Should I have an engagement shoot?

Should I have an engagement shoot?

Engagement shoots are the marmite of the wedding photography world.

There’s no way around it, engagement shoots are embarrassing! They just are. Very few of my couples are comfortable in front of the camera, hence why they’ve chosen a documentary style photographer. 

Having done my own engagement shoot quite some time ago, I remember how awkward and unnatural it felt to pose for the camera. Your body stiffens, your arms hang uselessly around your waist and out comes that awkward fake smile.

Unless you’re a super model, being in front of a camera for an hour is quite a daunting task. But this is your wedding and you should do something special. You’ve done the research and you’re pretty sure an engagement shoot is a good idea… 

So should you do it? Will it be worth it? Keep reading for some reason for and agianst.

London engagement shoot Alexandra palace

IT’S GOOD PRACTICE FOR THE WEDDING

Hmm maybe? Your wedding day is a juggling act, scheduling every moment, not a minute to spare and for someone who’s camera shy, allocating an hour for couples photos seems a little over the top.

Every wedding photographer will have a different approach. Some will put heavy focus on the portrait shoot, so if you know you’re having an hour or so for photos, an engagement shoot will be good practise. However, I find the majority of couples I work with prefer to prioritise the candid, documentary style shots over the couples photo session, and tend to allocate a smaller duration of about 10-15 minutes.

On top of that and maybe more important, an engagement shoot can’t prepare you for how you’re going to feel on your wedding day. Your blood is pumping, everyone is taking your photo, you are the centre of attention. I can’t think of a time when you would care any less that your photographer is going to take some photos of you both. It’s a completely different experience to an hour long engagement shoot, just the three of you walking around a park or a city street. So yes it can be good practise, but I feel it’s not as needed as other photographers might say.

London engagement shoot locations greenwich

THE CLIENT-PHOTOGRAPHER RELATIONSHIP

Pre pandemic I would always meet with potential couples over a coffee or a beer. We’d discuss their plans for the day and get to know each other a little better. Over the last year, phone and video calls became the only way to ‘meet’ your clients and whilst we’re back to normal (sort of), the majority of people are still booking without a face to face meeting.

So an engagement shoot can also be an opportunity to get to know your photographer. You can talk through your day, ask them questions, get recommendations and generally use them as font of knowledge for all things wedding related. You’ll also get used to their style and better understand how they work, which in turn will help you stay calm and relaxed on the day.

London engagement shoot Peckham cat

MAKE IT YOURS

If you’re undecided about an engagement shoot because you don’t fancy an hour kissing your partner in a dreamy meadow, just remember an engagement shoot is essentially you buying an hour of time from your photographer. What you choose to do in that time is entirely up to you.

Maybe you want some photos at a cocktail making class, or you could go bowling in fancy dress, plant flowers at your allotment, or just stay home and play twister? Whatever it is, don’t waste it on something you think it should be, make it something completely for you.

 

HOPE THAT HELPS MAKE YOUR DECISION, IF YOU ARE BOOKING AN ENGAGEMENT SHOOT AND STILL UNSURE WHERE TO GO CLICK HERE FOR A FEW PLACES IN LONDON THAT COULD HELP YOU ALONG.

Asha + Dipil // Camden lockdown wedding

Asha + Dipil // Camden lockdown wedding

Asha and Dipil cancelled their original wedding date that was just after lockdown began in early April. They decided to keep their rescheduled date in July and to keep it small, simple and meaningful. I was nervous to shoot my first small and socially-distanced wedding since the pandemic began, but I couldn’t have wished for a better day. I loved that Asha got ready at her family home with loved ones close and a round of putting with her dad in the garden. After a ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall, we had an awesome couple’s shoot in Camden Town. Camden, as usual, didn’t disappoint, but there was something even more special than usual – crowds in the bars cheered them over the bridge, a busker offering to play their favourite song, while they danced on the cobbles, and they even found time for a quiet drink – just the two of them – inside one of the usually-packed bars. As they are both dentists who have worked in full PPE for months, they were so happy to break out and celebrate! They finished with a meal in one of their favourite Indian restaurants.

10 awesome London engagement shoot locations – part two

10 awesome London engagement shoot locations – part two

Five down, five more to go! This is the last five London engagement shoot locations. As I’m writing this I can think of three, four, five more amazing places but I guess they’ll have to wait for the next blog!

Kew Gardens

kew.org

This place is so big you’ll need a map to find your way around. And choose your locations wisely as there’s no way you’ll find your way round all of them.

One of my favourite locations is the Palm House Conservatory. If you can bear the high temperature and get some shots before the lenses start to fog up, you’ll be super happy.

Luckily, when I shot a wedding there they provided us with a golf cart to scoot around in, minimising our travel time but whilst this might save a little time, I can’t think of a nicer park to spend the day walking through.

