On The Day That Should Have Been

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I wished for snow on my wedding day, the following Saturday it snowed, and snowed and snowed some more, and I was so grateful that I had none. A bride can try and control as much as she pleases for her wedding day, but the weather most definitely is not one. Halkina and Richard’s day was meant to be captured on the 4
th of December by a talented new photographer Lee Mitchell. Due to the snow th

ey had to postpone it, thankfully they were able to rearrange everything for the following week (bloody lucky!!) and had Lee photograph some of the scenery on the ‘day th

at should have been’ along with the actual wedding. The photos were taken in Roundhay Park, and at St Edmunds Church, Roundhay.

Name: Lee Mitchell

Twitter: @lmxcreative

Well I’ve only been in the wedding industry for a few months and I’m originally from a very different background. After leaving school I started a career in surveying, and after becoming qualified I started working on a surveying job for a major client of the company I worked for. This lead to a surprising change of career to IT. It was completely unexpected, but I went with it and was developing applications for use by surveying and other construction industry teams across the country for over ten years, eventually running the software development team.


I first got into photography when my daughter was born. As so many parents do, Iwanted to record every stage of her life as she grew, not only to remember for myself, but also to show her as she gets older, and remind her of the things she used to do. I started the same way most people do, with a little point and shoot camera that I could take reasonable photos with, but after a few months I started to want better photos, photos that had that bit extra, and so I bought a decent camera and started to learn new techniques. Before long, the hobby was getting far more serious, with established photographers being sufficiently impressed with my work for me to consider making a living from it.


Since then I’ve made a few major changes in my life, and setting up my own photography business has been one of the more frightening ones. Thankfully, working with the kind of people I’ve come across so far, has made the move a very pleasant experience, and hopefully it has been even more pleasant for them!

My personal approach, is to deliver a reportage style, mixed with a few more traditional posed shots, because it gives a more natural and relaxed look to the photographs, and leaves you to just get on with enjoying yourselves, while also getting the posed shots that so many parents like. But one of the most important things for any photographer to do, is to make sure that they help everybody enjoy the day, rather than making them nervous. Havinga good sense of humour goes a long way to getting people to relax, so I try to make sure we all have fun, even doing the posed shots.


Advice for nervous brides about having their photo taken all day?

Just have fun! It’s your day, and all the photographer is there to do, is to get a record of you enjoying yourselves on your special day. I hear far too many brides saying that they were worrying so much about everything going smoothly, that they didn’t get a chance to enjoy it all, so just let things happen, it’ll all be fine and you’ll hardly notice the photographer’s there at all.

It helps if you can get to know the photographer before your big day, which is why I include an engagement/pre-wedding shoot for all my couples. It just makes it that bit easier for you to get used to having your photograph taken, and the way that the photographer works. Then when you do get to the wedding, you know exactly what to expect and it isn’t a complete stranger behind that huge camera.


A Quick Q&A

Favourite Colour: Burgundy

Favourite Film: The Godfather

Favourite Song: I like pretty much all music, everything from Mozart to Swedish House Mafia (this is starting to sound like I have a mafia obsession!), but I think my favourite is probably Back in the USSR by The Beatles. It just reminds me of being in the car, going on holiday with my parents when I was about 5 or 6.

Favourite Month: June, my daughter’s birthday and we always have a great time!

Favourite Drink: Irn Bru, because it’s made in Scotland from girders, and I love Scotland! 😉

Favourite Food: Pretty much anything spicy, my wife’s convinced that I don’t have any taste buds.

Favourite Word: Fantastic! Both my favourite and least favourite word right now. You know that feeling you get when you hear yourself speaking, you say something, then immediately think “I’m using that word FAR too often”? That’s how I’ve been for the past couple of weeks!

Across The Pond…Rudy And Marta

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

We are travelling stateside this afternoon to Orlando, Florida (think of all the sun, sand and sea…sigh). I have the pleasure in introducing photography couple Rudy and Marta. Below are some images from an engagement shoot of Kaelani and Rusty. Behind the lens, they have a fantasic love story, so lather on some suncream and pretend…!

Name: Rudy and Marta
Twitter: @rudyandmarta

Rudy and Marta first met while working at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL while they were both in school. Rudy knew that Marta was an international student from Poland, but a friendship blossomed into more. Once the summer was over, and school was beginning again, Marta had to leave to Poland and continue her studies. While she was away, they kept in contact through long distance calls and emails. Over the course of the year, they began to know each other more and more. Once Marta had finished school, she came to Orlando, FL for one last summer. At the end of that summer, it was time to say good bye. It was a shame to have such a great relationship and not see it follow through, so Rudy proposed. Quickly, thereafter, they were married. And that, as they say, is that.

