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A guest article with words & images by lovely Amanda Karen Photography

Hello again and it’s lovely to be with you today, particularly as I’m talking about treats and surprises for your wedding day. When you’ve spent months planning every detail of your big day, it’s absolutely wonderful to give a little unexpected gift to your partner on the morning of your wedding. There’s something very special about receiving a meaningful and heartfelt present just before you take your vows and from my perspective as a photographer, I love capturing the moment when these gifts are opened. So, if you’re wondering what gifts to give, here are a few ideas for you (and for your partner!).

Gifts for husbands morning of wedding, image by Amanda Karen Photography (16)

Gifts that can be worn on the wedding day itself are always, and quite rightly, very popular. For brides, a beautiful ‘something new’ is always going to make them smile. Earrings, bracelets and necklaces are lovely gifts that can be worn long after the wedding day as a gorgeous memento. Similarly, cufflinks make a fab groom’s gift, particularly designer brands or personalised designs that give your wedding date and details. Take a look at Not On The High Street for ideas here.

Dorset wedding photographers Robin Goodlad Photography (3)
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Choosing a wedding photographer is something you’re likely to be doing for the very first time. Obviously you won’t be taking the decision lightly: who spends upwards of £1k without considering all the options? Even as a wedding blogger I find the different styles and price brackets for wedding photography confusing… and I’ve seen thousands of sets of wedding pics in my time at English Wedding.

So if you’re wondering where to even begin your search for a wedding photographer, or if you’re about to pay a deposit and book someone, I’m confident this article will be a huge help. I first read these tips over on Dorset wedding photographer Robin Goodlad’s blog – and they were just too important not to share with you here today.

I’ve read so many articles about choosing wedding photographers – this one is so thoroughly brilliant even I was like “oohhhhh NOW I get it” – and I’m sure I’ll be sharing it with couples for years to come!

Old Vicarage Dorset wedding photographer Robin Goodlad Photography (25)

Do you really need an engagement shoot? Here's why it helps, with Robin Goodlad Photography in Dorset (11)
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Spring comes to wedding bloggers in a flurry of engagement shoot submissions and I LOVE it! At this time of year summer wedding planning hits new heights – couples are ordering wedding invitations and booking those last key suppliers, and it kind of feels like summer weddings will be here before we know it! Many of you will be checking in with your photographers and quite possibly having an engagement shoot in the next few weeks. Yay for you if you are – I promise, you’ll love it! Today I’m sharing some advice with those of you who might not be sure if you need an engagement shoot… because I just happen to have seven pretty solid reasons why engagement shoots are brilliant!

Do you really need an engagement shoot? Here's why it helps, with Robin Goodlad Photography in Dorset (6)

This article was inspired by Dorset wedding photographer Robin Goodlad Photography, whose article “Why you really should have an engagement shoot” makes for inspiring reading! All images shown here are by Robin Goodlad.

FEATURED

A guest article by Emily Black Photography

Engagement shoots are not only a great chance to get to know your wedding photographer and how they work, they also really help couples feel at ease in front of the camera. Most of my couples really don’t like the thought of having their photo taken and feel a bit uneasy about the prospect of couple shots during their wedding.

What’s great about having a pre-wedding shoot is that you find how just how natural it can be. You can find out what works for you when it comes to poses and we have the luxury of time so I can guide you on what looks great. Then, when it comes to your big day, you naturally fall into the poses that suit you best.

Engagement shoot advice and pics by Emily Black Photography (11)

What to wear for your engagement shoot

When you’re choosing your outfits, keep your location in mind. So, if you’re having your engagement shoot in a woodland then you would want to avoid wearing green!

Engagement shoot advice and pics by Emily Black Photography (14)

brilliant wedding advice by Essex photographer Amanda Karen Photography (1)
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A rather fabulous guest article by Amanda Karen Photography

Hello – I’m so happy to be with you today! Thank you, Claire for inviting me along to talk about a really important element of wedding planning – choosing suppliers. However, what follows probably isn’t what you might expect. This isn’t going to be a checklist full of reminders to ask for references and to check social media feeds. Oh no, I’m about to explain why choosing suppliers is really a whole lot more personal than that.

Let’s be honest, there are lots of wedding suppliers out there so how do you choose? If we’re truthful with ourselves, we choose to work with people we like. In actual fact, it goes beyond that – we choose people who are like us.

brilliant wedding advice by Essex photographer Amanda Karen Photography (5)

Have you found yourself saying ‘we absolutely clicked’ or ‘we’ve got so much in common’ about any of the wedding pros that you’ve booked? Of course you have and it’s because, if you’ve done it right, you’ll have chosen suppliers who are like you.

Italian springtime wedding ideas with Bowtie and Belle Photography (17)
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Elopements and escapes are a big part of modern wedding planning! I hear you – all that planning is too crazy, so why not pack your favourite people onto a little plane and head away somewhere sunny to get wed in a beautiful intimate celebration overseas? If travelling is your thing, then a destination wedding could be right up your street. Just keep it simple, don’t forget your trousers (like our friend did – and he realised on the day of his wedding!) and remember to celebrate with a massive party when you get home!