Shoreditch

Shoreditch, the hipster’s playground, the street artist’s canvas. I’ve never been into the skinny jeans looks and whilst I do occasional wear a beany it’s only to control my monstorously curly hair. But despite my lack of cool, I do love Shoreditch and it’s vibrant colourful streets.

Whilst this is one place I do know my way around, I still like to shoot with no specifc direction in mind. The back streets all link up and have a varied selection of colours, textures and graffiti, some covering whole buildings.

There’s a great mix of new and old London in Shoreditch, so you’re bound to get a great mix of styles in your photos.

The Southbank

southbankcentre.co.uk

If I could be anywhere in London on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it would be on the Southbank. There’s a feel of culture when you walk along past the Southbank Centre, the BFI and the Royal Festival Hall. Luckily, the 70’s architecture and location next to the river make it a great location for some pics too!

The route from the Waterloo entrance through to the Tate Modern or even Borough Market will not only give you more than enough spaces for photos, but you’ll have a fantastic day out. There’s so much to do and experience here that you’ll get what you need way, before you get to the end of the route.

The Hill Garden and Pergola

https://secretldn.com/hampstead-pergola-beautiful/

This is a real hidden gem of a location. It’s tucked away at one end of Hampstead Heath but good luck finding it without a map.  Imagine you discovered a pergola garden that had been forgotten about for years, the bricks weathered and plants overgrown and climbing up the archways, creating a location right out of a fairytale.

For a London location, it’s remote and not overly busy, so it’s another place that great for a shoot if you don’t want to be on show.

Peckham/The Bussey Building

copelandpark.com

I was heading to Peckham on the overground thinking of Rodney and Delboy. Their flat, the yellow three wheeler car and the pub they drank in was the full extent of my Peckham knowledge. It turns out that Peckham is actually quite different now.

The space around the Bussey Building is full of outdoor cafés and bars, perfect to sit down get some ‘chilling with a drink’ shots. There are loads of industrial buildings covered in colourful, mural backdrops and then there’s the Bussey Building. The part I shot in is basically a multi-story car park with a bar located on the top floors but it also makes for a very cool rooftop shoot, but be sure to get going before the crowds ascend… or not, if a night out is on the cards.

I hope you found this helpful. If you’re not getting married in London or wanted to shoot your engagement shoot else where then get in touch, we’d be happy to help!

<<< Click here to see part one

10 awesome London engagement shoot locations – part one

10 awesome London engagement shoot locations – part one

Good, London engagement shoot locations shouldn’t be hard to find but it can be hard to decide which one you like best. I find a lot of my couples know they want a shoot long before they know where they want to shoot. There’s lots to think about, do you want a location that has meaningful significance or just some kick-ass photogenic backdrops?

To help you with the decision we’ve provided you with a list of 10 awesome London engagement shoot locations. There are some great locations here but if nothing quite takes your fancy, it should at least give you some ideas for the style you may want to go for. Enjoy!

Alexandra Palace

alexandrapalace.com

I’d heard of Alexandra Palace before but had never actually been, and since my first shoot there, have only ever been back for work and sadly never for fun! Something I am constantly planning to remedy, but have never quite achieved.

It’s such a great location for photography! It has amazing views of London, a boating pond, a small fun fair, amazing architecture, lovely green picnic areas and loads of little nooks and crannies to compose your creative snaps.

It always feels like you have enough space to shoot and wander around without feeling distracted and embarrassed. There’s also enough location and backdrop variations to get a great selection of photos.

Hampstead Heath

One of, if not London’s biggest park! I don’t think I’ve ever been to Hampstead Heath without getting lost or becoming completely disorientated and ending up in another suburb of London!

There’s a mix of wild forest, swimming ponds and grassy hills with stunning views over London. It’s a great place to just wander around, chat to each other and grab a shot here and there when the location strikes!

Hampstead Heath is London’s less manicured park so whilst its rougher round the edges it has a natural, breath of fresh air feel about it, and is definitely the park I’d visit to destress and free up some much needed headspace.

Saint Dunstan in the East Church Garden

https://secretldn.com/st-dunstan-ruin-church-garden/

This little square of old London is hidden amongst the huge, towering blocks of London city. So whilst there is the beautiful crumbling ruins of an old church to shoot around, you can also get a nice contrast, shooting against the modern skyscraper architecture across the road.

Saint Dunstan always reminds me of the film Return to Oz, except not as terrifying and with more ham sandwiches being eaten on near by benches. If you’re in London and you’re not sure where to shoot this place is a no brainer. You won’t be disappointed.

