Liane & Ash at Langley Cstle

If you're looking for a castle venue for your wedding, Langley Castle really should be on your list; hidden deep in Hadrian's Wall country, it boasts medieval grandeur, outstanding attention to detail, food of the highest order and service to match. It can also lend great atmosphere to anyone looking for a 'spooky' feel to their wedding celebrations, so no surprises that Liane and Ash chose it.

And it even has trained peacocks…..check out one of the shots below!

Liane's dress came from Ian Stuart Bride. Her choice really suited the wedding theme - I've never seen one like it in over 15 years shooting weddings!

I was also amazed at what her make-up artists, Diva Dust, did on the day. Not only did they style and make-up Liane for the 'main event', along with some of her family and friends, they also re-appeared for the evening reception to undertake….well, a transformation of the bride and groom the like of which left everyone gawping! This was taking the Halloween theme to the limit - a fantastical theatrical effect. These guys really know their business.

Liane and Ash had obviously spent ages sorting out all the little details to match their theme. Liane's shoes, hair decoration, earrings and flowers, Ash's pocket watch and cufflinks, the table decorations, seating plan…..and as for the cake!!!

Yet despite all of the pre-wedding planning, their day was sooooo relaxed and laid back. I was only asked to shoot 3 or 4 'formal' photographs, plus a few bride and groom portraits. The weather played ball enough to allow me to capture some of the lovely autumn hues, which really set off Liane's dress.

The bride and groom and their guests were also spellbound by local magician Graeme Shaw. I've worked with Graeme on a number of occasions and still have no idea how he performs his magic - even sawing the bride's arm off is still a mystery to me!

Everything else was pure reportage and, judging from the kind words they sent me after seeing the results, I think they were kinds happy; "We received the pictures and they are every bit as amazing as we thought and we love them! Thanks again; we've recommended your talents to basically everyone ever!"

All in all a really great wedding and certainly one I won't forget for a long time. Thanks guys, you were ace!

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Sophie & Sam at Vallum Farm

Vallum is unlike any other wedding venue in Northumberland, offering the relaxed, romantic feel of a country wedding venue in breathtaking Hadrian’s Wall country just eight miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Sophie's dress came from Maggie Sottero Designs, a beautiful vintage style design that fitted her to perfection. Sam meanwhile wore a superb 3 piece tweed suit from the classic Marc Darcy Suits. Their clothes really suited the country location….although I think Sam was regretting the choice after several turns around the ceilidh floor!

Their choice of transport was equally 'vintage' a classic 1960's Jag….and a London Taxi!

Now, Sam has a passionate interest in birds and all things avian, so it was only natural for their rings to be delivered by a very large and inscrutable owl. Boy, do those things fly fast! Just managed to grab one shot in flight. Fortunately, they posed beautifully with the bride and groom very calmly afterwards….and no 'accidentals' on the dress!

The food at Vallum is all locally sourced and they really know how to serve up some fantastic grub. Even the herbs and edible flowers are grown on their own kitchen garden and the bread is baked freshly on site. They even fed me - thank you Vallum (and Sophie & Sam, of course!!)

Music was provided by North East Soiree who are a fantastic versatile bunch - everything from string quartets to ceilidh classics and much more in between. The evening ceilidh really got the guests on their feet. The music was top notch…..just not sure about some of the moves!

Thanks for asking me to record you day guys, a really, really great wedding!

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Lotte & James at High House Farm

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Lindsay & John at As You Like It

We’d planned to go down to the banks of the Tyne to get some shots of Lindsay in her super cool black wedding dress. All went well, until the day before the wedding, when the great British weather played its usual trick - monsoon rain turned the Tyne into a white water torrent. The paths by the side of the river were washed out. But, as always, we had a plan B. The old bridge at Wylam made for a superb backdrop.
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One From The Vaults!

Over the last few years, I’ve consciously moved more and more to a reportage/journalistic style of wedding photography. This change in style finally coalesced with my invitation to join the WPJA in 2011.

So this January, I thought it would be a good idea to delve into my archives from the start of that year, to look at my work from then and compare it to where I am now.

Turns out to have been a great idea!!

Now, I limit myself to no more than around 30 weddings a year. Not because I’m lazy, but because a wedding (for me anyway) is around 5-7 days work (I’ll be adding a blog post in the near future about this.) So to give my clients the high level of personal service I set myself I don’t take on more than I can handle.

Even at (only!) 30 a year, it’s impossible to remember the details and nuances from previous weddings. So a review has helped me look at where my current style developed from and also where I can take it forward from now, January 2015.

The first wedding I’ve chosen to feature in this occasional series is that of Claire & Paul, from 2011. Quite appropriate really, as Claire emailed me last week....she’s finally decided on the shots for her album!! No rush Claire...! :-)

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