Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

in the frame: how to pick your wedding photographer

March 1st, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

Mike Plunkett Photography (2)

Mike Plunkett Photography, image source

The date’s in the diary, the venue’s booked and now it’s time to make one of the biggest weddingland decisions of them all: who gets the photographer gig?

Trust us, there are lots of talented snappers out there (including those featured in our Suppliers We Love directory) – we are blown away by the beautiful imagery that is submitted to the blog every week, and so we understand it can be tricky to narrow down the choices.

Beyond the aesthetics there are further aspects to consider – cost, packages, approach, albums – but there’s no need to get in a head-spin, for we’re elaborating on these points today as we share our top tips to finding the right photographer for you and your big day…

James Tracey Photography (1)

James Tracey Photography, image source

what’s your style?

As you trawl through magazines and blogs, what style of photography speaks to you? Classic portraiture, i.e. posed couple shots and family groups with everyone smiling and looking the right way? Or are you a fan of a more documentary-esque, reportage style – pretty much the opposite, with events caught candidly ‘in the moment’ and barely an eye on the camera? Are edgy shoots your thing – often (but not always) featuring urban settings, bold colours, dramatic backdrops and quirky props, angles and cropping? Or there’s fine art, where reality has an extra-dreamy romantic filter applied; these pictures are super-tasteful, with the pretty pumped up to the max and a fashion magazine feel.

There’s always some overlap, but a wedding photographer generally leans towards one of the above – so decide what feels most ‘you’ and start looking for shooters who specialise in your favourite style.

Sarah Mason Photography

Sarah Mason Photography, image source

the package

There isn’t one set standard in wedding photography, so now that you’re noting down names and details it’s time to pay attention to the fine print. How many hours coverage will you need? Can they be flexible if the day runs over? Are you set on a second shooter and, if so, can they offer one? What do they provide in terms of an album: how many edited images; what about hard copies; is there an online gallery for friends and family to peruse? Start digging deeper: check client testimonials, look at whole albums rather than a handpicked selection of highlights from the last few years and make comparisons between your shortlist and other similarly-priced photographers.

Kate McCarthy Photography

Kate McCarthy Photography, image source

making your mind up

You’re going to spend a LOT of time with your wedding photographer – probably more time than any of your other suppliers – so once you’ve narrowed the potentials down, it’s best to meet in person. Have a list of questions ready – perhaps email them in advance – and put together a Pinterest board of images you love so that you can clearly communicate the kind of end result you want. A wedding photographer needs to be personable, confident, and outgoing, but also sensitive, respectful and professional. Once you’re face to face, it’s easier to make the judgement call as to whether they’re the one for you. Do they feel right? Our ultimate advice is to trust your gut.

Jessica Grace Photography

Jessica Grace Photography, image source

trust your choice

Once you have the photographer on board, it’s time to relax.  You picked them because you loved their work. Now its time to let them do their thang!

Obviously, your chosen photographer will have to work within the constraints of your agreement (and what actually happens on the day and what’s there to shoot!) but if you want our advice, here’s ten popular photographs we think you can’t miss. If you love these ideas, talk to your photographer in advance of your wedding, then stand back and let them set the agenda for the day.  Everyone works best if they are allowed the freedom work in their own way and if everyone is on the same page, then its sure to be a match made in heaven!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

just peachy. enzoani for a romantic lakeside wedding at the fisherman’s retreat – natalie & sim

February 26th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (19)

Here at Brides Up North we’ve almost forgotten what sunshine feels like. It’s been a loooong winter, am I right? Well, today on the blog we’re featuring a wedding that’s guaranteed to heighten your summer cravings – a sun-drenched ceremony, cobalt skies, and a pinky peach colour scheme of dreams –  #sorrynotsorry.

Natalie stripped all embellishment from the tulle of her divine Enzoani dress for an elegant ‘naked’ finish and ivory, pale eucalyptus green and gold ruled their palette along with pops of peach. Combined with the sunshine, the blue skies and the lakeside views, their day feels as refreshing as an iced glass of fizz. Just what the doctor ordered.

Brace yourself, readers – summer is on its way!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (48)

natalie says: We got engaged in Barcelona in September 2016, after watching the magic fountain show. It was just perfect!

