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!)

 

Louisa & Steve at Longstowe Hall

Louisa & Steve at Longstowe Hall

A Glamorous Black Tie & Gold Wedding at Longstowe Hall

Upon reading how Steve proposed to Louisa, I had a good idea of what their wedding would be like! (On a balcony in Verona overlooking Juliet's balcony FYI!) and thought it would be stunning but classic.  We met up with the girls briefly in a nearby hotel and then I followed them to the gorgeous (and very 'Downton') Longstowe Hall so the boys could take over the room.  The venue didn't disappoint with stunning gardens, a gorgeous marquee and the ceremony on an island in the lake.  The girls continued to prep in the very airy rooms and Louisa looked just stunning in her Justin Alexander gown.  After a wonderful ceremony with the amazing Scintillo Quartet setting the atmosphere, we explored the gardens for a few portraits.  After dinner, we were treated to some, quite simply, brilliant speeches, the Best Men did not hold any punches (poor Steve!). The newlyweds and their guests then danced the night away to the fabulous sounds of Master Blaster!

Congratulations to you both - we had a blast documenting your beautiful day!

Supporting Cast

Venue: Longstowe Hall

Florist: Mulberry Flowers

Hairdresser: Steph McGinty

MUA: Elly Moyser

String Quartet: Scintillo Quartet

Band: Master Blaster

Grooms Outfit: Jack Bunneys

Brides Dress Designer: Justin Alexander

Dress Shop: George James Bridal

Brides Shoes: Manolo Bhlanik

Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS

Videographer: Storybox Films

 

 

10 on 10 September

10 on 10 September

Another month done and the summer is over.  Autumn is my favourite season and I can feel the chill in the evening air but I'm sad this year that Summer is done - I've been so busy with weddings, its just flown by.  I've shot a few in distant locations this year and, half way through August I had another that needed a weekend stay, so we all went.  The girls were very excited about having their own hotel room and room service too and it meant we were all together.  The day after the wedding we went to Warwick Castle - impressive in size and history, as a War of the Roses geek its somewhere that Ive always wanted to visit.  The girls loved it, especially the historical maze in the grounds (fourth image down - they are being weighed to see which one is a witch!).  Florence had a birthday and turned 7 so we went to her favourite trampoline centre, Jump Street with all her friend, out to dinner at TGI Friday and shopped til we dropped! They are all back at school now and the house is quiet again.

Follow our blog circle around by heading to my talented friend Colie James in Colorado!

At Home with Baby D

At Home with Baby D

An at home lifestyle session to celebrate a 1st Birthday

Back in July I spent a morning with this gorgeous little family.  To commemorate a very special 1st Birthday, Baby D's Mum and Dad wanted to document them together at home and at their favourite park.  I adore doing these sessions, so simple and yet so meaningful, especially in the years to come.  As a Mum of three, I know these moments are fleeting, so don't hesitate to book at 'At Home' session, just to document the day to day moments, because, if not now, when?

Autumn Mini Sessions - Wednesday 25th October

Autumn Mini Sessions - Wednesday 25th October

Autumn Mini Sessions - natural Children & Family portraits shot at an outdoor location

Hello!!  Thanks for coming over!  For those of you not familiar with Mini Sessions - here's a quick explanation.  You choose a time slot by clicking here to head to the booking page, turn up at the meeting point (to be confirmed - I'll email you exact details the week before) looking fabulous in your Autumn attire, I photograph you and your children in as many different poses and scenarios as we can fit into 20 minutes!  Its fast and its fun!  Feel free to bring along any favourite toys, your best silly faces and dance moves and we'll get those giggles captured forever!  

7 - 10 days later, I'll email you a link to your online gallery where you'll have somewhere between 50 and 100 images to choose from.  Included in the price of the Mini Shoot is 10 High Resolution, digital images to download - yours to print, share and create gorgeous gifts with.  You can also opt to purchase any extra images you might like directly from your gallery including digital downloads, prints of all sizes and finishes and various wall display options.

If the weather is bad on the day of the shoot - we'll need to use the back up date of 26th October - this is why I state it is very important you are available on both dates - whilst we can wish for a wonderful Autumn day, the UK weather doesn't always comply!!

The cost of the Mini Shoot + 10 Fully Edited, High Resolution Downloads is £100 - thats a saving of £135 off the regular price!!!

