Charlotte Balbier

our love story: helen & dan

July 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (6)

We’re delighted to be sharing another love story here on the blog this afternoon, and this time we’re off to Manchester.

Teenage sweethearts Helen and Dan chose the city’s cool Northern Quarter as the backdrop for their engagement shoot, which features cool, urban buildings and impressive in-your-face street art.

Cool, quirky and individual – just what we like!

With images by Drew Findlay Photography.

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in 2014. Dan proposed to me in Vietnam on a cruise across Haylong Bay. It was a total surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all!

We are getting married on 30th July at Lancaster Town Hall followed by a reception at Willow Barn at the Bay Horse Inn. It’s going to be a Harry Potter theme!

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (8)

We met eight-and-a-half years ago when we were both 16. We played hockey for the same club and Dan told me that he’d like to go on a date with me. The rest is history! We had our first kiss when I was in my hockey kit and Dan was all dressed to go out, as I was home late from hockey. It was cute and awkward, which sort of sums us up!

We both knew that we were right for each other, even from a young age. We just get each other – it’s great!

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our love story: george & jo

July 21st, 2016 | Julia Braime

Our Love Story Jo & George (c) Stell a Photography (51)

This morning on the blog we’re heading to the North West of the UK to share the gorgeous engagement shoot of husband- and wife-to-be George and Jo.

Captured in the beautiful surroundings of Lyme Park in Cheshire, we adore how relaxed and natural this loved-up duo are in front of the lens – stealing kisses and hugs while smiling and laughing along the way. Super sweet!

With images by Stella Photography.

Our Love Story Jo & George (c) Stell a Photography (24)

george says: My proposal came as that much of a surprise to Jo she said “no”! It was more the shock at first – I hope! We had trekked three miles up to the Hollywood sign in LA in baking heat and without any water or suntan cream. Jo wanted to turn back, but there was no way I was going back without popping the question! It was on our fifth anniversary, which made it all the sweeter!

We have set the date for May 2017, with the ceremony at my local church in High Lane, followed by a reception in Didsbury.

Our Love Story Jo & George (c) Stell a Photography (38)

We first met when Jo came with a friend to a gathering at my house and my brother accidentally walked home in Jo’s friend’s boots! Conveniently, this meant Jo had to come round the next day to pick them up. When Jo got to mine, she found me in my best shirt and shorts, stinking of aftershave and she still said she would go out for a drink with me!

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our love story: anisa & ala

June 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot (c) Amy & Omid Photography (16)

This afternoon we’re heading west as we share the stunning engagement shoot and love story of newlyweds, Anisa and Ala.

Captured in beautiful locations in North West Wales and Cheshire, this gorgeous shoot features forests, mountains and waterfalls, what more could you want?

For now we’ll let Anisa and Ala fill you in on how first they got together, then the pair will be returning to the blog tomorrow to share their wonderful overseas wedding with us. Be sure to check back in, it’s a real beauty that you won’t want to miss!

With images by Amy & Omid Photography.

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot (c) Amy & Omid Photography (23)

anisa says: We decided we wanted to get married not long after we got to know each other. After meeting we continued our friendship over a distance for more than a year, then once we received the blessing from our parents, Ala proposed.

We got married on 27th December 2016, in Antalya, Turkey, during a beautiful ceremony surrounded by family and friends overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea!

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot (c) Amy & Omid Photography (21)

How we first met is quite a long story, but in short: when I was a medical student, I ended up doing my elective in Kurdistan, Iraq, for a few months in summer 2013. Through friends and family, I was introduced to Ala (who was the friend of a friend) and that’s where it all began!

It was pretty much a case of love at first sight. The first few weeks together were really special as we spent time with Ala’s family, looking after his nephews, and hanging out at Ala’s favourite local spots!

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot (c) Amy & Omid Photography (17)

On about day two of meeting Ala, I knew he was the one. I’d only known him for a few days but he was so easy to be with and the way I could be myself around him showed me that we’d be friends forever.