Our wedding date was 8th July 2017. We didn’t have a specific reason for the date; we simply wanted to get married in summer 2017, we’d chosen our venue and they had the 8th July available so we snapped it up. I’m studying at university, so the date meant I’d have finished for the summer and would give us time to finalise any details in the run up to the wedding. Oh, and we were also hoping for some summer sun!

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (63)

We got married at The Fisherman’s Retreat in Ramsbottom. The room where our ceremony was held had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the hills. It was a gorgeously sunny day and we were really lucky to say our vows with such an astonishing view in sight. For the reception we changed rooms so we had full access to the lake and our guests could sit outside to enjoy their drinks and celebrate. We originally chose the venue because it was in such a beautiful location and because they gave us a lot of freedom in terms of how we spent our money. There was a ‘minimum spend’ but we could decide to spend this on whatever we wanted instead of it being a set package like so many other venues.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (67)

We had a peach orchard theme to tie into the gorgeous views at the venue. We wanted a friendly, casual but fresh vibe for our guests and it turned out exactly as we wanted.

Colour-wise, we went for peach and gold with lots of greenery, for example eucalyptus leaves for place cards and greenery wrapped around the wooden beams in the ceremony room.

Enzoani for a Pretty Peach Wedding (c) Nik Bryant Photography (36)

My dress was from Perfect Daze Bridal in Scissett, Huddersfiled. It was from the Enzoani Blue collection and called Janessa. I loved the fabric and had the tulle part reshaped to create a detachable train which I loved! I had the jewels taken off the tulle and shaped so it was ‘naked’ and I adored its simplicity.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

every emotion captured: phil drinkwater photography

February 22nd, 2018 | Julia Braime

Phil Drinkwater Photography (3)

It goes without saying that you want your wedding photographer to produce the most beautiful images of your big day, but it’s also important to select a pro that will fit in with the flow of your day, who will feel like a guest and who will make the process as simple as possible.

Fortunately for you we know a fella that offers all of the above, our talented Sponsor Phil Drinkwater of Phil Drinkwater Photography, who is joining us on the blog today.

Based in the North West, but documenting weddings all over the UK and overseas, Phil loves nothing more than delivering the story of the full day through his gorgeous images. He aims to blend in and promises to capture every emotion, so you can relive the special moments of your day time and time again.

We’ll hand over to Phil now to show off some of his fabulous images while telling us more about his love for all things wedding…

Phil Drinkwater Photography (14)

When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?

[juennaopen]phil says: I started just over a decade ago now. I was originally working in beauty (makeup) and fashion photography, but everything I produced looked too “beautiful” for the fashion industry. It was quipped a few times that I should shoot weddings, so I did! I think I suit the happiness of a wedding day and the accuracy that is required to be a wedding photographer. The different stories in a wedding day really attract me and I love to hang out with happy people at such an amazing occasion.

How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?

I’ve combined the best of different styles, but most of my time is spent beautifully documenting the day. I don’t subscribe to the “dark and moody” style of photography much and I’m always looking to produce bright and beautiful tones which flatter. It’s important for me to be involved in the day – I like to capture the day every emotion at a time, and knowing the personalities allows me to predict where to be and what to be focusing on.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (5)

What is it that you love most about your job?

It’s being at the wedding itself. I love to feel the emotions on the day and it’s exciting to develop the picture-based story in my mind as the day progresses. It’s why I only offer a full day wedding option – I wouldn’t want to miss anything.

In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?

It sounds dull, but the most important thing couples are missing at the moment is consideration of image backup policy. Many photographers don’t use dual cards on the day (where their camera is writing to two cards at once at the wedding) and don’t backup the photos when they get home. Outside of that, it’s down to someone whose work and personality you love. It should feel like walking into that perfect new house – something should just feel “right”.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (13)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

I think I’m the most consistent photographer that I know. Many photographers will put their focus into certain sections of the day, or certain types of photos. For me, nothing is given more attention than anything else. I’ll do everything possible to produce the very best in every single photograph.

What is the feedback like from your couples?

It’s that they loved having me as part of the day, that they hardly knew I was there and feel the photographs really tell the story. One groom also called me a “photographer ninja” because I seem to be everywhere at once! Another commented that my booking system was excellent.

Phil Drinkwater Photography (19)

Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?

I like to hang out with the bride and bridesmaids in the morning to experience the various emotions they go through as they approach “the moment”.

What area do you cover and is there somewhere in particular that you would love to shoot a wedding that you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do?

