17th September 2014

I’ve been secretly waiting to share these images for weeks now, ever since I shared this, my favourite wedding ever to grace the pages of Love My Dress.  The bride in my favourite wedding was bead-artist and designer Clara Francis - who, if you read the real wedding feature itself, you’ll learn I’ve been aware of for some years now, but who up to now has never  designed specifically for weddings.  All that is set to change with the launch of Clara’s debut collection for brides.

I make no excuses for confessing I’m giddy with excitement about this.  I’m such a HUGE Clara Francis fan girl – her skill and level of craftsmanship is nothing short of outstanding – she is a true artisan and I’m in absolute awe of her talent (the beading in each of her designs is painstakingly hand stitched and there is simply nothing quite like her designs out there, she really is an original artist).

My excitement aside, let me explain how Clara has joined forces with one of my personal favourite wedding dress brands, the sassy and always stylish Belle & Bunty​ (the perfect pairing) to promote her new collection. And look what they did…

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Media Lightbulb for Clara Francis​ / Belle & Bunty​

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This visual story showcases the romantic elegance of both brands through the creation of a fairytale scene. The vision of mystical romance could be taken straight from a child’s picture book, don’t you think? I love how these images ooze beauty and serenity, perfectly capturing the designers shared love of the ethereal.

Which goes without saying, I personally love very much too.

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Alice Shreeve, one half of the creative team at Belle & Bunty, explains…

“Finding the perfect backdrop was key to creating the fairytale setting where the collaboration could really come to life. Embedding the shoot in nature was important to both ourselves and Clara as we both place a lot of emphasis on using natural fabrics, gentle colours and delicate design details.”

The ethereal, floaty feel of the Belle & Bunty bridal gowns are in complete alignment with the delicate whimsical Clara Francis headpieces, making them a perfect combination for any bohemian wedding.

008-Clara Francis Jewellery Belle and Bunty DressesBelle & Bunty’s Hannah Coniam-Thompson told me “We have been in love with Clara’s work for ages, it is so beautiful & delicate and completely unique. We share the same brand values in that everything is exclusively designed and handmade in the UK and we both strive to create something different from the mainstream. Clara’s stunningly special headpieces work so well with our dresses for a boho, yet glam wedding day look.”

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Nature has always been a key feature of Clara’s inspiration with the shoot therefore bringing everything back full circle. Clara herself told me “I have known Alice and Hannah for a few years and have always wanted to collaborate with them because I love their vibe, attitude and aesthetic. We are all committed to well made, hand crafted, finely detailed pieces using the best quality fabrics, beads and vintage crystals”.

004-Clara Francis Jewellery Belle and Bunty Dresses Continue reading…

17th September 2014

Hopeless romantic that I am, I found myself feeling genuinely moved looking through the photographs of Yasmin and Maarten on their wedding day. Without knowing either of these two people, I can tell how much they love one another and their families. It’s just one of those beautiful, incredibly emotional ceremonies that reminds you what marriage is all about.

Medical registrar Yasmin married Maarten, an Accountant, on 5th August 2013. With just two months to pull the day together, it was lucky they found their perfect venue more or less straight away.

“The moment we drove through the gates of Coombe Lodge, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. The venue itself is stunning with beautiful grounds plus the venue was licenced for outdoor ceremonies – I had always wanted to get married outdoors. The staff were so helpful and the food tastings were absolutely delicious. Also, Coombe Lodge is only a ten-minute drive away from Bristol airport and as most of Maarten’s friends and family were flying over from Holland, it just made perfect sense.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Tim Bishop

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“I was really clueless when it came to flowers, but Claire at The Wilde Bunch Barn was brilliant in advising me and so patient with explaining colours and themes to me. Her prices were incredibly reasonable and her service was top quality. I really couldn’t recommend her enough.

We had a three-tiered cake made by Michelle from Scrummy Mummy Cakes. The flavours were; carrot cake, orange and poppy seed, and vanilla sponge with a passion fruit icing filling. Michelle made cute little figurines of us to go on top of the cake. We decorated the cake with fresh flowers – it was delicious!”

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Yasmin’s dress is the ‘Mai’ design by Augusta Jones, which she had altered by the team at LauraMay Bridal in Cardiff.

I loved the material and the flow of the dress. It just felt so right when I tried it on. My dress is actually quite different from the original which had long sleeves and a high neckline, but May from LauraMay Bridal was so helpful in showing me how I could have it altered to better suit my taste.”

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Tim Bishop was not only a fantastic photographer, he was a solid support for the day to both us and our nervous families. He put us at ease with his relaxed humour, helped usher our guests around and was even our personal stylist with some sound last minute advice on my dress! And on top of that, we have the most amazing memories of our special day.

Considering Maarten and I normally hate every photo taken of us, Tim did a brilliant job in capturing all our special moments in an unobtrusive and discreet manner.”

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16th September 2014

Lovely readers, you will simply adore this beautiful Scottish wedding set in the ruins of Lindores Abbey near Fife. I love that Nicky set her own rules with every aspect of the wedding. She admits that neither her or Neil are big label lovers so they planned their budget spending on the things that were most important to them, getting some amazing bargains along the way. When I first flicked through the images of this wedding I would never have guessed that Nicky’s dress was a high street find either!

Nicky and Neil were married on the 31st of May 2014. Neil is a mechanic, restoring classic cars so it was only fitting that Nicky and her dad were chauffeured to the wedding in a beautiful Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 3, which Neil had helped to restore himself. Their day is a perfect example of a family affair with so many of their wonderful relatives and friends helping out and putting their talents to good use!

Photography Copyright (c), 2014, SD Photography

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“Unique, historic and charming, the beautiful ruins of Lindores Abbey in Newburgh, Fife were the first and only venue we visited. When we saw the great big majestic archway covered in ivy we knew we had discovered somewhere really special and nothing else would compare!

It was the perfect location and the lovely owner Helen McKenzie Smith provided us with so many brilliant suggestions for the big day, was open to all of our ideas as well as sharing our spirit for simplicity and fun.  Our day was basically a mish-mash of my love of all things vintage and pretty and Neil’s love of all things fun and geeky.”

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Nicky’s good friends Mel and Sam were on hand to do her hair and make-up on the day. Her hair was braided into an updo to accommodate her pretty Alice band and long floaty veil.

“My veil which I wore with a floral Alice band of rose buds and gypsophila was a last minute purchase from eBay and only arrived two days before the wedding but I was really glad I wore it!”

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“I found my dress whilst shopping with my mum and sisters in Edinburgh in the wee boutique section of Miss Selfridge. It was stunning! The beadwork, lace and pretty little sleeves won me over. I loved the vintage vibe of the dress and I had not seen anything else like it. It fitted me perfectly, and the high waist detail made my petite frame seem taller!

My talented and good friend Julija created a beautiful silk slip for me to wear under the dress which finished it off perfectly.”

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“The bridesmaid dresses were a last minute buy from Primark. I never intended to spend so little on the dresses but they were so pretty and the girls appreciated a good bargain!”

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“We chose the amazing SD Photography to record all the special memories of our day. I met Sarah and Darren at a wedding fair. Their style is informal yet thoughtful and they are so brilliant at capturing relaxed, natural moments. Most importantly, they are incredibly fun and put everyone at ease on the day.

They also took Polaroid snapshots of the guests to take home.”

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16th September 2014

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.

berkshire wedding photographer, richard jones

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.

berkshire wedding photographer, richard jones

berkshire wedding photographer, richard jones

‘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.

berkshire wedding photographer, richard jones Continue reading…

16th September 2014

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.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Lucy Turnbull Photography

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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!).”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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