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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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

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

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! 🙂

Emma & Darren ~ Essex Wedding Photographer at Layer Marney Tower

On the morning of Emma & Darrens wedding I woke to rain, with the forecast predicting it to be with us all day – not a great start especially as we had quite a large wedding party and I had big plans for photos all over the gardens after the ceremony that afternoon!
Emma had chosen a beautiful delicate and daring low backed wedding gown to fit her gorgeous slim figure, finished with the flower ‘gip’ braided through her hair and a bouquet of baby blue, white roses and more gip to match. Her Bridesmaids dresses continued the soft baby blue theme with matching gip flowers for the girls and button holes for the boys. 

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 venue itself is a gorgeous Tudor Palace, built as a statement house in the 1520’s and boasts beautiful views overlooking fields, ponds, farm animals and a long driveway with perfected gardens for all to enjoy. 
 
Emma has a love for history so this venue was perfect for what she had been looking for. Keeping it traditional the couple wed at the on-site church set behind the towers in a lovely ceremony complete with family and friends watching on as they said their ‘I do’s’. From here on out out, we were so lucky with the weather! Apart from a few spots as we left the church (it gave Emma the chance to use her umbrella for the confetti 😉 ) that was all the rain we saw throughout that afternoon until the food was brought out, thank goodness!

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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Marie & James ~ Essex Wedding Photographer at Ingatestone Church

Taking you back to this beautiful English countryside Wedding  <3

Marie & James were married on what can be argued as the hottest day of 2017!

The wedding took place at St Edmund and St Mary’s Church in Ingatestone; a unique centre-piece to the small village on the outskirts of Chelmsford. This beautiful Church was also where the couple chose to have their Engagement shoot back in January and boasts lovely grounds out the back as well overlooking the village centre.

Marie was delivered to the Church in a beautiful old Rover whilst the public lined the pavements of the small village of Ingatestone to take photos and offer kind words before she walked down the aisle. After the ceremony we headed to James’ parents home in St Osyth for a beautiful garden Reception with a stunning decorated marquee complete with hanging paper lanterns, trees & plants, all matching in the perfect pink that the bridal party & groomsmen were fashioning. I just love how they’d incorporated the countryside look inside with such tasteful decor!!

James’ Mum had gone to a huge amount of effort to ensure that her gardens were spectacular and they didn’t disappoint, everything looked stunning and was in full bloom on what could only be argued as one of the hottest days of the year! The speeches were fantastic and the food was amazing, and before long it was time for the First Dance.

James and Marie had opted for a live band to perform and they were awesome! They twirled around one another before dragging the rest of the guests onto the floor to party the night away! 💃🏼 💃🏼 💃🏼

Congratulating these guys on such a beautiful Wedding! Thank you for having me capture your special day 😊

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2017 Roundup | Laura Jane Photography

Well what a year 2017 has been! I can’t believe we’re right around the corner from 2018 and I definitely say this every year but just how quick did last year go!!!

As is every year, there were a lot of highs and lows for my little family although at this stage I am more happy to remind myself of a few of the highs we’ve achieved this year…

  • Managing to secure and update our house to an even better one (in just under a year of only being in the old house!!)
  • Seeing our family grow by adding another furry member into the mix 😉
  • Enjoying a wonderful break away to the city of Rome, somewhere I have been dying to visit for the last few years!

Work has also been insane this year!! Here’s a little of what’s been going on…

  • A total of 18 Weddings shot in Essex, Suffolk and Kent in 2017, topping last years count and looking even more positive for 2018!
  • Booking so many Equestrian & Canine shoots and made tons of friends during the sessions – I love getting to know my clients & their quirky animals. One of the main reasons my job totally rocks!! <3
  • Setting up my own little office during our house move so I now have a whole room dedicated to my photography work Eek!! I’m so use to having an office in the corner of my old spare bedroom that this small change has been really appreciated!
  • Next year brings a Wedding booked in a castle in Wales YAYYYY – the furthest my photography has taken me! I’m so psyched I literally can’t wait for next year to start!!

To show how amazing my 2017 has been, I’ve narrowed it down to a very select few of my favourite moments to share with you <3

Thanks 2017 you’ve been amazing…Here’s to an fan-dabby-dozy 2018!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 💃🏼 🥂 🍾 💃🏼 🎊

 

Laura x

www.laura-janephotography.com

I would love for you to keep up to date and follow me on my social media pages ☺️ if you feel you would like to check in and see the whats going on, follow me on:

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Best Wishes for a fabulous 2018!

