Well I think that we can all agree that 2021 was a bit of an “up down” year! It started off pretty poop, still in lockdown and the wedding world was crickets! But luckily, the wedding gods had our backs and summer time meant that we could go full steam ahead. BOOM! Wedding season was upon us! And it never felt so damn good to be tired, aching and pulling all night editing shifts again!!! So I wanted to go over all of my weddings from the year and show you why it was the best one yet!
Lianne & Matthew
First wedding after restrictions were lifted (a bit!) This wedding was kept small, wether there was still going to be restrictions or not, Lianne and Matthew were set that their wedding was going ahead. They kept it simple, registry office ceremony, and then it was onto the pub for the reception! In true UK weather style, it rained. ALL DAY! Of course it did! First wedding back after being a hermit, and mother nature decided to test me. But I love a challenge!
The bride wore a Ted Baker dress. Yes!!! Straight away the bride was dressed in style. SO obviously I was already in love! The thing that I loved most about this wedding is that even though they decided to keep it small, they still dedicated themselves to looking good! That’s something that I think that. a lot of couples having smaller weddings need to remember. It may be small, but it doesn’t mean it can’t look good!! (No crude pun intended!)
Unfortunately, the park where we wanted to do all the photos, was soaking! There’s no way that I could drag everyone over there in all their finery, to end up knee deep in puddles and mud. SO it was straight onto the pub to get the rest of the wedding underway! Luckily, despite all the rain still pouring down, we found some gorgeous little spots to get those photos done!
Feels great to be back doing weddings again!!
Venue: Bishop’s Stortford Registry Office/ Coach and Horses
Dress: Ted Baker
Cake: Family Friend
Sara & John
No we move onto Essex! Sara & John were supposed to have their wedding abroad in Spain, but you know, the dreaded “C” word halted those plans! So instead, they decided to throw a huge blow out wedding in the back garden. Yep, you heard it. A back garden wedding! Now Sara runs her own event planning & catering business, so already this wedding had a personal touch it to from the get go!
They had their ceremony at De Rougemount Manor in Brentwood. Luckily for this wedding, the sun came out to say hi, so we had plenty of outside places to get the photos done!
As for the reception, well, it was the most beautiful garden that I’ve ever stepped foot in! They had everything there, and even had a team working away in the kitchen feeding an entire wedding! I was beyond impressed. And they even had a live band and a bar snuggled in the garden too! Seriously, if anyone needs an event planned, give Sara a call! She really does do an amazing job!! There was cake, people hugging, singing, dancing. It felt so good to see people enjoying being around others again! And it was a sign for the more amazing weddings yet to come.
Venue: De Rougemount Hotel/ Home
Dress: Enchanted Bridal Boutique
Flowers: Jasmine Bleu
Cake: Avec Amis Cakes
Catering: Rosemary & Thyme/ Parlour Home Cooking
Bar: Party Buddy
Toast Master: Vince The Toast Master
Lois & Rob
I’m going to start off by saying, MORE WEDDINGS LIKE THIS PLEASE!! (Can you tell something impressed me at this wedding?) If any of you followed along on my Instagram in early July, you would know that this couple got tattoos done on their wedding day! Now most people would think this as a not very weddingey (total made up word) thing to do, but it was so refreshing to see something so different and something that meant so much to the couple. It wasn’t cheesey or tacky as some people might think. I honestly loved it and it was such a special moment to be a part of.
The venue itself was a quaint hidden away cinema, which just so happened to have a reception space above it. And above that, The Whispering Gallery where they held the ceremony. You couldn’t have asked for better natural light in a room! My dream of course!! Then it was on to the beach for photo time! Now, in true British weather style, the sun was out, but that damn seaside wind tried to have us flying off like Dorothy in the tornado! But still, it made for some interesting shots!
Lois and Rob couldn’t have been a more laid back couple if they tried! Such a breeze to work with, as well as everyone else at the wedding too! That’s what makes a day so beautiful. Not worrying about the little things, going with the flow and just enjoying the big day!
100% I need to get more beach weddings booked in!!
Venue: Dome Worthing
Dress: JJ House
Tattoo Parlour: Seafront Tattoo
Sara & Omar
For this wedding, I was heading back to Shenley Cricket Centre. I was first there back in 2018 for Lauren & Rebekah’s wedding, and now I was back for Sara & Omar’s! This wedding was the dried flower, pampas grass & huge bouquet wedding of my dreams! As soon as I saw the decor and colour scheme, I was in love! Can you believe that Sara is a maths teacher?! a maths teacher put this together! The maths teachers that I used to know wore sweater vests and smelled like moth balls. Oh how times have changed! However, this math teachers wedding was on point!
