Brides Up North

the power of posing. cat hepple photography

February 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography - The Power Of Posing (7)

It’s no secret that these pretty pages are a big source of inspiration, not only to our bride to be readers (who we love very much) but also to our wedding industry followers.  I love that this creative industry of ours is – in general – such a fabulously supportive environment in which to work.  I know that I owe a lot to the wedding industry friends who have championed my blog and brand over the years, so I hope you’ll take a break from the wedding planning (get some work done!) as I direct this morning’s feature squarely their way.

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One such friend, and someone who is always prepared to give so much back to others in our field is the beautiful Cat of Cat Hepple Photography.  Always one of my favourite ladies to work with (she created the stunning set of images for our rebrand back in April of 2014) and on my personal speed dial for advice on making things look really, really pretty, she certainly is one clever Cat.

I’d like to welcome Cat to the pages of the wedding blog today as she shares her latest achievement with us: she’s only gone and published a book! “The Power of Posing: win clients, create perfect poses and boost your business” is a guide for photographers, written to help them boost their skills and book more clients. This 28,000 word downloadable guide is designed to show photographers all the steps they need to take to put their clients at ease and to teach them to trust, so they take direction and the result is gorgeous images full of emotion.

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I know that our photographer friends (*waves!*) will be reading with interest, as might any enthustiatic amateurs and anyone who just wants to take better personal pictures, so I’ll hand you over to the lovely Ms. Hepple.

Take it from someone who has been “posed” by Cat and loved the results: this is a tome that everyone needs in their creative library.

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cat says: In the four years I’ve been a professional photographer, there’s one question I get asked more than any other by people in the industry: “How DO you get people to look so magazine worthy and yet so natural?”

To me it’s always seemed to be a strange question because posing my clients and getting them to look sensational has been one of my favourite parts of being a photographer, right from the start. I can’t imagine having it any other way. I’ve never done it any other way.

I’m not saying I’ve always known exactly what to do with them, how to guide and direct them but I have been certain from the very beginning of how I want them to look and feel and I’ve worked very hard to create techniques and routines which really help me achieve that.

I love posing people. I know that puts me in the minority in the world of photographers ( a bit like how much I love public speaking, again I know that probably makes me a bit odd!) but I get enormous satisfaction from creating a beautiful image which not only looks fabulous but captures a mood too. Because without emotion, your photographs are just poses, and nothing more. Emotion and mood are critical to connect an image with someone’s soul. So many photographers worry that by focusing on posing the emotion will be lost. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

So I’ve studied hard, not just how to pose someone by moving their arms and legs, hands and feet, but the psychology of working with people. I’ve learnt a lot about trust, building a client’s confidence in me and how to make that work on a shoot. I’ve studied people, considered ways to work with different body shapes and confidence levels and I’ve applied what I’ve learnt to my work. And now it’s all in a new book I’ve written for photographers.

Cat Hepple Photography - The Power Of Posing (1)

The chances are you currently:

  • feel nervous about posing people
  • don’t have time to think about posing on a shoot
  • feel you always get clients who look nervous and won’t take direction from you
  • sometimes have no idea on a shoot what you are going to do next
  • lack confidence in taking the lead and directing
  • struggle to pose people you don’t think are typically beautiful
  • don’t ever get enough emotion into your shots

 

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My book will help you to:

create

A simple process you can rely on.

A way to gain confidence.

Trust from your clients so they do what you ask them to do.

demystify

The art of winning people around.

The ways to guide people into poses.

The secrets to getting natural images.

promote

Yourself as a posing expert.

Build a reputation for incredibly natural images.

Be in demand and get more bookings, because you make people look and feel amazing.

Cat Hepple Photography - The Power Of Posing (3)

In addition to the book, Cat is now available for one to one mentoring sessions to help you develop even further and look in depth at your own specific business needs.

Visit her new website to buy the book and for more details of Cat’s mentoring offering.

And if you’re a bride to be reader who stuck around and has liked what you’ve seen, you can book Cat for your own wedding by getting in touch here.

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urban delight. rich jewel hues for a stylish city centre wedding at the palace hotel, manchester – kate & chris

February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (50)

I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.

Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.

In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (6)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (9)

Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.

We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.

I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (10)

When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer.  We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (12)

I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (13)

Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (15)

My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (25)

A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (27)

I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (28)

We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (29)

Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.

The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (34)

Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (41)

We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.

We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (47)

It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (54)

We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!

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glamour amour. a classically beautiful wedding at colshaw hall – naomi & tom

January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.

Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning.  Bring on the sparkle..!

Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!

We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!

We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me.  It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.

The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!

I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.

I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!

The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at missesdressy.com. The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.

We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.

Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.

 

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (39)

I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.

