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Goldstone Hall in Market Drayton

Up on the blog today we’ve got Lucy and Nick’s gorgeous autumnal wedding at Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton where they had a intimate outdoor ceremony (despite a tiny bit of rain) amongst their closest family and friends and surrounded by the most beautiful wild flowers both inside Goldstone Hall and out! I’ll let Lucy and Nick take it from here. If you’d like to see the full day from start to finish click on the link below to watch Lucy and Nick’s nifty little Wedding Photo Trailer!

Lucy and nick’s Story

 A mutual friend (James - Lucy's friend from uni and Nick's friend from school) invited us both to an outdoor film screening in Summer 2013. It wasn't intended to be a set up but we hit if off! As we met at a film screening we (unimaginatively!) arranged to go to the cinema for our first date. We saw Only God Forgives not quite realising it was full of gory violence, definitely not a first date film but at least it gave us something to talk about!

 We got engaged in our flat in London, the first place we've ever lived together! It was super low key but perfect for us, Luce was wearing her pyjamas while I got down on one knee! She immediately burst into tears (and then said yes thankfully!)

Goldstone hall wedding venue

 We got married at Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton, one of the most beautiful venues we've ever seen. Lucy wanted to get married in an old house and have the reception at the same venue, Nick wanted a marquee reception and so Goldstone was ideal! We visited on a rainy autumn day and even then the gardens and house looked so beautiful that we knew it was right for us! Goldstone couldn't have been better throughout our build up, they even managed to somehow give our guests a choice of food on the day!

FLOWERS

The biggest superstar supplier of the day was our florist, Nicola (Brown Sugar Blooms). We wanted relaxed, colourful flowers that didn't look too neat or tidy and she absolutely blew us away! She turned something that was just inside our heads into the most perfect arrangement and made for a stunning marquee! And Lucy adored her bouquet!

 Wedding SUIT

Nick's suit supplier, Beggars Run, were also awesome, making the whole process super easy, enjoyable and producing a great looking suit!

The Dress

Lucy’s beautiful wedding dress was by Maggie Sottero Designs

Wedding cake

 Nick's Mum made our cake and decorated it with flowers to match Brown Sugar Blooms, it looked and tasted amazing! She then went one step beyond and made all our bunting too!

Photographer

 Of course Katie Dervin - who did the best job! Getting our photos through after the wedding was like reliving the whole day again!

The BAND

 Our band were The Vivas and they were brilliant! They played an amazing set that got everyone dancing, so much in fact that the speakers began to shake as everyone jumped up and down! They really made the evening a great party!

Advice for future couples on their wedding day

 The day will go really quick, so make sure to try and stay in the moment and don't worry too much about what's coming next, it'll all work out just fine! And make sure you make time for each other, it's easy to get lost in making sure everyone else is having a good time!

OUTDOOR WEDDING GAME IDEAS

Outdoor weddings can be fun, but they are even better with some games to play. Here are some of the top outdoor wedding games to keep your guests occupied. FYI a lot of these games can be played indoors too, maybe not the fire one.

Signs

Having games to play is great, but if people don’t know where they are, if they are in fact part of the wedding or even in some cases what the rules are it can money into the wind. Sometime you need to lead the horse to the water. You know the kind of horses that will be coming to your wedding and the kind of games you will be playing so if a sign or two or a little bit of info about how to play will help, chalk boards are a great re usable way to point people in the right direction.

Hula Hooping!

Hula hoops are like super bloody cheap, like I just googled one and you can get one for £2.50 online (probably cheaper from an actual real life shop) and you can get a glow in the dark one here for £13.99! I might get one of those actually… https://www.glowsticks.co.uk

I’m not here to sell you hula hoops, but what I am saying is watching friends hula hooping is fun, beating your friends at hula hooping is even better, hula hooping is a laugh. You can even do that skippy thing that you used to do at school where you swing it round your leg and hop over it… If you want to. Anyway basically I’m really good at hula hooping and this is why hula hooping is number one, if you want me to put my camera down for a few minutes and beat your friends at a hula hooping competition… IT IS ON.

Limbo

Limbo is loads of fun and you quite literally just need a stick. I very generously donated a bamboo garden stick to my friends wedding this summer to use as a limbo stick and it went down a storm. If you aren’t going to have a special “Limbo Time”

1. Why the hell not?

2. Maybe get something to hold your limbo stick up for people so it doesn’t just look like a stick on the floor and less than 3 people can have a bash.

