Tips & Tricks to make the best of your Winter Wedding

Winter weddings can be truly magical. Do you love the idea of twinkling lights, wrapping up in a faux fur cape, and sipping hot chocolate with your guests by a roaring fire? Then a Winter Wedding may be your ideal time of year…

Although wedding season typically starts to calm down for the Winter months, I still have a couple booked in which I absolutely love, however it is important to make yourselves aware of a few things before you sign on that dotted line with your chosen venue.

 


  1. DAYLIGHT HOURS FADE FAST 

Daylight hours dwindle fast during those winter months, so make yourselves aware of the daylight times on your wedding day beforehand. We want to make the absolute most of that light outside, so if you’ve got a 2pm ceremony in a church in November, bear in mind you probably won’t be coming out until 3pm(ish) which gives us just an hour to get all those beautiful photos of you guys together, plus your guests too. It may be worth considering moving your ceremony time forward to 12 or 1pm if you can. Below are approximate sunset times for the Winter months.

October expect the sunset to be around 6pm (5pm after clocks go back)

November expect the sunset to be around 4pm

December expect the sunset to be around 4pm

January expect the sunset to be around 4:15pm

February expect the sunset to be around 5pm

March expect the sunset to be around 6pm


2. KEEP YOURSELVES & YOUR GUESTS WARM


Are you happy with layers? A faux fur cape or stole, or a unique cardigan can look amazing over the top of your beautiful dress, and always helps when I ask your Groom to pull you in tight for those gorgeous couple shots of the two of you together. Alternatively long sleeve dresses can look insane, especially with some snow in the background too! Ladies…is it a long dress? Chuck on some thick tights & a pair of boots, no one will ever know (and your bridesmaids can do this too!!)<3

Don’t forget about your guests too! Pick up some blankets, scarves and other accessories for your guests to enjoy and keep warm with if you’re having a special outdoors ceremony, or you need them to be outside with you for a certain amount of time. They’ll thank you, and it really adds to the decor!

Umbrellas are also a good necessity to have just in case. Even if it’s only a couple of matching ones for your bridal and grooms party, definitely worth being prepared for all weather outcomes!

Instead of a champagne welcome drink, why not opt for a hot chocolate or tea welcome drink? Something warm for everyone to wrap their hands around upon arrival (and will save on the pennies for you guys too!)


3. DECOR


Check with your venue when they begin to put up their Christmas decorations, and if they’ll be up on your wedding day then what is their Christmas colour scheme. You wouldn’t want your fuscia pink flowers to clash with their rosy red baubles on the Christmas tree. If their decor is not to your taste then is it ok for them to take them down for your special day? Always worth asking.


4. NIGHT TIME SHOTS


Does your photographer do any night time portraits with lights? This can be good fun, and create some amazing imagery especially if you’ve booked an incredible venue with beautiful outside exterior. During my weddings I like to have two 15-20 minute sessions with my Bride & Groom for some portraits of just the two of you together – one straight after the ceremony and another in the evening after you’ve finished your wedding breakfast. Typically I look for ‘golden hour’ which is the hour of beautiful light we get before the sun sets, however in winter when the sun tends to set about 4pm, but we want to go out for photos about 7pm, then I bring out my lights and we create some gorgeous intimate shots of the two of you together instead. It’s a great chance for you two to take a break and look back on how amazing your day has been too <3

Laura Jane Photography

5. MAKE ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL TIME


If you’ve got two or three venues to make it round to on your wedding day (ie prep address, Church and then Reception Venue etc) then make sure you have given yourselves plenty of time in case of bad traffic. Although a Bride being fashionably late is typically something we’re use too, it can bring on unnecessary  stress for your poor Groom waiting at the alter, and can also make guests feel twitchy too. Plan well guys!


6. UMBRELLAS


‘Nab some umbrellas for those ‘just incase’ moments – it’s always great to be prepared and they can make some great props for couple shots too! Plus your bridal party will thank you for keeping their hair dry if it is looking to be a tad wet on the big day!

