Copper and Blossom Photography: Blog https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Kate Southall (Copper and Blossom Photography) Thu, 08 Apr 2021 13:55:00 GMT Thu, 08 Apr 2021 13:55:00 GMT https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u861892250-o485018666-50.jpg Copper and Blossom Photography: Blog https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog 120 120 How to Get the Most from your Family Photoshoot https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/how-to-get-the-most-from-your-family-photoshoot One of the benefits of the last 12 months is that people have discovered a new love of the outdoors. Personally, I've always enjoyed getting out into nature and have been offering outdoor family photoshoots since I first started my business - they are one of my favourite services to offer! I realise, however, that the concept of an outdoor photoshoot is still a bit of a mystery to some people so I thought I would talk you through a typical shoot and discuss their many advantages.

What does an outdoor family photoshoot involve?

I offer outdoor photoshoots for family groups and couples. This can range from newly-engaged couples through to larger family groups of two or three individual families including grandparents. Shoots normally last around 60-90 minutes and take place in a location of your choice. I'm always happy to make suggestions for lovely places to visit if you need some guidance. The shoots are always relaxed and fun - the key is to put you at ease so you are as natural as possible in front of the camera.

Why should we book one?

Apart from having a lovely day out with those that are closest to you:

1) You get to have some fun;

2) You make some everlasting memories;

3) You will receive lots of beautiful images;

4) You ALL get to be included in the images (rather than having a phone camera roll full of photos of everyone else except you!).
 

Where are the best locations and when is the best time of year for a shoot?

I find this question really tricky to answer because, for me, there is no wrong answer! Everywhere is a potential location. I've run photoshoots in beautiful parklands, in bluebell woodlands, in the middle of a city, in pretty villages, next to a lake and along canals. I have even had a photoshoot take place on a farm.  

The truth is, as long as there is enough light available then there are always photographic opportunities to be found. Every location and season has something to offer. Winter offers the perfect opportunity to capture some really intimate family portraits, getting families to snuggle up in their hats and scarves. Spring brings warmer weather with the opportunity to capture blossom trees and vibrant greens. Summer is all about having fun, utilising vibrant colours, playing with (or near) water and seeking out amazing sunsets. Autumn still offers warmth with amazing colours to match. Puddle jumping and umbrella swinging are just an added incentive! 

Making the most of your photoshoot

1) Think about your outfit

With the photoshoot taking place outside, the most important thing to consider is dressing for the weather. It can be a great idea to wear layers - not only will this ensure you stay warm if it is a little chilly, it also offers extra outfit options for the pictures. Also bear in mind that you should wear an outfit that feels comfortable - you want to be able to relax during your shoot so don't wear anything that you feel self-conscious in. Busy prints should be avoided as they can look dated moving forward so the best idea is to keep it classic and simple. Finally, think about how all of the outfits will work together. Try and choose complimentary colours. 

2) Don't put too much pressure on yourself 

Photoshoots can be quite daunting for adults and children alike. Many of the people that book me say that they feel self-conscious in front of the camera. In particular, I find that they children often need a bit of time to understand what the photoshoot involves before they can truly relax. This is why I always try and make the photoshoots fun from the very start - the more relaxed you all are, the better the final photos will be. Toys and props can be helpful (and a welcome distraction if children are getting a little bored!) but very often the surroundings can always be utilised for fun games.

3) Make it into a day out

If we are meeting for a photoshoot in a beautiful location, why not turn it into a day out? Bring along a picnic to enjoy once the photoshoot is over or head to a place where you can arrange to meet friends and family afterwards. 

Hopefully that gives you a bit of insight into my outdoor family photoshoots. If you are interested in commissioning a shoot, please take a look here for more information or drop me a line.

Alternatively, if you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate for a loved one, please get in touch to discuss the various options available.

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) children's photography family family photography family portraits gift ideas on location outdoor photography outdoor photoshoot outdoors photoshoot https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/how-to-get-the-most-from-your-family-photoshoot Fri, 09 Apr 2021 13:03:00 GMT
Wedding Retrospective https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/wedding-retrospective A few weeks ago the government announced their roadmap out of lockdown. Since then we have seen cases continue to fall, the vaccine rollout continue to be successful and then yesterday, the good news that we had all been hoping for, it was announced that Step 2 can proceed as planned! 

When the roadmap was announced I decided that I would set myself a little challenge to count down the days to "normality" and also spread a little love and positivity. Ever since we hit the milestone of there being 100 days to go until all restrictions are lifted, I have been posting one wedding photo a day on Instagram, working my way back through each of the weddings that I have photographed one by one. All being well, I will post my 100th wedding to coincide with Step 4 of the roadmap and therefore mark the end of the restrictions.

I've enjoyed the challenge and have been grateful for something positive to focus on. I can't believe that I am already 25 weddings in... thats 1/4 of the way closer to the end of the restrictions which definitely makes me happy! It's been lovely to go back over all of the weddings that I have photographed - there are so many happy memories attached to each and every event and I'm enjoying being reminded of the details and moments that made each wedding unique.

Below you will find the 25 weddings that I have shared so far. From intimate weddings in Chippenham to large wedding celebrations in the Cotswolds. From canine guests to beautiful sunsets and space-hopper races. From my most recent wedding on Christmas Eve 2020 through to a beautiful intimate celebration which took place in September 2019. To see that I actually managed to shoot 25 weddings in the space of 15 months is actually pretty amazing considering everything that happened in 2020. It's all down to my wonderful couples and their tenacity and determination to make sure their wedding dreams became a reality!

I'm excited to continue my retrospective further back in time and see what wonderful photos and memories I can uncover. If you want to join me on the journey, please follow me over on Instagram. I still have 75 weddings to share before I reach my goal!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswolds wedding photographer instagram Somerset wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wedding photographer https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/wedding-retrospective Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:02:00 GMT
How to Combat a Restless Mind https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/how-to-combat-a-restless-mind Do you ever find yourself coming up with analogies to help describe the way you are currently feeling? Perhaps it's just me but I currently feel like a pinball machine - I just can’t seem to switch my brain off! It’s something that I find particularly noticeable in times of slower activity which, with a vast reduction in my ability to undertake photoshoots and weddings over the last few months, pretty much sums up my current situation. 

When I have client work to focus on, there is a clear path - I can easily schedule my time around the important tasks that need to be completed such as photoshoots, editing and admin.  But during this time of slower activity, my brain still wants to be just as active. With less client work to concentrate on my brain is suddenly filled with an infinite amount of potential tasks - old tasks that were discarded before they were complete, half-baked tasks that needed a dose of inspiration and new ideas ready and waiting to be explored. With so many potential paths to follow I find my brain pinging back and forth like a ball in a pinball machine. 

An idea will pop into my head which I’ll flip around, only for it to bounce back and forth and be lost a short time later. Over time (maybe after a week or two, maybe after only an hour) the idea will be back, flipped around and lost all over again. In the meantime, other ideas will come and go, bounce around and be lost the same way. It’s too frenetic - the ideas move too quickly and I just can’t seem to slow them down. I desperately want to remove the never-ending supply of ideas and settle on just 2 or 3. That way, I can exchange my pinball-machine brain for a game of snooker instead. I can stand back, view the ideas from all angles and then, only when I’m ready, make my move in a steady and measured way.

Sound familiar? If so then perhaps the following strategies will help:

Free-writing

Put pen to paper - it’s as simple as that! Grab a notebook and a pen and just start writing. Brain dump all of the thoughts that you have swirling around, either in the form of a list or, as is my preference, a stream of consciousness detailing any little thing that pops into your head. You can set a timer or aim for a certain number of pages. I normally find that around 15 minutes is a good amount of time for me to start feeling more focussed - I’ll grab a cup of coffee and by the time I’ve finished drinking, my thoughts will be much more coherent.

Take a break

It’s amazing how stepping away from your desk can clear your thoughts. If I find myself in a never-ending loop or find that my brain just can’t settle on one task, I’ll force myself to step away for a period of time. I find that this isn’t normally cured by stepping away just to make a hot drink. Instead, I’ll try and get out for a short walk or, if I’m at home, take a shower. I find that by tricking my brain into thinking about something completely different, I can cut through the noise and focus on what is important - a bit like rebooting a computer by turning it off and on again!

Talk it out

Often, actually talking about all of the ideas that you have swirling around in your head can help you put things into perspective. Make some time to chat to a business buddy who understands what it is like to be running a small business. You’ll soon work out which ideas are worth spending extra time on and which ideas you can put aside for another day (or are worth forgetting about completely).

I'm intending on starting this new quarter by taking a step back and practicing all of these strategies in the hopes that I can transform my pinball-machine brain into the aforementioned snooker match! Do you have any other strategies that you find helpful when your mind is racing? 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) business advice business tips top tips https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/4/how-to-combat-a-restless-mind Thu, 01 Apr 2021 06:45:00 GMT
Getting Personal https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/3/getting-personal Excuse me a moment while I push myself out of my comfort zone! Alongside my brand refresh last month, I made myself the promise that I would share more of "me" in my copywriting, on my blog and on my social media channels. 

I've been guilty of using my brand as a bit of a shield for far too long. It's easy to hide behind the professional facade, to simply say, "this is what I do" and let my photographs do the talking. When it comes to weddings, I am constantly telling people that if you love the photos I have taken in the past then you'll love what I can do for you. It's only once people have scratched the surface and shown an interest in my services that I reveal more of "me" by suggesting we meet face-to-face (virtually or otherwise) to see if I am the right person for their event.

The fact is, I don't like being the centre of attention and sharing anything too personal just doesn't come naturally to me. This is especially true when it comes to my business, I tell myself that no-one will be interested to learn more about me, at least initially. The fact remains, however, that people buy from people. When it comes to purchasing a service, customers are more likely to invest when they like and trust the person providing that service. I am confident that when clients do book me it's because they know I am the right person for them. I therefore owe it to my potential clients, and also to myself, to be more visible in everything I do online.

That doesn't necessarily mean sharing my face more (although that's obviously part of it!) but sharing more of my day-to-day business life, behind the scenes, what I'm struggling with as well as sharing my triumphs. It definitely isn't something that is going to change overnight but I am determined to at least try!

In addition, after chatting to a couple of friends who encouraged me to do so, I have made the big decision (at least, it's big from my point of view) to start writing more personal blog posts. I've always enjoyed blogging, showcasing the weddings that I have photographed and writing "top tips" style posts that provide advice and guidance, but I've decided that there is so much more I want to say.  Specifically, there are things that I want to explore relating to running a business as an introvert, about approaching day-to-day business tasks from a quieter and more gentle perspective. 

It's taken me a long time to realise that you don't need to shout the loudest to be a successful business owner. Most of the advice that I come across is predominantly aimed at being loud and extrovert in order to be successful - the "tell people you're the best and they'll come flocking" approach. The whole "fake it til you make it" mantra just feels so alien to me! What happened to being authentic and genuine? It has never sat comfortably with me and, the more people I speak to I realise that there are lots of small business owners out there that feel the same. 

It's an ongoing process of discovery and I still have a lot to learn but I hope that by exploring some of these ideas on my blog, I can use it as a reminder for myself in the future as well as helping others that might feel similarly. If it helps you learn a little more about me along the way then that can only be a good thing! 

I realise that I've waffled on for rather a long time so I'll leave it there and simply say "watch this space"! I've rather a long list of blog posts that I am eager to go and write!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) business advice business tips introverts toolkit personal https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/3/getting-personal Wed, 10 Mar 2021 14:37:27 GMT
Brand Refresh https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/2/brand-refresh You may have noticed that things have changed a little around here. In fact, a few weeks ago I made the decision to refresh my brand. The end result has been an updated logo, a revamped website and a general overhaul of my current branding to make sure it is consistent and to bring out more of my personality.

My branding has actually been something that I have been tinkering with for quite a while but it wasn't until I invested in two courses, Illumination with Kate Cullen (to work on the visual side of the branding), and Audacity with Jess Collins (to delve into the copywriting) that things started to really fall into place.

One of the biggest obstacles, however, was the worry that there was a contradiction between my branding and my photographs. What I mean is, as a photographer, my images already have a defined style - they are vibrant, colourful, strong and detailed. But heres the issue, I viewed my branding, which I felt was a physical representation of my own personality, as being softer and more gentle. It didn't feel right that the branding didn't quite represent the photographs that I take. I hadn't realised how much this apparent clash had been holding me back.

The original Copper and Blossom logo

 

Consequently, I spent a lot of time feeling confused and wondering whether I would be better off completely changing my brand. My head has been saying I should let the current branding go, to move on and build something new. But deep in my heart I knew that I couldn't do it. I love it too much! When I rebranded 3 years ago, I put my heart and soul into my brand and I ended up with something I loved, something that was distinctly me.

The fact remained, however, that my business brand and my photographic style seemed at complete odds. Was there anything I could do to consolidate the two? The answer, I assumed, would lie in any similarities that I could find.

Going back to basics, I resorted to pen and paper and made a list of how I viewed myself, my approach to business and how I interact with my clients and then compared it to my style of photography. I was hoping to pinpoint the similarities so that I could use these as the foundation for the brand.

After a few minutes teasing out the similarities it suddenly struck me that my brand already represents both me and my photography. I don't think I really quite appreciated the reason why I was so drawn to the business name in the first place. Copper AND Blossom. That small word, "and", resolved everything that I had been worrying about! The brand is soft AND strong, it is quiet AND bold, it is analytical AND creative, it is detailed AND whimsical as well as being so much more. The copper with its hard edges, is balanced by the soft blossom and when combined they create something completely unique. Just like you receive something completely unique when you combine my personality and my photographic style. My brand identity is exactly what ties the two together. The hard and the soft, the copper and the blossom!

With this reassurance, I made a start on reassessing the foundations of my brand, starting with my brand colours and my logo. The brand colours didn't need too much work. I was already happy with my colour palette but I still made a couple of small tweaks. What was causing me more of an issue was my logo. I loved my original logo but the more I looked at it, the more I saw the flaws. The colours weren’t quite right and the quality was too low. I made some decisions regarding what I was happy to adapt and what I wasn't willing to compromise, and set about making some changes. The end result is something much more refined and I couldn't be happier! 

The all new Copper and Blossom logo

 

Although the structure of the logo remains very similar, I decided to completely replace the floral details. I wanted vibrant and joyful colours to provide a link back to the photographs that I create and I also wanted more detail. I opted to use individual floral motifs to give me additional control over the final result which could then be used individually elsewhere. Final tweaks included additional refinement to the hexagons themselves and a tiny change to one of the fonts. And there you have it! I am totally in love with the end result and looking at it just puts a smile on my face! It's vibrant, detailed and joyful just like my photographs and I finally (FINALLY!) feel that my branding encapsulates everything that I wanted - it's a representation of me, it's a representation of my photographs and I really hope that it speaks volumes to my potential clients.

There is still a lot of work to be done to bring out my brand personality across the rest of the business but I feel so positive to have taken this first huge leap. I feel so much happier and proud of my brand identity and I'm really excited to see what happens next! 

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) behind the scenes branding business business development logo https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/2/brand-refresh Fri, 12 Feb 2021 11:45:00 GMT
Jodie and Davids Festive Wedding https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/jodie-and-davids-festive-wedding Jodie and Davids wedding at the end of last year was my first ever Christmas Eve wedding and my second wedding at the Great Tythe Barn during 2020 - you don't know how strange it feels to say that after so many weddings were postponed!

Jodie and David booked me for their celebration after quite a few twists and turns. Their wedding was originally due to take place earlier in the year but they unfortunately found themselves in the position of having to postpone. So postpone to 2021 they did. However, as the months rolled by, they decided that they didn't want to wait and were determined to get married in 2020. With the tier systems falling in their favour, they were able to go ahead with their 15 guests and also hold a sit-down reception.

Not only did I breathe a sigh of relief on their behalf that it could all go ahead but the weather cooperated too! The day before had seen torrential rain storms but on the day of the wedding, the sun came out! We made the most of the glorious (although a little chilly) day and and took as many photographs outside as we could - how could we not with a tractor providing a fantastic backdrop?! In fact, David requested a special photo with the tractor that you will see below. Bridal boutiques and dress designers - fear not! He didn't really clean the tyres with Jodie's dress! The tractor made another appearance, alongside a herd of cows and a multitude of wellington boots, by featuring on the amazing cake. 

It was a lovely day and a lovely way to round off my 2020 weddings. Thank you Jodie and David for allowing me to be a part of it!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Jodie or David).


