Category Archives: Advise

TPS Events – Wedding Venue : Tring

tring park school

 

I photographed the gorgeous Katie and Sean’s wedding at Tring Park School, their wedding was such a success that Katie has since joined forces with Tring Park School and has officially launched TPS Events! An events company that caters for a limited amount of weddings each year at the beautiful Tring Park School. I was of course very excited when Katie got in touch and asked me to be their recommended supplier as I absolutely loved working there!

The venue itself is just perfect for that relaxed outdoor wedding vibe. Situated in the heart of Tring but well hidden, there is plenty of parking and you have use of the gorgeous grounds… and those grand stairs indoors are perfect for some creative portraits!

You can get in touch with TPS Events here to receive their brochure and more information.

Katie & Seans wedding day was super relaxed, a day focused on friends and family just having a great time. The highlight for me was the dancing! They had the most amazing band called Ceilidh Tree, which got everyone up dancing! ….Also the 90 year old ladies clearly having the time of their lives – If I can be like them at that age, I know I will be winning at life!

Here are a few words from Katie the bride!…

Anything you would personally like to share about your day?

I loved that we had a Ceilidh band which got everyone dancing, even the 90yr olds!

And it was so special having my nan join us for our first dance. She had been in hospital for months prior and we weren’t sure she would be able to come. She said she would be there, even if she was embalmed in the corner!

Any advice to future couples you have since learnt about the planning process/ wedding day?

At the end of the day, all that matters is you’re marrying the person you love, in front of the people who love you. Everything else is just extra.

Finally, what is your all time favourite image from your wedding day?

I have so many for such different reasons. The one of my brother playing (losing) Jenga / Betty and Jean pole dancing / Me seeing Brett (our friend who passed away) I will always treasure that photo. It’s the last one I have of him / The shot inside on the staircase / The group shot of everyone – literally my life in one photo / The emotion you captured during the speeches …. I could go on!!

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“Lucy my heart was in my mouth seeing our photos!
They’re simply stunning and beyond anything I could have imagined- thank you so much. You’re a magician.
Somehow you managed to capture the essence and love on the day, and seeing the photos felt almost like being there again! I was in tears going through them. I’m in tears writing this!
There just aren’t the words to be able to thank you for what you did- it was amazing xxx”
– Katie & Sean : Tring Park School

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Katie’s favourite suppliers from her wedding day:

Marquees: Guy at Lime Marquees

Catering: Anna at Anna’s Kitchen

Band: Will and Fred at the Ceilidh Tree 

If you are planning your TPS Events wedding in Hertfordshire or elsewhere, I would love to be your photographer & capture your special day for you… Please get in touch here.

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Whats the deal with Pre-wedding shoot?

Some people ask me –  ‘Whats the deal with a pre-wedding shoot?’

I do love a pre-wedding shoot, it means i get to hang out with my couples before their big day and get to know each other better! They can also see how i work and it helps to ease any nerves they might have about being photographed. *Bonus- you get to have some great images of the two of you in non-wedding attire!*

The best bit is that WE HAVE FUN! I encourage couples to be as creative as they like, be as silly as they like and just be themselves… together. This intern creates a much a happier, easier working relationship on the wedding day, the couples know what to expect, they are comfortable with me and they know that to be relaxed in front of the camera is the best way to be.

 

How does a pre-wedding shoot work then?

Pre-wedding shoots take place within 30mins of where I live but can be anywhere that takes your fancy! Perhaps you have a joint hobby, or a place were you got engaged? Or maybe, just to name a few, you just love reading/music/dancing/walking/eating?  These can all be interpreted into locations or props…

Location ideas: Gardens, train stations, old buildings, parks, a theatre, a library, a museum,  a graffitied skate park, garden allotments, the beach, the woods, a village or even a industrial area. The list is really endless!

