Jen & Tris’s Chiddingstone Castle Wedding

Jen & Tris had a fairytale wedding day at Chiddingstone Castle in September this year. When I arrived, the girls were getting ready in the bridal suite and there was such an excited atmosphere. One of Jen’s bridesmaids was styling Jen’s hair and the bubbles were flowing. Jen asked me to pop down to The Orangery ahead of their guest arriving to get some pictures of the amazing flowers and I was blown away. The incredibly lovely Paula Rooney – Luxury Wedding Florist was working away and she rushed over and gave me a massive hug, she is just as amazing as her stunning florals! I loved seeing her arrive to see Jen with her bouquet, such a wonderful moment and I am not sure who was more excited! Jen’s Mum had made the bridesmaid dresses, each one looking totally gorgeous and Jen’s Sarah Jank’s gown was simply stunning! The Castle is such a grand setting and the bridal party made their way over to The Orangery where Tris was waiting and were serenaded by music from a harpist, it had such a quintessentially English Country Garden feel to the moment with all the florals around. After their ceremony, they had drinks and canapés on the lawns, served by Kalm Kitchen, I just love how they decorate and present the food, it looks so pretty! A magician wowed guests and left them wondering how he did the clever tricks! Their table names were after pop starts and everyone enjoyed a fine meal together before some epic speeches. Tris’s brother had totally nailed it on speeches, singing a song with lyrics for Tris and totally blowing everyone away with a recorded message from Nick Faldo as Tris a keen golfer and a meet and greet with his life long love affair with  80s classic star, David Hasselhoff! The evening reception started with the guys cutting their stunning cake, crafted by the amazing Cakes by Krishanthi before hitting the dance floor for their first dance. Jen had bought some ‘Mr & Mrs Beech’ paper bags to light up with candles but the damp evening had got to them. In a bid to put a smile on Jen’s face, Lucy (my lovely assistant) and I managed to prop them up and with a little bit of off camera flash trickery, the Mr & Mrs Beech shone through.

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Heather & David’s Mount Ephraim and JoJo’s Whitstable Wedding

On a sunny day last summer, I met a lovely couple who I’d been emailing for a few months ahead of their trip from Australia to the UK and I was thrilled when Heather and David booked me to capture their wedding, they were such fun to be around and their plans sounded fabulous. While they were over, we met up for their engagement shoot in Whitstable and we were treated to one of the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever seen, you can see more here. Rolling forward to this September and their big day had arrived with family and friends travelling with them from across the world to celebrate their wedding. I arrived at a cute coastal cottage in Whitstable where David and his family were getting ready and Skype to the family in Australia were in full swing. David gave his best man a stunning vintage pocket watch and David opened a super sweet present from Heather. I left my brother, Andrew Dean Photography, capturing the rest of the morning and David’s journey to the ceremony and headed off to Heather and her girls at Mount Ephraim. Heather had seven bridesmaids so there was such a bubble of excitement and activity where she was getting ready. The house and gardens looked amazing with garden games set out and the epic dinosaur chocolate mud wedding cake looked and smelt divine! I loved the ceremony space, Heather making her entrance down the flowing staircase to David at the bottom! After their ceremony they were piped out and blitzed with confetti and led everyone to pimms and afternoon tea on the lawns. They had some lovely speeches before we went for a walk for photos in the stunning gardens. The weather and light that day was the kind that makes my heart skip a beat and the portraits were bathed in glorious golden light! It was time for everyone to jump onto a vintage London bus and head to JoJos’ Restaurant in Whitstable for the most scrumptious meze. I loved their dinosaur and bird theme and their friend had illustrated their table plans which was just amazing, I think she thought I was a new stalker as I love birds so much I was rather enthused about the epicness of her illustrations! There were more speeches after the meal and lovely David made me well up with his kind words which meant so much and I’ll never forget! After this a pudding buffet was served with the centre stage being stolen by a giant meringue tower and a rustic cheese board before the tunes started! Heather and David took to the floor for their first dance and I just love these images, so many beaming smiles, like they had been for their whole day and each time I met them. It has been a total joy walking this journey with these guys and you can’t help but get whisked away in the romance of their day in these images……Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - www.rebeccadouglas.co.uk Continue reading