Greenwich

Greenwich is a popular choice for my couples for both engagement and family shoots. Ok, maybe giving a whole town as location is cheating and not helpful but whenever i shoot there I’ve always shot as many areas of Greenwich as I can. There’s such a great selection of backdrops and locations, you really do end up racking up the miles by the end of your shoot.

The route normally consists of the top of Greenwich Park near the Observatory, yet another location with beautiful views of the London skyline. From there, you have the winding paths through the park to the Naval college with its grand imposing architecture. If that’s not enough you then have the market and Greenwich High Street with the Cutty Sark sitting on the bank of Thames as a great place to collapse and grab a drink at a near by pub.

Trinity Buoy wharf

trinitybuoywharf.com

If you’ve read any of my other blogs you’ll know I’m a massive Trinity Buoy Wharf groupie! It is a photogenic hub of creativity, full of colourful backdrops and fascinating installations. So, you’ll not only get some great pictures but you’ll learn something as you go.

Trinity Buoy Wharf feels like a film set with random props and scene set up for you to use as you wish, perfect for photography. There are tons intersecting walkways, varying sized backdrops, arty typography and graphic design scattered through out and industrial warehouse spaces, that could easily be the location for Justin Bieber’s latest Tik Tok music video.

It is a little hidden away but is only a short taxi ride from the nearest Tube station. You can easily shoot a good two-hour engagement shoot here and once you’re done you can visit the Wharf’s residential café or the American Diner for a nice bite whilst you wait for your taxi back home.

Click here for part 2 >>>

Viv + Dwij // Micklefield Hall

Viv + Dwij // Micklefield Hall

Micklefield Hall multicultural wedding

Viv and Dwij’s wedding day at Micklefield Hall was a fun-packed multicultural celebration. It started early in the morning with the Chinese tradition of blocking the groom from entering the Bride’s home (or in this case bedroom) to collect his bride until he proves himself worthy. This involves completing fun and hilarious challenges set by the bridesmaids. It’s definitely a great way to kick off the wedding day.

They then continue the day with not only the traditional civil service around Micklefield Hall’s beautiful water feature but also a Hindu service and Chinese tea ceremony. After the formalities, they relaxed with cocktails and canapés before dancing the night away.

What an epic day of cultures and celebration.

Read more about Micklefield Hall here.

Alice + Richard // Trinity Buoy Wharf

Alice + Richard // Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf urban wedding

I met the wedding crowd at Tower Bridge where we waited for the Boat to arrive to take us to Trinity Buoy Wharf. Along the way we went through a small storm which meant people took cover anywhere they could, luckily this was the only bad weather we’d have all day.

There’s a number of places to have your ceremony at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Alice and Richard chose The Drawing Room a venue that reminded me a lot of St Chad’s Place in King Cross, the venue my wife and I had our reception in… it’s now a burger restaurant!

They then migrated over to The Chain Store where they had their wedding breakfast and drinks out on the Trinity Buoy Wharf’s terrace overlooking the Thames.

A fantastic day at a fantastic venue!

Read more about Trinity Buoy Wharf here.

Ranitta + Sunit // Trinity Buoy Wharf

Ranitta + Sunit // Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf indian wedding

Trinity Buoy wharf is one of those venues that can cater to any wedding because it has a room, basement or hall for every occasion. Ranitta and Sunit had their ceremony in the The Electrician’s Shop. An industrial basement venue packed full of history and atmosphere. They then made their way to The Chainstore & Riverside Terrace for the reception and evening drinks.

Trinity Buoy wharf is always my first recommendation to any getting hitched in the capital.

Read more about Trinity Buoy Wharf here.

Lucy + Tom // Micklefield Hall

Lucy + Tom // Micklefield Hall

Micklefield Hall outdoor wedding

Within about two emails after Lucy and Tom got in touch regarding their wedding photography, we realised they lived two doors down and decided to meet in our local pub. They were planning a Micklefield Hall outdoor wedding, a beautiful venue with stunning grounds just minutes down the road from us.

Micklefield Hall has everything you need for your wedding day. From any accommodation needs the night before and after, the option for an indoor or outdoor ceremony, beautiful stretching gardens to roam around and sip some cocktails and the restored barn for drinking and dancing into the night.

A good venue and a great staff will always make the day feel fun and seamless, and that’s exactly what the folks at Micklefield Hall do.

Can’t wait for my next wedding there!

Read more about Micklefield Hall here.

5 cool and quirky London venues

5 cool and quirky London venues

Ok, it’s been quite a while since we wrote our last installment about our favourite venues, best London pub venues. So we’re now back with another awesome list of my favourite places to host your wedding day. These venues vary a little from the traditional pub, barn and country house options. But they still offer everything you need to host an amazing wedding in London!

