There’s Hope After Alice – Is Your Date Taken!?

Meet Alice. Alice Hope. Alice is getting married to Ben and I am their photographer for their big day. They are getting married one of the hottest dates available – 23rd May 2020. I could have booked this date 10 times over now! It’s not just about photography, of course; have a read on to find out a bit about Alice and Ben and how they are planning their day NOW so that they get exactly what they want…with NO stress..

A Real Life Journey To Booking Your Wedding Suppliers – by Alice

“First things first. We had been together for 9 years when we got engaged in March 2017 so I’m not ashamed to say I had already started planning! It was going to happen eventually right?! So, we already had a good idea of the kind of wedding we wanted, so when it finally happened I was chomping at the bit to start putting my dreams into reality!
We started off by looking at wedding venues and we knew we wanted a church wedding so that was settled pretty quick. The first venue we looked at was Spring Cottage in Rivington and we just fell in love with it. After visiting another venue we knew we had to go with Spring Cottage! We are in the middle of the woods surrounded by trees and wild flowers (that’s why we chose that time of year) and my aim is to fully embrace the woodland theme throughout my decorations from colours of bridesmaid dresses to moss on the tables!
It was March 2018 when we were in a position to book the venue. Time was flying and a whole year having already passed since we were engaged.
We’d been going to wedding fairs within that time and in that same March I found my amazing photographer!! We made it official in mid April 2018 – almost 2 years before the wedding! In fact we wanted to book Andy before we had finalised the venue so Andy kept the date open and man am I glad!!
We have pretty much steam rolled through what we believe to be the MOST IMPORTANT. So far we have a venue, the church, an amazing photographer, ….and of course MY DRESS! (It’s a secret of course away from those pretty close to me) but that was booked just last month!
Next it was flowers, decoration and colour scheme and some entertainment for the night do. We are lucky in the fact that my aunty is our florist, my dad works in the car industry and can get his hands on a rather beautiful sage green land rover defender (so looks like I’m sorted 😝) and the guy we have in mind for the entertainment is a friend of my dads also!
The make up artist has been booked Bridesmaid dresses have been ordered and  – we’re trying to do all five girls at once!! There’s nothing less glamorous than herding five girls around for fitting…..but they’ll look amazing!
We’re just looking at the cars and have just under 18 months left of planning so we aren’t too concerned at the moment. The next thing for us will be a DJ, menu choices and night time food. We are having Pig and thankfully Ben knows a guy! Grooms suits but let’s face it that’s going to be the week before (actually not joking). Then Invites but I am going to give that a go myself. CAKE! Probably lots more little stuff well I sincerely hope so can you imagine missing off something major?! I’m not too worried just yet.
Also when I refer to us as a WE that is of course a very royal WE. Ben is just going to turn up, hopefully in a suit!
I truly can’t wait to see everything come together and marry my bestest friend! And everything will be captured by our photographer, Andy….!”
..And I can’t wait to be there with them. As I chat to Alice every now and then before the big day I get the sense that she’s loving picking and choosing all the things that will make her perfect day and it’s being done with zero stress and all totally chilled. That’s because she’s getting everything done in good time and getting pick of what she wants – or ‘putting her dreams into reality’ as she says!
Ask any supplier, especially the key ones, and they will tell you how 2020 has been booking incredibly fast. It has been for more than a year and Alice is testament to that. Alice’s day kicks off the first holiday half term of a new decade year – 2020. And that’s it, too – it sounds fab! “When did you get married?”…” In 2020!”. Think of the dates 10/10/2020 & 02/02/20 (I’m booked on these as well!) – people like to think of their day in the minutest of details and these dates just have a ring to them…forgive the pun.
In just a month from now couples wake up from Christmas and realise their wedding is “this year” or “next year” – another year on from when it was planned. Couple this with all the romantics who get engaged over the festive period and you see why it’s the busiest time at wedding fairs and bookings for suppliers for this very reason! So the popular dates of 2019 and 2020 will be at a premium at those first fairs in January.
So, if you are looking at 2020 for your wedding – and especially 2019! – now’s the time to book all the things that will make your date as perfect as Alice’s will be. There’s still hope if you start now…

A Summary of When To Book Your Wedding Suppliers

Got engaged 28-03-17 (3 years before the wedding!)
Booked Venue & Church – 2 years to go
Booked Photographer – 2 years to go
Bought Dress – 20 months
Flowers, Decor, Colour Scheme – Collecting as we go along; almost there! (My living room is full)
Entertainer/Band – 18 months
Bridesmaids Dresses – 18 months
Cars – 12 months
DJ & Entertainment  – 12 months
Food – 8 months
Groom’s Suits – Sometime in 2020 probably (he thinks he’s go along like he’s dressed right now…)
Cake – 6 months
CHILL OUT
GET VERY EXCITED
Get married 23-05-20 (Yay!!)