We had that perfect. kind of weather, a summer’s day, a bit on the cooler side so we weren’t sweating through our clothes, and that perfect overcast sky (if you know you know!!) so there was no sun dodging! This was one of the most relaxed weddings I’ve done. There was no chasing guests for group shots, rushing to fit the portraits in, we didn’t even really have to stick to a timeline as there were no speeches or a first dance. Simple right!
This is a reminder to couples out there, do what you like and what will make you happy. You don’t have to stand up and say thank you to everyone for coming, or dance when you really don’t want to. It’s your day!
I need to get more bookings here! It gets better and better every time I go back!
Venue: Shenley Cricket Centre
Decor: Dress It Yourself
Emma & Jack
My first wedding at Milling Barn, and I was excited! I’d seen so many photographers in the past shoot weddings here and I’ve been wanting to be one of them for ages, and I got my chance thanks to Emma & Jack! These two were the sweetest couple! And they had the family and friends to match as well!! A bit of light rain to start the day, some even fiercer winds to go with it, but it would take a hurricane to stop a wedding that everyone’s been waiting to go to after so long! Emma had thought of every detail for when she and her girls were getting ready, the matching champagne glasses, robes and slippers had them looking like the bride squad of the year!
It was crystal clear that these two were literally having the best day of their ives, those smiles never left their faces! And boy, did it show in their photos! Highlight of my day though 1000% was when Bridesmaid Olivia got the zip on her dress stuck. We ended up having to turn it into an open back dress with the help of a couple of safety pins and a few pairs of hands (it’s not just photography that’s my skill you know!) But she pulled it off like a champ in the end! Get it girl!
Thanks to this pairs stunning day, I’ve bagged myself a few more weddings here at Milling Barn, so keep those peepers peeled for more photos from this gorgeous barn!
Venue: Milling Barn
Dress: Wtoo by Watters
Hair: Hair By Cloe Nash
Make Up: Makeup by Michaella – Essex & Hertfordshire Bridal & Events
Flowers: Jane Maples Flowers
DJ: Wonderland Events UK
Videography: Moments By Wicks
Dawn & Mark
Ah! Dawn & Mark! These two were dead set that they were rubbish in front of the camera. Then we did their engagement shoot, and those worries of being camera shy were long gone! This is why I encourage my couples to have their engagement shoot, it puts of nerves at ease and shows you that everyone is amazing with the right photographer! This I think made them super confident on the big day. Even Mark was excited to go out for their portraits! The Grooms are normally the hardest ones to win over!! (Told you I was good at my job!)
Straight away the girls were ready to party. Champagne and food on the go, dresses everywhere, about 13 of us all in one room. Things were well on their way. Well there was 9 of them to get ready before the wedding! It was one of those weddings where I. think even if something did go wrong or there was something missing, no one would have noticed. They were having too much fun! And so was I! I cannot recommend this venue enough to anyone reading this. The team at The Barns at Alswick were beyond amazing! They made sure everything ran smoothly and perfectly, everything was on time, they were there to help in any way, and the food was bloody delicious!! I whoofed it down in one! The grounds at this venue too are stunning. There’s a bit out the back that looks like its out of a vineyard, but walk round the corner and you’re met with a scene from the secret garden! And there were so many ducks and sheep!!
When the evening reception started, that’s when things got even more interesting! Not only did an ice cream van turn up (yum!) but Dawn did a little performance for us all on the steel pans! Yes, our bride can play the steel pans! It was a total show stopper!! The entire wedding went nuts for it and it had to be one of the biggest highlights of my year! To any Brides or Grooms out there who have a special skill or hidden talent, please bring that to your wedding! Seriously!
I would happily spend. alot more of my weddings at this amazing venue, and with couples just like Dawn & Mark!
Venue: The Barn at Alswick
Dress: Gems The Dress Shop
Make Up: Victoria Moody
Suits: Ann Bridal Mr Mackys Menswear
Flowers: Amelie Floral Design
Cake: Nadia’s Cake Creations
DJ: Trez Entertainment
Steel Pans: Steel Pan In Motion
Rebecca & Kadeem
It seemed so long ago that Rebecca & Kadeem booked me to shoot their wedding. December 2019 to be exact! Can you believe how long ago that was! So much had happened between then and their wedding. I don’t think that I need to mention what! But they timed it so well as not one thing affected their big day! So it could go ahead exactly as planned.