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our love story: kara & ash

May 31st, 2016 | Julia Braime

Our Love Story Kara & Ash (c) Emma & Rich (33)

At this time of year there’s nothing quite like a trip to the British seaside, and so today we’re heading to the gorgeous town of Scarborough for the engagement shoot of Ash and Kara.

Looking totally relaxed and loved up, Ash and Kara are captured wondering around the town’s quaint yet vibrant streets, whilst calling in at the amusements and fairground along the way. Looks like a perfect day to us!

So grab your sunnies, we’re off to the coast…

With images by Emma and Rich.

Our Love Story Kara & Ash (c) Emma & Rich (5)

kara says: We got engaged in June 2015. It was following a difficult patch with Ash working a lot; both at work and University. He promised to take me for a meal to make it up so I thought it was a regular ‘date night’. He took me to a wonderful restaurant and then suggested we should go for a wander as we hadn’t gotten out for a while just the two of us. He led me up to the side of Scarborough Castle, through a secret snicket (a place we went to on our first meeting – after far too many beers, may I add!) This place in particular has an amazing view of both the bays in Scarborough so it’s perfect at dusk. That’s where he got down on one knee and shocked the hell out of me. I actually responded with “Are you actually kidding?” before saying yes! The best part was going to our local and finding out that all my family and friends were there waiting for us, even those who had to travel from afar! (I wondered why he was tidying and hoovering up before we left for dinner!) I genuinely didn’t have the foggiest that it was going to happen.

Our Love Story Kara & Ash (c) Emma & Rich (18)

We are getting married on 2nd July 2016 at Scarborough registry office. We are then heading up to Pinewood Park where we have the whole site booked for the night for our friends and family to stay with us in the tipis and cowboy shacks. We are so excited!

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the big debate. engagement: the long & the short of it

May 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

image source

Whether you’ve been waiting for what feels like a lifetime for a proposal, or been whisked off your feet in a whirlwind romance, once that engagement ring is firmly on your finger exactly how long should you wait before getting hitched?

There is of course, no wrong or right answer to this, it’s a case of personal preference, but there are various planning elements that a couple should take into account when setting a date.

We see our creative readers planning their dream weddings over the course of a number of years, months and, in some cases, just weeks, and all do a fabulous job. But if you’re not sure how long to wait between saying “I will” and “I do” then today’s Big Debate could help you decide on the ideal time planning scale, as we discuss the possible pros and cons of a short engagement vs a long engagement.

Image by Alyssa Nikole Photography

Image by Alyssa Nikole Photography

rachel says: don’t feel the need for speed

I’m certainly not getting any younger and so can’t quite believe that I’m in favour of a longer engagement. However, one of my main reasons for taking such a stance is having seen first-hand the pressure planning a wedding in a matter of months can cause the bride and groom-to-be. Nobody wants a pre-wedding meltdown.

I’m not for one minute suggesting that the engagement be drawn out over the course of five or more, or even three or more years, really (or I might never get my man down the aisle!). But what I am advising is that couples take their time to ensure they are making the right decisions (weddings are a pricey business so nobody wants regrets) and that they also take the time to enjoy the planning process. As I see it the wedding day is just that – a day – so the run up to the event should be made memorable too – enjoy viewing venues, going to open days and tastings, and include your friends and family in the excitement also!

In most cases I’d say spend at least a year planning, though I think for me, 18 months to two years may be closer to the mark (sorry mum). Not only to save up (with a house move next on our agenda), but also to ensure we can secure the venue and suppliers that we want. Talented photographers in particular tend to get booked up a year or more in advance, especially if you are planning to wed on a popular date or in ‘peak season’, but florists, caterers and bands can also have super packed diaries.

The key is to make sure that you don’t go the other way and have an engagement that’s too long or you can run the risk of losing a little momentum on the way and you also face the danger of changing your mind about things as you have too much time to think things over.

So I say once he’s put a ring on it, set a date that’s achievable and that gives you enough time to think about what you want, secure your first choice suppliers and to enjoy the build-up. Just don’t take too long about it so that couples around you start to steal your thunder, or even worse, your ideas!

