Yearly Archives: 2010

Bryony and Justin’s wedding
Canford Magna Church, Wimborne

Everything had been planned down to the finest detail for Bryony and Justin’s wedding day on Monday 20th December 2010, everything except for Dorset being covered in the thickest blanket of snow it had seen since the wheel was square.  Luckily Bryony, Justin and their families are made of stern stuff and refused to be totally thwarted even though the roads we all had to use to reach Canford Magna Church were in the most part gridlocked.  Emergency Plan X,Y and Z were put into place and their marriage ceremony was going to take place at some point as near to the original time of 12.30 as humanly possible and we were only to be at the church as so much else had to be abandoned.

To be part of a real team of people who were all working towards the same goal was a terrific.  Someone from the Church had been in early to clear the path and put the heating on, Cecil (who was conducting the ceremony) and his wife arrived around the same time as us even some of the bell ringers made it!  Eventually we saw one or two of the guests trudging through the snow, people were lighting the many, many candles lining the aisle and decorating the windows,  then Justin and his parents arrived in a Landrover and soon afterwards his beautiful bride and her family and bridesmaids were heading towards the church.

The number of guests who were able to reach Canford Magna had plumeted from around 140 to perhaps around 30 – 40 but the greeting the bridal party received upon their arrival was perfect as they removed their wellies just inside the door!  The beaming smiles from Bryony and Justin warmed everyones hearts as she walked up the aisle – the important and heartfelt moments about to take place between them had been hard fought for that day.  The organist had not been able to reach the church but not even that was to worry us all, we were on a roll…… three beautiful hymns were sang extraordinarily heartily with no musical assistance. 

With the formalities of the register signing completed the new Mr and Mrs Gordon-Farleigh walked down the aisle together totally triumphant.  We completed a very few formal photographs in the church just as requested before our day was done, perhaps the finale was Earle appearing in the organ loft doing a magnificent impression of  ‘The Phantom’ while we prepared everyone there for a group photograph.

Earle and I have so much admiration for how everyone coped today and the sheer determination everyone shared to enable Bryony and Justin to be married but we have a particular admiration for Bryony and Justin themselves, they were nothing short of amazing.  Hairstylist Mel from Reeves and Gallagher managed to make the journey to Bryony’s family home to take care of all the girls and Sharon of Carnival Flowers also battled against the snow and treacherous roads to deliver all the required flowers at the various locations… two really terrific girls.  We   sincerely look forward to seeing everyone again plus those who could not be there when another and very full celebration is planned later in the year.

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Wedding exhibition at Beaulieu

This Sunday, 21st November, we are exhibiting at The Domus, Beaulieu from 10.00 am with the team from Leith’s at Beaulieu who are taking part in the New Forest Wedding Show.  Lots of venues in the New Forest are taking part with the view of encouraging those interested to take a tour around the area to visit the different locations and meet with all those who may be able to contribute to creating the wedding day of their dreams and not least of course the photographs which will hold those memories close to the heart for ever.

For all the details check out The New Forest Wedding Showcase  Earle and I look forward to meeting you!

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Kate and Owen’s wedding
{Montagu Arms, Beaulieu}

Another beautiful late autumn day down here on the south coast and Milford On Sea was looking picture book perfect as Earle and I drove into the village.  Earle was meeting Owen with his bestman and ushers at All Saints Church for some photographs and I set off to Kate’s childhood home a little way down the road for some final preparation photographs before they all set off for the ceremony.  The house was full of excited anticipation as I arrived and the bridesmaids were ready to be laced into their dresses before helping Kate into her beautiful wedding gown and veil.

Over at the church the guests were starting to be seated and Earle was ready to photograph the Canon greet Kate and her father as they arrived in a wonderful vintage Bentley.  Owen was spot on cue as the bridal music started and Kate walked up the aisle towards him and their marriage ceremony was under way.  There was barely a dry eye in the church during this particularly emotional wedding wonderfully crowned off when Owen and Kate  walked  down the aisle as husband and wife and through the splendid Guard of Honour waiting outside the church door.

