August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog, we’re delighted to be catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsor photographers, Yorkshire-based Jenny Maden.
A self-confessed “softie”, Jenny loves capturing every element of a big day; from the thought-out details and styling, to the true emotions and expressions of those involved.
Summing up her style as natural and relaxed, Jenny prides herself on making couples feel totally at ease so they barely even notice her capturing their day.
Here to tell us more about her passion for photography (and romance) is the lady herself…
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
jenny says: I’ve been photographing weddings on a full-time basis since 2014. I love photographing people and wedding days are so full of opportunities to capture expression and emotion.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style is very relaxed. When I’m working with my couples, they are generally chatting and laughing throughout, either with me or with each other. So much so that many couples tell me that they almost forget I’m photographing them. As a result, I achieve images that capture ‘you’.
I also constantly watch the light, the image composition and the angle in which I’m shooting, to ensure that the final images are polished and flattering – as well as natural.
What is it that you love most about your job?
There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!
I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, often meeting them again to photograph their growing families.
I just love weddings! The dress, the flowers, the jewellery, the shoes, the table décor, the cake, the food and drink, the venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians…you name it. Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.
Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too. I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
I strongly suggest you review their portfolio of work, to ensure that their style of work is to your taste. I also think it’s useful to meet as it’s really important that you feel at ease with your chosen photographer.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
I’ve had some lovely feedback, which I hugely value. Instead of me paraphrasing, take a peek for yourselves here.
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
I genuinely love the whole day. The bridal prep, the ‘first look’, the ceremony itself, the speeches, the first dance, but I also really love those quiet moments when I take the bride and groom off for a few pictures away from the guests. It’s often the only part of the day that they are alone together, and it’s a really special time that I get to capture.
August 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
The weekend may have come to an end but we’re going to do our very best to distract you from those Monday blues with this all-natural affair, courtesy of outdoors-loving couple Christina and Nick. There’s British-grown blooms, undone hair and a strawberry flower crown against the beautiful backdrop of East Riddlesden Hall and Barn. They describe their theme as ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ and they’ve got it bang on – the everyday beauty of an English country garden with just a touch of magic dust.
This pair are true romantics, and made every decision for their big day together – Christina even called Nick to check out her Cabotine dress and he shed a few tears along with her mum when she stepped out of the dressing room. And after hearing about his dreamy proposal – a night-time drive, a teal moonlit sky, a cup of tea and a glass of Champagne – we’ve gotta hand it to him: this guy gets romance.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke Photography.
christina says: Nick finally asked the special question on Friday 22nd May 2015. We’d been together for 11 years but we hadn’t been in a position where we could afford a wedding! He had the perfect ring, and the perfect girl (his words!), but finding the perfect location to get on one knee proved more difficult. In the end, he waited for a clear night, when the twilight turned the sky a stunning shade of teal and asked me if I fancied a drive. He then drove us to the top of a tall hill near our place to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. Under the moon and stars we stood in a field and he dropped to one knee and asked the question. I said yes and we hugged in the moonlight, before hurrying home to warm up with a cup of tea and a glass of bubbly. It wasn’t grand, it wasn’t extravagant but it was very ‘us’, and every time the sky turns the same colour on a clear evening, it reminds us both of that special moment!
We were married on Sunday, May 14th 2017. We’d had our hearts set on a spring wedding for a long time: we’re both nature lovers and we had noticed that May in Yorkshire had been sunny and fairly warm for the past few years. Ultimately, we chose a Sunday because we were trying to stick to a budget and, as luck would have it, our venue had a lower rate for Sunday weddings.
We had a civil ceremony and our reception at the barn at East Riddlesden Hall. There’s something magical about the place; the very first time we visited East Ridds with some friends a few years ago we glanced inside the barn and something clicked with both of us. We looked at quite a few wedding venues after Nick proposed, but found ourselves comparing them to the barn each time – and the barn always won! The wedding barn is such a beautiful building; the perfect complement to the country springtime wedding we envisaged. The National Trust wedding team were always friendly and helpful and answered all of our (many) questions when we were trying to make the decision.
