Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Behind The Blog: Brides Up North Goes Vintage At The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire

May 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Martin Hambleton Photography

Ellie and I taking a breather!

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If you follow the wedding blog over on Twitter or Facebook (and why ever not?! – go get involved) and catch my feeds of a Sunday, you will know that the last few months have been absolutely manic behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ.  And I’m talking every. single. weekend. 

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We are verrrrry near to completing a full season of fabulous Brides Up North branded luxury wedding exhibitions for Spring 2013, with just one to go (diarise this: we are at Sarah Beeny’s Rise Hall on Sunday 9th June, bringing together the best wedding suppliers in East Yorkshire under Ms “Restoration Nightmare”’s very, very lovely roof) and with eight (EIGHT!) under our belt since the season kicked off back at Allerton Castle on a frosty morning in early February, I’m ready for a summer holiday!

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I think I have aged at least ten years since New Years Eve.

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Each event is hard, hard work and takes months of planning, promoting, sales and admin.  Oh the admin!  Luckily I have a full time assistant here at Brides Up North HQ now (hello Kate!), but this blog and it’s related events are my (other) baby, and I invest a lot of time and energy into making sure that each and every event is individual, venue appropriate and just right.

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Last Sunday, it was time for my tiny team to head North West for the very first time, to the unique and authentic vintage venue that is The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham.  Just on the doorstep of Hale and Bowdon, this delectable dance hall with it’s high cornices and sprung floors is prime for a wedding party.

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Matt Bowen Photography & Florence The Vintage Caravan

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And what a swell party it was!  Our wonderful team of wedding industry suppliers decorated the venue from head to toe with their vintage and luxury loveliness.  Feathers, sequins, beading, antique lace and the odd cloche hat sat beautifully alongside fresh blooms and pretty printed papers. 

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It didn’t stop inside either, outside Matt Bowen Photography brought along his gorgeous new girlfriend: Florence The Vintage Caravan (available for hire as a photo booth on your big day) and Event In A Tent and Woodland Weddings invited visitors into their cosy tipi for delicious canapes by Greengages.  As the weather – amazingly – was in our favour, the garden also played host to an impromptu jam session from Dominic Halpin and his swing band, who also entertained hourly on the main stage. 

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Pretty florals from Barkers The Florist, who beautified the whole venue with their blooms

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And oh! the music.  The venue is an operating jazz club, so I was keen to reflect this on the day.  Performances from Dominic and the boys along with Minerva Ensemble, It’s A Wind Up! vintage DJs and with Phil Lyons and his New Vintage Band on site kept the place buzzing all day long. 

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Stunning stationery from Uberfly Invites

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There wasn’t much time to chat once doors opened!  My wonderful friend Ellie and I (big love to Ellie) were on our feet all day greeting brides to be and their families, and shifting a whole lot of Brides Up North goody bags. 

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Luckily, my friend and fellow exhibitor Martin Hambleton Photography was around to catch a bit of the action in these beautiful images showing off the talents of our other suppliers, although even he got a little bit side-lined! 

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Martin says: Well done on organising such a brilliant show!  I’m sorry there aren’t as many images of brides browsing – every time I moved away from the stand looking for shots, someone stopped to look at my albums so I had to dash back (that’s not a complaint)!

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Martin, that kind of distraction I absolutely do not have a problem with!

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Delicate table settings by Pretty Little Trio

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If you didn’t make it on Sunday, we are doing it all over again in November!  As part of our Autumn tour, we’ll be back in Altrincham on Sunday 3rd November 2013 for another beautiful event filled with wedding inspiration and some winter vintage sparkle.

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But first, a little rest, if you please!

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Enjoy these images and do visit our wonderful exhibitors’ websites when sourcing your wedding suppliers.  I would personally recommend each and every one of them.

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Until next time North West!

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Pearls, lace and sparkle by Beautifully Vintage and Melanie James Bridal

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Cakes that taste as gorgeous as they look by Marie Antoinette Cakes.  Doing my diet no favours whatsoever.

