Wedding Photography at The White Horse Southill.

A small but oh so perfect wedding at the White Horse in Southill.

Here is a selection of the wedding photos from Rosie and Ben’s day, The wedding was held at St Marys church in Meppershalt, with the reception at The White Horse in Southill.

It’s hard to imagine what a wedding looks like in 2020, with all the rules and restrictions in place, it’s easy to see why most couples have decided to postpone their big day. I’ve been so lucky to have shot a few mini weddings, but Rosie and Ben’s wedding was the first full day celebrations that I have had this year. From the get go, Rosie & Ben were determined to find a way to enjoy their celebrations. Plans adapted and changed often, in the end they had to plan three different wedding days in total. Planning one wedding is hard enough, but doing it three times must have been so stressful. But there was no sign of stress on the actual day and it felt every bit like a wedding, all be it with a few Covid rules in place. And yes, there was sanitiser, extra space, less guests, no hugs and of course the masks, but there was still so much happiness and plenty of love to make up for it. I think to have held such an awesome day in spite of these tough times is a real special achievement and says so much about what an amazing couple Rosie and Ben are.

If you are planning a wedding during this crazy year and you would like to know more about my smaller packages for Micro weddings then please get in touch and tell me all about your day. Just because there are more rules, doesn’t mean you can’y have an amazing day!

South Farm Wedding.

What do you do when the Pandemic robs you of your perfect wedding day. How about getting some bubbles on ice, pack a wee picnic and spend the afternoon at the grounds of your amazing wedding venue, South Farm!

Kelsey and Tom made the decision to postpone their wedding until next spring and on the day of their cancelled wedding they headed down to South Farm. It was almost a little heartbreaking to see just how stunning the venue looked. The staff their have worked through the pandemic to make sure the venue is wedding ready as soon as it can be, and it really shows. Everything was just perfect!!

South Farm has been on my radar since I moved to Hitchin, it’s a wedding photographers dream venue! So many beautiful spots to capture great shots, lots of different vibrant colours and textures and little nooks for guests to explore. They have a mixture of different rooms available to get married in, from the drawing room (which can hold 35 people) to the Tudor Barn (with a capacity of 146). You can also get married outside on the lawn! They have an amazing collection of quirky roman caravans that your guests can stay in and they even have an area to camp in! I want to go back to 2012 and get married here myself!!

If you are planning a South Farm wedding then please get in touch, I’d love too hear how you plan on using the venue!

Proposal at Hitchin Lavender

A Proposal Photographed

Last week I got the pleasure of shooting my very first proposal at Hitchin Lavender. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I think not having shot a full blow wedding since last December may have added to the nerves a little!! But everything went as planned for the lovely Mustafa, who contacted me the previous week to tell me of his romantic proposal plans. It was such a wonderful moment to witness, with a perfect backdrop of stunning rows of purple lavender. And of course his beautiful Rakan said yes !

The Proposal

I am so lucky to have Hitchin Lavender on my doorstep so I was super exciting when Mustafa suggested it was held here. I wasted no time in booking a ticket to go and check out the best place to propose. I have been here a number of times and shot a wedding here but I’ve never been there with the mindset of how it would look capturing a real proposal. So I went there looking for all the stunning spots you could pop the question.  I thought about the logistics of Mustafa proposing in the tight rows of lavender and decided that this might be too difficult, as the rows are very narrow and to capture the moment properly, front on, they would need to be in different rows and Mustafa wouldn’t have much room to go down on one knee, plus the wasps!! It also seemed that most visitors flock to the first few rows, these are a more vivid purple so naturally draw people in! I knew he wanted it to be as quiet as possible so I decided the best spot was further along the field, there is a break in the lavender and an aisle of green drawing the eye to the top of the field. It made a great composition! It also gave me more room at the bottom to shoot from, I wanted it to feel private so I decided to use my beast of lens the 70-200m. Now, I know this isn’t the most discrete lens, but it would allow Mustafa to have some privacy whilst I could get some lovely shots from a far. I kept thinking about how odd it would look to be sitting alone with a huge camera, so last minute I dragged my wonderful sister along to help me look a little less conspicuous. This was such a great call, my sister is a drama teacher so she loved playing the part of a local author who wanted to have some headshots taken in the field. She was also able to kindly ask visitors to the fields if they wouldn’t mind holding back for a few minutes while Mustafa proposed. Without her I may have had extra people walking in front on them during the exact moment!

