Charlotte Balbier

golden. pronovias for a romantic wedding at rockliffe hall – emma & mark

June 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (68)

While we love to see the quirky wedding themes that certain couples pull out of the bag here at Brides Up North HQ, we also never tire a classic and romantic themed celebration like Emma and Mark’s big day.

After a decade together, Emma and Mark tied the knot during a traditional church ceremony followed by an elegant reception at Rockliffe Hall, complete with pretty styling in loved-up hues of pale pink and champagne.

Emma looked absolutely stunning in her lace Pronovias gown but was also keen for her maids to feel amazing on the big day too and so let them choose their dress style for the wedding. Certainly no sign of Bridezilla here then!

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Stan Seaton Photography.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (1)

emma says: Mark and I had been together for eight years when he proposed. We met at college at 16. Mark proposed to me in our flat in Gateshead on Christmas Day. I remember the morning vividly, in fact he hadn’t slept well all night! He woke very early on Christmas morning, showered and shaved and encouraged me to get dressed. I insisted on staying in my PJs like I always do on Christmas Day. Mark let me open my other presents under the Christmas tree. There was then a large box left at the back of the tree. As I unwrapped it I quickly saw there was a smaller box inside. At this point Mark went down on one knee and popped the question! My family were excitedly waiting to see the ring at Christmas dinner.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (8)

Our wedding was the 3rd August 2014. We were very keen to have a summer wedding and hoped for a warm sunny day which we were fortunate enough to get. With being a teacher it made sense having a summer wedding as we have lots of family and friends who are teachers who we wanted at the wedding. It also allowed a good amount of time off for our honeymoon.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (13)

We got married at St Philip and St James Church in Witton-le-Wear. I was born and raised in Witton village and the church was very meaningful to me and my family as it was where my younger brother and I were christened.

We then travelled to Rockliffe Hall for our reception. My mum encouraged me to visit Rockliffe Hall when we were first planning the wedding and as soon as we stepped inside we knew it had to be our venue. Rockliffe Hall is absolutely stunning and the staff are so accommodating.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (15)

We chose to get married in 2014 as that year we celebrated our tenth anniversary together. We chose a ‘Ten Years in Love’ theme where each table name was a year we had spent together with a picture of something special we had done during that year. We were both keen to keep the style of the wedding as traditional as possible and so went for a romantic feel with pink and cream roses.

We chose champagne as our wedding colour scheme as it fitted well with our romantic theme. My bridesmaids were at the front of my mind when picking the colours for the wedding as I wanted a colour that they would all feel comfortable wearing.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (16)

I knew from the beginning of planning the wedding that I wanted a lace wedding dress. Though I did make sure to try on other styles too. I was keen to wear a fitted lace dress and chose a beautiful Pronovias gown from Mia Sposa in Newcastle.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (41)

Mark was keen to buy himself and the other groomsmen a suit that fitted well. This wasn’t the easiest of tasks as we had to find a suit that would fit both my 16-year-old brother and our dads! We purchased the suits from T M Lewin. We hired the ivory waistcoats from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington and bought the champagne ties and pocket squares from Moss in Newcastle.

The bridesmaids were a great help in finding their dresses. I was keen for them to help shop for them as I wanted them to feel comfortable and happy on the day. We found their champagne BIBA dresses in House of Fraser. They looked beautiful.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (43)

For the big day we hired a Daimler and a Beauford from Classic Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beauford and our bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the Daimler. Mark travelled with our best man in his car alongside my brother and his brother. Mark and I then travelled to Rockliffe in the Beauford.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (51)

Our photographers were Jane Miller and Stan Seaton from Stan Seaton Photography in Darlington. There was no question about choosing Stan and Jane as our photographers as my family had already worked with them before on a family photo shoot. We took a look at their wedding albums at a wedding fayre and were blown away by the quality of their work. They are both extremely professional but also very friendly and helpful.

