What I loved this month: October 2018

I swear it rolls around to the end of every month, and for every single one I sit here like ‘it can’t be that time again already’! Well, here goes. In October I took a much needed post-wedding season holiday, did a few shoots that weren’t wedding related (!), and started to embrace cosy autumn nights in.

  1. Dominican Republic

This month I took a trip to the Dominican Republic for some rest and relaxation with my other half 🙂 We were after some autumn sun and mainly wanted to relax on a beach and do not much else. I’m generally rubbish at these sorts of holidays and get bored, but I must say, it was a real delight. I read four books.. FOUR! I swam, we drank lots of cocktails, and generally ate our body weight everyday.

2. Brand Photography

This month I shot some stuff that wasn’t wedding related :O As part of a rebrand at my day job I’ve been shooting brand photography and portraits in our London office. It’s been great to get some of my London colleagues on camera! I also did my first sports shoot, with Marc from Pure Fitness in Shoreditch. As someone who loves fitness, I was pretty excited about this one, and it was great to do something a bit different. Shooting in a dark studio was challenging but really fun!

Trendy looking female writer sat outside in Shoreditch

3. Back to 2005 with Bloc Party

Last week, I went to Ally Pally with my best friend to see Bloc Party play Silent Alarm in full. When Silent Alarm originally came out, I was fully obsessed and immersed in the indie scene of that time, but never managed to see Bloc Party until about their third album. The show was absolutely incredible – it truly took me back to that era. Even though half the band have now moved on, the performance was exceptional and I am so impressed by their new drummer – she was a machine! Fingers crossed for ‘A Weekend in The City’ tour as that is actually my fav BP album.

4. Getting the chop

I’ve been growing my hair for what feels like forever, and hadn’t had it cut since January (don’t tell my hairdresser). In that time I’ve experimented with pink and some changes in colour and after coming back from holiday decided it was in an appalling state. On a whim I decided to get it all chopped off. I used to have an A line bob about 5 years ago and it was my absolute fav hair cut… so its back! It’s so refreshing.. although not used to having a cold neck!

5. Redemption 

On Friday night I welcomed in the weekend with a relaxing dinner with a friend at Redemption. It’s an all vegan and alcohol free restaurant in Shoreditch, specialising in the healthiest food in London. We had been before but had the summer menu, so it was great to try their more hearty options. We both had the mushroom and walnut bolognese.. not even kidding, it was the richest and most comforting bolognese I’ve had in forever! We were going all out, so ordered a dessert each as well – if you’re going, I can’t recommend the banoffee pie enough. It was INSANELY GOOD. Sadly, we couldn’t even finish our desserts as we were so full – next time we know to share them!

6. The Vietnam War – Ken Burns

This month, I’m off to Vietnam with my best friend for 3 weeks. I absolutely can’t wait! Through all our planning, I realised I actually didn’t know much about the history of the country. I knew there had been a huge war with America, but had never really learnt about it or knew the full story. I’m about half way through Ken Burns’ documentary series on the subject, which you can find on Netflix. It’s a heavy watch, but is thoroughly interesting. It touches not just on the Vietnam war, but pretty much the last 100 years of Vietnam’s history. It’s definitely opened my eyes, not just about Vietnam’s geography and history, but also American history.

Ok, here comes my reading list review for October, which thanks to holiday is probably the longest list in a few months. I also got a deal which means I have Amazon Unlimited until Christmas, so these books are all available on there. So far I’m a bit disappointed with their selections, so if any one has recommendations or tips, drop me a comment!

The Note –  Zoë Folbigg: This book is a bit of a love story, about a woman who gives a man on her train a love note. Ensue a long game of ‘will they, won’t they’, but an enjoyable read, particularly as it was set in London and very relatable. 4/5

Things We Never Said – Nick Alexander: Another bit of a romantic story – I guess I go for easier books when I’m on holiday! The story of a widower who is left a box of photographs by his just passed wife. I really enjoyed this book – It affirmed the importance of photography in life, and was a refreshing take on love. It showed that across a life time theres up and downs, but also leaves you with the feeling that you shouldn’t take any of that for granted or leave things unsaid. 4.5/5

Silent Victim – Caroline Mitchell:  This was meant to be a thriller, but while it kept me turning the page, it wasn’t as dramatic as I was hoping. The end felt quite rushed and over quickly. Still, a good holiday read. 3/5 

What have you been loving in October? Hope you are enjoying the seasonal period – Happy Halloween (and bonfire night!)