 




 

Suppliers:

Venue - Great Tythe Barn
Flowers - Little Gems
Cake - Kimmis Cakes
Catering - Manor Events

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) Christmas wedding cotswolds wedding photography gloucestershire great tythe barn great tythe barn wedding great tythe barn wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding tetbury tetbury wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography winter wedding https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/jodie-and-davids-festive-wedding Tue, 12 Jan 2021 16:23:22 GMT
How to Find Your Wedding Suppliers https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/how-to-find-your-wedding-suppliers 2021 is here and, one thing is for sure, starting a search for wedding suppliers is going to be very different this year compared to previous years.

I am a firm believer in Wedding Fayres - I think they can be an invaluable source of information. Not only do you get to chat to potential suppliers, you can also pick up inspiration and top tips to help you with your wedding planning journey. I have to tell you that it feels really very strange to not be busy preparing for wedding fayres, especially as January and February tend to typically be the busiest season for them.

Why are January and February busy months for wedding fayres? Well, its the double whammy of a huge increase in engaged couples following Christmas and New Year proposals alongside the fact that January 1st brings a mild panic to other couples who start to realise "we're getting married this year - we really must get organised!". It also helps that January and February are typically quieter months for wedding suppliers allowing us the time to actually attend the fairs in the first place!

So with wedding fayres currently unable to go ahead, where should you start your search for suppliers? Here are a few ideas and pointers to get you started.

 

 

Do a Google search for suppliers local to your wedding venue

Initially I had this point listed as "search for suppliers local to you" as this makes it a lot easier to meet up in person to see if they are the right supplier for you. However, I think it is much better advice to suggest looking for suppliers that are local to your wedding venue - the chances that the supplier has already worked at your particular venue are going to be pretty high which always makes things simpler.

Also, once we are out of lockdown and weddings are able to go ahead again, the chances are that we will find ourselves once again in a tiered system. If you book suppliers that are based in the same region as your venue then you remove any issues that might be caused by your supplier having to travel between different tiers. In this current climate, it pays to keep things as simple as possible.

 

 

Ask friends and relatives for recommendations

If your friends and relatives were impressed with the suppliers for their wedding then take that as a glowing recommendation! Also, if you attended a wedding where you really loved the cake, the DJ, the catering, don't be afraid to ask them who they used. That being said, don't fall into the trap of booking a supplier just because "my Aunt used them". Do your research and check that they are the right supplier for you - you may find they aren't quite the right fit and you are looking for something a little bit different.

Look through online directories

Wedding directories are a great starting point to find suppliers that are based in a particular region. Some are huge and cover the entire country, some are more niche and cater towards weddings of a particular style. Find a couple of directories that seem to be speaking your language and dig for the gold! Some directories promote suppliers that pay extra fees to be featured in their banners but scratch the surface and you will find a veritable mine of suppliers at your fingertips. I would recommend The Whitewed Directory for weddings taking place in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the surrounding areas.

 

Scour Wedding Magazines

With many of us locked down at home, why not take some time out and purchase a wedding magazine to read over a cup of tea?! If you prefer digital content then there are lots of magazines available online and some of them have even made their content available for free for the foreseeable future. County Wedding Magazines is one such magazine which, as a bonus, publishes a multitude of regional issues.

Make use of Pinterest

I once had a bride that found me because she had searched for her wedding venue on Pinterest and came across some of my images. It might be worthwhile employing the same tactic and then following the trail wherever it leads... Who knows, you might find some amazing inspiration and ideas along the way!

 

 

Ask your venue for their preferred suppliers

If you are at the point of already having secured a venue then ask them who they would recommend. Many venues will provide this information at the time of booking, for others it will be listed on their website. Most venues list the suppliers who they have worked with before and can vouch for their professionalism. However, I'll leave you with a small word of warning - some venues only list suppliers that have paid to be listed (or who give the venue a cut of any booking they take). Thats not to say that the suppliers aren't worth using but just be cautious, do your research and make sure that you are booking them for the right reasons.

So there you have it, my top tips for locating wedding suppliers while wedding fayres are on pause. Are there any other places that you would recommend looking for suppliers? Let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice inspiration top tips wedding wedding advice wedding photography wedding planning wedding suppliers wedding top tips wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/how-to-find-your-wedding-suppliers Sat, 09 Jan 2021 20:28:51 GMT
Word of The Year - 2021 https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/word-of-the-year---2021 Have you heard of the concept of having a "word of the year”.⁣ Take a look at my blog post from the start of 2020 if you are intrigued but, essentially, it is a word that you choose to live by throughout the course of the year.

Rather aptly, my word of the year for 2020 was "breathe". I chose it because I wanted to remember to take a breath when things got too much, to get away from my desk for a breather, to give projects time to breathe so that I could go back with a fresh mind. It was also to remind me to take a moment, pause, breathe, and take it all in.⁣

Of course, as the year unfolded, this word took on a whole new meaning. Essentially, it evolved into "just keep breathing" (the irony of choosing that word when the world has been living through a global pandemic caused by a respiratory disease has not been lost on me!). It became a mantra to tackle each day when things felt difficult - if I can just keep breathing then I can get through this day, this week, this year...

As we come to the end of the year and I reflect on my choice, it certainly helped me through some of the tougher days. It definitely helped to keep my stress levels down when they were in danger of hitting the roof. A simple deep breath and knowing that "this too shall pass" helped me face the unknown with a better mindset than I may have done a few years ago.

So where do I go from here? "Breathe" helped me to focus so much more than I had been anticipating that I am loathed to let it go! But let's face it, it isn't something that will magically disappear as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Over the last 12 months it has become engrained in my day-to-day life and will always be there to help me when I need it. Despite this, it is time to look ahead and really think about what I want to achieve over the course of 2021. Where do I want to be this time next year? I want a word that will sit alongside "breathe" and help guide me in my goals for the coming 12 months. For that reason, I have chosen:

Simplicity

2020 has had its fair share of overwhelm but it also made me realise that I overcomplicate things a lot! I feel the need to go over the top and overthink and worry about things more than I should. Less is more but I find it a very tricky principle to apply in business. I always want to be offering more, including lots of little extras, going that extra mile and then a mile more! I suppose it comes down to lack of confidence.

As a photographer, you buy into me and my style - the end result is the photos and everything else is window dressing. Yet I can't help but feel thats not enough - my inner critic forever lacking the confidence to stand up and be proud of what I do. I need to learn the art of keeping things simple. Anything confusing and complicated is being confined to a metaphorical waste bin! That goes for everything from the photographic packages I offer through to the plan to rehaul my website and even casting a critical eye over my day-to-day life by reducing clutter, both physically and mentally.

The end goal hasn't really changed from last year - to ultimately be more mindful about everything that I do. I hope that "simplicity" will be the right word to guide me in my approach. 

Have you chosen a "word of the year"?

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) personal word of the year https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2021/1/word-of-the-year---2021 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 10:40:12 GMT
2020 Wedding Photography Round-Up https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/12/2020-wedding-photography-round-up Where do I start?!

This time last year, my round-up blog post was full of hope and excitement for 2020. It was due to be my busiest year ever with lots of lovely new venues to explore alongside returning to some of my favourites.

I could easily dwell on what could have been. For example, 2020 saw...

21 postponements
6 months of no weddings
5 cancellations

But instead, I'm going to focus on the positives...

32 new bookings
21 wedding celebrations that I managed to retain in my diary
14 ceremonies that WERE able to go ahead
10 beautiful micro-weddings
9 amazing pre-wedding photo sessions 
3 styled shoots
2 published articles
Runner-up in the Chippenham Business Awards
A fantastic photoshoot giveaway
A published front cover

It's been a year like no other but if the smaller, intimate weddings have shown me anything its that love is not cancelled!

I've tried to collate a few of my favourite images below and, despite only shooting half the amount of weddings than I was expecting, I still struggled to narrow down my selection! I can't wait to see what 2021 will bring!

 

 



 

















 









 

 





If you are still here and stumbled across this blog post because you're getting married yourself, please get in touch if you would like to discuss your requirements. My books are very nearly full for 2021 and I am already starting to take bookings for 2022. 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham wedding photographer documentary documentary wedding photography gloucestershire wedding photography london wedding photography reportage reportage wedding photography somerset wedding photography swindon wedding photography the magic of the moment wedding photography weddings wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/12/2020-wedding-photography-round-up Mon, 28 Dec 2020 09:25:46 GMT
Helena, Tom and Their Lockdown Beating Celebration https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/11/helena-and-tom After already having to postpone their big day from earlier this year, I was excited to hear that Helena and Tom were eager to go ahead with their celebration in November despite the restrictions on guest numbers. Their plans had already undergone some transformation - not only had they swapped their early Summer celebration for a late Autumn one, they also decided to change their reception venue so that they were located closer to the Church in order to cut down on travel times.

Unfortunately, additional last-minute changes were required. With just a week to go until their newly arranged date, word started to spread about a potential second lockdown but Helena and Tom, instead of letting it get them down, decided to try and bring their wedding forward. I am so glad that they were proactive because, within 24 hours, the dates for the second lockdown had been confirmed and all weddings that were due to take place during that period had been prohibited.

How they managed to get everything arranged in such a short space of time, I'll never know!  But by moving their wedding forward by just three days they were thankfully able to beat the lockdown. They had managed to rearrange the date with all of their suppliers, update their guests and, I'm sure, spend a frantic few days getting everything prepped and ready for their earlier-than-anticipated big day! 

When the day arrived I was so happy to see that the sun was shining beautifully - a great omen for the day ahead! Starting at Bowood for the Bridal Prep, we were soon on our way to the Church in Devizes which was presided over by a family friend. The readings were especially emotional and the final blessing, given by Tom's Mum, made it that extra bit special!

From the Church, it was back to Bowood for their intimate reception where we were able to take advantage of the grounds just as the sun was starting to set for their couples portraits..

It was such a beautiful day and, despite their restricted guest list, I really did get the feeling that everyone was overjoyed to be taking part in such a wonderful celebration. There were many happy tears throughout the day and an overall sense of relief that Helena and Tom had managed to beat lockdown and finally say I do!

Congratulations Helena and Tom - you did it!!!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Helena or Tom).


 

Suppliers:

Reception Venue - Bowood Hotel
Dress - Hen House Brides
Hair - Claire Guy
Flowers - The Floral Studio, Purton
Cake and Favours - Cakes by Mrs F
 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bowood bowood wedding bowood wedding photographer bowood wedding photography calne calne wedding calne wedding photographer calne wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/11/helena-and-tom Sun, 29 Nov 2020 15:32:27 GMT
Katherine and Chris https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/katherine-and-chris It has been a couple of years since I last worked with Katherine when she commissioned me to take some business branding images of her for her new website. I was therefore pleasantly surprised (and rather excited) when she got in touch to ask whether I had the availability to photograph her wedding which was due to take place in a matter of weeks.

Of course I jumped at the chance. It's always lovely to reconnect with former clients and be there to capture the next part of their story!

Their ceremony was to be very small, with just 4 guests, and I was happy to be able to provide them with some advice and guidance regarding what to expect having already photographed a post-lockdown wedding at the Chippenham Registry Office.

Being a garden designer, I expected nothing less than for Katherine to have a beautiful bouquet and it didn't disappoint! Chris's buttonhole was equally as lovely - all created by the talented Jill Jeffries!

Following their intimate ceremony, I accompanied them back to their house for a few portraits in the back garden where their two dogs excitedly got involved! Then there was just enough time left for me to capture the surprised looks on their faces as their son and daughter revealed they had secretly been gathering video messages from all of their loved ones who were unable to make the ceremony. Such a brilliant surprise!

Katherine and Chris very kindly left me the following testimonial once they had received all of their images:

Kate was our photographer for our tiny Covid-19 wedding in October. She and I had worked together before on some professional head shots so I knew she was really good. She was able to guide us through what would happen at the Registry office about photos and also operated our camera for us so we could record the ceremony for our families who couldn’t be there. Afterwards she joined us at home and her ability to be completely unobtrusive meant that she captured some wonderfully candid shots of the whole event.

We have already had hours of pleasure looking back at the pictures and remembering the day. She has helped us capture it really vividly and there are some completely wonderful shots I will treasure forever.

I would recommend Kate without hesitation.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Katherine or Chris).




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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswolds wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/katherine-and-chris Fri, 30 Oct 2020 16:42:33 GMT
Sam and Rob - Embracing the Micro Wedding https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/sam-and-rob---embracing-the-micro-wedding As with most couples this year, Sam and Rob have been on a huge rollercoaster. Their wedding plans were relatively relaxed from the very beginning, knowing that they wanted an intimate celebration with their closest friends and family. When weddings were restricted to just 30, they adjusted their guest list and planned to go ahead accordingly. Of course, then came the news that weddings were being reduced to just 15. They decided to go ahead and, in Sam's words "get married in our jeans" with the guest list stripped right back to just two guests - Sam's children.

It's the smallest wedding I have photographed to date but I was overjoyed to see that they had been able to set up a Zoom link so their friends and family could watch the ceremony from afar. I felt really quite privileged to be there but also felt the extra pressure to capture the story of the event including capturing the interactions between them and the laptop in the corner!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Sam or Rob).

 

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswolds wedding photography gloucestershire great tythe barn great tythe barn wedding great tythe barn wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding tetbury tetbury wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/sam-and-rob---embracing-the-micro-wedding Thu, 22 Oct 2020 11:33:27 GMT
Six Ways to Pay Tribute to Absent Loved Ones on your Wedding Day https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/six-ways-to-pay-tribute-to-absent-loved-ones-on-your-wedding-day Twenty years ago, my Dad died.

If you've read my About Me page then you will be aware that he was a keen photographer and directly influenced the path that led me to where I am now. It makes me sad that he didn't live to see me set up my own business and build it into the success that it has become. I know he would have been proud of me but I truly miss the conversations that we might have had, the guidance he would have provided and the experiences we might have shared along the way.

I get emotional at weddings at the best of times but the two moments guaranteed to strike me right in the feels are watching the Bride being accompanied down the aisle by her Dad and listening to the Father-of-the-Bride speech. Lets just say that I am often thankful that I have a camera to hide behind!

With memories of my Dad swirling around my head this morning, I started thinking about how I would celebrate his memory if I were ever to get married. For my sisters wedding, she brought along a teddy bear that she had bought as a gift for my Dad one Fathers Day. Teddy Pugh was an integral part of our childhood so it felt fitting that he was there on her wedding day. He sat on the gift table and presided over the days events. To everyone else, he was just a cute bear sat in the corner, but to us, it made us all feel like Dad was there with us on that special day. 

Lets face it, at most weddings there is normally someone important who is missing. It can be a be an extremely emotional day if it is a parent or sibling of the Bride or Groom that has died. Most couples therefore decide to acknowledge their absence in some way so I thought I'd put together a few ideas to help you do just that...

Acknowledge them in the speeches:

This is perhaps the most obvious way to acknowledge those that are missing. It is traditional for someone to raise a toast to "absent friends" but I would suggest that you speak to whoever is intending on giving a speech to ensure that someone has this particular toast on their list (you don't want duplications but you also want to make sure that it isn't forgotten because everyone assumes that someone else is doing it!).

Save them a seat:

They can't be there in person but there's no reason why you can't save them a seat. At a recent wedding, I noticed that the entire back row was reserved for family and friends that had been lost. A simple name placed on each seat and a sunflower ensured that their memory was kept alive in the hearts of all that attended.

Light them a candle:

Another idea is to light a candle for your loved one (or loved ones). This can often be incorporated into your ceremony (especially for celebrant-led ceremonies) to provide a moment of reflection and involve them more directly in the day itself.

Keep them close by:

On a few occasions, I've seen Brides attach a locket to their bouquet containing the photos of their loved ones. It means that you can carry them with you all day and keep them close by. 

Create a memory table:

I've seen some lovely memory tables created for absent loved ones containing framed photos, candles, flowers and trinkets. It doesn't need to be anything excessive - do whatever feels right. A simple vase of flowers or a collection of candles can be enough. The important thing is to keep it meaningful for you. 

Celebrate their memory:

A final way to include your loved ones in your wedding day is to incorporate something specific into your plans. It could be that you serve their favourite dessert at your wedding breakfast or you include their favourite song at your evening reception. Perhaps they had a favourite poem that could be read out during your ceremony or they had a favourite flower that you include in your bouquet or buttonholes. The possibilities are endless!

The most important thing is to do what ever suits you best. It can be a shared moment of reflection with all of your guests or it can be kept as a simple, personal reminder that only you are aware of. It's your day so do what's right for you and no-one else!

 

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) wedding advice wedding ideas wedding photographer wedding planning wedding tips wedmin wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/six-ways-to-pay-tribute-to-absent-loved-ones-on-your-wedding-day Wed, 07 Oct 2020 14:51:38 GMT
Philippa and Michael https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/philippa-and-michael In August, despite their big day being postponed from May, their guest list having to be reduced to just 30 and with face masks required during their Church ceremony, Philippa and Michael were determined to say "I do" and I was so happy to watch them do so!