As we are on lockdown right now, I know you can’t actually visit any venues. So we’re hoping that maybe this post could serve as a substitute whilst we’re stuck inside and hopefully give you a few ideas for when we’re released back into the wild.

THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE

thezettertownhouse.com
The Zetter Townhouse
Clerkenwell
London
EC1V 4JJ

The cobbles of St John Square outside gives you an old London feel before you even get through the door. Inside feels like a boutique bar and living room. It also had a science/academia/magic vibe going on, like a Hogwarts speakeasy… but maybe that’s just me.

I spent a long while just taking photos of the amazing selection of art, ornaments and taxidermy before I moved on to anything else. There’s more than enough for two weddings guests who’d never met, to get a conversation started.

At the far end, is the cocktail bar, serving a range of bespoke drinks catering to all tastes. It all feels well thought out and authentic rather than a venue trying to be something it’s not. Downstairs is the dining room and party area. It’s not huge but everytime I’ve been here the dancefloor has been in full swing. Need another drink? No need to worry, there’s a bar down here too. There’s also enough room to lay your evening food out.

The Zetter Townhouse has rooms upstairs for the couple and some of their guests, but if you do run out of space there’s always the Zetter Hotel across the road.

CLAPTON COUNTRY CLUB

claptoncountryclub.co.uk
38-40 Upper Clapton Road,
London
E5 8BQ

Any old part of London that can be kept and repurposed as something we can keep using and appreciating, I’m totally up for! Clapton Country Club used to be a Tramshed and it has thankfully kept that industrial work space atmosphere.

The brick buildings and reclaimed materials give the venue an intimate, rough round the edges feel, like a working artist studio. The main dining area is more urban but with an added rustic touch. It makes you feel comfortable and at home.

It’s a short drive away from Hackney town hall. So, you can get ready there in the morning, meet your guests at the town hall, say your vows and be back at the country club within the hour. Perfect!

THE OLYMPIC CINEMA

www.olympiccinema.co.uk
Olympic Studios 117-123
Church Road Barnes,
London
SW13 9HL

After discovering this wasn’t the official cinema for London’s 2012 Olympic Games, I realised it was in fact an awesome cinema, restaurant, café, cocktail bar and fancy members club.

Whether you’re enjoying a film, sipping on a martini or enjoying the homemade food, the quality is consistent throughout. Each area works nicely on its own for any visitor, but as a whole when hiring the venue for a wedding, it’s really quite fantastic.

You can take the cinema theme and run with it, pinning up retro themed posters and adding a red carpet outside for selfies and groups shots, as one of our couples did.

The ground floor is the lovely bar and restaurant. The cinema is on the second floor and the third floor is the über trendy member’s bar. If you’re still around for the dancing in the evening, the top floor is where the disco is at!

THE ROOST

www.theroost.co.uk
142 Sandringham Rd,
Clapton,
London
E8 2HJ

The roost is hired as a studio space for artists and commercial shoots, meaning anywhere you turn your head there’s a beautiful backdrop, trendy graphic print or some retro, boutique prop. It makes every photo full of colour and character.

There’s a total of three floors and a basement, so as well giving your photographer an exhausting workout as they run up down throughout the day, you can also choose a different floor for each part of your wedding.

The top floor has two bedrooms opposite each other for the couple to get ready in, so as long as you’ve surrounded yourself with logistically, savvy ushers and bridesmaids who can coordinate the opening and closing of the two facing doors, you’ll get to the ceremony without without a hitch.

There’s a small garden out the back for any smokers, and a basement for late night beats if you want to push the party into the early hours. The Roost is also associated with two other venues, Dalston Heights and Friendly Place so if it’s already booked there are two other great options worth checking out!

WILTON’S MUSIC HALL

www.wiltons.org.uk
Wilton’s Music Hall,
1 Graces Alley (pedestrian access only)
London,
E1 8JB

I first visited Wilton’s Music Hall a few years back when a couple of close friends got married there. At that point, I’d never even heard of it, but I became immediately keen to shoot there!

If history is your thing, or London is your thing, or theatre is you thing… or just really cool things are your thing, then Wilton’s should be a big contender for your venue. It’s completely magical, filled with history and atmosphere.

The buildings have lived many lives – homes and an ale house in the 1600s, concert hall and saloon throughout the 1800s, a methodist mission saw it through the two world wars until the 1950s, and then it was almost all over when as a derelict rag warehouse in the 1960’s it was listed for demolition. No Londoner was going to stand for that. Especially John Betjeman, who fought with many others to save it.

Through many periods of restoration, it is now an arts venue. Though indeed restored, it’s very much frozen in time as a music hall – from the moment you walk in, it’s like finding yourself in Victorian London. You can almost see the popular entertainment acts play and hear the audience merrily willing them on.

