Bobbi & Graham's Victoria Baths Wedding

When the bride drinks from a hip flask that reads "I don't get drunk, I get AWESOME", you know you're in for a fun wedding!  Bobbi & Graham tied the knot with a quirky, colourful celebration at the incredible Victoria Baths. They had 'hopfetti' (confetti made of hops as a nod to their love of beer), home-brew and brought the strongest footwear game I've ever seen! There were space hoppers, floating lampshades and a super cool alternative to a traditional top table. Wanna know more? Turn up the volume and feast your eyes on the highlights video below!  

Pretty amazing, eh?! I loved how Bobbi & Graham did things their own way and let their imaginations run wild to create a really unique and memorable day, filled with love and laughter. And Victoria Baths is still firmly my number one wedding venue so hit me up if you're looking for someone to capture your big day!

Shout out to the suppliers:

Dress: Justin Alexander from Verona Bridal 
Veil: Verona Bridal 
Band: The Mojomatics 
Flowers: Fizzyfiflowers 
Catering: Tapas y al a Carta 
Cake: Cherry Blossom Bakery 
Suit: Paul Smith
Bobbi's shoes: Irregular Choice
Graham's shoes: Dr. Martens 
Makeup: Mimi Lomax Makeup
Hops: Hukins Hops
Beer: Hop Hat Brewing Co.

 

Why You Should Think About Having an Engagement Shoot

When you start planning your wedding there are so many things to think about - what sort of venue should you go for, what setting feels most 'you', what type of vibe or theme do you want... the list is endless! So what happens if you're torn or just can't decide?! Simples! Have a couples shoot before the wedding as well! 

I know what you're thinking... "But we really don't like having our photo taken!"... Am I right? Guess what?! You're not alone! In fact, that's probably the most common thing I hear from couples, but a pre-wedding shoot (often referred to as an engagement shoot) is a great way to tackle any anxiety, awkwardness and fear head on! Here's a few reasons why you might want to think about having an engagement shoot:

1. Get to know each other

An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to get to know your photographer, to learn how they work and even pick up a few tips ahead of the day so you know what to expect. It’s also helpful for your photographer to understand what you’re comfortable with and how to get the best out of you. 

2. Get used to being in front of the camera

Usually, the thought of being in front of the camera is actually much worse than the reality of it. Frantic thoughts of "How should I stand? What do I do with my hands? Where do I look?" will all be laid to rest with top tips and expert guidance from yours truly. Before you know it, you'll be killing it on camera!

3. Location, location, location

It might be somewhere that holds a special place in your hearts. It could be that you really want photos in a setting that totally contrasts with what you have planned for your big day. An engagement shot means you can get married on a farm but have photos on the beach or have photos in the woods and a wedding in a warehouse. The options are endless!

4. Use them as part of your wedding

Add a personal touch by using your engagement photos for your save the dates, wedding invitations, guestbook or even wedding decor on the day. 

Below are a bunch of real couples who "didn't like having their photo taken" but I'm sure you'll agree, they do a pretty good job of looking rather smashing in front of the camera! If you want to find out more about engagement shoots or would like to discuss my wedding photography packages, please get in touch via my contact page!

Top 10 Quirky UK Wedding Venues

Choosing your wedding venue is arguably one of the biggest and most important decisions you'll make when it comes to planning your wedding. There are sooooooo many options that it can sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult to know where to start! Well, fear not! If, like me, you're the type of person who does things a bit differently and you're looking for inspiration for your big day, then look no further! Here are some of my favourite wedding venues across the UK and Ireland, complete with bonus wedding inspo for your viewing pleasure. Feast your eyes on these....

1. Victoria Baths, Manchester

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A grade two listed building, this old Edwardian swimming pool complex combines striking architecture, original features and a huge variety of unique spaces that promise to offer a truly unforgettable setting for your wedding day! 

