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Friday 30 August 2013

Wedding Tips: Something Old, Something Blue...

Have you heard of the traditional wedding rhyme:

Something Old, 
Something New, 
Something Borrowed, 
Something Blue,

...and are you familiar with the tradition of brides trying to wear something from each line?

Did you also know that there is actually a fifth line:

And a Silver Sixpence in your shoe.

Below I give you some ideas for what you can use for each part of the rhyme and give you the history and traditions behind some of them.

Traditionally, just before the bride left to get married her family and friends used to give her some old, new, borrowed and blue items and a sixpence to wish her luck and show their love.

Nowadays most brides tend to source these items themselves with the exception perhaps of the Something Old which someone in the family may give her.  This could be an heirloom such as a ring, necklace or bracelet from an old aunt or grandparent.

If you don’t have an heirloom you could use a piece of vintage silk ribbon in your bouquet or a button from one of your Dad’s old coats sewn into your dress or perhaps carry a vintage purse.

Modern ideas for this part of the rhyme include using a vintage car or holding your ceremony or reception in an historic venue.

Something New is said to represent the future and the new life the bride and groom will now share.

A bride usually wears a new dress and carries a bouquet of fresh or silk flowers.  Sometimes she will be given a new piece of jewellery by her parents or her Groom and of course every bride wears special new lingerie under her beautiful dress.

Something Borrowed represents happiness ‘borrowed’ from a dear friend or special relative which is ‘carried over’ to the new relationship. It is worth remembering that this item should be returned the following day (together with a thank you note) - this can be carried out by another relative or friend.  It is also said that this borrowing/lending shows that the bride can depend on her friends and family for support.

Suggested items for borrowing are having floral arrangements that include using flowers from someone’s garden, borrowing a handkerchief or a tiara or even borrowing some jewellry from a girlfriend (who’s married of course).

Something Blue represents love, good fortune and fidelity.  There are possibly dozens of opportunities to use the colour blue in a wedding but the most popular are wearing a blue garter, having a piece of blue ribbon sewn in to your dress and having blue flowers in the bouquet.

Other ideas might include having the reception decorated with blue balloons, painting your toenails blue or wearing blue shoes or a blue underskirt.

You might even decide that the Boys should have blue suits for the day or that you should arrive in a blue car.

A Silver Sixpence in Your Shoe - traditionally placed in the left shoe - is seen as a symbol of good luck and to keep away bad spirits.  If it is not possible to have it in your shoe then you could have it sewn into the lining of your dress.  It would make it all the more special if you can get a sixpence that was minted in a year that means something to you such as your birth year or the year your parents or grandparents got married.

This tradition stems from the 17th Century when it was custom for the Lord of the Manor to give a piece of silver to his bride on the day of their wedding.  Later on this developed into the custom of including a silver sixpence in the bride’s dowry.
 by Jacqui Dunster

Sources: Dawn WilliamsYahoo! Contributor Network Jun 20, 2007 and an interview in Wedding Essentials taken from The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

Rhinefield House Wedding & the Perfect Shade of Blue

Rhinefield House Hotel in the New Forest, Hampshire is always a perfect venue but for Duncan and Laila's wedding it was even more perfect...because of a shade of blue.

Not the shade of blue in the sky...which was totally cloudless...and which was indeed, in its own way, perfect....

Allowing us to get some stunning blue sky portraits around the grounds...

...including this lovely shot of the new gazebo finished only weeks prior to their wedding.

Laila and Duncan's colours were burnt orange...and... exact blue of the Rhinefield ornamental this is why Rhinefield was even more perfect their wedding.

Laila's Bridal Prep was in the gorgeous Rhinefield Bridal suite...

...and the Ceremony was in the stunning Great Hall.

Then it was a champagne toast for the bride and groom...


...and a few quiet moments alone before joining their guests in the gardens...

...for portraits and formal group shots.

It was delightful to see just how many times they'd sneaked a kiss.

Then it was off for a pleasant walk in the sun around the pond...

...and guess what...another sneak kiss!

The speeches were great fun and this was just one of many instances that Duncan was aghast at what he heard...and Laila didn't seem surprised at all.

After the speeches and after dark Duncan and Laila went back out to the pond...

..where they launched paper boats of burnt orange and blue (of course) in memory of both his Mum and her Mum.

Then it was time for the First Dance...and yes, there was more kissing. 