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an autumn affair. a stylish winter wedding at priory cottages – jude & colin

January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

Priory Cottages near to my adopted home town of Wetherby in North Yorkshire is one of my favourite local venues, and I always get a warm welcome from their team when I pop in to pay a visit.  I’m used to seeing the venue dressed for spring and summer celebrations (not least the fabulous wedding of one of my best girls, Charlotte – you can see her big day here), but it’s lovely to see how special and sparkly this place looks on a late autumn day.

Jude and Colin’s wedding brought all the brightest colours of nature inside for a stylish, cosy and heart warming day, filled with fun. My absolute favourite kind of celebration that there can be.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, and all round lovely lady, Helen Russell Photography.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (5)

jude says: We got engaged on 25th August 2013.  Col had originally planned on doing it on my birthday earlier in the month but the ring wasn’t ready, so plan B was when we were visiting my best friend in Derby. Little did I know but they were all in on it. He proposed in Matlock in a cable car on our way up to the Heights of Abraham. Our friends Manda, Chris and their little boy Vinnie were there too so we got some great pictures of the proposal. I had just found out that I was pregnant so the champagne picnic was enjoyed by everyone else!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (9)

We were married on Friday 7th November 2014. We both love the autumn and the vibrant colours associated with the season are beautiful.  We were hoping for a crisp cold sunny day! We got the rain instead!

We tied the knot at All Saints church in Wighill.  It was small and cosy but beautiful. We attended the church in the year prior to the wedding and all the locals were so friendly. The reception was at The Priory Barn and Cottages, Nr Wetherby. We fell in love with The Priory as soon as we visited it. The barn has been restored and the old architecture of some of the buildings is beautiful. Serena the owner was fabulous from start to finish, we immediately knew that she would be on hand to help, which she was. We wanted a venue that was different, we had been to nine weddings in the past 14 months and didn’t want to marry somewhere our friends had done so.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (13)

We chose an autumnal/rustic style. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love nature and a natural feel to things. The table centre pieces were slices of logs we had gathered with skeleton leaves and Chinese lanterns. We used mini pumpkins were as table numbers.  We had kilner jars with candles standing on upturned logs dotted around the venue and some old driftwood was used. We used a lot of hessian and lace and candlelight.

Our colour palette was purples and oranges – gorgeous vibrant autumnal colours that complement each other

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

My dress was from the Bridal Rogue Gallery in York. It was a Pronovias dress, ‘Leonde’, a tulle mermaid style made from Chantilly and Guipure lace. It had crystal, pearl and gemstone embroidery below the bust.  I fell in love with the dress immediately. I wanted something classic and vintage and loved the lace and open back. I wore it with a borrowed vintage fur and Diane Hassall lace shoes. My mum bought me some beautiful diamond earrings which I hope my daughter Ava may wear one day.

I used Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup. Lisa is fantastic at what she does, I’ve had my hair and makeup done several times by her and it always looks immaculate. She is fun to be around and after a long sleepless night with a teething 10 month old she worked miracles!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

Col wore a navy blue three piece suit from Ted Baker. He bought a pocket watch which finished the suit off beautifully.

My bridesmaids Manda and Sarah wore a rich 50’s style purple dress, with a jewelled cuff and a-line skirt from House of Fraser designed by Eliza J. They wore bright burnt orange heels from Next.

The flowergirls Ava and Olivia wore ivory dresses with purple petals sewn into the hems and our page boy wore a three piece suit from BHS with a pair of white Converse pumps.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

We wanted something different from a traditional wedding car so opted for a 1967 ivory VW campervan called “Summer”. This was hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

Helen Russell was our photographer. We would definitely recommend her. I was introduced to her at a friend’s wedding and immediately warmed to her, she has an amazing ability to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. We loved her vintage style, she has a great passion for her job and you really get the feeling that she wants to give you the best images she can.  She managed to capture the romantic yet fun mood of our day. We had a pre wedding shoot with her and took our daughter Ava and Col’s son Elliott along… she was great with the children.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Wendy at Paperwhite Flowers provided our flowers. She is such a professional and so passionate about her job.  She knew exactly what I wanted and goes above and beyond.  My bouquet was a wild hand tie with lace and a decorative vintage key.  It had creamy white vendella roses and superbubbles, spray roses and buds, large dolcetto roses, purple and plum foliage, orange rosehip, fountain grass, purple lisianthus, rosemary, astrontia million stars, birch and willow twig and was wrapped in fine green ivy.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (45)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

Paperwhite provided all the flowers, dressed the top table and provided a large pumpkin filled with beautiful flowers and asparagus grass. I wanted a messy looking arrangement rather than something too structured. It was perfect.

