Yesterday was a wedding day, like a Saturday often is for me, and I was headed to Rushton Hall for the wedding of Nathalie and Mike, prepped, peppy and photo ready!
I arrived at 10.30am all ready for an hour of bridal prep before the wedding at 11.30am, only to discover a slightly sombre mood in camp because of the fact that Nathalie had no wedding dress. It turns out she had been unable to pick it up and was sat in the bridal suite in a basic slip dress, calmly waiting to get married.
At this point, I would like to stress I am not writing this blog to name and shame the dress maker who let her down, I am writing it to commend the ones who came to her rescue…because quite frankly, what happened next, and for the rest of the day is more noteworthy and deserving of your time.
What followed was a bit of a blur but I did what any photographer in the area would have done, I called Courtyard Bridal. Having worked with the lovely ladies who run the family owned business before, I figured they would be our best bet, and I’m sure you can guess by now, that they did not disappoint.
“I HAVE A BRIDE WITH NO DRESS!”
“YOU HAVE A WHAT?!”
“A BRIDE WITH NO DRESS!!!”
“WHEN IS THE WEDDING?”
“…………..in an hour”
“WE ARE ON OUR WAY!”
They swooped in like literal caped crusaders and bundled everything they could in to the car, promising they would be with us as soon as they could. Tears followed, as did a party play list, an abundance of hugs and a much improved mood. Now it felt like a wedding!
Nathalie is petite in every way and finding a wedding dress that fits is no easy feat, let alone one that wouldn’t completely swamp her height. I had no idea what to expect but later realised that Rhiannon had asked me all the right questions on the phone about her size, height and shoes…they were on the job!
They arrived in a flurry and full of smiles at exactly eleven o’clock with two dresses, veils, pins, hair pieces and a sewing machine. Yep, you read that correctly, they even bought their overlocker. Nathalie tried both dresses on, and both of them fitted her, both of them looked amazing, both of them could have been made entirely for her, it was absolutely unbelievable. What happened next even more so.
She chose the more classic and elegant of the two and Anne immediately set about making alterations. SHE MADE IMMEDIATE ALTERATIONS! Anne cut off the bottom of the dress in the bathroom while Nathalie stood on a box of breakfast bits from the hotel. She then overlocked the bottom hem so it was finished as well as taking a few buttons off the back, sewing a few on AND SEWING BRA CUPS IN TO THE FRONT. She was not about to have nipples on show at Rushton Hall, oh no no.
Time check: At this point we’re at about 11.30am. I continued to stay in touch with reception, the registrars have three other weddings to get to today but they’ll wait, if needs be they’ll cut a reading from the ceremony. The bridesmaids all arrive, Anne is still doing the finishing touches and the veil is going in. The master of ceremonies delivers Dad and we exit the bridal suite in a flourish at 11.45am with Anne and Rhiannon in tow to watch Nathalie down the aisle. THE WEDDING IS ON!
Despite Nathalie and Mike’s young boys being a little unruly throughout the ceremony the pair were married, Nathalie looked nothing short of AMAZING and the party was waiting. Everyone could return to business as usual. Which was why I was a little surprised to see Anne and Rhiannon outside when we exited, knowing they had a full day of appointments at the shop. Turns out, in all the excitement of leaving the room, no one had thought to bring a key…and all available keys to the bridal suite were, yep, you guessed it…in the bridal suite. Invited to stay for a drink, the dynamic duo enjoyed some champagne while the hotel tried in vain to get in the room. They had no phones, no keys and no sewing machine and were now going to have to wait for a locksmith.
Rhiannon arranged for her husband to pick her up but Anne and I formed an alliance and not only did she help me organise my group shots, she became best friends with the bridesmaids, was centre of attention for all those wanting to hear about the dress and sat next to me for a delicious three course meal accompanied with some wine and cheese!