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Fancy frocks by The Little Bridal Company

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Lovely linens and delicious details by Perfection On Linen

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Pretty paper by All The Little Details and favours by Romantica UK

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Elegant styling by Look Darling

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That date for your diaries again – Sunday 3rd November 2013 at The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham – save it!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Posted in BUN Wedding Exhibition, Featured Supplier, North West Fair, North West Wedding, UK Wedding Blog, Vintage Wedding, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

THIS SUNDAY! The Brides Up North Vintage Wedding Exhibition At The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire

May 17th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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The Bowdon Rooms Vintage Wedding Exhibition

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Are you ready to rock and roll Cheshire?!

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I’m headed North West this evening to get things ready for our first ever show in the region this Sunday at the unique venue that is The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham.  Just the right side of retro, with amazing vintage features set into high, high ceiling, a sprung dance floor for jiving the night away, spot on location and plenty of room – this venue is the business.  I can’t wait to pack it to the rafters with wedding industry talent and give it a special vintage twist this Sunday. 

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Come along and see Brides Up North and our fabulous exhibitors (plus a few exciting surprises – wait and see!) this Sunday 19th May 2013.  If you are looking for an authentic and friendly venue with a real vintage vibe, yet big enough to hold a proper party – this is for you.  We are open from 12pm – 4pm and entry is FREE!

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The Bowdon Rooms team, All The Little Details, Amanda Morgan Photographer, Barkers The Florist, Beautifully Vintage, Event In A Tent, Greengages Catering, it’s a Wind Up!, LCH Jewellery Design, Look Darling, Marie Antoinette Cakes, Martin Hambleton Wedding Photography, Matt Bowen Photography, Melanie James Bridal, Minerva Ensemble, Perfection On Linen, Pretty Little Trio, Richard Milnes Photography, Romantica UK, Spiritus Bars, The Little Bridal Company, The Wedding Guide, Uberfly Invites, Unforgettable Memories, Wonderful Weddings By JT, Woodland Weddings and Your Perfect Day can’t wait to meet you!

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And yes, of course Dominic Halpin’s Swing Band are coming along too!

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If you would like to beat the queues, gain speedy entry and grab yourself a FREE Brides Up North Welcome Pack packed with little treats from Brides Up North, the regions’ best bridal glossy mags as well as some fab on-the-day-only exhibitor discounts – while stocks last only – you can pre-register for VIP Bride to Be access now. What are you waiting for?

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To register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Welcome Pack fill in your details below, marking YOUR EVENT VENUE OF CHOICE e.g. “THE BOWDON ROOMS” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Welcome Pack upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibitions.   Only the bride need register for larger groups.

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You can also email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome Packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Amanda Morgan Photographer

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in BUN Wedding Exhibition, North West Fair, North West Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Homespun Happiness! A Real Wedding In The North West – Sarah & Phil

February 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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It’s the simple yet lovely – and locally sourced – details that make today’s intimate Real Wedding celebration special.  That, and an absolutely knock out leading lady!  With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Richard Milnes Photography

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Sarah says: We got engaged in Paris on 30 September 2011 (our 8 year anniversary!), and were married on 22 September 2012 at Mellor Church, Cheshire.  Our reception was in Mellor Parish Hall next door to the church. 

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We chose the venue primarily because of the beautiful panoramic views across the countryside. It was a bonus that it is about 100 metres from the church! There has been a church on the site since the 14th century so it really is a very special place. It is amazing to think that we got married on a spot where countless other ceremonies have taken place for hundreds of years.

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We didn’t really have a ‘theme’ as such – I wanted everyone to feel relaxed and happy. We decorated the whole of the hall and the grounds around the hall with homemade bunting and ribbons to make a very ‘homespun’ feel to the whole day.

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We didn’t want a strict colour scheme so we opted for colours that complimented each other, even if they didn’t always match. I wanted to use as much colour as possible during the day as getting married near to Manchester in September could have meant grey, wet weather. It rained for two weeks before the wedding but we felt very lucky when the sun shone throughout our wedding day (surely the last day of summer in 2012) and our photographer was able to take some fantastic shots of us with the sun setting behind us at the venue that are our favourite pictures.