You can hire the whole venue, which includes the bars, the Victorian staircase, and the Hall with its famous barley-twist columns – there are countless photo opportunities and backdrops, everywhere you look is steeped in faded Victorian charm. This venue is so special and completely unique and a fantastic place for a proper east-end knees up.

I hope you enjoyed our 5 cool and quirky London venues recommendations, if you have any other suggestions get in touch, we’re always happy to learn about new places and hopefully when we’re allowed back out I’ll be shooting a few of them soon!

If you want to see more images from our recent weddings then click on gallery on the main navigation.

5 amazing barn wedding venues

5 amazing barn wedding venues

Gate Street Barn

Set in the surrey hills just 5 miles outside of Guilford. Whenever I’ve shot at Gate Street Barn I’ve always felt that it was the perfect layout for a wedding. With a number of areas for every part of your day, you move seamlessly from ceremony to reception and on to the wedding breakfast without evening knowing the work happening behind the scenes. The surrounding areas are fantastic for couple shots, although you could easily stay within a 20 metre radius of the barn itself and still get some lovely shots.    

Lillibrook Manor

This estate is set in the Thames Valley in a stunning grade 2 listed building, with beautiful spacious grounds catering to whatever their guests desire. When I worked at Lillibrook Manor the ceremony was outside in the Cloister Garden, a courtyard surrounded by brick walls and old barn doors. The couple also hired dogems and fun fair stalls for the evening which the venue happily hosted in the area just outside the Great Barn where they held the wedding breakfast.    

Upwaltham Barn

Found in the rolling south downs, drive too fast and you’ll miss the entrance. This is another venue that seems to have been perfectly designed for your wedding day. The barn, ceremony hall and bridal suite are all surrounding a beautiful courtyard where you guests can drink and chat after the ceremony before heading inside for the wedding breakfast. There’s also a small, picturesque garden for anyone who wants take a time out from the wedding crowds.    

The Tithe Barn

Shooting at Tithe Barn meant a bit of a road trip for me, living just outside London I drove 5 hours up into the beautiful yorkshire country side but it was totally worth it. It’s a brand new venue opening only mid 2018 and I had the honour of shooting their very first wedding. It’s lovely and spacious with a nice, intimate little garden area for reception drinks but enough room inside if the weather wasn’t looking great. But if the sun is out, enjoy the view of the beautiful Bolton Abbey, which is definitely where you want to go for some photos at sunset.    

Stone Barn

This is another venue that has the perfect layout and combination or areas to suit any wedding. It has a great mix of traditional decor but with a modern architectural twist. Choose between the stone barn itself or the charming garden area for your ceremony. Wander around the beautiful Cotswold countryside for your couple shots, then head in for the wedding breakfast in the light and spacious dining hall. The corrugated metal ceiling and hanging fairy lights adds a cosy, magical feel to the day. I absolutely loved shooting at this venue and can’t wait to go back!
Rachel + Peter // Tithe Barn

Rachel + Peter // Tithe Barn

Tithe Barn Yorkshire wedding

No, Peter and Rachel are not models that I hired for the day. They’re a real-life couple that are completely in love.

This was a fun one for me, not only because Peter and Rachel’s was the first wedding at the new Tithe Barn but also because I got to visit Skipton. A town that I visited regularly as a young boy to see my great aunt.

From Skipton, we made our way to the Tithe barn which overlooks the beautiful Bolton Abbey. A great view for the guests and a lovely location for some couple shots at sunset.

You really couldn’t ask for more!

Read more about Cripps & Co’s restored barn venues here.

Natalie + Johnny // The Londesborough

Natalie + Johnny // The Londesborough

Johnny used to work at The Londesborough Pub and what with it being one of the best wedding pubs in London, it seemed the obvious choice to host their reception.

They tied the knot at Islington Town Hall then jumped on their Routemaster bus up to The Londesborough. Before everyone else arrived, we took a stroll around the surrounding streets to grab a few, fun couple shots.

Natalie and Johnny had decided the food was to be entirely Vegan, which being a massive BBQ made me a tad apprehensive. Of course after tasting the Malaysian curry, I was proved totally wrong. The only place I could find fault was the fact I was’t allowed seconds.

After nervously putting off the first dance for as long as possible, they kicked off the dancing which then carried on into the night. These two were such a sweet couple. Always playfully teasing each other in the photos creating a genuinely fun, authentic set of pictures.

Another great wedding at a great venue!

