Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

spontaneous storytellers: lloyd-clarke wedding photography

March 6th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Lloyd Clarke Wedding Photography (1)

If natural, beautiful and effortlessly elegant wedding images get your vote you’re going to want to read on, as this afternoon we’re delighted to be catching up with our fabulous Yorkshire-based Sponsor Lloyd-Clarke Wedding Photography.

Now you regular readers may well recall one half of this talented duo being mentioned on the blog before – the lovely Bethany Clarke whose gorgeous images we have featured numerous times begore. However, due to popular demand for increased coverage by two photographers, Bethany has rebranded the business to reflect that both she and her equally skilful partner Matthew Lloyd are available to cover couples’ weddings.

Both are award-winning photojournalists that love nothing more than documenting the beauty of a wedding as it unravels, enabling them to tell the full story of the day through gorgeous imagery. But don’t just take our word for it, read on to view more of their stunning photography, and if you like what you see, be sure to take note that Bethany and Matthew are kindly offering a free engagement portrait shoot and 10% off any of their packages for Brides Up North readers. A-ma-zing!

Lloyd Clarke Wedding Photography (7)

How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?

bethany says: Our style is documentary, capturing and revealing a story spontaneously as it unfolds. There is a huge difference between posed photographs, which can drain all sense of excitement and spontaneity, and those that show the natural fun, exuberance and affection displayed on a wedding day. Many clients compliment us on being unobtrusive. We give a little direction when needed, then melt into the background, so we can record wonderful moments without interfering. We are both award-winning photojournalists and our approach is to document a wedding with beautiful, memorable images which surprise and delight people because they were unaware they were being taken.

What is it that you love most about your job?

We love to be part of peoples’ very special day. Every wedding is unique, and it is a privilege to share in such an exciting, life-changing experience. Witnessing all the private, tender and amusing moments that families, friends and other relations share at weddings, and capturing them forever, is a huge responsibility that we thrive on. Over the years people can lose contact and memories fade but our images will be there forever.

Lloyd Clarke Wedding Photography (14)

You have just rebranded your business – can you tell us what has changed and how the rebrand helps to reflect your style and approach?

We rebranded after moving to North Yorkshire from London and requests for two photographers, to intensify the number of viewpoints and images, increased. We have always worked together but now the company name and corporate identity reflects this. However, offering flexibility is crucial and couples can still decide if they want one or two photographers for their special day.

Lloyd Clarke Wedding Photography (11)

You’ve just launched a new website too, can you tell us a bit about it?

Our new website is easy to navigate and shows the style, quality and variety of our photography, with our prices, so people seeking a wedding photographer can make a fast decision as part of the many other arrangements for their special day. Our client testimonials fit with our documentary style and are more valuable and persuasive than anything we could say.

Your website shows that you have captured a diverse range of weddings but are there any in particular that stand out to you?

Each wedding is unique to the couple involved and we love being part of them all, although we sometimes have favourite locations or flowers.  Some of the most rewarding moments can come from helping people who are worried about being photographed to disregard this, have a wonderful day and receive photos that they will love and treasure. Everyone is special in their own way and we bring this out in our photography. The biggest compliment, is when clients come back to us for baby and family photos.

Lloyd Clarke Wedding Photography (8)

Reflecting on 2017, what would you say were your biggest highlights?

Our work is a journey for us in the same way that couples are starting a new journey when they marry. There were many highlights for us in 2017, including the lovely reviews and thank you cards from delighted couples. Our enthusiasm about our approach means that we also have images that we love, photos that give us goose bumps when we edit them and ones we want to hang on our own walls. However, hearing about couple’s favourite shots is always the most rewarding aspect of our work.

What area do you cover?

We regularly cover Yorkshire, the Lake District, Cumbria and Northumberland, but are happy to travel and demand for our approach means that we have have carried out wedding photography as far away as the Channel Islands and Europe.

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in the frame: how to pick your wedding photographer

March 1st, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

Mike Plunkett Photography (2)

Mike Plunkett Photography, image source

The date’s in the diary, the venue’s booked and now it’s time to make one of the biggest weddingland decisions of them all: who gets the photographer gig?

Trust us, there are lots of talented snappers out there (including those featured in our Suppliers We Love directory) – we are blown away by the beautiful imagery that is submitted to the blog every week, and so we understand it can be tricky to narrow down the choices.

Beyond the aesthetics there are further aspects to consider – cost, packages, approach, albums – but there’s no need to get in a head-spin, for we’re elaborating on these points today as we share our top tips to finding the right photographer for you and your big day…

James Tracey Photography (1)

James Tracey Photography, image source

what’s your style?

