Category Archives: Advise

Merriscourt styled photo-shoot in the Cotswolds

A styled photo-shoot at Merriscourt, Cotswolds.

 

A few months back when the world had ‘stopped’, weddings instantly banned and for the foreseeable future, Lucy Noble Photography was no more. All that was asked of anyone was to sit at home and be patient.  (Bar the amazing key workers, of course)  I received a message from a friend, Richard, who runs Something Borrowed asking if I would like to take part in a styled shoot when things start to ease…You can imagine my response!

The styled photo-shoot was held at the gorgeous Merriscourt in the Cotswolds… what a place! (Even driving outside of Leighton Buzzard felt incredible – Freedom!! Never take it for granted) Walking in and seeing friends, familiar faces and all the BEAUTIFUL details being created to set the theme of the day. My heart was FULL!

It was a little surreal, of course, we where all social distancing but the same feel good familiarity of ‘being back in the game’ of weddings was trickling in every second I was there.

And jeez… I needed that!

I hope you LOVE this shoot as much as we all do, if anyone has any questions and would like more info then please reach out to any of us, we are eager to help you with your wedding planning!  🙂

Full credit list is at the bottom… enjoy! <3

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THE FABULOUS TEAM:

Concept and Styling: Something Borrowed Event Hire 
Concept, Cake and Biscuit Favours: Cherry Tree Cakerie 
Model: James Ashton
Table linen: Northfields Linen 
Photography: Moi

Reasons to be cheerful – Covid-19 and your wedding

 

Reasons to be cheerful

 

I know the title of this post seems a bit controversial – ‘Reasons to be cheerful – Covid-19 and your wedding’ but please bare with me…

I’m writing this with an air of caution because I am fully aware of peoples situations and how the Corona virus is affecting people on so many different levels, however I also know that now is the time to focus on any positives. I (understandably) have had many postponements of weddings just this week, when things should be kicking off as my busy season. I suddenly have a lot of time on my hands over the next few months. Yes, it’s a massive kick in the teeth for my business and my livelihood hood but I will use this time productively and get the things done that I say I never have enough time for and when this all blows over, I’ll be ready like never before to kick some butt for the rest of the year and beyond! 🙂

This post is actually about what one of my brides has told me this week, reasons to be cheerful! She had to postpone her upcoming wedding in April, I asked her ‘Now you have postponed your wedding, how do you feel and what are you looking forward to? Knowing that you will not be having it in the middle of the pandemic.’

Her response was beautiful and I agree with everything she has said so I wanted to share… . Weddings are full of emotion and each and every couple deserve to have the wedding of their dreams.

“I feel relief if i’m honest, don’t get me wrong it’s been hell the last few weeks all the uncertainty. Trying to organise everything to be moved but my suppliers have all been so supportive and I am actually so happy now that it has been postponed.

Knowing my wedding isn’t taking place in this horrible time means I am so excited for for the following, as I know that if I where to go ahead this would not be the case and it would have a very different feel to the day.

Firstly, most importantly knowing that all my family, friends and their families are safe. I would hate to hear later on that someone got severely ill from my wedding. Not to mention all the staff and wedding suppliers of course that will be working on the day!

That there is now a chance for all my family from overseas to come and that my Granny can come too!!! She was so so excited, it would not have been the same without her there.

I am excited that I can now hug and kiss everyone on my wedding day! ha-ha I will probably hold them all even tighter now once this is all over!! We will have a proper party and everyones spirits will be so much higher once we have come out the other side. Freedom party / wedding! Ha-ha.

It’s also all the little things now I think about it too, people will have nerves about it but still attend the wedding. I don’t want my friends and family on edge. I want to have my group photos, even having dinner with everyone not with people worrying in their heads that they are too close to people. I really want my dance floor full and not have the 2 meter apart rule in place currently.

I have lost count at how many times I have shed a tear over this but ultimately I know it’s the right thing to do and now it’s sorted, I feel so much more at peace with everything. Bring on the wedding!!! … All be it a little later than planned!”