I photograph everywhere! Probably half of my weddings are in the North West, but I’ve photographed London and Scotland and Wales, and been abroad quite a few times. I’d love to photograph a wedding in Morocco because I adore the colours in the country, and the taste of the tagines! I’d also love to do an amazing beach wedding in the Caribbean and I’m sure that’ll happen sometime soon.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

documenting your day: silver sixpence film & photo

February 12th, 2018 | Rachel Parry


As a special treat for surviving the majority of Monday and to ease you happily into another (bloomin’ freezing) week, we have some beautiful wedding footage in store courtesy of our talented Sponsor Silver Sixpence Film & Photo.

The highly-skilled duo behind the business are husband and wife Penny and Ed, who left their successful careers in big screen feature films to play an intimate role in couples’ weddings by documenting their day through beautiful videography.

Keen to capture couples at their most natural and reflect the true emotions of the day, East-Yorkshire-based Penny and Ed capture their footage in a discreet manor and edit to produce gorgeous films that preserve precious memories in time.

We’ve invited them along to the blog today to tell us more about their fabulous work and the benefits of hiring a videographer – they’re also spilling the details of their latest venture – wedding photography – and offering you lucky readers a cheeky 15% discount too. Read on for all the details.

Joe and Michelle from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

When did you first start filming weddings and how did you get into it?

penny says: We are a husband and wife team and we met when we were both working in feature films. We were both in high profile jobs; I was working for the director on the last three Harry Potter films and Ed was working on a film with Heath Ledger before moving onto various others, including Skyfall. Ed had been filming the occasional wedding film since he left university in 2003, and when we met we realised that we both shared a love for telling personal stories and so we created Silver Sixpence Films so we could do that together. We loved working on these projects so much that we decided to leave feature film and concentrate on what we love most.

How would you describe your style videography? 

Because of our background we approach each wedding in the same way we did a feature film. We try and shoot everything cinematically and we spend a lot of time in the edit putting the story together so that it perfectly captures every couple’s day in a personal and unique way. Because a wedding day is an important day in people’s lives we like to work in an unobtrusive way so our aim is to put together a wonderful keepsake of the day without intruding on the celebration as it is taking place.


What is it that you love most about your job?

We love meeting couples and becoming involved in their day in such an intimate way. We talk to them before the wedding and spend most of the actual wedding day with them, but it is after everything has finished and we start to work on it that we spend a couple of weeks editing their film and really getting to know them. We often get very attached by the end of the project and feel very close to our brides and grooms. We really care about what they think about what we have produced, and we are always so excited when they love it.

In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which videographer to book for their wedding?

We would recommend that each bride and groom look at the films that each videographer puts together and try and work out what style of film that they like most. Most videographers will be happy to send a full-length example film to prospective clients so make sure you have done this, so you can get an idea of what the full finished product will be like. Some videographers are more hands on and posed than us, so they might ask you to stop as you are walking down the aisle, or they may constantly give you directions and interrupt your day. Some people might be reassured by that control, but we find it intrusive and so our approach is more relaxed. People often comment that they didn’t even know anyone was filming because of the way we work on the day, which has meant we have been able to film at even very small, intimate thirty-person weddings without intruding on the day.

Liam and Marianne from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

Why would you encourage couples to have their wedding day filmed?

A wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you will want to look back on it and everything that happened. Most people these days plan to get a photographer, and photography is a beautiful way to capture your day, but it will never be able to portray the same emotion as a wedding film. We have lost track of how many of our clients have told us they have been in floods of beautiful, happy tears when watching one of our films. On our wedding day we had a short film made and a year later sadly Ed’s nan had passed away. We are so grateful that we have that wonderful memory of her and of the day that we said, “I do.”


What is the feedback like from your couples?

People get very emotional watching our films and we often get thank you cards and presents detailing how perfectly we captured the day. People often comment, not only on how they didn’t realise the wedding was being videoed, but also on how wonderfully it has been captured. Our bride and grooms often tell us how they love seeing all the parts of the day that they missed because they were busy doing other things.

Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?

For us, our favourite moment changes each wedding. Every wedding is unique and with our discreet style we are constantly filming and looking for that perfect moment. On some days it is when the father-of-the-bride sees the bride for the first time on the day and breaks down in happy tears, on other days it’s the groom seeing the bride walking down the aisle whilst barely holding it together. Often, it’s the children, they do such wonderful, funny things. Wedding days are full of such powerful emotion and we love being a part of that.

