When we were first introduced to Zou and Lisa it felt as though we were fated not meet each other; every time we arranged to get together on Zoom or in person, one or all of us contracted the dreaded Covid! Despite this, we persevered and eventually I managed to sit down with the two of them to hear about their plans for their day; their ideas for the colour scheme, their plans for their ceremony and the personal spins they were putting on key parts of the day. When Nathan and I sat down and researched their venue - The Parlour at Blagdon - we immediately understood why the couple were so taken with it; the natural, paired back beams and stonework, the elegant decor, the intimate layout where everyone could enjoy the day in once place from preparation right through to sitting around the firepit after dark. Dreamy.
Lisa had initially expressed concern that early preparations would be started at a nearby hotel before the bridal party would be moved across to the Parlour, but we are always happy to travel between venues. We had personalised a package for Zou and Lisa to allow them to have dual coverage of all the preparations and key events of the day and and then one photographer to capture the afternoon and evening as their wedding party was fairly small. In fact, it was discussing this initially with Lisa and Zou which inspired us to introduce our Heather Package (1 and a half photographers for the day) and make it a long-term option as part of our service! The benefit of this package is that you can have both parties preparations captured as well as multiple perspectives on your ceremony without feeling "overwatched" during the more relaxed part of your day after the speeches!
The Parlour at Blagdon provides a wonderful preparation space in the form of a Georgian style house which has been decorated to a high standard in calm and elegant colours - ideal for a peaceful morning of preparations! We were also blessed with some beautiful morning sunlight pouring in through it's huge windows as the girls got ready which really caught the sparkle in Lisa's accessories.
Downstairs, Nathan was helping Zou & Lisa's sons and Dad get ready. We're really not the sort of photographer's to just stand around between photos - Nathan found himself dispensing of wasps, helping to locate straws for champagne and calming words of reassurance (I'm not sure how affective this really was!) - all part of a morning's work for a wedding photographer!
One of the most common questions we get asked is "what is your favourite part of a wedding day" - and honestly, we have a different favourite part of every wedding. With that said - one of the most emotional parts of every wedding has got to be "the reveal"; whether you're revealing your final look to your Dad, Mum, brother, sister, friends or husband/wife to be - there's something about this moment which gets (me, especially), every time. Lisa's big reveal was a particularly emotional one - luckily I managed to hold back the tears for long enough to capture the moment, but I do have to confess to shedding a tear or two with everyone once I'd documented it for them.
Before every wedding, we send out an electronic form to couples so that they can update all of their personal details as well as their preferences for their day. Included in this form is a big space for them to leave any requests which they may have thought of since we last spoke. We tend to be in touch with couples as regularly as they'd like us to be - but you never know what might pop into your head at the last minute! In Lisa's case, we had a phone call a couple of days before the wedding and she had made some special requests for what she was hoping for from us during the ceremony which she also put into the form for us. Some requests included photos of her guests during the ceremony, different perspectives of the first kiss and different perspectives of her sons doing their readings. These are things that we work hard to photograph anyway, but it's important that things that are of extra importance to you are mentioned, just in case.
In the UK - there's no such thing as a guaranteed good weather day - but our couples all have an uncanny knack for picking the best days of the year! Despite it being September and the preceding week being worryingly wet, the sun shone on on their day & by the time we gathered for the group photos it was glorious! The Parlour offers a lawn overlooked by their bridal suite for group photos as well as a ready-made "confetti-walk" which we made the most of - getting two perspectives of each moment for the girls to look back on.
Zou and Lisa elected to move their private photoshoot to later in the day because by the time they'd finished their group photos - they needed refreshments! We couldn't blame them - and we always go into weddings with the expectation that plans change. After so much hard work and planning, the day itself has to be about the happy couple having time to breathe; have fun; relax; talk to their loved ones - to just 'be'! While we pride ourselves on our organisation and being sticklers for a timeline when we're given one, we're also adaptable and able to capture a moment whenever it presents itself so that peoples' days can develop organically. Lisa and Zou's private photoshoot ended up being a calm & gentle half hour together bathed in the muted light of early evening, which cast an extra touch of magic across their already beautiful locations!
It was hard to choose which part of this special evening to share with you all; if we could have, we'd probably have shared this whole day with you! From the touching speeches, to the self-choreographed dances (with sons included!), to the conversations around the firepit, Nathan was spoilt for choice when it came to capturing the evening's highlights. Lisa has asked us to showcase their casino night entertainment in particular as well as some photos of the smores & the fire pit. The weather didn't hold off until the very end of the day - but we feel that Zou looks fetching with her umbrella suppling smores to the troops!
Zou & Lisa, as well as their family, were so very warm and welcoming to us on our arrival and we can only hope that we gave back something of the same to them. We had a wonderful day shooting with them and wish them a long & joyful future together!