As you trawl through magazines and blogs, what style of photography speaks to you? Classic portraiture, i.e. posed couple shots and family groups with everyone smiling and looking the right way? Or are you a fan of a more documentary-esque, reportage style – pretty much the opposite, with events caught candidly ‘in the moment’ and barely an eye on the camera? Are edgy shoots your thing – often (but not always) featuring urban settings, bold colours, dramatic backdrops and quirky props, angles and cropping? Or there’s fine art, where reality has an extra-dreamy romantic filter applied; these pictures are super-tasteful, with the pretty pumped up to the max and a fashion magazine feel.

There’s always some overlap, but a wedding photographer generally leans towards one of the above – so decide what feels most ‘you’ and start looking for shooters who specialise in your favourite style.

Sarah Mason Photography

Sarah Mason Photography, image source

the package

There isn’t one set standard in wedding photography, so now that you’re noting down names and details it’s time to pay attention to the fine print. How many hours coverage will you need? Can they be flexible if the day runs over? Are you set on a second shooter and, if so, can they offer one? What do they provide in terms of an album: how many edited images; what about hard copies; is there an online gallery for friends and family to peruse? Start digging deeper: check client testimonials, look at whole albums rather than a handpicked selection of highlights from the last few years and make comparisons between your shortlist and other similarly-priced photographers.

Kate McCarthy Photography

Kate McCarthy Photography, image source

making your mind up

You’re going to spend a LOT of time with your wedding photographer – probably more time than any of your other suppliers – so once you’ve narrowed the potentials down, it’s best to meet in person. Have a list of questions ready – perhaps email them in advance – and put together a Pinterest board of images you love so that you can clearly communicate the kind of end result you want. A wedding photographer needs to be personable, confident, and outgoing, but also sensitive, respectful and professional. Once you’re face to face, it’s easier to make the judgement call as to whether they’re the one for you. Do they feel right? Our ultimate advice is to trust your gut.

Jessica Grace Photography

Jessica Grace Photography, image source

trust your choice

Once you have the photographer on board, it’s time to relax.  You picked them because you loved their work. Now its time to let them do their thang!

Obviously, your chosen photographer will have to work within the constraints of your agreement (and what actually happens on the day and what’s there to shoot!) but if you want our advice, here’s ten popular photographs we think you can’t miss. If you love these ideas, talk to your photographer in advance of your wedding, then stand back and let them set the agenda for the day.  Everyone works best if they are allowed the freedom work in their own way and if everyone is on the same page, then its sure to be a match made in heaven!

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where the heart is. a decadent wedding at denton hall, yorkshire – emily & tim

February 28th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Decadent Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Laura Calderwood (59)

Today’s wedding is something of a dreamy countryside affair, close to the historic spa town of Ilkley in Yorkshire. And the location plays another key role for our bride and groom, Emily and Tim, as it’s also the overarching theme for their special day – giving the bride’s Canadian family a little taster of her hubby-to-be’s local heritage!

The couple chose their venue, Denton Hall – a Brides Up North Sponsor and Luxury Wedding Fair venue, no less (in fact, this feature is full of our lovely suppliers *waves*) – for both their ceremony and reception, and is often the case – the venue not only looked the part, but it was also conveniently placed for their guests. A little reminder that practicalities also beckon when it comes to those all-important big decisions!

But, getting back to the breathtakingly beautiful backdrop – there’s 2,500 acres of stunning parkland and gorgeous country views to fall head over in heels in love with; all exquisitely captured in the couple’s stunning wedding photography.

Stepping inside the 18th century stately home – crystal chandeliers, ornate fireplaces and a spiral staircase are just a few of the standout features delivering elegant Georgian vibes by the bucket-load.

And we simply must mention the couple’s colour palette – navy blue and pink, two of the bride’s favourite colours. Just look at the oh-so-pretty bouquets, floral arrangements and cheese tower, and you’ll see why this combination works together so beautifully.

There’s lots of other special moments to pore over today, so we’ll hand over the reins to Emily and let her talk us through all the splendorous highlights.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.

A Decadent Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Laura Calderwood (32)

emily says: We got engaged on 13th February 2016, while in Miami, Florida.

It was in our hotel room after a romantic dinner. Tim had hurt his back the day before so was struggling to get down on one knee. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing and kept on telling him, not to move but he was so determined! I was too focused on getting him to stop moving that I didn’t listen to what he was saying. When he took out the ring I was so surprised and had to ask him to repeat his proposal.