Phil and Nichola from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

What would you say to couples who feel nervous about being filmed?

Our job is to make our couples look amazing. If we capture something and they don’t look brilliant, then chances are it won’t be in the film. The great thing when working with us is you can relax knowing that we are some of the most highly trained people working in the industry and trust us to make you look fantastic. When we take couples out for their portraits together we treat it as a bit of time for them to spend with each other first, and a chance to capture some beautifully romantic shots second. We shoot from as far back as we can so that the bride and groom are free to talk and laugh without feeling self-conscious. If someone needs feedback we will give them simple suggestions to help them feel more comfortable. We are looking for relaxed, natural footage and before too long everyone tends to end up enjoying themselves. Couple’s often comment on how they loved going out with us because it was the only chance they got to spend some quality time together all day.

Other than videography, what are your other passions and what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a videographer?

Ed is also a very good photographer and has won awards for his work. I love interior design and styling which is why I get so excited about the details on a wedding day. I could see myself being a florist, or an event planner.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

beautiful & bespoke: richard perry photography

January 22nd, 2018 | Julia Braime

Richard Perry Photography (10)

One of the very first suppliers you will book, and perhaps the most important, is your photographer and so it’s worth taking time to do your research on which suits your style preferences, budget and requirements.

A pro who is keen to give his couples plenty of choice and control over the coverage of their big day is our talented Sponsor, Yorkshire-based Richard Perry Photography.

Having developed a love of wedding photography into a full-time career, Richard’s passion for documenting a couple’s big day is clear to see and we just adore his mix of natural candid shots and beautifully romantic portrait images.

His choice of packages mean there is a option to suit varying budgets and the introduction of a clever ‘a la carte’ style menu enables brides and grooms to build a bespoke package by adding extras, such as specific albums, prints and pre/post-wedding shoots.

Here to give us all the details is the main man himself, who we must congratulate, along with his lovely wife Louise, of Louise Perry Bridal, on the arrival of their baby son, Tristan. Amazing news – big love from all at Brides Up North HQ!

Richard Perry Photography (13)

How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?

richard says: My style of wedding and engagement photography is primarily reportage, capturing those candid moments that express true emotion. I also add in an element of luxury editorial style portraiture to give my couples those showstopper images that will capture the heart and the imagination.

What is it that you love most about your job?

I truly love capturing unique wedding day moments, and over the years I have come to realise that capturing these singular moments can turn a collection of pixels into a treasured memory that will last forever. The idea that couples will be sharing photographs I’ve captured with their family and friends years from now is a wonderful thought.

Richard Perry Photography (20)

You have just introduced The Essential Photography Collection, that allows couples to totally customise their wedding photography package. Can you tell us a little about this?

I offer a number of packages; The Classic, Elegance, Luxury and Designer collections. Prices ranging from £1,695 to £2,995. Each package offers a wonderful collection of services and some of my most popular products to enhance the memories of the big day. I introduced The Essential Wedding Photography Collection (only £1,400) in conjunction with my new A La Carte Menu to enable couples build their own bespoke wedding photography package. This way my brides and grooms to be can take full control of how they enhance their wedding memories, using the A La Carte Menu. but the Essential Collection ensures that they have full day wedding photography coverage and a gallery of their photos that capture the all-important story of their big day.

How has The Essential Photography Collection been received by couples so far? What do they love about it?

The Essential Collection has been received wonderfully. My couples seem to love the fact that the Essential Collection literally covers ‘the essentials’ so then they can focus on the fun bit of picking extras from the A La Carte Menu and creating their own collection. This system offers the ultimate bespoke wedding photography package so that the service can be tailored to each couple. The added bonus with this package is that it also gives the couple complete freedom to initially book The Essential Collection and then add in options at a later date, which is a fantastic way of spreading the cost at one of the most expensive times of your lives.

Richard Perry Photography (16)

Are any options in The Essential Photography Collection proving particularly popular with couples?

The 10×10 Queensberry Album is very popular. I think this is because in our digital world we all still secretly love to hold photos in our hands and have something tangible to take away with us. I couldn’t be happier about this as I really believe that it is important to print photos. I also love the idea that my couples have their albums out in their homes so they can show guests their big day or just so they can flick through it whilst cuddled up on the sofa

Why would you encourage couples to enhance their photography package with a pre-wedding or post-wedding shoot?