Prop ideas: Food and drink, magazines, books, balloons, confetti, paint powder, bikes, space hoppers, blankets and wellies, fancy dress masks. What ever floats your boat! (Props are not essential at all but can add personality to your images)

So what to wear? There is really no right or wrong here, my only advise it to be comfortable and feel good!! However try to avoid tiny patterns as this will not show up very well in camera. Deciding on what to wear really depends on the type of people you are too. For example, I wouldn’t suggest wearing formal clothes when you are actually a farm girl at heart, or choosing a location with pretty flowers and greenery when you actually love urban, raw architecture! Do you see where I’m going with this? Be bold, be brave but ultimately be YOU!

My biggest tip of all, as I know nerves can sometimes creep up and give you stage fright! 😉 Remind yourselves before the pre-shoot/wedding day of what you are wanting from your photographs and why you are even having your wedding day documented in the first place. What do you want to see when you look back on your wedding day in years to come? Do you want to see laughter, love and happiness? Do you want to see  you with your husband/wife having a bloody good time (and look how young and youthful you look too! 😉 ) I know these are the key things I wanted from my wedding day…

So once you have figured out whats important to you, this will help when you have your pre-shoot… If you want happy, lively photos you know that you need to laugh at lot and move around a bit. If you want romantic, intimate shots, you know the two of you need to actually get cozy with each other and be intimate.

I want to see the two of you being a couple, I want to see you engaging with each other, your personalities! Not so much the two of you staring blankly at me down the lens . I will of course help direct and ease you into these emotions/positions and direct you in a very relaxed way but just be open minded and go with the flow, knowing in the back of your head what you would like the end result to be. I can create awesome photography but it takes team work to create something truly meaningful to the two of you and this is what I always aim for.

I am always posting lots of content of my Facebook page if you want some more ideas!

pre -wedding shoot

 Pre-wedding shoot


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Pre-wedding shoot

 

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Wedding Day Timings

Wedding day timings are often a daunting idea, after all its not often you have to plan such a big day! I always try and give my couples as much info and advise as possible to make sure they have a smooth and relaxing day.

I thought I would write about it in a blog post for everyone and to have it as a quick ‘go to’ if anyone if feeling a bit lost with it all. Of course every wedding is different and with so many different variables, you simply cannot say ‘one way fits all’ but hopefully this will give you a good understanding of how a ‘typical’ day runs.

My aim is to ensure all my couples feel relaxed, and enjoy the day as much as possible. Timings and getting them organised before the day is actually very important to make sure this happens! I send out a Final Details form approx. 4-6 weeks where I ask for your final timings, family group shots etc but at this point its very hard to change timings if needed and should be carefully thought about before this so this will hopefully get you going!

Bridal Prep (2 hours)

Always a fun part, getting ready to go out! =)

I recommend as a guide I have 1.5 hours with you in the morning before I need to leave. Thats 2 hours before YOU need to leave, as I always need to be one step ahead of you. 1.5 hours will enable me to get all your details shots like the dress, shoes, flowers etc The final stages of you and maybe some if your bridesmaids  getting your hair and make up done. You getting into your dress and hopefully some lovely portraits of you all ready to go!

Tips:

  • Have all your detail shots ready for me in one place so I can easily find them and do not have to disturb your preparations too much.
  • Buffer, buffer, buffer! Its always a good idea to leave some buffer time in the morning, so often times gets away from you and there is that last min panic, which is never really wanted. For your hair and makeup its usually takes about 1 hour each, (depending of course on what your having done) I would suggest adding another 15 mins in between the two for a toilet break, change of underwear or just enjoying a glass of bubbly! If you are having a hair and makeup artist, they will be able to give you more firm timings knowing what you will be having done in advance.
  • Always add another 15 mins onto how long you think it will take for your dress to go, especially if its a tricky lace up number. Remember the ladies at the bridal shop will not be there, who have had years of experience and can get it tight up quickly. It will most likely be your mum or friend that will be doing it for the first time.
  • Try to get your bridesmaids ready dressed before you plan to put your on, that way they can help you and hopefully have time for a few quick ‘final’ photos.

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Ceremony (30 mins – 1 hour)

I like to arrive 30 mins before the ceremony begins, to capture the Groom and any best men, along with guests arriving. I have a quick chat with whoever it is marrying you on the day to check if their are any rules I need to stick too and then be ready and waiting for you to arrive! Tip: I would recommend inviting your guests 20 mins before the ceremony is due to start to make sure everyone has arrived and settled before it begins.