 

x

Essex Wedding Photographer: Boho Cacti Inspired Shoot at the Old Parish Rooms

Bride wearing nude make up and with a loose boho updo

Inspired by the current ‘botanical pick me up’ trends, and having always had a love for cacti, I’ve always wanted to do a styled shoot featuring them. Whilst succulents have been in the wedding spotlight for a while, I thought their spiky cousins deserved to be included in the action. This shoot happened back in March, but we were waiting for it to be published on Bride & Tonic before we could share anything. 

Bride looking out of a gothic styled window at Church

Pink engagment ring resting on a cactus

I wanted a modern and bright venue for the shoot – my first choice was the Old Parish Rooms, a gorgeous intimate venue in Rayleigh. The airy white surroundings made it the perfect blank canvas for a modern shoot focused on details and striking decor. Against the white walls, I added a strong contrast of colour – greenery from the plants, and a vibrant peach to bring the palette to life.

Styling was provided by Rock the Day, who created a stunning wedding banquet set up with a peach dip dyed tablerunner as a centrepiece, topped with black potted cacti and a hanging floral hoop above.

Wide shot of a wedding top table with a coral table runner and cacti decor

4 tier vegan wedding cake with cacti toppers and decoration

I absolutely loved their dream catcher inspired chairbacks, which added a whole new feel to the bohemian furniture supplied by Anthology Vintage Hire. Stationery was provided by Knots and Kisses, who I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. 

Wide shot of wedding venue with Bride and Groom top table seats

A large hanging foliage hoop with pink and purple flowers

To add a bit of fun to the shoot, Fable and Moon brought along their kids tepee corner, specially filled with cacti activities, a photobooth and miniature cacti inspired sweet treats by Tiny Sarah’s Cakes. Having gone vegan myself a few months ago, I wanted to use a cake supplier with the same ethics for this shoot. Alongside the bitesize treats, Sarah also created a three tiered vegan cake, complete with adorable Mr & Mrs Cacti toppers.

Children's tepee and play area at a wedding

Our final setup was a ceremony area with a large hoop, expertly decorated with florals provided by Bohotanical. Using eucalyptus as a stunning base, there were pops of colour provided by Carnations, Roses and Clea Veronica. This hoop really added a luxe and stylish backdrop for an eye catching ceremony. You also can’t beat a peacock chair, so of course Rock the Day included one for the day 🙂 

Beautiful bride stood in front of floral hoop and holding wild large bouquet

Zuzanna was dressed in bespoke vintage inspired gowns by Poppy Perspective. We chose two contrasting gowns – one with an incredible lace cape, for a soft, carefree look, and a second, gold sequined dress to provide a more luxe, stylized feel. Knot Your Average Bride completed the contrasting looks with a loose up do and nude make up, followed by catwalk worthy slick backed hair and deep lips to perfectly match the colours within the florals. The gold dress and deep lips really look perfect for a festive wedding, don’t you think? 

Bride in gold dress sat on bohemian peacock chair

To add that extra sense of boho luxe, Zanna wore lace ankle boots from House of Elliot and handmade, unique jewellery from Aimee Winstone. Together, they added the beautiful final touches! 

Lace bridal shoes in a vintage green dresser

Pink engagment ring resting on a cactus

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For more ideas on how to use cacti and succulents in weddings, follow my Pinterest board. Caroline x

Travel: Tokyo Part 1 – Imperial Palace Gardens, Chiyoda & Akihabara

Wide shot of Akihabara in Tokyo at night

Back in June I was lucky enough to go to Tokyo. For those of you that don’t know, my day job alongside the wedding photography is as a Creative Producer for a digital agency. As part of an ongoing project, I was being sent to direct and produce a series of videos for one of our biggest clients. The shoot itself was a week along, and I decided to extend my first ever trip to Japan by tacking on just under a week of holiday. I was going alone and before I went it seemed like this big terrifying thing. I was super excited but in the back of my mind was thinking ‘what if I can’t direct this, how do I direct a Japanese crew, what if this is just way out my depth’. As for the solo travelling time I was equally nervous – I’ve always wanted to travel alone, I just didn’t think the first time would be right on the other side of the world.