It really was beautiful (my sister was crying!)  and everything played out just as we had hoped it would. After Mustafa and Rukan had some time together to enjoy the moment, I came and said hello and captured some couple shots of them in the field. I love the photos, you can really see the excitement and love between these two, being part of their special moment was a true honour and I am so pleased with the outcome.

“Thank you so much, for your amazing work and your bubbly and friendly personality. You made me feel so comfortable while taking those shots. Will definitely recommend you to friends and family. Sending warmest wishes to you and your family. ❤️ ” – Rukan

Hitchin Lavender is one of my featured wedding venues. If you would like more info on holding a wedding here then click here, or go direct to their site here.

The Photos

Lavender Fields shoot

Hertfordshire Pre Wedding Shoot

Hitchin Pre Wedding Shoot.

One of the many reasons I love a Hitchin pre wedding shoot is it gives me the chance to break the ice with my couples before the wedding, whilst also taking in the time to enjoy Hitchin with out my kids (lockdown has been long for me!!).  I want you to feel comfortable with me on your wedding day and often spending an hour in the woods, talking weddings and general life chit chat, does just the trick! This month I had the pleasure of taking not one but two ‘almost weds’ into my new favourite Hitchin hang out, Wain Woods. We are kind of spoilt for choice for places to frame engagements shoots in Hitchin, but Wain Woods has an extra level of privacy that other busier woods can’t offer. So for my slightly shyer couples, this is perfect! It is also a great place to walk a dog and that is exactly what Rosie and Ben AND Claire and Matt did. I have waited 9 years to have dogs at a shoot and then I had two in one week! Confession time, I am a cat person, but these two dogs won me over!

Rosie and Ben are due to get married this September. They have completely changed their original plans but actually feel ok with this, with their new plans being a little more in line with what they had always wanted, a small intimate wedding! Libby their energetic dog strutted along next to them in the shoot. Apart from the occasional ‘howl’ that almost knocked me off my feet, she was very well behaved!

Claire and Matt were due to get married in May this year, they took the brave decision to postpone to this August and although they can’t have all their guests with them they are still looking forward to getting married at Redcoats. Their gorgeous dog Darcy joined us on the shoot, we only lost her a handful of times, but Matt’s impressive ‘dog call’ quickly brought her back to them.

If you want to hear more about my wedding packages which include a Hertfordshire pre wedding shoot, please click here.

To hear more about Wain woods click here.

Hitchin Wedding Suppliers.

Hitchin Wedding Suppliers, How they are adapting.

We are beginning to slowly tip toe out of our homes and creep back into normal life! The pubs and shops are open again and hopefully we will see a little life return (safely!) back onto the high street. For those of us in the wedding world it can feel a little bit like we are left behind, one of the many forgotten industry’s of the pandemic. But weddings will return! Couples are still planning their celebrations, the kind of wedding where you can sing, dance, hug and blow into a trumpet should you feel the need to!! So this is the perfect time to give a little love and a huge shout out to some of my very favourite Hitchin weddings suppliers (and a couple not so local) and see how they are adapting.

The Farmhouse at Redcoats looking stunning – Styled by The White Emporium

Styling -The White Emporium  “Although not yet holding face to face consultations I am excitedly working on styling design packs for 2021 couples. Always available to chat over the phone or via Zoom I hope to be able to resume Glam Garage viewings in a new exciting home soon.
A bride gets her hair done on her wedding morning
Claire Barberella working her magic on Emily last year.
Hair – Claire Barberella   “I’ve been having a lovely time talking to future brides and holding virtual consultations. Along with helping brides to postpone, it’s been nice to utilize this time to help new brides plan. With restrictions lifted for hairstylists, I can either hold trials if needed for those smaller weddings going ahead, or fit in appointments for all important cut and colours.”
wedding portraits Houchins
What an awesome back drop Houchins makes for your weddings photos. This was taken last year at Katy and Campbell’s winter wedding.
VenuesHouchins, one of my favourite not so local venues – “Here at Houchins we’ve just opened up for socially distanced viewings which is a great relief for us and our couples. We’re taking temperatures, have put hand sanitiser at all key points and have gloves at the ready of couples who want to touch the photo albums or anything else in the venue or house.”
The Farmhouse at Redcoats are opening from July 8th. With lunches suppers, afternoon teas and picnics. They are also offering take out roasts!!
Catherine and Mike looking totally in love at The Farmhouse Redcoats.
Entertainment – Licence to Ceilidh have been hosting some online gigs, they are also offering a recordings of your favourite ceilidh tunes or they will do an instrumental arrangement of a modern pop song. What a lovely idea for a anniversary gift!
ceilidh dancing at a wedding
Nothing gets your guests up on there feet like a ceilidh!
Flowers – Sarah Maylin is currently offering some beautiful floral Teachers gifts, she also keeps her instagram page updated with her weekly pickings – Go have a look if you want some lush flowers!