Winter Weddings can be just as magical as Summer Weddings so just enjoy it! Brave the rain, snuggle in closer and make the most of one of the most amazing days of your lives together!

 

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Rachael & Andy ~ An Equestrian Pre Wedding Shoot

The other month I met up with Rachael & Andy ahead of their wedding for their engagement shoot, and who else should be coming along for their photos than their adopted daughter Pepper <3 Anyone who knows Rachael know she absolutely dotes on Pepper and it wouldn’t be right without her there with these guys too <3

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Melissa & Bailey ~ Essex Equestrian Photographer

Driving around to Melissa & Bailey’s yard got me all exciting. Single track roads and beautiful rural surroundings without a car in sight, the countryside round this part of the world is beautiful, secluded and offers amazing scenery.

Melissa was keen to get her wedding dress back on for some photos and had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure there was help to get her back in to it complete with veil too! Melissa definitely made the most of it, and I had her riding Bailey round in circles repeating ‘I’m a princess’ at the top of her voice! Laughter & giggles all round!!

My thanks to Melissa for allowing me to share these sneak peeks, check them out below!

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Kate & Jon ~ A Wedding at Caldicot Castle in Wales

Kate & Jon had booked their wedding for Caldicot Church followed by a unique reception with family & friends in Caldicot Castle across the road and I was psyched to be heading over to Wales as their Wedding Photographer!
Everything was on site and within the same area making driving around a lot lot easier! We had church one side of the road, the castle the other side aaaaaaaaand the pub right next to it!
Laughing down the phone on our initial consultation, Kate & Jon admitted that if it wasn’t for Kate’s Mum and sister planning and booking the majority of their wedding day then they probably wouldn’t have worried too much. They’re happy, they’re in love and ready to spend the rest of the lives together…however a beautiful wedding wasn’t going to slip through Kate’s Mum’s plans for her daughter, and a beautiful relaxed wedding is what these guys got. It was really truly lovely!
Ok so the weather may not have been on our side throughout the whole afternoon, however everyone embraced, enjoyed, laughed and cheered with Kate & Jon as the sun went down over the castle.
Huge Congratulations to you guys; thank you for having me document your special day!
L x
Venue: St Mary’s Church, Caldicot
Venue: Caldicot Castle, Caldicot

Clare, Zara & Art ~ Essex Equestrian Photographer

I’ve been to visit Clare and her gingers previously so when I learnt one of her girls, Zara would be bringing her first foal into the world and Clare wanted photos of them all together I couldn’t wait to get over and meet them all.

Perfectly named to match his beautiful markings, Art was full of mischief and such a gorgeous cheeky character.  100% devoted to her gingers, Clare had Art already in halter and lead training alongside Mummy Zara in the field. We all walked and posed together, and watched as they played with the other mares and foals in the same field.

Art was so inquisitive and loves his visits from Clare, bringing them all sorts of fun items to play with, including bowls, gloves and brushes!

Even with Mummy Zara munching grass, Art would still come over to see what Clare was up to, give her kisses and cuddles, and enjoy a good scratch and play. It’s clear to see Clare has gained another beauty to join her horsey team and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for these guys!

Wishing Clare, Zara & Art all the best for their future plans together. I love keeping up to date with these guys on social media <3

 

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My Happily Ever After ~ Yes ME!!

With 365 days to go until we get to say I DO, I thought I’d do a little blog post on our amazing experience which led us to getting engaged <3 Read on guys…

So coming out of Winter season and gearing up for a busy Summer of Weddings, my partner of 11 years and best friend Scott had been listening to Radio 1 show on his way to work when the Greg James Sport Relief Challenge had been playing following DJ Greg James as he pedalled miles on his bike and climbed the UK’s three highest peaks in just five days whilst raising money for Comic Relief.

Mentioning it me over the phone, he suggested we both took the journey up North and climbed Ben Nevis as a mini adventure for us two <3 Not one to shy away from experience I automatically agreed and the adventure was set! Although we had no hotel booked, and had planned to drive the whole 10 hours in one day, sharing the journey together we set off in our car on Friday 23rd March.