As with many of my couples from this year, through our various conversations, the discussions regarding postponed dates and the last-minute changes of plan, I feel like I've gotten to know them so much better than I would originally have done. It meant that I felt that I had extra emotional investment (and I get quite emotional at every wedding I attend!) in their big day so goodness knows how they were feeling!!!

There were emotional face-time calls to loved ones who couldn't be there in person, there was an amusing incident at the Church which had Philippa giggling all the way down the aisle and there were smiles and happy faces a-plenty. By this point, the original date was a distant memory. All that mattered was that love had won and they had managed to say their vows, ending the day as husband and wife!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Philippa or Michael).

 



Suppliers:

Dress - Butterfly Bridal Boutique
Suit - Peter Posh
Hair and Makeup - Claire Guy
Flowers - The Floral Studio, Purton
Cake and Favours - Cakes by Mrs F
Transport - Attwell-Wilson Motor Museum
Videographer - Joel Rundle
 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) calne calne st marys calne wedding calne wedding photographer calne wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography Wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/10/philippa-and-michael Thu, 01 Oct 2020 20:20:22 GMT
Zoe and Oli - Love in the Time of Coronavirus! https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/9/zoe-and-oli---love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus As we start to settle in to the current new reality of weddings I'm being constantly inspired by the determination of some couples to get married no matter what is thrown at them.

Zoe and Oli seemed to be hit with more obstacles than most which included date changes, their venue going into administration, a change in location, a long wait to see whether the registration service would actually allow them to get married and finally fluctuating guidelines which meant they had just 24 hours notice that they were legally allowed to go ahead at their new reception venue! With their day finally here, I think it was safe to say that almost everyone involved took a deep breath and spent most of the day in disbelief that it was actually, truly happening!

Zoe and Oli were amazing throughout - keeping me updated of their plans every step of the way. I am sure they must have been hugely disappointed with all of the big changes to their big day, especially with their original venue going into administration but, actually, you wouldn't have been able to tell - their wedding day was full of fun, laughter and emotion. The fact that the day had actually arrived and they had actually said "I do" just goes to show that love conquers all! Nothing was going to stop these two! They still managed to celebrate with their closest friends and family which, at the end of the day, was all that mattered! 

Thanks for being so amazing Zoe and Oli - I was so happy to see your day finally arrive and I hope I've managed to capture some beautiful memories for you to look back on!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Zoe or Oli).

 



 

 


Suppliers:

Venue - Bath Guildhall
Hair and Makeup - Leanna Biggs
Flowers - Sweet Pea Floral Design
Styling and Decor - The Little Wedding Helper 
Cake - Minky Kitten Cakes
Transport - Love Bug Wedding Cars
 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bath bath guildhall bath guildhall wedding photographer bath wedding bath wedding photographer bath wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding Somerset Somerset wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/9/zoe-and-oli---love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:32:00 GMT
What to expect from your Wedding Photographer - Bridal Prep https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/8/what-to-expect-from-your-wedding-photographer---bridal-prep With so much to plan and prepare in the run up to a wedding, couples need to trust their photographer implicitly in order to allow them the access and freedom to photograph the wedding day as it unfolds. I therefore thought it might be useful to write a series of blog posts over the next few weeks which detail weddings from my perspective as the photographer. My aim is to give a bit of an insight into some of the many, many aspects that I am focussing on throughout the day, some of which you probably haven't even thought about! 

Let me start with the bridal prep and break it down to its individual parts. Not everyone chooses to have their morning preparations covered and, of course, that is completely up to you. I can understand that having an extra person in the room when you are likely to be feeling the most nervous isn't everyones idea of fun! However, if you are on the fence about requesting photographs of your preparation then let me talk you through how I approach the bridal preparations and the types of photograph that you can expect to be captured.

1) Hair and makeup

The hair and makeup are likely to be the first thing you think about when it comes to bridal prep and of course, they are a large part of the photographic coverage. The way I look at it is that I'm there to be a fly-on-the-wall - to document what is going on without getting in the way. The hair and makeup artists are there to do a job after all! These shots are hardly ever posed, I simply watch and wait for the right moment. This is your time to be pampered and take a breath before the rest of the day so I understand you don't want a camera constantly being clicked in your face!

I often take the time to add extra layers into these photos by trying to find angles to capture details in the background. Mirrors are a great way for me to do this and, if I'm really lucky, I can create a whole story in just one image. Take the image below for example. Not only did I manage to capture the Bride having her hair perfected but her dress is hanging on the wardrobe in the background whilst her Dad can be seen in the mirror proudly watching on.

2) The Dress

During the morning preparations is the perfect time for me to capture a photograph (or five!) of the dress. Whilst you are enjoying being pampered, I try and sneak away to grab some photos of the dress. Here's a top tip - make sure your dress is hanging on a nice hanger ahead of time as black plastic hangers really don't look great against a beautiful dress!

I always aim to get a full length shot of the dress in all its glory. However, if space is tight then I focus on the details instead. The likelihood is that you have spent weeks searching for the perfect dress and have shelled out a pretty penny for it so I think you'll agree that it deserves a few photographs by itself!


3) The Bouquet

Another important element that I try and capture during the bridal prep is the bouquet.

There is a very high probability that your bouquet will be delivered to you during the morning preparations. If you have a bouquet of fresh flowers then this is THE best time to photograph it while it is looking its very best. Most bouquets are made of hardy flowers to ensure they look good throughout the day but as soon as you take those flowers out of the water, they are going to start getting thirsty. This is why I always try and grab some photos as early as possible. Sometimes I don’t take it very far - photographing the bouquet in situ sometimes tells a much more interesting story.

If I don’t get the chance to photograph the bouquet first thing then, no matter, I often get time later in the day to grab some more stylised photos of the bouquet if required.

4) Other details 

Lets not forget that there are lots of other details crying out to be photographed during the bridal prep - the shoes, jewellery, perfume etc… 

I naturally keep an eye out for these additional details but, if you have any items of particular significance that you want photographed, be sure to have them ready and let me know where they are. I like to use the immediate vicinity to capture these detail shots - using the location where you are getting ready as a backdrop for these details will provide additional memories and, if you are getting ready at home, then this makes it even more poignant.

5) Miscellaneous Candids

The morning preparations aren’t just about the “details” even though this is probably the reason why many people choose to have coverage during this part of the day. The people (and in some cases, the animals!) are just as important - the people you spend this part of the day with are going to be some of your closest friends and relatives so it makes perfect sense to capture lots of candid images during the preparation to help you remember those moments in the years to come.
 

6) The Final Prep

It's time for the final touches. After taking photos of the dress hanging up and all of the other little details, it's time to focus on how everything comes together - the dress being done up, the final spritz of perfume, putting on your shoes etc...

If you don't factor in enough time then this has the potential to be the most frantic part of the morning. Rest assured, I always keep an eye on the clock as we edge ever closer to your departure time to keep you informed so that we avoid any panic. You deserve the time to enjoy these final moments before saying "I do".

7) The reveal

The final part of the bridal preparations, and the part that is guaranteed to be the most emotional is THE REVEAL!

I often receive requests for me to capture the expression of the Father of the Bride when he sees the Bride in her dress for the first time. TOP TIP - if you want this reaction to be honest and emotional, let your Dad know that I will be in the room taking photos. The last thing you want is for his attention to be diverted away from you because there is a camera clicking away in the corner!

I always think that this moment is a beautiful thing to capture if there is time (and if its something you want captured then I will do my very best to keep you on track during the rest of the morning preparations). It can also be fun to do the reveal with your bridesmaids - I find it easiest to line them up where I know I can see their faces and get them to close their eyes ready for the big moment.

 

And there you have it, the seven elements that I try and focus on during bridal preparation. Have I convinced you to have a photographer there to capture this part of the day? If you're interested in enquiring about my availability then please drop me a line here. Or, if you found this article useful, pin it to Pinterest using one of the images below.

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wedding tips wedmin wiltshire wedding wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/8/what-to-expect-from-your-wedding-photographer---bridal-prep Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:50:50 GMT
Lindsey and Robert - An Intimate Post-Lockdown Wedding https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/7/lindsey-and-robert---an-intimate-post-lockdown-wedding The last few months have been really difficult - not just for me as I watched all of the weddings that I had lined up over the summer more or less disappear overnight - but also for all of the lovely couples who had been excitedly planning their celebrations for months if not years only to have to make the difficult decision to postpone or cancel their big days.

Lindsey and Roberts celebration was due to take place in July and, being cautious, they soon ensured that they had a Plan B date in the diary. However, with lockdown restrictions starting to lift in May, they optimistically starting making plans for a small ceremony just in case they were able to go ahead. I was so excited when it was announced that small weddings with up to 30 guests could go ahead from 4th July, just 6 days before Lindsey and Roberts anticipated celebration! That meant it was full steam ahead and, although the day was going to look very different to the original plans, they were just so thrilled that they were now allowed to say "I do"!

Arriving with my mask, hand sanitiser and additional long lenses (to ensure I could be as far away as possible), the day went without a hitch! It helped that Lindsey's Mum currently lives with the couple as it meant that she was able to help Lindsey with her dress and shoes! Lindsey and Robert were only allowed to have their witnesses in the room for the ceremony but a number of their friends and family (who had booked into the hotel too), were able to gather (socially-distanced) on the decking to watch in through the open doors.

It was such an emotional and beautiful occasion to witness. It didn't really matter that there was only a handful of people there to congratulate them and, in a way, it was much more personal and emotional for being so intimate.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Lindsey or Robert).

 





 

Suppliers:

Venue - DeVere Cotswold Water Park
Hair - Evissa Hair
Flowers - Little Paddock Flowers
Dress - Cotswold Frock Shop
Rings - made by the couple with direction from Haley Kruger
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
Favours - Biscuits by Mrs F

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cirencester cirencester wedding cirencester wedding photographer cotswold water park wedding photography cotswold wedding photography cotswolds de vere cotswold water park de vere cotswold water park wedding photographer gloucestershire gloucestershire wedding photography intimate wedding micro wedding small wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/7/lindsey-and-robert---an-intimate-post-lockdown-wedding Thu, 30 Jul 2020 11:38:23 GMT
Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer For You - As Simple as a Game of SNAP! https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/choosing-the-right-wedding-photographer-for-you---as-simple-as-a-game-of-snap Choosing a wedding photographer is a very personal thing. The photographs from your big day will be one of the only tangible things that are left long after the cake has been eaten and the band has packed away.

With that in mind, where do you start your search and what should you be looking for? The Wedding industry is packed full of photographers competing to be picked so how do you know where to start?

The “where to start” is actually the easy part:

  • Do a Google search for photographers in your local area;
  • Ask friends and relatives for recommendations;
  • Look through online directories;
  • Scour wedding magazines; 
  • Attend wedding fairs and pick up information.

The difficulty comes to narrowing them down, cutting through all the noise and finding the photographer that is perfect for you.

Instead of looking at website after website after website and getting totally confused, consider these four important factors whilst you browse to help you decide on a shortlist. It really is as simple as playing a game of SNAP.

Style // Nature // Amount // Package

So grab a notebook, list all of the photographers you are considering and then make some notes as you start investigating:

STYLE

Lets not try and run before we can walk. First, take a look at each photographers style. Do you love their photos? And I mean, do you reeeeeally love them? 

Dig deep – check out their website, their blog, their Instagram feed, their facebook page etc… If you love what you see and are excited to view their images then you then need to consider exactly what their “style” of photography involves. Are there lots of candid, unposed moments that tell the story of the day? Is that what you want? Or do you want a traditional photographer that will take lots of formal photographs with people looking at the camera? Essentially, can you imagine yourself in their images? Do their images convey the atmosphere that you want for your own wedding?

Finally, consider whether their portfolios are consistent. Do the images have a similar look and feel throughout? This will give you a good idea of the sort of images you will receive after your wedding. If their portfolios are inconsistent then this leaves a big question mark over what your final images could look like! At this early stage, if you’re viewing their images as “just ok”, should they even be on your list?

NATURE

This is a slightly trickier thing to decipher without actually meeting them in person but it is important to consider each photographers nature and personality. Let’s face it, you are likely to be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding day so you need to feel comfortable with them.

First impressions go a long way so read through their website and take a look at their social media pages – do they seem like the sort of person you would like to have at your wedding?

If they make it onto your shortlist then arrange a phone call or, even better, meet up in person. Make sure you “click” before booking them for your wedding – if you feel uncomfortable with them, this will ultimately translate across into the photos. 

AMOUNT

No matter what your budget, the cost of a photographer should not be the deciding factor. Although it is obviously important, in my opinion, style and nature should be of a higher priority. The amount that a photographer charges should therefore be considered alongside these two factors and not over-ride them. Don’t sacrifice the wedding photos you truly want just on the basis of price.

Take a look through each photographers website and see if they list prices. Some will offer a “typical” range. How closely does this compare to your budget? Will you need to pay VAT on top? What about travel costs - are they included? Don’t forget the cost will go hand-in-hand with….

PACKAGE

What do you actually receive for your money? Are you looking for a no-frills, coverage only package or do you want all the bells and whistles – pre-wedding photoshoot, framed prints, luxury albums and a second photographer?! If there is a specific item that is on your must have list, can the photographer provide what you want? Don't worry if you aren't quite sure at the moment, simply use this in conjunction with the amount they are charging to help you gauge whether they are within your budget.

And there you have it – have any of the photographers won in your game of SNAP?

By this point, I’m sure you have a list of a few favourites! The next step is to email each of them and request any information that this research exercise has highlighted. 

Don’t forget to tell them the date and location of your wedding so they can check their availability. Popular photographers can get booked up years in advance, especially for Saturdays in the summer!

If they are available – FANTASTIC – arrange to speak to them, either on the phone or in person, get to know them a little more and see if they are the right photographer for you!

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography wedding advice wedding photography wedding planning wedmin wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/choosing-the-right-wedding-photographer-for-you---as-simple-as-a-game-of-snap Fri, 12 Jun 2020 12:58:33 GMT
Make Fathers Day special with a gift certificate for a Family Photoshoot https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/make-fathers-day-special-with-a-gift-certificate-for-a-family-photoshoot It's been a strange few months hasn't it?! Stuck indoors for days at a time, not knowing when we'll next be able to see our loved ones.

Thats why, with Fathers Day coming up, I wanted to remind you that now is the perfect time to plan something special. By purchasing a gift certificate for a family photoshoot you are investing in making everlasting memories at some point in the near future.

A £50 gift certificate from Copper and Blossom Photography covers the cost of an outdoor family photoshoot within 20 miles of Chippenham, Wiltshire. My family photoshoots are fun and relaxed - I simply tag along while you head to a location that means something to you and capture some beautiful memories! We can just take a walk or you can kick a ball around, play tag, throw leaves at each other, have a picnic, climb trees, blow bubbles... the list is endless.

The perfect gift if you haven't seen your Dad in a few months.

The perfect gift for Dad's celebrating their first Fathers Day.

The perfect gift to allow Dad's of older children to reconnect and have fun!

I am currently able to offer photoshoots to members of the same household. That means, for smaller family groups my diary is already open for bookings. You needn't worry about social distancing - as my photography is all about capturing the natural spontaneity of families interacting, I am socially distanced at all times (more often than not I'm at least 5 metres away).

Hopefully I will soon be able to offer photoshoots for members of more than one household at the same time (i.e. to include Grandparents etc...) but because we do not know exactly when this will be possible, all of my gift vouchers are valid for 24 months.

Interested in finding out more? Please get in touch for more details and to enquire about availability. 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) day family fathers gift ideas photography photoshoot https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/make-fathers-day-special-with-a-gift-certificate-for-a-family-photoshoot Wed, 10 Jun 2020 13:48:31 GMT
Why Weddings Cost More https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/why-weddings-cost-more I have seen plenty of articles (as well as heard various conversations) that go along the lines of...

..."never tell them you're booking for a wedding, they'll automatically give you a more expensive quote!".

I know lots of professionals in the wedding business that cringe every time they hear a statement like this, and for good reason. It gives the wedding industry a bad name.  

I, however, do agree that weddings, when compared to a big party for example, often do cost more. 

Are you shocked to hear me admit this?

Maybe you are!

But here's the thing.

Suppliers may well be charging more but that doesn't necessarily translate to any additional profit! In fact, in real terms, they may actually be making less profit because they don't feel able to charge what their service is actually worth because of this prevalent mindset.