Here are some of Sarah’s beautiful flowers, shot at Hitchin Lavender.

Dress –  Morgan Davies Bridal “We are very pleased to be open and helping our brides find their perfect dresses in both boutiques. Both boutiques are limiting the number of brides in the boutique at one time and are fully equipped with PPE to make your appointment safe, whilst remaining focused on the bride”

Faye rocking the most elegant dress from Morgan Davies Bridal 
Dress – The White Wardrobe Hitchin – “We are open by appointment Saturday’s and Sunday’s. We have spent lockdown getting the shop ready so that we can be always be a minimum of 1m apart, which means the bride to be wont always have to wear a mask, I can’t imagine having to choose a dress in a mask”
Intimate and Unique Weddings – The New Normal?

Intimate and Unique Weddings during the pandemic. It’s your time to embrace small weddings!

Has the pandemic made you think differently about your big day?

It’s really hard to plan anything in life at the moment! Shall we get dressed or stay in our pjs? Coffee or gin? Homeschool or Netflix? The pandemic has put a giant pause on large gatherings in the UK, knowing when we will be given the green light to party again can make wedding planning pretty stressful. My social media feeds are full of discussion and questions like when weddings may be allowed to take place again? How many people can attend? Can you have a wedding if all your guests stayed 2 meters apart? And would you want a wedding if guests had to keep 2 meters apart? How will venues adapt? Lots of questions and not many answers.

In truth, no one really knows when big gatherings will be allowed, this will put those who are planning a traditional wedding into a frustrating limbo land. But maybe you hadn’t quite decided what your day was going to be like yet or maybe you had always been toying with the idea of a more intimate wedding day but didn’t quite feel brave enough to go through with it. If so, then maybe this a good time to explore some other options. The pandemic has given a little golden ticket to those couples who may have not felt comfortable trying something new. whether it be the expectation of others, a guests lists that seem impossible to keep small or just the fact that you didn’t really think there was an alternative. Well, I’m here to tell you there is, and now is the perfect time to embrace an alternative wedding day.

I understand that it’s very easy to get swept up when planning a wedding, when we first got engaged I wanted a small wedding followed by a party at a local pub. Before I knew it we had booked a very traditional wedding venue (all be it an awesome one) with 100 day guests to help us celebrate. I don’t have any regrets about our day, it was perfect in many ways, but had we been a little more confident about exploring the other options, I now know we could have pulled off a day that was more inline with what we originally wanted.
For me, the reason I ended up with a larger wedding day was I was so concerned about offending people who I cared about by not inviting them to celebrate our day. I knew most of my family and friends probably would have been understanding about us wanting a small wedding, but the guilt of not inviting some guests over others weighed too heavily on our shoulders.
The pandemic has handed couples who may have wanted a smaller intimate wedding a massive ‘guilt free’ pass. Larger gatherings are currently not allowed to take place, so people will understand an intimate wedding being planned off the back of the pandemic. Right now you can enjoy a glorious guilt free feeling allowing you to plan a small wedding without offending people!

So, for a limited time, the pressure is off, now is the time for small weddings to shine!!

If you need more convincing about intimate weddings read on, as I have pulled together a list of reasons that I believe make small weddings simply smashing!