Thursday 29 August 2013

Forest Wedding at Carey's Manor

Steve and Karen were married on a blisteringly hot day at Carey's Manor, Brockenhurst in the New Forest, Hampshire.

Bridal Prep was in Karen's home and then she travelled in her wedding car to Carey's Manor for the Ceremony. After the Ceremony we shot a few portraits on the distinctive Carey's porch way and red carpet with hanging baskets.

Before the Group Shots, Steve and Karen enjoyed some time in their wedding car...

...and a champagne toast.

After the Group Shots we did some portraits in the Hotel's gardens.

...including some in tight intimate shots of Karen looking gorgeous with her flowers and veil...

...and some stunning wide shots of them both showing the full elegance of her gorgeous long-train wedding dress against the blue Summer sky.

Then we went inside to take advantage of the gorgeous architectural opportunities available at Carey's.

The fabulous Carey's Manor wooden staircase is a wonderful place for portraits.

Carey's Manor is a wonderful venue for wedding photography both inside and out and the staff are very accommodating.

It was fabulous day with amazing weather at a very picturesque venue and a gorgeous couple.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Mercedes SLS for a Wedding Car

Mike and Sophie got married at the lovely Spread Eagle Hotel in Midhurst, West Sussex. Bridal Prep, the Ceremony and the Reception were all at the Hotel, so strictly speaking there was no need for a wedding car.

But when one of Mike's friends offered to loan him his Mercedes SLS (complete with it's gull-wing doors and massive engine) was an offer that just couldn't be refused.

Mike drove to the Hotel in "his" SLS and apparently had a fantastic time. When asked how it went, Mike said that he arrived at the Hotel much earlier than he expected.

Mike wasn't the only one enjoying his pre-Wedding morning. Sophie was in the Spread Eagle's bridal suite of ancient and very atmospheric rooms.

Whilst Mike was experiencing the cutting edge of current day technical achievement, Sophie was experiencing something more akin to the royalty of centuries long since past.

Sophie's wedding dress was silver and looked absolutely stunning on her and their colours were red, black and silver.

Having had such a dismal Summer the year before followed by such a long Winter, it was an even bigger delight than normal to see the Spring blossom in the trees and it provided a wonderful floral backdrop to their wedding.

It was a very happy day and everything went as beautifully as Mike and Sophie had planned it. This was made possible in no small part by the AMAZING USHERS.

Their ushers were as good as anybody could ever wish for: fast, charming, effective, reliable...and there when you needed them. In fact they were so good we even asked what their rate was in the hope that we could hire them for other weddings. Top choice Mike and Sophie!

The Spread Eagle Hotel in Midhurst was fabulous. It's a wonderful venue which oozes character and history. The staff were fabulous and the garden was a lovely place for portraits. 

Most of the day the weather was grey but by evening there was the most thrilling sky.

The Ceremony, Reception and Dance were all held in a converted barn attached to the Hotel and it was spacious, airy and full of character.

It was a lovely day, at a great venue and with delightful guests...and ushers to die for!

Monday 26 August 2013

Blue Rhino Wedding

Andy & Kayley's Wedding at the Holiday Inn, Winchester was blessed by the presence of a life-sized sculpture of a blue rhino. It was an art project sponsored by Marwell Zoo in order raise awareness of the plight of the rhino. In only a few weeks these sculptures will be sold off but Andy & Kayley will forever remember him as a big part of their wedding day.

Their ceremony was held in the Hotel itself then it was out into the garden for group shots and portraits.

We took some lovely intimate portraits within the walls of the garden...

...then we all carefully climbed a small hill to get some more dramatic shots against the gloomy sky. Despite the dark skies, it stayed dry and we were able to do all the photographs outside.

Andy & Kayley were so happy together, they were a joy to photograph.

Kayley's hair and makeup was beautifully done and perfectly complimented her face.

Her dress was beautifully made and wonderfully set off with a fabulous lace train jacket. 

The Holiday Inn, Winchester was a lovely venue cleverly pulling off the tricky balancing act of being spacious yet at the same time intimate. The staff were accommodating, welcoming and professional. A pleasure to deal with.

Andy & Kayley are a lovely couple and clearly so enjoy each other's company.

They had a great day, at a lovely venue...and are the only couple we've ever photographed that have been blessed on their wedding day by a blue rhino.