After the wedding, Rudy asked Marta what she wants to do with her life. Surely, she couldn’t work at SeaWorld all her life. She told him that she wanted to be a photographer. He knew nothing about photographers, other than the ones that work with National Geographic and the newspapers. Little did he know she wanted to begin her own company.

After being married a year or so, Marta’s mother began missing her and invited both of them to Poland for a getaway in December. They both went without even thinking twice. Once there, Rudy’s brother-in-law, Maciej, let him use his Nikon DSLR to document everything. Rudy had never held a camera like that before in his life. He’d never taken so many pictures on vacation before. He’d never felt so…in love (aside from being in love with Marta, of course). He began to take more and more pictures and show his in-laws. Soon, they said that he was a very good photographer. Rudy very humbly said it was the camera and that anyone could do what he did with it.
Once they returned to the United States, Rudy went to Best Buy and bought his first DSLR. With little knowledge Marta and Rudy began taking pictures of anything and everything. After awhile, Marta began to tell Rudy what it was that made everything work in a camera. Rudy wanted to know more. He began to spend hours at a time in front of the computer. He learned about composition and exposure, and how to do them correctly.

Out of school, Rudy didn’t know what to do with his life. People were telling him that he and Marta were taking great pictures, so he decided to look into being a photographer. They both saw the joy they could capture together. The little snippets of time that were strung together to tell a story. They saw the joy that it brought other people. People began approaching them to have their pictures taken. Little by little, their portfolio grew. It wasn’t until about 8 months after taking portraits that they decided that this is what they wanted to do together.

Business background: How long you have been taking photos, been part of the wedding industry and what you offer as a business package?

We’ve been taking portraits for about a year. We’ve recently begun going towards the wedding industry. Our first wedding is on July 2, 2011. As a business, we believe that we can mix and match any of our a’la carte products to give exactly what the bride wants out of our services.

We try to go more towards the photojournalistic approach on things. We don’t go for posed pictures or matching outfits. We like individuality. If you want to wear Converse sneakers to your wedding, more power to you, we’ll be there to capture it.
Favourite place you have had the opportunity to photograph?

Poland, by far. There’s so much serenity there. There’s a lot of potential there for portraits. Anything from industrial, to religious, to nature. Very versatile scenic.
Advice for nervous brides about having their photo taken all day?

Trust your photographer(s). Go live your life. We’ll tell your story for the years to come.
Anything else you would like to add?

We do this for love. Because we love love. We love happiness. We love people.


A quick Q & A
Favourite Colour:
Blue Rudy: Blue
Favourite Film:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Rudy: Wedding Crashers (No pun intended)
Favourite Song:
Robbie Williams…well at least anything written by him. Rudy: I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen
Favourite Month:
November Rudy: November
Favourite Drink:
Marta: Margarita Rudy: Dewars on the rocks
Favourite Food:
Marta: Anything Momma cooks Rudy: Anything Marta cooks
Favourite Word:
Rudy: feng shui
Favourite Perfume:
Contradiction by Calvin Klein Rudy: Aqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani
Favourite Book: Marta and Rudy: Harry Potter 🙂
Favourite Quote from a Film:
“You had me at hello.” -Jerry McGuire
Rudy: “It doesn’t matter if the guy is perfect or if the girl is perfect, as long as they’re perfect for each other.” -Good Will Hunting


Supplier Spotlight…HF Couture

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I think every wedding dress needs a little something extra, whether its a set of pearls or a diamond necklace, accessories can take it to the next level, and the following collections from HF Couture certainly do that. Fabulous cuffs, necklaces, headpieces and so much more from a very talented Yorkshire designer.

Name: Jane Hardman-Ferris
Twitter: @HFCouture
Website: http://www.hfcouture.co.uk/

Biography: Where to start? Hmmm ‘A life well lived’…thus far…. Born in London, brought up in Fulham and surrounded by Bohemian types..well it was
the late 60s/70s – lots of hippies, thesps, Buddhist monks and the odd R1 DJ like Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman who was a lodger at my friend Fionas Mums house. Life was very conventional on one hand yet quite mad bonkers on another like dinner being delivered by the waiters from Bentleys Oyster Bar (in a taxi) because Mum was out with Aunty Grace (Lady Grace Bentley wife of Derek Bentley the owner) My Nanna and Aunty Grace had wonderful jewellery which is I believe where my love of all things bling started…

Life changed somewhat on our move to Leeds in 1974. We were aliens from another planet up here back then. However the arts were encouraged by my family everything from Ballet to Art Galleries and stately homes were our weekend diets – other kids played out with their mates. Read a very ‘normal’ subject at degree level though as I wanted a very ‘proper’ job…so off I toddled and studied Social Policy (yawn) then ended up working in Admissions for Leeds Met University – made some wonderful friends sadly had to work for some people who would make Peppa Pig look intellectual.