All of this worry, was of course completely unnecessary. I HAD THE BEST TIME. Although I struggled with jet lag horrendously for the first week, which meant I was running off about 2/3 hours of sleep every day on the shoot, I had a blast. The crew were so lovely and everything went really well – this week the videos were pretty much signed off. No mean feat considering I was editing in a foreign language. My lovely client took us out for some great evenings in Tokyo – we had traditional sushi, dined with our shoes off and with the locals at an Izakaya (a Japanese pub), and wiled away the time looking at some crazy goods in Don Quijote.

Holding a tropical cocktail with Tokyo skyline behind

We were staying near Akasaka/ Roppongi and on the only evening that week I was left to fend for myself, I nervously set off to try and find myself some dinner. As 1) a vegan in Tokyo and 2) a tourist, finding dinner was harder than I thought. I was at first too intimidated to go into what I thought of as the ‘proper local places’ – the hidden doorways which seat about 5 people, and no english menu or photos of the dishes – that was something I had to build up to. However, I ended up having a great night in Akasaka at the ‘Champagne and Gyoza Bar‘. It does what it said on the tin.. I had some yummy mimosas whilst eating the best veggie gyozas I’ve ever had! One thing I actually regret for my trip, was not taking many photos of food while there…. it was all so good!!

Before Tokyo, I wasn’t used to eating out by myself, but now I am a huge fan. Especially being abroad, being out to eat alone is an amazing opportunity to just watch the world go by, or read – I got through A LOT of books! Now my opinion of eating out alone has completely changed and I would do it happily for some time out.

Imperial Palace Tokyo looking gloomy with a grey sky

On the first day after the shoot wrapped, 1) I woke up feeling a bit fragile after having too many celebratory cocktails at the top of the Intercontinental 2) Excited/nervous that I was now all on my todd! This was also the first day where I got over my jetlag.. it only took 5 days.. :/

Girl with pink hair taking selfie in Tokyo's imperial palace gardens

Peaceful traditional Japanese garden in Tokyo

I had a vague list of the various areas in Tokyo that I wanted to see, and the first on my list was around the Imperial Palace, as it was walking distance from the hotel. I set off and had the best day! It was about an hour walk to the Imperial Palace and I loved seeing the locals out about in the Palace Gardens on their Saturday morning – joggers, tourists, painters. The Imperial Palace Gardens themselves were beautiful and I really enjoyed the museum there which showed some of the Palace artefacts/art. The whole time I was thinking how lucky I was to be able to spend my Saturday here. After the gardens, I walked back to the hotel via Hibiya Park where I sat and watched hoards of people playing Pokemon, and several locals painting.

Fountain near the Imperial Palace gardens in Tokyo

For my big Saturday night out in Tokyo, I headed to Akihabara, the famous ‘electronics’ sector of Tokyo, known for its video gaming. I always think the best way to see a place is to walk, so I got my trainers back on and took on the hour walk from my hotel, seeing the North of the Palace Gardens and a new neighbourhood. I knew when I had hit Akihabara  – it is exactly what you imagine Tokyo to be. An onslaught to the senses – bright lights, tall buildings and people everywhere! The rest of my day had been very sedate and quiet so this was a colourful welcome into the Tokyo most people think of. I went straight into one of the Sega buildings which is basically 5 floors of arcade and video games. You could so easily spend all day here. I spent the evening playing Mario Cart, Super Mario Bros, Tetris and generally watching everyone else go about their Saturday night. It was so fun – I could have stayed on Super Mario Bros forever for the nostalgia but sadly I ran out of coins.

