Chase Hotel Wedding – Emma and Jamie

Rain showers, daffodils and ‘love’ in abundance for my Easter Sunday wedding at the Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye.

Emma and Jamie chose a vintage theme for their wedding celebration with their family and friends at the stunning Chase Hotel on the Herefordshire borders.  I arrived in plenty of time to capture some venue shots in the hotel grounds and then the Oak Suite and Garden room as they were all dressed ready for  the day ahead.  I then caught up with Jamie and the boys for some Groomsmen photos just as the heavens opened.  Fortunately, it was the first of many passing showers that day so we grabbed a few shots in the front porch and then headed out to the gardens.  The Groomsmen all look very splendid in their grey suits and turquoise cravats.  By the time we got back inside most of the guests had arrived and were congregated in the hallway.  

I heard a whisper that the bride was on her way so went out to meet her.  Sheltering from the next shower under the porch I met Christine from Satin and Lace Weddings.   A huge ‘hats off’ to Christine and Brian who stepped in at the last minute with a gorgeous bridal car for the arrival of Emma and her Bridal party.  Emma looked absolutely stunning in her beautiful full lace gown and fur wrap.  The bridesmaids wore elegant long pastel turquoise dresses while the adorable Lilly was dressed in ivory, all with fur wraps to keep themselves warm. I think you will agree that the bouquets in pink, cream and shades of blue and green were a perfect compliment.

The sun poured in to the Garden Room during the ceremony as Emma and Jamie said their ‘I do’s’ but the showers returned as soon as we stepped outside for photos in the garden.  So we took a few pictures inside while we waited for the rain to pass.  The showers held of just long enough for some lovely shots with Emma and Jamie, including a ‘pinky promise’ picture.  We weren’t so lucky for the family group photos but managed to get some shots on the front steps none the less.

All too soon it was time to seat the guests for toasts and speeches.  I always love a few emotional shots as a proud Dad speaks fondly of his daughter or a new husband glances at his new wife.  Thanks for not disappointing me Emma and Jamie!  

The celebrations continued well into the night with more guests arriving, dancing and frolics.  Emma and Jamie had planned lots of lovely details for their guests including a caricature artist and a vintage sweetie cart.

Emma and Jamie a huge thank you for inviting me to be your photographer and sharing your day with me, here are a few pics for you to enjoy…

Image by Sarah Cook Photography Emma and Jamie | The Chast Hotel, Ross-on-Wye|Country House Wedding

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© Image by Sarah Cook Photography Emma and Jamie | The Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye | Country House Wedding | Herefordshire

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Emma and Jamie would like to thank all the following people for making their day perfect…

Brian and Christine at Satin and Lace Weddings for the decor and car, Jane at The Flower Pot for all the beautiful flowers,  All About Eve for Emma’s stunning Bridal Gown, Pam at Beaus and Balls for helping with all the Groomsmen’s attire, Yvonne at Icing on the CakeHair by Lacey Roberts, Make-Up Artist  Joni Tingle (Jane Iredale professional Make up artist), Tony Marriott of Tony’s Toons for his amazing caricatures, DJ Pete Stead for the evening entertainment…  And finally all the staff at The Chase Hotel.
If you require photography for a forthcoming wedding or event please contact us, we would love to help!

Your Bridal Preparation Photography

Wedding tips and advice for your Bridal preparations 

I thought I would share a few tips with you today for your bridal preparation photography. I absolutely love this part of the day! It sets the scene for what is to follow. It is often chaotic and rarely does it go to plan but it is part of my job to make sure everyone leaves the house on time and that the bride is calm and serene.

UK Wedding Photography

It may be that I arrive at the Bride’s parental home; the couples own home, a hotel or a hair salon. I am never quite sure what I am walking in to which is probably why I love this part of the wedding day story. Once all the introductions have been made I usually like to start to photograph all the little details of the bridal party – the gown, the shoes, the flowers, bridesmaids dresses and flower girls ribbons and bows. This is usually a good way for everyone to get used to the idea of having a camera around without me being too intrusive. It is helpful if you think about these detail shots in advance in order to make sure everything is to hand and ready to shoot.

I then turn my hand to capture the bridal hair and make-up, along with the bridesmaids and mother of the bride preparing for the day ahead. This part of the wedding day is full of chatter and giggles. These ‘getting ready’ shots can be quite special images. Lighting is key, not only for your make-up artist but also for your pictures. Try to use a window with soft light for best effects. At my planning meetings I try to encourage brides to keep an area just for themselves, this should be clutter free with no distracting backgrounds.

