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!!
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An escape to the mountains was on the cards for this thrill-seeking duo and what an incredible experience it was! We climbed over rocks, stood on cliff edges and followed sheep trails up the mountain sides and it was totally insane! Check out more below…
The day started with Lily being made up in the cutest little Guest House in Betws-y-coed, called Bod Gwynedd (definitely worth a visit if you’re looking at heading to the area). Betws-y-coed is one of the nearest villages to Mount Snowdonia and therefore acts as a popular location for tourists looking for somewhere to stay during their trip up the mountain. Lily had her natural-look make up done by the very talented Rhiannon Pritchard, and her Hair beautifully styled by award winning Julia Nicholls.
The afternoon flew by and before we knew it, Lily had dressed in a beautiful bespoke gown by Poppy’s Perspective and donned her flowers; carefully put together by The Botanical Shed and we were on our way to the first location with our backpacks, rugs, hats and any extras we had with us.
With Lake Ogwen as our backdrop and the sun gently bouncing off the water behind, Lily & Adam spoke their vows to each other which had been carefully handwritten out for them by the talented Gemma Jane Design whilst standing on gorgeous rugs hired in from Anthology Vintage Hire. They held hands, and exchanged words whilst looking at one another and taking in the surroundings. It was the most peaceful and intimate experience, perfect for a marriage away from the hustle of most weddings that take place in the UK.
From here on out we made the most of every last bit of the sunshine, backdrops, scenery and extras that had been brought along for this day! Lily & Adam kicked up their heels and we all had the best time ever creating these spectacular memories.
We decided to head on over to another location which involved trekking up a big mountain; pausing here and there we eventually had a dress change into something slightly different but absolutely extravagant, again totally bespoke and handmade by Jan Si Fashion. This dress was just insane, and with the wind and height we had gained from climbing the mountain, it just took off and looked incredible, wouldn’t you agree?
I’ll definitely be heading back to this location, maybe on my own, or maybe for my own elopement with my fiance 😉 These weddings are totally unique and such a beautiful way to express your love for one another <3
If you’re looking to elope, or know someone who is then please send them to this page. I would love to have a chat and offer my services, inspiration or any guidance if I can.
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Included with some of my Wedding packages is the opportunity for a complimentary pre wedding shoot, also known as an Engagement shoot. Now some couples turn to me and say… “hmm we don’t really like having our photo taken so can we do without” and of course this is an option (as I say it’s complimentary in my packages) however I will always strongly recommend having a pre-wedding shoot as I believe it is not only beneficial to you…but also to me ✨ and here’s why ladies and gents…
1. You know that feeling when you have just met someone, you’re not entirely comfortable around them and you want to know more about them before you feel completely at ease? Well what a good chance to spend an hour in my company getting to know just me! I want my couples to feel totally relaxed and able to ask me anything. I want to be more than just your photographer for your wedding day…I want to be your friend! I have been described as a goofy gal with a heart of gold and I will do anything to ensure that my couples have the best wedding day ever, but in order to help you feel happy and at ease with the camera, and in order to create those amazing smiles…laughs…snorts that we hold in when we’re around company we’re not totally comfortable with; come along and get to know me on a ‘free’ engagement shoot! I promise it’ll be well worth your time! 🤗
2. You want to update those photos on the walls? The ones that are ten years old when you guys had just met, or that portrait session you had done in those outdated clothes. What a great opportunity to freshen up your photo frames and have some professional up-to-date photos to go on the walls and send out to your Mum for her Birthday 😉 she’ll totally love it, you know she will!
3. You’ve got a new member of the family who joined you recently…two legged or four I’m happy to shoot you as a family instead of as a couple! If you didn’t already know by now I’m a HUGE furry fan and love my snuggles and slobbery kisses 🐾🐴 As well as Weddings I also specialise in Equestrian & Canine Photography and would love it if you brought out more members of the family on your Engagement shoot! We can have tons of fun, and even make time for some shots of the two of you as well as the three…four…five of you as well!