Ceremonies last between 30 mins – 1 hour depending on if its a civil or church ceremony. Once you leave the ceremony think about the time it takes to move 60, 80, 100 plus people and then everyone is wanting to congratulate you! I would allow at least 15 mins at this point. I would suggest moving away from the doors so your guests can leave smoothly and encourage them to come and say Hi!

Often at this point its lovely to have a confetti shot! Add another 10-15 mins for this.

Finally a good tip again it to BUFFER! If your church is in a different location to your reception, think carefully about travelling from A-B. What if there is a traffic jam, road closure, the time it takes for guests to get to their cars and park up again. Its best to feel relaxed, than rushed for you and your guests!

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Arriving at reception to sitting down to eat. (2 hours)

This is the time to mingle and enjoy yourselves! A lot of things also needs to take place in this time. If I break it down into sections which is very approx as each wedding is different but you will need 30 mins for group family shots, 30 mins for portraits, 30 mins for mingling and 15 mins for detail room shots before everyone sits down. Guess what the extra 15 mins is for?! Buffer time! =) Encase its raining and we need to set something up indoors for photos takes time, or that missing guest who is needed for a group shot whether they have gone to the bar, stopped to get petrol en route, checking into their room, changing the babies nappy – the list is endless. If all goes to plan, whats another 15 mins spending with your friends and family on the happiest day of your life anyway and for me to capture all these real, honest and happy moments?! =)

Tips:

  • Ensure whoever it is you assign to help me gather groups are aware that this is happening, usually the best man or ushers.
  • Let people know ahead of time photos will be happening at X time so not to disappear if they are needed.
  • If its a beautiful sunny day, I like to split your portraits into 2 sections, 1 being at sunset to get some gorgeous, dreamy images so allow 15 mins in the evening for this to happen.
  • Often sunset is happening right through dinner time, so I may come and see if your able to pop out quickly in-between the mains and desserts.
  • Time, If photography is important to you and you love what you see in my work, its because couples have given me time to work my magic. For the portraits, its great for just the 3 of us to wonder off for a while uninterrupted by guests to concentrate on getting those beautiful images you want to hang on your wall!

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Wedding breakfast (2 hours)

Depending on how many guest you have, it usually takes 2 hours for you all to eat your yummy 3 course dinner.

Speeches (20-60 mins)

I would say usually they last 30-45 mins, its a good idea to give your speakers a time limit to stick too so things don’t over run.

Cake Cutting (5 mins)

This is often super quick and is usually done either just after mains for dessert or just before the first dance. I have found it flows really well on the later as you then head straight onto your first dance. You can get your DJ or band to announce that there will be cake cutting, followed by first dance straight after.

First dance (5 mins)

Your first dance lasts along as the song you have chosen. I will have to set up lighting before the cake cutting so its all ready to go. Often couples like to get everyone up dancing with them as soon as possible, I recommend doing this for your second song and not the first. Its tricky to get those beautiful images in low light so you are far more likely to get those stunning dance images if we have 5 mins instead of 2!

wedding day timings

Boogie shots (20-30 mins)

Such a fun time! I love to get your friends and family showing me their best moves on the dance floor. Stay on the dance floor and encourage your guests to dance in this time. I would hold off bringing out your evening buffet for at least 30-45 mins after your first dance, this is always a ‘clear the dance floor and make way for food’ which would be a shame if I had nothing to capture.

Mock Timings

This is going off bridal prep, ceremony and reception all being at one venue so make sure you add realistic times between A-B for travelling. I always work backwards from the ceremony and then follow on from there.

11.00 ~ Photographer arrives for bridal prep and shoots ‘details’

11.20  ~ Photographer shoots ‘getting ready’ images

12.20 ~ Bride gets into her dress

12.35 ~ Shot with bride and bridesmaids, or mum or dad and any bubbly shots if time allows

12.50 ~  Photographer leaves bridal prep

1.00 pm ~ Photographer arrives at ceremony to shoot Groom waiting etc

1.15 ~ Registrar speaks with bride

1.30 ~  Ceremony

2.00 ~ Ceremony finishes

{I recommend 2 hours from end of ceremony to when you get called to sit, remember this doesn’t include any travel time}

2.00 – 2.15 ~ Congratulations! Lots of hugs and Hi’s.

