Stanbrook Abbey wedding photography

I’d been itching to shoot at this beaut of a venue nestled in Worcestershire so was thrilled when Chloe and Steve booked me for their autumnal wedding last year. After being together for nearly 7 years and a young son together, Steve pulled out all the stops with his Coronation Street proposal. It’s a guilty pleasure of the couple and after contacting producers, Steve made up a false story that he’d won a private tour of the set in a competition. Unbeknown to Chloe that it was all a setup, Steve got down on one knee outside the Rover’s Return – the answer was yes of course!

Over to Chloe….

“We were blown away when we visited Stanbrook Abbey when we were looking at posible venues. We thought that it was a stunning venue with quirky features. The Callow Hall where the ceremony took place just blew us away and I could just envisage walking down the aisle – we knew pretty much from there on that we wanted to get married there.

We decided on neutral colours as I’m not a huge fan of bright and bold. I always knew that my bridesmaids and most of the decor would be ivory. The overall vision for the day was classic, romantic and pretty with a timeless dress from  The Bridal Room.

Our wedding was one of the best days of our lives. I had the best morning with my bridesmaids, mum, hairdresser and makeup artist – I was truely made to feel a million dollars by Victoria & Helena. Obviously, marrying Steve was a special moment – although, I have no recollection of parts of the ceremony as I was so nervous and was trying not to mess the vows up! I’d say one of our favourite highlights of the day though was having all our friends and family in one place and they got to share our special day – we all lead such busy lives, live all over the UK (and Hong Kong and Australia) and don’t see as much of each other as we would like so it was brilliant that they came to share it with us. My biggest surprise of the day was that my Mum didn’t cry!

Everyone probably gives this advice and it’s hard to do as you have so much going on in your head but. . . .enjoy as much as you can on the day. It passes so quickly and you can’t do a re-run the following day”

Flowers Simply Flowers by Catherine
Bride’s shoes Cinders Wish

wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses hanging at stanbrook abbey wedding venuepage boy outfit and bride's wedding shoes at stanbrook abbey in worcestershirebride's autumnal wedding bouquetbride hugs her bridesmaids in matching robes at stanbrook abbeybride gets into her dress and puts on shoes whilst bridesmaid look on at stanbrook abbeybridal portrait with sonbride and bridesmaid bouquets at stanbrook abbeygroom preparations at stanbrook abbey wedding venuegroom getting ready for wedding at stanbrook abbeystandbrook abbey wedding photographygroomsmen socks and portrait of groom with family at stanbrook abbeyThe Callow Great Hall at stanbrook abbeyThe Callow Great Hall at stanbrook abbey
bride makes her entrance in the callow great hall at stanbrook abbeycivil ceremony in the callow great hall at stanbrook abbeypage boy calls and smiles at civil ceremony at stanbrook abbeystanbrook abbey wedding photographybride and groom kiss in the callow great hall at stanbrook abbeyformal family portraits at stanbrook abbeygroom with page boyportrait of a bride and her bridesmaids at stanbrook abbeystanbrook abbey wedding photographystanbrook abbey wedding photographygroom kisses his bride at stanbrook abbeystanbrook abbey wedding photographybride and groom portrait at stanbrook abbey

Stanbrook Abbey wedding photography

stanbrook abbey wedding photographybride and groom portraits at stanbrook abbey

Stanbrook Abbey wedding photography

bride and groom cut the cake at stanbrook abbey

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Tythe Barn Wedding Photography by Jennifer Peel

Today I’m sharing the wedding of Laura and Alex from last June at The Tythe Barn, Lawton. I went to school with Laura and although we hadn’t seen each other since, through the power of school media, Laura had seen all the other weddings of school friends I had photographed and convinced Alex I needed to be part of their day! They met at university but it was only when Laura moved abroad after years of friendship that Alex confessed his true feelings. Fast forward a few years and he was popping the question in a gondola in Venice (oh I do love a good old romantic proposal!)

Over to Mr & Mrs Prentice to tell us more about their day!