Emily & Callum’s Bright Wedding at Horsted Place Sussex

Emily and Callum had a bright, bold colour popping wedding day at Horsted Place in Sussex in August this year. It was such a grand setting for their day and we’d talked a lot in the run up about the weather and if it would hold for their outdoor ceremony. I arrived to find Emily and her bridesmaids getting ready in the suite and I was blown away by the flowers, created by Emily’s friend Rebecca Morris Flowers – such an epic mix to bring the bright rainbow theme to life! I loved the bridesmaids gifts that Emily had commissioned, a bespoke typography frame with quotes from their friendship. Lady luck was indeed on their side and the outside ceremony they’d dreamed of was able to take place. The bridal party were serenaded with music from elegant string, The Kingston Quartet and Callum was beaming as Emily walked down the aisle. They had a lovely drinks reception on the lawn and we just managed to capture some portraits before the rain arrived as they started their wedding breakfast. The details in the reception room were gorgeous and the colours looked fabulous. Their favours were epic, with a picture of them both printed onto the M&M sweets, it totally added colour and fun to the tables! After their meal we slipped out over onto the edges of the golf course as some gorgeous light had arrived. I love slipping away at this point of the day, its a moment to press pause and I remember the guys enjoying this time, just to take stock as the day was going so quickly. Their friends and bridesmaid Jemma is in a band J.E.M. and they got the part started in the evening as the guys invited everyone to hit the dance floor with them.

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Lesley & Jon’s Oxon Hoath Wedding

Lesley and Jon had the most spectacular day at Oxon Hoath, near Tonbridge in Kent back in August this year. Getting to know the guys along the way has been so much fun, we chatted regularly by email and bounced ideas around for their plans. Lesley approached my ahead of last Christmas and asked if I would shoot a boudoir session for her as she wanted a pamper day to celebrate her epic efforts in her healthy lifestyle. We got on like a house on fire and I was so looking forward to giggling my way through their wedding day. When I arrived at Oxon Hoath, I was blown away by all of the pretty DIY details Lesley had been working on for months. The delicate blend of lace, pink and sage looked so whimsical and the amazing flowers by Distinctly Floral were mesmerising. The girls were getting ready in the main suite and the bubbles were flowing. When Jon and his grooms party arrived I joined them for some photos in their suite and there was a heart stopping moment. Jon said ‘I’ve got to go, I’ve got to leave’, everyone thought he was messing around but he continued to grab his keys and as he fled the room he said ‘Lesley can’t know…..what’s the one thing you need to get married’. He’s forgotten the rings and was about to make the 50 minute round trip with only 20 minutes to go to the ceremony. So, I spoke to the registrars and ‘Operation delay tactics’ commenced. I knew how important photos of Lesley with her bridesmaids and their cute son Jake were, so we kept shooting. I was keeping everyone distracted, but one of the bridesmaids started to wonder how many more photos there would be, so I had to tell them so they could help me delay her. We went for photos in the suite at the front of the house and I spied Jon’s car returning, aagh, I thought, ‘oooooooh, let me just close these shutters as the light is quite harsh’ it what I said to style it out and so his return was masked. Lesley was completely unaware until the ceremony when the registrar said ‘no, who has the rings’ and sniggers and giggles erupted around the room as the guests all knew. The penny dropped and everyone laughed and afterwards, Lesley said she had not idea and couldn’t believe we’d kept her so blissfully unaware! She’d said I could share this story, as it was such a thread through their day! The rest of the day went swimmingly and after dinner, they said they wanted to head off for photos and I’ve gotta high five them. We climbed stiles and fences to get to the lake and create some really memorable photos. When darkness fell, we went up to their room and I went to a room along the corridor to capture a beautiful moment on the balcony! There evening party was complimented by my photo booth which we set up in the old library using the books as the quirky backdrop! It has been so much fun making the journey to their wedding and afterwards in building their luxe album to cherish their memories in.