I literally can’t stress how diligently they worked to make sure Nathalie looked her absolute best and how wonderfully they managed the situation. They didn’t once falter or even consider not coming to help and they were there as fast as they could carry themselves. Anne’s only complaint is that she wasn’t dressed for the occasion but in the end it didn’t matter and having Mike thank us all in his speech so earnestly for pulling the whole thing together just goes to show how much it meant to everyone involved.
The room was finally opened around 5.30pm and Anne could get all their stuff and go, although (and this is my favourite little detail) she’d had just a tad too much wine with dinner to drive so had to be picked up herself!
Before all this happened, I would recommend Courtyard Bridal as a great place to go to all the brides who asked, but now, I will be telling them that they’d be stupid to go anywhere else.
Nathalie would have looked beautiful regardless, I would have taken photos of her in her jeans, but the fact of the matter is she FELT amazing and it’s all down to a wonderful team of people who were willing to go that extra mile to help her out.
Nb. Her original dress turned up two hours after the ceremony and it was suggested she put it on. She declined.
The dress worn by Nathalie is Pronovias and is called ‘Niagara’
My family photography has come a long way since I started out, but I still completely adore being invited to do family photos at home, especially when people ask me to travel all the way to London to do it! The Stott family recently had a new little arrival who has turned their world upside down and that too of Gary…the cat. If you know me, you know I would never oppose having the cat in on the pictures which made it even sweeter that Gary curled up on his dads lap and let him hold him like a baby long enough to get the four of them together, and on film too!
I’ve started carrying a film camera around with me a lot more recently and intend to make it a permanent fixture in the not too distant future. The photos I captured of these guys really reminded me how much I love the look of genuine, bonafide film loveliness and I’d like to share that around.
I spent two hours at home with them, just enough time for me to settle in and get my slippers by the door! I hate to rush photographing newborn babies, they don’t like to be pushed around and moved here, there and everywhere at any speed and more often than not they need a feed, a sleep and some serious chill time, aka, daddy doing squats while being held next to a window. You parents out there know the drill.
Thanks to the Stott Family for having me, pretty stoked I was able to document all this for you.
So I’ve set myself a new challenge, and that is to blog more, and to keep it brief! The summer is such a mental time for me that I barely get the chance to do it but I really want to and to that end I’ve set myself an image limit of 50 to sum up each and every wedding I blog…starting with Laura & Jon’s wedding at Shearsby Bath, an idyllic little venue in the heart of Leicestershire’s countryside.
These two are the proud parents to crazy, energetic, cheeky little twin boys…yet they still managed to plan a wedding. I’m not really sure how people manage to do stuff with multiple kids if I’m honest, I mean I’m struggling to blog with one kid in tow let alone two! But plan it they did and they did a bloody good job.
Can we please just take a minute to appreciate the Irn Bru wedding favours? Just when you thought you’d be left without a hangover cure, Laura & Jon come through with the goods. There were also kilts and a rendition of The Flower of Scotland which brought a tear to more than one eye but so did the moment when the bridesmaids thought they’d lost the brides wedding ring…the less said about that the better.
I love this venue, tucked away from prying eyes and rushing traffic, it’s the perfect spot to go a little bit nuts on your wedding day…
Ever since I was at university, I’ve wanted to point the camera towards myself, in a non narcissistic way, and delve a little deeper in to the art of self portraiture. I wrote my dissertation on female photographers who photograph themselves and their motivations to do so. Some being cathartic, others for showmanship and some who photographed their children as an extension of who they are. Now that I’m a mom, it’s the latter that strikes a chord with me, and as aware as I am that everyone loves their children, I resolutely cherish the fact that I can document so coherantly, the time I spend with mine.
Throughout the summer, when weddings are all too consuming, it becomes even more important to take time for personal endeavours and inspirations, and so with that in mind, I have set out to photograph Elsie and I on film, entirely through the power of self timers and a few well placed, long armed selfies. I still take digital photos of her on a daily basis, but this is to be different, this to me, will be ours. A rough and happy project that she already feels a part of.
