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.

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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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15th September 2014

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.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Jo Hastings

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.”

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