Louise & Mike’s Kent Wedding at The Shepherd Neame in Faversham.

The last time I was at this particular wedding venue was back in November and it’s one on of those places that has so many possibilities for photographs you never feel you have long enough to explore!

Louise and Mike are such relaxed couple I knew I was going to really enjoy photographing their day. Arriving at Louise’s parents house beforehand everyone was pretty chilled out with Louise was just having the finishing touches done to her make up. If you’re a bride debating whether or not to have your make up done by a professional, I would always advise having it done, get a good one and you won’t believe the results, and it lasts all day!

After about an hour it was time for me to go and meet Mike at the ceremony venue and photograph him and his groomsmen as well as some of the guests. Although I love this wedding venue, it can be a bit of a squeeze in the bar area when it starts to fill up but I did my best to manoeuvre around and get some photos of people enjoying a drink and a chat.

The Saturday market was taking place in the high street right outside the ceremony venue so there were plenty of spectators for Louise’s arrival. Mike looked a little nervous to start with but they appeared to dissipate once the ceremony got under way and before long they were announced as the new Mr & Mrs Ward and it was back downstairs for a celebratory drink!

To enjoy a little time together away from everyone they went for a spin in the open topped Rolls Royce for 15 minutes while guests stayed at the bar, which I thought was a lovely idea as a wedding can be such whirlwind and it just gives the couple a little time to enjoy the day together.

Like almost all the weddings I photograph there were a number of group photos to be taken, so before the wedding breakfast these were done outside. I try to make it as painless as possible for everyone involved by being organised with a list of those requested and helpers who know the people to gather them together. Other than these and some couple photos the rest of my work is capturing events as they happen and anticipating little moments that present themselves.

Louise and Mike’s little daughter was adorable and constantly made me smile with her little expressions, no doubt they were very proud with how good she was on the day and her grandparents clearly loved looking after her. A little too young to enjoy the wedding like some of the youngsters who were made up with the inflatables on the dance floor, but nevertheless she was a huge part of it.

So with the wedding breakfast eaten and the speeches completed, albeit after a little microphone issues, we had a time to take a few photographs of Mike and Louise together. At this stage in the day there is more scope for creative portraits as the pressure of time has been removed so can be more relaxed and enjoyed by the couple as well.

 

Meanwhile the band Happy Hour were setting up while the kids enjoyed messing about with the inflatable bananas, it’s amazing how much fun even for adults they can provide! They didn’t feature in Mike and Louise’s first dance though which was probably a good thing.

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Sara & Phil’s Kent winter wedding at The Lost Village of Dode took place way back in December and it was my third visit to this really unique venue which is approximately 900 years old!

When Sara and Phil came to see me before their wedding they stressed it was important to them that the photographs really capture the ambience of the venue with it’s ancient stone walls, candlelit interior and straw floors. Knowing how to balance the ambient light and flash means this is always possible what ever your choice of venue and especially in winter when the natural light soon fades, which is why I love winter weddings.

Sara chose to get ready in one of the cottages on site known as ‘The Retreat’, which is also where they and their guests moved to after the ceremony for mulled wine and mince pies while the ceremony venue was turned around for the wedding breakfast.

 

While there was still just enough daylight and before it started raining, we managed to do the requested group photographs outside. Most of my wedding photography is photojournalistic in style but I always think it’s a good idea to have a few group photos of close family and even friends.

With the tables laid out it was time to move everyone back into the ancient Norman building to eat. The hog roast had been cooking for some time outside by The Flying Pig Hog Roast catering company and was greatly appreciated by the guests on a cold December afternoon.

 

‘Dode’ is an intimate Kent wedding venue accomodating a maximum of 45 people so when it was time for the evening reception, the entertainment provided by acoustic guitarist and vocalist Jamie McGuire was just perfect. Funnily enough Jamie had been a guest at Catherine & Jonny’s wedding I had photographed back in the summer.

I didn’t know he was such a talented vocalist and musician, great music for Sara and Phil to enjoy doing their first dance to!

 

 

 

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Laura & Daniels Kent winter wedding at The Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham

What could be better than having your Kent winter wedding at Shepherd Neame, the brewery in Faversham, when you enjoy a beer or two! London based couple Laura and Daniel enjoy getting out to some pubs and after visiting faversham felt this particular wedding venue would be perfect!

There are many different venues for us wedding photographers in Kent to work at and I’m lucky to see a good variety and although I’m not much of an ale drinker, preferring the odd glass of wine!, I loved the atmosphere of the place and have been back since for a comedy night and another wedding.

Before their wedding I met up with Laura and Daniel in Faversham for their pre wedding photoshoot and clicked with them immediately, what a great couple!

Their wedding day started with me meeting Laura at the pub round the corner where she was getting ready, seems it was to be pub based all day long! I photographed her and her two flower girls getting ready and had to laugh when one of the little ones proclaimed in all seriousness that her shoes didn’t fit ( she was buckling up the brides!).The hair was done by Alex from MakeMeSparkle who is a genius when it comes to your do, I can highly recommend her!

Once all the necessary preparations were done I headed off back to the brewery to photograph Daniel and some of the guests before the ceremony. The ceremony itself was pretty emotional, Laura’s dad escorted her down the aisle and the little flower girls scattered their petals while Daniel couldn’t keep a little tear from his eye.

With their vows completed and a punch to the air from Daniel, they were officially announced as husband and wife and couldn’t have looked happier walking back down the aisle together. A few group photos followed by food and then it was time for some entertainment from some simply brilliant young Irish dancers ( there was a strong Irish contingent being Laura’s side of the family) and also a very funny slideshow showing Laura’s dancing skills!