Pokemon Pikachu toys in arcade games in Tokyo

After working up an appetite I set off to find a vegan restaurant I had noted down in the area. After looking for around 30 minutes and not finding it, I decided I would have to face the unknown! I ended up finding what looked like a tourist-free place, but they had an english menu. A lot of the restaurants in Tokyo are tiny affairs – you sit around a small bar with around 10 seats and the food is served from there. It was one of those places that had originally looked a bit too intimidating, but I went for it! The lovely chef gave me the english menu, but little did I know you have to order from a vending machine – common practice over there. Gracefully he showed me what to do, speaking no english, then left me to it. After about 5 minutes of figuring out how to put the money in, I had successfully ordered something (I wasn’t quite sure if I had ordered what I wanted or if some sort of meat heavy dish was coming my way!). The evening before I had to navigate my first vending machine without any help, and had unwittingly managed to order a chicken dish and two large dishes of rice :/ Luckily, I had been successful this time and had the best aubergine tempura, cucumber and rice dish and sake I had ever tasted. The chef was super lovely and even tried to talk to me using Google Translate. I walked the hour back, hitting over 30k steps. I went to bed feeling super accomplished and grateful for my first day in Tokyo.

More to come! xx

What I loved this month: September

Well hello dear friends and welcome to autumn! It’s been a glorious indian summer and I’ve barely had to crack out a more seasonal wardrobe yet. This month theres quite a lot of entertainment I’ve been loving – with weddings slimming down I’m beginning to have more time for me! So here comes what I’ve loved this month….

  1. The Circle

I haven’t watched any ‘live’ television in forever (apart from Bake Off).. most of our TV preferences are box sets from Netflix. The concept of this show intrigued me and I’ve become hooked. Yes, its ultimately junk and is basically Big Brother for millennials, but its an entertaining watch!

American Horror Story Cult Review

2. American Horror Story: Cult 

I know there is an even newer series of AHS just out, but with me being behind thanks to Netflix I only watched Cult this month. It definitely wouldn’t be autumn without AHS! Its themed around what I keep referring to as a dystopia where Trump won the election.. but obviously he actually did ha! This takes he anger/mixed emotions from that election and made this series into a bit of a social commentary on politics, feminism and the state of America atm. Really interesting and a great direction for AHS to go in. I didn’t even finish the series before that because it was too gory, but this actually had a lot more thought around it. PS: just me that found Evan Peters with a blue top knot hot still?

3. The Indie Show with Jack Saunders

I feel like Radio 1 has been missing something since Zane Lowe left – I’ve rarely listened since he left, and been missing my fill of new indie. This month, R1 introduced the Indie Show with Jack Saunders and I have to say, its brilliant. Straight away my new music radar has got better and I’m feeling like my music collection has been refreshed. Each show has so many bangers, plus I’m loving the Thursday Night Indie Disco.. its basically a disco from my college/Uni days, which hands down was the best era for indie.

4. New Music 

The Indie Show has led me to some new fav music finds this month. To name but a few, I’m loving: Dream Wife, King Nun, Spring King and Ten Tonnes. Also big hello to supergroup Mini Mansions who are made up of QOTSA , Last Shadow Puppets and Arctic Monkeys members. What a roster. Fav new song of the month though goes to Yungblud:

It’s different, super playful and makes me immediately want to jump around.

5. Ending wedding season on a high

Zanna & Ben’s wedding was my last of 2018 and although it rained for the whole day it was a real high to end the season on. I loved hanging out with Zanna and her bridesmaids in the morning and capturing the rest of the day as they tied the knot. The whole thing was super relaxed and everyone was so friendly. I can’t tell you how gorgeous their venue and setup was .. absolutely stunning!!! The foliage, candles and chandeliers gave a grand but cosy feel to their day. More to come soon – I’m literally exporting their images as I write this!

Shot of a lake with a boat house behind in rainy Cotswolds

6. Harry Potter Studios

This feels so long ago as it was right at the start of the month, but as a belated birthday present my OH took us to the Harry Potter Studios! I wrote a full blog post on it here, but will quickly say that is absolutely great. I can’t believe the amount of set that was truly built rather than done with CGI, and the sheer number of props/detail was incredibly impressive. Any fellow Harry Potter fans, get yourself down there!

7. Short/Spontaneous trips 

After shooting Zanna & Ben’s wedding I decided I would stay in the Cotswolds for the night and do a little road trip around them the next day. I woke up to a disgusting day with heavy rain and nearly drove home.. but so glad I didn’t! The weather did (eventually) clear and the villages of the Cotswolds were so picturesque and perfect it was just a great way to spend a Sunday. I’ll write a full blog on it soon!