“When planning our wedding we wanted a day that EVERYONE would enjoy, not just us. Relaxed and stress free – we didn’t want to sweat the small stuff and we think we did a pretty good job of that! We were both set on a barn wedding, and one where we could get married on site. We visited so many barn venues but as soon as we walked into the Tythe Barn we both knew it was where we would get married. There were so many amazing details and every person we met gave us such confidence that they would help us have the very best day possible. On the day we felt completely at ease as they took care of everything we needed before we even knew we needed it.

Everyone tells you how quickly the day goes, but my goodness, it just disappeared. We both wanted to be able to rewind and pause the day so that we could see everything that was going on and get the chance to speak to everyone! Our wedding was the very greatest whirlwind of a day that seemed to disappear in an instant! The most amazing day that I wish I could live over and over again. We were both overwhelmed with the photos we received of our day – they are all so beautiful and it’s impossibly hard to pick which should be printed!

Groom’s Bow Tie – Mrs Bow Tie
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Bride’s dress – Justin Alexander

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Tythe Barn wedding photography – Laura & Alex had a civil ceremony at the Oxfordshire venueTythe_Barn_Wedding_Photography_016

“A few months before the wedding we were sat in a pub in Dorset having some lunch and they had a singer in the corner who sounded amazing. We had a quick chat with her and she agreed to come and play at the ceremony and during the drinks reception – it felt like a really special touch and she even learned a few of our favourite songs”

Find her Facebook page here

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Tythe Barn wedding photography – portraits of Laura & Alex in the venue grounds
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We tried to complement the barn and setting we were in. Lots of white flowers in jars, bottles and buckets, fairy lights and hundreds of books! We both love books and used that theme for our invitations, all our stationery and decoration on the day. There were books everywhere, and our tables were named after our favourite books.

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We chose a self-carve menu, picked one particular friend or family member from each table to carve the beef and made them dance into the room to “Be My Guest” (from Beauty and the Beast) wearing their aprons and chef hats. The barn had suggested the idea and we loved it, but the reality was SO much better than we could have had imagined! Everyone really embraced the moment – amazing guests!

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So is there any advice Laura and Alex would give to other engaged couples?

“Embrace it! We both absolutely loved the planning and we stayed very organised so didn’t feel stressed at any point. It’s a good idea to make decisions and get on with things as quickly as you can so you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed at the end – you gut feeling is probably right, so go with it and enjoy it. One of the greatest tips we were given was to take a few moments every so often on the day to step back and remember the moment that you’re in. One amazing memory is of all of our favourite people around us on the dance floor having an absolutely brilliant time – we were just holding each other’s hands, watching it all happen and taking it in! A tip for the fellas from Alex: The speech was what made me most anxious. Public speaking is at the bottom of my wish list and you have to stand up and tell people how you feel in a funny, engaging and solemn way – not easy! I ended up leaving the exact wording to the very last minute and I’m glad I did. Advice to other grooms is to put a rough structure and order together, then take time during the planning process to notice the small things that make your relationship special. The personal touches are easy to remember, make you confident and relaxed when speaking and, most importantly, let your new wife know that your words are personal and heart-felt”

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Warwickshire wedding photography by Jennifer Peel

Wow. It has been a while! This year I’ve made it my resolution to recommit to my blogging and what better way to start than with the beautiful wedding of Rebecca and Gareth.

I shot their Warwickshire wedding over 18 months ago and I’ve just been rebooked by the happy couple to capture their beautiful new daughter, 7 month old Ella. It makes me so happy to see my couples adding to their family.

This wedding was a special one. I love it when my clients are up for something different. Arriving at Rebecca’s on the morning of the wedding, I suggested we stop at Chesterton Windmill en route to her reception. Rebecca was game and I’m so glad she was. I’m even happier that the weather also seemed willing to oblige us. The windmill, a 17th Century Grade 1 listed building, is a photographer’s dream and it added such a delightful backdrop for the new Mr and Mrs Allum amongst the wild flowers.

Rebecca was class personified. Her lace dress from Katherine Allen Bridal perfectly complimented her romantic hairstyle, styled by Julia Williams. Topping off her look was a beautiful pastel flower bouquet by The Balloon Lady.