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The best bits:

  • A blank canvas so that you can coordinate, decorate and cater your wedding day however you like.  
  • Exclusive hire of all spaces and the freedom to pick what happens where. You can also include a venue tour for your guests!
  • Weatherproof! With bags of character and original features, Victoria Baths has something for everyone and you won’t want to leave the building!

2. Manchester Museum, Manchester

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Manchester Museum offers a truly unique setting for your wedding day. Say "I do" under a t-rex, venture through the living worlds gallery to your wedding reception and party the night away under a giant Buddha statue!

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The best bits:

  • A stunning backdrop, incorporating iconic elements of the museums collection
  • Exclusive hire of the venue and flexibility around what happens where
  • Dedicated, experienced team on hand to help you throughout the planning phase and on the day

3. The Wellbeing Farm, Lancashire

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The Wellbeing Farm is an award winning fun, rustic wedding venue based near Bolton. With llamas, donkeys, alpaca and bags of character, this is the perfect spot for a quirky countryside wedding with a difference. 

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The best bits:

  • Endless unique photo opportunities with the rolling countryside or the quirky farm features 
  • Exclusive hire of the venue and a dedicated, experienced team helping you ever step of the way
  • Optional extras include garden games, celebration cheese cakes as a wedding cake alternative and use of the beautiful wedding house in its own grounds, close to the venue 

4. Oddfellows, Chester

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An ultra quirky boutique hotel located centrally in the beautiful city of Chester, Oddfellows describes itself as having "character, charm and a little bit of 'odd..." Think mad hatters tea party meets The Mighty Boosh and you're half way to picturing how awesome it is!

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The best bits:

  • Quirky decor and features including an upside down room, giant boxing hares, a roof terrace and a secret garden
  • Dedicated, experienced team on hand to help you throughout the planning phase and on the day
  • Centrally located in Chester with beautiful surroundings, public transport links and plenty of accomodation for your guests

5. Sefton Palm House, Liverpool

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A stunning, Grade II listed Victorian glasshouse located in Sefton Park, surrounded by 235 acres of greenery with a waterfall, bandstand and boating lake nearby. Not only is the building itself a sight to behold, the surrounding area makes this a perfect setting for an extra special wedding. 

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The best bits:

  • A stunning building and colourful botanical backdrop for your big day
  • Exclusive hire of the venue and a dedicated, experienced team on hand to help you throughout
  • Great for weddings of al sizes, this venue can comfortably seat up to 220 guests!

6. Thornsett Fields Farm, Derbyshire

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Nestled in the rolling hills of the Derbyshire countryside, Thornsett Fields Farm is a working dairy farm and the perfect blank canvas for a super memorable wedding day. With a recently renovated barn and the flexibility to do what you want, the options really are endless.

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The best bits:

  • The venue is yours for a whole week, giving you time to create your vision
  • At no extra cost, hay bales are provided to help set up the space, you have the option of arriving by tractor and special wedding guests like Pugsley the Pug and Mabel the Sheep (pictured above) will gladly feature in your photos 
  • Set up a tipi, bring a camper van or pitch a tent to stay onsite and really make the most of it all!

7. Big Chief Tipis, anywhere

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Speaking of tipis, if you're planning a festival-style wedding, you need to check out Big Chief Tipis. An award winning wedding supplier based in North Manchester, they cover events across the UK and pride themselves on helping to make dreams into memories.

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The best bits:

  • Weatherproofing is including in the price, making your tipi setup perfect for all weathers
  • You can interlink multiple structures or use individual ones to create the right setup for you
  • Customise your tipi with rustic furniture, heaters, a dance floor and a disco ball!

8. Paradise by Way, London

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If your looking for a more relaxed urban wedding, a pub venue could be just the thing for you. Paradise by Way of Kensal Green offers a colourful and quirky setting with tonnes of space, charm and character.

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The best bits:

  • Split your wedding day up and have different spaces for different parts, giving curious guests the opportunity to explore the labyrinth of different corridors and function rooms
  • Centrally located, this venue is easy to get to with accommodation for your guests nearby
  • With a laid-back, friendly vibe, this venue sets the tone for an intimate, fun-filled day

9. Fforest, South Wales

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Why not turn your wedding day into a wedding weekend at fforest Farm? With 200 acres of land, tipis, barns, fire pit and a tiny little old stone pub onsite, this could be yours exclusively for up to 250 guests for 3 nights!