On the day they felt more like our guests than photographers. Many of our guests commented on their work on the day of the wedding and also since seeing our wedding album. We would highly recommend them and can’t wait to work with them again in the future – perhaps when we have a family of our own!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (53)

I carried a beautiful bouquet made by Flowers by Nattrass in Darlington. I chose to have pink and avalanche roses in my bouquet as they are my favourite flowers. The flowers also worked extremely well with the colour scheme and complemented both my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Nattrass also supplied our flowers for the church and reception. Laura from Nattrass was extremely helpful when we were choosing our flowers as we were unsure how to decorate the room. Laura invited us down to the Rockliffe during a wedding fayre to see an idea set up on the table. It was a great help to visualise the room and we ended up going for that display. We had roses inside large martini glasses.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (57)

We had our wedding stationery designed by Kristen from Noble Fine Art. She was an excellent help and certainly very patient as we made our decision. We could not have asked for nicer wedding stationary. They complemented the tables in the orangery extremely well.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (65)

We wanted to keep the traditional part of the wedding of cutting the cake but neither of us were too worried about spending lots of money on a cake. As such, we bought a jam and sponge wedding cake from Marks & Spencer and decorated it ourselves with fresh roses from Nattrass and champagne ribbon.

Choosing the menu for the wedding breakfast was a huge highlight of our wedding planning (especially for Mark). We knew all the food at Rockliffe would be stunning and we found it extremely difficult to choose.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (67)

For our wedding day entertainment we chose to have David Ball play the piano during the drinks reception. Later in the evening he also performed a live set with his guitar and sang a range of songs from Buble to Kings of Leon. We also had a photo booth for guests to have fun with the props. This worked well as our guestbook too as they stuck their photos in alongside a message and then had a set of photos to take away with them as a wedding favour.

A very special touch to our wedding day was my younger brother Patrick playing me down the aisle. He played Trumpet Voluntary on his trumpet. A family friend of ours Ali Cochlan also sung a modern version of Ave Maria whilst we signed the register.

Later in the day my parents surprised us with another performance by Ali and Richi of May You Stay Forever Young by Bob Dylan as part of my dad’s speech. That was a real tear jerker for all the guests but a wonderful surprise too.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (71)

Rockliffe Hall is a stunning venue and we would certainly recommend it to others. We especially enjoyed having our wedding breakfast in the orangery as it was so light and airy. It felt so private to us and the guests. The staff are extremely helpful and on the day everything felt seamless. The grounds of Rockliffe are superb and made for great photo opportunities. Overall it was a perfect experience and we certainly didn’t want to leave the next day!

Our favourite part of the day has to be exchanging our vows in front of all our family and friends. We had both known from an early age that we wanted to marry each other and when the day finally came we couldn’t wait. We both also enjoyed the evening reception where we got to relax and party with our close friends and family, some of which had travelled some distance to be there so it was great to catch up with them!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (74)

We went to Santorini in Greece on our honeymoon. Mark actually booked it as a surprise and I had no clue where we were going until we reached the departure lounge! It was a great feeling having the surprise after a busy 22 months planning the wedding. The only difficulty I had was knowing what to pack! Lots of my friends asked me how I felt leaving the honeymoon plans to Mark but I knew I could trust his decisions. We spent a glorious two weeks away in the sun eating lots of beautiful Greek food.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (75)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be that although at times you can get carried away with the wedding plans (and sometimes get stressed) remember what the big day is really all about. The only important thing that matters on the day is that you are committing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend and the person you love. Don’t let the small things worry you!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (81)

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Fabulous Photographer: David Lawson Studios

August 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime

David Lawson Studios

So readers, this is the man I chose to shoot my own wedding in 2010.  From a professional wedding blogger, recommendations don’t come much higher than that.  We cherish our beautiful album and are thrilled to call Brides Up North Featured Supplier David of David Lawson Studios a colleague and friend.

David celebrates 30 years in business this year – I know, he doesn’t look old enough does he – and is going stronger than ever,  after winning the Contemporary Wedding Photographer Of The Year Award 2013 with the MPA Northern Region.  Let’s say hello!

David Lawson Studios

How did you get into wedding photography?

David:  Photography is something I have been doing since school days – a long time ago, almost at the start of the Galaxy! My father Robert Sinclair Lawson was a great photographer and it became my passion from then on in. My qualifications are L.M.P.A and also A.M.P.A which were achieved through the Master Photographers Association, the only professional photography organization in the UK where you have to be full time.

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Fabulous Photographer! Jamie Penfold Photography PLUS A Free Cherish The Dress Shoot For Wedding Blog Readers!

June 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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With a double daily blog schedule, I often get asked if I get writers block.  My answer?  Hardly ever.  I absolutely love talking about weddings.  But sometimes, a submission or set of images will leave me speechless.  The work of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography will do that to you.

