Máire & Max, a Vintage, Botanical Hackney Wedding with an Italian Feast at The Round Chapel.

Máire & Max, a Vintage, Botanical Hackney Wedding with an Italian Feast at The Round Chapel.

Vintage Hackney Wedding with Foliage Hoops, Foliage Bouquets, Bridesmaids in trousers and an Italian Feast. Bride wears Halfpenny Bridal.

Máire & Max opted for a half day coverage of their intimate London Wedding back in October, and so once they were wed at Stoke Newington Registry Office, I caught up with them at the beautiful, 19th Century Round Chapel in Hackney for their reception.  

The couple both have Italian heritage and after getting engaged on a trip around Italy, they opted to have an Italian sharing feast consisting of dishes that were family favourites.  Máire & Max also own their own distillery where they make Gin and an Italian style bitter aperitivo spirit and this was served alongside the stunning array of food.  

There was a real nod to the season too, with autumn leaves used to label each dish and the bouquets and button holes were 100% foliage with the inclusion of autumn berries, simple and stunning!

I was very spoiled with the glorious architecture of the Round Chapel, loved the symmetry and the exquisite tiling on the floor of the hallway where I took the opportunity to capture some portraits of the stylish pair before heading on up to the gallery to finish up.  After a few group shots, the wedding party sat to eat and we stayed to capture their speeches and their first dance as a newly married couple.

Simplistic, yet uber-stylish, Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Chater, a beautiful celebration and a pleasure to document.

Supplier Love:

Venue: The Round Chapel, Hackney

Florist: Penelope Mercer

MUA & Hair: Natalie Young (Friend)

Cake: Bride's Mum

Caterer: Capish

Band: Chief O'Neil Irish Band

Groom Dressed by: Jennis & Warmann UK

Bride's Dress: Halfpenny Bridal

Bridesmaids Trousers:  ASOS

Kate & Paul. A Modern, Rustic Gaynes Park Essex Wedding.

Kate & Paul. A Modern, Rustic Gaynes Park Essex Wedding.

Modern Rustic, Romantic Autumn Wedding at Gaynes Park, Essex. Bride wears Maggie Sottero.

Kate & Paul first met aged 6 at Primary School, then after going their separate ways for Senior School, they were reunited 24 years later on Facebook via a mutual friend!  Paul surprised Kate by popping the question whilst on holiday in Southwold, their favourite place in the UK (you'll notice their tables were named after significant places to them!).  Kate and Paul were both so relaxed about their wedding, when I met them before hand and even on the day itself and they'd really brought something of themselves to the proceedings with a really funny Order of Service and a poem about how they met sent out to the guests.  Because they were so very chilled, Kate and Paul were a dream to work with and our portrait sessions just rolled so easily, helped along by the fact that Gaynes Park has SO many gorgeous photo opportunities!  The last shot of the day, with sparklers was their own idea and they were such great sports standing in a pitch black car park whilst I ran around them like a looney with a firework!!

Kate & Paul - loved your weddings guys, you absolutely killed it!! 

Supplier Love:

Venue:  Gaynes Park, Epping

Planner: Mediterranean Occasions

Florist: B'looms

Hairdresser & MUA: Light Box Studio

Cake: Lucy Collingwood (Kate's sister)

Musician: Acoustic JJ

Band: Hipster

Groom dressed by: Vintage Suit Hire Company

Brides Dress: Maggie Sottero

Bridesmaids Dresses: Coast

 

Autumn Mini Sessions

Autumn Mini Sessions

Autumn Mini Sessions - Fun Filled Family Portraits in the Essex Countryside

We were SO lucky with the weather on this years Autumn Mini Sessions, pretty much everybody who came had been out and brought gorgeous hats and coats and nobody needed them in the 23 degree heat!  I adore doing Mini Sessions, I see so many faces and we have to work quickly but that always adds to the fun I think and little people don't have time to get bored or tired so I end up with tonnes of fabulous images!  Here's a handful of some of the gorgeous families and little ones who joined in the fun this year!  Thanks so much to you all for coming, you all rock!!

