In those moments when I’m sitting at my screen, tip-tapping away at another feature, I can quite often envisage myself as a florist, a stylist or some other creator of wedding pretty. One job I can never ever imagine myself doing, despite my ever-expanding Instagram feed, is that of the wedding photographer. The pressure, the fleeting moments of opportunity to record a heartfelt look and the overwhelming knowledge that you just can’t say ‘can we just do that again please?’ as the bride enters the church.
That’s why today, for so many reasons, I’m delighted to introduce you to the work of Richard Jones, a wedding photographer who clearly excels in capturing the whole range of wedding day emotions.
Richard, based in Berkshire, has been behind the lens for many years, starting with a degree in photography and then years of learning all the tricks of the wedding trade before striking out on his own with the launch of Richard Jones Photography five years ago. He shoots digitally now but remains a devotee of film and the old-school processes so you’ll often find him in his darkroom when he’s not out and about making memories at weddings across the UK.
‘I love my job,’ says Richard. ‘Being part of a couple’s wedding day and capturing it all as it unfolds is a real privilege. I witness so many beautiful moments and my approach is always to be as unobtrusive as possible. It’s never about me, it’s all about my clients and that seems to be appreciated by everyone I work with.’.
When I was preparing this feature, I spent far too long gazing at the images in Richard’s online gallery and one thing really struck me about his work. Richard is a storyteller – his photos call to you with emotion, whether it’s love, anticipation, pride, humour or excitement. Everything is there in those pictures and it’s a joy to share.
I’ve been blogging about weddings now for just shy of five years, and no, I never, ever tire of them. It’s a question I’m occasionally asked – and I can hand on heart tell you that I actually fall deeper for the whole wonderfulness of weddings every day. How can I not, when day in, day out, I get to work on features full of declarations of love and life-long commitments? It’s genuine lump in throat stuff for me – and I feel kind of responsible for showing not just how beautiful weddings can be but how meaningful and purposeful too. So, no, I never tire of beautiful weddings – I consider it an absolute blessing that I get to do what I do, and especially so when weddings like this one are involved.
I was led to this particular wedding by my friend and designer Kate Halfpenny of Halfpenny London (the most amazing creative force, full of energy and who I cannot wait to see to celebrate my birthday next week!). Bish, a Freelance Producer, married her beau Ian, the Founder and Creative Partner at a production agency, on 26 July this year. The couple tied the knot with a legal ceremony at the registry office, followed by the most beautiful outdoor blessing at Roughmoor Farm in Somerset.
“We met through work – I was actually Ian’s Producer. We ended up getting together five years after we started working together and we’ve been together three and a half years now. Ian proposed in Cambodia in January 2013. Our wedding represented our shared love of old things; vintage furniture, old music and English country fetes. Weddings can sometimes lack soul so we were determined to fill it full of details and touches reflecting our personalities and tastes.”
Bish’s choice of a Halfpenny London dress couldn’t have been more perfect back but effortlessly glamorous wedding.
“Kate of Halfpenny London and her team offered amazing advice as to the type of dress to go for as well as creating a dress that smashed all expectations.
I adored the simplicity and elegance of the structure and fabrics used too. Kate gently persuaded me away from a black or green dress – my original plan! I was fully prepared to be in black wearing my Doc Martins (they did feature later in the day!).”
“My Mum made reams of bunting. The bunting backdrop at the blessing was made up of individual sections documenting my life – apparently she spent 6 months sourcing the right materials!
We also hired a neon ‘Bish Bash Bosh’ and star lighting we hired from Chris at God’s Own Junk Yard.”
“I wore a headdress and belt by Karin Andreasson, a fabulous jeweller I’ve know for a while. We met only once to discuss the art deco style I wanted to go for and she created these magnificent pieces.”
“Our photographer was Lucy Turnbull Photography. Lucy absolutely smashed it. Every moment, every sentiment, every emotion, every detail, she captured perfectly. It’s as if she’s known me and Ian, and our friends and family forever. Amazing as we only met once before the big day.
Lucy is a true reportage photographer – totally unobtrusive and utterly professional.”