Lets take a cake maker as an example. A wedding cake is likely to cost rather a lot more than a big celebration cake and in my opinion, rightly so. So why is this extra cost justified? Here are just a few reasons:

When ordering a celebration cake do you get the choice of lots of different flavours? Probably not - maybe just chocolate or vanilla - whereas, these days, wedding cakes come in all sorts of amazing and exotic flavours. Cake makers take a lot of time and effort (and considerable cost) to perfect their flavours and recipes to ensure that they can stand out from their competition. 

Do you get offered a tasting session for a celebration cake? Probably not. You would normally just decide what size you want, the decorations you need and it is created for you. With a wedding cake, most cake makers will offer a tasting session where you get to try various combinations. And of course, this uses costly ingredients to make. Plus it also takes time to make it and also time set aside to meet you for the tasting session too.

With a celebration cake, is it delivered to your house? Again, probably not! You are probably expected to pick it up yourself. A wedding cake is often delivered to your wedding venue - perhaps a return trip of more than 50 miles - painstakingly put together and decorated to match your theme. Again, that's additional time and petrol costs, as well as the extra stress and responsibility of ensuring your cake is delivered in a pristine condition.

The fact is, services for weddings often DO cost more but that extra cost goes towards all of those hidden tasks and expenses that aren't normally required for a "party" or "celebration". 

Lets take another example, wedding photography. A typical party booking may go as follows:

Booking taken via phone or email
Arrive at specified time to photograph event 
Depart after typically 2-4 hours of shooting
Edit images
Deliver images (normally via digital download)

A wedding booking, however, may unfold like this:

Enquiry received via email/social media/wedding directory
Trade a handful of emails discussing various bespoke packages
Arrange a face-to-face consultation or video-call
Arrange a venue visit
Arrive at specified time to photograph preparations
Travel to Church
Travel onto Reception venue
Work alongside other suppliers to ensure wedding day schedule runs to time
Use experience and expertise to arrange formal photographs
Depart after typically 9-12 hours of shooting
Edit images
Deliver images (password protected online gallery and a USB posted directly to the couple)

You can see the difference.

Even if it is just a small wedding, the reality is that a wedding runs quite differently to a party and, as such, there will be additional discussions, different requirements and potentially different hidden costs. Weddings are uniquely personal events and so are the services that are provided. You therefore need to accept that you are paying for that unique service.

So please, before you jump to the conclusion that your quote will automatically be larger because you mention the word "wedding" I would urge you to think about all of the extra behind-the-scenes work that may be going into the service that you are requesting. Be honest with your suppliers. There's nothing wrong with saying "we're planning a wedding but we don't need all of the bells and whistles". Many suppliers will be happy to quote accordingly or suggest other suppliers that may be more suitable. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for - whether thats for a "party" or a "wedding" - so be sure you know what that means!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) planning a wedding wedding advice wedding top tips wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/6/why-weddings-cost-more Fri, 05 Jun 2020 17:15:11 GMT
Grittleton House - Styled Shoot https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/5/grittleton-house---styled-shoot With no weddings to photograph at the moment, I thought I would go back over some photoshoots from recent years and revisit some of my favourite venues as a source of inspiration for anyone out there currently planning their wedding.

Where better to start than at Grittleton House and a photoshoot arranged by the amazing Caroline from Foxy Buds alongside Emma and Ness from Grittleton House. 

Admittedly, the house has changed a little bit since then. They have been making improvements to the Orangery which, I hope you will agree, already looked pretty damn amazing!

Feast your eyes on these images which we managed to take on one of the warmest days of the year! 

 


Suppliers:

Venue -  Grittleton House
Photographer - Copper and Blossom
Florist - Foxy Buds
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
MUA and hair - Katy Pheiffer
Stationery - Hip Hip Hooray
Hair accessories - Honey V
Bridal attire - Devlin Bridal
Model - Emily Ball
Videographer - Darren Jack Wedding Films

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography cotswolds grittleton house grittleton house wedding photography manor house wedding wedding wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/5/grittleton-house---styled-shoot Sat, 09 May 2020 13:18:00 GMT
Don't Stop Planning https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/4/dont-stop-planning With the world currently turned upside down, it may feel wrong to be making future plans. After all, no-one really knows when all of this will be over so you may be telling yourself, what's the point in planning if it all ends up being for nothing?

The fact is, it will be for something, even if that currently seems like a far off dream! If you are engaged, even if your wedding is currently postponed or on hold, you know that you want to get married and that time will be here sooner than you know it! So here are a few reasons why you should continue planning your wedding and my top tips as to how you can approach your planning during the current global crisis.

Use your planning as a sense of escape

I've been guilty of wanting to bury my head in the sand myself over the last few weeks! But one thing that has kept me occupied is seeking out moments of joy - whether that's silly youtube videos or following the daily updates on the Innocent facebook page! Why don't you allow yourself the chance to get lost in all of the prettiness and inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest? There's never going to be a better time to get lost exploring all things wedding - from the weird to the wonderful - who knows what you might stumble across!

Use this time to make joint decisions

Are you currently in lockdown with your other half? This may be the perfect opportunity for you to have some meaningful conversations about what you both want out of your wedding day. With the urgency of making decisions taken away, you can actually take your time and work out what is really important to you both. Let's face it, you aren't likely to get this much time together again before your big day! 

There's no better time to contact potential suppliers

You have lots of extra time on your hands and, guess what, so do your suppliers! For the next couple of months at the very least, most wedding suppliers are on pause. Their upcoming weddings have all been postponed so the majority of them will be spending time on admin, spring cleaning their websites, posting to social media etc... There will be no better time to contact them than now and perhaps even arrange a virtual consultation! Believe me, once everything starts getting back to normal the vast majority of them will be so busy with postponed weddings that it might be very difficult to pin them down!

Dates are going to start going SUPER fast

Many weddings that were due to take place this summer have already been postponed until the Autumn/Winter.  Some couples are even opting to postpone until 2021. As a consequence, dates for next year are already starting to fill up much faster than normal. If you have a specific date in mind, or if you have booked your venue but no other suppliers, then my advice would be to start making enquiries asap.

It costs nothing to make an enquiry

I understand cash flow may be an issue at the moment. People are understandably being cautious about spending their money but it doesn't cost anything to make an enquiry. At the very least it will give you an idea of whether your favourite suppliers do have availability or not. On the flip side, if you do have a steady income then you might want to consider supporting small businesses by paying for some booking fees now so that you can spread out the cost. 

Throw yourself in Social Media

If all of this sounds too much to think about at the moment (I get it - planning a wedding can be emotional at the best of times, let alone during a global crisis!) then why not simply throw yourself into social media and start following some local venues and suppliers. Many suppliers are using this time to share some really great advice and also lots of inspirational images. You don't have to interact with them at all if you don't want to but you will start to narrow down the suppliers that you really love and connect with so that you know who will be top of your "must contact" list when you are ready.

Be kind to yourself and reach out for help

There are no rules here. Don't put the pressure on yourself to do anything if you don't feel like it. You're allowed to have days of utter despair when you feel that all of your plans are crumbling around you. But, for every bad day, there are many more amazing days to come. Don't be afraid to reach out to suppliers for advice or even just to have a rant! There are no silly questions and if we can put your mind at rest with a simple email or Facebook message then we're more than happy to do so!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice top tips wedding advice wedding photography wedding planning wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/4/dont-stop-planning Fri, 24 Apr 2020 17:55:09 GMT
Charlotte & Paul - Stanton Manor Hotel https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/4/charlotte-paul---stanton-manor-hotel Charlotte and Paul were married at St Martins Church in Bremhill followed by a reception at Stanton Manor in Stanton St Quinton.

The ceremony was really intimate and was actually conducted by Charlotte's Grandfather which made it really personal. With their kids by their side at the alter it was a truly beautiful family affair.

Of course, with it being February, the weather was typically chilly but I'm so glad that it stayed dry for them. We managed to congregate for a confetti run to send the couple on their way after which we all headed on to the Hotel. Due to the increasing winds we opted to do the formal group photos inside before venturing outside for a big group shot.

Once they had taken their seats in the marquee (which looked beautiful!) I left them to their celebrations. Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Charlotte or Paul).




Suppliers:

Venue - Stanton Manor
MUA - Charlotte Tillyer
Flowers - Little Gems
Dress - Trousseaux
Venue styling - Venues Covered

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds stanton manor stanton manor wedding photographer stanton manor wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/4/charlotte-paul---stanton-manor-hotel Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:39:00 GMT
Sam & Kyle - Grittleton House https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/3/sam-kyle---grittleton-house Grittleton House is such an amazing venue and I was excited to be back there to shoot a wedding in February.

The initial plan had been for the ceremony to take place in the Orangery but with Storm Dennis in full force, it was sensibly moved to the Yellow Gallery which looked beautiful.

There were so many personal touches - Sam herself had designed all of the signs and table names, and the cake and all of the flowers (which were grown and hand-dried) were provided by the parents. The cake (or I should say cakes!) were beautiful with lots of little personal touches and the flowers (of which there were soooo many - bouquets, buttonholes, table centres and the ceremony decor) made the entire place smell amazing!

Unfortunately the storm meant that we were unable to go outside (in fact, the wind was so ferocious that all of the guests were advised to park in front of the house just in case one of the tall trees fell into the driveway!) but, that's the beauty of Grittleton House - there are so many amazing backdrops indoors that it is easy to find locations for photos.

It was an amazing day full of smiling and laughter - in fact, I've rarely seen a wedding with so much laughter. Thanks must go to Matt Fox who second shot for me ensuring we were able to capture both Sam and Kyle's preparations as well as being a second pair of eyes during the ceremony.

The evening was rounded off with a Ceilidh with music provided by the Dun Reels. All of the guests threw themselves into each and every dance which made it a lot of fun to watch! 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. You can view the full set of images here (please contact Sam or Kyle for the password).
 





 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography cotswolds grittleton house grittleton house wedding photography manor house wedding wedding wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/3/sam-kyle---grittleton-house Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:30:36 GMT
Emma & Dave - Coombe Lodge, Blagdon https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/3/emma-dave---coombe-lodge-blagdon My 2020 wedding season got off to a flying start with a beautiful wedding at Coombe Lodge in the Mendip hills.

Emma and Dave had chosen to get married in February and, as such, wanted a venue which would be able to accommodate all of their guests should the day be cold and wet. They needn't have worried - the day actually turned out to be beautiful with gorgeous blue skies. Mind you, we spent the whole day counting ourselves extremely lucky as Storm Ciara was set to blow in that evening (and blow in, she did!). 

Despite being a little chilly outside, we still managed to get outdoors for lots of the group photos with the rest taking place in the pretty lounge. The rest of the day was spent capturing lots of spontaneous candid moments, not to mention the entertaining speeches and the antics on the dance floor!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. You can view the full set of images here (please contact Emma or Dave for the password).





Suppliers:

Venue - Coombe Lodge
Hair - Stacey Jade Wedding Hair
MUA - Beauty by Emily Faith
Dress - Bride at Home
Suits - Dyfed
Flowers - The Wilde Bunch
Cake - The Local Bakehouse
Rings - Holly Robinson
Pianist - Ian Towers 
DJ - Kieran Clarke Entertainment

 

 

 

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bristol bristol wedding bristol wedding venue cheddar coombe lodge Coombe lodge wedding photography countryside wedding manor house wedding mendips mendips venue mendips wedding photography somerset somerset wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/3/emma-dave---coombe-lodge-blagdon Mon, 09 Mar 2020 18:57:21 GMT
Pre-Wedding Photoshoots https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/2/pre-wedding-photoshoots As part of my full-day wedding packages I currently include a complimentary pre-wedding photoshoot. For some couples this is a must-have but for some, it is a totally new concept. So, if you feel a little in the dark, let me tell you exactly what a pre-wedding photoshoot is and why you might want one! 

What is a pre-wedding photoshoot?

A pre-wedding photoshoot is a shoot that takes place a few weeks (or months if you prefer) before your wedding.  

Why do we need one?

The short answer is, you don't! But, there are lots of benefits attached to having one. The benefits include:

1) giving you the chance to get comfortable in front of the camera. This is particularly useful if you are feeling a little anxious about being photographed on your wedding day. 

2) capturing some beautiful photographs of the two of you. The chances are that you probably don't have many photos which include both of you unless they are selfies! 

3) obtaining photos that can be used on save-the-date cards, orders of service or simply just as a lovely memory and keepsake.

When is the best time to have a pre-wedding photoshoot?

Ideally, you want to have your pre-wedding photoshoot at least 6 weeks before the wedding (i.e. before you start getting too busy with the last-minute wedding preparations). Many of my couples actually choose to have their shoot a whole year ahead of their wedding so that their pre-wedding photographs are the perfect compliment to their wedding photographs. This could be very useful if you would like to have your pre-wedding photoshoot at your wedding venue and want to see what the grounds are likely to look like when it comes to the wedding day itself.

Making the most of your pre-wedding photoshoot

1) Choose the right location

All of my pre-wedding photoshoots take place in the beautiful outdoors. We often head to the wedding venue itself (if possible) to check out the backdrops that you may want to make the most of on your wedding day. Alternatively, I would advise heading somewhere that means something to you - maybe a local woodland or beauty spot. I've been lucky enough to undertake shoots in all sorts of places from beaches and castles to canals and farm-yards!

2) Think about your outfit

You can wear whatever you like but the key is that you should feel comfortable. You want to be able to relax during your shoot so don't wear anything that you feel self-conscious in. Busy prints should be avoided as they can look dated moving forward so the best idea is to keep it classic and simple. Finally, think about how the outfits will work together. Try and choose complimentary colours. 

3) Don't be afraid to suggest interesting ideas or backdrops

During my pre-wed shoots I am constantly looking for unique angles and pretty backdrops as well as reading the light to see what images might work well. I am always happy for my couples to point out places where they would like to take their photos - perhaps you've been drawn to a nice bench or an interesting tree. Don't be afraid to point things out and I will do my best to incorporate it into a shot.

4) Inject your personality into the shoot

If you want to include your kids or your dog or your camper-van, I'm all for it! This is your shoot so let's personalise it to fit your personality and interests. Theres no right or wrong way to go about it. This also goes for public displays of affection! I always encourage a bit of hand-holding and the occasional kiss but for some couples even this is too far! A pre-wedding shoot is an opportunity to capture you as a couple so if that means pulling silly faces, playing leapfrog or having a water-pistol fight rather than gazing lovingly into each-others eyes then I say lets go for it! 

Of course, all of this applies to couples photoshoots in general and not just specifically to pre-wedding shoots so if you are interested in commissioning a shoot for you and your other half then please get in touch for a chat about your plans. It doesn't matter whether you've only just got together, you got married last year or you've been together for more years than you can remember - the important thing about these shoots is to spend some fun, quality time together whilst I capture those wonderful memories for you!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice engagement photoshoot prewedding photoshoot prewedding session top tips wedding advice wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/2/pre-wedding-photoshoots Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:23:11 GMT
Top Tips to help you prepare for your formal wedding photographs https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/2/top-tips-to-help-you-prepare-for-your-formal-wedding-photographs I catch myself doing this all the time. A few weeks ahead of a clients wedding and I find myself saying "if you could just send me your list of formal photos". It's something I try and discuss with my clients at the time of booking and during the planning process but I forget that, to some people, this can sound rather confusing!

So firstly, I want to outline exactly what a formal photo list is, at least from my perspective!

A formal photo list is a list of photographs that you want photographed in a formal, traditional way. The ones where your family and friends and lined up and asked to smile at the camera. This can range from small groups (e.g. Mum, Dad, Parents) right through to "all guests". This differs significantly from a "shot list" which is a complete list of every single shot that you want you photographer to capture e.g. walking down the aisle, exchange of rings, first kiss etc... I never ask my clients for a "shot list" as these are all key moments that I am going to be on the lookout for anyway. 

Of course, there is nothing to say that you have to have any formal photographs at all but, in my experience, most couples want a few at the very least. So here are my top tips to ensure that they don't take over the day!

1) Make sure you have time worked into your wedding day schedule for photos

At most weddings, the formal photographs will be taken immediately after the ceremony. Whether that is outside the Church or in the grounds of your reception venue before the wedding breakfast, ensure that you have adequate time set aside for your photos. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2 minutes for each photo set-up. That means 15 photos will take up to 30 minutes and 30 photos will take up to an hour.

2) Think carefully about how long you (and your guests) will want to spend posing for photographs

This is an important one - think reeeeally hard about how long you will realistically want to be stood in front of the camera. If you have arranged a drinks reception, you will of course want to avail yourself of the refreshments. You will also want to greet all of your guests as this will probably be the first time that you will have seen them that day. Write your list of must-have photos, check it against the first point (above) to see how long it is likely to take and then compare it to your schedule. How much time are you leaving for mingling? If you need to cull the list then best to do it now rather than run out of time on the day!