Liz & Sean, a contemporary yet rustic barn wedding at Blake Hall

Liz & Sean, a contemporary yet rustic barn wedding at Blake Hall

A rustic barn wedding with a contemporary twist, Bride wears Pronovias

The lovely Liz & Sean were wed at the glorious Blake Hall back in September.  These two met at work where Sean is a Designer and Liz and Illustrator (check out the stationery - all designed by the talented pair!) and got engaged in Italy's beautiful Sorrento after a near miss at the airport when the ring set off the security alarm!!  

They'd decorated the barn with blush pink and white and in a style to suit the rustic setting, their own design stationery giving it all a modern, contemporary twist!  Liz stunned in her elegant Pronovias gown and I seriously had shoe envy over her lush Jimmy Choo's!  They were both naturals when we took them for a few portraits and I adore what I shot for them!  

We had such an amazing day shooting for Liz & Sean - their families and friends were so welcoming and the speeches mirrored the warmth everyone felt for them!  A perfect day for a really lovely couple, congratulations Liz & Sean, you guys rocked!

Supplier Love

Venue: Blake Hall, Ongar

Florist: Ivy Rose Florist

Hair: Carly Williams

MUA: Vianney-Leigh

Cake: Kellys Cake Boutique

Groom & Groomsmen dressed by: TM Lewin

Brides Dress: Pronovias

Brides Shoes: Lucy by Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaids dressed by: Coast

 

Bohemian inspired Hen Parties at The Railway Barn

Bohemian inspired Hen Parties at The Railway Barn

The perfect Hen Party Celebration at The Railway Barn, Essex styled by Starry Eyed Weddings, Flowers by Bloomin' Wild Flowers with food by Linda Hamilton at Gather & Feast.

Essex is quietly making its' mark on the wedding scene with new, exciting venues and suppliers! We all know that hen parties have moved on, but here right in the heart of Essex The Railway Barn based in New Hall Vineyard is hosting a Pinterest worthy hen party package with Essex based wedding stylists, Starry Eyed Weddings.

Get together with your best friends and enjoy a boho gathering with decorated tipi, delicious grazing platters from resident caterer Linda Hamilton 'Gather & Feast' and your choice of English wines from the vineyard!

Starry Eyed Weddings created the look after being inspired by the current Australian romantic bohemian wedding trends, bringing this to Essex in the vineyards' beautiful, relaxing surroundings. Hayley and Lorna from Starry Eyed Weddings would love brides to be and their guests on the day, to treat the experience as a truly 360 degree event- with attention to detail, an all encompassing event where the setting, the food and outfits all come together making the day a very unique experience.

To enhance your experience, opt to include some fun extras. Choose from garland making, festival hair and make up and wine tasting.

'We knew Essex brides-to-be wanted something different without the bling and they were fully ready to embrace new trends and venues and experiences'

With Prices starting from just £45 pp this truly would be a hen party to remember!

 For more details contact Hayley at Starry Eyed: wearestarryeyed@gmail.com 

10 on 10 November

10 on 10 November

10 favourite images from the previous month 

My favourite time of year is upon us and its been a very busy few weeks!  I just adore Autumn and the run up to Christmas makes me feel happy and wistful at the same time as I'm always reminded of my own childhood.  Because I've been so busy with weddings this year, my 40th birthday came and went without me stopping for breath so my wonderful husband treated us to 5 days of bliss on the Amalfi Coast in Italy at the beginning of the month. That incredible view you can see is of Positano, too pretty to be believed even when you are actually there!  The rest of the month has flown by with more weddings, our annual village 'scrump' where we gathered up a record crop of apples, sloes and blackberries, (only stopping for a few leaf throwing fights) and then a very chilly visit to the pumpkin patch to prepare for the girls favourite, Halloween!  I've actually included 11 images this month just because I couldn't whittle it down anymore and I'm pretty sure nobody will mind me bending the rules!  

Now, off you pop to see what Kristi Burton has been up to this month (she's usually across the pond but I have a feeling she's also been in Italy!)                 

At Home with the M Family

At Home with the M Family

Its the second time I've met with the lovely M family - the first time being last Autumn when their gorgeous third son arrived and so it was a pleasure to be returning to mark that first birthday milestone!  The older boys proudly showed me their lovely garden and we did some racing, jumping and leaf throwing before heading into the house for a few more!  