I saw something floating around online which i thought was lovely too …

 

When this is all over…

… we will hug in the streets

… dance in the rain

… small talk over coffee

…swim in the sea

… eat delicious food in restaurants

….celebrate with out loved ones

And we will have a whole new outlook. Appreciate, grateful and treasure every moment. And until then … Let’s bring out the kindness in each other.’

~ Emma Gaunts

 

Stay safe everyone and lots of love to you all at this crazy and uncertain time.  Let’s all look for the reasons to be cheerful. Lucy x

 

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1 comment
  • mary kennedy

    Made me cry!  Beautiful post xxReplyCancel

Wedding Timeline : A helpful guide

A Wedding timeline is 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. A solid Wedding timeline and getting it all organised before the day is actually very important to make sure this happens! I send out a Final Details form approx. 6 weeks before the wedding 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 (1.5 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. Timewise, 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 on the day, 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 etc. 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 the room quickly and 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. It’s 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, feeding their baby – 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 (depending on time of year), 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 traditional 3 course dinner. Of course there are so many different options that your caterers can help you with timings.

Speeches (20-60 mins)

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

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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 just before your first dance as everyone is then already in place, together ready to watch your first dance. Saves a lot of time!  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 3 mins instead of 1!

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Boogie shots (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 1 hour 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.

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Mock Wedding Timeline

This is going off bridal prep, ceremony and reception all being at the SAME 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

8.30pm ~ Photographer leaves

 

This is a mock wedding timeline, 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!

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Booking me as your wedding photographer

Let me walk you through the process of what to expect when booking me as your wedding photographer …

  • 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 to be your wedding photographer 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 me as your wedding photographer! YAY! You send me back the booking form and Save the Date fee.

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Once booked, what’s next?

  • 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.
  • 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.wedding photographer

 

  • 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!

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After the wedding, is it time to say goodbye!?

  • 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!

Stress free wedding – A guide to group photos

Big group wedding photo

 8 top tips to give you a stress free wedding when it comes to your group photos!

Wedding planning can be hard, there is SO much to think about and after a vote over on Instagram most people wanted to know how to manage the group photos to insure a smooth running and stress free wedding day!

This section of the day without a doubt is the most tricky for the ‘strict’ timeline, as there are so many elements that could delay and often interrupt the flow of the day and take so much longer than people realise IF we do not have a strategic plan in place! I want to make sure YOU have the best friggin time EVER and still get these important photos in the bag.

Guests often tell me how quickly we get them done and thank me for it- Let’s face it, no one really wants to spend ages standing in a row feeling awkward… a drink in hand, laughing with other guests and making memories is always much more preferred by all!!

 

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Firstly I want you to know I appreciate how important these family group photos are. They are the photos you are most likely to look back on in years to come, and are likely to be the ones you get printed and framed! I am more than happy to do as many of these photos are you wish so please don’t think i’m being all ‘neggi’ vibed about it  but I do want you to realise the affects it will have on your wedding day, your timeline and the other photos I could be getting in this time. It’s all about getting the right balance and having a stress free wedding! 🙂

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So here are my 8 top tips to give you a stress free wedding when it comes to your group photos:

ONE ~ No matter how quickly I can get through these, they do still take some time. So accept it and be prepared to be away from the majority of your guests for a little while for the group photos that you want. If you keep postponing it on the day, it will only make the process take longer and feel like its being dragged out. Also remember that these are photos that YOU want so try to enjoy the process. We will have fun doing them!!