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The best bits:

  • Take advantage of the luxury onsite accommodation by staying in the Georgian farmhouse, the crog lofts or glamp in the woodland domes
  • Enjoy delicious food, made from locally sourced or homegrown ingredients
  • Make a weekend of it with your nearest and dearest in beautiful surroundings

10. Drury Buildings, Dublin

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Once a derelict 6-story factory in central Dublin, this has been transformed into a shabby chic bar, restaurant and events space that is packed with colour, character and charm. Perfect for modern couples looking for a quirky city centre venue in the heart of Dublin.

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The best bits:

  • The flexible top floor events space doubles up as a light and airy ceremony room and the perfect place to dance the night away
  • Enjoy delicious food in the restaurant from their highly respected head chef
  • Hook up to the sound system and be in control of your own soundtrack for the day 

If you're looking for a creative photographer who shares your love of all things wild, wacky, weird and wonderful, head to my packages page to find out more and feel free to get in touch if you had something different in mind. After all, variety is most definitely the spice of life!

My wedding venue wish list: Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths has always been one of my favourite Manchester wedding venues. A grade two listed building, this old Edwardian swimming pool complex combines striking architecture, original features and a huge variety of unique spaces that promise to offer a truly unforgettable setting for your wedding day!

  Female pool at Victoria Baths, Manchester

Female pool at Victoria Baths, Manchester

A short drive from central Manchester, Victoria Baths is nestled in an unassuming residential street. The remarkable building opened to the public as a swimming pool complex in 1906 and has three main pool areas - one for first class males, one for second class males and one for women. Not only is this an architectural gem, it also provides important insight into societal progression over the last 100+ years and gives us a little glimpse of how different things used to be and how far we have come!

Victoria Baths hasn’t been used as swimming pool for many years (apart from occasional one-off events) but instead, hosts all sorts of events, ranging from weddings, festivals, performances and has even provided a film set for many popular TV programmes over the years.

Heres a few of my favourite things from Jess & Sarah's recent Victoria Baths weddings with some insight into why I love Victoria Baths weddings so much!

The best bits:

  • Victoria Baths provides a blank canvas so that you can coordinate, decorate and cater your wedding day however you like. Whether you want paper lanterns, palm trees or pom-poms, you can make your vision a reality.  
  • You have exclusive hire of all spaces and the freedom to pick what happens where. There are 3 pools, the Turkish Baths with it’s beautiful stained glass, the light and airy Pineapple Room and the flat upstairs. Spread your day out around the venue and and why not include a venue tour for your guests!
  • This venue has sooooo much character, from the original changing rooms with wooden frames and stripy curtains to the rich green tiles of the entrance hall and staircases, the incredible stained glass to the exposed brickwork and wooden floorboards of the flat upstairs. Victoria Baths has something for everyone and you don’t even need to worry about rain on your wedding day because you won’t want to leave the building!
Bride in the Turkish Baths

I could never tire of shooting weddings at Victoria Baths. I see something new every time I’m there, the opportunities are endless and each couple makes the space uniquely their own. This venue is a labour of love, being restored bit by bit by a team of trustees and volunteers who are committed to preserving this important piece of Manchester’s heritage and sharing it’s wonder with people far and wide and hosting your wedding here means that you are part of that exciting quest!

If you’re getting married at Victoria Baths and you’re looking for a local, creative photographer who shares your passion for this remarkable venue, contact me to find out more about my special offer available for this very special venue!

My wedding venue wish list: Thornsett Fields Farm

Six months ago, I traded in city centre living for a move to the countryside, from my beloved Manchester to a place called New Mills - a stunning, creative and community-focussed town on the edge of the Peak District. And guess what? I’ve discovered a hidden gem of a wedding venue just down the road and it’s too good not to tell you about!