 

 

 

 

Bryony + Craig // Shustoke Barn

Bryony + Craig // Shustoke Barn

Bryony and Craig were married at Shustoke Barn, Warwickshire in March this year, on the first sunny weekend after the early spring snow. It was a relaxed, boho-inspired wedding day, with outfits and flowers in blues and greys. We were so in love with Bryony’s dress and the gorgeous flowers at this one – not to mention the atmospheric Shustoke Barn, owned by family run Cripps & Co, who have several beautiful barns we’ve had the pleasure of shooting at (including the first ever wedding at the Tithe Barn at Bolton Abbey – we can’t wait to share this wedding!). Being a wedding photographer means Dan gets to travel to the best places! We’re so lucky to have this wedding featured on Love My Dress on 12 September, you can read all the details about how they planned and spent their day there! Flowers: Bloom Fleuriste Brides Gown: Aimee dress by Divine Atelier from Serendipity Brides in Weedon Hair: Juliet Johnson Make up: Emily Grosvenor Bridesmaid dresses Mix Bridal Groom’s suit Noose and Monkey Cheese cake The Cheese Shed Videography Opaline Films  
Wedding flowers

Wedding flowers

Flowers really help set the scene on a wedding day – rustic, classic, contemporary, understated, oversized, multi-coloured, full of texture, full of colour, simple or uniform –  with so many options and styles to choose from, it’s certainly one of the most fun parts of wedding planning and there’s something to suit everyone. We’ve taken a look back over some of our favourite floral moments and compiled them here for your wedding day inspiration.

Grace + Tom

This bright, vibrant, sunny wedding could only have bold, vivid blooms to match. Broadly yellow, orange and blue, Grace’s bouquet was also peppered with pinks and reds. Big sunflower heads sat amongst orange roses, freesias, iris’, daisies crocosmia and lisianthus creating an eclectic, fun and fragrant arrangement.

Bouquet by: Sioux Phillips
Read more about day here

 

Cath + Will

This one doesn’t include any flowers at all, yet is as stunning as the rest. Cath + Will opted for various complimentary green foliage, including bay and fern leaves. And if a bouquet of greens wasn’t enough, how about that bridal crown?

 

Erin + Chris

Erin’s autumn-hued bouquet had the most elegant finishing touch of two pheasant feathers, which sat along side stunning thistles, red roses chrysanthemum, eucalyptus leaves and rosehips, creating a gorgeous array of textures, scale and colours.

 

Olivia + Lawrence

The peaches and cream blooms were the icing on the cake of Olivia + Lawrence’s wedding in the woods. Snapdragons, roses, thistles formed the basis of the bridal bouquet, with english cottage garden geraniums, dahlias and mint in pots and planters around the garden reception venue.

Bouquets, button holes, table flowers and gazebo arrangements by Astilbe and Sorrel
Read about their day here

 

Victoria + Adam

Victoria and Adam’s flowers were true to their laid back tipi festival wedding – simply english lavender across the bouquets, buttonholes and potted plants on the long trestle tables. They created them themselves, and the result couldn’t be more perfect.

Read about their day here

 

Stephie + Olly

This wedding not only has the most stunning bouquet but the venue was transformed into a breathtaking walk through an English country garden – lisianthus, stocks, love in a mist, anemones, iris’ and roses featured, paired beautifully with eucalyptus and fern leaves. They complemented the Victorian, London pub venue perfectly.

 

Sarah + Stuart

There were three beautiful floral focal points in Sarah + Stuart’s big day – the Indian-summer inspired bouquets, the stunning flower arch and Sarah’s delicate floral crown.

For us, the floral arch was the more stunning of all – rich hydrangea heads in varying shades of blues, purples and pinks, married with vintage roses and vines of lush green leaf made for a ceremony location to remember.

Flowers by Blue Geranium
Read more about their day here

 

Rachel + Ben

Another autumn-hued floral theme, Rachel and her bridal party had gorgeous over-sized bouquets with eucalyptus, wheat, orange leaves and chrysanthemums which were mirrored elegantly in the buttonholes.

 

Natalie + Steve

Natalie’s flowers spanned a small portion of the colour spectrum but in the most intricate and textured detail. Peonies, scabious, freesias, roses and love-in-a-mist and forget-me-nots all combined to create a stunning pink and purple display for both the bouquets and the table decorations.

Flowers by Blush Floral Design

 

Fran + Matt

For their October wedding, Fran + Matt opted for white and golden hues. Fran isn’t a huge flower enthusiast but her love for plants led her to choose to keep the bouquets simple and decorate the tables with little succulents in a variety of gold pots and geometric terrariums.

Flowers by Dora Kovacs

 

Bryony + Craig

Bryony’s brief to florist Bloom Fleuriste, was to have white and blue wild flowers with lots of greenery – she exceeded expectations and blew Bryony away when she revealed her bouquet on the day. The bridesmaid’s had smaller versions of the main bouquet, which included a stunning hydrangea head, anemones, astrantia, ranunculus and even a striking succulent.