The next day, I was up at 4.30am to fly to Vienna to direct a video and photography shoot there. It was an intense few days but fun all the same! We were staying at the Grand Hotel Wien, which looked like it was straight out of a Wes Anderson movie! Unbelievably, I got upgraded to an executive suite so I had a VERY jammy night in the biggest bed I’ve ever slept in.

A huge plush pink bed in Vienna hotel

Reading list this month:

  1. You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero 3.5/5 – The fact that I’ve forgotten most of the main points of this book kind of says a lot I guess, but it was a motivational read! It definitely helped me make a leap I’ve been putting off for a while, so was good for that. (You’ll hear about the leap soon) 😉
  2. Get Your Shit Together – Sarah Knight 2/5 – Sarah’s books have been catching my interest for a while and this one was on offer for Kindle so I delved in. I was kind of hoping for more time management tips but really this book offered nothing new to what I’ve read before.
  3. Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig 4/5 – Written about Matt’s experience of depression, this is an insightful read and reminds you to be grateful for even the smallest things in life.
  4. Buddhism for Beginners – Gabriel Shaw 2/5 – I’m an atheist but recently have been drawn to the principles of Buddhism as it seems like more of a way to live, rather than focused on the worship of a deity. I’m only giving it 2/5 as this book was not very well written, but the concepts were interesting and it definitely made me want to look into Buddhism more!

Let me know what you’ve been reading/generally loving this month. Have a good October all! If you are getting married, I am currently offering 10% off all 2019 weddings if booked before 31st Oct. Drop me a message now to save your date.

Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: Why you should have sunset portraits on your wedding day

Country Tipis wedding photography

Here, I’m going to make the case for fitting in sunset portraits on your wedding day! You may have heard photographers excitedly talking about golden hour and wondering when exactly this mystical being is. It’s that time just before sunset when the sky has turned that gorgeous fading orange and the light is magically soft.

Why do photographers love golden hour so much?

As wedding photographers, or any type of photographer in fact, we know that light is the key ingredient to any photo. The light as the sun is falling is beautifully diffused and soft – completely different to the light in the middle of the day, which can be harsh and create huge shadows. As well as this, sunset perfectly lends itself to stunningly romantic images, especially when you shoot in my kind of style – soft and dreamy.

Bohemian bride at sunset wearing floral crown

How do I achieve them at my wedding?

With weddings in good old England, common timings will be that the ceremony will be around lunchtime, and portraits will happen immediately after. Really, this is at the worst time of the day as the sun is strong and harsh (this is the point in the day when your wedding photographer is keeping their fingers crossed for cloud cover).

Depending on when in the year your wedding is, sunset normally falls between the speeches and the first dance, or if you are in high summer, after first dance. If it falls between speeches and first dance this is the perfect opportunity to get some sunset portraits done! It’s the point in the day when everyone is normally well into the swing of the party and you have the chance to sneak off. We also aren’t talking about being gone for an hour – 15 minutes should be enough if you choose the right time. You have a slot of about an hour before sunset, to around 20 minutes after it. If you are considering sunset portraits just talk to your wedding photographer and plan ahead

And here is proof of why you should DEFINITELY DO THEM 😉

Outdoor Tipi wedding with celebrant

AD2

If you are someone who equally loves sunsets and are getting married, get in touch! Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: Suzannah & Ben’s Shad Thames Engagement Shoot

Summery couple kissing in cobbled sunlit street

This weekend, Suzannah and Ben are getting married at the stunning Lost Orangery in Chippenham. I honestly can’t wait for it –  it should be a brilliant, relaxed day. Back in May, I met them for their engagement shoot in the lovely Shad Thames/ Bermondsey. It was the start of the London heatwave and we had a relaxed stroll around the local area, using the interesting back streets and river side buildings of Butler’s Wharf. I love couples who choose a location close to their heart – this was Suzannah & Ben’s old neighbourhood, before they moved to Singapore.

My style is usually inspired by nature, featuring lots of foliage and trees, so this was something a bit different for me. Saying that, I have really loved mixing it up this year with more urban engagement shoots around London. This was a great part of town for a pre wedding shoot – plenty of quirky backdrops, as well as awesome views of Tower Bridge!