4. Use your photos as decor at your wedding. It’s such a cool idea and I’ve had a few B&G’s who have done this! It’s so lovely for me to know you want to show off your photos to your nearest and dearest and makes me so proud! 😀
5. Use a different time of year to when your Wedding is so you can have photos at both ends of the year. Another recommendation of mine; if you have a Winter wedding coming up then opt for a Summer Engagement Session! Get the best of both!
6. Those all important ‘thank you’ cards after the wedding are right at the back of your mind at the moment, so why not eliminate the worry of getting them done after the wedding and have them prepared beforehand? I always suggest to my couples to bring along a ‘thank you’ bunting or a blackboard to write some fun notes down on (dates, Mr & Mrs, fun facts about you two etc) it always makes for extra fun and I love hearing more about the two of you!
7. You’re totally in LOVE and want to show it off to the world 💕 Yes Yes Yes!! There is nothing more fascinating, fun and beautiful than couples so madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with one another. Let’s do this!
Last month I caught up with Elizabeth and Richard at the ever popular Danbury Park in Essex! I find this location so beautiful and favoured by a lot of my couples plus I just love it here too!
Although a tad muddy and wet, we managed to find some beautiful areas to create some great shots and have some fun amongst the woods and open fields! The sun was just about to set, so we made the most of the wonderful golden hour as it fell around us. I can’t wait to see these guys again for their wedding in June!
The majority of my Wedding Packages now include a pre wedding photo session with your booking. These sessions are such a great little extra and really help to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera as you get to know your photographer more in preparation for your wedding day!
A friend of mine recently asked…if I had just one more wedding to photograph, what kind of wedding would I choose to shoot? I absolutely adore my job and am so thankful to all my wonderful clients who have chosen me as their wedding photographer in the past. I have loved shooting every single wedding over the last five years and I am so passionate about photographing couples in love. This question got me thinking and laughing to myself, as I really couldn’t narrow it down to just one kind of wedding… so here goes My Wedding Photography Bucket List!
If your wedding involves aaaaaaaany of the below then please GIVE ME A SHOUT!!
I promise there will be an exclusive discount to be had.
Give me a shout if your wedding involves any of the above – you may be surprised! 🙂
So you’ve decided to include your dog at your wedding… YAY YAY YAY!!
I LOVE seeing dog’s at weddings and can’t wait to meet your furry friends!
It doesn’t come as a shock to me when a couple mention they’ll be including their dogs in their wedding… in fact you don’t see this but my heart skips a beat when I hear there’s a Frenchie as Flower Girl, a Border Collie as Bridesmaid or a Retriever as Ring-Bearer… you get the jist 😉
A wedding day is widely celebrated by so many in front of friends & family, as it is an enjoyable and memorable experience to be remembered forever. Your nearest and dearest are there to toast your special day, so why not include your furry friends in the ceremony too? They are a massive part of your family too!
There is a LOT of planning and thought that needs to be considered when you make this decision though, but I completely understand the need for so many couples nowadays to include their dogs in the ceremony alongside them. They have become such a huge part of your life and should be with you on your special day as long as you have the appropriate safety measures in place.
1. Does your venue allow animals?
This is really a massive decider; if you’ve already booked your venue and then as an after-thought forgot to mention your dog will be present they may be against the idea and then it’s bye-bye to having your pooch there with you. Most weddings I’ve attended with the family dogs have been at country weddings or garden receptions, although one of my Weddings last year at Baddow Park did have my Bride & Groom’s two labradors show up as a complete surprise to them just after they had tied the knot! Let’s just say there was plenty of happy tears from my Bride Laura <3
2. What part of the day will your dog(s) be taking part in?
Are you wanting them present for the morning as you get ready, the Ceremony as you say your “I do’s”, the Reception where you relax and enjoy time with friends and family, or the evening when everyone is partying? A wedding can be a very long day for people let alone animals, so make sure your dog can handle whatever part you want them around for during your Wedding. If they are present all day, make sure they have food and water available, and a quiet area for them to lie down should they want some time away from the electric atmosphere.