  1. SO. MUCH. LOVE. What you lack in numbers you make up for in LOVE. When you are a guest at a small wedding you feel ‘knocked off your feet’ honoured to be there. And this love fills the room, oozing out of every guests with you on that day.
  2. Quality time with your guests! You’ll actually have time to enjoy your guests company. A common pit fall of a larger wedding is not having enough time with guests, often just a quick hug and a few words before you greet the next eager well wisher. Smaller weddings mean you can really indulge in good quality chat with everyone and lets pray hugs are back on, so you can really make those squeezes count!!
  3. Way more venue options. If you are happy to have the legal service before hand (or after), you get the pick of anywhere!! Look at local pubs, restaurants, pavilions, parks, village halls or even your parents garden! Many venues have smaller rooms available for more intimate weddings, so its worth asking if you have a traditional wedding venue already in mind.
  4. Budget. It’s easy maths, less people to feed and water will give you a decent saving. But a small wedding doesn’t need to be stripped back or simple, you can still stamp your personality all over your day, you just will have more money to do so if you don’t need to factor in food and drink for your cousin and their 4 children!
  5. Mix it up. Weddings generally follow an order, there is nothing wrong with this, it works well for larger numbers. Simply put it goes like this – get ready, get married, get fed, get drunk, get dancing, go home. But with a smaller group you can really mix it up, take your guests away for a weekend and book a celebrant to come perform a service, have a party on a boat or a field, get married in the morning then go for an afternoon tea around London, or take your guests to the cinema! Your day, your way and smaller weddings really allow you to rewrite the rule book!
  6. A more relaxed day. Weddings can be stressful and sometimes a little hectic. No matter how on top of all the planning you may feel you are, coordinating all that detail and plans for a large numbers is not easy. When your numbers are small the stress is easier to manage.

As a documentary wedding photographer I think the emotions captured in those real moments are especially important at small weddings. There will be people who care about you that won’t be able to see you get married and they will relish the chance to view your day as it actually was. The pandemic has certainly been horrible for the wedding industry but maybe weddings will find a new way to flourish. I for one am excited to see unique intimate weddings rise from this crazy situation and I can’t wait to dust of my camera and get shooting again!

A Socially Distanced Wedding

A socially distanced wedding complete with confetti, cake and Zoom!

It’s something of an understatement that thanks to Coronavirus, getting married in 2020 is up there with the toughest logistical challenges of the century.

Many of my lovely couples have postponed their wedding celebrations until next year, but if you are set on getting wed in 2020, take heart from Nick and Claire. They were absolutely determined to make it work – and make it work they did with a uniquely memorable outdoor wedding ceremony.

Getting married in lockdown could still be your reality – so long as you’re prepared to adapt your plans. Nick and Claire’s back garden wedding is proof that a socially distanced, virtual wedding can still be beautiful, personal and choc full of love.

Nick and Claire’s lockdown wedding challenge.

Nick and Claire were due to get married in Hitchin this May. Like many other couples, the pandemic put a heartbreaking stop to their plans. They managed to push back their celebrations to next year, but for them, the act of getting married signified more than a day of celebrating. It was to be the start of their life together, so waiting another year just wasn’t an option.

So these guys got plotting and with their church leader Dominic Long in on the plans, they hatched a great idea! They would hold a socially distant outdoor wedding over zoom. With lockdown restrictions eased, they were able to hold the celebrations in Nick’s parents garden in Milton Keynes with both sets of parents present. Dominic held the service over zoom allowing the rest of their family and friends to watch. They had rings, readings, music, prayers, speeches, cakes, confetti and kisses – all the ingredients for a truly unique wedding.

The lockdown rules meant Claire and Nick couldn’t go inside, so the bridal prep took place in the garden shed, while Nick used the conservatory reflection as a mirror to get himself ready.

The pandemic wasn’t the only challenge these guys faced, after weeks of beautiful sun, the weather decided to invite itself along to their celebrations. In three hours we had wind, rain, rainy wind, then sun, bright dazzling sun, followed by a moment of calm. In this moment we were able to get some beautiful couple pictures, but not before the skies said congratulations in the most spectacular way! An almighty thunder clap roared loudly above our heads and the heavens opened. Lightning and hail rained down on us, bringing our shoot to an abrupt end. I left Nick and Claire sheltering in the shed while their parents ate scones under a garden marquee with hail stones collecting around them.

I can honestly say this wedding was so beautiful and unique. What made it so very special was that Nick and Claire found a way to turn such a rotten situation into something truly beautiful. This year we have all had our plans thrown into the air, but if we can take a leaf out of Nick and Claire’s book then I know we can find a way to adapt and bring some much needed happiness back into our lives.  It’s been a hard few months and I think everyone should seize the happy times, so I’m going to join Nick and Claire again to document the ‘paperwork’ and then the party next year! Why have one celebration when you can have three!

This is what Nick and Claire had to say about their lockdown wedding.