2.15- 2.45 ~ Group shots

2.45- 3.00 ~ Candid shots

3.00- 3.30 ~ Portrait shots

3.30-3.45 ~ Candid shots

3.45 – 4.00 ~ Detail shots of the room and tables

4.00 ~ Guests called to sit

4.15 ~ Wedding Breakfast

6.15- 6.45 ~ Speeches

6.45 – 7.30 ~Buffer Time, Roomed turned over, guests check into rooms, freshen up. Perfect time for some gorgeous golden hour portraits if we have the weather for it or perhaps some indoor flash work.

7.15 – 7.30 ~ Evening guests start to arrive

7.50pm ~ Cake cutting

7.55 pm ~ First Dance

8.20pm ~ Photographer leaves

 

This is a mock timing of a wedding day, there are lots of variables to consider but hopefully this gives you a rough idea. Almost every wedding I attend doesn’t run on time, things happen on the day that is out of our control! Whether its the weather, a car breaking down or your waiting for guests, if in doubt add 10 mins here and there throughout the day, if something happens you will be glad of that extra time and if not, as mentioned before you just get to enjoy more time with your loved ones! Win Win!

I speak to all my couples about their wedding day timings indiviudally and make sure we can create the best possible timeline for a relaxed, fun day that runs as smoothly as possible! Happy planning!

Budgeting for an informal, fun wedding day

Ah the B word, always on everyones mind. Everyone is on a budget in some shape or form, the key is to prioritise and spend where you personally think is important and cut back on things that your not too fussed about. If your going for an informal day there is no reason to splash the cash everywhere! There is something quite satisfying knowing you have created a truly amazing day and stuck to your budget!

So below I have a few things that you can cut back on depending on your prioritise to help you save some dollar! …

Venue

I have attended all sorts of amazing venues, some are very pricey though right? Might be worth seeing if you can have a mid week wedding or an ‘out of season wedding’ as often you will find its much cheaper to have your dream venue this way! Alternately, do you have a friend or relative who has a nice big garden or even a farm or sorts? This is a perfect way to reduce costs, I have shot some amazing relaxed back garden weddings, and have been so much fun!

Guests

Ooh this is a hard one right!? A dilemma I hear all too often (myself included!) If you are wanting to keep costs down, keep your guest list down. Only invite people the two of you personally want there, its your day! You can always invite plus ones, groups etc to the evening shindig. Don’t feel the pressure of possibly upsetting people, they should understand and if they don’t they will get over it! Weddings can be expensive, why spend your precious budget on people you do not feel close to, when you could spend it on other things that you love and create the day of your dreams!

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Transport

Unless your a petrol head or have always imagined arriving in vintage/ classic or cool car, its not a necessity! You could see if anyone you know has a cool car you could borrow for the day, or even get a taxi! Not often do people even see you arriving either as they are ready waiting in the ceremony area. Even better, if your ceremony is at the same location as your reception you don’t even need one at all!

Dress

More and more I’m seeing brides rock up in a dress they got off the high street, and they look awesome! This can save you a bomb. Asos, Topshop, Zara and Monsoon are just a few that have some gorgeous dresses. Alternately, watch out for sales and or sample deals from bridal boutiques. I also see the same for bridesmaid dresses, we got ours from Asos and they were perfect for the relaxed, fun day we were after.

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For the men

Same applies! Chinos, Converse or Vans, there are loads of neat looking ‘casual’ wear that can be worn, tied in with a funky bowtie or braces etc, jobs a gooden.

Cake

You can save a bundle hear too, why not make your own? Or go to M&S and then stamp it with your personality! We ended up going to Costco and bought a load of cookies as these are our favourites, it was great fun the day before making a cookie tower!

Hair and Makeup

If your not confident with doing your own makeup and hair, do you know someone who is? Alternatively, you could pop down to a department store or Boots and get a free makeup session! There are also places like MAC where you can book in an hours session which can still be cheaper than getting someone to your house. For the hair, you could ask your normal hairdresser, if they do it. Its will probably be cheaper going to a salon.