  Thornsett Fields Farm & surrounding Derbyshire countryside

Thornsett Fields Farm & surrounding Derbyshire countryside

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Derbyshire countryside, Thornsett Fields Farm is perfect for outdoorsy couples looking for an authentic setting for a good ol’ fashioned knees up to celebrate their big day! A working dairy farm, Thornsett Fields Farm is about as real as it gets and has immense potential for personalisation on your wedding day. With recent renovation work to the main barn, Thornsett Fields Farm has natural beauty in bucket loads, a whole host of animals and it offers so much flexibility for couples who like to do things differently.

The best bits:

  • When you hire Thornsett Fields Farm, you get a whole week to work your magic and create the wedding of your dreams. Take your time over this incredible blank canvas, get a team of helpers and watch your vision come to life without the ticking clock adding unnecessary pressure.
  • Included in your package at no extra cost, you have unlimited hay bales depending on how you decide to set up your space, the option of arriving by tractor and sociable animals like Mabel the sheep & Pugsley the dog who will gladly feature in your photos
  • Thornsett Fields Farm might technically be in Derbyshire but it’s only a 30 minute drive from Stockport and less than an hour from Manchester. This venue provides an accessible location in the heart of the countryside with sooooo many incredible locations for photo opportunities - what’s not to love!?
  • There’s plenty of places to stay nearby but you can also organise tipis, bring your camper van or pitch a tent to stay onsite and really make the most of it all!
  • Kerrie, creative farmers wife and chief wedding person at Thornsett Fields Farm, is a big believer in variety being the spice of life. She is committed to helping couples create their perfect day, no matter what you have in mind. Whether you’re planning a steampunk celebration, a gothic gathering or a rainbow rave, this is the perfect place for you! 

Thornsett Fields Farm is a place where you can really let your imagination run wild. The possibilities are endless and you'll be supported by Kerrie and her network of experienced wedding professionals and recommended suppliers who can help create your perfect day!

Thanks to Kerrie for showing me around the farm, making me a brew and introducing me to Mabel and Pugsley. If you’re getting married at Thornsett Fields Farm and you’re looking for a local, creative photographer to capture your special day, contact me to find out more about my special offer available for this very special venue!

My wedding venue wish list: The Wellbeing Farm

When it comes to wedding planning, choosing your venue will most likely be one of the biggest, most important decisions you'll make. I've found that most of the couples I work with are very intentional about their venue choices because they want to get married somewhere meaningful, somewhere that reflects their personalities or just somewhere straight up extraordinary. Because if you can't do it on your wedding day, when can you?

As a lover of all things alternative, creative and aesthetically pleasing, I too find myself excited about certain venues so I've decided to share a few of my favourite wedding venues with you. First up is The Wellbeing Farm, a relaxed, rustic venue based near Bolton, available for exclusive hire on your wedding day.

  The Wedding Barn at The Wellbeing Farm

The Wedding Barn at The Wellbeing Farm

I've loved this venue for as long as I can remember so I popped along to their recent wedding open day - a great opportunity to see the farm dressed in all it's glory. The set up included different themes and decor ideas to inspire the many lovebirds who came to have a nosey and there was bunting, lanterns and hay bales aplenty! Whether you're planning a day of family fun, a rustic celebration with a touch of glamour or a mad hatters tea party, The Wellbeing Farm has got you covered!

The best bits:

  • From sequin table runners and lashings of ivy to tulips in wellies and fairy lights in glass jars, this venue has all the rustic charm you could hope for and can be dressed up authentically for a stunning and unique day
  • The Wellbeing Farm benefits from a rural location, surrounded by rolling hills and countryside but theres also great space indoors too, meaning you're set for all weather (and can party into the night too!)
  • They know their food! With an award winning cookery school on site and butchers in the family, they take their scran very seriously and also provide the most amazing cheese wedding cakes! 
  • Celia (Founder of The Wellbeing Farm) has an ethos based on restoration, rejuvenation and most importantly, fun! You can't help but smile when you enter The Wedding Barn, admiring the thoughtful decor with bags of character and colourful charm.
  • The best is yet to come! They already have bow-tie wearing llamas, donkeys and a gin bar but they have big plans over the next 12 months to add more amazing stuff, including a permanent tipi, a fountain and a converted horse box cocktail bar to name but a few!   
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The Wellbeing Farm is one of the most exciting, evolutionary wedding venues the North West has to offer and you are guaranteed a personal, caring & attentive experience with memories that will last a lifetime!