I refused to pay ridiculous money for headdresses when I was getting hitched so I made my own and it dawned I was fairly good. Realised after a major life changing episode* and having married a wonderful man that life most definitely had more to offer so enrolled on a Millinery course and ran away from exceedingly well paid job to relative pauperism 4 years ago. Now? I adore my job we can eat and well and I have created pieces for television and celebrities and hoping to utilise my historical knowledge to break into period pieces for theatre, film and television very soon.

: Everywhere from the UK to the USA to Japan and France and Italy for the
silk I use.

My Favourite Piece:
At the moment it’s the Haskell inspired collection which I have started
with a headdress, cuff and necklace and the Clementine necklace again inspired by Miriam Haskell and named after Clemmie Churchill wife of Sir Winston. My mother worked for Harvey Nicks in London and was the member of staff who looked after her when she shopped at the store.

I love and have always loved the fashions from the 20th Century
everything from the Art Nouveau movement through to Erte and the designs for Diaghlievs Ballets Russe through the Art Deco Period and Chanel to Diors New Look and the House of Worth, Hardy Amies to Belville Sassoon, to Vivienne Westwood to Galliano. My favourite bridal designers are Elizabeth Emanuel and Terry Fox. I can find inspiration anywhere though in a leaf to a piece of sculpture…

A Quick Q & A

Colour: Purple – sinful but restful and possibly very naughty….

Film: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Historically bunkum but the costumes are wow

Song: Hazel O Connor ‘Stay Now’

Month: June and I can run away to Scotland!

Drink: Rioja or a really good Cava

Food: Oysters as they are no faffing around with them!

Word: Mellifluous someone I once adored said I had a mellifluous voice….sigh

Perfume: Penhaligons Cornubia

Book: The Golden Age of Couture and another book simply called ‘Tiaras’ all designers porn!

All of Jane’s beautiful pieces can be found on www.hfcouture.co.uk, a wonderful lady and fantastically talented.

(I dont know why this post wont align properly? Any help welcome!)

A Whimsical Woodland Wedding

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
With the advent of spring just around the corner, I am turning my attention to a spring wedding. With mossy, spring greens and rich woodland browns, little animals, sparkling glass and twinkling lights, its all very ‘a midsummer nights dream’

From the invites and favours to the food and decor, bring out your inner fairy with floaty peach, pinks and lavender coloured fabrics. Sumptuously splendid and one up on the English tea party theme. So do you fancy being Oberon and Titania?

A Very Royal Blue Christmas List

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I know I have featured blue and peacocks before (here and here) but its a specific shade of blue, so completely different and totally relevant.

After tracking down Kate Middleton’s beautiful blue engagement announcement dress I remember how much I adore the colour! I was initially going to have my bridesmaids in a deep, warm blue but they turned it down at our first wedding meeting.

Pictured is THE dress, designed by Issa. It has been out of stock on net a porter since the announcement. So, I thought perhaps Father Christmas could buy me something else? And not the Tesco “Kate” dress nor the replica ring (here and here)…why oh why?! This colour would look wonderful on bridesmaids, with the bride carrying this peacock feather bouquet. Non?

Coming up on my blog, I feature three beautiful brides to be. And as I set out into the wedding business world, I look at some of Yorkshire’s finest wedding suppliers.

PS – I know it isn’t blue, but I also want one for christmas. Forgive me.

Dress, earrings – www.netaporter.com
Rings – www.tiffany.com
Handbag – www.harrods.com

The Finale

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Well. This is it. I couldn’t believe that it went so quickly. I tried to take a few minutes every once in a while to just realise what was going on. Whether it was at the church, in the car, sat at top table or drinking mulled wine I was grateful for every second.

It was the best day of my life. I married the man that dreams are made of (well mine anyway) and I got to spend it with friends and family. It was perfect and I could not have asked for anything more. You can do all the planning in the world, but its the people that make you day extraordinary not the fact you have a candy buffet or a magician. Think about this when planning.

I want to share with you a link to a video that one of Michaels friends did. It was taken on his iphone4 as a little gift to us. You can watch it HERE. Its quite lengthy. You can skip to the 23min mark to watch my first dance.

Im sad its all over, but I still have little things to look forward to, such as getting back all the photos, our gift list goodies arriving and decorating our first proper home in all the photos and treasured memories from that day.

Thank you so much for taking the time to indulge me by reading this, it means a lot. And a thank you to Miss Pickering. Not only was she my florist, she helped in times of nervousness, stressfulness and general wedding guidance and I am gutted I wont be able to see her as much now that the wedding is over.