Food

Why not ask your guest to bring a dish if your going for an informal, low key day, this can be a great way to get your guests involved. Think of the great british bake off! Or a buffet, BBQ is often a cheaper alternative to the full 3 course sit down meal.

budgeting for your wedding

Decorations

This is where you can get creative and have your wedding day about the two of you! Go to charity shops or car boot sales, you would be surprised at the goodies you can find! Recycle your jam jars and tins, with a bit of ribbon / fabric these can look so pretty with some flowers in. Think outside the box, you do not need to spend a fortune here, often pre wedding sites are also full of brides selling bits and pieces. You also could go to a supermarket and go crazy in there flower section instead of paying for a florist to do all your tables.

budgeting for your wedding

Favours

Are you a baker? Make something! Are you an artist? Draw a cute little picture. How about making little badges for all your guests to wear? This can also be a fun way to get guests involved, each one could be different! To be honest favours are getting less and less popular, they often just get left on the table and forgotten about. Money down the drain!

Invites

Want free invites? Use Facebook or email or create a free website. This will save you on stamps too!

Button Holes

This doesn’t have to be flowers but if you want them they only need to be a few pretty flowers tied together with string. Again i’v seen badges for the groomsmen, we made pinwheels for our seaside wedding. Look on Pinterest for ideas!

Music

Bands are awesome but can be pricey, DJ’s are a cheeper alternative or even set up your favourite play list and have it for free! You would just need to spend a little on lights and speakers, again you might no someone who has just the stuff! Below is a grooms dad and family friend playing the music!

Photography

I know you have heard it before, photography is important. Its the lasting memories, the only thing that you have left from the day to look back on. You have your dream photographer in mind, how can you keep your budget in check? Winter or mid week weddings can sometimes be cheaper, and although can be risky, booking them last minuet can also save you some dollar!

 

The Process, what to expect when you book me as your wedding photographer

Let me walk you through the process …

  • You browse my website, read some of my blog posts and check out my Facebook page or even my instagram account to view a little more ‘behind the scenes’ shots. Your getting excited and love what you see! Great!
  • I receive your enquiry about your big day. I see if i’m available and if I am do little happy dance from behind my computer, I send you over my wedding brochure which is full of information.
  • We then meet for a chat! I love to meet my couples over a drink somewhere or if your too far away a Skype/Face time call is always great too! I show you some albums and leave you with a pack full of info.
  • You decide to book! YAY! You send me back the booking form and Save the Date fee.

pre -wedding shoot

  • I photograph your pre-wedding shoot. (If your having one) This will take place a minimum of 6 weeks before your wedding day. This lasts approx. 1 hour in a location of your choice. We will have a wonder  around, get to know each other better and have some fun, capturing some amazing images in the process.
  • I post a few sneak peeks over on my social media sites, where you can share with friends and family. 2-4 weeks later you will receive your full gallery on a protected online site.
  • 4-6 weeks before your wedding day I send you over the Final details form, this is for me know the timings of your day and any family group shots you would like. I have a scan over the info you send me and check there are no ‘red flags’ that could cause problems either with the running of the day or that could interfere with what I need to capture for you. This ensures we are all ready and don’t have to worry about a thing on the day!
  • Wedding day has arrived! YAY! Time for you to relax, eat, drink and have some fun. I’v got everything covered, just as planned.

  • Honey moon (or Mini moon) time! Whilst your whisked off as newly weds there will be a few sneak peeks shared on my social media sites, then the full gallery will be ready 6-10 weeks from your wedding date depending on the time of year.
  • Expect an exciting parcel!  You will receive your USB of all your pre-shoot and wedding images as well as a few goodies!

the process

  • Want more!? Hell yeah! You get back in touch and ask to meet up as you would love an album, we get excited looking over all the images again and I design you a gorgeous album.
  • Thats where our journey ends =( I love to hear from my couples though, keep in touch! Let me know what your up to and if you produce a little family, I’ll be ready with my camera if you want some photos!

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