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

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

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