A huge thanks to Celia and the team for opening the doors to the wedding barn and their hospitality on the day. If you're getting married at The Wellbeing Farm and you're looking for a creative photographer to capture your special day, contact me to find out more about my special offer available for this very special venue.

Alternative, urban Manchester engagement shoot

I first met Claire & Mathew at the beginning of this year to talk about their 2017 wedding. They were planning to get married on Claire’s 30th birthday and were going to celebrate the occasion in style at Worsley Court House, a fabulous Tudor-style venue. We chatted over a brew and I quickly realised that they were a creative couple who love popular culture and contemporary art, so when I discovered they admired Manchester’s graffiti as much as I did, we couldn’t resist hitting the streets for their alternative, urban Manchester engagement shoot.

Anyone who knows me knows that I spend most of my time wandering, exploring and generally being curious. I try to look at familiar scenes from a different perspective and take time to notice the unnoticed. Even after 7 years of living in central Manchester, I never tire of discovering new things and factoring these things into my photography. 

Our tour took us to the top of multi storey car parks, backstreets that looked like New York film sets and we experienced the eerie calmness of out-of-hours Afflecks – an alternative indoor market and iconic member of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I moved bin bags, we braved the elements and Claire & Mathew brought the glamour throughout.

Claire & Mathew are absolutely wonderful. It was great to spend this time with them to get to know them and try out some ideas in the run up to their big day. They are so well suited and completely adore each other - I cannot wait to photograph their big day next year! 

Autumnal celebration with afternoon tea, Woking

Emma & Oliver organised their wedding in just 4 weeks! Friends and family joined forces to help create a day of understated elegance with fun for all the family at St. John's Church in Woking (Oliver's family church). They're special day focussed on family with lots of DIY touches to give it a collaborative and personal feel.

Emma spent the morning getting ready at Oliver's parents house which was a hive of activity, filled with friends and family that had travelled from across the UK and overseas. Our bride wore a beautifully chic dress from Ghost (unbeknown to her it was the ivory version of the dress worn by Spectre's Bond Girl), teamed with a veil from Debenhams, shoes from New Look, her grandma's pearls and an autumnal bouquet from Ring-a-Roses

They were married by a close personal friend, a vicar who had travelled from his parish in Hull to lead the ceremony.

Although the day got off the a drizzly start, it brightened up later on, providing some outdoor play time for small and big kids alike! The groom and ushers wore suits from Hugh Harris.

Champagne afternoon tea was served in the adjoining function room where friends and family congregated to celebrate before the bride over a glass of bubbly and a piece of cake made by Oliver's mother. 

The bride and groom then made their way to start their honeymoon at a local hotel & spa before heading off on a romantic trip to Venice.  What a perfect end to a perfect day!

Vegas-themed wedding reception, Manchester

Danielle and Andy opted for an intimate wedding in Las Vegas which they tied in with a honeymoon in Mexico so they celebrated in style with family and friends when they returned to the UK. Their venue of choice was Monton Sports Club with the cake and decorations provided by Cakes & Celebrations and Love in Lights NW and food provided by Blacksticks.

Ukrainian wedding in the 'Field of Dreams', Derby

I first met Myroslava & Callum when Myro & I were both stallholders at an arts & crafts fair a few years ago. An illustrator operating under the name Myro Doodles, she had fantastic handmade cards and canvasses and was drawing henna-type patterns all over peoples hands. I knew immediately that she was my kinda girl! Fast forward a couple of years and I was thrilled to be asked to capture Myro & Cal's special day. I knew it would be lovingly styled with the most fabulous little details and it didn't disappoint!

