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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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

Lily & Adam: An Elopement in the Welsh Mountains

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.

L x

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Apton Hall Wedding Venue ~ The NEW Venue on the block!

Still looking for your wedding venue? Struggling to find somewhere unique, unheard of and with real character & rustic charm? Then check out new venue on the block…APTON HALL! I’m Proud as Punch to be one of their Recommended Suppliers, and I have photographed their venue in a series of images displayed below, take a sneak peek!! 💕

Based out in the sticks down a long beautiful drive in Rochford, Essex, this beautiful venue has been transformed from dilapidated buildings and stables into a fresh, modern and new Wedding Venue boasting tons of rustic beauty and original bricks and timber in some places too. If you’re like me and love a Wedding in a farm-style venue with plenty of rural fields and greenery for those beautiful intimate moments and fun with your guests outside then check out this little gem! You won’t be disappointed!

Making the most of the venue, Craig, Chloe & the team are licensed for inside and outside ceremonies, with their new pagoda recently erected and looking fab in the middle of the courtyard! (Missing from these photos). The Bridal suite includes an upstairs & downstairs area, with the talking point being the fabulous Dovecot which lights up as you head up to bed at the end of your evening. MaGiCaL!!✨

For a real chance to check out this beautiful fully exclusive venue (which I may add is becoming very popular), then get in touch with Chloe for a viewing!

For more details head to: www.aptonhall.co.uk or find them on facebook: www.facebook.com/AptonHall

L x

 

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Katie & Andrew ~ A Spring Wedding at Maidens Barn, High Easter, Essex

I’ve know Katie for a while now, and after seeing them both as guests at another wedding last Summer I was looking forward to seeing these guys again for their special day! This was the first time I would be shooting at Maidens Barn, and it was so lovely to be heading back to the tiny village I grew up in as a little girl. {{cough}} Yes I did drive past my old house and marvel at all the changes…I just couldn’t resist! 😉
Maidens Barn literally is in the middle of nowhere, but what a beautiful way to escape all the hustle and bustle and just enjoy your wedding day without any stress or noise around! Barn weddings are beautiful, and this barn was perfect for my style of photography with its white walls, open beams, natural light & rustic charm. I like to consider myself a country bumpkin with a flair for adventure and discovering natural beauty within!
I found Katie & her girls getting ready in their room; bubbly flowing, hair & make-up in full swing and music playing as the excitement of the day ahead got closer and closer.
I escaped with the dress and Katie’s personal items for some detailed shots of her bits & pieces before she got dressed and put all her extras on too. Katie smiled as she recalled her bouquet was actually put together by her very talented husband-to-be…what a lovely addition to remember as she walked down the aisle to meet Andrew at the end of the alter.
The couple wed in the beautiful airy and bright barn where Katie bit back tears as she walked down arm in arm with her Dad.
A beautiful ceremony complete with readings from family members, and watched on by their nearest and dearest. These guys then walked out to everyone blowing bubbles (instead of the usual confetti, although this is getting more and more popular now!)
Congratulations were passed around by everyone and the drinks and laughter started flowing from hereon out. The couple enjoyed a delicate tea-party Wedding Breakfast, some hilarious and heart-felt speeches by Katies Dad, the Best Man and Andrew before hitting the dance floor and welcoming more guests for the evening entertainment and celebrations!
Wishing these guys a lifetime of love, laughter and romance, you were awesome!!
L x

7 Reasons why a Pre-wedding shoot is totally worth it!

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!

Kelly & Reiss ~ A Magical Winter Wedding at Gosfield Hall in Essex

I was super excited to be shooting Kelly & Reiss’s wedding at the stunning venue that is Gosfield Hall. Kelly & Reiss had booked me thirteen months prior to their wedding date so it had been a long time coming and we’d had a lot of excited phone calls on the build up to their big day! If you’ve never seen it, I would definitely recommend a visit over to Gosfield Hall. The long driveway, rural surrounds and sweeping lawns with gravel pathways lend itself to a beautiful red brick Georgian Mansion set in the idyllic Essex countryside perfectly set back to enjoy your day in a space you won’t be disappointed with.
I met Kelly in the Lady’s Chambers Cottage where bridal prep was in full swing with her Mum and four Bridesmaids as they enjoyed the pampering and chit chat of what was to come throughout the day. Once moved up to the Rococco Bridal Suite, Kelly changed into her breathtaking dress (which was actually a lot lot heavier than it looked!) and continued to finalise her hair & make up ready to meet fiancé Reiss at the end of the alter. Her winter-themed bouquet teamed with silver decor and thistle matched perfectly with the delicate hair piece and cute ballet-bow heels she’d carefully picked out for her special day.
The couple wed in The Queens Gallery; a beautiful oak-panelled room where Kelly had to hold back tears as she walked down the 120ft long aisle with her Mum to meet Reiss at the end. The couple’s son Hudson was chuffed to bits as he watched Mummy walk towards Daddy, and couldn’t decide who he wanted to be held by throughout the whole ceremony so he kept everyone laughing as the couple continued to bend and pass him around as they said their “I do’s”.
The emotions from this day are still hitting me now as I write this, and I can’t help but smile as I relive their wedding through these images.
Thanks to these beauts for choosing me to photograph your amazing day <3
I wish you both a lifetime of love, laughter and romance!

 

My Wedding Photography Bucket List

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.

 

 

  • A destination wedding (I love to travel and see/photograph new places so this is my ultimate no.1)
  • A wedding ceremony on a beach
  • A wedding with fairground rides (bonus if theres a merry-go-round)
  • A tipi wedding
  • Inside a castle BOOKED – Kate & Jon 2018 YAYY!
  • An elopement
  • A themed wedding (bonus if it’s Game of Thrones / 1920’s Peaky Blinders / Disney)
  • A ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ wedding
  • A wedding in the snow (has to be abroad – sadly we don’t get enough in the UK..boo!!!)
  • A wedding at the Roman baths
  • A wedding which involves the Bride riding a horse BOOKED – but it’s a secret, 2018!
  • A wedding in a treehouseforest or floral field
  • A wedding at the Lake District

Give me a shout if your wedding involves any of the above – you may be surprised! 🙂