I have lots of lovely families who return to me every year, or when they have a new arrival and it really is a privilege to watch them grow and capture these little everyday moments.  I have literally thousands of photographs of my own children and yet I still feel I could have captured more.  Now my eldest is about to become a teenager, I feel that more keenly that ever.  Those days of baby and toddlerhood are heady and full and can be mundane, routine but they'll be gone before you know it.  I can see the beauty in the everyday, so let me capture that for you and your family.  A family shoot truly is an investment for your future as a beautiful photograph can evoke such memories of a time when life was hectic but hearts were full.

"These are the days.  The time is now." - Van Morrison.

Why not give the gift of photography to a loved one this Christmas with a Gift Voucher?! These can be redeemed anytime in 2018 and put towards a full portrait session, prints & digital images or can be used against one of my Mini Shoots.  Contact me for more details!

Katie & David. A romantic, rustic, Barn wedding at Blake Hall, Essex.

Katie & David. A romantic, rustic, Barn wedding at Blake Hall, Essex.

A romantic, rustic Barn Wedding at St. Paul's, Bentley Common, and Blake Hall.  Bride wears Pronovias.

Katie & David are childhood sweethearts having been together since 6th form! David proposed to Katie during a break in the Lake District where, on a walk, he devised a set of questions with the answers to go into a code breaker that ultimately spelled out his proposal! How cute is that!?  The wedding was on a gloriously hot, sunny Sunday in August and I met Katie and her girls at her Mum's house where they were busy prepping.  Katie's Mum had the most beautiful garden with her own little vineyard (which Im more than a tad jealous of!) so, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I hung her stunning Pronovias gown there to capture it.  The ceremony was at the very quaint little St Pauls Church in Bentley Common, chosen by the couple as Katie's family have traditionally married there, then it was onto the lovely Blake Hall in Ongar for the reception.  I adored the flowers that Katie had chosen, particularly her flower crown and the greenery and muted colours suited the barn down to the ground.  Blake Hall's garden was resplendent as always and we used it to our advantage to get some stunning portraiture once the sun had begun to dip round.  I also loved the little bottles of homemade gin on the tables (as did the guests!) and it clearly got them in the mood for some really funny speeches followed by dancing the night away!  What a gorgeous day, congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Marchant!

Supplier Love:

Venue: Blake Hall, Ongar

Florist: Halo Blossom

Hairdresser & MUA: Elegant Times Beauty

Band: The Fabulous Feedback Band

Groom Dressed by: Reiss

Groomsmen Dressed by: Next

Brides Dress: Pronovias

 

Ellie & Neil, a Festival Wedding at Cardfields

Ellie & Neil, a Festival Wedding at Cardfields

A full on Festival Wedding at Cardfields, Chelmsford Essex

I met Ellie & Neil a few times before their big day as they had very specific plans about what their wedding was going to be like and they didn't want to be tied to tradition or have a rigid time plan for their celebrations.  After a beautiful church ceremony in the village where they live with their two little girls, we all headed off to Cardfields, a venue not too far from Chelmsford but out amongst rolling fields.  Ellie and Neil were able to put up a marquee in the grounds and had set up their very own festival!  They sat to eat at lunch time and enjoyed the culinary delights of Linda Hamilton Catering (always incredible food!) and then had traditional speeches.  Thats where the tradition ended however as all afternoon and into the evening, the couple had lined up some incredible live bands, the dance floor was never empty as these guys new how to party! Not only that but Ellie & Neil had styled this whole day around their guests happiness and entertainment and had a face painter, kids entertainer, props and a magician.  It was honestly such a joyous day, everyone there just having such a great time and thats a testimony to Ellie and Neil to have so many family and friends who were totally thrilled to celebrate with them.  This day was such a pleasure to document and was everything I love about weddings!!  Congratulations Ellie & Neil, your day sure was one to remember!