I got my first film back today and I wanted to cry. I tried out some new black and white stock, I was ambitious with the settings, probably giving the little old camera I bought a bit too much credit. So many were dark, blurry, out of focus and not quite what I’d pictured that I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Then a friend pointed out that the feel of the images was so much more important than the focus. And they were right…I’d already forgotten why I was doing this and got too caught up in technicalities that are hard to control at the best of times, let alone with a toddler in tow.
So I’m going to share our first roll of film. Here we are, blurry, dark…and completely us. There will be more xx
So…this is a bit of an odd one and I’m going to start out by saying that if you don’t know what Snap Photography Festival is then you should read up on it. Because I have and I really want to go! I didn’t get the chance last year because I bought a house instead, which was mandatory and non negotiable apparently. Pfffft. This year though, Snap is shrinking and they’re making it a little more difficult to get in, hence this ridiculous Snap Photography Festival entry. It comes with the disclaimer that if you want to be able to look me in the eye again you should only watch it once, I am actually a very good swimmer, and no, that jacket is not mine. I’m also 36 years old and should know better but if you aren’t as old as me, hearing the original HERE may help…
Huge thanks to Chris Pavey of Toast Films for keeping a straight face long enough to put this little gem together. I owe him a ridiculous amount of beer.
I went to France last week and took my film camera. With mild trepidation I set about capturing my holiday in France on film. My old Olympus has a faulty light meter so I had to use one on my phone, then my own knowledge of lenses and light to estimate my settings and quite frankly, I came home thinking I would get a whole load of nothing from nine rolls of film. It’s been a long time since I used a manual film camera regularly and despite learning this way right from my A-Levels I didn’t have all that much confidence in myself. I told a friend that I’d be happy with just one killer shot…so I’m pretty bloody delighted to be happy with a hell of a lot more than that. There are 66 images in this blog post. Sixty six! And you may not like them all, but I do and it was my holiday so I’ll show off if I want to. These are my highlights.
The first wedding I ever photographed was my brother’s and it just so happened to be at Oakham Castle, a well known local landmark. To my surprise I haven’t actually been back, until earlier this year when I photographed Jillie and John’s Oakham Castle Wedding on a sunny spring day full of happy smiles and beautiful light. I’ll be back there on New Years Eve too to photograph the wedding of Laura & Adam which is nice, I like a little love close to home and I’m always thankful when people ask me to capture it. As always, this is just a little look at what went on that day…
Zoe is the sister of my husband’s best man’s wife. Which makes us practically related right?! Well OK, not really, but we’ve met a couple of times which made it lovely to be asked to be their wedding photographer because they’d actually met me and still wanted me to do it! They had (what didn’t look for one iota of a second) a very handmade Bassmead Manor Barns wedding that had me excited from the off. I say that it didn’t look handmade because these two are so freaking skilled at fabric and wood and decor and stuff that quite honestly, it looked to me to be a professional and expensive job. I was mightily impressed. I was also mightily impressed with how bloody lovely they were and how amazing their day was. Here it is in brief…
Debs & Daryl gifted me my first Sherwood Forest Wedding and despite being at dusk, in March, the weather did not misbehave and these two got just the wedding they planned…even if it was pitch black by the time the ceremony ended because the bride was a little late! We’d talked about the possibility of rain, wind, hail and complete darkness so they knew exactly what to expect and I have to say that their determination to get married outside come rain or shine was entirely admirable…I’m just can’t help being more than a little bit pleased the bad weather decided to stay away day!
I was only with them for four short hours but we covered so much in that time, this is just a small part of it…
When I suggested to these two outdoor, bike enthusiasts that we hire a tandem and head to the water they didn’t argue one little bit! As it’s on my door step, Rutland Water Engagement photos are something of a speciality of mine so it was great to add a little bit extra to this one.
Laura & Adam are getting married on New Years Eve at Oakham Castle with their reception at The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham so pulling in another Rutland Landmark seemed only right for their warm up shoot.
I had so much fun with these two and I’m already looking forward to partying with them at the close of the year!
When I suggested a tandem ride to Laura & Adam for their wedding warm up session there was no argument, we were good to go!