3) Allocate a member of the wedding party to assist the photographer

From a photographers point of view, it is always useful to have someone on hand that can help gather the guests for each photo. Within reason, I can gather people myself but if a list simply states something along the lines of "siblings, partners and kids" then it is useful to have someone who actually knows who these people are and can round them up relatively quickly.

4) Have a backup plan

If possible, I would always advise taking your formal photographs outside - that way you can make the most of the surroundings and also utilise the natural light. But, should it rain, you need a plan B. Does your venue have space to take the formal photographs indoors? For Church weddings there may also be the option to head back inside for the formal photos once the service has finished. Most venues are happy to help out and move around some furniture if required so that photographs can be taken indoors.

5) Formal doesn't have to mean formal!

It is worth bearing in mind that "formal" can be interpreted as loosely as you like!  You may decide, for example, that you want some very formal photos with your parents or grandparents but want something less formal with your friends. Speak to your photographer about this in advance (and also warn your friends if you are planning anything particularly energetic!) so that you can formulate the best way to approach this. 

6) Investigate the option of having a second photographer

If formal photographs are very important to you and you are struggling to narrow down your list then perhaps it would be worthwhile requesting a second photographer. The benefit of having a second photographer is that they can take lots of candid photos of your guests while you are busy with the formal photos - they can be your eyes so you can see what everyone else was getting up to while you were smiling at the camera. Most photographers are able to include this as an add-on to your photography package.

When all is said and done the formal family photographs will be a great reminder of who was at your wedding (and Granny may well pop a framed print on her mantlepiece) but realistically, they won't be your favourite photos from the day. Time and time again I hear that peoples favourite photos are the ones which have been captured naturally - the laughs, the happy tears, the hugs and the smiles. So yes, by all means, take some time to have the formal photographs taken (you'll probably regret it if you don't) but don't let it impact the rest of the day. It's a celebration so spend your time celebrating!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice cotswolds wedding photography top tips wedding advice wedding photography wedding top tips wedmin wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/2/top-tips-to-help-you-prepare-for-your-formal-wedding-photographs Wed, 05 Feb 2020 14:45:00 GMT
Jessie & James - Hyde House https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/1/jessie-james---hyde-house For more than I year I have been eager to photograph a wedding at Hyde House in the Cotswolds so when Jessie and James got in touch to enquire whether I would be willing to photograph their wedding there, I was more than ready to say YES! When we visited a few weeks ahead of the wedding for their pre-wedding photoshoot, I was even more excited about shooting my first wedding there! 

We kept our fingers firmly crossed that the weather would stay dry for the day of the wedding and, amazingly, it did! The wind, however, was another matter! Thankfully Jessie had a whole team of bridesmaids on hand to ensure that her and her veil both made it to the ceremony!

It was an emotional day full of smiles, hugs and happy tears. I have to admit that I even shed a tear myself when I started editing the photos of Jessie walking down the aisle - the emotion on everyones faces was just too much! They also had some lovely personal touches - their gorgeous dog was a ring bearer, Jessie's Aunt played the violin during the ceremony and one of the Grandparents gave a very funny and emotional speech in the form of a poem - so many beautiful moments that will serve as amazing memories for the years ahead. 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. To view the full set of images, please contact Jessie or James.



Suppliers:

Venue - Hyde House
Hair and MUA - Holly Andersen
Cake - Glamorose (that's the Bride's very own business!)
 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography cotswolds cotswolds wedding cotswolds wedding photographer Hyde house Hyde house wedding photographer Hyde house wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/1/jessie-james---hyde-house Tue, 07 Jan 2020 15:40:43 GMT
Word of The Year - 2020 https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/1/word-of-the-year---2020 Have you heard of the concept of having a "word of the year”.⁣

The first I heard of it was at the start of 2019 when I stumbled across a blog post by @jessicarosewilliams and I thought it sounded like a simple yet strong idea. I tentatively picked a word for myself - courage - and found that, although I stayed true to it through the first half of 2019, by the summer, I had pretty much forgotten about it!⁣

This year, my aim is to embrace self-care and slow living, taking time out to stop and think because everything always seems so fast-paced in my world! ⁣

A “word of the year” should be something that helps you to navigate the entire year and, as Jessica helpfully asks “where do you want to be at the end of the year?”. For me, I want to spend the year being less stressed and take a more mindful approach to, not just my business, but everything. This isn’t going to change no matter how busy I get so therefore, my 2020 word is going to be “breathe”.⁣

Held in that word is pretty much everything that I want to achieve over the coming 12 months - remembering to take a breath when things get too much, to get away from my desk for a breather, giving projects time to breathe so that I can come back with a fresh mind and taking a moment to just pause, breathe, and take it all in.⁣

EDIT: shortly after making my choice I found myself humming a song called “breathe”. If you’ve followed me for awhile then you’ll know how much I love music. It took me while to work out exactly who had sung this song (there are a surprising number of songs with this title) and then it hit me out of the blue. Midge Ure! There’s definitely no getting away from it now!⁣

 


 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) personal word of the year https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2020/1/word-of-the-year---2020 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 13:45:00 GMT
Adventures in Venice https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/adventures-in-venice I certainly am making up for lost time! After not having a proper holiday for at least 5 years, following my trip to Bergen last year the floodgates seem to have opened! I fell in love with Italy when I visited Florence earlier this year and I knew it wouldn't be too long before I returned. However, little was I to know that I would return the same year!

Myself and my business buddy Emma had been talking about going on an "away day" in order to chat business. That idea evolved into an "away trip" and after a quick google of flights, we had booked a return trip to Venice for the bargain price of £60! Venice has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember - this quirky place with canals instead of roads always captured my imagination when I was younger and so it seemed only right that I actually made an effort to go and visit!

Being so busy in the run up to the trip, I hadn't really managed to research much about it (aside from how to get to the hotel from the airport). We decided to wing it and see how we felt each day (and see what the weather was doing) before making any firm plans.

The guest house we were staying in, although being in the most central location imaginable, did not provide breakfast. So on our first morning we decided to head directly to San Marco Piazza and find somewhere suitable for coffee and a bite to eat. We got a little carried away, wandering through the peaceful piazza, down towards the water and stumbled across the famed "Bridge of Sighs". We were surprised at how misty it was - although it certainly made for some atmospheric photos.

A few snaps later and we headed on for breakfast. To our shock, retracing our steps less than an hour later and this viewpoint was besieged by hundreds of tourists all jostling to capture their own photo. Making a mental note to visit such places as early as possible, we scurried past and decided that the weather was now good enough for us to risk a trip up the bell tower. 

Unlike the Basilica di San Marco (which is free to enter and consequently attracts huge queues), the bell tower is much less busy. Even so, we were surprised to walk in and straight up to the ticket desk with absolutely no wait! Two minutes later and we were in the lift heading for the top. This is undoubtedly the best place to take in the views of Venice. It is so flat with lots of tiny streets surrounded by towering buildings that you really need to get up high to appreciate it. We weren't disappointed!

With no firm plans, we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and simply take a wander, stopping for refreshments whenever the fancy took us. We had a vague plan to visit the Aqua Alta bookshop and, even thought it was probably only a 15 minute walk, it took us more than an hour to get there because we were stopping so often to take photos!

A quick stop for gelato later (the cherry and pistachio flavour I chose may well have been the best ice cream I have ever had!) and we stumbled across the famous Rialto Bridge. Unfortunately, it was already swarming with tourists and I was quite happy to scarper away relatively quickly (after getting a couple of photos first of course!).


One of the things I loved best about Venice was just wandering and seeing where we ended up. Around every corner we were faced with another pretty square, a pretty doorway or a pretty bridge and I really had to hold myself back from stopping every 30 seconds to take another photo.

Our vaguely circular route took us back over the Grand canal via the Ponte della Academia, the view from which was rather gorgeous, especially with the brilliant and cloudless sky being reflected in the Grand Canal below. 

After a quick nip back to the guest house to change, we returned back over the Ponte della Academia on our way to the Hilton rooftop bar where Emma had kindly offered to take me for a belated birthday drink. We only had to wait a matter of minutes before a table at the front of the bar became available which meant we were able to take in the view and the sunset whilst we polished off a bottle of Prosecco. Not a bad way to finish off our first full day in the city!
Day 2 and we were up nice and early as we had decided that we would take the opportunity to get over to explore some of the surrounding islands. Our plan was to head over to Burano first (we had heard that it can get VERY busy on the boats, hence the early start). Burano is famed for it's colourful houses and it certainly was vibrant. It felt rather strange to be in Burano so early - there was barely a soul about and it felt rather conspicuous to be wandering the streets. It wasn't too long, however, before the bridges were full of tourists!  

From here we had intended to head straight back to Venice but after getting slightly confused by the boats, we found ourselves on the way over to Torcello. It turned out to be a rather happy accident as Torcello was really lovely and so, so quiet! Apparently, Torcello was one of the first islands in the lagoon to be inhabited and is where the Venetians originated. These days the island is barely inhabited. It made a lovely contrast to the hustle and bustle of St Marks Square!

The weather had been rather misty during the morning but upon our return to Venice I am happy to say that the sun once again appeared so we took our time wandering back towards the guest house, once again just seeing where our feet took us and, of course, stopping in occasion for Prosecco and Aperol Spritz! We spent a lovely hour quietly watching all of the gondolas making their way past the Bridge of Sighs congratulating ourselves for finding a spot that wasn't besieged with tourists! 

We finished the day off by heading down to Riva degli Schiavoni to watch the sunset followed by food in the shadow of the Academia Bridge and a final stroll to see the imposing Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (the domed building that you can see from the Academia Bridge). Our final morning and what else were we to do except take a final stroll through St Mark's Square? We were surprised to see the huge cruise ships making their way through the lagoon and immediately realised many Venetians are so opposed to them - they were absolutely massive! We took the opportunity to have a quick look around the inside of the Cathedral itself, marvelling at all of the gold on the ceiling but we didn't have time to investigate the museum or the crypt which would have been interesting - next time perhaps! And just like that, our trip was at an end. We found our way to the Alilaguna and retraced our journey back to the airport taking in the last few sights of the Grand Canal as we went. 

Thank you Venice! I'm sure I'll be back!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) holiday italy personal travel travel photography venice https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/adventures-in-venice Mon, 30 Dec 2019 14:29:28 GMT
2019 Wedding Photography Round-Up https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/2019-wedding-photography-round-up 2019 has yet again surpassed all of my expectations.  What an amazing year it has been on the wedding front. I was lucky enough to return to some of my favourite venues but I was really surprised to see so many new venues on my books this year. After photographing more than 100 weddings I thought I had covered most of the local ones - turns out, I was wrong! The Great Tythe Barn, Brympton House, Hyde House and Owl Lodge were among the new venues this year and I am happy to say that I already have bookings to return to some of them in 2020!

Below I have tried to gather together a few of my favourite photos and moments from weddings I photographed during 2019. It was a real struggle to narrow it down! But first, I thought I would try and summarise my 2019 in numbers:

10122 images delivered (so far!)
28 grooms
26 brides
21 confetti runs
19 new reception venues
12 pre-wedding preparations covered
10 Churches
10 Wedding Fairs
7 Marquees
7 pre-wedding sessions
6 Hotels
5 Barns
4 dogs
3 styled photo shoots
2 Manor Houses
2 Temples
2 Pubs
2 Registry Offices
2 Village Halls
a garden centre
a National Trust property
a cat
a horse
and a Castle!

Thank you 2019 - you have been amazing! I can't wait to get started with the new decade! 2020 here we come...


If you are still here and stumbled across this blog post because you're getting married yourself, please get in touch if you would like to discuss your requirements. My books are very nearly full for 2020 and I am already starting to take bookings for 2021. 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham wedding photographer documentary documentary wedding photography gloucestershire wedding photography london wedding photography reportage reportage wedding photography somerset wedding photography swindon wedding photography the magic of the moment wedding photography weddings wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/2019-wedding-photography-round-up Sun, 22 Dec 2019 14:31:27 GMT
Wedding Fayre Top Tips https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/wedding-fayre-top-tips I can't believe 2019 is nearly at an end! Before you know it, 2020 will be upon us and, so too, will be a whole host of wedding fayres. The start of the year tends to be the busiest season for wedding fayres. Not only are lots of couples excited about becoming engaged over Christmas and New Year but for lots of other couples, the dawning of January 1st brings the mild panic of "we're getting married this year - we really must get organised!". Consequently, although wedding planning can be exciting for some, the thought of starting the search for suppliers can be hugely daunting for others.

The temptation of a glass of prosecco, cake samples and goody bags can often be enough of a draw to entice along newly engaged couples but it goes hand in hand with chatting to suppliers who are, essentially, strangers. So if you are unsure of what to expect when visiting a fayre or are wary about throwing yourself into the planning, here are a few of my top tips for attending and getting the most out of a wedding fayre:

1) It's never too early to attend your first fayre.

It doesn't matter if you haven't set a date or found your perfect venue yet - if you are engaged and there is a wedding fayre happening locally, pop in and give yourself a head start on the planning. Pick up as much literature as you can - believe me, there will be plenty on offer. No-one will mind if you're not quite at the stage of booking venues and suppliers just yet but you will give yourself a much better idea of where to start. You may pick up a brilliant nugget of information or stumble across some amazing inspiration. You may even be walking into your perfect venue without even realising it.

2) Have a venue in mind? Attend their open day or wedding fayre for an informal look around.

Deciding on a venue can be daunting. Planning times to look around or arranging a meeting with the wedding coordinator may be a little too scary so why not take away the stress by attending wedding fayres at your potential venues so that you can have a more informal look around. If you are interested then there will always be someone on hand to give you more information regarding availability and price.

3) There are no silly questions

I see this all the time - couples attend wedding fayres with the intention of booking a supplier or two but then get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle and leave without speaking to anyone. Let me reassure you, there are no silly questions! Every wedding is different and, as such, every couple has different questions and requirements. As suppliers, we may have attended hundreds of weddings, but for most couples, we understand that this is probably the first time you have ever planned something such as this - each and every supplier can offer advice and guidance so, if nothing else, it would be a shame not to utilise that knowledge.

4) Aim to arrive at least 90 minutes before closing

If you want to have time to have a good chat with suppliers then it is normally best to arrive towards the end of the day. There is always a surge of couples through the door at the start of every wedding fayre which means potentially having to compete with other couples to speak to all of the suppliers. By arriving later you can normally guarantee that you will be able to have a longer, more in depth chat with all of the suppliers you are interested in speaking to. It also often means that you may be able to benefit from the remaining goodies (cake samples, flowers etc...) being given away as suppliers try and empty their tables before they pack everything away!

5) Go with an open mind 

Don't attend a fayre with the explicit intention of booking X, Y and Z. Yes, you may find the perfect supplier but, quite often, you will also find inspiration and ideas for things that you didn't even know you wanted! Almost every decent wedding fayre will have photographers, florists, cake-makers, venue dressers and wedding gown suppliers. But what about horse-box photo booths, magicians, speciality gin bars, singing waiters, bespoke child care? The list is pretty much endless - pop along to a fayre or two and you will see how varied wedding suppliers can be.

6) Get to know the suppliers

This is THE best thing about wedding fayres - you get to meet the people behind the business. Weddings are a hugely personal thing. Yes, it's possible to book all of your suppliers online or over the phone but I believe that meeting your suppliers face-to-face is vital. For example, you may absolutely adore the work of a specific photographer so if you see that they will be at a local fayre, go along and say hello and make sure that you will feel comfortable with them - after all, you will end up spending most of your wedding day in their company! Talk to people, discuss your ideas and then trust your gut instinct - it will serve you much better than sticking rigidly to a certain budget.

7) Search for local wedding fayres and put them in your diary

If you notice that a wedding fayre is happening locally or at a venue you are considering, put the date in your diary immediately! If you don't then it may just slip your mind and you'll kick yourself for the missed opportunity. Often you will find that a number of local fayres may be taking place on the same day - make the most of it and visit as many as possible. This is a great way to get lots of supplier-hunting done in a short amount of time, especially if your other half isn't as sold on the benefits of wedding fayres as you are!

In the new year, you will be able to find me at:

- STEAM Museum, Swindon - Saturday 11th January
- Neeld Hall, Chippenham - Sunday 19th January
- Limpley Stoke Hotel - Sunday 26th January
- Bath Assembly Rooms - Sunday 23rd February

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice inspiration top tips wedding wedding advice wedding fair wedding fayre wedding photography wedding planning wedding suppliers wedding top tips wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/12/wedding-fayre-top-tips Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:26:15 GMT
Kayleigh & Adam - Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/11/kayleigh-adam---great-tythe-barn-tetbury After photographing my first ever wedding at the Great Tythe Barn in Tetbury at the start of this year, I was excited to get back and see it during the end of the year for Kayleigh and Adam's wedding which took place in October. I couldn't wait to make the most of the Autumnal surroundings!