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Let’s meet this talented (and thoroughly nice) North East wedding photographer.  

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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For as long as I can remember I’ve had a camera.  My dad was always a keen photographer and always tried to copy him but he wouldn’t let me anywhere near his camera. I think I got my first camera when I was five.  Nothing special but it went everywhere with me.  From that point my interest grew and throughout university I was always out and about with my camera capturing the scenes around me.  I had never thought about wedding photography until my wedding in 2000.  The photography was a disaster.  That disappointment was gut wrenching.  My friends started asking me to capture their weddings and knowing what that disappointment felt like pushed me.  My first wedding was just over 10 years ago.  Up until 2010 I was doing my photography alongside my full time job (business advisor) but I was made redundant as part of the government cut backs and that’s when I took the plunge to do it full-time.  Since then I’ve gained my Licentiate qualification with the British Institute of Professional Photography and going through the process with the Master Photographers Association.  It’s been a lot of hard work to get to where I am but it’s worth all the blood sweat and tears.  I’m now capturing weddings across the UK and Europe. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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As I mentioned before it all started on July 22nd 2000.  Joanne and I got married in Amble, Northumberland but planned it all from Southampton where we lived at the time.  We went with the only photographer we knew and didn’t do our research.  It was something we regret to this day.  Our photographer didn’t make any effort to connect with us and was a nightmare on the day.  The images were flat, dull and didn’t reflect us or our day.  When my friends saw the pictures and how disappointed we were their reactions were all the same…  there is no way you would do that to anyone and you could do a million times better.  I did a couple of weddings (reluctantly at first as I was really unsure) but loved it.  I can’t rewind and reshoot my wedding.  This is my way of putting right what went wrong with mine.  I’m spurred on by that disappointment and seeing my couples reactions is just mind-blowing. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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I love the variety of weddings, the different personalities, the colours… its such a buzz!  My job is definitely not boring!  I get to share those really special moments and capture them forever. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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It depends on the couple on the actually day itself.  But with all of them it’s a case of getting to know them from the point of booking.  Getting to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes, and then looking at their ideas for their wedding.  Building that rapport and getting to know each other is as important part of the process as the images.  The pre wedding shoot is part of that process too. People seem to get scared of the camera.  I’D rather people are nervous at the pre wedding shoot than on the wedding day.  By the time we get to the big day it’s like having a friend arriving to shoot the day.  I have such a blast shooting weddings….it’s a great day and should be fun and I try to get that across to my couples.  Enjoy it!  I’Ve been told my enthusiasm is infectious which I think helps.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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I think over the past 10 years most of my brides have initially said they hate having their picture taken.  As I always say to my couples "ignore the fact that I am there which won’t be difficult as you’re going to get completely swept up in the emotion and fun of the day".  The simple rule of thumb I have is don’t panic.  There’s no need!  If you don’t feel comfortable "posing" we won’t do "posing".  I’Ll capture you enjoying your day, the emotions and the "gone in a second" moments.  One of the brides I worked with last year, Helena, was terrified at the thought of having her photo taken.  For the pre wedding shoot we picked a quiet beach and spent some time chatting, talking through the process, finding out what she disliked about having her photo taken.  I then began taking pictures, encouraging her, talking to her about everything and anything and most importantly showing her the pictures on the camera.  On her wedding day she was so relaxed with the camera.  She was recently a bridesmaid at her friends wedding which I shot (another bride who hated the idea of having her picture taken) and was so at ease with getting her photo taken yet again.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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I have to agree with the make up artists I work closely with who always recommend staying true to yourself. So no smoky eyes if you normally just wear mascara. You want the make up to bring out your best features. And remember, sometimes less is more!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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My golden rule is "if it bends, bend it".  I prefer not having straight arms in the pictures where possible as it makes people look really tense at times.  And the phantom hand around the waist!  It’s simple little things like this that I look for before capturing a shot.  Takes seconds to put right but makes such a difference. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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Joey Essex and Sam Faiers.  I’m a Geordie with Essex roots…what can I say!  I love TOWIE as cheesy as it is!  You just know that the wedding will be way over the top packed with a good mixture of drama and fun! 