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Travel: Iceland – The Golden Circle: Geysir, Gullfoss, Thingvellir

I am just back from Iceland and I don’t really know how to begin putting the trip into words. It has been a game changer for me, I’ve never travelled that much but this trip has given me the bug. It is somewhere I have always wanted to go and I was actually a bit scared of going to the only place I’d had on a pedestal for so long. I did geography at uni, I’d studied it for its glaciers and volcanic activity. Mark, my hubby, did a PhD in Solar Physics and studied things linked to the Coronal Mass Ejections, basically the flares that cause the aurora borealis when the flares hit the earth’s atmosphere. It was always going to be a geeky trip for us, there was no denying that as it was the place where our two academic worlds overlap. Our kittens are called Solar and Atlas……after our two fields of fascination!

I’d been so busy in the run up, with lots of weddings, our own anniversary and lots of family birthdays, getting 15 albums designed for couples for Christmas print deadlines and moving into my office and I hadn’t had the time to think about it, as it was a frantic fortnight before we set off! Before I knew it we were on the plane experiencing that exhilarating thrust as we were thrown into our seats as it tore up the runway. We had such an amazing flight with Iceland Air, with TV screens and map data, I was in my element tracking our route to Keflavik!

I am going to break my posts down as we saw so much, so writing these is as much of a travel journal for me as it is to share and evangelise about this amazing country with anyone who finds themselves here reading this post. Here’s our first couple of days arriving and exploring The Golden Circle – Geyir – Gullfoss – Thingvellir. This post has a selection of images from this day, if you would like to see more or would like to purchase prints, please click here for the online print gallery.

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Emma & Paul’s Gate Street Barn Wedding

 

Emma and Paul had a beautiful wedding at Gate Street Barn in Surrey this August. It was such treat to shoot for them and getting to know them along the way to their big day has been wonderful. I first met them when I shot Paul’s sister’s wedding back in 2012 (Lauren & Henry’s NYE Wedding is here) and when the contacted me last summer about their wedding I was really chuffed to hear from them. On the journey to their wedding, they had some wonderful news, Emma had fallen pregnant and would be 7 months on their wedding day, so plans for a long haul honeymoon changed a bit! They had fallen for Gate Street Barn and it is easy to see why. Nestled away in idyllic countryside, it was just perfect for their rustic day. The girls all got ready at The Radisson Edwardian in Guildford in a luxury suite and there was a real bustle of activity while Emma was pampered by the lovely Sophia Wyatt. I swooned over the florals by talented Gill Pike Florist, such a beautiful bouquet of roses and textures! We all set off to the barn where Paul was waiting nervously and I’ll never forget him waiting and wondering if he should turn round to see gorgeous Emma. After their ceremony we headed out into the garden for their drinks reception and group photos before their meal. I loved all of the florals in jars and jugs and the sprigs of corn on each place setting add real elegant feel to their rustic theme. Before their first dance, the sun was dipping down and lighting up the clouds in the fields near by. We spotted the tractor and the logs which just had to be explored before heading back in for their first dance and I left the whole family cutting some serious shapes on the dance floor! I have just put their images into their stunning Luxe Album and in the same week as we were finalising the order, their gorgeous little girl arrived. Wishing this very new family a lifetime of happiness together – mega congrats guys!