Despite it being a winter wedding the weather was actually ok and we managed to get some photographs by the ‘Spitfire’ car in the courtyard outside which was great as I like to try and do some interesting couple portraits were possible.

Being Laura and Daniels wedding photographer was an absolute pleasure and I’d like to wish them  long and happy life together.

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Although Emma & Ollie’s St Clements Church wedding in Kent took place back in November, the weather still hasn’t got a lot warmer and we’re all wishing for the temperature to rise I’m sure. Thankfully it stayed dry on the day and it was only the wind that caused some ‘wedding veil’ issues but nothing anyone was going to get stressed about.

Emma and Ollie celebrated their wedding in the town of Sandwich up on the north coast, and with a church ceremony and marquee reception you could say it was fairly traditional. As a wedding photographer in Kent these are the types of wedding I find myself working at a great deal and I love the architecture of the lovely old churches and rural settings for the marquees.

After the ceremony, due to the weather, it was necessary to do a few group photos inside and then it was a quick dash through the confetti out to the vintage car to transport the newly married couple to Goss Hall  where they were holding their marquee reception in the grounds. Being November it wasn’t long before the light faded so we weren’t able to capitalise on photography by the meandering river that runs through the garden unfortunately, but that’s the compromise you make having a winter wedding. Even at summer weddings I often find that the best light will coincide with the wedding breakfast so there are always compromises to be made.

As is the usual running of the day, the speeches followed the wedding breakfast and very much enjoyed by the attending guests, it’s always good to hear amusing speeches even when you don’t know the couple as well as everyone else. After a short interlude it was then time for the first dance which they performed brilliantly,  followed by what looked likely to be a great party well into the night.

Emma and Ollie were a fantastic couple to photograph, easy going with great smiles and I really enjoyed photographing their wedding, it was full of fun and lots of laughs, just as  a wedding should be.

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Catherine & Jonny-81P I N

 

Winning a Wedding Photojournalist Association award this year was a great surprise and at this time of year when the wedding season hasn’t really got started, it was a little reminder of why I love to do this job.

The WPJA is one of the most highly respected professional associations within the wedding photography industry, composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world specialising in documenting weddings in a style that’s both candid and creative.

I strive constantly to deliver the best wedding photos I can for every couple who’s wedding I photograph and to win this award has meant my efforts are not going unnoticed. Obviously I don’t approach a wedding with the aim to take an award winning photo, that’s a bi product of working to deliver a set of beautiful natural wedding photos that tell the story of the day.

With that in mind, I’m again very much looking forward to photographing this years weddings and looking at capturing something special and different at every one, as in the words of the great photojournalist John Stanmeyer, who’s knowledge and expertise I have been able to draw from, ” it’s got to be brilliant!”

 

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Everyone has seen beautiful wedding photos online and in magazines and everyone deserves to have a wonderful set of wedding photos as a record of their special day. Here I have compiled a short list of the factors that influence the kind of photos you can expect to receive form your professional wedding photographer and what you should consider in order to get what you want.

Your Wedding Venue

Not everyone can afford, or would perhaps want, a grand stately home in the countryside or a top London hotel to get married in, but that shouldn’t mean you don’t get beautiful photographs at your chosen venue. If you have chosen your local village hall or a marquee in your garden you can of course still have stunning photos, you might just have to think a little more about the lighting and decoration which isn’t already in place for you.

Interior Lighting and Decor

Obviously the appearance of the exterior and interior of your wedding venue is something you consider when booking your venue but have you thought about the lighting?

Some venues have wonderful lighting, it may be natural light coming in through huge bay windows with elaborate chandeliers hanging from high ceilings for when the sun goes down, or interesting modern interior lights of different colours. Others however may have little in the way of interesting wall and ceiling lights and simply have fluorescent tubes which is far less attractive in photographs.

When looking at wedding photos, particularly at venue interiors, take note of the lighting as this will impact on the sort of photos you can expect and if you have blank canvas such as a barn or marquee to decorate, think lights! i.e. fairy lights, chandeliers etc, the more the better!

The Time of  Year & Weather.

Here in Great Britain you cannot guarantee what the weather is going to be like at any time of year, I have photographed wet, cold and windy weddings in August and warm and sunny weddings in November, in terms of weather it’s a lottery.P I N

The best advice I can offer is to be prepared and not just hope it’s going to be dry and sunny for your picnic out in the orchards after the ceremony. Have a backup and make sure you’d be happy to have lots of your wedding photos taken where that place might be. Again if it needs decorating use plenty of lights as it makes such a difference.

The Time of Your Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast

Another big consideration to take into account is the amount of natural light available at different times of the year and when the sun sets. If you are looking for some beautiful portraits of the two of you as the goes down, having your wedding in June and hiring a photographer only up to the first dance at 8.30 isn’t going to work. Be aware of timings for your ceremony and wedding breakfast as well as you may be eating at the best time to get some sunset portraits.

 

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Themes and Entertainment

It’s not for everyone but sometimes a theme can add a little something different to your day, whether it’s 1940s Hollywood Glamour or 1920s Great Gatsby, it can often help you with all sorts of decisions regarding your wedding, from invites to table decorations as well as creating wonderful images of you and your guests on the day.

Entertainment is another aspect of a wedding day that can lead to some wonderful photos, a magician gets all sorts of reactions from guests while a dance class can get everyone up and on their feet early on without feeling self conscious, all leading to some great photos.

To summerise, it’s important to think about how your photos will be influenced by where and when you have chosen your wedding to be.

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