Simple from the start. Just her, her mum and Maid of Honour getting ready in the morning. Not a flustered bride in sight! It. was onto the venue from there. Word of warning. Never try to cross the m25 on a Saturday afternoon! It’s mayhem! But we got there. And boy was that sun shining! If you don’t know what the outside of Reigate Hill Golf Club looks like, it has the longest aisle walk I’ve ever seen! Just as well Rebecca didn’t wear heels! But it was a beautiful ceremony. And Kadeem couldn’t hold back the tears when he saw her! Nearly got me going!
These two were an absolute laugh to shoot with. I think they were happy for me to just keep shooting away, no matter how long it took! Smiling faces all round!
Venue: Reigate Hill Golf Club
Make Up: Signature Faces
Chloè & Chris
Now this wedding was a special one! Chloè and me go way back to secondary school, so this one was personal! Getting that enquiry come through from Chloè & Chris made me grin from ear to ear! These two wanted me as their photographer! Eek! Obviously I said yes straight away, how could I say no?!
It was crazy from the moment I stepped through that front door the morning of the wedding. Hair being done over there, make up over here, Phoebe (their youngest) hanging off my leg, the constant flurry of people coming through the door. That’s how I feel the wedding prep should be. Everyone doing something, music and laughter throughout the house, the hussle and bussle of it all. Everyone getting excited about the big day ahead! Yaaassss!
We got to the church, but with 5 mins before the wedding was due to start, there was still no Chloè! Did we have a runaway bride here?! Of course not! Although I bet Chris was panicking at the top of that aisle! Turns out the traffic was crazy. Panic over! After the service, it was on the bus to the pub! Very British!
It was all go once the reception was underway. Music on, drinks all round, a few group photos thrown in there too! For the first time, I got to experience the speeches being done outside. It was actually my favourite thing. It didn’t feel as formal. I was even sat on the floor with the kids half the time! Plus there was plenty of space to move about if needed. 100% something I think couples should consider.
It was a truly amazing day. Chloè, Chris and their two girls were a beautiful family to work with! And their family and friends kept that party atmosphere going all day!
Venue: The Green Dragon, St Albans
Suits: Moss Bro’s and Ted Baker
Cake: Lauren Jeffrey
Make Up: Leigh Irving
Hair: Leigh Irving
Transport: The London Bus Company
DJ: Capital DJ Services-Michael Clark
Sarah & Steve
I wanted to start this one off with the review that these two left me after they received their photos.
“If you’re looking for a wedding photographer I highly recommend Helen! She was absolutely brilliant. She was so friendly and got to know us before the wedding! We were people that hated having our photo taken but she put us at ease in front of the camera! She was so helpful on the day and my niece absolutely adored her. She still talks about Helen ! She was so good with my whole family and listened to all my requests. We have just received our photos and it’s been really emotional because every single photo is superb! We are having trouble picking what ones we would like for our albums! My friends said the photos were like an OK magazine shot! I thank Helen with my whole heart for helping capture my magical day.“
I cried when I read this one. These words are the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about me and my work. I could tell how much the photos meant to Sarah & Steve, and it brings me so much joy that I could make their big day a forever memory for them!
Sarah & Steve’s day was pure perfection. I got to work with Enchanted Bridal Boutique, Vicki’s Florals and Perfect Event for what feels like the millionth time, but they are amazing people who are gifted at what they do! I mean, the photos are proof of that! Sarah & Steve told me at their engagement shoot that they weren’t good in front of a camera (if I had a quid for every time a couple told me this, I could quit working and live happily for the rest of my life! Haha!) Little did they know they were naturals. One of the best couples I’ve photographed. They relaxed and trusted me and the process!
Word of advice to couples looking for a photographer. Find one who you trust. One that you can safely know that they know what they’re doing!
This is a wedding that I will aim to get published! Magazine, blog, feature, I don’t care which. But more people need to see how beautiful their wedding was!
Venue: Manor Of Groves
Dress: Enchanted Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids Dresses: Needle and Thread and Sistaglam
Flowers: Vicki’s Florals
Hair: Tina Hair Studio
Make Up: Eliyse- Tanning Station
Decor: Perfect Event
Cake: Domeinica Torrano
DJ: Steve Meier
I just wanted to say a MAHOOSIVE thank you to every single couple that I got to work with last year! I would be the luckiest photographer in the world if I got to work with couples just like you forever!
Here’s to an amazing 2022!!