After Kate and Owen had enjoyed the congratulations from their family and friends and we had completed the ‘formal’ family photography we headed off down to Keyhaven with the bride and groom while everyone else made their way to The Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu to enjoy the drinks reception.  We had to work quickly at Keyhaven as there was not much time to spare but this was not a problem the conditions overlooking the Solent were perfect and with Kate and Owen completely wrapped up in each other we were able to achieve some really exciting images.

At the Montagu Arms Hotel everyone was thrilled to greet Kate and Owen on their arrival and following a few more drinks they were soon seated for the wedding breakfast.  As always we were on hand to photograph the speeches and more socialising which included a ‘sparkling’ celebration out in the garden, what a brilliant opportunity for us to capture the joy on everyone’s faces!  The cake cutting and first dance soon followed with Owen and his military friends looking terrific in their evening uniforms. 

Earle and I send our heartfelt congratulations to Kate and Owen and a massive thank you for choosing us to be part of the team contributing to the very special memories both of you will always carry of your wedding day.

Let us know your thoughts and comments by joining in with our blog….. just click on the comments box below, we would love to hear from all our readers.

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Caroline and Olivers’s wedding
{Christchurch Harbour Hotel}

Every now and then we are asked why we never get bored of photographing weddings and we do our best to explain our unwaivering enthusiasm for our craft.  This last weekend is a perfect illustration of how impossible it is for us to ever contemplate anything other than excitement and creative anticipation.  Two weddings in two days and a total contrast in every way other than the happiness and joy which totally enveloped all those involved.

Earle and I drove over to Mudeford together to meet Caroline and Oliver for their preparations at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel.  Caroline’s lovely hotel room overlooking a very tranquil Christchurch Harbour was a hive of activity and chatter with the girls from Beautiful Brides taking care of the hair and makeup for Caroline, her sister Lisa and the Mum’s!   

Oliver and his groomsmen met up with Earle and spent some time outside in the grounds relaxing with a beer before going across the road to All Saints Church where the wedding ceremony was taking place.

Caroline and Lisa who was bridesmaid were ready in plenty of time and looking terrific when  Bill arrived to walk them over to the church and escort Caroline up the aisle to her waiting groom.  Caroline and Oliver could not believe how quickly time raced by and before they knew it they were walking back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs Whittaker!  

While all the guests were moving across to the reception back in the Christchurch Harbour Hotel we popped off to Avon Beach with Caroline and Oliver for a few photographs of them enjoying their favourite environment: the beach.  Keen wind/kite surfers they looked longingly at the sea and fellow surfers enjoying the water but they did reassure themselves with the fact that the conditions were actually far from perfect and they were not really missing any real surfing action – both Earle and I are utterly convinced they would have taken off on a board given half a chance and had the conditions been completely right.  Instead the sea came and got me so the vision of a photographer having failed to keep the tidal flow back  provided a side show for all the highly amused beach walkers!  Poor Earle he looks on with disbelief sometimes!!

Back at the hotel we were able to complete the formal photographs requested before everyone was ushered into the wedding breakfast.  The evening approached and with the speeches and cake cutting completed the wedding party moved downstairs for the party and dancing to the music of 6 Bearded Fish.   Caroline and Oliver were keen to pop out again for some night time photography so off we went but only after promising Earle I would not go near water so….. we dodged traffic in Christchurch high street instead!

It had been another wonderful day, full of joy, laughter and fun and hopefully it is understandable how we are never bored photographing weddings!!!!

Huge congratulations to Caroline and Oliver, we have chosen some images from your fantastic day for you to enjoy and of course your proofs will be ready soon.  Please do add your feedback to our blog we love to hear from all our readers.

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Jacqui and George’s wedding
{The Domus and Palace House, Leith’s at Beaulieu}

For a change Earle’s day was due to start around the same time as mine, he had a trip to Adam’s Apple first thing to meet George and his bestman where they were enjoying the treat of a little male grooming in the form of a wet shave before returning to Bransgore to complete their preparations for Jacqui and George’s wedding ceremony in The Domus in the beautiful grounds of Beaulieu.