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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Many, but Zara and Jonny’s sticks in my mind.  I can safely say that I have never cried as much at a wedding as theirs.  Jonny’s dad had passed away so there was a lot of emphasis on his memory throughout the ceremony.  The readings just tugged at the heart strings, not just about his dad but the pure electric love these two had (have) for each other.  I was hiding behind my camera looking around and not a person had a dry eye.  The registrars were in tears.  I was breaking my heart! 

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It was also brilliantly stylish.  Zara was wearing the most stunning dress from House of Mooshki!  It was a 1950s style dress and she had the most amazing pink sparkly shoes complete with ice creams on them.  Heart   shaped sunglasses, horse drawn carriage, VW Camper Van for the adult bridesmaids, a 1950s style police car for the page boys and flower girls.  It was a perfect day in the sun at Washington Old Hall followed by an English Tea Party! 

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I’ve also shot a couple of weddings under the canvas of a Papakata teepee.  Those weddings were a bit special.  The canvas creates a weird orange glow inside.  Add to that fairy lights, a glitter ball, fire pit, animal skin rugs (oh and marshmallows cooked on the fire) and you have a magical atmosphere!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Are you married? Tell us about your day.

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I’ve been married for thirteen years to Joanne.  We’ve known each other since we were at school and started going out in 1993 when we just sixteen.  We got married at St Cuthbert’s Church in Amble and had our reception at the Masonic Hall in Amble.  We were living in Southampton at the time and planned the whole thing from down there… with Joanne in the final parts of her teaching degree. 

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It was a frantic couple of weeks leading up to the wedding as we had sold our house down there and were in the process of buying our current house in North Shields, whilst Jo was also applying for her first teaching job and thankfully was successful in securing employment a couple of days before the wedding.  It was an overcast muggy July day.  Really uncomfortable! 

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We did the whole thing on a smallish budget and pretty much did it all ourselves.  Catering, decorating etc. On the day of the wedding my parents, my best man Matt, my ushers and myself had to tidy the Masonic as there was a football presentation evening the night before and then we had to set everything. 

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We both grew up in Amble and pretty much knew everyone there.  I walked through the town to the church and kept getting stopped by people.  The ceremony seemed to go in a flash.  I remember having a really bad nervous twitch in my leg which I couldn’t control!  Oh and I couldn’t say "till death us do part"!  Got completely tongue tied.  When we left the church there were loads of people outside waiting.  As Joanne’s nan said "it’s like the royal wedding".

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We then spent an hour and a half being photographed in groups by our photographer (less said about that the better).  After that it was pretty relaxed with the reception at the Masonic.  The only thing left for me to do was to announce after the speeches that there were no desserts until later that night as the mother in law had forgotten to defrost them! 

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We both said we would do it all completely differently if we were to do it again.  Our biggest advice to anyone is to not let people push you into things you don’t want to do on your wedding day. It’s your day! 

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Any funny stories to share?

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From my wedding?  The frozen puddings! 

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From the weddings I’ve shot? 

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Last summer I was shooting the wedding of Louise and Graeme at Alnwick Garden.   A baking hot humid day charged with stacks of nervous tension.  When Louise arrived the nerves were jangling.  She walked down the aisle to meet Graeme.  The registrar began talking and then started the vows.  "Do you Graeme take Sarah….."

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"WHO THE HELL IS SARAH?!" blurted Louise at the top of her voice looking at Graeme.  Graeme stood open mouthed before the registrar apologised saying "Oops!  I mean Louise!  Sarah’s my colleague!".  The whole place fell about.  It did the trick though.  All the nervous tension evaporated.  It did lead to a lot of giggles throughout the ceremony.  It also was a great picture to get, capturing the "Who the hell…" moment!

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Another one sticks in my mind because it’s quite poignant at the moment and I know the bride, Gayle, won’t mind me telling this. When Gayle married Iain in 2011, she arrived at the church with her dad, Owen.  As they waited in the entrance hall of the church Owen’s trousers fell down.  We were falling about laughing, led by Owen!  The folks at the front of the church didn’t have a clue what was going on but the folks in the pews at the back got the full show as the ushers frantically tried to help him get his trousers back up and fastened!  I’d known Owen for years and this was typical Owen.  He didn’t take himself too seriously and poked fun at himself.  Owen passed away a couple of weeks back and Gayle and I were having a good chuckle talking about this story when she told me about her Dad’s passing. 