I’ve been shortlisted for Wedding Photographer Of The Year!!

wedding photographer of the year

This is amazing news! Not only have I’ve been judged by The Wedding Industry Awards panel but the most decisive part is the votes that my couples have given me throughout the last year. I am so grateful for them commissioning me to be their photographer and for their votes that have taken me to the regional final. As will always be the case it is the commissions from the couple themselves that are the true awards, but it’s fantastic to have my photography recognised. It’s privilege to be part of the Top 20 photographers in the North West for the UK right now!

Looking back at 2018, it’s not only being up for Wedding Photographer of The Year that has made me so pleased but I’ve been awarded by one of the three International bodies that I have been accepted onto. WPS Select chose my photo of Cheryl & Joe’s confetti extravaganza for an award. I try to capture the emotion and energy of a couples day and this embodies that very spirit!

bride and groom leave stirk house hotel with confetti

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a WPS Award Winner!!

I’m chuffed to say I’m an award winner with Wedding Photography Select! Thank you WPS and the judges for this submission. It was fantastic news when my portfolio was accepted into this exclusive club but to have won an award is amazing. That only 3% of all the images entered get awarded just makes it truly special. It’s also brilliant to be named amongst other award winning photographers who are fellow peers and whom I admire. Well done to those guys, too! Many thanks, also, go to Cheryl and Joe for letting me be their photographer – without them I wouldn’t have this. This photo also goes out as a big thanks to all of my past couples. For me photographing their wedding was the ultimate award and, personally, there’s one of these photos in every one I’ve done. It’s also about the inspiration of future couples, too. I want to create special images for everyone I’ll be with and whenever I hear about a couple’s story and ideas this type of photo begins right there.

Ash & Sam’s Wedding | The Out Barn

This is the tale of Ash and Sam’s wedding at The Out Barn in Clough Bottom, Clitheroe.

A Humanist Wedding Ceremony at The Out Barn

To be a wedding photographer at The Out Barn, Clough Bottom is to immerse yourself totally amongst this unique place in the Ribble Valley countryside and all of the wedding guests that shared Ash & Sam’s day. Add a humanist ceremony to the mix a for the personal touch and I had the ingredients to create a wonderful story that only personal, natural documentary wedding photography can. From the view of Pendle Hill on the horizon to the star studded moonlit sky which lights the elliptical cedar clad shaped barn, there’s the perfect blend of nature and farmland with contemporary architecture and design for a bride and groom and their guest to spend the perfect day. The Out Barn is family owned and run and has its original roots in the 17th Century as a traditionally stone built barn. How fitting that Ash and Sam, and Taylor their son, decided to do the legal wedding beforehand an then on the day have a ceremony that was all about their family, traditions and roots.

Wedding Photographer at The Outbarn

The perfect start to shooting the wedding day took place at The Old Dairy Wedding Cottage for all of the bridal preparations. Just outside the barn itself it has it’s own private lane. There I met a very excited Ash and mum Karen and the bridesmaids. As well as the hair and make up the proseco, tears and laughter were all in full flow. I love to photograph personal effects and the letters swapped between Ash and Sam were so heart felt. This is photography that is truly authentic and tells a real story. Sam wasn’t so far away with his best man, Pete. The lads were staying in the village Waddington which was five minutes away. With only five minutes sleep the night before the lads had a quick brush up, a nip and a splash of after shave and they were out for a few groomsmen photos. I was a bit like Reservoir Dogs had come to Waddington.

Capturing The Wedding Day Celebrations

After a nervous walk down the aisle the humanist ceremony from Jo brought out all of the emotions. Through my lens I often see and feel the event unfolding with a few goosebumps and the odd lump in the throat. None more so than here. Then that emotion just spilt out into the rest of the day and this is where The Out Barn is so perfect. People can be outside or inside but you always feel together as a wedding party. Once the wedding breakfast was set it was time for The Singing Waiters and the speeches. IF the singing waiters caused an outrageous amount of dancing that felt like we were already in the early hours, then the speeches were something truly unique. The best man, Pete was a Kiwi of Māori decent. When there’s a wedding they Māoris perfrom The Haka and Ash and Sam had their very own haka. I have never had such a rush in photographing a spontaneous, authentic moment at a wedding (he could have warned me beforehand!). Wow! Just, wow! It was so electric and full of emotion that after everyone just chilled out side in the summer sun and I was able to just go with a mix of family photos and just those pure documentary shots that capturing wedding family and friends just having a great time unposed.

Natural Wedding Portraits

Ash and Sam were having such a brilliant day and it was time to have a few photos together. As with all my weddings I like natural photography that is un-staged and unposed. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask anything of them to get the perfect composition and light, so a little guidance as to where to be and stop as they spend some time away from the crowd together is just perfect. I could feel how they were just enjoying the day and I just let that unfold in front of the camera lens. So beautiful. They even had Pendle Hill as a backdrop and in a spontaneous moment we captured one of my favourite bride and groom portraits as the lens looked to the hill and left them just out of focus and their own moment in the foreground.