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Travel: Tuscany

Earlier this year we travelled to Tuscany, to a little village nestled in the ‘hills’ called Villa Collemendina. We’ve not had a week abroad where we’ve stopped and relaxed since 2008, what with Mark finishing his PhD, building the business and saving everything to buy our first home together, other things took priority. It was a much needed break after a busy few summer months packed full of lovely weddings and we were in for a visual treat with the scenery. We travelled with one of my best friends and her family and arrived at Pisa before jumping into a transit van sized people carrier and headed for the ‘hills’. I say ‘hills’ as the villa description called them that, but we were heading into mountains and I had never seen scenery like this in my life. One of my mental ‘i-spy’ tick list items were the Cyprus trees and our driveway was lined by some, I don’t know why but I just love them! We arrived just before sundown and were in awe of the panoramic views surrounding our home for the week. We spent a lot of the week relaxing by the pool but also headed out to take in the scenes and sights around the area. I loved winding up the mountain roads, as with each hair pin turn there was another wowowow-aaaah moment with a new view across a valley opening out. Villages clinging to ridges, clouds rising like cotton candy, trees gently swaying in the breeze and the sunlight bathing everything, adding glistening sparkle. So, here’s a post with a few of my favourite shots from our travels…….Tuscany Mountains Landscape Corfino La Spieza 0087 Continue reading

News & Gratitude: I have moved!

Well, 2014 has been a total whirlwind year and I am in the midsts of a whirl right now! I am very excited to announce that over the last week, I have moved to a lovely new office in Ashford. After building and running the business from home, like a lot of people do, it felt like after 4 years I was ready to spread my wings and have a dedicated location. I’d been on the look out for a little while when I spied this gorgeous suite, full of quirks including the old medicine cabinets and vintage fire place, I knew I’d found the one! I got the keys last week and with the help of my darling Mark, we moved me in over the weekend. We spent most of our 7th wedding anniversary weekend, lugging and upcycling lots of furniture finds for the office. Today the internet was installed and so I am here, penning this post from my new office.

One thing that had become apparent was my yearning for a space to run my business, meet couples that was dedicated so that I could start to see a divide between work and home and have a place that I call work. When I did my degree in geography one of the concepts we looked at was the importance of space and a sense of place, through which we negotiate our lives and develop a sense of belonging. Photography has been something that was for a long time a hobby or past time and so it occupied the home space, but as the transition happened and then since I have been full time, it has seemed out of place at home, for home is not a true place if work is in it. There is such a blurred line between something that is your passion and work, as every fibre of your being loves it, but a process of separation needs to happen. For me when my business was at home, there wasn’t a line in the sand where I would stop working as the kittens were around, Mark would get home and could sit and chill in my office and I’d plod on and be working all day, most evenings and shooting at weekends. Being self employed is a funny beast, there are no fixed hours and a lot of the time, there is the ‘hidden work’ that onlookers don’t see. I shoot 1-2 days a week and then the behind the scenes editing, admin and activities to keep the business heart beating are vast. So, the office marks a new era, where I will be coming in on regular 4 days in the week as I shoot nearly every Saturday, but go home in the evening and having two days off per week, like normal employed folk do with a Monday – Friday job – woohoo!

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And now, this is where I am going to get a bit emotional and gush……………

When I arrived here just before 8am today, I felt a renewed energy as I’d come from home, made the short commute and arrived at work. There was that hunger inside me to grow ideas that have been twinkling away from my metaphorical ‘ideas shelf’ and I am totally hyped about the future.

I really am so truly thrilled and excited to be here and thank all of my couples, families and clients, past, present and future who’ve invited me to be part of their journey as without you, I wouldn’t be here. The first things I put up in the office were the thank you cards and post I get from you guys, you make my heart burst with joy and these sit facing my desk to motivate and inspire me to keep growing, creating and being the best I can be for you all.

High fives to all my lovely industry cronies who I am proud to call friends, I love you guys and the lovely community we share.

Most of all I am grateful for my family and friends. They have supported me every step of the way and stayed by my side through a lot of absenteeism as I invested every waking hour to my business.

Lucy & Chris who not only are great mates but helped me lug things yesterday and Katie & Lewis who visited to celebrate last night.

Lydia, I will ‘be still’ sometimes but you’re always there to support me.

Our family friends Mick & Bev who I worked for while at school, who taught me so much about running a business and their help and friendship over the years.

My Grandad and late Nan, who cared for me and nurtured my love of nature while my parents went to work and taught.

My musical and artistic Grandad who with Grim, encouraged me to take creative risks, try things and learn.