Supporting Cast:

Venue: Cardfields

Florist: Flowers By Candice

MUA: Michele Harding-Maher

Cake: Made by one of the bridesmaids Mums

Caterer: Linda Hamilton Catering

Music: Sister Sax, The Nook, The Jukeboxes

Magician: Trevor Cline

Grooms outfit: Jeff Banks

Brides Dress: Maggie Sottero

Sorrento, Pompeii & The Amalfi Coast

Sorrento, Pompeii & The Amalfi Coast

"Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you've gone." John Steinbeck.

I did a little turning 40 (yikes!) earlier this year but what with a crazy wedding season, I've only just managed to get in a little celebrating!  It also happened that we booked to go in the very week that 15 years previous my now hubby had asked for my number at the bar in a pub! Double whammy!  We have a bit of a bucket list like everyone else, though, admittedly it contains a lot of places in Italy (some of which we've ticked off already!).  I did consider New York as thats on there too but after such a busy summer we really both wanted a slower pace and I'm pretty sure New York is not the place for 'slow'!  Instead we thought we'd tick off Pompeii, Sorrento and my absolute 'must see' Positano.  We based ourselves in Sorrento and had first thought we'd book a hire car so we drive around at our leisure, however, after a bit of investigation decided to trust in Italy's public transport, and let me tell you, we were glad we did! Not only is the public transport very reliable and fast but its also very wallet friendly and really theres not many places to park a car in any of the places we wanted to visit, particularly Positano where the buses can barely squeeze down the hairy, narrow mountain roads past those who have been crazy enough to leave their cars parked there!  After flying into Naples, we hopped on a bus to the port and got a Hydrofoil across the Bay of Naples getting an incredible view from the water of the ominous Vesuvius and honestly, arriving in Sorrento via the harbour is just the most impressive way to set eyes on this stunning place!

Sorrento is a perfect place to base yourself for hopping over to Capri or Ischia and to discover the Amalfi Coast. But don’t miss out on the lemon-scented streets of Sorrento itself. The town is orientated towards pedestrians, with narrow streets, the centre of town is very compact and you can get anywhere quickly on foot.  The town has everything you'll need from grocery shops to restaurants and plenty of little boutiques selling the regions specialities, leather goods, ceramics and not forgetting limoncello, a delicious lemon-infused liqueur.  Our hotel was right on the outskirts of town above the port and had incredible views right across to Naples!

The rooftop view from our hotel!

The rooftop view from our hotel!

I'm pretty sure you can't get bad meal in Sorrento, we certainly didn't have anything that wasn't delicious but my favourite restaurant had to be PortaMarina Seafood, situated right on the port its a family run business and the staff are extremely friendly and efficient.  The atmosphere is everything you'd want it to be with twinkling festoon lights and candles and we actually sat and ate as the fishing boat pulled in and delivered another catch - you can't get fresher than that! The tuna I had that night was simply the best I've ever eaten, simple, delicate and delicious! What a gem!

From Sorrento, you can travel easily by train north to Rome, Naples or Pompeii, or take the bus south to any of the towns along the Amalfi Coast. As I said, we found purchasing tickets for the bus and trains really easy and cheap and both can be brought from the train station in Sorrento a few minutes walk from the town centre.  Day 2 we headed out to the ruins at Pompeii on the train - its about 20/25 minutes and as its a commuter train we were told it can get very busy but I think we lucked out and got a seat all the way there.  The entrance to the ruins are literally a 2 minute walk from the train station (though turn right, not left!) and a ticket without a guide will set you back just 13 Euros.  It was pretty busy so I can only imagine how packed it gets in the summer months and its also very dusty and hot.  Theres only one little restaurant to buy food or water so definitely take a bottle with you! Also, flat shoes are a must.  The paths are very uneven and can be hard going especially for younger or older visitors.  Having said that, it IS worth a bit of hard work as the ruins are spectacular and lived up to my expectations!  Another fabulous place ticked off my list!

