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Passionate about Vintage? Then read on …

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie, owner and designer at passionateaboutvintage.co.uk. She had arranged a photoshoot with her friend Rachel who is also a mutual friend of mine and who produces beautiful handmade vintage items (you can see a selection in my blog post here. The sun shone, and the jewels sparked! Natalie explained that she has some wonderful vintage items which are totally suitable for brides … looking for that something old? Look no further! Here’s a selection of beautiful products that we photographed … have I mentioned before that I love my job …

If you do see something you like, do get in touch with Natalie and mention that you saw her on my blog. And I’m sure if she doesn’t have exactly what you need, she can find it!

Joanne and Christian’s wedding celebrations … a {sneak peek}

The weather on Friday for Joanne and Christian’s wedding was a little different from when we met for their pre-wedding photoshoot. About 20 degrees different! The sun shone and the smiles were wide … and even wider because Christian’s father, who had recently been taken unwell, was able to join with their celebrations. This was the first wedding that I have seen a registrar moved nearly to tears … here’s Joanne and Christian’s sneak peek … more to follow very soon!

I really did enjoy spending time with you and your lovely family and friends and hope that you enjoyed the rest of your celebrations! And that cheesecake …

Flowerart … the art of flowers

I’ve worked with the lovely Michele at Flowerart on a number of weddings over the past couple of years. Over a recent cup of coffee, I thought it would be a good idea to quiz Michele about her knowledge of floristry, current trends and just have a good natter! Whilst I was there, I took some images of Michele, her shop and her flowers … and so thought it would be a great idea to try to illustrate some of Michele’s responses and basically just to show you her beautiful flowers!!!

“Wild flowers in mason jars … what are your thoughts?”

Michele’s answer was swift and sure so I knew that I’d hit a good conversation starter! Michele’s main concern about the current trend for wildflowers in mason jars is the sense of scale. As a florist with many years of experience, she has learned how to judge and accommodate displays of all sizes, whether it is a table for two or a table for ten. Wildlowers may have a shorter life and not survive the rigours of a wedding day if not treated properly. Also, certain flowers work better together and, using the concept of the colour wheel, it is a knowledge of design that really helps a table decoration to come to life and not just be something which people talk across!

“Why do we have flowers at weddings?”

“Traditionally, brides didn’t have confetti at weddings and flower petals were thrown as the original version! Each flower has a meaning and are very symbolic, such as a daisy for pure love and innocence and a red rose for true love!”

Michele had just taken a delivery of some beautiful roses – although to my untrained eye, they looked very similar, to Michele’s experienced eye, they were completely different!

How do you see wedding trends for the coming year?

Vintage is still incredibly popular, says Michele and bright colours, reflecting a “back to the 80’s” feel. However, when adopting a bold colour scheme, it really is worthwhile getting advice from a professional. Michele’s shop is based at Brogdale near Faversham, right in the heart of the National Fruit Collection. Michele takes inspiration from nature and sources as many of her products locally and as seasonally as possible as the quality is far higher although she is able to source out of season flowers … at a price.

Michele terms what she does as being a “wedding specialist”, and she says that each wedding is individual and unique – she is happy to give advice and to translate what the bride sees in her mind’s eye into something tangible. She has come across brides who have been to other florists who have said that their ideas were impossible to create but Michele is confident and embraces each and every challenge!

One size fits all?

Not really, said Michele. She takes into account the style and level of detail on the bride’s dress and advises accordingly. In her opinion, for example, a hand tied bouquet would suit a ruched dress far better and you also have to be careful with the kind of flowers and foliage too – you would hate for a dress to get snagged on something in a bouquet. Michele takes details of the heights and sizes of bridesmaids in order to visualise what the photographs would look like – something I hadn’t really taken into account as a photographer but something which will certainly stick in my mind from now on.

Are there really alternatives to a fresh flower bouquet?

Absolutely but it can sometimes be an expensive option. Freeze dried roses and orchids are beautiful … but pricy. Michele also would not really recommend using dried flowers as the colours can appear quite washed out. However, coming from Faversham, the use of hops in displays for autumn weddings are incredibly popular and also as circlets for bridesmaids. Corn can be incorporated into bouquets but can be spiky and there is a danger that the dress material may get snagged.

Gifts for the mother of the bride and groom … what can you offer?

Michele had a variety of ideas for longer lasting gifts. A bouquet is beautiful and striking but perhaps something like a hydrangea, which can be replanted, or a rose with a special name, maybe even that of the bride, could also be a lovely and different option. Orchids are always very popular too.