Cards

A couple of packs of cards knocking around the place can’t hurt, unless people start throwing them at each other. It can help the kids play snap and maybe give other guests that fancy a game a chance to show off their best shuffles. Everyone knows a card game. A pack of cards on each table will not break the bank and give everyone, young, old, introvert, extrovert a chance to have a bit of fun with some people they might not have otherwise spoken to.

Connect 4

It’s a golden oldie, you will no doubt have seen it at a wedding before but it wouldn’t be a proper blog with out good old giant connect 4! Plus you give your photographer a chance to take arty through the hole photos like this, we love that kind of shit.

Bouncy Castle

Who doesn’t like bouncing around like an idiot?! Just make sure you don’t bounce on straight after dinner * puke emoji *

GIANT JENGA

Giant Jenga works a treat at keeping small and larger guests occupied, but if your budget wont stretch to hiring out a giant garden game set, why not just put a few normal sized ones out of tables instead? You can even force your guests to write messages to you both in sharpie pen on the side of the blocks in thats your thing. It might keep them away from the bar for a few minutes.

HOOK A DUCK

This is a fun carnival type game for kids and can also be used to help guests win prizes if you put a number on the bottom of the duck and have a prize for each one, or maybe just write insults or cryptic fortunes, it’s your party! Write whatever you like on the bottom of the ducks.

WATER GUNS

Depending on how brave you are and how hot your wedding your day is, arming your guests with water guns could be a really fun or really fun-stupid idea. Maybe have some towels to hand.

FIRE!!!

Ok, you got me a fire isn’t a game, but they are fun to build and keep going. People like burning stuff. They will keep your guests warm and together when night falls and can be a good old place to crack out a guitar and have a sing song or just sit up into the sweet hours of the night catching up with your mates. They certainly add a bit of extra atmosphere to any outdoor wedding and if one of your guests breaks a chair that you hired from the chair hire company, you can quite easily burn the evidence.

Oxfordshire Wedding Photographer - Village Hall Wedding

St Mary's Church in Aldworth & Letcombe Regis Village Hall Wedding

Click on the image above to go to Jess and Scott’s FULL WEDDING TRAILER!

So in early September this year I had the absolute pleasure of travelling down to South Oxfordshire to shoot Jess and Scott’s Wedding. It has been a wedding I’ve been looking forward to for a while as Jess and Scott are absolute sweethearts and I was so excited by Jess’s description the the beautiful 13th Century Church her and Scott were getting married in. I was also going to get to see some old faces at the wedding (Hey Kate and Tim) which always makes for a extra special day.

Jess wore a gorgeous dress from Rock the Frock Bridal Boutique in Berkshire on her wedding day teamed with a gorgeous silk flower crown her bridesmaids had bought her for her hen do, it ended up being so beautiful and going with Jess’s dress and make up so well that it was a main feature of her wedding outfit.

Jess and Scott rented out a local Village Hall in Wantage for a lovely, relaxed village hall reception. Anyway I’m giving away far too much… I’m going to let Jess and Scott take it from here in their own words.

If you would like to see the full wedding trailer click on the image above. ;)

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Jess and Scott’s Story

“We met at a heavy metal nightclub! Scott was the DJ, and I went up and asked him to play a song by Polish death metal band Decapitated. We got chatting about death metal and had a bit of a flirt. He disappeared briefly to the loo and I left to get a kebab (I was a bit worse for wear). Fast forward a week and I spotted him loitering at another rock night - turns out he was trying to find me! We literally talked for about 5 hours, and then agreed on an official first date a few days later. I think he fancied me first, but I was the one who officially announced our relationship to all my friends at a party (with Scott standing next to me). I think that was the first he knew of it as well.” 

“Scott asked me to marry him underneath the liberty statue in Budapest on a very misty autumn day in November. We were sitting quietly together on a bench, and he asked me suddenly. It was one of the best moments of my whole life.” 

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Jess on Scott: “He's kind, loyal, and is fiercely protective of the relationship we've built. He's the best man I've ever met.” 

Scott on Jess Jess: “Is loving and caring, emotionally strong, always positive, clever, very fun :)”

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St Mary's Church in Aldworth, South Oxfordshire

“I did postgraduate work on medieval literature and culture, and St Mary's Church is a stunning example of Transitional Norman architecture, and the inside of the church contains these amazing 13th century stone effigies! It felt super intimate, very English and had a melancholic beauty (basically my dream aesthetic).”