If you have any questions about the Mini Shoot, feel free to get in touch!  Really hope to be photographing your family soon!

Lizzie & Daniel at Houchins, Essex

Lizzie & Daniel at Houchins, Essex

A Boho, Barefoot, DIY Wedding at Houchins, Essex

The lovely Lizzie and Daniel chose the relatively new, but definitely cool, Houchins in Coggeshall to host their wedding.  These two couldn't have been more laid back about getting married, they carried off a boho, uber trendy day with effortless ease as the only thing that was important to them was that their beautiful family was united in celebration, their dog even came along!.  Lizzie's immediate family flew in from New Zealand so I think this added to the sheer happiness in the air! Now, Daniel proposed to Lizzie by secretly setting up fairy lights in some woods near his Mum's house, hanging bags from the trees containing poems and gifts all about their journey together - most thoughtful proposal ever?  The pair wrote their own vows which had pretty much everyone tearing up and was such a personal touch to the ceremony.  Lizzie did all the flower arranging and all of the decor on the tables and their eldest daughter contributed by designing the running times! I just adored the girls flowers - something so beautiful about an unstructured bouquet.

 It was an extremely hot day, bit of luck that Lizzie and Daniel had planned to serve their guests Hadleys Ice cream! They were even kind enough to do one for us - let me tell you, that salted caramel ice cream was quite possibly the tastiest ice cream I've ever had! Bravo Hadleys!  The post dinner speeches were truly heartfelt and and after cutting their cake (made by Lizzie's Mum), the newlyweds gave us another 20 minutes just as the sun went down spectacularly over the purple borage and golden corn, finishing off the day with the last of Lizzie's wish - some amazing sunset portraits!  A true amalgamation of family and friends coming together to create one sublime wedding.  Congratulations to Lizzie and Daniel, wishing you a wonderful, happy future with your gorgeous little girls!

Supporting Cast:

Venue:  Houchins, Coggeshall

Brides Dress: Stephanie Allin at The Bridal Lounge

Brides Shoes: Mother Nature - she was barefoot!

Flowers:  By the Bride

Cake: Brides Mum

Ice Cream: Hadleys

 

10 on 10 August

10 on 10 August

The past month has been busy - the girls broke up from school for Summer (though you would'nt think it was Summer by the awful weather we've had in the last two weeks!), I turned the big 40 and Lee also had a birthday.  Ava has turned our back garden into her dance studio and has spent many hours out there perfecting her routines! Lee wanted to go into London for his birthday so we drove into the city and visited the Natural History Museum - we fancied seeing Hope, the new Blue Whale in the entrance hall after watching a documentary on how they replaced the Diplodocus with her, she was awesome!  Head on across the pond to the marvellous Colie James to see what the last month looked like for her!         

Becca & Joel at Fennes, Braintree

Becca & Joel at Fennes, Braintree

Boho chic Fennes, Essex Wedding, Blush with a hint of Copper!

Ah, Becca & Joel.  What can I say about this gorgeous pair?! They were a lot of fun, so relaxed and just so lovely to be around! Becca's styling was right up my street, she wore an amazing embellished, boho-chic dress by Lillian West and had little touches of copper in the decor.  They also had a fabulous drippy cake adorned with delicious looking macaroons from Neighbourhood Bakes - Loved it! The couple were so generous with their time and we did two portraits sessions - they had such a sunny day so it was nice to get a second round in when the light was more flattering!  Highlight of the day had to be the huge gust of wind that took Becca's veil straight off her head and into the face of Joel's Dad who was one of their witnesses - totally set the tone of the day and my cheekbones actually hurt by the end of the day from smiling so much!  How lucky am i!?  Congratulations to you both, you lovely pair! I wish you a future full of happiness, I'm sure thats what you're going to get!

Supporting Cast:

Venue: Fennes, Braintree

Brides Dress: Lillian West at Abigails Collection

Brides Shoes: High Street, customised with Swarovski crystals

Brides Accessories: Abigails Collection

MUA: Danni Hooker

Hairdresser: Gigi Hammond

Grooms Outfit: Burberry and Hugo Boss

Florist: Sophie at Ivy Rose Florist

Balloons: Party Inspiration, Braintree

Cake: Helena from Neighbourhood Bakes

Bridesmaids: Little Mistress