love in leicestershire | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Photography credit – Lizzie Haines

I have said it before, but I love engagement shoots. There is something very naked and raw about them. The couple aren’t dressed in their fluffy wedding outfits, they haven’t been pampered and primped and it usually is the first time in front of a camera, the nervous giggles, the little looks of love are what I enjoy seeing in an engagement shoot. The odd animal (dead or alive) also helps. I also think it is nice to know a bit about the couple. Mainly because we are all nosey.

 

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Ben and I met when I was 16 and he was 14 at Air Cadets.  He fancied me then but didn’t stand a chance with me, age gaps of 2 years seeming massive when you’re that young.  Life went on and I was studying at Leeds Uni.  I had just signed up to Facebook.  Facebook has a lot to answer for! I’d added him as a friend and was being nosey looking at his profile (as you do), and thought he was someone I really should be friends with still.  I messaged him to let him know I was back home for the weekend, asking if he would like to catch up.  Though it probably sounds it, there really wasn’t much in it other than wanting to reconnect.  We arranged to catch up on the Saturday 4th May and go to Bradgate Park in Leicestershire for a wander and a chat.  We ended up having such a good time that we spent the rest of the day together,  going for food and out to the cinema.  After that weekend it was pretty obvious there was more to it.  Ben starting coming up to Leeds regularly and we would always meet up when I was home.  So although it wasn’t really meant to be a date, it became our ‘anniversary’.

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We had been together just over 3 years when we went on holiday to Bude.  At the end of our first week down there, Ben picked the perfect moment to propose.  We went walking along the cliffs away from Crocklets and found a path that took us back down on to the beach.  The tide was out and we were completely alone.  I was just messing around on the rocks and got a little over excited by an island of sand.  I was on ‘my island’ making arrows pointing to my draw bridge and moat, when I turned around to find Ben on one knee.  It was all a bit of a blur after that!

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Once we’d told the important people in our lives that we were getting married, we started to plan.  We decided to wait a couple of years, but thought we’d look at a few venues to get an idea of what we wanted.  Both being quite nature loving, enjoying the trees and wildlife we wanted somewhere outside.  When I found Scraptoft Hill Farm, owned by the lovely Nelson and Rose, we hadn’t looked anywhere else.  We were shown around the place by Will their son. And we fell in love with it. Instantly.  We didn’t look at any other venues after that.  We’ve been back 3 times since, everytime being welcomed by Nelson and Rose, and looking around again.  Watching the seasons change there has been fantastic.  We are having a woodland ceremony there followed by a reception in the meadow on 22nd June 2013.

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I saw an advert for Lizzie’s blog in a local magazine.  We had a look at it and were taken with how open and honest it all was.  All her work is there for you to see.  I think what we liked most was that she didn’t just photograph people, but their surroundings too.  Which is exactly what we need for such a beautiful venue.  Until we looked at her blog we hadn’t really considered an engagement shoot.  The photography is so important to us (no pressure Lizzie!) that we knew we had to get on well with our wedding photographer.  So the engagement shoot was an ideal opportunity to get to know her, and vice versa.  I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it.  Bradgate Park, where we had the shoot done, was special to us both, not least because it was the setting of our unofficial first date, but it also holds many happy childhood memories.  Lizzie was so easy to get on with. She’s dead excited about our plans, we had a good laugh and we felt comfortable straight away.  I wouldn’t be able to pick a favourite photo though, because I have too many favourites.  It might seem slightly indulgent having an engagement shoot, but we enjoyed spending that quality time together.  Not only that, it is a liscense to be all cuddly, cute and soppy with the one you love!

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Only 10 months, 11 days, 14 hours, 30 minutes and 22, 21, 20 seconds to go (at time of writing) I have an app!

Photography by Lizzie Haines

If you have a shoot or wedding to submit please do! phoebe@millerweddings.co.uk. It doesn’t have to include animals. Ok. Maybe some deer. Or at least a dog?