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Letcombe Regis Village Hall

“We had the reception at Letcombe because we wanted a proper old English knees-up. The cricket field outside and the amount of natural light in the venue just swung it for us. We were also planning on doing nearly all the decorating ourselves and a village hall gave us the freedom to do that.”

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Wedding Suppliers

 “For my dress I went to Rock the Frock bridal boutique in Berkshire. I used RTF because I liked the idea of choosing from a small collection of thoughtfully curated dresses rather than a huge collection of dresses that all look basically the same. I also knew I wanted something a bit different, and something that would complement my body type. The wedding dress industry is often super focused on making brides look like a completely different person on their wedding day - I didn't want that. The atmosphere at RTF was completely relaxed, un-pressured and lots of fun. I ended up going for a dress I thought I would hate before I tried it on, and then fell in love with as soon as I walked out of the dressing room in it.”

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“I used the artisan dried flower company for my bouquet and accessories. I get to keep my bouquet forever (well, almost...) and it was about a third of the price of fresh flowers. I cannot recommend dried flowers highly enough - they are much more cost effective, they look incredibly elegant and feminine, and you get to keep them after the wedding. Dried flower confetti is also muck kinder for the environment!”

“My best friend baked my wedding cake. This was one of the most special parts of my whole wedding. He made a three tier cake - chocolate and porter fruit cake, amaretto drizzle cake, and citrus gin drizzle cake  he decorated it with a thin layer of buttercream icing, gold leaf, dried rose petals and bee pollen. It was stunning.” 

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“We made the majority of the decorations ourselves - I painted glass jars for candle holders, hemmed and sewed my own cloth napkins and painted my table plan by hand. It was a huge amount of hard work, but incredibly rewarding to see it all come together on the day. Seeing all of our nearest and dearest hanging bunting and ironing table cloths the day before was a very emotional experience and made us both feel so loved.”

”We had a South African braai! Scott was born and raised in South Africa so we wanted to keep the food super authentic, casual and just plain tasty. Everyone loved the food and we were both chuffed to see people up for seconds. I knew I didn't want a sit down meal, and queuing with my plate for boerewors and Mrs Balls chutney was one of my fave little moments of the day! Flame BBQ did an epic job.”

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“Our pictures from the day are beyond what we expected - natural, intimate, stylish, and all suffused with a genuine warmth. Katie got some absolutely magical shots and provided a calming presence when I was getting ready in my bridal suite. I'm actually trying to think of excuses to book her again! Do you do 30th's Katie?”

Ha, ha the answer is yes I do. ;)

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Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

“I wish we hadn't allowed the stress of all the last minute organisation to get to us as much as it did. We were stressed out, exhausted from all the work and bickered a lot. When you spend so long planning a wedding, it becomes the biggest thing in your life and any little problem gets very easily blown out of proportion. I wish we'd have maintained a greater sense of perspective and not allowed the stress to impact us.”

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Advice from Jess and Scott for other Couples

“No matter what goes wrong on the day, you will still be on cloud 9. Stop worrying about worst case scenarios, because on the day you absolutely won't care! You've just married the love of your life - congratulations!”

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Thanks so much for having me Jess and Scott it was a bloody marvellous wedding indeed!

Lots of Love Katie xxxx

Dress was by https://www.rockthefrockbridal.co.uk/

Flowers by https://www.artisandriedflowers.co.uk/

Food by https://www.flamebbq.co.uk/

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If you are looking to book your wedding photographer and would like a little bit more info get in touch with the form below. ;)

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Cotswolds House Hotel Wedding - Shani and Dan

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So Shani and Dan got married at St James Church and The Cotswolds House Hotel in Chipping Campden. I didn’t meet Shani or Dan in person before the wedding as they were so far away but I knew from our Skype call that it was going to be an epic wedding day, not just because Shani and Dan had organised such a wonderful day for all of their guests but because they are such lovely warm fun loving people and guess what?! I was right. It was absolutely perfect, such a relaxed and fun feel to the day, everyone was having the best time and the setting was beautiful, it felt like we were in some gardens in Italys countryside.

I also had the pleasure of working alongside a fantastic team for the day including Ben from Tynegate Films, Richard , The Gloucestershire Magician and my awesome second shooter Siobhan McGill of MgGill Sister Films.

I’m going to let Shani and Dan tell you all about it in their own words.