Image by Chris Rowland Photography

Image by Chris Rowland Photography

julia says: take your marks, get wed

It took me 18 months from proposal to “I Do” to get down that aisle. Factors such as cost (like, duh!), other close friends’ wedding dates and a general desire to enjoy every moment of the planning process contributed to this decision. However, if I was to do it all over again I’d give myself a year -max – or even go for a shorter still planning process.

Ok, in my line of work it’s easy for me to say, I know.  I have bridal contacts coming out of my ears, and would know my go-to professionals to pull off my dream day almost immediately.  In fact, I honestly reckon that I could plan a knock your socks off wedding in just a week (sample gowns at the ready of course)!  Anyone dare me to try?

However, I know that most people aren’t in the same position and in any case, might like to deliberate and enjoy the bride-to-be spotlight for just a teeny bit longer than that.  But come on girls, let’s keep our foot on the ignition.

To me, a shorter engagement is just that bit more lovely.  It says whirlwind, romance and “Sod the timescales for a bespoke gown, I just can’t wait to be married to you”! It takes the pressure off decision making (no time to deliberate for months about just the right shade of eau-de-nil), sorts out your true friends from the crowd (they’d be at your hen party at an hour’s notice, let alone a few weeks) and keeps the adrenalin pumping.

It might also save you a little bit of money if you are prepared – or forced – to be flexible and can take advantage of last minute deals. I’ll caveat this by advising that if there’s a very particular something – the venue and frock are usually the biggest deal breakers – or someone – like a band, photographer or officiant – that your wedding day will just be ruined without, book them as early as humanely possible and work the rest of the planning around that decision.

So I say, what’s the delay?  You put a ring on it, now just go get hitched already!

Image by India Earl Photography (1)

Image by India Earl Photography

what you said on social

Diane says: “Having waited eight years for a proposal I didn’t want to waste any time so chose a date that has given us just six months to plan the wedding. It’s been hectic but enjoyable, plus I find I work better under pressure.”

Lisa says: “We had our hearts set on a wedding during August Bank Holiday as it’s the month that we first met and thought we could spread the celebrations over the long weekend. Unfortunately our dream venue didn’t have availability for the date until 2018, which will mean that we will have had a three year engagement. I don’t mind though, gives us plenty of time to get all elements spot on – and some things are worth waiting for!”

Isabelle says: “We got engaged five years ago after having our first child together – we couldn’t afford the wedding that we wanted at that point but wanted to show that we were committed to each other. I’m just in the early stages of planning now and it will be another 18 months until we actually tie the knot but I’ve got lots of inspiration over the past few years and we are now in a position to have the wedding we’ve been dreaming of.”

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our love story: sarah & dave

May 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (16)

Sometimes things are just meant to be – and judging by how today’s couple got together we’d say it was written in the stars for these two.

Taking place in the urban surroundings of Leeds city centre, husband and wife-to-be Dave and Sarah, wanted their pre-wedding shoot, which they are sharing with us today, to be cool, edgy and fun. Given all the giggles, smiles and laughter, it looks like their photographer Jenny, nailed the brief.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (12)

sarah says: Dave proposed while we were in Ibiza at a beautiful restaurant called Sa Capella, which we return to each year! It was a complete surprise to me, and very emotional, as I’d always said after losing my dad I couldn’t do it without him walking me down the aisle.

We plan to marry on my dad’s birthday this year at Leeds Town Hall and will then move onto The Liquorist for the reception. We don’t want lots of fuss – just a cool event to round together everyone we love and who has had a positive impact on our time together.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

We first met 16 years ago in a club that neither of us have ever been back to! I was with the girls, hitting the dancefloor – and that’s where I met Dave. We laughed and chatted most of the night – my first words to him were “Ooo you’re a mover”! We never kissed or exchanged numbers. However, after that night he had a work placement in Leeds (the only time he’s ever worked in Leeds city centre) and he walked past Toni & Guy where I worked at the time, hoping to catch me. He saw me through the window, laughing with a client and sent me a calla lily with a note asking to see me again.

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