A Decadent Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Laura Calderwood (4)

We got married on 6th May 2017. We chose this date as it was one of the few available at our venue that year.

We held our ceremony and reception at Denton Hall in Ilkley. We loved the house and wanted the venue to be close by for Tim’s parents, who live in Ilkley. We also wanted my family and friends to be able to stay at the venue as they were all travelling to the wedding from Vancouver, Canada.

A Decadent Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Laura Calderwood (27)

Our wedding had a Yorkshire theme because Tim wanted the Canadians to experience his culture! We teamed this with a navy blue and pink colour scheme – two of my favourite colours.

A Decadent Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Laura Calderwood (36)

I wore a vintage dress which I fell in love with as soon as I tried it on.

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just peachy. enzoani for a romantic lakeside wedding at the fisherman’s retreat – natalie & sim

February 26th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (19)

Here at Brides Up North we’ve almost forgotten what sunshine feels like. It’s been a loooong winter, am I right? Well, today on the blog we’re featuring a wedding that’s guaranteed to heighten your summer cravings – a sun-drenched ceremony, cobalt skies, and a pinky peach colour scheme of dreams –  #sorrynotsorry.

Natalie stripped all embellishment from the tulle of her divine Enzoani dress for an elegant ‘naked’ finish and ivory, pale eucalyptus green and gold ruled their palette along with pops of peach. Combined with the sunshine, the blue skies and the lakeside views, their day feels as refreshing as an iced glass of fizz. Just what the doctor ordered.

Brace yourself, readers – summer is on its way!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (48)

natalie says: We got engaged in Barcelona in September 2016, after watching the magic fountain show. It was just perfect!

Our wedding date was 8th July 2017. We didn’t have a specific reason for the date; we simply wanted to get married in summer 2017, we’d chosen our venue and they had the 8th July available so we snapped it up. I’m studying at university, so the date meant I’d have finished for the summer and would give us time to finalise any details in the run up to the wedding. Oh, and we were also hoping for some summer sun!

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (63)

We got married at The Fisherman’s Retreat in Ramsbottom. The room where our ceremony was held had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the hills. It was a gorgeously sunny day and we were really lucky to say our vows with such an astonishing view in sight. For the reception we changed rooms so we had full access to the lake and our guests could sit outside to enjoy their drinks and celebrate. We originally chose the venue because it was in such a beautiful location and because they gave us a lot of freedom in terms of how we spent our money. There was a ‘minimum spend’ but we could decide to spend this on whatever we wanted instead of it being a set package like so many other venues.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (67)

We had a peach orchard theme to tie into the gorgeous views at the venue. We wanted a friendly, casual but fresh vibe for our guests and it turned out exactly as we wanted.

Colour-wise, we went for peach and gold with lots of greenery, for example eucalyptus leaves for place cards and greenery wrapped around the wooden beams in the ceremony room.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (36)

My dress was from Perfect Daze Bridal in Scissett, Huddersfiled. It was from the Enzoani Blue collection and called Janessa. I loved the fabric and had the tulle part reshaped to create a detachable train which I loved! I had the jewels taken off the tulle and shaped so it was ‘naked’ and I adored its simplicity.

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every emotion captured: phil drinkwater photography

February 22nd, 2018 | Julia Braime

Phil Drinkwater Photography (3)

It goes without saying that you want your wedding photographer to produce the most beautiful images of your big day, but it’s also important to select a pro that will fit in with the flow of your day, who will feel like a guest and who will make the process as simple as possible.

Fortunately for you we know a fella that offers all of the above, our talented Sponsor Phil Drinkwater of Phil Drinkwater Photography, who is joining us on the blog today.

Based in the North West, but documenting weddings all over the UK and overseas, Phil loves nothing more than delivering the story of the full day through his gorgeous images. He aims to blend in and promises to capture every emotion, so you can relive the special moments of your day time and time again.

We’ll hand over to Phil now to show off some of his fabulous images while telling us more about his love for all things wedding…

Phil Drinkwater Photography (14)

When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?

[juennaopen]phil says: I started just over a decade ago now. I was originally working in beauty (makeup) and fashion photography, but everything I produced looked too “beautiful” for the fashion industry. It was quipped a few times that I should shoot weddings, so I did! I think I suit the happiness of a wedding day and the accuracy that is required to be a wedding photographer. The different stories in a wedding day really attract me and I love to hang out with happy people at such an amazing occasion.

How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?