UK Wedding Photography

Bridal Preparation Photography

If space allows keep a clean, quiet area for the bride to dress. Bridesmaids tend to be a ‘messy’ crowd with make-up and underwear often strewn in the most obvious of places! I recommend to my brides that they step away from the madness for a special moment with Mum or a Maid of Honour in order to step into the gown.   This is where I document the finery of the gown, the detail in the buttons, the wedding veil, and all. A useful piece of advice at this stage is to make sure you have allowed enough time to do up the dress. Wedding dress fitters have a knack of making lacing look easy. My recommendation is to hire a dress fitter to be sure that the dress is securely fitted or allow 20 – 30 minutes in order to make sure the lacing is tied to perfection. Once the dress and veil are fitted I am often on hand with a Kleenex as it can be an emotional time when a bride sees her reflection for the first time. This is also a lovely photo opportunity when the parents walk in and see their daughter for the first time in all her magnificent splendour. A nice touch at this point is to photograph the bride and capture a shot of the back of her dress so that she feels confident before she leaves for the ceremony.

These bridal preparation shots are priceless and can easily be spoiled if the bride has not allowed herself enough time and space for to dress or if backgrounds are cluttered. It is worth taking just a little time to think this stage of your photography through.

For more information or to book your wedding photography package contact Sarah on 07950 714975 or email info@sarahcookphotographer.co.uk.

Wedding Photography Top Tips

Top tips for Brides and Grooms to consider when booking their wedding photography.

I thought it was about time that I shared a few tips with my Brides and Grooms looking to book their wedding photography.  Last week I had a long conversation with a confused Bride who had spoken to several photographers but she had no idea what she needed to consider before booking a photographer for her wedding day.  So here are a few top tips for you to think about.

Wedding Photography Monmouthshire

Do Take Some Time

Take some time to think about your wedding photography before you shortlist and meet up with your wedding photographer.  What style of photography do you like?  Are you looking for a photographer who blends in with your day or someone who controls your day?  Do you want a pre-wedding photo shoot?  How long do you want a photographer with you on the day?  Do you want your photos on USB and/or and Album.  Do you want to include Black and White and/or vintage style shots? How much do you want to spend? It is much better to go to meetings with a photographer having an idea of what you want and your expectations.

Do Meet Your Photographer

I believe this is right at the top of the list when considering your wedding photography.  Shortlist three or four photographers based on their style of work and then arrange a meeting.  You are looking for a photographer that you have a connection with, whether that be through their style of work, the way they work or a common interest, you are looking for someone that you can build a rapport with BEFORE your wedding day.  On your wedding day your photographer will be your shadow, if that connection is not there it you will soon feel uncomfortable and fed up by their presence.  This will ultimately show in the end result of your wedding day pictures.

If your photographer offers you a pre-wedding shoot this is a perfect opportunity for you to all get to know each other a little better before the main event.  For you to understand how your photographer works and for your photographer to get a good handle on your expectations for your images.

Do Book Your Wedding Photographer Early

As soon as you have booked your wedding ceremony and venue/s it is time to start looking around for someone to capture your day.  I typically get booked about a year in advance and work on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.  Remember that there are only a handful of Saturdays between May and October, and August is always booked up way in advance with Teacher’s Weddings.  I can often accommodate weekday and out of season weddings but if you have chosen a Friday or Saturday during ‘the season’ my advice is to book your photography in plenty of time to avoid disappointment!

Do Plan Your Photography Budget

It is important to allow a realistic budget for your wedding photography and book the best photographer you can afford.  After all your photographs are the lasting memory that tell the story of your special day.  You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have been told over the years as a wedding photographer the following statement, “We asked a friend/family member to take our wedding photos and we are so disappointed with the result, can you help us?”.  Sadly, at this point there is little I can do as all too often pictures are taken in the wrong format and with poor quality cameras.  If your memories are important to you then make sure you book the best Professional Wedding Photographer you can afford.

Do Trust Your Instincts and Enjoy Your Day

You are hiring a professional to photograph your wedding day.  Your photographer should spend time making you feel comfortable and at ease right from the start.  If your photographer does not tick this box then they are NOT the right person to capture your day.  Trust your instincts, do your homework, ask lots of questions and then sit back, relax and enjoy your Big Day while your photographer creates magical moments for you to treasure for years to come.

Contact Sarah for more information or to chat about your wedding  photography.

Sweethearts and Satin

Sweethearts and Satin

Welcome to Sweethearts and Satin, my UK wedding blog.  A collection of my favourite wedding features and visual stories.

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I hope you will enjoy this a special place where you can find ideas and inspiration for your own perfect day, share my ‘Real Life’ weddings, and explore the useful planning advice and tips on offer.

Weddings are magical days full of love and new beginnings.  They take months of patient and creative planning before they become a ‘dream come true’.  Here at Sweethearts and Satin I want to share my experiences and passion for weddings with you.

So whatever you are dreaming of for your wedding day, I think you will find something for everyone here…