VALUABLE LESSONS FOR THOSE GETTING HITCHED IN 2020
Well hello, twenty-twenty. Where in the futuristic hell did you come from?
Just before we run headlong into a new decade (one that sounds so futuristic I just Googled “hoverboards UK”), I’d love to take a very quick second for a fond look back at good old 2019. And before I start sounding like a nostalgic old snapper, rocking back and forth in his, um, rocking chair by the fire with a bubble pipe, donning slippers and muttering about SnapChat and Miley Cyrus, I ought to point out that I am super excited about the year ahead. As for last year, so what if Queen Elizabeth called it “quite bumpy”? 2019 was a cracker and in my opinion deserves some love. There were also some valuable-as-hell lessons to learn for any brides ‘n’ grooms getting hitched in 2020. Read on and you’ll see…
WEDDING RULE NUMERO UNO: ALWAYS DO YOU.
I got to shoot at a whole host of lovely new venues this year, including Caswell House, Anstey Hall, Chenies Manor, Port Lympne Safari Park, The Perch Inn, Micklefield Hall, Homme House and Cowley Manor. I was also lucky enough to be invited back to some of my all time fav venues including Hampton Manor, and Matara Centre. You know what? The more venues I shoot at, the more I realise how important it is to choose somewhere that “feels like you”. Not really a country manor kinda person? Then don’t book a country manor. Sounds simple but so many couples cave in to pressure to choose a “fancy” venue that will impress mates or even better great Aunty Muriel. My 2019 weddings ranged from marquees to boats, Oxford colleges to castles, pubs to châteaux. I witnessed Chinese tea ceremonies, masked Costa Rican celebrations, a couple being ‘punted’ to their wedding breakfast and that German classic, sawing a log in half (it’s a thing, trust me). Wedding rule numero uno: always do you.
BOOK WEDDING SUPPLIERS EARLY.
This was my busiest year ever. No joke. It was awesome, but I had to disappoint so many would-be clients because they got in contact just a shade too late. If you’ve got your date, then don’t dilly-dally. Call me as soon as you know it. We can sort everything else out later, but get yourselves in the diary. I only take on around 35 weddings a year and I’d so love you to be one of them.
UNMISSABLE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY MOMENTS.
Before you and your partner sign on the dotted line with your photographer (whether it’s me or somebody else), decide what your priorities are. What are the unmissable wedding moments that your photographer needs to capture? The people? The two of you loved up? The amazing backdrop? Naturally, your photographer will try to get a bit of all of these in, but what’s the focus and do you trust that your photographer 100% gets it? IMHO, the best moments happen off camera. The bits you don’t see. The little parts of the day when you think no one’s looking. But that’s just me.
I’ll tell you something for free: wedding photography (and weddings) have changed so much over the last decade. It used to be you couldn’t move for twee bunting, stark white marquees and crisp morning coats. The bride was given away by her dad, the best man made a terrible, inappropriate speech and there was warm white wine for everyone. It was… er, fine? If a bit dated. Now my summers are filled with all sorts of fabulousness: festival inspired vibes, break-dancing grannies and forest green velvet tuxedos. 2019 was a sublime example of this. Weddings have definitely got more colourful in the last decade and I’m so here for it.
YOUR FAMILY HAVE GREAT TASTE, TOO
A super special wedding for me this year was Emily & Henry’s at Oxford Divinity School. I actually shot both of Henry’s sisters’ weddings: Katie at a trendy art gallery in London and Louise at Oxford’s Rhodes House. Being invited to capture Henry’s brought a proper tear to my eye. My first sibling hat trick! If your friend or sibling had an incredible (ahem) photographer or supplier at their wedding, get their details sharpish. There’s no testimonial more compelling than actually seeing them do a great job at another wedding.
AWESOME SUPPLIERS ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD
When you’re booking your other suppliers (caterers, bakers, butchers, candlestick makers), do your research. Read online testimonials. Ask around. Ask me, I know a fair few of them! There are good suppliers, there are great suppliers and there are the downright awesome suppliers. But beware there are some bloody awful ones out there, too.
I want to shout out to a few of the particularly awesome suppliers I’ve worked with this year: planners Kerry Poulter on Lucien & Romina’s wedding at Cornwell Manor, Jane Riddell at Planned For Perfection on a couple of shoots including a surprise proposal at Blenheim Palace (just before the golden toilet got nabbed…true story) and Laurence from Peaches & Cream for Laura & Jon’s French wedding at Castelnau des Fieumarcon. A very special thanks must go to Amanda and Amy at AVA Event Styling. Finally, Claire and the whole team at Hampton Manor for their on-going brilliance. You guys rock.
So here’s to 2020. I cannot wait. A highlight for me will be heading off to Lake Como to see how the Italians do things, plus I have a whole host of other very exciting big days lined up.
If you’re getting hitched and fancy roping me in, check my availability here:
Need some further persuasion? Say no more, I hear you.
Here’s some of my unmissable wedding photography moments from 2019..
Loving these unmissable wedding photography moments of 2019?
Looking for a documentary wedding photographer?
If you feel the style of my pics doth butter your parsnips then hit me up via my contact page where you can fill in my contact form and check my availability.