Engaged couple stood in fronton Butler's Wharf in summer

Shad Thames engagement shoot

During my initial consultation meetings with my couples, pretty much everyone asks why an engagement shoot is important. Most hate the camera and don’t really want to be in front of it more than necessary! This is exactly the reason I think they are a must. We get to know each other, you get comfortable around the camera, and I can figure out how to get the best from you ahead of your big day. I’ve written a whole blog post on this, and offer engagement shoots with all my packages.

Couple cuddling and blondeShad Thames engagement shoot

Well dressed couple

Couple walking down Butler's Wharf with Tower Bridge behind

I absolutely love Ben and Suzannah’s engagement story – on a road trip in Australia, Ben popped the question under the stars while the pair were camping.  They then spent the next day swimming with humpback whales.. any story which features swimming with, or even just seeing whales is a total winner in my eyes!

Shad Thames engagement shoot

Bermondsey pre wedding shoot

To book your 2019 wedding or an engagement shoot, drop me a message – I would love to hear from you! Keep an eye on my Instagram for previews of Suzannah & Ben’s wedding this weekend.

Caroline xx

London Life: Exploring the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios

As part of my extended birthday celebrations, my other half got tickets for us to explore the Harry Potter Studios. I’d never been and I’ve personally always loved the books more than the films. I guess it’s because I grew up reading them – pretty much every birthday from around aged 8 to my teenage years, I got the newest book as it came out, and devoured it.

Monster Books at the Warner Bros Studios

For this reason I had never seen the films, but my other half got me the box set for Christmas (definitely a theme running through my gifts and I guess it was because of my moaning that I wanted to go to to the studios).

I crammed in the last 4 films of the series last week so I was all set before we went to the studios. I loved these later ones, way more dramatic and the acting was improved! They also made me pretty sad that Alan Rickman has left us – his portrayal of Snape was one of the best parts of the series.

We arrived at the studios a little early so excitedly went to check out the gift store, both saying that we wouldn’t spend much money (more on that later!). After gazing lovingly at all the memorabilia we headed into the tour. I won’t give much away about the entrance, but walking into the Great Hall was pretty exciting! It was a shame we got rushed through a bit quickly, I guess because of the next tour coming in, but it was great to see a set that has become so iconic in film.

After the Great Hall you can walk around the various other internal sets and props from the films. My favourites were the Gryffindor common room and Dumbledore’s office. They really made me feel like I was actually in one of the films.

Dumbledore's office set bathed in blue light with model of Dumbledore

You wouldn’t believe the amount of detail that had gone into creating this magical world. I was amazed at the sheer amount of props – a lot of them even designed to move in a magical way.

Gryffindor common room set with rustic armchairs and red wallpaper

The Weasley's Burrow from Harry Potter the movies

We got to explore the Forbidden Forest, Privet Drive, Diagon Alley and try Butterbeer (which actually is not that nice, but it had to be tried). The studios even had a full size fake Kings’ Cross, complete with a Hogwarts Express train!

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Bohemian girl posing next to the Privet Drive sign at

Of course, the crowning glory was the model of Hogwarts itself, which took up a huge room all to itself!

Hogwarts model at Warners Bros Studios

We ended up coming home with a few goodies from the gift shops – notepads for both of us (sucker for good stationery), and Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. We played as soon as we got home and I can confirm its a worthy buy for any HP fan!

On a side, I took my Fuji XT2 with me for this day trip and was a bit disappointed by the low light performance. Most of the photos you’ll see here were actually taken on my phone! However, I did love it on my day trip to Whitstable – check out the blog here.

In other news, I have one more wedding to shoot and then my 2018 season is over! The summer has flown. If you’re getting married in 2019, drop me a message before your date gets booked up! x

 

 

 

Hampshire Wedding Photographer: Suzi + Jonny’s Wedding at the Master Builder’s

My 2018 wedding season opened with Suzi & Jonny’s gorgeous New Forest wedding. Their venue wasThe Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard, right by the Beaulieu River. I couldn’t wait for this wedding – having grown up in Hampshire, I love the New Forest! Suzi & Jonny were also both so relaxed and lovely on our engagement shoot I knew we would have a great day. The Master Builder’s itself is stunning, with a gorgeous ceremony area with large windows, overlooking the river and stunning grounds which go right down to the marina. One of my favourite areas was the gorgeous hallway, lined with ship memorabilia and grand wooden stairs.