Myro roped in her family and friends to help with the decor for the day. Between them, they decorated 200 bottles and jars for their centrepieces, made wooden signs to pay homage to their favourite watering holes, sewed sequin and lace table runners and cut 500 meters of bunting from grandma's old net curtains. Myro made her table plan from her grandad's old suitcase and made her own confetti from flowers in her grandmas garden. She designed and illustrated wedding guides for all the guests, explaining the many Ukrainian traditions and opted for hand-drawn doilies instead of place settings.

The setting for the day was Tarasivka (affectionately know as the Field of Dreams) which is a piece of land owned by the Ukrainian Youth Association and a spiritual home for Myro and more recently Callum. They had a Ukrainian wedding ceremony, packed with traditions at a beautiful outdoor chapel, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

Myro wore a shell pink custom made dress from Erica Stacey Bridalwear and her bridesmaids wore pink and gold dresses from Chi Chi London with flowers from Ivy Florist. The chaps wore grey and blue - a nod to Callum's beloved Coventry City FC.

Food played a big part in the day with homemade Ukrainian delicacies, a hog roast, a huge paella, curry and a fabulous Ukrainian inspired wedding cake by Yolk. There was plenty of vodka flowing and a combination of traditional Ukrainian dancing and the fine sounds of the Twisted Tubes took us right through to the wee hours.

I’ve known Amy since her street photography days and I am so proud to have her not only as our wedding photographer but as our friend. She adapted to the crazy Ukrainian wedding style like a duck to water and listened to exactly what we wanted from the day. She has such an eye for those special candid moments which are so easy to miss – we are beyond in love with the photographs she took.
— Myro

Spanish sun-kissed destination wedding

Gemma & James got engaged in Spain so it seemed fitting to return to tie the knot. Accompanied by their nearest and dearest, they spent a week at Villacana, Estepona and their wedding celebrations took place overlooking the sea at Tikitano Beach Restaurant & Lounge.

This stunning wedding goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to have the most perfect day. Gemma wore a stunning lace dress was from BHS, the chaps outfits were from H&M and the bridesmaids dresses were found on Amazon. But who can resist some super special shoes for their big day? Gemma added a bit of bling with some killer heels from Kurt Geiger. Feast you're eyes on this! 

Pendrell Hall country house wedding, West Midlands

Alex & Joe tied the knot at Pendrell Hall, a beautiful country house in the West Midlands. Alex looked fantastic in a Minna dress with golden gladiator sandals and a gorgeous 'English rose' inspired bouquet from Ellenhall Flowers. It rained all day but they didn't let the weather dampen their spirits with a day jam packed with fun for all the family.

Amy, you made my day today! A lovely surprise in the post. Lovely pics, beautiful words. A day to treasure and look back at thanks to your artistic flair!
— Alex & Joe

2015: Just the beginning

This time last year, I decided to do something different - something that was both scary and exciting in equal measures and something that would take me waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. Yep, thats right, I decided to enter the wonderful world of wedding photography! And what a year it has been! 

This year has taken me all over the UK: from a country house in the midlands to a beautiful church in Surrey, a boutique hotel in a walled city to an old army barracks, now referred to as the 'Field of Dreams'. I even made it over to Spain for a fabulous sun-kissed ceremony by the sea!

I love all the little details that make a wedding day so special - the flowers, the cakes, the decorations. I've had the pleasure of working alongside some of the most talented wedding creatives and it's really helped to inspire my photography further.

There's been laughter and there's been tears. We've raised a glass to absent friends and partied long on into the night. And it's been a privilege to be there to share those beautiful moments and document them as a timeless memory for generations to come.

So here's to a future full of happiness and health to all my fabulous 2015 couples and to all those who have helped me through my first year as a wedding photographer. Thanks so much and fingers crossed for an equally marvellous 2016!