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My dress was the first one I tried on and was lace and vintage inspired. It was strapless and long with a bit of a train. I wore a lace bolero, back to front which sounds odd but which I loved as it showed my back at the top of my dress. I didn’t wear a veil but opted for a 30’s style head piece which I plan to wear again whenever I get the chance! My dress and bolero were both supplied and altered by Julie at Village Bride in Marple Bridge who was fantastic.

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My four bridesmaids wore light pink long dresses and looked fantastic. Two of my bridesmaids were pregnant and one had given birth to twins four months before the wedding so the dress had to be a design that complimented everyone. My bridesmaids came from Sheffield, London, Moscow and Bangkok to be with me on the day and I was overwhelmed by the efforts they all made to be a part of the day.

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The groomsmen wore navy blue morning suits with ivory waistcoats and soft pink neckties and handkerchiefs. I think the blue really complimented the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

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I travelled to the church with my Dad in a convertible Morris 1000 covered in soft pink ribbons. My bridesmaids followed in a Morris Minor Traveller. The cars were provided by Geraldine and Kenny Regent at Regent Classic Cars. I chose them because my first car was a Morris Minor Traveller which used to belong to my Uncle and was refurbished by my Dad and given to me as an 18th birthday present. It made the journey to the church with my in the sunshine with the top down on the car very special and a memory I will always treasure.

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I carried a beautiful trailing bouquet including roses, gypsophila, ivy, rosemary and lizianthus by Val at The Greenhouse. 

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My favourite part of the day was undoubtedly exchanging our vows. I know that’s pretty corny but it was such a special moment when it felt like everything around us stopped.

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We tried, as far as possible, to use suppliers that were based in or around Mellor and Marple Bridge. My wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses were all provided by Julie at Village Bride in Marple Bridge. The flowers were provided by Val two doors up from Julie! The caterers were The Travelling Gourmet in Marple. Our photographer was Richard Milnes Photography and Rebecca Reville Wedding Films filmed the day for us.

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We added personal touches with home-made bunting, vintage china, vintage glassware for the flowers on the table which came from my Mum’s garden in Cornwall, ribbons lining the dry stone wall that lead from the church to the reception and miniature Eccles cakes (to celebrate my husband’s name and my new married name) served on vintage cake stands. 

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Our friend, James Stafford played the piano for our guests and later we a local band Sold to the Sky got everyone on the dance floor!

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We had a ‘mini-moon’ just after the wedding in the Lake District where we stayed at Armathwaite Hall. We found out afterwards that Phil’s grandparents had stayed there on their honeymoon in 1948 which was quite a surprise as we had no idea when we booked the break. We’ve just got back from our ‘maxi-moon’ in Thailand where we went island hopping before staying with one of our bridesmaids and one of the best-men in Bangkok.

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Congratulations Sarah & Phil!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding featured here?  Here’s how.

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  – Images © Richard Milnes Photography 

Richard Milnes Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in DIY, Featured Supplier, North West Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Silver Streets: A Real Wedding In The North West – Becci & Mark

February 7th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North reader Becci upped the fashion stakes on her big day by choosing shades of silver for her simple, chic wedding in the style capital of the North. Throw in some great food and grand settings and this gorgeous celebration, with images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Richard Milnes Photography, carries some real city slicker class.

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Becci says:  We got engaged in Zell Am See, Austria, under the town’s giant Christmas tree whilst it was snowing in January 2012.  It was the evening of my 30th birthday. 

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We were married on 26th January 2013 at Manchester Town Hall, with our reception at Stock Restaurant in the old Manchester Stock Exchange. We love the architecture of both buildings and think the food and service at Stock is amazing.

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Our theme was “Dinner with friends” and we chose a colour scheme of pink, purple and silver. 

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I chose a bespoke dress made by Agape in a silvery, pink purple silk dupion.  The groomsmen wore 

Pronuptia morning suits and my bridesmaid wore a full length deep purple dress from Coast. 

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We travelled by black cab to the town hall and by foot between the two venues, which was a lovely chance for some photographs of just the two of us. 

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The marriage ceremony itself was my favourite part of the day.  It was really emotional and meaningful to say our vows in front of all of our family and friends. 

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I carried a bouquet of roses, thistles, steel berries, orchids, and other small flowers and silvery foliage focusing on texture and interest made up for me by The Didsbury Flower Lounge. 