They provided two beautiful pew ends with wild flowers for the church which we used at the barn afterwards and  chrome lanterns which we used in the church then back in the courtyard and barn.They also dressed upturned logs with kilner jars and candles wrapped with ivy trails and Chinese lanterns and placed them around the barn.

AV Matrix dressed the barn in fairy lights. This was done before we even got there on the Thursday to get ready.

We had lots of purple and cream paper lanterns to hang from the marquee roof, Col and my bridesmaids Manda and Sarah spent most of the afternoon hanging them!

My mum made 120 hanging love hearts to hang on the backs of all the chairs. Our guests took these home and it’s so lovely to see them hanging in our friends’ homes. She also dressed our chairs in hessian and lace, they looked so pretty.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (56)

We had Cancer Research pin badges as favours as this is a charity close to our hearts. The men had blue ones and the ladies had the Elizabeth Stuart silver leaf pins.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

Taste Cuisine provided the food and we went for a real ‘winter warming’ menu for the wedding breakfast. At the evening reception we had a hog roast served with cheese and homemade pickles and chutneys from my parents.

A very close friend of mine, Ronni made our cake. We had fruit cake (to compliment the cheeses at the evening reception) and chocolate cake.  It was decorated with sugar blackberries, maple and oak leaves and wrapped in a fine hessian.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

We lit a memory candle at the church which we took back to The Priory and had on a table with photos of our grandparents and those that are sadly longer with us.

I had some daisies incorporated into the flowers and my bouquet in memory of my Auntie Daisy who died of leukemia.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (72)

We used Dave Spink Videography, the girls who worked at the wedding were very friendly and professional, I didn’t even know they were around at times, we can’t wait to see the finished DVD.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (76)

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (74)

Without the help of my parents the day that we had wouldn’t have been possible.  They have spent so much time making things and helped to get the venue ready and looking as beautiful as it did.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (86)

Howard Wing was our wedding singer- what a legend and absolute gent with an amazing voice and talent to entertain! I came across him on a wedding blog and after speaking with him immediately knew we had to book him. We certainly weren’t disappointed, he had the whole place bouncing before the starters had even finished… I’ve never been at a wedding where people are singing and dancing on the chairs before dinner ends! Brilliant! So many people said ‘best wedding we’ve ever been too!’

We had dance floor rules and flip flops for the ladies, these went down very well…the following morning we found several pairs of shoes left in the marquee!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (89)

It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the day. I was so happy that my dad walked me down the aisle as only a week previously he had suffered a heart attack and we were unsure whether he would be able to make the wedding. I bought my dad a hanky and had it embroidered and gave it to him before we left for the church. It said ‘I may have found my prince but you will always be king, thank you for walking with me today’.

Col’s face when I walked down the aisle was priceless, he looked so emotional.

My favourite part of the reception most definitely has to be when Howard had us all doing the Love Train around the marquee before we had even had dessert, even the waitresses got dragged into it… it was fantastic fun.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (95)

We chose to go to New York for our honeymoon, having a 10 month old going away for two weeks just wasn’t an option, but thanks to grandparents and aunties and uncles we were lucky enough to have 5 nights away.

We have both always wanted to go, so it was the perfect choice. We loved it. We managed to do almost everything we wanted. We would love to go back one day and check out all the lovely restaurants, bars and of course do some shopping!

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (101)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that the day goes so quickly so take some time together, and take a step back (easier said than done) and watch your guests having fun.

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fabulous photographer: georgina brewster photography

January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon I’m thrilled to give a warm welcome to Brides Up North Sponsor (and soon to be bride!) Georgina of Georgina Brewster Photography. Georgina’s spent two years in a soon-to-be-wed’s shoes, so knows exactly what you’re all about – and cares about her own wedding almost as much as she does about yours!

Her work speaks for itself.

Let’s say hello!

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georgina says: My love of photography started whilst travelling Europe as an 18-year-old, I returned to the UK at the age of 21 and enrolled on a two year HND Photography and Design course with Bradford College,  it was pre-digital then (now I feel old and I’m only 35) and many days were spent developing 35mm in a darkroom and magically developing my own prints, alongside this I worked for a Kodak processing lab and gained work experience with a great photographer, Stephen Garnett, on my local newspaper.

After graduating I applied for a position as a Trainee Photographer with East Lancashire Newspapers and in 2003 was thrilled to be offered the job.  After three years training, I was promoted to a member of the senior staff and ended my career with the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.  The experience I have gained in a press environment has been invaluable, day-to-day situations change rapidly and meeting so many different people in any one day has taught me to be confident, creative and adaptable.  I have been privileged to capture a wide range of subjects, ranging from, Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Prince of Wales and several other members of the Royal family many times, to Prime Ministers, MP’s, pop stars, soap stars, sports stars at major sporting events and the all important local heroes of our communities.