My day started with a short drive over to Jacqui’s home where Robyn Vallender of  Folio was taking expert care of Jacqui’s hair and make up.  It is always marvellous to see Robyn,  the three of us had a perfectly lovely morning together improved upon only by the arrival of Jacqui’s family and bridesmaids.

The drive over to Beaulieu was through the glorious New Forest and all the flame coloured trees glistening in the sunlight.  Jacqui and her father were very excited to be making the journey in the dearest little 1950’s convertible Morris Minor which was utterly pristine!   The wedding guests were all ready to greet Jacqui into the Domus where George was waiting for her at the top of the aisle.  Jacqui’s brother in law had travelled with the rest of her family from South Africa for this day and he was able to make the whole occasion particularly personal by presiding over the ceremony.   A surprise ‘guard of honor’ formed for Jacqui and George as they walked down the aisle together, a lovely touch organised for them by the  bestman and the students of the Chiropractic College where they are tutors.  Surprises were not limited to the ‘guard of honor’ as we found out when  the very real and very gorgeous Chitty Chitty Bang Bang arrived outside The Domus and the current ‘Caractacus Potts’  was wanting to take the bride and groom for a  race in this iconic vehicle – it was all just too exciting!   With everyone inside The Domus again and evening drawing on the speeches took place and cake cutting before wedding party moved across to the stunning Palace House for  dinner and further celebrations.  Of course in amongst all the activity Earle and I were busying ourselves with making sure all the photography was happening just as it should for Jacqui and George who were keen that we should be able to return to the cloisters for some more photographs after dark, so this is exactly what we did immediately after enjoying the culinery delights of Leiths at Beaulieu in the sumptuous surroundings of Lord Montague’s home!  The evening continued with a first dance and more socialising in the drawing room.

Earle and I send our warmest congratulations to  George and Jacqui and our sincere thanks for the wonderful and extraordinary hospitality you extended to us.  We hope you are enjoying your signature print at home and we have chosen a few of our favourite images from your wedding day celebrations for you all to enjoy while we complete the full edit.  

As always we do value feedback relating to our work just click on the comments box.

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Chika and Paul’s wedding
{The Domus, Leith’s at Beaulieu}

It was a beautiful drive over to the New Forest on Saturday morning in the autumn sunshine serving as a reminder to us of exactly how wonderful this part of the world is.   Paul had booked into the Master Builders Hotel at Bucklers Hard in Beaulieu for the eve of his marriage to Chika, so this is where Earle met him and his best man and ushers before moving across to The Domus where the wedding was taking place.  Chika was with her family and bridesmaids at Whitely Ridge preparing for the day ahead.  Chika is from Japan, her family and her bridesmaids had travelled all the way over to the UK for this wonderful day and to see Chika’s mother in traditional Japanese dress for the occassion was perfect.  Tori Sturgess did a fantastic mornings styling on all the girls and was a huge help guiding them around the ‘english wedding traditions’.

The Domus and the grounds of Beaulieu and Palace House were looking resplendent as Chika’s vintage taxi drove along the driveway through the avenue of trees and with all the guests seated the wedding ceremony was ready to take place.  Following a warm welcome to everyone the registrars guided Chika and Paul through their vows and ring exchange then after two readings and the register signing Chika and Paul were ready to walk out into the cloisters as Mr and Mrs Etheridge!

During the drinks reception we completed the formal family photography quickly and were then able to take a quick walk around the grounds with Chika and Paul for some photography of just the two of them relaxing together before returning to The Domus for their wedding breakfast and the evening party.

It had been superb day, the team at Leiths@Beaulieu were wonderful to work with as always and Chika and Paul are a complete delight!  Earle and I send our warmest congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Etheridge and we hope you enjoy the images we have chosen as a little peak into  the rest of your wedding photography.

Earle and I always value anyone’s feedback so if you have any thoughts about what you see then do please share them with us through our comments box.

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