A Photographers Story at The Out Barn

And so the evening drew in and the party just went on. Italian and Mexican food with plenty of champers kept the wedding guests fuelled and so to the cake cutting and first dance. Surrounded by everyone the purple lights of The Out Barn provided the perfect ambience saw Ash and Sam take to the oval barn’s intimate dance floor with special moments for the family. More partying ensued with people partying on and I was still part of the whole day; swept up in all of the emotion I then took a breather outside and then saw the shot to complete the story. The moon gazed down at this wonderful, contemporary wedding venue and the people within it. The dark but clear skies above the Clough Bottom and Clitheroe landscape at dusk provided the perfect contrast with the purple lights of the cedar barn. Wedding photography is about creating and capturing someones wedding day by telling their story – truly – from beginning to end.

Katy & Daryl’s Story | Falcon Manor

This is Katy & Daryl’s story. From the pre-wedding shoot to the big day and their wedding photography at Falcon Manor.

Engagement Photo Shoot Around Home

As with all of my pre-wedding shoots I wanted Katy and Daryl to be in a place where they love to be and important to them. Just like the photography on the big day at Falcon Manor the engagement shoot was just as relaxed. Katy and Daryl chose some beautiful spots near their home in Halifax. Beautiful country lanes, woods and the grand vista of a big reservoir made it easy. It was a simple walk and chat in a lazy summer afternoon and once they had forgotten I was there with the camera and we captured some really spontaneous moments then the photography at the wedding was just going to be a breeze..

Wedding Photography at Falcon Manor

I have been a regular wedding photographer at Falcon Manor, Settle. I never go without my camera to The Yorkshire Dales because it is so beautiful. So it’s an even bigger buzz to be the wedding photographer at a venue in the heart of The Dales. As with all James Places you get to photograph historic architecture, contemporary chic decor and all classically sophisticated. On the day we just hit the ground running – wedding photography at Falcon Manor was so easy after the engagement shoot. I went between Katy and Daryl’s rooms to get both the build ups. Excited nerves, the swapping of notes, gorgeous dresses, red socks and a deconstructed set of flowers gave the opportunity for some quirky, spontaneous photography. Katy looked absolutely stunning in the bridal suite silhouetted in her dress and Daryl was taking it easy with the lads after a few cheeky beers with the night porter the night before..

Falcon Manor Wedding Ceremony, Portraits and Party

And so to the ceremony and party. The wedding ceremony room at Falcon Manor is so perfect. Intimate and beautifully set I, like all of the wedding guests, had a wonderful view of Katy and her dad as the doors opened and she walked down the aisle. They had a fantastic bunch of friends and family and the party began straight after the ceremony. The champagne flowed as did the sunshine and it felt so easy to be amongst the newly weds and capture the day as it happened – true documentary photography! The portraits were shot in a perfect little lane by the side of Falcon Manor and the gorgeous lawn. The photography was even easier because of our pre-wedding shoot! The bridesmaids and ushers were a top laugh and got together for their own mini shoots. So cue umbrellas, confetti and jumping off walls to add to the laughs and then onto the first dance and the party. What brilliant energy! Just the right mix of romance and ripping it up on the dance floor. I really didn’t want to leave.

If you like my wedding photography at Falcon Manor then take a look at my pre-wedding shoot offer and get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Wedding Day

 

I’m a member of WPS!

Part of being a professional wedding photographer is making sure you are doing the best for your couples. I love what I do and to measure myself against the best I want to be part of the best and be at the cutting edge of image making for my couples.

I’ve just had my portfolio reviewed and have been accepted as a member of Wedding Photography Select! This is what they say:

“We are an international wedding association passionate about great wedding photography, great wedding photographers and inspiring couples all over the world. At WPS you will find the world’s best wedding photographers showcasing the most amazing wedding photos. If you are as passionate about your wedding photography as we are, you’ve come to the right place. All our photographers must first be given the stamp of approval by the WPS Team which ensures you are searching only the very best in the industry.”

So on top of being a member of Fearless and The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers I’m really, really chuffed! So, a massive thank you to all my previous couples who have inspired me along the way to be part of such an organisation 🙂

Here are a few photos that were submitted:

Here is more of my work submitted to the ISPWP and Fearless.

Last year I became Fearless Photographer. Fearlessphotographers.com is a directory of the best 3000 wedding photographers in the world! I’ve longed to be part of this community of well respected artists, falling in love with the photography it promoted straight away! As with the ISPWP I want to win awards with my couples as they are the true inspiration. Below are some of the images that go a little way to show my philosophy; simple, natural and truly about the energy and emotion of people on their finest day and in their finest hour.

See more in the gallery! Or some of the best from 2016!