The day was super rainy, but I was so thankful that we had a few clearings in the clouds. We still managed to get outside and make the most of the beautiful surroundings, if very quickly!  Sods law.. I went down there the next day with my family for a pub lunch, and the sun was glorious all day.

Congratulations again to Suzi & Jonny!

Dress – Sass and Grace

Venue – The Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard

Flower Girl dress hanging from mahogany four poster bed headboard

Bridesmaid in silk robe taking a selfie with her Mother

Bridesmaid painting her toe nails in pink silk robe

Group shot of a cheering bridal party sat on a four poster bed holding prosecco

Mother of the Bride in blue walking down the aisle with a cute flower girl

Bride laughing during her wedding ceremony

First kiss at wedding with family clapping around the couple

Mother in Law embracing her new daughter in law at her wedding

bridesmaids holding bouquets in air during group shotsGroomsmen posing for group shot at Master Builder'sFull wedding party cheering at camera on a lawn

Bride and groom kissing next to a marina at Bucklers Hard

Bride and groom smiling in front of Master Builder's venue

Portrait of a couple kissing on their wedding day on some grand wooden steps

Bride cuddling her family at wedding

Bride and groom laughing at Best Man's speechBest Men laughing while doing their joint speech

Master Builder's wedding in the New Forest

Just Married sign hanging from an iron walkwayMaster Builder's dog friendly wedding venue

Cutting the cake at Master Builder's wedding venue

First kiss backlit

The Master Builder's wedding venue in New Forest

Relaxed wedding photography in HampshireGroomsman and bride rapping at wedding reception

It was lovely to shoot a wedding back home, particularly with such a friendly and warm couple. The whole day was super chilled out and by the end I felt like one of the family. If you’re getting married in Hampshire, drop me a message! I would love to shoot your wedding 🙂

Check back soon for a new blog – next up is my birthday trip to the Harry potter studios! Caroline x

What I loved this month: August 2018

30th garden party with yellow and pink tropical theme

There was a lot to be loved this month! On the wedding front, I deliberately kept this month free so I could take a little break to catch up on wedditing and take some time off for my 30th birthday. It was a pretty good idea, and I’m now feeling pretty fresh and raring to go! So heres my monthly roundup:

  1. Cookbook Meal Prepping

I’m huge on my fitness and normally always have my meals planned out in advance, because I’m a big nerd like that. It also really helps when you’re vegan – although in London its super easy, sometimes its still difficult to find vegan options when out and about. I find it super relaxing to cook so have enjoyed planning out meals on a Sunday with my ‘River Cottage: More Veg’ cookbook then having everything ready to go for the rest of the week. I’ve tried a ton of new dishes and looking forward to doing more of the same next weekend 🙂 What are your fav cookbooks?

2. Zero Waste Products

Over the past few months, I’ve been gradually switching more and more towards zero waste. I started with a Chilly’s bottle and that changed my life so after that have continued. My biggest change has been in my bathroom. I used to hate having to throw away make up wipes everyday, and then empty shampoo and shower gel bottles. I bought reuse-able face wipes from Cheeky Wipes and they are so good – it feels great not to be filling up my bin everyday! I’ve also ditched the bottles and got myself a Lush Shampoo bar and some gorgeous lavender soap from The Little Soap Company . Both smell amazing and I think the shampoo bar will last for ages! Thank you to my lovely friends I also got some reuse-able birthday goodies – an extra large Chillys bottle for cycling with, and a portable set of stainless steel cutlery!

3. Tropical Themed Birthday Party

With the big 3-0 this month, I wanted to really push the boat and make it memorable. I always think you should celebrate a birthday – any excuse to change from the day to day, and gather all your friends in one place. Me and my twin set about planning our tropical themed birthday party, and I got so into it! Huge thank you to Jason for helping us and making the Twinny’s Tiki Bar. We also ordered a cake from Sonia’s Cakes in Southampton – it was unbelievably good! She had included all of our favourite things and kept in the tropical theme. Because I decided to have a birthday fortnight, I also had a great night clubbing at Underworld in Camden – I love reliving my 00s teenage years!