Our theme was loosely based around springtime flowers, country meadows, and wildlife/nature. We decided to call it the ‘Fairy Potting Shed’ theme! Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to make the most of and celebrate spring. It’s such an exciting and invigorating time of year; nature is coming alive, bees are buzzing around and the natural colour palette in woodlands and meadows becomes diverse and beautiful. We both liked the idea of celebrating nature and all things which grow.
We didn’t really have a set colour scheme; we were so pleased with the natural rustic beauty of the venue that we didn’t feel the need to overdress it. We were very pleased that our seasonal floral displays complemented the venue so beautifully.
I found wedding dress shopping very difficult – I thought that what I wanted didn’t exist. Most of the dress shops I visited reinforced my fears or were way beyond my budget. But with a stroke of luck, I eventually found my wedding dress at the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium in Halifax.
I was originally looking for an A-line wedding dress with a very flowy skirt to complement my hourglass figure. I wanted it to be as simple and timeless as possible, without any beadwork or embellishment. I found this to be a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated!
I happened upon the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium by accident. At the time, me and my mum were searching for a ‘mother of the bride’ outfit. While my mum was trying on outfits I took a wander into the wedding dress section. I had a look at the one-off dresses and discovered a stunning and unique dress by Cabotine. I was a bit lost at this stage – having seen so many dresses I felt quite dazed, but there was something about this dress that just seemed right. It might shock some of your readers (I know our families were a bit stunned!), but I called Nick to come along to see what he thought. I don’t regret this decision at all; we ended up having a lovely moment. Nick saw me in the dress, and shed a few tears, as did my mum…and I knew that this was the dress for me! Leanne who owns the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium was wonderful from start to finish. She gave me the space to make the decision, and expelled all of my anxieties and fears with her expert knowledge and a dose of humanity and humour which I felt was missing from many of my other dress shopping experiences. She arranged alterations by an independent seamstress, and on the day the dress was a perfect fit.
July 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
You will often hear us remark on how imperative we consider a professional wedding photographer to be, in order to capture and record your big day, with fabulous images to look back on forevermore. That said, we do totally understand that some couples are camera shy – or downright terrified of having their photo taken!
There is a compromise however – a pro photographer that specialises in natural and relaxed shots that are discreetly captured throughout the day with the couple in question barely even noticing. One such photographer to embody these skills, is our brand-new Sponsor, Robbie Venn of Venn Photography.
Based in the North West, Robbie takes a photo-journalistic approach to weddings capturing the “real moments” of the day while remaining unobtrusive. This work ethic results in honest and natural photos with at-ease brides and grooms enjoying their special day, and the album of beautiful images that follows.
Tell us a little about your background and how long you have been in wedding photography for?
robert says: I first became involved in photography after I left school in 1999 and went on to complete a HND in photography; this was in the days of analogue photography and I have always continued to take film pictures for my personal use.
After becoming a digital photography convert I travelled around Asia for six months, doing a lot of street photography and portraits which was a great learning experience. Back from travelling, a friend asked me to photograph their wedding as a favour and I ended up really enjoying the experience. That’s how I started my career in wedding photography and I haven’t looked back since!
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
I’m really interested in the fact that you have to have so many skills as a photographer; from being a good documentary photographer to capture all the candid moments in the day to being like a fashion or portrait photographer for when you have time with the couple to shoot some more artistic couple shots and even a product photographer when photographing the details like the flowers and the ring. I believe you can really test yourself as a photographer as there is so much involved in wedding photography.
And what is it about your job that you love?