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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Some would say it’s the Converse boots I wear!  I like to think it’s the depth and colour of my images I create which sets me apart.  I don’t have a particular style.  I am versatile so can provide across a range of styles. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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They’ll get a mixture of energy, passion and discretion.  I’m not the type of photographer who is in your face all the time.  When people say "oh half the time we didn’t realise you were there" I know I’ve done my job and that they’ve all been at ease with me.  I have a relaxed approach on the day.  I still get nervous before every wedding but it’s like a swan: graceful on the surface, feet paddling away underneath.  I like to be a calming influence on my couples.  Above all, I have fun and I make sure my couples have fun too! 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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What is included in your "package"?

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· A modern, professional approach to wedding photography

· Venue visits and planning meetings

· A pre-wedding photo shoot at a location of their choice

· Coverage on the day from bridal prep through to the evening celebrations

· Secure online gallery

· High resolution images on disc in a stunning presentation box

· Framed print

· And me of course!

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However, if people are after something a little different to the above then I will sit down with the couple and design a bespoke package for them.  Albums are something I look at after the big day.  I prefer to give people control of what they have.  Plus, how do you know how many pictures you’ll fall in love with before you see them?  I’d rather people come to me and say "Can we have 58 images in an album" than me to say "You get 40 images in an album". 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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£1200.  Albums start from £250.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I’d like to offer a complimentary Cherish the Dress Shoot for Brides Up North readers.  Please quote Brides Up North when booking. 

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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

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Well, there’s my website at www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk.  This has a sample of my work as well as my blog about each of my weddings and pre wedding photoshoots.  To arrange a consultation simple drop me a line using the contact form on the website, email me at info@jamiepenfold.com or call 0191 270 8385.

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Jamie Penfold Photography

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Anything else that we should know?

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Be ready to have a lot of fun!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Jamie Penfold 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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From Little Acorns… A Real Engagement In The North East – Katy & Martin

April 24th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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This afternoon we are heading to the park with Brides Up North Featured Supplier Chris of Xtraordinary Photography, as we share in Katy and Martin’s engagement happiness and learn a little bit about their love story. 

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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Katy says:  We got engaged on 13th June 2012 in Padstow, Cornwall.  We went for a gorgeous meal then went down onto the beach. It was a complete surprise and there was no one else on the beach.  We got married on the 8th March 2013 at St Paul’s church in Alnwick and had our reception at Newton Hall, Newton by the Sea.

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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We first met through mutual friends in Leeds on a night out in October 2008. I lived in Leeds and Martin lived in Newcastle at the time.  We went out again that same weekend with our friends to a gig in Leeds and then a couple of weekends later we had a few days together in Newcastle just the two of us.

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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I knew he was the one when he agreed to come down for the weekend to Leeds but had to stay at my mum and Dad’s house as I was in the middle of moving house. The first time he met my parents was on the Sunday morning over breakfast!

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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We love that we can spend all of our spare time together and never get bored or run out of things to say to each other. We’re best friends as well as being husband and wife.

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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Our biggest wish for married life is to be happy and enjoy the rest of our lives together and hopefully be able to have children.

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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We chose to have an engagement shoot to make us feel more relaxed on our wedding day and we got to know our photographer better. We were also able to see what kind of style he used.  We were nervous initially but soon relaxed after the first couple of shots! It made us more relaxed for the day and were especially excited about our big day when we got our photos back. Our photographer Chris put an image we chose into a signing frame for us to use on our wedding day.

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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We love Brides Up North because of the photos from real engagement shoots and weddings and local supplier recommendations.  We’ll definitely be back to share our wedding images on the site very soon – watch this space!

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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(c) Xtraordinary Photography

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Congratulations Katy & Martin!

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Would you like to share your love story on the wedding blog?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Xtraordinary Photography

Xtraordinary Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Fabulous Photographer: Melissa Kay PLUS Free Brag Book Worth £150 For Wedding Blog Readers!

April 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Melissa Kay Photography

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I absolutely love putting together my fabulous photographer features, as the professionals that I choose to work with here on Brides Up North really need no introduction.  Melissa Kay Photography is one of those whose work absolutely speaks for itself, and after a period abroad, she is now back home in the North East.

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If you are looking for your wedding photographer, I’d be snapping her up quick. With work like this, her diary is going to be very full, very soon.  Plus, anyone booking an album collection before the end of July and quoting ‘Brides up North’ will receive a free brag book worth £150 to show off their beautiful images on the go!