After saying ‘I do’ at Bodicote Church and a brief pitstop at the windmill, it was on to Warwick House, a stunner of a venue I’m always excited to return to. Rebecca and Gareth are teachers, so literary themes were spun throughout their room. From giant pencils carved with their names, to book table centerpieces, everything was personal. This made for a really unique and charming reception decor.

What a wedding. So much love, laughter and personality. It was a pleasure being a part of your day Rebecca and Gareth. Check out the pictures below…

 

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This week my nephew Harry is 6 months old.  I know it’s a cliché but I really can’t believe how fast he is growing up!

Naturally we arranged a photo session to mark this little milestone and I absolutely loved photographing Harry at this age as he is sitting up unassisted but he’s not yet quick enough to run away from Auntie Jen’s camera!

The shoot took place in the comfort of my sister’s home with me using my portable studio lights and a traditional backdrop. If you have a little sitter that you’d like some photographs of, drop me an email!

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Hampton Manor wedding photography by Jennifer Peel

With Jack being a graphic designer and keen photographer, it was a real compliment to be asked to photograph his and Halina’s wedding. They were married at St Peter’s Church in Leamington town centre, a church I’ve photographed at before on a number of occasions. It’s always so lovely to be given free reign by a vicar as it not only allows me to shoot from all angles of the church but the couple get so many more photographs from the ceremony. This church gets the thumbs up from me! The couple and their guests moved onto Hampton Manor in Solihull for their reception, again a venue which never disappoints! Halina looked stunning in her Jenny Packham dress from The Wedding Club, a lovely boutique in Edgbaston. They asked a local business, The Larder, in Leamington to create their amazing cake table and The Orangery in Kenilworth provided Halina’s hydrangea bouquet. As they’d chosen Stick It On DJ for their evening reception, Jack and Halina opted for a few hours extra evening coverage instead of bridal preparations. It’s the first time I’ve seen this at a wedding but I’d highly recommend. For anyone not familiar with how it works, friends and family take control of the decks after first having their playlists approved by the couple. It certainly kept the dancefloor lively!

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St Peter’s wedding photography – the vows and ring exchange St Peters_Leamington_Wedding_Photography_015St Peters_Leamington_Wedding_Photography_016St Peters_Leamington_Wedding_Photography_017St Peters_Leamington_Wedding_Photography_018St Peters_Leamington_Wedding_Photography_019Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_020Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_021Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_022Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_023Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_024

Hampton Manor wedding photography – formal family photos in the stunning groundsHampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_025Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_026Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_027Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_028Hampton_Manor_Wedding_Photography_029

Hampton Manor wedding photography – the room laid up for wedding breakfast

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Hampton Manor wedding photography – cake table by The Larder, Leamington Spa

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Calke Abbey Wedding Photography (The Riding School) by Jennifer Peel

I met Victoria and Tom at Calke Abbey a few weeks before their wedding and as I walked into the Riding School I was completely blown away. So much so I announced to the wedding coordinator that I was going to get married there (despite not having a ring on my finger!) It’s a photographer’s absolute dream with so many opportunities. The exposed brick of the walls and the flaking green painted doors of the Riding School make for fab backdrops but my favourite is the orangery in the grounds of Calke Abbey. The blue peeling paint and it’s beautiful windows are just amazing! I was lucky enough to get the couple all to myself for enough time to make full use of the grounds whilst guests enjoyed canapes in the Riding School. They were married at Melbourne Parish church in the village where Victoria grew up and as her family spent a lot of time at Calke Abbey when she was younger, they chose the venue for these reasons. After dinner, guests were invited to join the bridal party for a game of cricket – a big passion of both families! The evening ended with dancing in the Riding School – and boy could these guys dance! I don’t think I’ve ever photographed a wedding where pretty much everyone could actually dance – and I mean properly dance! I loved photographing at Calke Abbey and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a venue with a bit of a difference – but be warned they book up very early!