It was so lovely to be getting away, we hadn’t had a holiday or mini trip since November and with a house being renovated it was nice to get out and do something fun and different again! We even drove through the Yorkshire Dales to see the sights… well you never know when you’ll be up this far again so why not 🙂

Half way up we decided it was probably time to actually book some accommodation, I’m not one for staying in a car although at least it was there for back up, however we managed to quickly secure a lovely little Guesthouse warning them our arrival would probably be around 9:30pm so please stay open!! The rest of the journey flew by and we were in and out the other side of Glasgow and flying alongside Loch Lomond…what a time for your phone battery to die 🙁

Next morning we donned our exercise gear, grabbed our brekkie and packed up the car. Time for some fun!! Whilst on our way I mentioned to Scott we may need to stop for some suitable attire (a quick look on instagram had confirmed that whilst I thought the mountain would be fine to climb in leggings and trainers… other pictures of climbers at this time of year said differently!)

Parked up in the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre we got ready and went looking for a map. Sadly our plans were soon to be changed… no guides available, and in need of ice picks, compasses and proper walking boots we were turned away for safety reasons. It was a huge blow and I couldn’t understand why Scott had taken it particularly badly. No worries we were here now, so let’s climb up the side of the mountain and get as far as we could!

We started our journey in warm climates, sunshine and excitement coursing through us. Little did I know Scott had a little bit of bling burning a whole in his pocket too!

The journey up to this little hut which sat about three quarters of the way up to the side of Ben Nevis took us about 2.5 hours and saw us through rain, sheet, hail, snow, sunshine and then snow again. My feet were saturated, my legs were burning but the hut was in sight and I was determined to get there. Hand in hand we battled through the snow and finally touched the wooden shack.

Scott asked me if we were going to find a guide and actually walk Ben Nevis tomorrow (Sunday) but to be honest after the difficulties we faced doing this walk, I would’ve needed a rest before heading back up again – it really isn’t as easy as it looks haha!

During our whole walk we didn’t see a single person, so we were quite surprised to find another couple huddled in the back doorway of the hut eating their lunch (the hut was locked). With Ben Nevis still looming above us, there was a small ledge just up from the hut, so Scott pointed up and told me to climb whilst he asked the couple to take a photo of us together. He handed my camera over to them and caught up with me whilst I tried to run fingers through my dripping hair to make myself a bit presentable!! Trying to put my arm around Scotty to pose for a photo, I couldn’t understand why he kept pushing my hand away. (Poor guy was trying to get the ring out, fight with my hand and bend down in soaking we clothes hehehe).

Obviously when I turned around to see my gorgeous guy on one knee in the snow with the most beautiful ring in his shivering hands… my immediate reaction was to laugh! Not at him, I’m not that mean lol! But to laugh in happy hysterics! 11 years with this man and he was finally asking me to be his wife! YES YES YES!!!! I just couldn’t get my damn gloves off due to my hands being so so cold haha!

Walking down the mountain together I couldn’t stop grinning, this amazing experience, this beautiful trip had been the best adventure and made us both the happiest couple ever! Here’s to a future as Mr & Mrs Brown!!

Hannah & Dudley ~ Essex Equestrian Photographer

Hannah & Dudley’s Equestrian Photo Session was on one of the hottest days I think I’ve ever shot on, and that was at 6pm in the evening too! I remember feeling really excited as I drove down the road thinking I knew exactly where I was headed, however my satnav speared off and actually took me to a different location than I first thought… I love surprises so driving down this narrow peaceful road I knew I was in for a treat!

When I pulled up outside Hannah’s front drive, my mind was racing with soooo many ideas for this gorgeous location. It really is the most fabulous home and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Out the back past the garden, Hannah’s parents’ home stretches on to include a nature reservoir and plenty of lushes fields and woodland trees, we had so many photo opportunities!

Walking down to greet everyone, it was all so chilled and relaxed outside the stables as the gleaming Dudley stood tied up ready to make his debut in front of the camera.