Flowers by Bloom Fleuriste

 

Best of the rest

We love all flowers, but here are some of our other favourite florals from weddings we’ve shot.

Sam + Steve // Wilton’s Music Hall

Sam + Steve // Wilton’s Music Hall

Sam and Steve were married in 2017 at Wilton’s Music Hall in East London. I’d been eager to shoot here after attending a wedding a few years ago – the walls feel alive with history, and no venue I’ve shot at before feels quite so much like going back in time. As the oldest surviving grand music hall in the world (the whole world!), it saw life first as a row of houses in the 1690s, followed by a merchant’s ale house in the 1820s, a concert hall in the 1830s, a music hall in the 1850s-80s, a Methodist Mission from the 1880s right through the Blitz until 1956, a rag warehouse in the 1960s and after half a century of campaigning to save and preserve it, it is now once again thriving with performance and art… and of course, weddings! To say Wiltons has atmosphere is an understatement. From the moment you arrive at the front doors, flaking its paint in all hues of red and pink, you know you have arrived somewhere special and completely unique. This paved the way for Sam and Steve to have a day their guests would remember for a long time to come.

 

Family shoots

Family shoots

Family shoots were never where my confidence was highest, but recently I’ve become a lot more comfortable and started to really enjoy meeting up with families and capturing such a precious time  – since we had our baby last June, I have realised how quickly kids change and how fast the time passes! I’ve had the pleasure of photographing some beautiful families – I have especially loved seeing couples who I met through their weddings expand their family and ask me to shoot with them again. Here are some of my favourite shots.

 

Best pub venues in London

Best pub venues in London

contact-story-and-colourThis is the second post about my favourite wedding venues (part one can be found here) and this time I’m focusing on the building that is so many people’s humble home from home – the old English pub.

Pubs have really upped their game over the last few years and can now hold their heads high amongst the many wedding venues on offer. What they lack in grandeur and size they make up for in modesty, intimate down-to-earth atmosphere and of course, price!

There are so many great pubs in London and I don’t pretend to know them all, but the below are some of the ones I’ve shot in and can highly recommend. So, in no particular order, here are my top pub wedding venues in London – enjoy!

 

THE DEPOT

thedepotn7.co.uk
1 Carpenter’s Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
The Depot (previously Shillibeers) is a few minutes walk from the Caledonian Road station and tucked away just below the Pleasance Theatre. It’s one of the bigger pub venues I’ve shot in, but still has loads of atmosphere. It also has a nice little cobbled area outside for those warmer days and for any group shots you might want.

THE LONDESBOROUGH

thelondesborough.com
36 Barbauld Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 0SS
This has got to be my most shot in pub venue in London, it has an unofficial partnership with Stoke Newington Town Hall which is a two minute walk up the road and the Londesborough seems to be the place to go after your ceremony. Packed full of warmth and atmosphere, The Londesborough has a nice long bar area big enough for 50-70 people to chat before moving down to the restaurant area for your wedding breakfast. Nice and cosy!

THE PRINCE ALBERT

https://princealbert.pub
60 Dace Rd, London E3 2NQ
I love this place. This pub has the perfect layout, a nice central bar with room for people to mingle around the outside. It also has a small garden and a separate upstairs area for the wedding breakfast, so whilst not enormous, it has enough space to cater for every part of your day.

THE PEASANT

thepeasant.co.uk
240 St John Street, London EC1V 4PH
The Peasant is a great pub with a downstairs bar for the reception and a lovely french bistro-styled eating area upstairs. The downstairs is a traditional wooden bar area with a lovely tiled floor and enough room for dancing in the evening, but the restaurant area is the best feature – the decor and the layout gives off a lovely family feel.

ARTISAN

theartisanofclerkenwell.com
53 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JL
As you can tell by the name, The Artisan has a trendier, urban, industrial style and is more cocktail bar than traditional pub but I’m still including it here, as it is such a great venue. Follow the long bar down into the seated, eating area which is a great sized dance floor in the evening.

ROYAL INN ON THE PARK

royalinnonthepark.com
111 Lauriston Road, Hackney, London E9 7HJ
This place feels like a royal home with a bar plonked in the centre. A place from the mid-Victorian era, its large marble pillars and black and white chequered floors give you a sense of quality and sophistication without being snobby. It’s also right next to Victoria Park so you can do a quick 5k to burn off your meal.

THE GREEN

thegreenclerkenwell.com
29 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
Based in the heart of Farringdon, this lovely little venue has everything you want from a London pub. It has a bar downstairs for reception drinks and an upstairs area for the wedding breakfast. The location is great for group and couple shots as well.