Well just taking photos really! I love the fact I have free rein to take photos all day and in such a nice setting. Being able to share people’s wedding day with them is great, such a nice time to share with people and to document their wonderfully creative days.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I see myself more of a documentary wedding photographer, I like to keep things natural and un-posed, I’ll try to blend into the background for the day and make myself unnoticed and capture those candid moments. I also use natural light mainly, which adds a particular look to photos. I like to give the couples simple, good documentary photos that will stand the test of time when they look back at them in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time and they will help reminisce about the day.
What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?
The feedback has been great so far, people particularly love the natural documentary style of photos which I present to them. The main comments have been about how I capture the emotions perfectly which is something I’m really happy with, and how calm and relaxed I am to work with. The wedding day can be stressful to plan and also can be on the day so I like to be as organised as I can to make the day go smoothly.
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?
I’d say that you should try to have some fun with each other, I like to keep things natural and un-posed during the couple shots and this creates a more natural image. It’s better to try and forget about the camera (and me) and concentrate on each other. Also, I try and be as discreet as I can throughout the day so the couples usually don’t notice me taking their photo so that’s not a problem!
July 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Adwoa and Jonny’s elegant town wedding combined a traditional British feel with Ghanaian touches to reflect the bride’s proud heritage. The result? A completely unique celebration. This couple were married in spring in the beautiful city of York and if you can show me a dreamier combination of location and time of year I will happily eat my fascinator.
Bethany Lloyd-Clarke captured the love with her typical flair and these photographs totally warrant all the gushing. We just adore the honest beauty of her images – the bride joyfully tangled in her veil, the groom’s last-minute hair check courtesy of his best man and especially the look of utter glee on Adwoa’s face in the back of their wedding car. You simply can’t fake that magic!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke.
adwoa says: Jonny proposed before Christmas 2015 in Dean’s Park, just behind York Minster. We’d recently moved to York and Jonny said he wanted to go for a festive walk around town when, much to my surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a wonderful surprise and although it was raining at the time, neither of us seemed to notice!
We were lucky enough to go back to the site of the proposal when we had our engagement photoshoot with the talented Bethany Lloyd-Clarke. She captured some beautiful pictures of us – this time in the spring sunshine.
We got married on the 29th April 2017. We both loved the idea of a spring wedding, and chose the Bank Holiday weekend to give our loved ones time to enjoy York after the wedding if they wanted to.
We had our ceremony at our parish church, the beautiful and ancient Holy Trinity on Micklegate, which predates the Domesday Book. For our reception, we really wanted to make the most of the spring wedding, so booked the 14th century Hospitium in Museum Gardens in York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous setting by the river within botanical gardens. We were a little worried that it might rain on the day and our guests wouldn’t get to enjoy the lovely surroundings, but we were very lucky with the weather.
We didn’t have a special theme as such, but we did want to combine my Ghanaian heritage with a traditional British wedding. Our favours were pocket squares made from Ghanaian wax print cloth with motifs symbolising the beauty of marriage. They were handmade by Jonny, who tried out a sewing machine for the first time! We also wore traditional Ghanaian outfits for the evening. Other than that, the colour scheme was classic: champagne and ivory with gold highlights.
July 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple Natalie and Sim are set to tie the knot this weekend in the beautiful village of Ramsbottom (excited much!). Good luck guys!
In preparation for their big day, they undertook a relaxed engagement shoot that serves up a bucket load of urban magic and smiles aplenty, with the couple posing in stairwells, next to metal gates and seated next to stacks of luggage.
There’s some wonderful pops of colour too; Natalie’s bright yellow anorak and the beautiful pink blossom trees are just two of our highlights. Here, Natalie tells us more about their journey together so far and – as they prepare to walk down the aisle – what they’re most looking forward to as newlyweds.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in Barcelona just after watching the Magic Fountain show. It was a very exciting surprise, though I have to admit that I did have my suspicions!
We’re planning on getting married at The Fisherman’s Retreat in Ramsbottom on 8th July 2017. Not long to go now!
We met on a night out in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which involved a dance off! For our first date, we went back to the Northern Quarter and had such a great night.
June 29th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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