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We chose a ceilidh for post meal entertainment (the Flaxmere Ceilidh Band) and then loaded our iPod with indie and cheese anthems. We had photos we had taken over the years of all our guests being shown on a large TV screen.

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Originally we were not going to have a cake but a friend offered to make one as a practise for her sister’s wedding. We were then amazed on the day when we saw an awesome three tiered cake made with handcrafted flowers!

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After the wedding we honeymooned in the Lake District for a few days to unwind. We are off to Thailand for the main event at the end of the year and can’t wait!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax and do not over plan the day. Good friends around you will make the extra special moments just happen for you.

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Congratulations Becci & Mark!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North: here’s how

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  – Images © 2013 Richard Milnes Photography

Richard Milnes Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, North West Wedding, Real Weddings, Wedding Photography | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Fabulous Photographer: Richard Milnes Photography PLUS Free Album Upgrade For Brides Up North Readers Worth £250!

December 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon I am thrilled to introduce you to one of my super talented Featured Suppliers, fabulous photographer Richard Milnes Photography.  This North West based wedding photographer is just as happy rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty (get him!) as he is working all over the UK and Europe. 

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He’s recently been accepted into the WPJA, the Wedding Photojournalist Association, an international network of vigorously vetted professional photographers and is the recommended photographer at some of the North West’s most prestigious venues including Sandhole Oak Barn, The Monastery, The Mere, Quarry Bank Mill and Colshaw Hall.

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More importantly though, he wants to meet you and shoot your special day.  Let’s say hello!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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I was working for a creative agency and was made redundant, at more or less the same time my girlfriend, now my wife, bought me a digital camera for my birthday. I quickly fell back in love with photography and was taken on at Affleck’s Palace in Manchester to create a photographic document of the place before it was sold to a development company. This lead to several exhibitions including one at Urbis.

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It was some years later that I discovered that my aunt had worked as a photographer and had a book published with her work shot in the Sahara. Not only that but my grandfather (from the same side of the family) had been a photographer when he lived in Jamaica before the war. I guess it must be in the blood!

I’m entirely self taught and I now have the pleasure of teaching other photographers, which is a great thrill and something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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I’ve always loved photographing people, I guess that I’ve always enjoyed watching people’s reactions when I show them a picture of themselves that really blows them away. I’ve also plenty of experience working in the fashion industry, for commercial agencies and for magazines, all of which require a specific set of skills and all of those skills can be applied to pretty much every wedding I ever shot!

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I often hear other photographers state that they would never shoot weddings, well for me a wedding is one of the few opportunities as a professional photographer I can really let the creative juices flow and be entirely honest with the work I produce. I love weddings, absolutely love them!

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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I enjoy the freedom that being a wedding photojournalist allows me, my philosophy has always been ‘do less, do it better’ and being left to my own devices allows me to anticipate a ‘moment’ before it happens, and to be ready for it.

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Meeting couples for the first time who are enthusiastic about photography is always a genuine pleasure and some even save up or make savings elsewhere to hire me, which is a always a real privilege and an honour.

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I honestly think that I have one of the best jobs in the world, I’m very lucky.

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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Like many photographers now, I use an engagement shoot as a great way of breaking the photographic ice with a couple before the actual wedding. On the wedding day itself, I work in a very calm, professional manner. I make sure that I’m available if needed and out of sight when I’m not. I have also been known to help out with the occasional little ‘emergency’ such as opening a particularly stubborn bottle of champagne, fixing a dodgy stereo system or offering some last minute advice to a nervous groom, bride or, more often, the best man!

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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The majority of brides tell me that they don’t really enjoy having their photograph taken and I think it helps when I explain to them that it’s perfectly normal. Occasionally a member of the wedding party – even the bride – may make it known that they are feeling uncomfortable when they are in front of the camera and I always take the time to explain that if they see me taking a photograph, they can relax in the knowledge that it will be a great picture, otherwise I simply wouldn’t be taking it.

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My journalistic style enables the bride and the wedding party to enjoy the wedding knowing that they won’t be expected to pose for the camera, smile when they might not feel like smiling or be made to stand out in a field for the best part of an hour shivering!

