So this shoot was a way of celebrating love in its simplest of forms, the love that is shared between two people regardless of gender etc. Love is love is love. Also, I love yellow.
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.
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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.