Thanks for having us Shani and Dan. Lots of love xxxxx

Shani and Dan’s Story

 We met at high school and fell for each other whilst in the process of failing A-Level Biology. We were both so terrible at the subject that the teacher sat us together and from that moment on, we didn’t get very much work done! We then completed our A-Levels, took a gap year and travelled to Asia and went on to study Business Management together at University - we really were inseparable!. We graduated with our degrees a few years later, somehow ended up gaining three crazy dogs in that time and continued to do some more travelling, our favourite being a road trip across America. We've now been together for almost ten years and live in the quiet Cotswold town of Chipping Campden, where we got married.

Getting Engaged

 Dan took me to Paris for my 21st Birthday and proposed on the Champ De Mars, it was magic! When we returned our family threw us an amazing surprise engagement party. We were quite young when we first got engaged and we decided that we would get married a 'couple' of years later. This somehow turned into a 5 year engagement! So the wedding day was very special for us as we had been planning for it for a long time. 


Shani’s favourite thing about Dan is how kind and selfless he is, always helping other people and looking after her in particular! Shani also love how passionate he is about his hobbies.

Dan’s favourite thing about Shani is her smile and how driven she is in everything she does. Nothing phases her and she's such a strong woman.

St James Church and The Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden.

 We got married at St James Church in Chipping Campden, which is close to our hearts from our childhood. We had our reception at The Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden. The most important thing for us was for our guests to have a great day. We were so lucky with the beautiful weather that we were able to have our wedding reception outside in the gardens. There were moments throughout the day when we both stood together and looked around at everyone, it was such a lovely feeling watching people enjoying themselves, with the the kids running around the garden, the magician shocking everyone with his entertainment, people tucking into their food and lots of free flowing drinks! Overall there was a really lovely feel to the day and we are so happy with how it all turned out.

The Wedding Dress.

 I wore an English Rose Bridal dress from The Bridal Room Broadway. The ladies in the shop were so amazing helping to choose my dream dress and the whole experience was so wonderful, they really made me feel special.

https://www.thebridalroombroadway.co.uk/

A Shout Out to Our Wedding Suppliers.

My mum did my hair for the wedding day, I knew I didn't want anyone else to do it! She's the most wonderful hairdresser and it was so special for me that she was the one helping me to get ready in the morning. She did an amazing job, even though she was so nervous!


Christine Cara was my makeup artist, she was so much fun to be with throughout all of the trials leading up to the wedding day. I chose Christine because of how amazing other people had told me her work was, she didn't disappoint at all! She made me feel confident and helped me to create the look I wanted, even when I couldn't articulate it very well myself!

http://www.christinecaramakeup.com/

Our flowers were by Charlotte Gabb, we chose Charlotte because of her wealth of experience and knowledge of the church. Charlotte was brilliant and we were so happy with the beautiful arrangements.

We had The Gloucestershire Magician, Richard Parsons for our wedding reception entertainment. He was absolutely amazing! Our guests are still talking about how they can't believe the tricks he did. We are still talking about it too! Richard helped us to create that fun, relaxed feeling that we wanted to achieve on the day. 

http://www.gloucestershiremagician.co.uk/

Sally Potter made our wedding cake. Sally has been making my birthday cakes since I was 4 years old, so it was really special for me that she did our wedding cake. 

Our wedding stationary was made by Cherry Press. We chose Cherry Press because they are a local business who create traditional letterpress stationary the good old fashioned way!

http://www.cherrypress.co.uk/

Ben Tynegate was our videographer. We chose Ben because my sister showed us some of his work and we fell completely in love with it. We knew that his cinematic films were what we wanted to capture our day. We now can't stop watching them and will treasure our beautiful films forever. 

https://tynegate-films.com/

We chose Katie Dervin as our wedding photographer as she was recommended by a friend. From the moment we saw Katie's photos we knew we didn't want anyone else to capture the wedding. The lighting and the way they are edited are so beautiful and we wish we could frame all of them and have them all displayed in our house!! Katie was so lovely on the day too, helping us to feel so relaxed and at ease in front of the camera.

 We tried to keep the wedding and the decor low key and not too over the top but still with a classic, pretty feel to it. We had lots of fairy lights and candles everywhere to create a nice warm glow, but the venue spoke for itself so we didn't have to bring in too many other decorations.