Of course, this being the UK, the run-up to the wedding had been rather wet and windy. Luckily, on the day itself, apart from a couple of small rain showers in the morning, the rest of the day stayed dry. I was so happy for them because it meant that we could take a wander around the grounds and capture some lovely romantic portraits which was something that Kayleigh was particularly eager to do.

Not that it would have mattered if we weren't able to get outside because the amazing Kirsten Butler (the Little Wedding Helper) was on hand to ensure that every corner of the barn was professionally styled - the flowers, cake and stationery all came together to make the barn look beautiful. There were also lots of subtle (and not so subtle) nods to the Bride and Grooms new surname - Barefoot. I particularly liked the closing line at the bottom of their Order of the Day which directed people to "Stumble Home, Barefoot" once the dancing was done!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. To view the full set of images, please contact Kayleigh or Adam.






 

Suppliers:

Venue - Great Tythe Barn
Styling - The Little Wedding Helper
Signs and Stationery - Tamsin Yates
Flowers - Wren and May Flowers
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
Dress Designer - Pronovias
Dress Boutique - Allison Jayne
MUA - Charlotte McGill
Singers - The Swing Kings
Caterer - Fosters Events

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography cotswolds great tythe barn great tythe barn wedding photographer great tythe barn wedding photography tetbury tetbury wedding tetbury wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/11/kayleigh-adam---great-tythe-barn-tetbury Thu, 21 Nov 2019 12:12:00 GMT
Charlie and Stephen - Brympton House https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/11/charlie-and-stephen---brympton-house Over the last year I have been keeping a list of venues that I haven't had the opportunity to photograph a wedding at just yet. It's an ever-changing list, one that keeps being updated as I discover new venues and get booked to shoot weddings at venues that are on the list. Brympton House immediately made it on to the list as soon as Charlie and Stephen made an enquiry with me! From that very first moment I had my fingers firmly crossed that they would book me - of course it also helped that they were such a lovely couple and I would have been so sad to see them book another photographer! So you can imagine my excitement when they came back to me to confirm their booking!

Brympton House is a dream venue - a luxury country house with a chapel in the grounds, huge gardens to explore and even a lake! I could have spent days and days there and still find pretty little corners to photograph! I was so happy that the weather was kind to them - we even had a glimpse of blue sky (obviously not a guarantee in this country in October!). It meant that their guests were able to sip Pimms outside whilst watching the big kids (i.e. adults!), play giant jenga and race space-hoppers across the lawn!

After sneaking Charlie and Stephen away for 15 minutes to take some portraits of the two of them (and believe me, I could have spent HOURS finding backdrops for their pictures), it was time for the guests to take their seats for the wedding breakfast. 

I was so happy to see that Charlie and Stephen had decided to forego many of the wedding traditions - they walked hand in hand together down the aisle at the start of the ceremony, Charlie gave her own speech and Stephen not only had a "Best Man" but also a "Best Lady" who also stood up to give a speech after the wedding breakfast. I do so adore it when couples put their own stamp and personality on their special day - this is the 21st century after all so there is no reason not to do things your own way!

The evening was rounded off by drinks and dancing over in the Stables by which point the Autumn weather had caught up with us. The rain, however, did very little to dampen the party atmosphere and I left Charlie and Stephen dancing the night away and celebrating with all of their friends and family.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. To view the full set of images, please contact Charlie or Stephen.






Suppliers:

Venue - Brympton House
Flowers - Stems of Somerset
MUA - Aldona Francis
Guitarist - John Diver
Catering - Food 4 U
Cake - Ahh Toots
Disco - The Wedding Players

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) brympton house brympton house wedding photography Somerset wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography yeovil yeovil wedding photographer yeovil wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/11/charlie-and-stephen---brympton-house Tue, 12 Nov 2019 18:00:20 GMT
Victoria and Stuart - The Bear Hotel, Devizes https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/victoria-and-stuart---the-bear-hotel-devizes Small, intimate weddings seem to have been very popular this year and Victoria and Stuart's wedding was definitely one of the most emotional.

Taking place at the Bear Hotel in Devizes they said their vows in front of just their closest friends and family. Afterwards, they made their way into the next room for a meal where they were all seated around a single large table. It made the whole celebration very personal and the speeches very nearly pushed me over the edge being that they were so emotional! It was a real privilege to be asked to photograph such an intimate celebration.

Before the wedding I had chatted to Victoria and Stuart quite a lot about the photos they wanted to capture and it was apparent that, above all, they just wanted a record of the day - the people, the interactions etc..  They did, however, request a couple of particular photographs - one in the revolving door and one at "Table 12". It was so lovely to be able to spend a bit of time capturing those photos for them, knowing that they will be of particular significance.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from either Victoria or Stuart).



Suppliers:

Venue - The Bear Hotel, Devizes
Hair - Studio XVIII
MUA - The Mill Beauty Studio
Dress - The Hen House
Suits - Fox in the House
Band - The What 4s

 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) devizes devizes wedding photographer devizes wedding photography the bear hotel wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/victoria-and-stuart---the-bear-hotel-devizes Wed, 09 Oct 2019 17:50:40 GMT
Louise & Marc - Kingscote Barn https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/louise-marc---kingscote-barn Kingscote Barn is one of my favourite Cotswold venues - large enough for a decent celebration but small enough to keep that intimate feeling. And boy what a view! I was happy that Louise and Marc were eager to have lots of photographs making the most of the surroundings and we even managed to get outside after the sun had set for some nighttime shots.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. To view the full set of images, please contact Louise or Marc.



 

 





Suppliers:

Venue - Kingscote Barn
Make-up - Lovebird Make-Up
Singers - The Moon Loungers
Caterer - Strawberry Field Catering

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photography cotswolds kingscote barn kingscote barn wedding photographer kingscote barn wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/louise-marc---kingscote-barn Sat, 05 Oct 2019 15:30:00 GMT
Laura-Jane and Andrew - Trowbridge County Hall https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/laura-jane-and-andrew---trowbridge-county-hall The more weddings I photograph, the more they surprise me! Laura-Jane and Andrew's wedding did just that - it was a small, intimate wedding but one of the most emotional that I have had the pleasure to photograph.

Laura-Jane and Andrew booked me online without ever having met me. This isn't normally the way couples find me - I normally meet people at wedding fairs, I am recommended to them by friends/family or they find me online and come in for a chat. Not this time - they liked my style and as they only wanted 3 hours of coverage, they paid their deposit and that was that.

I normally always meet my couples in advance - that way they can be sure I'm the right person for them. It also gives me a chance to see what they look like so that I know who I'm photographing when I arrive (especially important if I arrive just to cover the ceremony!). So when Andrew got in touch a few weeks before the wedding to request a meeting I was more than happy to oblige.

Their wedding took place at the Registry Office at Trowbridge County Hall. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I actually really loved it as a venue (and the staff were lovely too which always helps!). Laura-Jane arrived in the most gorgeous dress and with a bouquet made all the more special by the addition of miniature portraits of Andrew's parents. After a ceremony filled with happy tears we headed outside for some group photos and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Andrew's family were eager to put their own spin on the confetti throw. I'm not sure if it has traditional roots but all of  a sudden the Bride and Groom were surrounded by singing guests and a fabric walkway was being constructed for them to walk across. It was a beautiful thing to witness!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here.


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(Copper and Blossom Photography) frome frome wedding photographer frome wedding photography masonic hall trowbridge trowbridge county hall trowbridge wedding trowbridge wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/10/laura-jane-and-andrew---trowbridge-county-hall Tue, 01 Oct 2019 13:37:57 GMT
Caroline & Steve - An Intimate Family Celebration in Bradenstoke https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/9/caroline-steve---an-intimate-family-celebration-in-bradenstoke I'm not sure I have ever been so emotional when editing wedding photos than I was when going through the photographs from Caroline and Steve's special day.

I started the day by documenting Caroline's preparations at their house in Lyneham where she was joined by her Mum, Grandmother and a couple of close friends. It gave me a chance to get some photographs of all of the little details, including Caroline's engagement ring balanced on top of some Ghostbusters lego! To ensure that her bouquet was personal and unique,  Caroline's paper flowers had been created out of Batman comics which matched Steve's shoes (as well as his cufflinks and bow-tie!).

In a break from tradition, Caroline and Steve had opted to head straight off for some wedding portraits. We travelled across to Lydiard Park in style in a beautiful vintage car provided by Function Cars of Purton.

It was a lot of fun to wander around the park taking some relaxed photos of the two of them - we raised more than a couple of eyebrows I can tell you (especially when they decided to grab a quick half of cider each to enjoy outside the cafe!). After saying hello to the horses we jumped back into the car and travelled back to the Crown Inn at Bradenstoke where there wedding blessing was to take place.

Arriving to find that the pub had been decked out extensively with Batman decorations (can you see a theme merging?!) Caroline's step-dad led the blessing which took place in front of their closest friends and family.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here.


 


Suppliers:

Venue - Cross Keys, Bradenstoke
Hair and MUA - Holly Andersen
Transport - Function Cars of Purton

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bradenstoke chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds wedding wedding blessing wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/9/caroline-steve---an-intimate-family-celebration-in-bradenstoke Fri, 13 Sep 2019 09:18:00 GMT
Louise and David - A Family-Filled Marquee Wedding in Seend https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/8/louise-and-david---a-family-filled-marquee-wedding-in-seend Louise and David's wedding was a beautiful, unique day. With many of Louise's family and friends attending from Essex and David's family coming from South Africa it truly was a global event!

I started the day by visiting David's grandparents house to take photographs of the Marquee which had been set up in their back garden. It was already a hive of activity with all of the groomsmen adding the finishing touches to the decorations (which looked amazing) and David's grandmother setting up the cake and overseeing the preparation of the food, all of which she had made herself (I truly have no idea how she managed to cater for so many people!).

From there, I nipped down the road to where Louise was getting ready with her bridesmaids in the beautiful Pigsty Cottage. It's an AirBnB property and is surrounded by the most amazing gardens which, luckily, we had a little spare time to explore! 

After their emotional church ceremony Louise and David led the way back to the Marquee, literally stopping traffic as they made their way through the village on foot. Pimms and canapés greeted their guests upon arrival and Louise and David had even supplied personalised stubby holders for everyones drinks! After a couple of hours mingling in the beautiful sunshine, it was time for food (and it was delicious!), cake and speeches. I always love photographing the speeches and they didn't disappoint - they were emotional and funny with the occasional tongue-in-cheek moment and inside joke! We were even treated to a quick fire "Mr & Mrs" game which was very entertaining.

From start to finish it was such a beautiful day - and I'm not just talking about the weather! It was a real privilege to be there to capture some amazing memories for the happy couple.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Louise or David).

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds marquee wedding marquee wedding photographer marquee wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/8/louise-and-david---a-family-filled-marquee-wedding-in-seend Tue, 06 Aug 2019 08:57:31 GMT
Adventures in Florence https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/adventures-in-florence I can't believe that it has taken me so long to get to Italy. I studied Italian at school and have always wanted to visit Rome and Venice but I have to admit that Florence wasn't necessarily on my radar. However, when my friend Sarah asked if I fancied going I thought, why not! We had both heard good things about it and so we booked our flights and started planning.

The easiest way for us to get to Florence was actually to fly in and out of Pisa which I was rather happy about as it meant that we could sneak in a quick visit to the leaning tower. It did mean, however, that we would need to navigate our way on to Florence via train. It was actually much more simple than I had imagined, thanks to this excellent blog post.

Pressing straight on to Florence, we arrived mid-afternoon and almost immediately found ourselves standing in the shadow of the impressive Duomo. I could have stopped and looked up at it for hours but we needed to get to our AirBnB as we were being met by the host.

After getting settled in we were eager to get out and explore. We made a beeline for the Piazzale Michelangelo which we had heard offered the best panoramic views of the city. Our walk took us back past the Duomo. I'll warn you now, we visited the Duomo A LOT - in fact, the Duomo dominates the skyline so much that you probably can't even really say you've been to Florence unless you have seen it from multiple angles and taken a million photographs! 

 

We also passed through Piazza della Signoria catching glimpses of the recently refurbished statue of Neptune (known locally as Biancone or "Big White"), the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. We crossed the river Arno by walking over the historic Ponte Vecchio which was just as busy as expected! 

 

In my naivety I hadn't realised quite how hilly it was on the outskirts of Florence and, of course, to get a good panoramic view (let alone a great one) this meant climbing some pretty steep hills! The view, however, didn't disappoint!

 

We spent a relaxed couple of hours watching the world go by whilst sipping wine - we even managed to nab ourselves one of the best spots at the outdoor cafe overlooking the city from on high!

The next day, our plan was to return to the Palazzo Vecchio and climb the tower. Having researched Florence in the run up to the trip, I was keen to find some viewpoints which looked out over the Duomo and by all accounts this was one of the best. We also benefitted by being able to look around the museum, including the historic Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred). It was all really interesting and I loved finding out more about the Medici.

 

The views were amazing and I was expecting the climb to be pretty difficult (for me at least)! Thankfully, the museum was spread over a number of floors so you actually end up climbing a decent amount before you even really realise. The remaining climb is split into sections so that you can stop for a breather (and to take in the spectacular views) at regular intervals.

 

Returning to ground level, our legs a little jellified(!) I was glad that we had taken the decision to arrive early - it was definitely much busier when we left and I didn't fancy facing the climb whilst being pushed along by the throngs of tourists that had now arrived! After a quick detour to La Rinascente, a department store with a relatively quiet rooftop terrace with amazing views of, you guessed it, the Duomo, we decided to head back over the river and explore the Boboli Gardens. Another recommendation but I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed. Yes they were impressive but they weren't quite as luscious as I was expecting. They were already looking rather dry and dusty (only to be expected for a mediterranean climate I suppose) and I have to admit that the sloping gardens weren't really agreeing with my already wobbly legs! Don't get me wrong, they are definitely worth a visit but I feel that we should have perhaps set a whole day aside to explore them in more detail (and at a more relaxed pace!).

Enough exertion for one day - we decided that the time had come for a well earned gelato so off we went to find yet another recommendation. Top tip - try and find places that are off the beaten path. The brightly coloured gelato that you see piled high in many shops isn't as good as their paler counterparts that you will find tucked away inside some places. Thats the good stuff!

 

 

Although we had already done a lot of walking (and I mean A LOT!), we were still eager to head back up to Piazza Michealangelo to view the city by night. 

 

Not content with having done so much walking (and climbing!) the day before, we decided to book ourselves onto the first tour of the day to climb the cathedral dome! Although it is free to visit the Cathedral itself, you need a ticket to climb the dome. The combined ticket, however, also included entry to the museum, bell tower and baptistery which meant that we pretty much had our entire day planned! But first - to Brunelleschi's dome! Vasari's depiction of the Last Judgement is certainly imposing - the photos don't really do it justice! You get the chance to view the frescos at a couple of different levels before disappearing to continue your ascent literally between the inner and outer shells of the dome. It's a little eerie viewing the dome from this angle with the walls beginning to arch over the top of you on one side whilst arching away from you on the other! I'm so glad I did it (and I was pretty proud of myself too) - the views were amazing! But, I have to say, I'm so glad we chose to book the first ascent of the day. You see, for a good portion of the climb, the route to the top is the same as the route back down. During our descent we passed some of the later groups making their climb and there isn't a huge amount of room to do so! So my top tip - go early!


We next decided to try our luck by visiting the main part of the Cathedral itself. Because it is free to visit the Cathedral (the same for almost every Cathedral in Italy) there is normally a long queue at the entrance. With the queue looking a lot shorter than we had seen it, we decided to give it a go. Our wait time was probably around 45 minutes which, for the famous il Duomo, was actually pretty short! 


Next was the Baptistery - I was eager to view this part as I had just been reading all about it in Dan Brown's novel "Inferno". Once again, it is all about the artistry on the ceiling - this time in mosaic

 

 

 

Our final stop was the bell tower and yet another long climb. I found this one the hardest of all. Thankfully there were stopping points on the way up but they do lull you into a flash sense of security as the longest flights of stairs are to be found towards the top of the tower! I made it but I did struggle (it probably didn't help that we seemed to have chosen to do nothing but climb during our time here!). The view made it worth it. I loved looking back over towards the dome and seeing the tiny people wandering around outside - it really put the whole scale of the Cathedral into perspective.