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Let’s say hello…

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Melissa Kay Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography? 

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I suppose you could say that photography runs in my veins- both my Mum and my Gran were photographers! Contrary to what you may assume though, this did not mean that I was naturally encouraged to get into photography- quite the opposite in fact! My Mum found wedding photography in particular extremely stressful and often made herself physically ill with stress about how her wedding images would turn out (she needn’t have ever worried- her work was always beautiful!)  This of course gave her just cause to try to put me off following in her footsteps and she was not at all impressed when I announced that I had been shooting in secret throughout my teenage years and planned to follow the very same career which had caused her so many hours of stress in her working life! But, I was adamant, and after finishing a degree in media technology, began working in a prestigious portrait studio in Kent. Since then, I have been lucky enough to work all over the world capturing my very favourite thing in life – people and the love they share.

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

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Oh my word! Where to start?! I consider it the greatest honour to be entrusted with capturing one of the most important days in a couples life, and I don’t take that lightly! I love to capture that twinkle in a brides eye as she steps into her dress, and the pride exuding from Dad as he walks her down the aisle. That look of absolute awe and excitement when the groom sees his bride for the first time and the love, oh so much love between two people meant for each other… how can I not get excited about that?!

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Also, I love to travel and shoot in new places, and photography has allowed me to do that- I have shot all over the world and I’ve just come back from two years living and shooting in Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve been so lucky that my work gives me a reason to travel, although I must say, there is always a special place in my heart for the North East!

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day? 

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I find that the more time I have spent with a couple before the big day, the better the experience is for all of us, which is why I include a ‘Love Story’ or engagement shoot with each wedding package. When the couple has had the chance to experience what it’s like to have their picture taken by me and when I have been able to gauge how best to work with them, it takes away any anxiety from the couple in terms of what I’m doing, and they can simply relax and enjoy each other and their wedding day.

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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

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Make sure you have a shoot with your photographer prior to your wedding day! Honestly- I can’t tell you enough how much it helps to have worked with your photographer before the big day. Everyone is different and if you give your photographer the opportunity to see how you react to the camera- they should be able to put you at ease in any situation. Most brides who aren’t keen on posing for the camera will likely opt for a more documentary or candid style of photographer, which takes away that awkward posed feeling which is what most are uncomfortable with. But any photographer worth their salt should be able to capture you at your best and make you look and feel great.

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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

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It depends on the bride! Some women love to rock the bold lipstick or smouldering eyes, while some are much more comfortable with the more natural, neutral palette. I would say the best bet is to stay true to your own style- you don’t want your groom to be wondering "Who’s that girl?" when you lift your veil! It’s definitely a must to practice your make-up look before the big day- most of my brides take the opportunity to go for their make-up trial on the day of their love story shoot- that way they have great make-up for the shoot and they can see what the make-up will turn out like in the images. Really though, as long as a bride feels like her very best self and is happy and relaxed she will look fantastic in her wedding pictures.

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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

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The happy couple can expect to enjoy their day without interference! Their wedding day is just that- Theirs! and I want them to enjoy every moment. I often have a few meetings with the couple before the wedding day, and also the love story shoot, so that we all are on the same page and I am more of a friend at their wedding than a random stranger. I’ve been told many times by my clients how relaxed they felt during their love story and wedding shoots, and that really is important to me- I want my clients to be relaxed and have fun so that I can capture them at their very best!

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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What is included in your "package"? 

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With all of my wedding collections, I cover the entire day, from the bride getting ready, right up to the dancing at the evening reception, so the whole day is captured with love. All of my clients will receive a copyright -free disk of edited images, and I offer the most beautiful range of albums. I do have set collections as a guide but I am also happy to tailor a package to my client’s needs.

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Can you give us an idea on price? 

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The ‘Sweet and Simple’ collection, which is my starting collection, is £985.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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Anyone booking an album collection before the end of July and quoting ‘Brides up North’ will receive a free brag book worth £150 to show off their beautiful images on the go!

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Melissa Kay 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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Come and check out my website or my blog, like Melissa Kay Photography on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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Alternatively if you would like to see something specific or you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line at Kay@melissakayphotography.com or give me a call on 07592924200. 

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Melissa Kay Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Melissa Kay Photography

Melissa Kay Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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