This wedding has it all! A wonderful blend of formal and casual that perfectly reflects the bride and groom. Historic buildings, naval uniforms, gorgeous flowers grown by the bride, loads of local suppliers and a relaxed festival vibe at the reception, the day was an eclectic mix of ideas that came together beautifully to become an extremely happy occasion. And what a breath of fresh air to hear from the groom too! Come on gents, we need more of this at Love My Dress!
Jules, a TV Director and Tom, an officer in the Navy, were married on June 21st 2014. The ceremony took place at Stratford upon Avon town hall, with the reception at Talton Lodge.
“As well as being beautiful, the town hall had a real civic feel. We chose Talton lodge because it was quite quirky, the owners were super-relaxed and we were able to hire it from Thursday to Sunday. Whilst a lot of our friends live in Stratford upon Avon we liked that there was lots of accommodation on site for guests from further afield. On paper, Royal Navy tradition-meets-quirky midsummer bohemian hippy campsite shouldn’t really work but we decided pretty early on that we’d try it out and see what happened.”
Jules told us how the couple met; “We met at University and after seven years got engaged at a beautiful nature reserve called Point obos in California in June 2012. It was pretty much 2 years to the day between when we got engaged and when we got married. Tom goes away a lot for work so our wedding planning was done in fits and starts, in the times between.”
Tom says “We’re quite relaxed and pretty much made up the style for our wedding as we went along. We knew that there’d be quite a few matching Royal Navy suits and so didn’t want everything else to match. Jules has worked on a few gardening programmes and was inspired to grow the flowers but we didn’t the whole place to look too girly.”
The couple’s day was a burst of colour and pretty DIY details.
“Our amazing wedding team made loads of bunting using old OS maps which had been salvaged from a school geography department. We made loads of tissue paper pompoms and I bought a massive roll of yellow gingham to use as tablecloths – far cheaper than hiring expensive linen. We had a chill-out yurt and bought some old cheesy postcards of English counties off eBay for our guests to write on instead of a guest book.”
Jules choose an extremely pretty dress from Justin Alexander, purchased at Rina Roberts Bridalwear in Tamworth. Her delicate hair accessory was also bought at Rina’s boutique. The silver and pearl necklace was by Oliver Bonas, with silver and pearl oak leaf earrings by Beth Gilmour to finish the look. Jules’ gorgeous braided hairstyle was created by the team at Mavericks in Alcester.
“Being a bit of a wedding geek, I’d meticulously researched the websites, styles and stockists of a good dozen or so designers and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. Something with sleeves, a low neckline, a decent train, not too weighty and ideally something a little bit lacy. This dress really ticked all the boxes. Originally I went to Rina’s shop to try on another Justin Alexander dress but ended up falling in love with this one which was brand new in.
I loved the embellishment on the sleeves, the illusion back and the buttons all the way down to the bottom of the train. The applique lace and scalloped hem was a lovely detail although the seamstress did have to unpick the whole lot in order to shorten the dress. It had an unbelievable amount of internal corsetry but didn’t feel too heavy. It was also very cool to have a proper train which was fine even to dance in.”
The couple were photographed by Jo Hastings. The images sparkle with all the brilliant summer sunshine and wide smiles that Jules and Tom were surrounded with.
“We really liked Jo’s documentary style of photography and she also made some great portraits of us on the day. She was very chilled and that really helped us to relax in front of the camera. Jo was a lot of fun to have around and we knew we didn’t have to worry about her getting from A to B or being in the right place at the right time. It was a boiling day and we both got a bit hot and sweaty (especially wearing a wool suit) but Jo was really patient with us and took a lot of time and care to make sure she’d got some lovely pics. She also organised for us to have an engagement shoot which gave us a chance to meet her before the big day – they’re really worthwhile and we had a great time.”
We so love to be able to provide our readers with an exclusive, and today, we’re beyond thrilled to share with you the new 2015 accessories collection from the extraordinarily talented Klaire Van Elton. Klaire’s beautiful work has already made her a name to watch in the wedding world (she’s on the shortlist for ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards for starters) and we know that her new designs are going to make her more popular than ever. So, without further ado, let’s all fall in love with ‘Botanic Crush’.
