Don’t Tell the Bride, Nikki and Nathan Bones

On a fairly ordinary Wednesday, I got a rather unordinary phone call. It went something like this ‘Hi Erica, My name is Nathan, I’m planning my wedding for this Sunday and was wondering if you are available. By the way, I’m being filmed for Don’t tell The Bride“. Yikes!

I was pretty darn excited to say the least and for the next three days my emotions flittered between amazement and shear panic. I was about to shoot a wedding that would be aired on BBC three, there would be a film crew of 10 to work around and a whole wedding party that were in the dark about the days events. I had a groom that I had spoken to only twice and a Bride that had no idea I was booked. It was going to be an interesting day!

I had no real idea of what was to follow so the day before I took a trip down to the venue ‘Stationers Hall’ which is tucked away in the shadows of St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s a grand location full of history and charm, giving me my first clue about the couple I was about to shoot. Well the groom any way!

On the morning of the wedding I headed over to a house in Essex where I was met by; 1 runner, 1 sound man, 1 camera man, 1 director, a makeup artist, the bride’s Mum, the bride’s Dad, the 4 Bridesmaids, and of course the bride, Nikki! I was expecting mayhem, but instead it was calm and Nikki was beaming from ear to ear. After a very warm welcome Nikki was really happy to know that Nathan had booked a photographer for the day. After seeing the flowers, bridesmaids outfits and Nikkis stunning dress, it was pretty clear Nathan had made some good choices. Knowing the location when everyone else didn’t gave me this strange responsibility. I knew that if I gave them a tiny little clue, it would help ease the suspense, just a little. Instead I had to watch helplessly as Nikki and her lovely mum struggled not knowing any information. If any questions came my way about the venue I tried my best to give nothing away, showing them all my best poker face, scared the crew would pounce on me if I let anything slip!

So for most of the morning Nikki seemed like a happy bride to be, a slight contrast to the scene when I arrived at the venue. On one of the hottest days of the year, dressed in period costume it was clear Nathan had the weight of his big day on his shoulders. After a quick introduction it wasn’t long before I was on a mission to find him some tablets for his pounding head ache. I honestly can not imagine the stress he must have been feeling at that point. I have been a fly on the wall at a number of weddings and you get to see just how stressful things can get, so to have arranged the a whole wedding, in just three weeks, without any input from Nikki, and have the whole process filmed for the BBC. I was truly impressed.

Witnessing ‘Don’t tell the bride’ first hand really makes you appreciate what an emotional challenge the show can be for the couple involved. When Nikki and Nathan saw each other for the first time in three weeks it was a pretty special moment and a genuine reflection of how much they mean to each other. The whole room felt their emotion, I even saw the director wipe a crafty tear from her eye!

After the service I managed to steel the couple for 10 minuets to get a few photos of them alone. During these shots it was pretty clear that they had been apart for a while as these two couldn’t keep there hands of each other. With time so tight we stayed within the grounds of the venue, which was fine as I think the blue door at Stationers hall gave their smooching a pretty cool back drop.

Working around the BBC’s crew was a little tricky but wasn’t as tough as I had expected, yes they stole the best spots for all of the key moments but that didn’t stop us getting great photos of the day.

I really enjoyed being part of their wedding and feel so lucky to have been involved in such a crazy process. Nathan did such a great job and I’m still so chuffed he picked me to be his photographer. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Bones!!

The amazing Carl & Jade!

Do you ever find, when you meet some of your friends friends that you wish they were yours? Well I am not afraid to say that I am a little bit in Love with Carl & Jade. There, I have said it! I have always known they were a pretty cool couple, and at least two years ago when Carl was already planning on proposing, and Jade managed to shove me out the way and catch the bouquet at one of our best friends weddings, I knew I wanted an invite to their wedding. So I decided the best way in was as their wedding photographer, he he he! My sneaky plan worked and I’m mega excited about their big day!

My photo in a national magazine, woop woop!!

Now, incase you misunderstand me, like my mum did, I don’t mean that a photo of me was in Closer Magazine, Nope! What I mean is that I was a very lucky photographer and back in May I received a phone call from a groom, (which I thought was odd, as grooms never call) who was planning his wedding for that weekend (very odd, I thought, normally I get booked at least 6 months before the wedding). Hmmmm, a groom, planning a wedding, with last minute organisation, you could make a TV show out of this kinda of shenanigans, well they do, and it’s called Don’t Tell the Bride!

I can’t say much more than that or the BBC will hunt me down!


Georgie and Tom, a village wedding in the sun.

Georgie had always wanted to get married in her home village of Denston, in Suffolk, and upon arriving there it is easy to see why. With the church standing proudly among the beautiful houses and the countryside setting the perfect back drop to the village, well, you couldn’t really pick a more picturesque setting. The wedding had a lovely personal and relaxed feel to it, and with support and input from a number of their family and friends, it really was a celebration that everyone threw themselves into.

Congratulation Georgie and Tom!

Round two.

I made a promise to keep my camera at home, it’s my sisters wedding and sometimes you just need to let someone else snap away. That was the plan.

But when you love taking photos and people you love are around you….. and they have all scrubbed up so well and look amazing….and Hannah and Arun look so beautiful and happy……and the sun is shining…..and the setting looks so perfect….. well I just couldn’t help myself.

Hannah your name may have changed but you’ll always be my little Balinski.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Kalyan.



Round one!

Those of you that know me know just how important my family are to me, I am lucky to have been blessed with one awesome family and the last two weeks have been pretty epic as far as family events go. My little sister Hannah is getting married this weekend to her amazing man Arun. But this isn’t their first wedding, oh no, they actually had a hindu wedding last weekend. It was a great day filled with colour, love, dancing and mayhem. I have never been more proud of my little sis and think she looks unbelievable.  

Smiles all round! Charlene and Jack’s pre wedding shoot

I do like a giggly couple, so I was a very lucky lady this weekend when I met the lovely Charlene and Jack.

With their wedding just around the corner there was no sense of tension or worries, just a very happy couple full of smiles and giggles.

Houghton House was the stunning location and the sun well and truly had it’s hat on. Let’s hope they are that lucky on the day, but hey, even if it’s not, I have a feeling this couple will still be grinning from ear to ear.

40 years later…..

I recently took some photo’s for Charles & Joycelyn who were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful night, the venue was full with their friends and family and photos were being projected showing their lives together including some from their wedding day. It was lovely to get a glimpse into their past and I wish them many more happy years together.

Dapper Dan and his tasty Kit Kat.

For some, Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, however for Katherine and Dan it seemed luck was on their side. With April and May being a complete wash out, their wedding day was one of the few days that stayed dry and even had some sun! It was an amazing day and both Katharine and Dan were relaxed and happy (ok so the relaxing started after the service!). Katherine looked stunning and her dress had the added extra of Dan’s super cute niece who was drawn to her ‘Aunty Kit Kat’ like magnet. She was also very good at entertaining during the group shots, getting everyone to shout at ‘sausages’ at the top of their lungs, good work little one.

It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of their big day and I wish them both all the love and happiness for the future.