TRAFALGAR TAVERN

trafalgartavern.co.uk
Park Row, London SE10 9NW
Located on the edge of the Thames, this pub gives off a nautical atmosphere, which isn’t surprising as it couldn’t be any close to the water. With a bustling pub downstairs, the weddings take place upstairs where you have your own bar, reception room and ceremony/dining hall which has loads of room to boogy when converted in the evening. This place has everything you need!

Joanna + Andy

Joanna + Andy

I’d been impatiently waiting for this wedding ever since Joanna enquired. The ceremony and reception were held in an urban, graffiti drawn warehouse space in Hackney called Swan Wharf which looked super cool and perfect for a London wedding… and it didn’t disappoint!

Flowers by Kirsty Jean

Brides Gown: Wed2B London www.wed2b.co.uk

Hair & Makeup: Lipstick & Curls http://www.lipstickandcurls.net/

Cake/Dessert/Canapé Maker www.luminarybakery.com

 

Claudia + Adrian // Trinity Buoy Wharf

Claudia + Adrian // Trinity Buoy Wharf

When Claudia got in touch about her wedding at Trinity Buoy Wharf, it was only after a few emails that we realised we knew each other from a few years back when we both worked in French Connection as students, oh how the time flies, and what a small world!

Both the ceremony and reception were held at Trinity Buoy Wharf, which in my opinion is one of the best urban venues in London. Gin & Tonics were poured by The TGC during the reception, pizza was served by Baz and Fred in the evening and the finale was a dance set performed by DJ Luck and MC Neat. What a day!

 

5 awesome urban wedding venues in London

5 awesome urban wedding venues in London

contact-story-and-colourOne of the great things about being a wedding photographer is being able to visit so many amazing venues. Whether it’s in the country side or the city, a spacious hall or a cosy east end boozer, it never disappoints.

Choosing a venue is hard, probably the hardest decision you’ll make when organising your wedding. So to help you out, I’ve started a list of the best venues I’ve photographed this year.

Starting with my top 5 Urban wedding venues. If you want that big spacious barn vibe but don’t want to leave the city hopefully this list can help you kick start your venue research.

 

THE WORX

http://www.theworx.co.uk
10 Heathmans Road, Parsons Green,
London, SW6 4TJ
The Worx is a Venue and Studio hire complex. With infinite white backdrops used for fashion, portraits and car photography, it also works well for couple’s portraits and group shots. The wedding was held in one of the bigger studios and was later transformed into the dining area, there’s also a courtyard outside for drinks and canapés!

HOXTON ARCHES

http://www.hoxtonarches.com
402 Cremer St, London E2 8HD
Situated across the road from the Hoxton Overground Station, The Hoxton Arches are literally underneath the railway track. With a cool, art gallery feel to it, it’s a blank canvas for you to transform into whatever you see fit. There’s a back garden area, with tables and chairs and a backdrop of graffiti.

SWAN WHARF

http://www.swanwharf.org
60 Dace Rd, London E3 2NQ
I love this venue. Hidden away in East London, this is a super cool, spacious warehouse with all the trimmings. This is as urban as you can get! It’s three floors up, with exposed brick walls and high ceilings with metal girders. It has loads of space inside and out for drinking, dining and dancing!

TRINITY BUOY WHARF

http://www.trinitybuoywharf.com
64 Orchard Pl, Poplar, London E14 0JY
Situated right on the Thames at what used to be a former working dock. Trinity Buoy Wharf is the perfect wedding venue. Sip your drink whilst looking out over the Thames, or maybe have a wander past the colourful shipping containers, have a game of ping pong… and if you’re lucky, see the view from the top of London’s only lighthouse!

STOUR SPACE

http://www.stourspace.co.uk
7 Roach Rd, Tower Hamlets E3 2PA
Stour Space is a fantastic, creative space. Drink your fizz in the large open area on the ground floor before heading up to the mezzanine level for some yummy food. To chill out, head to the floating jetty on the canal to see amazing views of the Olympic Park.

Abi + Ollie

Abi + Ollie

Abi + Ollie had a wonderful country wedding in the Gloucestershire countryside – in Abi’s family home’s grounds no less! Rustic in parts, every detail was well-thought through and beautiful. Shooting it was a pleasure.

 

Jamie + Pierre

Jamie + Pierre

Early this year, on a slightly grey February day, I had the huge pleasure of shooting the engagement shoot of these two bright things on Hampstead Heath. They’ve since been married in San Francisco – one of my all time favourite places in the world. Perfect. Congratulations guys!

 

Daniel + Lewis

Daniel + Lewis

Daniel and Lewis had a beautifully simple wedding day with the ceremony at midday followed by a stroll around the grounds of York House in Richmond. Choosing to keep the guest list low, only two close friends were invited to the day, so I count myself very lucky to have been there to capture such a lovely, intimate celebration.