 

 

And so onto our final day. It was so sad packing up to leave as I had really enjoyed my time in Florence. I suspect it won't be too long before I return! With an early evening flight, we planned to do some final sight-seeing in Florence before jumping on the train back to Pisa. We decided that it might be nice to check out the Boboli Gardens (you can actually get a combined ticket for the Bardini and Boboli Gardens but we were too bushwhacked to do them both in the same day!). I think that I may have slightly preferred the Boboli Gardens. They were much quieter and also a little prettier, especially with the Wisteria starting to bloom.

 

 

We were extremely lucky with the weather in Florence. Yes there was some rain but it fell whilst we were indoors. That is, it did, except for our final morning when we sat out a passing rainstorm whilst drinking rosé under the awning outside a restaurant in the Piazza della Signoria. We simply remarked to the waiter that "we're British" and he smiled and left us to it!

We weren't so lucky in Pisa! It rained and rained and rained some more. We were still determined to at least *see* the tower but, in hindsight, it probably wasn't the greatest idea to walk from the train station - 20 minutes each way meant that we were soaked through by the time we made it back! But, we saw it and even took a couple of typical touristy photos.

 

 

 

The pictures above are rather deceptive - it may not look like it was raining but believe me, it was torrential. Below I've included the one and only selfie I took whilst there (a case of quick smile, done, now RUN FOR COVER!) 
So there you have it, a whistle-stop tour of Florence. I loved it - I found it such an amazing and inspirational place and I know I'll be back in a few years. I took far too many photos so if you would like to see more (lets be honest, most of them are of il Duomo!) then please take a look here. I'd love to hear about your own experiences or suggestions of places to visit for my next trip!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) florence holiday italy personal travel travel photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/adventures-in-florence Tue, 30 Jul 2019 09:45:00 GMT
Lauren & Darren - Stanton Manor Hotel https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/lauren-darren---stanton-manor-hotel For the second time this year I found myself back at Stanton Manor Hotel near Chippenham to photograph a wedding. This time it was for Lauren and Darren's big day and the weather was just as nice as when I was at the hotel back in April.

I started the day by photographing Lauren getting ready at home with her bridesmaids where we were occasionally joined by the cats who were intrigued with the goings on! It was then off to Stanton Manor with Lauren arriving in style in a vintage Bedford chauffeured by her father-in-law-to-be!

Despite a few hiccups in the run-up, on the day itself everything ran smoothly - Lauren and Darren's attention to detail ensured that there were lots of personal touches and meant that the whole day was a pleasure to photograph.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Lauren or Darren).

Suppliers:

Venue - Stanton Manor
Hair - Lauren Gosling Hair
Flowers - Blooming Chic
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
Love Letters - Burnt Orange
Videographer - Adam Smith

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds stanton manor stanton manor wedding photographer stanton manor wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/lauren-darren---stanton-manor-hotel Wed, 10 Jul 2019 11:10:43 GMT
Tabitha & Michael - Stourhead Gardens https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/tabitha-michael---stourhead-gardens The run up to Tabitha and Michael's wedding was wet to say the least! I had been keeping an eye on the weather in the run up to their big day with a little trepidation. The weather is the one thing that you have no control of but because they were getting married at the beautiful Stourhead Gardens, I was keeping my fingers crossed (as I think we all were) that it would be dry.

Amazingly, the wet weather abated just before their ceremony and we were even treated to some blue skies! Not that it would have mattered. The ceremony took place inside the intimate Temple of Apollo with their son taking centre stage whilst Tabitha and Michael said their vows and exchanged rings. The weather held off just long enough for the drinks reception and the formal photos. However, by the time we had made it back down the hill (delayed in part by the mini-bus getting stuck in the mud which had been caused by the previous week of rain!) our luck ran out. Thankfully we managed to get a group shot of everyone on the iconic bridge but the torrential downpour meant that umbrellas were essential!

With the rain not due to ease for the foreseeable future, we all made our way back to Chippenham (Tabitha and Michael in a beautiful vintage Bedford) where we were all surprised the find that it was dry, the sun making a reappearance once again! 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Tabitha or Michael).



 

Suppliers:

Make-Up - Eleanor Nancy
Venue - Stourhead Gardens
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) Somerset Somerset wedding photographer Somerset wedding photography stourhead stourhead gardens stourhead gardens wedding photography stourhead wedding stourhead wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/7/tabitha-michael---stourhead-gardens Mon, 01 Jul 2019 11:54:04 GMT
Carly and Tom - Owl Lodge, Lacock https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/6/carly-and-tom---owl-lodge-lacock Owl Lodge had long been one of those places that I had heard about often but had never actually got around to visiting. So when Carly and Tom got in touch to ask whether I was available to photograph their wedding there, I jumped at the chance!

It is such a beautiful setting, overlooking the countryside just on the outskirts of Lacock. It is tucked away, that's for sure - miss the boulder at the end of the drive then you could be forgiven for not even realising it is there! The driveway takes you first past the farmhouse, then the farm itself and then it is still a few minutes drive along the gravel track (avoiding inquisitive pheasants!) before you properly reach the venue.

It helped that Carly and Tom's wedding day dawned bright and sunny. It meant that their guests got to take advantage of the lovely outdoor spaces. It also gave us the opportunity to capture some beautiful portraits outside using the barns as a backdrop (I'm a bit of a sucker for a rustic background!). 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Carly or Tom).

Suppliers:

Venue - Owl Lodge
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
Flowers - Coates Florist
Caterer - Vaughans Kitchen
DJ and Magic Mirror - Eventimate

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) barn wedding photography lacock lacock wedding lacock wedding photographer owl lodge owl lodge wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/6/carly-and-tom---owl-lodge-lacock Mon, 24 Jun 2019 08:57:54 GMT
Laura & Jamie - A Blustery Wedding in South Wraxall https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/6/laura-jamie---a-blustery-wedding-in-south-wraxall On the day of Laura and Jamie's wedding, we were greeted by the tail end of Storm Hannah. We dodged the worst of the rain, thankfully, but we weren't able to escape the wind. It was blustery to say the least which, by all accounts, had caused a bit of trouble with the marquee. Luckily, everything came together and Laura and Jamie were able to spend the day celebrating with all of their closest family and friends.

The ceremony took place at St James Church in South Wraxall. It was very touching and their son even acted as best man. After a wind-fuelled confetti throw, Laura and Jamie jumped into a white Landrover and, after a quick stop at Great Chalfield Manor for some photos, headed on to their reception at Merkins Farm. 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Laura or Jamie).

 

Suppliers:

Venue - Merkins Farm
Flowers - Flower Station
Caterer - Meeks Catering
DJ - Bespoke DJ Events
 

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bradford on avon bradford on avon wedding bradford on avon wedding photographer marquee wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/6/laura-jamie---a-blustery-wedding-in-south-wraxall Sun, 02 Jun 2019 17:18:28 GMT
Laura & Sebastian - Stanton Manor Hotel https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/laura-sebastian---stanton-manor-hotel Laura and Sebastian were married on Easter Sunday at Stanton Manor Hotel near Chippenham.

This was the first wedding that I have photographed at Stanton Manor but, since their recent refurbishment, I already have a number of other weddings booked at this venue. It's always great to see how weddings unfold at every new venue and I now know, for future reference, that in order to take a group photograph of all the guests on the lawn, you have to actually stand in the bath in the bridal suite! 

It was a beautiful sunny day which meant that Laura and Sebastian were able to take advantage of the weather and get married outside underneath the gazebo. It had been transformed with lots of gorgeous flowers by Portia Potts Floristry and it looked beautiful!

Laura must be one of the smiliest brides that I have ever photographed - she was beaming from ear to ear throughout the entire day - but it set the tone for the whole wedding with smiles, laughs and happy tears aplenty!

With the weather being so lovely, the garden received a lot of use with the boules, swing-ball, giant jenga and giant connect 4 all constantly in action and, despite the fact that very sunny weddings can cause a bit of a headache for photographers (strong sunlight, harsh shadows etc...) it was actually lovely to be able to capture lots of vibrant blue skies (for a change)! 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Laura or Sebastian).

Suppliers:

Venue - Stanton Manor
Hair and Make-up - Rachel Neate
Flowers - Portia Potts Floristry
Cake - The Fairy Cakery
DJ - Young Ones Disco

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham chippenham wedding chippenham wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds stanton manor stanton manor wedding photographer stanton manor wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/laura-sebastian---stanton-manor-hotel Tue, 28 May 2019 11:09:39 GMT
Catherine & James - Lowden Garden Centre https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/catherine-james---lowden-garden-centre Catherine and James were married on one of the hottest days of the year so far! As soon as we arrived at the church we were greeted by gorgeous blue skies which always puts people in a happy, smiley mood.

Their ceremony was held at family at the pretty church in Neston, after which there was one of the most ferocious confetti throws that I have ever witnessed! There was SO MUCH confetti! Catherine and James had decided to host their reception at Lowden Garden Centre. Initially I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived but I have to say that Lowden is a real hidden gem! The marquee, which is set up behind the garden centre and cafe, is beautiful! For Catherine and James, it had been decorated with lots of greenery and white flowers and I loved the personalised hedgehog place settings!

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Catherine or James).

Suppliers:

Venue - Lowden Garden Centre 
Dress boutique - Krystle Brides
Dress designer - Alan Hannah Bridal
Cake - Cakes by Mrs F
Bouquets and buttonholes - Forever Blooms Metal Petals
Church Flowers - Neston Flowers
Reception Flowers - Lowden Garden Centre 
Car - Simply Memorable
Table Plan - Tamsin Yates

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) lowden garden centre lowden garden centre wedding photographer lowden garden centre wedding photography melksham melksham wedding melksham wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/catherine-james---lowden-garden-centre Fri, 24 May 2019 08:56:28 GMT
Sophie & Joe - The Moonraker Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/sophie-joe---the-moonraker-hotel-bradford-on-avon Sophie and Joe were married at the Moonraker Hotel near Bradford on Avon which, despite the fact that I live only a few miles away, marked my first ever wedding at this venue. And what a lovely day it turned out to be!

Lots of thought went into every part of their day. The use of daffodils in the decoration of the venue ensured that it had a lovely spring-like feel (Sophie's bouquet in particular was gorgeous!) and the decor was completed with lots (and lots!) of nods to their love of skiing. From the cake to the table plan and more. The marquee was adorned with snowflakes and skis - they even had a real-life ski-lift set up in the corner which was used as a fun photo booth (complete with props) later in the evening!

It would be remiss of me not to mention Sophie and Joe's brothers who put together a personalised reading during the ceremony which had everyone hooting with laughter. And special mention should also go to the speeches. With two best men, Joe was never going to get off lightly but they went the extra mile by providing handouts for the guests which proved to be a great source of entertainment! 

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Sophie or Joe).

Suppliers:

Venue - The Moonraker Hotel
Flowers - Boundless Blooms
Dress - Find a Dress Bridalwear
Band - The Generations

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bradford on avon bradford on avon wedding photographer moonraker hotel moonraker hotel wedding photographer moonraker hotel wedding photography trowbridge trowbridge wedding wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wiltshire wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/5/sophie-joe---the-moonraker-hotel-bradford-on-avon Mon, 13 May 2019 12:18:29 GMT
Daniel & David - Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/4/daniel-david---great-tythe-barn-tetbury Daniel and David's March wedding seemed to come around so very quickly! Ever since they booked me (many, many months ago!) I had been looking forward to their wedding as I knew it was going to be an amazing day. With the wedding drawing ever closer, the excitement continued to build as I realised that I was going to be working alongside some great friends and colleagues in the wedding industry (listed at the bottom of the page).

The day itself was beautiful, emotional and filled with an abundance of personal touches. Surrounded by all of their closest friends and family, many of whom had attended from overseas, Daniel and David made their vows and were very quickly joined by their two gorgeous dogs who stole the show for a few amusing moments! As the weather stayed dry (at least until the early evening), we were even able to get out into the beautiful grounds for some photographs, the dogs in tow. 

It was such a special day - I found the speeches particularly moving (as well as downright hilarious at times!) - and I felt really very privileged that Daniel and David had invited me along to capture it all for them.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the day. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Daniel or David).


 



Suppliers:

Venue - Great Tythe Barn
Celebrant - Hannah Hart
Planning - Love to Plan
Videography - Relive the Day
Flowers - The Floral Studio
Hair and Make-up - Holly Anderson, Updoo, Mandy Lee
DJ - Euphoria Entertainments
Caterer - Fosters Events
Cheese 'Cake' - West Country Cheese Company
Furniture hire - Valley Furniture Hire
Decorative hire - Event Style
String duo - Rosebourne Duo
Uilleann Pipe - Paul Brennan
Electric Harp - Jemima Phillips
Magician - Andy Jamieson
Stationery - Iris & B
Sweet Cart - Emma's Kitchen
Photo Booth - Camper Camera

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) cotswold wedding photographer cotswold wedding photography cotswolds great tythe barn great tythe barn wedding photographer great tythe barn wedding photography tetbury tetbury wedding tetbury wedding photographer wedding wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/4/daniel-david---great-tythe-barn-tetbury Wed, 10 Apr 2019 07:36:06 GMT
Louise and Ken - Walton Castle, Clevedon https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/3/louise-and-ken---walton-castle-clevedon Louise and Ken's wedding was my first wedding of 2019 and what a beautiful day it turned out to be! Taking place in February, we were fully expecting to be ensconced inside the castle keep for the majority of the afternoon. As it turned out, we had beautiful blue skies. Not only that, it was also surprisingly warm! It meant that the guests were able to sip their champagne outside in the glorious sunshine and make the most of the beautiful grounds.

I have to admit that I had never heard of Walton Castle before Louise and Ken asked me to photograph their special day there but it really is a rather special place. Perched on the top of a hill with amazing views of the surrounding countryside, it's an intimate venue that you can hire out for your own personal use. 

Below are a few of my favourite photos. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Louise or Ken).

Suppliers:

Venue - Walton Castle
 




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(Copper and Blossom Photography) clevedon clevedon wedding clevedon wedding photographer somerset somerset wedding photography walton castle walton castle wedding photographer walton castle wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/3/louise-and-ken---walton-castle-clevedon Thu, 07 Mar 2019 18:55:09 GMT
Is it rude to ask guests to pay for my wedding? 4 alternatives to the traditional gift list https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/2/is-it-rude-to-ask-guests-to-pay-for-my-wedding In 2018, the average cost of a wedding in the UK reached £32,273 - a truly eye-watering amount for most couples!

If you are just at the beginning of your wedding planning journey, that figure may well be daunting as well as scary! Even if you don't voice it out loud, you can be forgiven for thinking "would it be rude to ask our guests to contribute towards the cost of our wedding?"

The answer, I'm afraid, isn't a simple one!

Most couples would be horrified at the thought of asking guests to pay towards their wedding. In fact many couples feel uncomfortable mentioning gifts at all. In the past few years, the news seems to be filled with one horror story after another regarding this very subject . Remember the Bride and Groom who tried to CrowdFund for their perfect wedding or the Bride who demanded their guests pay $3,000 to attend so its understandable if you want to steer clear of this clearly divisive subject.

The fact remains, however, that most guests WANT and EXPECT to provide a gift. Although it is completely unacceptable to ask guests to pay towards the cost of the wedding itself (this is a celebration after all, not a ticketed event!), there are ways that you can subtly ask for gifts that will specifically be useful. So what, realistically, are your options? Lets start by looking at the place of the traditional gift list.

Traditional Gift Registry 

The days of the traditional gift list registry are pretty much numbered! Most modern-day couples have already set up their own homes and may have even started their own families. As such, traditional gift lists are becoming obsolete as couples no longer need to ask for a gravy boat or a 24-piece crockery set! Larger stores such as John Lewis still offer gift list services but they are few and far between with most couples not wanting to restrict their gift list to just one location.

Online Gift List Service

Online sites such as Prezola specialise in providing a modern approach to the gift list. Couples can choose from over 50,000 gifts with hundreds of different brands to choose from. You can even upgrade your account to enable you to add cash gifts and honeymoon funds which can help you out immediately following the wedding.

Honeymoon Fund

If you decide that you would like your guests to contribute towards your honeymoon fund then take a look at this list compiled by Brides Magazine. It lists their top suggestions for honeymoon registry sites with many of them allowing guests to contribute towards specific items such as airline tickets, days out, romantic meals and more.

Cash

This is a tricky one. There isn't really a polite way to say "we'd prefer cash" although there does seem to be division as to whether it is acceptable etiquette to do so. In fact, wedding website Hitched asked guests what they really thought about being asked for cash gifts and the responses were definitely interesting with the majority agreeing that it felt impersonal. What is evident, however, is that if you are determined to ask your guests for cash, they would appreciate to know where it would be spent - if it is for white goods for the kitchen or a new shed, most people would happily provide cash. If, on the other hand, you want to splash out on Louboutin shoes and Mulberry handbags, your guests probably won't appreciate it! In fact, sites such as Zank You allow you to specify what you want to purchase with guests transferring money into your wedding account to cover the cost of a particular gift.