3. Can they cope?
It might not seem like it but most dogs do like routine so this is totally out of their comfort zone being surrounded by people, noise, little children (if present), food and all the attention. If they’re young & springy will they be liable to run off if it is a different location to where they’re use to? If they’re older will they snap and bite if they’re scared? All questions to think about.
4. Is it an indoor or outdoor Wedding?
I adore outdoor weddings – all the natural light, beauty and warmth of a Summer wedding is precious and so so beautiful ! Although with a dog present you do need to make sure guests keep their eyes peeled for those doggy do-do’s on the grass. I’m pretty sure your best friends won’t be too impressed with a brown mess on their Jimmy Choos’ when they go home later!
Indoors can be less to worry about with the do-do’s although someone does need to be aware that your pooch does need to go to the toilet and be let out for a break every now and then! Also are they liable to chew anything if you’re in an unknown venue? You don’t want to be forking out for a new rug if your furry friend has decided it tastes too good!
5. Do you need a Dog Chaperone?
To take the pressure off you, is it worth having a dog chaperone present so you don’t need to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure they’re ok? There are plenty of services out there that cater for this so you don’t have to miss out on having your furry friend(s) there celebrating with you. These guys make sure the dogs are collected, walked, brushed, behaving, fed, watered and looked after all day so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Could be a great investment to include…
6. Are they playing a role in the Wedding?
Would you like to consider them as Best Man, Ring-Bearer or Bridesmaid? I’ve seen some adorable dogs taking on important roles at a wedding but again it is something you need to consider as it can be a big ask for them to take part. Would it be best for them to just be present as a guest instead of carrying out a role? As long as they’re there it can be less of a stress for you than worrying, for example, if they’ve still got the rings attached to their collar EEK!
7. Are they wearing something special?
A tux collar, a flower crown, special booties, a dress… are you suiting them up especially or are they to be running freely?
The suits and dresses can look super adorable and so great in photos but realistically are your dogs going to be comfortable wearing them? Make sure they don’t rub, or are too tight as this can be added unnecessary stress for them, however a matching dress with your bridesmaids, or bow tie can really bring together the wedding party!
8. Will your dog cause problems for the caterers?
Hehe I had to chuckle as I know my pooch certainly would!! Being part Labrador he can sniff out a plate of sausage rolls, a kitchen worktop of chicken dishes, or scratch open a hostess to steal the roast spuds.
You’re paying your caterers to provide a service to eat and enjoy, so try not add extra hassle onto them if you know your dog will be following them about all afternoon with his puppy-dog eyes. They already have a HUGE task of feeding yourselves and all of your guests some wonderful food, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything after your pet pooch has decided to scoff the sauteed potatoes or lick the gravy dish clean!
9. Let your guests know your dog will be there too!
Something so small but can be a huge deal to some guests. It could be that Aunt Maud has an allergy to fur, or that the Best Man has a fear of dogs. By letting people know, this may ruin a nice surprise but can also allow others to prepare themselves if they are not so dog-happy to see them there.
10. Let your photographer know!
Definitely!! If they are anything like me they will be absolutely thrilled and so so excited. It also means we can be well prepared with dog treats and squeaky toys if need be to make sure we get those beautiful photos of you all together 🙂
Emma got ready with her Bridesmaids at her parents house in Colchester, before being driven with her Dad in a beautiful Rolls Royce to the Church doors at Layer Marney.
The gorgeous backdrop of Layer Marney Tower proves a very popular area for photos so we made the most of it during the formal group shots, and then I got to whisk the couple away for a half hour together and some time in front of my camera as newly weds! I so love this part and could go on for hours if I had the chance!
The food came out in the Long Gallery and everyone headed over to feed their hunger and enjoy the hilarious speeches led by Darren, Emma’s Dad and finally Darren’s Best Man. The fun and games continued into the evening with the Cutting of the Cake and the First Dance before it was finally time for me to depart. However, not before we managed to capture some of those iconic night time shots of the Bride & Groom outside the towers together!
I love my job and I have the most amazing clients! Thank you so much for having me guys! Wishing you both a a lifetime of love, laughter & romance <3
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