TWO ~Way before the wedding, think about what group photos you are likely to have printed, framed and be placed on the wall. Be honest with yourself, as its easy to get carried away here. It’s important to make sure you get the ones your REALLY want but also to have this balanced out, that you get to enjoy your wedding day and make the most of it with all your guests! (Not spending 2 hours having group photo after group photo for them only to be stored on a USB never to see the light of day and wasting valuable time on the day with your friends and family)

THREE ~ The group ‘formals’ usually happen in-between the ceremony and before you sit down to eat as mentioned above (unless its an extremely sunny day where I might suggest to do it later when the light is more flattering) so I recommend a MINIMUM of 1.5 hours from after the ceremony to when getting called to sit down to eat. This is if your ceremony and reception are at the same location, this does not include travelling time from A- B. Ideally 2 hours especially if you have more than 90 day guests.

I am not saying it will take 1.5/2 hours just to do the group formals (Geeze, can you imagine!) but this amount of time is great to get these formals done, some of your portraits, all those lovely candids, natural moments of guests and any details of the room before everyone enters! If you have less time you will feel rushed and as mentioned earlier, I want you to have the BEST DAY EVER and that isn’t going to happen if you spend most of your ‘down time’ having these group photos done.

FOUR ~ I recommend no more than 10 group photos, this includes your family and bridal party as from experience this is the best amount before you and your guests start to get frustrated. Usually you get around 1.5 hours after your ceremony and before you sit down to eat so again thinking about the timing of the day, 10 group photos will allow you to importantly have time with your guests, as well as me getting all the other moments detailed without it all feeling very rushed for both of us. Otherwise we will both end up missing valuable moments if we run out of time which nobody wants.

**Of course if you really do want more group photos then that is absolutely fine but please make sure you allow for more time, possible 2 or even 2.5 hours depending on your list. I’m very happy to chat this all through with you and figure out with you what the best course of action is for your own wedding day and needs.

 

FIVE ~ 6 weeks before the day I send you out a final details form which include the most popular group photos which you can add/edit and delete as every family is different. This allows me to know your priority list ahead of the day, I place these in a certain order to be most time efficient and for them to flow smoothly. IF we have have time on the day, of course I will do any more you wish but I will always work with my list FIRST.

** Remember I am usually with you all day photographing, I will be capturing many natural moments of your guests throughout the day and if you happen to see me wonder passed and want a quick informal photo with the group of people you are chatting with then please feel free too!

SIX ~ Assign x2 of your groomsmen/bridesmaids OR x2 family members who know the majority of people on your list to help me gather them. It’s far more likely to get done a lot quicker if i have help at this point as I wont know who these people are on your list to grab them.

SEVEN ~ Large group photo of everyone. I’m going to be totally honest here, unless i can get up high like out of a window looking down, the big group photos are not that successful. You simply cannot see everyones faces when I am stood at ground level with you all. I always have a hop up in my car which works fine for small wedding parties (approx. 60 guests or under) but anything larger I really need to be even higher than this, so think about your venue and whether this is possible or not.

This may then lead your decision as to whether using that time on your wedding day is worth getting one or not. The big group photo can take anything from 10-15 mins to achieve once everyone has been gathered together.

**I have found couples are actually getting less bothered about the big group photo of everyone. They would rather have the time spent getting those fun, natural shots of all their guests as this represents the day and them more.  However if you do want one, I usually try to do this straight after confetti OR just before you head in to sit down to eat. I ALWAYS have in the back of my head how to make your day run as smoothly as possible and it can often be a case of play it by ear on the day as the weather can also dictate when this happen.

EIGHT ~ Which brings me to realistic timings for the actual group photos. These 10 photos can take approx. 30 mins (not including the big group photo), there are SO many variables that can happen on a wedding day to slow this process down, it’s unreal. From nappy changes, sleeping babies, toilet stops, drink runs or even guests checking into their room or arriving later than planned, if you are having separate locations for ceremony and reception.

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My aim on your wedding day is to get everything I need and to still ensure you have an AMAZING time with your guests and that i don’t take up too much of your precious time.

I have photographed hundreds of weddings and I am fully experienced. Always very happy to help or answer any questions you might have so send me an email and we can figure it out together! I want you to have a stress free wedding!

You might find my blog post about WEDDING TIMELINES helpful, you can view this here.

Lucy x

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