Inspired by the delicate botanic illustrations of the 1920s and 1930s, the collection features a stunning range of headpieces and cuffs as well as earrings and the most heavenly sashes that will add a flash of sparkle and an eye-catching personal touch to any gown.
The designs will certainly appeal to lovers of vintage but the contemporary, whimsical twist that sets Klaire’s designs apart adds a new and fresh dimension to the ‘Botanic Crush’ range.
The light and trailing lace vines and pretty petite floral adornments that weave themselves through many of the designs display a delicate, ethereal charm whilst Klaire’s trademark origami work is fabulously unique and we adore the attention-grabbing lines of these headpieces. Add in soft and subtle uses of colour – champagne, soft peach and on-trend blush tones – and it’s so amazingly easy to stamp a little individuality on your bridal look.
“I designed this collection to be as versatile as possible,” says Klaire. “Every adornment can be worn and interpreted in many different ways. And, as uninspiring as it may sounds, comfort and practicality are also key. I use only the finest headbands to avoid unnecessary pressure points and by using lots of lace, filigree and origami bases, everything is light and easy to wear.”
Well hello there, and how was your weekend? I really hope that it was a good one, whatever you were up to and that you’ve found your way by these beautiful blog pages this morning feeling positive and ready to embrace another week – and if not, then I hope that this feature will lift and inspire you. I always try to keep a wedding with a little extra something special about it to open up each new week on Love My Dress®, and these photographs speak for themselves; glitter balls and chandeliers hanging from the trees, an international DJ spinning the decks in the evening, and guests swinging (literally) from the tress!
The wedding of Jade and Richard, who both work in marketing and events, took place on 14 June this year at Wasing Woodland in Berkshire and was styled by our friends Vicki and Michelle of Pocketful of Dreams. I just love how the couple threw abandon to tradition and fully embraced their vision of a deliciously decadent day. This is how to do a woodland wedding!
“The colours of my engagement ring influenced our colour scheme – but in general, the concept was inspired by our love of festivals and music, combined with my passion for dressing up. There was never a question that our wedding would ever (or could ever) be anything different – we wanted to put on the best party we’d ever been to!”
The couple really went to town in terms of decorating their venue, using outdoor chandeliers, silver pineapples, red velvet drapes, Tom Dixon lanterns, plush velvet chaise lounges, lots of old cinema chairs, mirror balls, fun fairground lighting, silver picture frames, rich lace, red and green up-lighters and rope lighting! It was, as Jade says herself, a ‘truly decadent disco!
“The team at Pocketful of Dreamswere actually brought in to help after our initial wedding planner became pregnant and couldn’t continue to work with us.”
“They were an amazing help throughout the process – I honestly don’t know how we could have done this without them. Not only did they offer great practical support when we had issues with the site due to weather, they were brilliantly creative coming up with lots of wonderful ideas and also really ‘got’ what we were trying to achieve.
One of the main comments throughout the day, was that the wedding was very ‘us’ – which made me very proud. Michelle and Vicky of Pocketful of Dreams fully understood the brief and worked above and beyond to deliver.”
“We chose the venue, Wasing Woodland in Berkshire, because we could get married legally on site, whilst at the same time, the space gave us lots of room to bring our dream wedding to life. A lot of the other outdoor/festival style venues we looked at also didn’t have the back up of a professional management team, which meant arrangements were rather ad-hoc.
With an outdoor venue where a simple change in weather can throw all your plans up into the air, you need to make sure the venue is capable of dealing with all eventualities.”
Jade’s bridesmaids wore wrap sresses from BHS in merlot.
“Buying these was more stressful than buying my own dress and these were actually the second lot of dresses I bought! My chief brides ‘maid’ wore a handmade grey suit with accessories to match the groom and his ushers (I was ‘best man’ at his wedding!).
All the bridesmaid accessorised themselves – I was conscious that they should bring their own style to the day.”
Jade’s fabulously sparkly gown was a Jenny Packham design, purchased directly from the Jenny Packham flagship boutique.
“I’d had such an amazing day with my mum and friends trying dresses on – it’d got to the end of the day and this was the last dress I tried on. As soon as I put it on, half my friends said I couldn’t wear that as a bride and the other half said ‘wow!’. That made it the perfect choice.“