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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Now I’m no expert on make up but I would recommend using a professional make up artist for obvious reasons – it can also provide excellent opportunities for candid shots! Whatever you choose to do, I would recommend that you stay close to your comfort zone and try and avoid reflective make up as this can sometimes show up with flash photography (again, apologies for my lack of correct cosmetics terminology!)

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Anything to avoid which might look bad on the wedding pictures?

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My job as a wedding photojournalist is to make sure that you have an honest, beautiful and emotional document of the greatest day of your lives to keep for ever. It is also my job to ensure that I capture the laughter, the tears, the fun and games, all of the ‘moments’ that you may have missed.

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All you need to do is to relax, be yourselves and enjoy. I will take care of the rest.

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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I’m fortunate enough to include a few celebrity names amongst my clients, both in the UK and the US, so don’t think it would be fair to choose one!

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I was recently both the best man and the photographer at a wedding in Beverly Hills, California and amongst the wedding party during my speech were some big Hollywood names including Harrison Ford and Calista Flockheart – now that’s pressure – Ricky Gervais eat your heart out!

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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There are so many to choose from for all kinds of different reasons, some of my most memorable moments at weddings have been entirely unexpected – at a recent wedding in Cheshire, the bride had recently lost a close friend, who had planted an apple tree in her garden. She had a single apple amongst her flower display on the top table which was the only apple that the tree had ever produced. Moments like that can really stay with you. I photograph a lot of military weddings and often there are some incredibly emotional moments at these weddings, for obvious reasons.

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As for dramatic and stylish, one of my very first weddings was for a member of the US Olympic team and her husband who hired me to photograph their wedding in the Algarve. The celebrations were spread over three days, with the first day being a mini-Olympics on a beautiful beach, which became quite competitive with all of the athletes who were in attendance! The wedding itself was in a picturesque 12th century chapel and the final day was spent chilling out aboard a private galleon. Wow!

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Are you married? Tell us about your day?

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Yes, I married my wife Cass in 2008 and I’m ashamed to say that we did away with tradition and travelled to Las Vegas (without Elvis) for a week of hedonism and escapism which was just brilliant. The day itself is a blur of amazing food, champagne and machine guns – seriously!

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Any funny stories to share?

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A bride once me told me that she had been to see a husband & wife photographer team before she came over to see me. Unfortunately for them, they inadvertently called her and left her a long, explicit voicemail message of themselves blaming each other for missing some important shots whilst returning home from a wedding! Ooops!

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There was also a registrar last month who was unable to pronounce the bride’s name correctly, despite repeatedly trying over and over again – this brought the house down and even the bride and groom were in tears laughing by the time she got it right. It happens!

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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There are so many wedding photographers now that even I find it difficult to tell them apart, so it must be a very difficult job for brides to make a decision on who to book. One of the reasons that my work stands out is that I produce very honest, emotive images which are edited in a very straight forward way. This means that whilst the latest editing trends and styles may come and go, my photographs will hopefully remain timeless and won’t appear dated a few years down the line.

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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A very professional, fun and entirely painless experience. I see my role as documenting the wedding, not influencing it, so it’s important for me to work in the background and keep a low profile throughout the wedding wherever possible. I am a very sociable person however, and I do enjoy talking with guests, many of whom will have their own cameras with them and I’m always happy to offer advice to the budding photographers amongst them!

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Richard Milnes Photography   Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography   Richard Milnes Photography

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What is included in your "package"?

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My package includes;

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  • Full day coverage, 2 hours prior to service until first dance
  • A handmade, Italian Wedding Book, 40 pages, 120 images, crystal cover
  • Two duplicate parent books
  • High resolution images
  • Social media pack.
  • Personal website
  • All contracts, invoices and wedding information stored & signed digitally

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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My album package starts at around £2,300. 

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I’d be delighted to offer an album package upgrade worth £250.  Please quote Brides Up North when booking.

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Richard Milnes Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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For my professional images, www.richardmilnesphotography.com

For a mixture of professional and personal work, www.richardmilnesblog.com

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  – Images © 2012 Richard Milnes Photography

Richard Milnes Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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