They picked a fabulously sunny early evening so I spent a lot of time re-arranging Hannah & Dudley in the best possible light (something Dudley wasn’t overly keen on as he was more interested in looking over his shoulder in the other direction)… {face palm} however with some gentle guidance and some food for thought he behaved impeccably and did everything asked of him after a little gesture of a polo or snack of grass here and there.

I had a fab time exploring the beautiful grounds and capturing this duo together <3 here’s a few sneaks from their Equestrian Photo Shoot.

L x

 

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Johanna & Martin ~ Engagement Shoot at Mersea Island

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside!

Johanna & Martin are getting married at Houchins Wedding Venue later this year and we got together for their pre-wedding session at one of my favourite beach locations in Essex… Mersea Island.

We pinged a few emails back and forth and finally decided to head on down to the water to incorporate some fun and bright imagery in this beautiful area by the sea.

With it being a super hot day, I knew it would be very busy on the beach so we met up at the end of the day so that the last of the seaside goers would hopefully be heading back to their cars to descend back home for the evening, leaving us with the beach to ourselves for an hour <3

This was the second time Johanna had been in front of my camera as I’d done a photo shoot with her beautiful mare Duchess a few years back; a birthday gift from hubby to be Martin at the time. This time round they’ll be sharing the camera together as I can’t wait to share their wedding day with them in August!!

L x

 

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Elizabeth & Richard ~ A Country Wedding in Sunny Suffolk

So most of you know, we’ve been in this heatwave now for nearly two months and it is utter bliss! Don’t complain guys…you would all be moaning if it was the other way round and we were having constant downpours😉
I was so looking forward to taking the drive up to see Elizabeth & Richard again, and to photograph the best day of their lives together especially as the Reception was to be back at Elizabeth’s parents beautiful Farm home in sunny Suffolk.

Richard had popped the question last year, and the pair had planned their delicately tasteful wedding to be held at St Mary’s Church in Yaxley, with the reception less than 2 miles down the road at the gorgeous family Farm. A little bit of country, a little bit of elegance and a whole lot of style went into this wedding day.

I found Elizabeth & her family getting ready in the farm house (well nearly all the family… Elizabeth’s Dad could be seen running around on the farm machinery outside before they bullied him into the bathroom to get washed and ready before too long)! Bubbly flowing, hair & make-up in full swing, the atmosphere in the room was so calm and collected, and with the views of the back garden as everyone watched the florists, gardeners and helpers put the final pieces in place, it was all about to get very exciting!

St Mary’s Church is a very tall building, beautifully lit with it’s large stained windows and space for plenty of guests, perfect for Elizabeth & Richard’s big day! Mrs Thorogood had gone into overdrive with confetti, ensuring there was more than enough to go around! With the amount of guests, and the amount of space we had out the front of the church, this traditional walk worked amazingly and the couple were truly covered… Well done guys! 

Back at the Family farm, the couple were greeted by their guests and everyone got to hydrate themselves and dig into canapes whilst we photographed the couple with their nearest and dearest before whisking them away for some special shots on their own. We made the  most of the countryside around us, and the chickens were sure happy to follow too!

Before we knew it, the food was gone, the sun was setting, the evening guests were arriving and the music was playing! These days go so quickly guys <3
Wishing these guys a lifetime of love, laughter and romance, you two were truly beautiful!!
L x
Venue: St Mary’s Church, Yaxley
Hair: Hair by Scarlett
Makeup: The Beauty Room, Melton

Raine & Poncz ~ Essex Equestrian Photographer

Check out these lovelies! Raine and her top jumping man Poncz were pros in front of my camera the other week! It may have been a tad overcast instead of the bright sun we’ve had just recently but that weather is just perfect and I love the results I get with my camera when it’s like this!

We played with rolling hills, barley fields, greenery and yellow buttercups! <3

At the end we even scooped Raine’s mare Prancer out from her stable as she is near to drop a foal (can you tell?) and then Raine’s very first pony Panther who was chilling quietly with his hay came out for a few shots too! 😍

Keep scrolling for some sneak peeks from their gorgeous shoot <3

L x

 

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