Laura x

Kirsty & Simon ~ Essex Wedding Photographer on the Dengie Marshes

I bumped into Kirsty at the Crowne Plaza Wedding Fair last November, and was chuffed to bits when she asked if I would do their wedding in June this year. At the time I was waiting on another enquiry for the same date but after the first couple couldn’t commit (as they were still waiting on Church confirmation), I was able to release the date and offer it to Kirsty & Simon instead! I was so excited when I went to meet with them at their beautiful home in the Dengie. They ran through their details and everything sounded amazing! I absolutely adore ‘home’ Weddings in the beautiful countryside and couldn’t wait for June to come around.

The Wedding came around all too quick, and before I knew it I was knocking at Kirsty’s dads door to meet up with the Bridal Party that morning. To make my day even better, Kirsty’s Dad lives in a small exquisite house in the seaside town of Burnham-On-Crouch, and it was so quirky and carefully decorated I felt like I was walking into a show home. I don’t want to delve too much, but just picture white walls with pale pastel coloured decor, vintage posters, and black and white pictures on the walls with original wooden floor boards and a stunning back garden sheltered with wild flowers and coast around the corner WoW!! I was in photographer heaven and set to so I could make the most of taking pictures here.

Kirsty & Simon wed at the lovely St James’ Church at the top of a hill hidden from the rest of the world. This gem overlooks beautiful scenery and is luckily less than a mile down the road from the family farm so it made life easy and the party started sooner!

The speeches were on form, delivered by Kirsty’s proud Dad followed by Simon’s two best men who also happened to be his brothers. They had the whole marquee in stitches and kept everyone reaching for their glasses for toasts and cheers!

Food was delivered by the wonderful Linda Hamilton Catering who produced a wonderful spread of Afternoon Tea, Sandwiches and Cakes to go along with the Garden Party theme, and worked beautifully against the rustic backdrops and decor displayed in the marquee.

The sun continued all afternoon, and fun & games started in the garden with the Ice Cream truck also making an appearance for the couple and their guests. Before long it was time to cut the cake and get the party started with the First Dance. Everyone was having a great knees-up together as I stole the couple away for a few more shots as the sun began to descend.

Kirsty & Simon, what a fabulous day you’re going to remember! Congratulations to you both and I wish you all the best for a long, happy marriage together.

 

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Wendy & James ~ Essex Wedding Photographer at The Forresters Golf & Country Club

I’ve know Wendy & James and they’re immediate family for quite a few years now and am proud that I have been asked to photograph them at various Equestrian events & PC camps, as well as an Equestrian Photo Sessions & a Canine Photo Session not too long ago.

Wendy & James share a heart of gold, and I was thrilled to be asked to photograph their Twilight Wedding at the Forresters Golf & Country Club at the end of May.

Going on holiday a week before the wedding; I phoned Wendy and assured her I would bring the sunshine back with me for her special day. True to my word, they were blessed with one of the hottest days of the year so far (luckily it was an early evening wedding and not midday!!) but it was perfect weather for a chilled, relaxed early evening in the sun with Barbeque and great friends celebrating the newly wed couple.

Wendy arrived (a half hour early!!!) in a gorgeous, gleaming white Rolls Royce and was immediately spun around to enjoy some time in her surprise car from James whilst the guests continued to flow in. During this time I managed to drag James & David out the back for a few quick shots under the shade of the trees whilst everyone else continued to make their way to the ceremony room ready for the arrival of the Bride again.

The gorgeous Bridesmaids & Flower Girls including Wendy’s daughter and Granddaughter’s walked through the ceremony room ahead of her, whilst following behind Wendy walked down the aisle arm in arm with her two sons.

The ceremony was beautiful with readings from members of the family, lots of laughs and smiles, and sparkly rings to be shared. Wendy & James couldn’t help but grin the whole way through – and I have the photos to prove it!!!

After the signing of the register and congratulations from the Registrars, we all exited behind the Bride & Groom and went straight out into the glorious sunshine to enjoy the afternoon’s rays outside. The whole afternoon was full of happy smiles and laughter, as well as plenty of food and drink for everyone. The Barbeque was delicious and Katie & her team at the Forresters made sure everyone was well looked after and enjoying their day.

I would like to take the chance to wish Wendy & James all the best with their future together, I know I’ll be keeping in touch and seeing you guys  soon (more than likely around horses)!!! Here’s to a life of love, laughter & happiness <3

 

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