We put a lot of effort into personalised touches throughout the day, for instance, we made all of the centre pieces ourselves, our wedding guest book and our polaroid timeline and it was so rewarding to see how it all came together beautifully on the day.

 We wanted to have a really relaxed day so we chose to have a BBQ instead of a traditional three-course meal, which worked really well. For music throughout the day we made a playlist of our favourite songs growing up together and then we had a DJ in the evening for everyone to dance the night away to!

Shani and Dan’s Stag and Hen Do:

Dan went to Amsterdam for his stag do, he was amazed that he survived the weekend! It consisted of beer, beer tours and more beer. He loved it there and hopes to one day go back to enjoy the city a bit more sober!

I was truly spoiled as a hen, having three wonderful hen do's! The first was a bottomless brunch with all of my lovely girls. The second was a trip to the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos with my bridesmaids. The third was organised by my lovely mum, who got all of the ladies in my family together for a weekend in London and a party boat on the river Thames.

 There isn't anything we would do differently really. 

The only minor thing is I wish I had kept my veil on for longer! I took it off as it was getting caught on the floor but wish I had kept it on all day!

What would your advice be to couples planning their wedding day?

 Enjoy it, it really is so much fun! Don't get too bogged down in the detail and lost in small stuff that doesn't truly matter, try to be well organised in advance and that way you can enjoy it as a couple.

Suppliers:

Photographer: Katie Dervin, 2nd shot by Siobhan McGill

Videographer: https://tynegate-films.com/

Dress: https://www.thebridalroombroadway.co.uk/

Magician: http://www.gloucestershiremagician.co.uk/

Stationary: http://www.cherrypress.co.uk/

Make Up: http://www.christinecaramakeup.com/

Creative Documentary Wedding Photographer - Manchester - Cristal & Max.

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Creative Couples Shoots are the Best! 

I love couples shoots, it’s always a nice fun relaxed way to get a load of photographs of you both together, there’s more time to mess around, be creative and get the kind of photos or travel to kind of places that you might not have the time (or the motivation to) get to on your actual wedding day

How Does A Creative Documentary Couples Shoot Work?

Sometimes people ask how Documentary Photography and things like couples portraits can work together and I suppose it differs from photographer to photographer, but generally getting people to relax and be themselves and mess around together in a place of special meaning to them, makes for the perfect mix of context and emotion for the photographs to work. We obviously set up these scenes but I promise you the fun and laughs in these photographs are very, very real! ;)

Falling In Love In Manchester

Photographing Cristal and Max was an absolute dream! Manchester is a really special place to them as it’s where they met at Manchester University before travelling back home together and getting engaged. They visit the UK and Manchester every 4 years if they can, to check out their old haunts, see old friends and see how the landscape has changed since their last visit.

Remembering the Normal Every Day Parts of Your Story as A Couple.

We visited their favourite KFC, the Sainsbury’s where they would have “shopping dates” (I was in awe of the practical time use of that one!), their favourite bars and cafes, their university and old university halls and a dozen other places with special meaning to them both and their individual story as a couple. Cristal and Max did this all while donning their stylish wedding gear and they both totally rocked it!

Cristal and Max

Cristal and Max will be getting married on the 2nd of February 2019 in Singapore.

 

Cristal and Max I wish you both a wonderful married life and future together, it was an absolute delight to be a small part of your adventure. Thanks so much for having me along for the ride! Lots of love Katie xxxxx

Documentary Family Photographer Manchester

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Going back to see my couples after their wedding day is always a special treat and going to meet a new addition to the family beats nothing else! It is awesome to see the lovely tiny human who has been created in the time that has past, see the changes in the house, the toys of the floor, the photographs, the old spare room that has now been made into a bedroom for their first baby together.

 

Knowing that children grow so fast I love capturing kids at this age, Josef’s tiny feet, hands and gorgeous soft downy hair will slowly grow into something bigger and stronger. There soon will be a point when he doesn’t need help to feed himself, clothe himself anymore, hell he’ll even be able to go to the toilet on his own! These days at the beginning of Josef’s childhood are precious and disappear so quickly.

 

Although parenting though this phase of a child’s life can be challenging and tiring (although Josef was a complete star when I was there!) there’s most definitely a magic to this time in a young families life and it’s a real honor to be able to capture it.

 

If you are interested in having a documentary family shoot like Josef’s get in touch!

I'm currently shooting families on Sundays through peak wedding season so if you would like to book your Sunday Family Shoot. Get in touch!