Emily and Chris' Winter Wedding at Down Hall, Hertfordshire.

Many people think being a contemporary documentary wedding photographer is all about frantically working through the summer and then doing nothing during the cold winter months. But that's often far from the truth as more and more couples are tying the knot during the winter. The chance to have snow outside, Brides and Bridesmaids wearing fur, Christmas trees, roaring log fireplaces and fireworks early in the evening gives any winter wedding a lovely unique feeling. 

So I loved it when London couple Emily and Chris decided to have the added romance of getting hitched just before Christmas.

On a slightly grey day, (sadly it never quite managed to snow), I arrived at the beautiful Down Hall country house now run as a country house hotel and wedding venue.

Emily and her bridesmaids were all happily getting ready laughing over a glass or two of Champagne with fantastic bridesmaids shoes and white fur trimmed outfits that are part of the fun of a stylish winter wedding. Emily looked amazing in a classic white embroidered dress with a matching fur throw.

Chris, his best men and ushers soon joined the Bride and Groom's Dad's outside. All jokingly trying to keep Chris calm with the normal bravado that precedes a great wedding.

The ceremony room looked splendid as the guest arrived. Bedecked in white candles and white winter flower arrangements and rose petals scattered down the aisle with the large decorated Christmas Tree in the corner adding a special festive touch to the proceedings.

A very proud father of the Bride walked Emily down the aisle and followed by an emotional service with more than the odd tissue being needed by both the guests and the couple.

We all braved the cold for the group wedding photos outside before diving back inside and heading to the reception with the most amazing room with beautiful ice themed table arrangements and fairlights adding a winter wonderland feel, which made up for the late arrival of the ice sculpture containing the guest list!

The happy couple entered the wedding reception to loud cheers from the assembled family and guests who then sat down to enjoy a great evening of fine food and heartfelt speeches before watching a huge display of fireworks. And even if the Dj flooded the pink lit dance floor with his new dry ice machine it just meant that Emily and Chris' first dance was even more romantic  !

Toddler Portraits for Mum

When this little guy's Mum asked me to take some proper portraits of her cheeky youngest son I thought that it would be pretty hard call to get him to calm down enough to take some proper shots that Grandma would like enough to frame and hang on her wall.

His a feisty pre-schooler at 3 and a half and life's just too busy and exciting to stop him playing with his vast collection of toy cars or charging off to see what's happening in the other room.

But as soon as he walked into the room where I was busy setting up the camera and  Elinchrom soft boxes he became fascinated with the idea of having his portrait taken and strutted around like a little director on a film set giving cute little orders as where to put the lights and how high to position the strobes! 

But like any 3 year old the secret of getting him to pose in in a natural way was for me to keep him interested and happy while making him feel involved in the strange process of having his picture taken, while his Mum plied him with chocolates and a well earned juice ! 

Joanna and David's Romantic Wedding at Hampton Court House

David once taught me to fly helicopters in another life and he once again trusted me to record his special day, something I was very proud to do. 

The day started like few others for a wedding photographer with the Bride's father ferrying me across the Thames to Jo and Dave's newly build house on an island in the middle of the River. But being from a long line of fishermen in the Hebrides he calmly got me and all my photography gear safely to the house with a just a rye Scottish smile!

Bride to be JoAnna was getting ready with her Mum and bridesmaids with flower girls and page boys scampering about on the deck.  When I say "getting ready" I mean putting the finishing touches to her amazing wedding dress that she had knitted herself! 

Few people make there own wedding dress these days but surely to knit your own has to be one of the first and such a beautiful one as well! But then I shouldn't have expected anything less from a girl who owns and runs a thriving knitwear business in the Scottish Isles!

Dave's classic 1930's motor boat took us all back to shore where Robin the best man was waiting to chauffeur JoAnna in his 1960's Vw Kombi Van!

Hampton Court House is normally a private school but what a wedding venue ! With amazing rooms and attentive staff it made for a fantastic service with Dave's Uncle conducting the service in front of Dave & JoAnna's assembled family & friends as deer could be seen through the open windows roaming the parkland behind the house!