The following day we headed back to the train station to catch the bus to Positano.  Again, these are commuter routes and the bus was as packed as it could get.  I'd advise a seat on the left hand side of the bus (as you get on) if you want to see the views of the coastline, and my word, what a view - it is one of the most spectacular drives in the world!  I have to admit that buses on narrow, winding, cliff top roads are not my favourite place to be so I was pretty happy to get off at Positano, though my hubby was pretty impressed with it!  As Positano is built into the cliff face, it is very steep and to get down into the town there are thousands of steps that wind through narrow alleys filled with shops, cafes and boutiques.  Now, I'm not so great with the words (better with a camera!) but I came across the quote I've used at the start of this post and it completely describes the way I feel about Positano.  It is just so perfect that its almost not real.  We basically spent an entire day moving from one cafe to the next, eating and drinking and watching the world go by.  Just sheer bliss!  

We'll most definitely be returning to this part of Italy, hopefully for a little longer next time! I don't think I'll ever tire of those views!

Chloe & Scott at Blake Hall

Chloe & Scott at Blake Hall

A blush pink, rustic barn wedding with a touch of elegance at Blake Hall, Essex. Bride wears Jenny Packham.

Chloe and Scott have been together for 7 years after meeting when Scott began managing Chloe's brothers fishing lake!  Scott arranged a very romantic proposal with the staff at Edinburgh Castle who set up candles and champagne so he could pop the question!  Fast forward to August bank holiday weekend at Blake Hall, bathed in sunlight for their beautiful outdoor wedding!  Chloe chose blush pinks and whites as their colour pallet, a choice that set off her exquisite Jenny Packham dress to perfection!  After the ceremony we took to the gardens, looking resplendent as always, for some very sunny portraits followed by the wedding party heading into the barn to eat where Chloe and Scott were surprised to see their seats already taken!! After the wedding breakfast, the boys delivered some very funny speeches with some tall tales about Scott's childhood and we headed back out to make the most of the stunning evening light as the sun set for a second set of portraits.  The band, Atlantica led the party and I'm pretty certain everyone danced the night away!  Congratulations Mr & Mrs McCulloch, such a stunning wedding for a beautiful couple!

Supporting Cast

Venue: Blake Hall, Ongar

Florist: Lily & May

Hairdresser: Carly Williams

MUA: Natalie French

Musician: Marc Halls

Band: Atlantica

Groom Dressed by: Antony Formal Wear

Brides Dress: Jenny Packham at The Wedding Shop

Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaid

Videographer: Toby Sleigh at Handcraft Pictures

Penny & Paul at Asylum Chapel, Peckham & East Dulwich Tavern

Penny & Paul at Asylum Chapel, Peckham & East Dulwich Tavern

An alternative wedding at Asylum Chapel. Bride wears one-off dress by Wilden London. Bridesmaids carry yellow balloons with purple dinosaurs. 

When Penny & Paul got in touch to discuss their wedding at Asylum Chapel, I have to say I was just a tad excited!  This gorgeous pair have been together for 6 years and planned their wedding after Paul surprised Penny with a proposal at Dunstanburgh Castle.  Asylum Chapel is very atmospheric and so didn't need a great deal of decoration but the couple really did think outside the box when it came to the details of the day, with a party ethos being high on the agenda (popcorn and candy floss after the ceremony!).  They definitely had a lot of personal and quirky touches from the purple glittery dinosaurs to the bridesmaids carrying yellow balloons - clearly they'd opted to include the things they loved and not gone with tradition!  The star of the show though was definitely Penny's gown - a one off made to her specification by Charlotte Wildon of Wildon London, a sheer, silver dress with embroidered thorns and clusters of crystals.  Penny's dress was truly one of a kind.  

After the ceremony and candy floss, the party moved onto the East Dulwich Tavern, a pub with plenty of personality of its own and after some pretty emotional speeches, Paul and Penny (now with a gorgeous flowing oyster midi skirt on) took to the dance floor.  Congratulations guys - your day was one I wont forget!

Supporting Cast

Venues:  Asylum Chapel & East Dulwich Tavern

Hairdresser:  Poppy Tallulah

Candy Floss & Popcorn: Party 2 Perfection

Musicians: Premiere String Duo

Band: Sam the Guitar Man

Grooms Outfit: Herbie Frogg

Brides Dress & Veil: Wilden London

Shoes: New Look with added Mickey ears by Wilden London

Bridesmaids dresses: Various High Street (Penny told her girls to dress in whatever they like as long as it was yellow!)