I always recommend a pre-wedding shoot. Pre-wedding photoshoots are a time to indulge in the romance of being engaged and the excitement of what is to come. They are a great opportunity to get used to being in front of the camera and are also a fun time for us to get to know each other better before the big day. The pre-wedding photos are also lovely to use for save the date cards, invitations, wedding website and even signing frames.

I also love a post-wedding photoshoot. It gives my couples an opportunity to get dressed up again and go to a location that is beautiful, interesting or just epic. Hillsides at sunrise, standing in lakes or next to a waterfall. The stress of the wedding day has passed so we’ll put our heads together and style something stunning.

Richard Perry Photography (14)

Reflecting on 2017 what would you say have been your biggest highlights?

2017 has been an absolutely wonderful year and I can honestly say I doubt it could have gone better. I have met some wonderful people, worked with some amazing suppliers at some beautiful venues, I’ve created images that I am truly proud of, I’ve won an award and I’ve been published. However, my biggest highlight has to be becoming a father for the first time in December.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

pretty blooms & antique gold. a stylish wedding at middleton lodge – jemma & david

January 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

Jem & Dave BUN blog (2) (43 of 93)

Today’s picturesque wedding is all about the elegance, pairing a gorgeous ivory, blush pink and antique gold colour scheme with the grand and impressive backdrop of Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire.

Bride and groom Jemma and David, had their heart set on a summer’s wedding, and we can easily see why they fell for this stunning venue, which just so happens to be a Sponsor of Brides Up North.

Their special day featured a traditional church ceremony (the couple’s personal highlight from the whole day) followed by the wedding breakfast in a marquee beautifully adorned with peonies, roses, hydrangeas and witch hazel – the epitome of a classic country estate wedding.

Other Pinterest-worthy elements include the three-tiered cake with its oh so pretty ruffle and marble design, and the bride’s dreamy satin ivory dress with a mermaid tail.

Diary date: We will be holding a Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Fair at the stunning Middleton Lodge Estate on Sunday 4th March, 12 noon to 3pm, FREE ENTRY. Be sure to join us then to view this beautiful venue firsthand, including its new Fig House and Kitchen Garden wedding space, plus the beautiful Lodge House and Garden Marquee. 

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Jenny Maden.

Jem & Dave BUN blog (2) (4 of 93)

jemma says: We got engaged in April 2016, at Arthur’s Seat Edinburgh! I had actually planned the trip to celebrate Dave’s birthday and couldn’t have been more surprised! Having no clue what he had planned, on our way up to the top we passed a beautiful lake with some swans. To which I said: “Wouldn’t this be a nice place to get engaged?” Little did I know that ten minutes later we would be!

We got married on 4th August 2017. We were quite flexible on the date as long as it was in the summer.

Jem & Dave BUN blog (2) (37 of 93)

We tied the knot at Middleton Lodge in Richmond, North Yorkshire. We wanted an exclusive use venue that our guests would love and Middleton Lodge has it all. It is a Georgian manor house set in acres of beautiful Yorkshire countryside. The wedding breakfast was held in a marquee adjoined to the house and then late night partying in the red bricked Cellar Bar sold it for us!

There was no specific theme. We very much wanted a classic, elegant wedding. Tones of ivory, blush pink and antique gold were used in our wedding stationery and blooms.

Jem & Dave BUN blog (2) (57 of 93)

When it came to wedding dress shopping, I told myself that I would try on literally every style! Of course, I liked some styles more than others, but I really wanted to get the perfect dress that suited my figure and that I felt amazing in. So many of my friends have said they chose a dress that they never would have thought they would go for – so this fuelled my thought process!

In the end, I went for a very elegant satin ivory gown with a strapless, sweetheart neckline. There was a mermaid tail littered with diamond and it had buttons down the back. I chose a diamond belt to add some more sparkle. My dress was from Abigail’s Bridal in Leeds and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Margaret and the whole team were fabulous and so accommodating!

Jem & Dave BUN blog (2) (48 of 93)

Dave wore a traditional navy morning suit. He was not a fan of wearing blush pink (surprise surprise!) so instead we opted for a light silver/ grey waistcoat and gunmetal grey ties.

The groomsmen wore the same as Dave; meanwhile the bridesmaids wore blush pink multi-way dresses that they looked beautiful in!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone