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BEC + TANIA - BARN 1890, ADELAIDE

 BEC + TANIA - BARN 1890, ADELAIDE

So as I’d mentioned, I was sat on a busy train to London, I’d just been booked by Bec and Tania, and was currently getting funny looks for squealing. Yep, I was going to Adelaide. YAASSS!!

Fast forward ten months and I’d just finished a wedding on my birthday, had started the walk home along the beach. S*** was about to get very real. I think I’d packed and re-packed my suitcase and camera bag at least five times by now. My original plan was to spend the whole of the Sunday - the day before I flew out - with Rob, which I suppose I did, it just wasn’t the day we were hoping for. That night when I got home from Rachel + Ryan’s wedding, shortly after Rob had made me some dinner, we had to rush our fur baby, Moscow, to the emergency vets and the outcome was a tragic blow; we had to make the painful decision to let him go and he went for one final long sleep. The Sunday was pretty much spent crying and trying not to panic about leaving Rob on his own for the best part of three weeks.

The next day I unpacked and re-packed my things a couple more times before taking the coach to Heathrow. I arrived early, grabbed some food and coffee and checked in with Rob back home. I think we spoke via FaceTime two or three times that evening. Then the time came for me to board the enormous A380 to my connection destination of Singapore. After 18 long hours (8 of which I managed to sleep on the first flight), I was boarding my flight to Adelaide. Both flights were so good and we landed into Adelaide at 7:30 am, bang on time and fresh as a daisy (maybe a little spaced out). Bec picked me up, we drove to her and Tania’s home in the suburb of Belair in the hills of Adelaide, and after a quick shower, a change of clothes and a coffee we headed out to meet her family at a nearby Vineyard that also doubled as a Kangaroo sanctuary. We ate the most delicious meal, washed down with some fine Australian chardonnay and fed the Kangaroos -a life goal mine very much achieved!

We had a few days together before the big day; I helped the brides with some finishing touches to their table decor, we ate more amazing food, drank more amazing wine, and I spent a lot of time with their family which was super sweet - a real plus to this trip and wedding. On the Thursday and Friday I spent time exploring the city - the train ride from Belair down into the centre was so good, travelling through the hills with the view over eucalyptus trees to the sea. If any of you have thought about a trip to Australia, I would highly recommend seeing Adelaide whilst you’re there. It has a great feel to it, more like a small town, but with all the amenities of a city, and the added bonus of being surrounded by parkland, vineyards and beautiful beaches. Plus - and it’s a big one - the coffee shops and restaurants are incredible.

So down to business…

After having a very chilled evening in the home of Bec + Tania while they enjoyed a night together at the cottage on the grounds of the wedding venue, I was picked up by their very cool friend who drove us out to the venue (about 45km south of Adelaide). The girls were getting their hair and make-up on in the shade of the cottage patio; I started with some shots of the prep as I love it so much, then took myself off for a quick walk around the grounds, jumped on Insta Stories for a cheeky live video, but the reception wasn’t great and the sound kept cutting out… #FirstWorldProblems

I returned to the cottage to continue with prep, had a cuppa and chatted with the ladies as they enjoyed a drop of champers, then once they were ready we snuck off into the vineyard for their couple shoot. Doing this before the ceremony and the guests arriving was such a breath of fresh air. It gave us some real quality time together to have some fun and frolic around the vineyard, it also meant that the brides were much more chilled out come the ceremony and once that was done, they could focus on having a party with their guests. If you’re not doing the traditional thing - and I would highly recommend it to all of my couples - you will definitely have a much more relaxing time for the rest of the day.

I won’t lie, there is definitely an element of added pressure when you’re doing a destination wedding (there are so many other things to factor in that could potentially go wrong on the lead up to the day), and coupled with the fact that Bec has been a friend of mine for the last 14 years or so -- enough said. Once the guests started to take their seats and gather under the enormous eucalyptus tree where the ceremony was held, the music started, and I couldn’t help but bubble up with excitement and pride while watching them both walk down the aisle together, accompanied by Bec’s father, Tony. It was a super sweet moment for sure. The ceremony was full of love and laughter, and some really special readings from their great friend and witness, Julie, Tania’s brother, Andrew, and her eldest son, Connor. I’ll openly admit that at one point as they read their beautiful vows to one another, a few tears crept into my eyes and I was awash with emotion.

Following the ceremony there were bubbles galore, and hundreds of hugs going around. We all gathered for some family photos in front of the barn (a stunning backdrop if ever there was one), then we wandered around to the terrace for bubbles of the boozy kind and some super tasty treats prepared by the awesome catering team - trust me when I say this, the food in Oz is like nothing you get over here - PHE-NOM-ENAL!! The whole team on duty that day were absolutely exceptional and were not only giving 200% to the guests, but looked after me like I was a VIP.

Some touching speeches followed the banquet, lead by Connor - boy, that kid is a real wordsmith - then came Rupert’s turn, Bec’s incredibly funny and rascal of a brother, Bec’s parents were up next with some great stories and it all got a bit emotional again, then a few sweet and heartfelt words from Tania’s youngest son, Rhett. I wish I was better at remembering people’s name, but I have to give a huge shout out and major props to the awesome friend and MC for the day, as she was absolutely superb and hilarious to boot!

So we cut the cake, which almost seems like a shame when it’s so damn beautiful, but it was also delicious and handcrafted by Tania’s very talented hands - I know it was delicious as we were all scoffing the off-cuts on the Friday morning with coffee before they both headed off to the venue to set up. Then what’s left to do at a wedding….?

P-A-R-T-Y!!!!

Damn this was a fun party and the reason why I like to stay and party with you all; as a wedding photographer, why would you want to go home after the first dance…? I know, I hear you, you’re tired and bed is calling, but this is when everyone really comes alive and into their own. If it were allowed, I’d probably just post photos from this part of the day, but people love to see the happy couple before they reach obliteration. Their friend and awesome DJ sure pulled out the dance floor bangers, and even threw in some vintage Madonna (both Bec and myself are HUGE fans!), so he gets a huge gold star. As the venue curfew kicked in, we all gathered outside the barn and the brides made their exit to even more hugs and drunken giggles before we were loaded onto the coach to take us back home. I’d go on about the rest of the trip, but it would need to be a whole series of blogs…

Just know this; it was a life-changing, life-affirming, extremely fun, totally emotional, banging trip that I can’t wait to repeat and I know our friendship is much stronger for it, and a bonus bunch of Aussie friends have been made in the process.

If you’re considering escaping abroad to elope or to treat the rest of your friends and family to the wedding of a lifetime somewhere, I’m game and my passport is ready for you!

Please check out the super awesome supplier's pages (linked below), give them some social media love and most of all, check out Bec + Tania’s awesome highlights below!!

Until next time,

R x

Barn 1890 / Amanda’s Flowers - Blackwood / Melange a Trois / BeYoutiful Make-up by Anj / Medhi El-Aquil / Chef Steele

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).

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Until next time,

R x

Bournemouth Wedding Photography - The BIC | Chloe+Adam

Bournemouth Wedding Photography - The BIC | Chloe+Adam

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.

Huntingdon Wedding Photography - The George Hotel | Tori+Glen

I'm finally getting back into blogging again, it feels like starting back at work after a very long holiday.

Tori contacted me via Facebook after I'd responded to her post about looking for a photographer. I think a lot of people (and understandably so) only search for suppliers within their local area. Personally I love to travel, whether it's in the UK or further afield, so it really doesn't phase me. When I found out the wedding would take place in Cambridge (literally a stone's throw from my old house), and they would have their reception at The George Hotel in Huntingdon, I knew it was for me. I also got to visit my family who still live in Lincolnshire, so everyone was a winner.

The George Hotel is a beautiful 17th Century traditional coaching inn, right in the centre of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. We started in the morning with the bridal prep, with hair and makeup by.... . The sun was shining giving the most amazing mix of light and shadow in their room. I always like the buzz of bridal prep, plus it's a great chance to get to know the bridal party and any other family members that are around.

The ceremony was held at the Cambridge Register Office, followed by some family shots on the lawn opposite, then came the dark clouds and rain just as we got into the cars to head back to Huntingdon and start the party. Tori and Glen are clearly a couple after my own heart, arriving fashionably late after a pit-stop at Costa on the way back.

I can honestly say that I had the biggest dinner (3 courses) that I've ever had at a wedding, and if I wasn't their photographer, I'd probably have needed a nap. I had a nice pot of tea, followed by a cheeky G&T, and it was time to party.

I know it's a fairly even split about whether to have kids at a wedding or not, and I know it's a personal choice, but I love having them around as they make for some awesome - and very often hilarious - shots! I've never seen a grown adult strut into the middle of the dancefloor with and inflatable guitar and rock out like they were an A List rock star.

Before I left I made sure I got a bag full of pick n mix (my treat for when I'm editing), had a few hugs and goodbyes.

Two weddings down, and this year is off to a cracking start.

As usual, there's a good selection of my favourites from the day below, and if you or someone you know are getting married and like my work, I would love to chat with you about your plans.

Until next time,

R x

The Italian Villa Wedding Photography | Tom+Lizzy

When Tom and Lizzy asked me to be their wedding photographer I was so happy, and then they told me the day would be at The Italian Villa and I was over the moon!

Wedding season 2018 is officially on!

To say I wasn't nervous (excited nervous) would have been a lie, in fact, I think I get as nervous as the couple themselves. I've been looking forward to this moment for so long now, that when the day actually came to be, it was very surreal. It was fabulous! The sun was shining - someone had heard my prayer - and it was a true spring wedding. The setting couldn't have been more perfect; The Italian Villa is a dream venue for most couples and local Dorset wedding photographers alike. 

When I started in wedding photography I created a wish list, and this was right up there with the best of them. The Italian Villa and Compton Acres were the first place my husband and I visited after moving down to Bournemouth 11 years ago. I know exactly why couples love the idea of having their wedding there, it is pretty spectacular. The gardens are gorgeous at any time of year, but particularly in the spring and summer when they are alive and in bloom. 

The groom, Tom, and his troupe were smart AF in their royal blue suits and Lizzy looked magnificent in her dress. Seriously, the dress was stunning! I'm a big fan of simplicity and elegance, and their day was all of that and some more. Little details like the bicycle themed cake topper, favours and those stunning classic bikes near the top table were a very sweet detail to match their love for biking. Tables weren't number, but named after places they'd visited together. 

I'm usually all about the documentary angle on wedding photography, and their day was definitely captured true to this approach, but being in this venue made me want to step out of my comfort zone and try some more classically posed shots, I mean, you just have to! To not take a shot in the grotto would be foolish.

After dinner, we all headed downstairs to the Sienna Bar, where Echo Tape (formerly Marc and the Wild Things), their band for the evening, were set up ready to rock the party. Two tables of Tom+Lizzy's friends in particular, were a wedding photographer's dream. Necking a tray of shots, lunging in time to the music and basically having a bloody good time! I had a cheeky G&T and hit the sweet stand on my way out, and was pretty sad to leave. It was a truly great day! 

Here's a selection of my favourites from the day, I hope you enjoy. And if you're planning your wedding, I'd love to hear from you. 

Until next time,

R x