideal location for an intimate wedding reception.
A few years ago, Rob and I took a holiday in Copenhagen and instantly fell in love with the city, the people, their immense style and their way of life. Last month, we flew out to Stockholm to continue our new found Scandinavian obsession, and the same feelings came flooding back. It was clear what I wanted to do with out next collaborative shoot, and I knew just the right people to be involved in it.
I delved into my copy of 'The Little Book of Hygge' and read up on the Hygge manifesto. It has ten points, which cover the basics to what Hygge is all about.
- Atmosphere - Turn down the lights.
- Presence - Be here now. Turn of the phones.
- Pleasure - Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
- Equality - 'We' over 'me'. Share the tasks and the airtime.
- Gratitude - Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony - It's not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort - Get comfy. Take a break. It's all about relaxation.
- Truce - No drama. Let's discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness - Build relationships and narratives. 'Do you remember the time we...?'
- Shelter - This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.
I'm pretty sure these points can be applied to literally every aspect of your life, including your wedding. My hope from this post is that you can take some inspiration from our combined effort, and apply it to your autumn/winter weddings, wherever you have them. We also wanted to show you that there is so much more scope out there for styling your autumn/winter wedding - it doesn't all have to be about red, silver and white.
There is so much choice out there and available to us nowadays, it's so easy to forget or look passed the things we already have.
Incorporate items you have at home.
Most of this shoot was pieced together using things we all had in our own homes, and they came together perfectly. You don't need to spend thousands of pounds on things you will never use again. Why be wasteful when you already have everything you need. Or at least buy something you will re-use or keep for the future.
None of your guests will care an iota about the money you've spent/not spent on your wedding day - it's your wedding, not theirs! What they will care about is how much love you've put into it and how much fun everyone else is having, the atmosphere on the day, the general feeling of love and togetherness everyone has on the day. Believe me, I've been at weddings where I've felt part of the family and I've been at those where you feel very isolated. You don't want it to be the latter.
Okay, that's enough from me for now.
Here's some suppliers you might want to be a part of your day.
- For perfect venue decor and styling - http://www.lovebydesignweddings.co.uk
- For stunning floral arragements - http://www.with-love-from.co.uk
- For beautiful wedding cakes - http://www.thesweetsuitedorset.co.uk
- And for modern and relaxed wedding photography - ME!! ;)
Until next time,
How do you know when they're the one?
Believe me, when you meet them you know. I'm speaking from both sides here, as both a photographer and as the couple. It's a similar feeling you would get in almost any situation of meeting someone for the first time.
When I met Daniel and April, it was very clear that it was a good match, both for them as a couple, and as a whole for us all working together. They were clear with what they wanted and also what they didn't, and that ticks so many boxes for me. I'm pretty straighforward which makes for a great collaboration when your couple are on the same page as you.
Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and we headed out to Swanage for their pre-wedding shoot. April was nervous as hell, and I think Daniel might have been too. To be honest, I am as well, but I try not to let it phase me anymore. I just get stuck in, let you do pretty much what you want and I snap away to get the best shots. I hate telling people what to do, or how to stand, as it generally makes for a more uncomfortable couple than you begun with.
Fast forward another month and their wedding day had arrived.
I have never set foot in Upwey before, but by god is it a gorgeous place! The sun was shining, in fact I had to take off my jacket I'd worn for the day - a sweaty photographer is not a nice sight. We did morning prep at April's mum's house, a beautiful limestone cottage. Everything was within walking distace of their house, which is very handy and gives me a chance to get all of those strolling shots I love so much (take note future couples, hehe). I even learned a new skill that day of tying the ribbon to the wedding car. Tick!
A glorious church ceremony followed at St. Laurence Church, with an afternoon tea-cum-picnic reception at the village hall right next door to the church. The family and couple's shoot was done in the ever-so-stunning Upwey Wishing Well gardens. Amaze!! With evening festivities taking place a staggered walk up the village at The Old Ship Inn. A massive thank you to the newlywed couple for allowing me to take them into the corn field and tick off a shot from my wish list.
I always think each new family are my new favourite, and I kind of hate myself for saying this, but Dan and April, your families were seriously awesome! And we got some wicked moves from April's mum and dad on that dancefloor. Check out some of my faves below, and get in touch if you'd like me to capture your big day!
Bridal Flowers - Fiona Penny at Sunflowers
Bride's Dress - Butterfly Brides, Poundbury
Cakes by Dan's sister, Ellie - Instagram: @bristowbakes
Bridesmaids hair and make-up - Morgan Brown Hair & Beauty
Venue Decorator - D Dee's Bespoke Parties
Bride's hair and make-up - Leanna Stibbon Makeup
Ps. the G&T's from the pub are served in HUGE goblet style glasses which gets a massive tick from me!
PPs. Those outfits the groom, best man and ushers wore... very nice!!
Until next time,
It's amazing how quickly things can turn around.
This time last year, I was very close to throwing in the RGW PHOTOS towel for very personal reasons. The very same reasons that made me think twice about that decision. Over the last few months, I have seen quite dramatic changes to the way I work and the people I now work with.
It's blowing me away!
I now have a little team of suppliers who I collaborate with on a regular basis - who'd have thought I would ever be saying that?! We share similar ideas about the direction we want our individual businesses to go in, and we all feel the same way about working alongside one another. One of these suppliers, as you must be well aware of by now, is Rachel from Love By Design Weddings.
We have worked together with Natasha - With Love From - on a coastal chic inspired photo shoot - which you can read more about here - and since that worked out so well, we now work together at Chameleon Bridal Boutique, where she dresses the windows. I don't get involved with the actual window dressing, Rachel needs no help with that. She adds a theme to the windows once a month, giving the stunning bridal wear an extra something special. It helps bring them to life and hopefully gives future newlyweds some inspiration as to how to dress their wedding venue.
I could go on and on about how good her products are, but to see them for yourself is the best way, so here's some photos from my last trip to Chameleon. This month's theme is 'Travel', and everytime I look at these photos, it makes me want to fly away somewhere.
Where is your dream destination?
Until next time,
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.