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Calke Abbey wedding photography – Confetti throwing in the courtyard Riding_School_Calke_AbbeyWedding_Photography_022Calke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_023

Calke Abbey wedding photography – formal family portraits in the courtyard of the Riding School Bridal party group shot at the Riding School at Calke AbbeyCalke Abbey wedding photographybride and groom in the Orangery at Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey wedding photography – bride and groom portraits in the Orangery bride and groom portraits in the Orangery at Calke AbbeyCalke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_028bride and groom portrait at Calke AbbeyCalke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_030Riding_School_Calke_AbbeyWedding_Photography_031bride and groom portraits in the gardens at Calke AbbeyCalke Abbey wedding photographybride and groom walking through the grounds of Calke Abbeybride and groom sitting in the orchard at Calke Abbeybride and groom portraits in the Riding School at Calke AbbeyThe riding School at Calke Abbey set up for wedding breakfast

Calke Abbey wedding photography – the couple perform their first dance in the Riding School Calke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_038Calke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_039A wedding breakfast at The Riding School at Calke AbbeyA wedding at the Riding School at Calke AbbeyCalke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_042speeches in the Riding School at Calke AbbeyCalke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_044bride and groom play cricket at Calke AbbeyCalke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_046cricket match at a wedding at Calke Abbeybride and groom cut the cake in the Riding School at Calke AbbeyBride and groom perform a first dance in the Riding School at Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey wedding photography – the couple perform their first dance in the Riding School Calke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_051Calke_Abbey_Riding_School_Wedding_Photographer_050wedding reception at the Riding School at Calke Abbey

Instead of the usual 2015 round up blog post I’ve decided to write a more personal post about the importance of printing your photos. I know we get told time and time again to make backups of our digital images and free them from our computers as printed photographs but here I am about to tell you again. Maybe you’ve already given up on the New Year’s resolutions you made a week ago, if so – here’s another one for you to try!

As a child I can remember the first time my Mum got out all the old family photo albums that she’d carefully put together over the years. No-one can deny that they love to look back over old photographs to laugh and cringe at the clothes we wore, the haircuts our parents had as well as to reminisce over family holidays. But more importantly, for me, is that they fill in the blanks of events that occurred before I was born or before I was old enough to have a memory of them.

Thirty years ago it was easier to put together these albums as you’d get a print of every photo you took and film by film, you’d build up your photo album. Film was precious. With every roll you only got 24 or 36 frames and it was normal in our house for a roll to last over a year with the camera only being brought out on holidays, at birthdays, or Christmas.

Fast forward to 2016 and photography is so much more accessible – everyone has a camera on their smartphone. Shots are free, there’s no developing costs – you can take as many as you like with no restrictions and so that’s exactly what we do.

But here’s the thing – although we are able to document our lives so freely – I still reckon my Mum has more printed photographs of me and my siblings as a baby than any of my friends do of their own children.

As wedding season has come to an end, it’s meant that I’ve been able to spend my time at weekends planning my own upcoming wedding and more importantly, spend some time with family and friends. There’s been a few big changes over the last few months – not just getting engaged but I’ve also become an auntie to a wonderful nephew, Harry. And so, recently I’ve been inspired to spend some time collating all my personal photographs into physical photo albums. I have always regularly printed my photographs but until recently they’ve been stuck in their packets, stacked in boxes or stuffed away in drawers. Picking up prints no longer has the anticipation it used to when we didn’t know what we’d be getting back but there’s still something so lovely about seeing them in print that’s just not the same as looking on a computer screen, phone or tablet.

And here’s the horrible thing. At some point, sooner or later, your computer will break, or your hard disk will corrupt or you’ll have your phone lost or stolen. And all those precious images that those devices contained will be lost. Consequently in fifteen years, hardly anyone will have printed photo albums and it makes me sad to think that the next generation will grow up unable to see pictures of their parents in their youth, of their parents’ wedding day and of their siblings and themselves as babies as well as being able to see those family members that have already passed. I want my children to thumb through photos in the same way that I did. I remember laughing at my Dad in his flared jeans and mocking the fluffy interior of my parents’ Ford Cortina. I’m sure there’s many hairstyles and outfit choices we’d love to forget but for the next generation, being able to look through those photos will be priceless.

Have you got the message yet? Just go and print your photos please!

Print your Photos

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