My brother and sister for just being epic, sharing creative enthusiasm and being great friends too.

Mum and Dad who are both creative souls and would see us spend time with craft boxes (start of my paper/stationery addiction) rather than TV.

And last but by no means least, my darling husband, risk averse to his soul who constantly takes leaps of faith in my ‘everything will be ok’ carefree nature and has stood back to let me grow, he really is a true soul mate.

So, here are a few instagram snaps (how naughty to not take proper ones!) of the journey over the last week into my new office. I can’t wait to meet folk here soon!

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Autumnal Apple Fayre at Perry Court Farm

Its not often I take my camera out and just shoot anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE photography and what I do, but days off are filled up with life admin (boo!) and catching up with precious people (yay!). Today, Mark and I did said life admin and then headed out to Perry Court Farm near Ashford, as I’d seen their ‘Apple Fayre’ advertised as I drove around town and it sounded rather lovely. And indeed it was, today was one of those days where it was good to be outside, appreciating nature. I was surprised to learn that they grow over 200 different apples and so many of them were on show today. We both fell in love with the Farm Shop, it is so well stocked, now we know its there we are getting excited about shopping each week and buying locally grown produce. I love that our local Willesborough Windmill produce flour, can’t wait to make some bread with the raw ingredients being made just a mile from our house! Life has been galloping along at such a pace since we moved here 13 months ago that we’ve not had time to explore. This little afternoon out in the October sun with my boy by my side has filled me with contentment and to top if off, our garden was being bathed in glorious golden sun and the last of our pink cosmos looked so pretty, I had to grab a few shots. We’d sewn seeds of wild flower mixes and this one has still been going strong through the start of autumn. The kittens came out to play too before we headed indoor for Yorkshire Tea and more of Mark’s left over birthday cake! Hope you all had a great Sunday enjoying the fabulous weather.

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Chic and romantic wedding inspiration at a French Chateau

So, earlier this summer, I set of with a fabulous team of suppliers to head to a French Chateau in the Picardy region for shoot full of destination wedding inspiration. We arrived at the tiny, sleepy village of Neuvillette, and were wowed by our glorious location, the Chateau Neuvillette. Its just an hour and a half from Calais and I always marvel at how refreshing it is to be close to such vastly different architecture and landscapes. I was thrilled with Jenny at Bellaboo and Beau  came on board to lead on styling the shoot and as our brains collided we pulled together two completely contrasting shoots. I have always been an admirer of Karen and her dresses at Rock the Frock Bridal and wow did she have some beauties for Sarah to wear for this shoot! So elegant and timeless with a real wow factor when teamed with 
hair accessories by Evie Oliver 
 and the veil by Dornellie 
 The statement mint suiting was from a tailored range by Moss Bros and the colour is just wonderful! The as-maaa-zing hair and make up looks were created by Veriry of Vanity Box and it was even her birthday on shoot day!
 The sublime rustic flowers were designed and made by talented Fiona at Anemone Blue Florist, I just adore her use of colour and texture! I was thrilled that lovely Kate and Steve joined us with videography by Skinny Boy Weddings, their work just blows me away every time!
 Jaw-dropping jewellery designed for the shoot was by amazing artisan Ami Blastock Jewellery and the show stopping sweet pea cake was crafted by wonderful Liz from Sylvia’s Kitchen – the detail in the design makes me tearful and I am in awe of her work! The charming stationery complete with French love quote was designed my Emma who owns ELS Designs Wedding Stationery
 . The pretty lace garters are hand made by talented Charlotte of Atelier Rousseau as well as the lovely horse shoe. Styling and epic accessories that you’ll see in the images showcase the skills of Artcuts  who make lovely bespoke letters, the lovely ladies at Bubblegum Balloons 
and gorgeous papery pretty decorations from Pipii. This shoot was such a treat to work on with each supplier so passionate and skilled in what the do and all of us sharing the ambition to work on destination weddings more.

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Check out the video of what we got up to:

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