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Wedding photography is something I have done regularly across the North of England over the last decade on weekends off from the newspaper.  The time came last year to give the press pass a rest and commit full-time to something that truly made me happy.

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My favourite thing about my profession is that I am constantly surrounded by happy people.  Experiencing the love, compassion and emotion between families is such an endearing gift we can often take for granted.  I have been known to wipe away a few tears during the exchange of vows!

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As part of my photography package I include an informal pre-wedding shoot, a chance for me to spend some time in the company of the Bride and Groom, have a wander around a place special to them as a couple and achieve some really natural images.  I find this really helps a couple to relax on the day of their wedding.  Meeting and working with new people is what I have done for a very long time and to quote a Bride’s grandfather at her wedding: “You have the knack of making a whole room full of people feel at ease.  You really are quite wonderful”.

Possibly the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me, other than “Will you marry me?”

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I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone that likes the thought of having their photograph taken, unless we’re paid models its unnatural to us all, right?! I do find though, that once a shoot has started, casually chatting and having a giggle throughout puts people at ease.

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Bridal make-up is a personal choice and I would always advise not to venture too far away from your normal look.  Take advice from an expert and if your budget allows, book a make-up artist.  The most important thing is to feel comfortable on the day.

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I would love to photograph Jennifer Aniston’s wedding! I have loved her from the first episode of Friends, Phoebe’s my favourite but Jennifer’s love life has been highly documented through the papers and to have her heart broken by Brad in such a public way, she deserves her happy ever after.

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Every wedding is beautiful in its own way and every day is memorable to me.  There is a very special venue close by to me though that never fails to evoke a timeless romance and intimacy with every wedding I cover there.  An ancient Priest’s House in the stunning Yorkshire Dales called Barden Tower.

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I’m not married at this moment but my chap popped the question two years ago and our big day is May 3rd 2015.  This year!  I simply cannot wait.  Every bride I have worked with says it comes around quickly and it absolutely does.  I had a pre Christmas panic, as I am sure most brides do, where the reality dawned on me that we only had four months remaining with still so much to do.  It is a wonderful time planning the day with my fiancé and all very exciting.

It will be a complete role reversal for me to be on the other side of the camera and I’m certain the experience will add another dimension to my work for future weddings.  I am constantly asked who my photographer will be, there has only ever been one choice for me and that is a friend from my newspaper days, purely because I know I will feel completely at ease.  There could be the odd selfie in there too!

Our day will be a ceremony in our local church followed by a reception in a traditional, Victorian, glass-roofed theatre.  A very informal and fun-filled affair.  A min-moon in the Lake District for two nights and then straight back to work for me as I have four other wedding days to share in May.

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I do have one funny story that will never be forgotten.  On one of the hottest days of the year, I had asked all the guests to follow me outside for the big group photo.  The hotel co-ordinator ushered me to an upstairs window, a sash window I could lean out of to get the best vantage point, only the window wouldn’t open!  She assured me it had been open the previous day so we persevered, nudging and bumping the window up.  After much effort I could just about poke my lens through the gap and shouted down to the guests below (who were almost on their knees laughing at this point) that I would silently count to three with my fingers.  As I raised my fingers they all chanted “one, two, THREE” and a big cheer was let out.  The shutter was pressed and possibly the best group shot ever was taken.

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With so many photographers condensed in any one area, especially wedding photographers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among my competitors, many I am great friends with.  Its important to me that I keep advancing on my skills through annual training courses with other professionals and attending networking events in my area to meet other suppliers.   I am extremely hard working and have such passion and commitment for what I do, constantly on the look out for new trends emerging, updating my equipment and keeping up to date with new editing software on the market.  I often find that the power of a personal recommendation for a job well done is the best way to keep ahead of the pack.

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On the Wedding Day a couple can expect 100% reliability and professionalism from me.  I plan every detail meticulously, meeting with them before hand to discuss every detail of their day.  Together we build a mutual understanding of the photos they hope for and love.  I will be there to capture the pure emotion of the day, whilst being as natural and unobtrusive as possible.

I only offer one package.  Through searching for a photographer for my own wedding (in case mine had to work at an away football game) I became increasingly confused by the different packages, prices structures, time limits and optional add-ons.  I have designed my package to make the process simple.  For more details click here.

My package is currently available for £950.

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A great way to keep up to date with my work is to LIKE my facebook page. Links to my blogs are posted on here along with details of wedding fairs I will be attending.  I update my website galleries on a regular basis too so keep a close eye on that.

I am always available to chat over the phone on 07896365977 or throw an email my way with any questions to info@georginabrewster.com

Visit my website at www.georginabrewster.com

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