I’ve combined the best of different styles, but most of my time is spent beautifully documenting the day. I don’t subscribe to the “dark and moody” style of photography much and I’m always looking to produce bright and beautiful tones which flatter. It’s important for me to be involved in the day – I like to capture the day every emotion at a time, and knowing the personalities allows me to predict where to be and what to be focusing on.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (5)

What is it that you love most about your job?

It’s being at the wedding itself. I love to feel the emotions on the day and it’s exciting to develop the picture-based story in my mind as the day progresses. It’s why I only offer a full day wedding option – I wouldn’t want to miss anything.

In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?

It sounds dull, but the most important thing couples are missing at the moment is consideration of image backup policy. Many photographers don’t use dual cards on the day (where their camera is writing to two cards at once at the wedding) and don’t backup the photos when they get home. Outside of that, it’s down to someone whose work and personality you love. It should feel like walking into that perfect new house – something should just feel “right”.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (13)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

I think I’m the most consistent photographer that I know. Many photographers will put their focus into certain sections of the day, or certain types of photos. For me, nothing is given more attention than anything else. I’ll do everything possible to produce the very best in every single photograph.

What is the feedback like from your couples?

It’s that they loved having me as part of the day, that they hardly knew I was there and feel the photographs really tell the story. One groom also called me a “photographer ninja” because I seem to be everywhere at once! Another commented that my booking system was excellent.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (19)

Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?

I like to hang out with the bride and bridesmaids in the morning to experience the various emotions they go through as they approach “the moment”.

What area do you cover and is there somewhere in particular that you would love to shoot a wedding that you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do?

I photograph everywhere! Probably half of my weddings are in the North West, but I’ve photographed London and Scotland and Wales, and been abroad quite a few times. I’d love to photograph a wedding in Morocco because I adore the colours in the country, and the taste of the tagines! I’d also love to do an amazing beach wedding in the Caribbean and I’m sure that’ll happen sometime soon.

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rhythm of love: maggie sottero for a wedding at the mansion, leeds – charlotte & amarvir

February 19th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (33)

When choosing a venue for the big day there is much more to think about than the room where your ceremony will take place; what about standout areas for your wedding photography, first-class catering and exclusivity to ensure you have the whole place to yourselves during your celebrations? Today’s featured wedding took place at a stunning venue that offers all that (and more!) – The Mansion, in Leeds.

We’re giving you the fabulous opportunity to view this spectacular venue for yourselves when we host our Luxury Wedding Fair at The Mansion on Sunday 25th February, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. You can find out more and pre-register for the event here.

As so many couples do, today’s brides and groom, Charlotte and Amarvir, fell in love with The Mansion’s idyllic position, nestled within the beautiful Roundhay Park – and its faultless service and elegant style ticked all other boxes!

Picking a theme that would complement both the setting and season, Charlotte chose a pretty pink and cream colour scheme with opulent pops of gold.

We adore her diamanté-embellishment Maggie Sottero gown, which twinkled perfectly on the dancefloor as she and Amarvir enjoyed their first dance, which they had specially choreographed and took professional lessons for, no less!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (1)

charlotte says: We got engaged on holiday in Mauritius in August 2016. Amarvir’s proposal was very romantic. He had planned a special dinner at a beautiful restaurant – champagne, rose petals on the table, etc. After our romantic dinner, we went for a walk along the beach and sat on a jetty, dipping our feet into the Indian Ocean under the moon and stars and that is when Amarvir asked me to marry him! It was the most perfect evening.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (20)

We got married on 19th August 2017, as we wanted a summer wedding on a Saturday. We chose The Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, as our venue due to the beautiful park surroundings and because we would have exclusive use of the venue on our big day, which was important to us.

We chose a summer theme – lots of pink, gold, rose gold and cream to create a lovely summery floral atmosphere, which fitted the time of year and location of the venue in the park.

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (54)

For my wedding dress, I wore a full-length Maggie Sottero gown with diamanté-embellishment on the top half from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. I love sparkles, so it was the perfect gown for me.

Amarvir hired his morning suit from Moss Bros. He wore a black tail coat with grey striped suit trousers, a light pink cravat and a dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and held a grey top hat for our photos. For the evening reception, Amarvir changed into a white tux jacket, black tux trousers, black bow tie and his black and white dancing shoes!

A Pretty Wedding at The Mansion (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (58)

My bridesmaids wore a full-length, light pink dress with lace detail on the top half, which I bought online from Stacees and which complemented my wedding dress and the overall theme.

The groomsmen wore morning suits like Amarvir, also hired from Moss Bros, and they had gold cravats.

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