What is gratifying about visiting Flowerart is the huge array of thank you cards and the obvious attention to detail that Michele brings to each and every order. Not only wedding flowers, and celebration flowers but sympathy flowers too. Having used Michele’s services many times myself, I can vouch for the quality and beautiful designs that are created by Michele and her team.

As with so many people, Michele has a dislike of having her photograph taken, but we strolled out into the orchards so that she could illustrate to me her inspiration. And I snapped her …

Michele would recommend booking your florist as soon as you have your venue booked as she only accepts one wedding booking per day. The final decision as to colour scheme and design can be made later but certain dates will always get booked up quickly. Michele and her team are on hand to help with buttonholes, dressing tables, cars and cakes … really the complete service! So if you are looking for flowers which are beautifully designed with a passion that is evident, do contact Michele and her team at Flowerart. The contact details are 01795 539759 – between 10am and 5pm (Tue – Sun) and 07930 909441 – up to 9pm in the evening (Mon – Sat). I’m looking forward to working with Michele again very soon!

Fast and furious … and not just the shutter speeds!

With this little bit of good weather, it was great to be outside today. I was introduced to a group of ladies who are training their puppies (who are all under a year old) by my good friend Rachel from JustSo Clothing and was allowed along to take some photographs! The morning started with some running and chasing (and having a puppy myself, I know that he would have enjoyed himself so much …) and then they got down to the training part. Here are just a couple of montages from today!

Photographing black dogs can sometimes be quite challenging and there were two black labs there today so I got plenty of practice!

But I think the images came out just fine!

For those of you who have met my Tibetan Terrier, Alfie, know that he isn’t always the most obedient of dogs (but undeniably cute …) and I was really impressed with the owners and how their dogs listened and reacted. Alfie, it’s time to start training again!

Thank you to everyone who let me coming along today and gave me permission to photograph them and their dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

A wander into town … and the Faversham Car Show 2012

Our local town hosts lots of events throughout the year, including the well-known Hop Festival in late Summer, but today saw the 2012 Faversham Car Show. We strolled into town with Alfie to take a look at the selection of cars on show. The weather was overcast, but not raining, and I think that the town seemed really quite busy, with a Punch and Judy show, a court jester and a brass band, not to mention the newly restored ice cream van which was doing a great trade!

Here’s a small selection of images that I took from our walk … there are just some gorgeous and so well-kept cars, it puts mine to shame (note to self: get to the car wash!) …

And the entertainment …

I think my personal favourite was the sky blue Cadillac, complete with the ultimate dice accessories! Congratulations again to the organisers of this great event and looking forward to next year already!

A great solution of what to wear for a pre-wedding photoshoot … the lovely Frances and Phil at Knole Park

It can sometimes be a dilemma for my clients as to what they should wear to their pre-wedding photoshoot. And, indeed, I’ve been dying to photograph a themed pre-wedding shoot for ages. Well, today my wish came true … along with a prince dressed in blue and a princess with the most gorgeous smile! We met at Knole Park near Sevenoaks, an absolutely amazing National Trust Property with the most beautiful grounds. Here is, as promised, Frances and Phil’s sneak peek …

Frances wanted to tell a story … one that is well known from our childhoods … a sleeping princess awoken by her prince …

We were so very lucky with the weather today … the sun shone and Frances and Phil smiled and smiled!

I must say that they really did capture people’s attention, with visitors to the house and grounds taking their own photographs too! But, to be totally honest, Frances and Phil really did only have eyes for each other …

We had the chance, over the most delicious cup of tea and sticky brownies, to chat through their plans for the wedding day. It’s in a castle … and there will be dancing … lots and lots of dancing! I can’t wait to see this fabulous couple again soon … and to be part of their very special celebrations!

Smile, Tom, smile … the value of pre-wedding photoshoots

Jo and Tom’s wedding is in three weeks. When we originally met about a year ago, they didn’t really fancy a pre-wedding photoshoot. But luckily, Tom had the idea of having a signature board for guests to sign on their wedding day … and they gave me a call. With their gorgeous dog Max, we popped down to their local woods with bluebells everywhere … and I tried my hardest to get Tom to smile …

There was a bit of leaf whipping …

And some tree climbing. And some laughter … lots of that, actually …

And there was Max, being … Max …

And then … smiling …

And finally some off camera flash “rockstar” photography …

And plenty of off camera smiling … it was great to spend time with you both today and I hope that it wasn’t too traumatic Tom … see you in just a few weeks’ time – can’t wait!

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