Hilarious speeches over dinner in the great hall had us all, including this photographer laughing into our soup, The evening festivities started by not the usual slow first dance, but a traditional Hebridean Wedding March were the Bride & Groom enter and then lead the guests around the dance hall accompanied by a traditional Scottish 3 piece band ! Brilliant!

Well I did say this wedding had everything!

Sarah and Shane's Sunny Cornish Wedding

The drive from London to Plymouth was easy and always fun to watch the big smoke disappear in the rear view mirror to be replaced with green rolling fields and stunning Cornish views.

I was up up early the next day to meet Shane the South African Groom and his ushers staying at a quaint little B'n'B with glorious sparkling sea views.

Shane's charm was an added bonus and it came as little surprise that his day job is looking after and mentoring troubled inner city kids back in London

I quickly followed the boys in their marvelous  blue Bentley to Polhawn Fort, an old gun emplacement with outstanding views across the Plymouth sound. Now cleverly turned into a quirky and atmospheric wedding venue with a dark deep interior offset by lush green lawns to enjoy scones & Pim's on, what was turning out to be, the hottest day of the year so far!

Sarah the Bride looking radiant, accompanied by her stylish bridesmaids, joined Shane downstairs in the old gun room in the basement of the fort. After the lovely moving ceremony,the speeches followed quickly followed by the champagne flowed as the temperature rose.

As did the laughter when Sarah stood up to give the funniest speech of the day to her new husband!

After the meal it was out onto the lawn to enjoy the cool sea breeze with a beer or Pim's  and the most stunning Cornish sunset before the music came on and  Fort Pahlwan Rocked into the early hours ! 

Anika and Gavin's Wedding at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall.

An early start meant I was on the train to find the Groom Gavin and his ushers at his recently brought home on a glorious sunny day in Surbiton. 

Then after a long drive into London through the suburbs in chauffeur driven vintage Ford limo meant we arrived only just on time at the venue, the sumptuous National Liberal Club in Whitehall.

A quick look around this amazing venue before the fashionable guests started to arrive and then beautiful bride Anika accompanied by her proud father walked into the room! 

After a short but emotional ceremony the Newly Wed couple and guests moved onto the outside terrace to enjoy the sunshine and champagne while listening to a 3 piece jazz band and enjoy the tricks and sleight of hand of the talented young magician!

Later, in a wood panelled room full of fellow lawyers, family and friends, looked down on by portraits of the great thinkers and Liberal politicians of the past, gave a great atmosphere for the fantastic dinner and witty speeches before the party really started!

With a slow romantic dance from Gavin and Anika, the dance floor quickly filled up with boisterous laughing guests and friends of the couple intent of enjoying the rest of the night!

Gabby & Jon's Engagement Shoot in Little Venice

I used to work in Switzerland with Jon, who used to compete in mogul freestyle skiing competitions in his youth. 

Jon returned to a few years ago to London to take up a job in the City and it was a pleasure when he rang up out of the blue to ask me to take some engagement pictures of himself and his fiancee; Gabby.

After rushing back to North London after shooting another assignment all day in Buckinghamshire, on a sweltering hot evening, it was the first time I'd met Jon's fiancé Gabby when she opened the door! 

I suggested we take a walk down Regent's Canal to Little Venice which is just round the corner from their flat.

After her initial embarrassment Gaby and Jon really got into having their photos taken and I think it shows!

We really had fun and the images show the great sense of humour this lovely couple have and how they're really into each other !

After about an hour and a half we finished shooting and we retired to have a well earned drink at one of the great local pubs, which line Regents Park Canal, (well it had been a really hot day), which gave me a great chance to catch up with Jon and for me to get to know Gabby better.

When she told me that she's worked over 7 winter ski seasons as an ski instructor, and some of the hilarious ski  stories she told which had us all laughing soon made Jon's choice make even more sense!

I wish them all the best; and Gabby any time you want to ski some powder when Jon wants to ski bumps, just give me a call !