Introducing Mr And Mrs…

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

We were introduced for the first time as Mr and Mrs (I was still smiling) there were more cheers, camera flashes, more tears (namely by my father) and we were then seated at top table behind the beautiful flowers Miss Pickering had done. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed speeches, I had my photo taken more times than I care to remember but I started to realise that it was all going too quickly.

Before I knew it, it was 17.30 and my wedding breakfast was over, I had a little wobble. All the time planning, the little stresses, the bickering, all the effort was all zooming by. Technically it wasn’t nearly over as we had from 17.30 till carriages at midnight, but it was going too quickly and I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to take off my dress, ever, and I wanted little girls to keep calling me a princess in hotel toilets. The way Michael had looked at me all day made my heart skip a beat, my father was crying at any mention of “proud,beautiful, wedding” and in a few hours it was all going to be over. I dwelled for at least 30 minutes…naughty bride.

I was then ushered up to my honeymoon suite where my bridesmaids and I cracked open some more champagne (can I just point out, I was continually drinking but never got drunk – thank you biology). I kicked off my wedding shoes, hoiked my dress over my knees and sat cross-legged on the bed with my four closest girl friends. Any blues I was having had disappeared, we were already reminiscing about the beautiful ceremony and the guests who travelled so far to be there, we laughed, drank, they tried on my veil and I was back in my wedding bubble. We touched up our make-up, spritzed, groomed, brushed and we were good to go. Evening guests would be arriving and the second flood of compliments were about to commence. Crap. That meant it was nearly time for my first “dance”.

Nothing had gone wrong, and nothing did go wrong. But the moment I was dreading was about to appear. I am no elegant swan and Michael is definitely not a lordly lion (Harry Potter quote, enjoy). AND. It was captured on film. Which I will of course share with you.

A Very Vintage Bauble

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I met Joanne from VintageTwee on Twitter (@VintageTwee). She saved my life just before my wedding, providing me with some beautiful shades of ribbon and luggage tags. She was cool, calm, collected and was very helpful. When I saw that she had some VintageTwee baubles I was beside myself.

It arrived in the post literally 20 minutes ago. And here it is! It came in a beautiful pink polka dot box, and snuggled inside was this beauty! Follow this link to win your own bauble.

Please have a look at her website. You will find beautiful hand crafted, vintage inspired table decor for any occasion. I am just sorry I met her after I had already bought all of my decor because I would have loved more VintageTwee at my wedding.

Before The Gin Set In

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

We were in the Bentley. We were married and it was all so surreal. We had to take a little tour around Stamford to give the guests and photographer time to reach our venue. I was sat in the car in my wedding dress, next to my husband, driving down roads which I used to walk along when I was younger. I can’t remember what we spoke about in the car but I do remember tuning up to the venue and spotting the champagne, ready and waiting.

Before getting out of the car Michael gave my hand a little squeeze, I think he realised I was starting to get a little flappy and nervous, thinking “here we go again”. I elegantly clambered out of the wedding car, clutching dress and bouquet in one hand I took the aforementioned champagne and savoured every bubble (it was at this point that I remembered I didn’t eat breakfast and it would go straight to my head) I smiled at Michael , took his arm and walked to where we were going to have all our photos done.

Nearly a cold two hours and some mulled wine later it was time to be announced in to the dining room…Everything had gone perfectly so far. Surely something was going to go wrong?

The Moment of Relief

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

The moment I heard the opening chords to Jerusalem (greatest hymn ever written by the way) I knew we were now on cruise control. Michael and I walked up to the altar where we kneeled, said the Lord’s Prayer then went into a smaller part of the church to sign the register. The rest of the wedding party followed and Michael and I finally got a chance to talk. I couldn’t really say anything of worth, just that he looked wonderful and that my foot was hurting. I felt so relieved. The serious parts were over and now we could go on to the more social and appealing part of the day.

We then linked arms and started to walk down the aisle as man and wife. I couldn’t stop smiling and I had never seen so many flashing cameras directed my way before. We doubled back up the church for some more photos by the altar. Then it was time. The moment every girl waits for. The church exit as depicted in multiple romantic films. I got little giddy tummy jumps as we approached the ancient archway.

Everyone was lined up in the very small (very slippy) graveyard. Clasping on to Michael for stability, I put an ivory cladded shoe onto the first step and strode into the dimming light, we were bombarded with confetti, met with cheers, whoops and of course sobs. It was perfect. And I was still smiling.

We precariously made our way to the bottom of a few steps then posed for photos with the rest of my entourage. The car pulled up, we had a few more photos then we got in the soft leather seated wedding car as a married couple. As man and wife. The fun was about to begin...