Wedding blogger photoshoot: mystery locations, fire, magic and crash helmets

How I'd arrive at my wedding!

How I’d arrive at my wedding?! (without the cheap eBay veil)

In the interest of maintaining a pretty distinct niche for English Wedding, my latest photoshoot was all about creativity: having a blast and enjoying the experience. And please do forgive me for a self indulgent blog post today!

Ciao ragazzi!

Ciao ragazzi!

My Vespa! Carter was the star of the day

My Vespa! Carter was the star of the day

While the other UK wedding bloggers look amazing in their vintage wedding dresses and accessories, as a calligrapher and artist I like to be a little different. (Just as the weddings I love most of all have something a little unique about them.)

who's that scary character in the background

who’s that scary character in the background? We loved the spooky side of our mystery location

We had two things in mind for the day: first, a fantastic secret location – let’s call it Milan! – with an Italian feel to it, lots of great features and Carter, my beloved Vespa.

Vintage Stig - that's me!

Vintage Stig – that’s me!

While I was enjoying wrecking my cheap wedding veil (it was about £9) there was something very special happening inside Chris’s camera. I didn’t want to see every image as we did the shoot, but every now and then Chris showed me how the photos were looking from his point of view… and seeing them blew me away every time.

ebay wedding veils: only good for polishing stuff with. Fact.

ebay wedding veils: only good for polishing stuff with. Fact.

I can’t really put into words how lucky I feel to be able to do this stuff. Cooking up ideas for a creative shoot is just as much fun as the shoot itself: with Chris Hanley Photography at the wheel it promised to be a fantastic day!

Vespa in urban setting by Chris Hanley Photography

My scooter’s way cooler than me.

I had a little go at looking like a cool Italian chick!

Me - looking so much cooler than I actually do! Yay!!

Me – looking so much cooler than I actually do! Yay!!

The secret location for our shoot is stunning - love this image

The secret location for our shoot is stunning – love this image

As if I'd just scooted through a cheap wedding store with my eyes shut

As if I’d just scooted through a cheap wedding store with my eyes shut

Gorgeous blue and yellow lit scooter and shady wedding blogger

Gorgeous blue and yellow lit scooter and shady wedding blogger

This is what I'm all about

Weddings and my scooter: This is what I’m all about

Roses on a Vespa seat

I think the roses are really pretty actually!

We also wanted to have a bit of a dig at the traditional wedding industry. I got a veil from ebay (by the way – NEVER buy a cheap veil from ebay!), some gorgeous cupcakes, pink roses and a cheesy copy of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring (£7.50 from Next. That’s mine, not hers!) Oh and some sparklers and some wedding magazines. 😉

The UK wedding industry: it ain't all flowers and roses

The UK wedding industry: it ain’t all flowers and roses

No one ever takes my photo unless I’m visiting my mum & dad – and even then Dad has to catch me off my guard! But for someone who’s shy about having her photo taken, I love doing these shoots so much!

I love the gritty backdrop. Forgive the spelling of Giant... those Italians, hey?

I love the gritty backdrop. Forgive the spelling of Giant… those Italians, hey?

I think the same goes for engagement shoots: if you have one planned and you’re nervous, think about making it a really creative day. Take props and things to play and pose with… and you’ll have a blast.

This one's called "Stop trying to make me dance!"

This one’s called “Stop trying to make me dance!”

Thank you to Chris Hanley Photography. Chris is a legend. For the ideas, for the fabulous photos, for the magic inside his camera that transforms a scene in the most incredible way. And for sharing this on his photography blog: I can’t believe that’s me on there!!!

Thank you also to Jess, photography student at Marple college. Jess helped us out on the day and learned some of Chris’s magic – she was a star 🙂

Mmmmmm... cupcake

Mmmmmm… cupcake

My reward for the shoot was a lovely cupcake. It did get a bit squidged in some other shots as we played with all the wedding industry stuff, but it was yummy while it lasted!

There are more pictures from our shoot on the About Me page of English Wedding. And I’ll be sharing more of these in a post coming up soon about wedding blogs and magazines. I think you’ll enjoy the discussion on that one!

Thanks for looking at my funny face and I hope you enjoyed Chris Hanley’s magic pictures 🙂

Claire x

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Jenny mcAvoy
    8 years ago

    Looking good Claire-looks like you had a fab time 🙂

  • Carol, Gathered Here
    8 years ago

    Love the sparkler heart shot!

  • Katy Lunsford
    8 years ago

    Fabulous! I particularly love the purple rain shot. And I’m pretty sure I’ve sussed your mystery location 😉

  • Tony Staggeredface
    8 years ago

    Hot diggedy. And I know the temperature of diggedy when I see it.

  • Claire
    8 years ago

    Thanks Jenny – we really did!

    Carol – thanks, I hadn’t played with sparklers for years, it was brilliant.

    Katy… yeah the purple rain one was fun to do! I even got a Chris Hanley soundtrack for that one! 🙂

    Tony – hee ok then!

  • Wow! Great photos and looks like you had so much fun!

  • Julie Boyd
    8 years ago

    Fab photos Chris. Looking good Claire. Great shoot xx

  • Hi

    LOVE your shoot and hats off to you for staying true to yourself. I’m not very vintagey either (whilst I appreciate the beauty of a good vintage wedding I also like new pretty stuff!), and I loved this – your personality really shines through.

    And you rock at drawing sparkler hearts!!

    Julia xxx

  • Claire
    8 years ago

    Oh wow, Sian, Julie, Julia – thank you for lovely comments! Julia you’ve made my day. I’m hoping retro / mod weddings will be in in a few years’ time!
    Claire xx

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