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Kevin & Lois at Stubton Hall

With wedding planning and visiting venues just up and running after lockdown we were so happy to be able to visit Stubton Hall with Kevin and Lois. We walked around the grounds and took photos as we chatted about their wedding just under a year from now.

Stubton Hall is such a beautiful location with gorgeous interiors and extensive grounds. I can’t wait for the big day!

The BigSmall Wedding

Hello friend, how are you holding up? It feels like the world’s been turned upside down, and for some people a lot more than others. If you never did like shopping that much, worked from home (you know – something with computers) and didn’t have kids you might have been doing alright. But for probably all of us in one way or another these months have been frightening, isolating or even ruinous. To put it in stiff-upper-British it’s been “actually a bit of a nuisance, really”.

Weddings feel like they’ve been particularly messed around with. We heard yesterday that we’re allowed up to 30 guests but no partying. I mean, unless you hold the party in Primark, then you’re fine apparently. Things are changing on a much faster timescale than people normally take to plan weddings, so I don’t think it’ll be more than a few weeks or months before the rules change again.

But some people will be looking at the calendar and thinking, “You know what? Let’s do it.” Maybe a small wedding was always your preference. Or maybe you did want something bigger but now you – and I’m quoting one of my customers here – just can’t wait any longer to marry the dude. So if you’re thinking about it, I’m here to advocate the merits of what I’d call a BigSmall wedding. That’s a new word I just made up. Oh sure other people may have made it up too, some of them before me. But I made it up too.

Kate and I had a BigSmall wedding with 28 people. Working in weddings we didn’t feel the need to do what a lot of people had done before and have the same thing just with our faces on it this time. We wanted to celebrate with our nearest and dearest and have a wonderful day. We sure as hell love each other more than, like…flip! So we chose a beautiful cottage in the Peak District with just enough room in the garden for our own ceremony, and got a week’s holiday for some of them to stay over.

We did spend disproportionately on a couple of things though. Kate had a stunning dress from our lovely friends at Platinum Brides, and our photographer Chris was wonderful. Even though the wedding was small, I wanted Kate to feel amazing, and we both wanted gorgeous photos. So I guess that’s the point – figure out what’s most important to you, and create something truly special.

I’m aware people will be planning all sorts of things like split days where you get married now and party next year. Some couples will have been forced to reschedule to a date when their original choice of photographer wasn’t available. If there’s anything we can do please do get in touch and tell us about your plans. We’d love to help.

James and Kelly celebrated a beautiful wedding at Hampton Manor a couple of years ago now. Maybe they invented the BigSmall wedding. I’d be cool with that.

Andy & Jess’s Cracking Wedding at Pendrell Hall

Roll on the Summer! For lots of reasons we can’t wait for August this year. And the sunny weather today got us thinking back to Andy and Jess’s Cracking Wedding last year. Such a sweet couple and a beautiful day. Jess was absolutely gorgeous in her dress, and it was wonderful to see another classic big church wedding!

The ceremony was at Holy Trinity Eccleshall, and the reception over at Pendrell Hall, which is a beautiful old house with wood panelling, lovely gardens and endless charm. Andy and Jess had added some lovely touches of their own including a really splendid cake.

It’s wonderful to work with a couple who are so visibly in love and just don’t care who sees it. And that first dance! Needless to say, it went down well.

Here’s to another Summer of Love, just as soon as they let us out of lockdown.

We will hit that dance floor!

In the scouts, our motto is “be prepared” (I’m a leader – I’m not 12). And this is so true for wedding photographers. For every thing that can go wrong with a wedding I can tell you what we do to prevent that problem. Backup equipment, Ordnance survey maps for every wedding location, emergency plans, even snow chains for the car in winter. But I guess none of us anticipated this situation.

Over the last few days I’ve spoken to several of my couples who are having to postpone their wedding plans and my heart breaks for them. So far it seems that all of them will be able to rearrange with their venue and almost all other original suppliers. From talking to lots of people in the wedding industry I can truly say we are all working together to take care of our wonderful customers.

I’m sure you’re already aware that a lot of small businesses are in for a hard time now. Some are facing months with no income, and some already know they won’t make it. We’re lucky that the wedding industry rebounds very well. If people wanted to get married this year they’ll still want to get married next year. But coffee shops? Once the quarantine is lifted you don’t go out and catch up with the coffee you missed while you were away. Spare a thought for those lovely independants near you. And buy a gift card for later as your vote of confidence.

I suppose in one sense we actually were prepared for this situation. By using emergency savings we’re able to keep going for a very long time during this lockdown. Remind me to tell you about YNAB soon. I’m happy to say the rest of the year is looking really good, and 2021 even better. So long term we’ll be more than fine. But I think if you’re self employed you need to know that you have to do a lot better than your colleagues who are earning a salary. Without statutory sick pay, etc. you have to have a backup. Six months full salary tucked away in a bank is a good start.

So if you’re looking at your wedding date and wondering what to do please do get in touch. Or with your photographer of course, if it’s not me. Get in touch early and just let them know what’s going on, what discussions you’ve already had with your venue, how long you’re going to wait before making a decision, etc. If you need to reschedule, you’ll want to get as many possible dates from them to rebook. And if you have wedding insurance (if you don’t it’s too late!) read it carefully.

I’ve been married for five years now to my best friend, and whatever bits and pieces went wrong at the time we’ve forgotten them, and we just look back with very happy memories. You’ll handle this too, don’t worry.

This global emergency is going to cost every one of us something. We were naiive a few weeks ago to think it might not. But postponing your wedding is particularly hard, and the whole world thanks you for playing your part and protecting all of us. When you do finally hit that dance floor, hit it hard, look at the faces all around you, and be very proud of all you’ve done.

Sending you actual love and an elbow bump, vulcan salute or curtsey as appropriate.

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