Contributions towards your Photography

If you don't like the idea of asking for cash and feel like contributions towards a honeymoon are also too much, then there is an alternative. Why not ask your guests to contribute towards your everlasting memories instead?

My "Gifted Memories" photography package has been created with this is mind. By requesting that guests contribute towards the photography costs, they are providing you with the gift of everlasting memories. This package also includes a personalised frame which contains messages from everyone who has contributed. Contributions start from as little as £25 but, the best thing is, the breakdown of the amount contributed is not revealed so your guests won't feel pressurised to contribute large amounts if they don't want to.

There are lots of other benefits to choosing this package, both for you and your guests, so if you want to find out more, please take a look at this page

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) advice top tips wedding advice wedding photography wedding planning wedmin https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/2/is-it-rude-to-ask-guests-to-pay-for-my-wedding Thu, 07 Feb 2019 15:46:03 GMT
Venue Showcase : Kingscote Barn https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/2/wedding-venue-kingscote-barn If you are looking for a beautiful barn venue in the Cotswolds for your wedding then you may want to consider Kingscote Barn. Located a short 10 minute drive from Tetbury and a 15 minute drive from Stroud, Kingscote Barn is set in a stunning location surrounded by rolling hills. 

Formerly the location of the current farm barn, it was converted to be a wedding and events venue when the owners decided to relocate the farm buildings further up the hill - not that the farm is really noticeable. The only time you really notice is during the Spring when the surrounding hillsides are thronged with bouncing lambs!

Kingscote Barn is a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away in a valley, not even visible from the main road. It isn't until you descend along the driveway that the barn can even be seen, emerging from behind the hedgerows as you make your approach.

It is a versatile venue that can be used for ceremonies and receptions for up to 150 people. The barn also benefits from a mezzanine level which can seat additional guests or can simply be used as a vantage point (I quite often find myself perched up there when shooting weddings!). The barn provides a rustic blank canvas that can be decorated to suit your own style. Lanterns and light canopies can provide an extra wow factor and maximise use of the space.

Over the years, Kingscote Barn has made lots of lovely additions and they can now provide outdoor ceremonies on the beautiful lawns in front of the Oak Linhay. Even if you don't want to have an outdoor ceremony, the Linhay provides a beautiful backdrop for photos.

You will find, however, that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to photos! There are beautiful vistas in every direction. There is also a games paddock where you can set up games to keep the young (and young-at-heart!) entertained, a boules court, vast lawns for a relaxed drinks reception and also plenty of outdoor chairs and benches where your friends and family can congregate to have a drink and a natter!


It truly is a beautiful place with lots of scope for adding your own personal touches. To find out if it the perfect venue for your celebration, why not arrange a viewing and see the place for yourself? If you are also looking for a photographer then I can happily say that Kingscote is one of my absolute favourite venues to photograph. I would be more than happy to meet you there for a chat to see whether I am the right photographer for you!

To view additional photographs showcasing Kingscote Barn, please follow this link.

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) barn wedding cotswolds cotswolds venue cotswolds wedding venue countryside wedding gloucestershire gloucestershire wedding kingscote barn stroud tetbury venue venue showcase cotswolds wedding venue https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/2/wedding-venue-kingscote-barn Tue, 05 Feb 2019 18:34:00 GMT
Adventures in Norway https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/1/adventures-in-norway It has only been four short weeks since I came back from Norway but, with Christmas and New Year fast approaching, I delayed blogging about it until now!

I also struggled majorly deciding which photos to post - my first attempt at blogging them seemed set to exceed 100 images(!!!) which I knew absolutely no-one would have the patience to wade through. So, in order to get a few of my favourite photos blogged before too much time passes, I have been strict with myself and these are the images that remain!

Bergen is truly a very pretty town. Settled in amongst the mountains and surrounded by fjords, the best way to appreciate it is from one of the high vantage points. As we were visiting out of season, our best option was to ride the funicular railway to the top of Mount Floyen. The photos don't really do it justice - every few minutes the light would change and the view would look completely different.

In the end, we went up to Mount Floyen twice - once at the start of our time there, and again at the end. The views were immediately very different for one particular reason... SNOW! See if you can spot the difference!!!

One of the main reasons tourists choose to visit Bergen is to see the colourful wooden houses which form the UNESCO World heritage site of Bryggen. Having looked into their turbulent history, I was intrigued to see them but wasn't expecting much - after all, they were only wooden buildings! They were, however, very photogenic and I can see how they would be even prettier on a bright sunny day (we, unfortunately, had rain and mist for most of our time there). I was surprised, though, to see how many narrow alleyways were tucked in between the houses - you really could miss them completely if you didn't know they were there!

In fact, Bergen is known for its narrow alleyways so we made sure to venture off of the beaten track where we stumbled across lots of pretty houses. Much of Bergen is hilly which provided some amazing photographic opportunities across the rooftops, even if it did mean that we struggled getting up and down the cobbled streets in order to take them! One of my highlights of the trip was the self-guided "Norway in a Nutshell" tour that takes you way up into the mountains by way of train, bus and boat. Even though it was a bit of a grey, misty day, I still had an amazing time! It was just a shame that the weather was so gloomy as we missed out on some of the spectacular views along the Flåm railway. Definitely a trip to repeat at some point in the future!


Seeing as we were visiting the "Gateway to the Fjords" it seemed silly not to make the most of it... when in Rome (ok, when in Bergen!). We booked a second, shorter fjord tour the next day to visit Mostraumen. Unfortunately the day was even greyer and even mistier than the day before but it did make for some lovely, atmospheric photos! It really made all of the colourful, wooden houses stand out on the landscape!

On our final day we decided to tackle a relatively gentle 2 hour circular hike through the mountains! I was apprehensive at first, worried that my back (and my legs) wouldn't allow me to get that far! But I'm so glad we did it - It was absolutely stunning! Every twist and turn along the path brought us face to face with another amazing view and we stopped so often to take photographs that I needn't have worried about struggling to walk so far!

Want to see more? Well, guess what? You can! I took so many photos and you can view the entire set here (they are even available to purchase if you wish to do so). Thank you Norway - it has been ace! I will definitely be back!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) holiday norway personal travel travel photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2019/1/adventures-in-norway Wed, 02 Jan 2019 21:02:56 GMT
2018 Wedding Photography Round-Up https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/2018-wedding-photography-round-up 2018 yet again turned into a rather amazing year on the wedding front. I was lucky enough to photograph at some of my favourite venues - Kingscote Barn and Coombe Lodge being just two of them - and I was also given the amazing opportunity to visit some new venues - Ellenborough Park, Fison Barn, Spittleborough Farmhouse, Leigh Park Hotel, Winkworth Farm, the Hare and Hounds Hotel and The Roman Baths.

I also hit a big milestone this year - I photographed my 100th wedding! It was such a beautiful day which also involved an owl ring-bearer!

So here are a few of my favourite photos and moments from weddings I photographed during 2018. It is a real mix of photos, from dresses, rings and bouquets to dogs, owls and even a drone shot. It was a real struggle to narrow it down!

Thank you 2018 - you have been amazing! I can't wait to get started with 2019...



 









 



If you are still here and stumbled across this blog post because you're getting married yourself, please get in touch if you would like to discuss your requirements. I would love to hear all about your exciting wedding plans!

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) chippenham wedding photographer documentary documentary wedding photography gloucestershire wedding photography london wedding photography reportage reportage wedding photography somerset wedding photography swindon wedding photography the magic of the moment wedding photography weddings wiltshire wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/2018-wedding-photography-round-up Sat, 29 Dec 2018 10:07:42 GMT
The 2019 Photo Quest https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/the-2019-photo-quest With 2019 on the horizon, I thought it was the perfect time to throw myself into another photo quest. The last quest I ran, back in August, was a great success and quite a few of the people who took part will be joining me on the next adventure too.

Are you interested in taking part? Here are a few more details: 

What is a Photo Quest?

A photo quest is a photographic scavenger hunt. For the 2019 challenge there will be both daily and weekly challenges. The beauty of it is that you can choose which path to follow - one photo every week, one photo every day or simply just dip in and out as the fancy takes you. To make the most of it, however, I would strongly advise that you take part at least once each week. The challenge will be to photograph something on each day or week to fit the assigned theme. I have called it a quest because it will involve a search for specific images rather than simply being a generic "photo a day" challenge.

I'd like to take part - how do I sign up?

Fantastic! Last time around we had 44 people signed up which really did make it a fun and supportive exercise. To join us, please sign up using this link.

Are there any rules?

I want this to be a fun challenge but, yes, there are one or two rules. First and foremost, photos must be taken during the same day/week as the challenge i.e. you cannot post "that great shot from my holiday that I took 6 months ago". This is the key point of the quest - it is meant to get you thinking, inspire and challenge you. There really is no point in taking part if all you do is go back through your archive.

How do I share my photos and see how everyone else has interpreted the theme?

Adventures like this are so much better when they are shared. Everyone likes to receive nice comments on their images - even more so if it has been difficult to fulfil the challenge that day. Sign up via this link to receive updates about the challenge and then share your photos with the Copper & Blossom photography community - share your progress, share your enthusiasm and support others who are in the same boat.

Can I share my photos on Instagram?

Absolutely! Just be sure to #hashtag your images so everyone else can find them. The specific hashtag for the quest will be #photoquest2019

 


 

Below you will find the first week of themes for the 2019 Photo Quest. Please note that the quest will begin on 31st December (simply because it made more sense to start on a Monday!). Take a look and get your thinking cap on. I have deliberately included subjects that are open to interpretation.

 

 

Each week, a new challenge photo album will be created on the Facebook community page. Please upload your images to the relevant album and take the time to like and comment on other peoples photos. Keep an eye out too for everyones photos on Instagram under the hashtag #photoquest2019

Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Don't forget to have fun and experiment. Take a look at the list above and start thinking about which themes you can use to push yourself to try something new. Maybe it’s a technique that you would like to try out or a different location that you would like to visit.

I'll see you over on Facebook...

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) challenge photo a day photo challenge photo quest photoquest2019 https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/the-2019-photo-quest Fri, 28 Dec 2018 12:27:38 GMT
Lillie and Jack - A Family-Filled Wedding at the Hare and Hounds in Tetbury https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/lillie-and-jack---a-family-filled-wedding-at-the-hare-and-hounds-in-tetbury Lillie and Jack's wedding was my final wedding of 2018 but it still managed to creep up on me really quickly! After photographing Lillie's brother's wedding earlier in the summer, we felt like their wedding was still a long way off but it came around super quick!

Lillie and Jack were married at the Hare and Hounds near Tetbury, a lovely hotel on the edge of the Cotswolds. With it being November, we weren't completely surprised that the day was cold and drizzly so we spent most of the day cosied up inside the comfy reception rooms. We did, however, manage to sneak out during a break in the weather so that we could get some photos in front of the pretty doorway. 

To be honest, it didn't matter that it was raining outside. Everyone was happy to stay cosy and warm inside making the most of the comfy seats and raiding the sweet buffet! After the speeches and the cutting of the cheese cake (not a "cheesecake" in the sweet sense but tiers of actual cheese) the evening started off with a bit of a surprise for Lillie when Jack pulled out a guitar and serenaded her with a rendition of "Yellow" by Coldplay. It was such a lovely, relaxed day and it was really nice to have been asked to be there to document the celebrations for them.

Below are a few of my favourite photos. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Lillie or Jack).

Suppliers:

Venue - The Hare and Hounds, Tetbury
 





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(Copper and Blossom Photography) gloucestershire gloucestershire wedding photography hare and hounds hotel hare and hounds wedding photographer hare and hounds wedding photography tetbury tetbury wedding tetbury wedding photographer wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/lillie-and-jack---a-family-filled-wedding-at-the-hare-and-hounds-in-tetbury Sun, 16 Dec 2018 16:14:18 GMT
Christmas Wreath Workshop https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/christmas-wreath-workshop With Christmas fast approaching, I was excited to attend a recent Christmas wreath-making workshop run by Caroline of Foxy Buds and Helen from Pudding Bridge.

Held in the Westwood Parish Rooms near Bradford-on-Avon, our class (the 4th of 6th over the weekend) convened on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, all eager to get stuck in. We were each greeted with a warming mug of hot chocolate and shortbread biscuits and asked to take a seat. 

 


I have to admit, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had always assumed that wreath making was a long and complicated process. Caroline, however, broke it down for us into small, manageable steps and, before we knew it, the room was filled with oohs and aahs over our own acheivements.

With all of our hard work and concentration, we were glad of a midway break where we were offered mulled cider (non-alcoholic) and a mice pie which made us all feel very festive!


With our wreaths almost complete, we were introduced to the finishing touches - luxury bows in a variety of colours as well as pine cones and dried fruit slices. Caroline once again provided instructions on how to attach the items and offered guidance on their placement. 

It was amazing to see the range of different wreaths that we had managed to create. Provided with, essentially, exactly the same components, the way we had each chosen to bunch the foliage ensured that every wreath was unique. We each then further personalised our wreaths due to our choices of the additional elements.

As for me, I chose a green-silver bow with small pine cones and dried orange slices and I am so, so happy with the final result!

It was amazing how quickly the two-hour workshop went by. The time just flew! Probably due to the fact I was having such a great time! Caroline and Helen were so helpful and always on hand to provide advice and go back over any steps that had been challenging. I can't wait to display my wreath on my front door and I will definitely attend another workshop in the future - it wasn't just that I came away with a lovely keepsake for Christmas but it was such a lovely, festive thing to do. I would definitely recommend it, especially as a fun morning out with a group of friends.

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(Copper and Blossom Photography) behind the scenes christmas documentary festive workshop https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/12/christmas-wreath-workshop Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:14:31 GMT
Sandra & Gavin - Roman Baths Wedding Photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/11/sandra-gavin---roman-baths-wedding-photography I never thought I would ever get the chance to photograph a wedding at the historic Roman Baths so when Sandra and Gavin asked me to document their wedding which was to take place there, I jumped at the chance!

It is such an iconic place that I couldn't help but start to get excited when they told me all about their plans of saying "I do" with their friends and family gathered around the baths themselves. What I hadn't realised was that you are only able to get married there at either sunrise or sunset - I suppose it makes sense when you think about the number of tourists that pass through the doors on any given day. Sandra and Gavin had chosen to get married at sunset - so romantic!

This being such a unique venue there were definitely a number of challenges posed by shooting a wedding there that you would not get at another venue. The lack of natural light was just the first challenge and then of course you have a massive great big pool of water that you have to avoid and lots of (admittedly beautiful!) columns and statues to work around. Of course, it didn't really matter because it simply provided a unique set of photographs which have their very own aesthetic and charm!

Below are a few of my favourite photos. The full set of images can be found here (the password can be obtained from Sandra or Gavin).

Suppliers:

Venue - The Roman Baths
 




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(Copper and Blossom Photography) bath bath wedding bath wedding photographer roman baths roman baths wedding photographer roman baths wedding photography somerset somerset wedding photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/11/sandra-gavin---roman-baths-wedding-photography Wed, 28 Nov 2018 13:58:49 GMT
Where to Start Your Search for Wedding Suppliers - Wedding Fayre Top Tips https://www.copperandblossom.co.uk/blog/2018/11/searching-for-wedding-suppliers---wedding-fayre-top-tips The 2018 wedding fayre season may just be wrapping up but, before you know it, 2019 will be upon us and, so too, will be all of the Spring wedding fayres. This tends to be the busiest season for wedding fayres. Not only are lots of couples excited about becoming engaged over Christmas and New Year but for lots of other couples, the dawning of January 1st brings the mild panic of "we're getting married this year - we really must get organised!". Consequently, although wedding planning can be exciting for some, the thought of starting the search for suppliers can be hugely daunting for others.

The temptation of a glass of prosecco, cake samples and goody bags can often be enough of a draw to entice along newly engaged couples but it goes hand in hand with chatting to suppliers who are, essentially, strangers. So if you are unsure of what to expect when visiting a fayre or are wary about throwing yourself into the planning, here are a few of my top tips for attending and getting the most out of a wedding fayre:

1) It's never too early to attend your first fayre.

It doesn't matter if you haven't set a date or found your perfect venue yet - if you are engaged and there is a wedding fayre happening locally, pop in and give yourself a head start on the planning. Pick up as much literature as you can - believe me, there will be plenty on offer. No-one will mind if you're not quite at the stage of booking venues and suppliers just yet but you will give yourself a much better idea of where to start. You may pick up a brilliant nugget of information or stumble across s