4. Alexia Clarke workouts

Having done LDN Muscle’s Bikini Guide a few times in a row, I figured it was time for a change as I had lost my funk in the gym slightly. A friend recommended me Alexia Clarke, who promises you will never do the same workout again on her plan. Her plan is a subscription based model, where you get 5 new workouts a week. I’ve been doing it for around a month now and I love it – every workout uses different equipment, mixes up regular exercises in a new way etc. I’ve definitely got my gym motivation back. Go check her out if you love weightlifting and fancy a challenge!

6. Shooting a top secret styled shoot

This month I shot my first styled wedding shoot since my destination one way back in March. The theme, by Kayleigh K Mua is incredible, and it all came together so well. I’m super proud and can’t wait for you to see the images once they are all edited and out in the world! Watch this space, but this is definitely not one you want to miss.

7. New vinyl

My beautiful friends got me some amazing vinyl goodies for my birthday, including Toto – IV and some Rough Trade vouchers which I immediately went out and spent. I treated myself to two Editors albums – a band that has been one of my favourites since their inception so many years ago now. I also bought myself Frank Turner’s ‘Be More Kind’.. before realising I already had. I clearly forgot how much I love Frank! I ended up swapping it for Haim – Days Are Gone, which is just as fab a listen 🙂 I have a little bit of credit left on the voucher, so comment below on what you think I should add to my collection next.

Wahoo, August was great, and I’m hoping September will just be great. It’s kicking off with a trip to the Harry Potter Studios, thanks to my other half who booked it as a birthday surprise 🙂 Going to totally get my nerd on … and drink butter beer for the first time! 🙂

Caroline x

London Life: Exploring Notting Hill & Kensington

Firstly, I must apologise for my very sparse blogging! This wedding season has been so full on, and trying to juggle it with a day job means blogging/social media uptake took a real hit! I can’t believe it took me so long to write this.. but here you go!

One of my new years resolutions was to explore London more, as its so easy to be lazy at the weekend, or just hang out around my local area. Back in May, on my last free weekend before wedding season madness started, I spent a beautiful sunny Sunday exploring Notting Hill & Kensington.

A purple house covered in ivy and greenery

I followed A Lady in London’s walking guide to Notting Hill which I can definitely recommend doing. It took around an hour and a half (with plenty of stops to take photos), and took me through Portabello Market, around pretty hidden Mews, and up into the residential streets of Ladbroke Grove.

As I did it on a Sunday, Portabello Market was lovely and quiet – for once I wasn’t desperate to leave the crowds behind. Blossom was still out and the colours of the buildings were so vibrant. I also came across so many gorgeous classic cars.. which seemed like they had been parked to co-ordinate with their surrounding buildings!

A classic car parked in front of a pastel house in Notting Hill

A worn white wall covered in ivy with a pastel blue door

Red front door with red rose blossom around it

After finishing the tour, I decided I would continue on to Holland Park, some where I have never been in my 10+ years of living in London! Around 15 minutes walk away, when I arrived I was surprised at how rural it felt, despite being right in the middle of time. I loved the Kyoto Garden, and can imagine on a week day it is lovely and peaceful (it was full of tourists so I didn’t stay long). Walking down through the Orangery, the flowers were in full bloom, with wisteria still hanging over the walkway.

Sunbathers lying on the lawn outside Holland Park cafe

From here, you can continue directly south to Kensington High Street, where I picked up a quick lunch and took it to Hyde Park to sunbathe. Wanting to enjoy the sun as much as possible, I walked through Kensington Gardens and up towards the Lido/Serpentine. One of these days I am going to have to try the lido – it looked like the perfect day for it as there was a pretty hefty queue! I eventually reached the other side of the park and made my way through Mayfair to get the tube home from Bond Street. I had walked for around 4 hours, covering 10km, and it was an absolutely gorgeous way to spend a Sunday. You get to see so much of London by walking, and I discovered parts of west London I have never seen before 🙂 This was also another outing for my new Fuji XT2 – its growing on me every time I take it out 🙂 The very shallow images were taken on my Canon 50mm and an adaptor.

What neighbourhoods should I explore next? Follow my board on Pinterest for ways to spend your weekend in London.

Caroline x

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