“We were due to marry on the 8th May 2020 but sadly the Coronavirus lockdown put a major spanner in the works! Due to our beliefs as Christians, we weren’t living together and so that in itself presented us with challenges, not least in trying to plan a wedding that might or might not go ahead. Once we knew that large social gatherings weren’t able to take place, all we then wanted to do was to get married in a small ceremony at the church. Our initial wedding day came and went with still no government update, although we hoped it could happen from the beginning of June. However, this still didn’t happen so we decided to just take the plunge as we didn’t want to be kept in emotional limbo any longer! We ended up getting married on our 2nd anniversary which was perfect!

 Nick’s parents have been shielding and it was important to us that our parents were there, so we decided to do a Christian ceremony in Nick’s parents back garden, broadcast live over Zoom to all our wedding guests! We made this decision on a Sunday, informed our guests on the Tuesday, Zoom details were sent on the Friday and then we married on the Saturday! It all happened very quickly but we had so much help from friends and family with getting technology sorted, flowers arranged, gazebos pitched (can’t trust the British weather!), and of course a cake made!

 The wedding for us wasn’t about the signing of a register or having a big party, but the promises we made to each other before God. The day was so memorable for us because it was so different and unique, but that made it so much more special. For us, to capture the day and look back on it in the future is so important, so to have Erica there was perfect. She was so encouraging and supportive which just made it all so much more comfortable, plus she was just great fun to have around!

 We’ve since had so many kind messages from family and friends saying how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how touched they were by it all, so this has really helped and encouraged us in our decision to get married in this way. We were really blessed and wouldn’t change a thing!”

It looks like smaller weddings could become the new normal for a little while, so if you are eager to tie the knot this year and want to talk about relaxed documentary photography that will fit your day (or days!), then I would love to hear about your plans.

Here are a few more shots from the day (the last one is the moment the weather loudly said hello!)

 

 

I STILL LOVE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY!!!
I’m sorry I’ve been quiet. I’ve lost my wedding voice. In truth, I lost this voice at the start of January when some other scary news hit my family (I’ll save that story for another time!). This whole year my social media has been dominated with photos of my family life and very little wedding talk. I worry it may look like I’ve lost my passion for my craft. But I promise you I haven’t. Life under lockdown leaves very little time for me to wear my business hat, so this blog is to remind everyone that I still love wedding photography. Actually I’m not just writing it down I’m shouting it loudly and proudly (which in blog form is writing in capital letters with lots of punctuation marks) “I STILL LOVE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY!!!!!”
Human connections are at the heart of my business. Connections between the couple but also between their friends and family. We have been asked to physically disconnect from each other and it goes against everything that feels right and good about life.
My heart goes out to my poor couples who’s weddings have been postponed and those who are living with the uncertainty of how their special day could be effected. The only words of wisdom I can offer in this scary situation is this, hold tight. Your day will come and when it comes it will be AWESOME!!!!. Know in your heart that this situation will pass and just think of the celebration when life is finally unpaused! What better way to put this behind us than with a wedding, re-connecting with your family and friends who you will so desperately have missed, the forced time apart only reenforcing that strong connection to those you love.
I like to imagine a wedding day after COVID 19, every part of that day will feel like a blessing. Getting ready surrounded by your squad, the thought of 8 people being squeezed into one room seems almost criminal now. But this will be a thing of the passed, you won’t fear this moment, you can relish in the proximity of each person in that room. Make up artists can lean in nice and close, I’ll be crouching in some unthinkable space between you and them, while a bridesmaid swiggs from a champagne bottle (OK, you might worry about the champagne you drink after the bridesmaid has had her gulp, but you’re the bride, you get the first glug!!)
Then I imagine your guests arriving, embracing each other maybe for the first in a long time! I will indulge in these hugs shots just as I do now, but I won’t need to be as fast on my feet, as these hugs will be lengthy, wrapped in relief and joy. Re-connecting, with each guest feeling the magnitude of that moment.
Then you will finally get to marry that person by your side, your isolation infatuation, COVID companion, lockdown lover, pandemic partner in crime! You guys made it through the toughest of times and it will make this moment all the more sweeter. You will then get to party like it’s 1999, no even bigger than then, this is a ‘post pandemic’ wedding and you will hit that dance floor with gusto and gratitude. You may even get to show of your TikTok family dance routine that you have been perfecting during this time.
And I will be there, gleefully capturing every moment, my creative soul once again fulfilled doing a job I so proudly cherish.
So, until the world hits play on life, my wedding voice will probably stay quiet, but not lost! I will keep unashamedly documenting my children so they remember what life on lockdown was like, and I hope my passion for creatively documenting real moments is evident in these pictures.
Stay Safe
Erica