Italian springtime wedding ideas with Bowtie and Belle Photography (13)

All images in this blog post by Bowtie & Belle Photography, from the English Wedding Blog archives. Full feature here

If you’re trying to decide if a destination wedding is the best option for you, the guys from Chic Weddings in Italy are here to help. With over 11 years of experience planning luxury destination weddings, they’ve seen it all and tell us why an Italian destination wedding will blow you and all of your guests’ expectations away.

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A guest article by Wild Tipi

Most of us will have experienced the joys of an English summer festival; whether it’s on a huge scale like Glastonbury or a low-key local affair, we can all relate to lying back on the warm grass with a cool pint of something by our sides as the tunes drift over the crowds, stirring memories or awakening moods within us. Or perhaps it’s more a case of trying to stay upright in the torrential rain and mud as our friends fall about laughing at our efforts… either way, the festival vibe is something dear to many of us and evokes powerful feelings of friendship, togetherness, of finding your tribe and one heck of a party.

festival wedding tips and advice from Wild Tipi Cornwall for the English Wedding Blog (11)

So how to capture that spirit for your wedding day? Festival weddings were a key trend for 2018 and look set to dominate the wish list for many brides in 2019 and beyond. Here at Wild Tipi we are very blessed to have been a part of some amazing festivals and some amazing festival inspired weddings and we wanted to share a handful of easy to implement tips on how to create the perfect festival wedding with you.

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A guest article by Truly Experiences

I love anniversary gifts. The excitement of receiving them from my hubby. The unwrapping. The warm fuzzy feeling inside as I realise how special the gift is and how much thought has gone into it.

Fast forward a week, and this once unforgettable anniversary gift is now sitting at the bottom of my cupboard, under a heap of clothes. Or worse yet, lying around the lounge, cluttering up my home unnecessarily! While I love to stick to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year, I have to admit that they’re mostly filled with nick nacks that seem to take up space in my house (pottery, wooden objects, china). I’m sure I’m not alone… so here are some creative anniversary gifts for those of you who don’t want to follow the whole ‘cotton, paper, leather (hello, fellow vegans!) routine!

With Marie Kondo all the rage, I thought it would be super fun (and conducive to tidying up) to round up a bunch of my favourite ideas for clutter-free anniversary gifts. Spark new memories. Spark new joy. Spark new love!

bespoke custom wedding engagement rings durham rose uk
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This brilliant guest article is from our friends at Durham Rose

Ahhh, the Valentine’s Day proposal. It has romance written all over it. The problem is that it’s so flipping romantic that it can easily turn into a corn-fest. It’s hard to make the occasion yours. It’s even harder to avoid repeating cliché after cliché, until this magical and pivotal occasion becomes a pastiche of itself. So, what do you do? Sink those feet into an ice bucket and hold your horses for a less romantic day? No! Of course not! You just need to take a few precautions to get things right.

Farm wedding with a chicken and egg theme, by Catherine Spiller Photography (11)
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Images by Catherine Spiller Photography – full wedding feature here

Wedding traditions can be so much fun – the clouds of confetti, the giggles as your girls help with your garter in the morning, the cutting of the cake and your first dance… But they can also be a little awkward. Throwing the bouquet to your single friends isn’t a comfortable moment for everyone. And sadly not all of us are lucky enough to have our dads there to walk us down the aisle.

So when I think of wedding traditions, it’s the new, fun and entertaining ones I love. The rest I can do without! And I’m so happy to see modern couples making their own traditions, and happily ignoring the old fashioned etiquette! This is one time when you might really need to stick to your guns with the whole “your day, your way” mantra – and don’t let anyone make you feel obliged to embrace traditions you’re really not comfortable with!

Real wedding at Greenwich Park, image credit London Photographer Emily Black (25)
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Header image credit – Emily Black Photography

Choosing an engagement ring is a massive deal – it has to be perfect, and whether your guy chooses the ring or you head to the shops together after he’s popped the question, it’s a biggie! In contrast, shopping for your wedding rings (often simpler designs than your engagement ring) is a quieter affair for you both. While the engagement ring can be taken as an independent piece of jewellery, most of us want a wedding ring which goes with our engagement ring AND matches the one on our partner’s finger. That’s why so many people are now deciding to design their own.

So how do you go about designing the perfect wedding rings? Where do you even start?

What You Need to Know About Creating Your Own Custom Wedding Rings

The thing about wedding rings is they’re the one thing you own that you will wear for the rest of your life. They’re heirlooms and created to last, so it pays to put time into your early choices.

London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston on the English Wedding Blog (20)
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Images by London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston

Planning your ‘best day ever’ is the most amazing rollercoaster ride – and now is a fantastic time to get married! Some time ago we threw away the wedding rulebook, and couples are celebrating their commitment in creative, personal and truly individual style. I’ve been a wedding blogger for eight years and seen so many exciting changes in how we get married – and you know the very best thing about weddings now? They’re all so very different and those personal touches every couple include make every day special and magical in its own unique way!

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ wedding any more. I love that guest lists can be anything from two to five hundred of your nearest and dearest. Dresses and suits can be as formal or as boho as you like – and you can choose to be married in a centuries-old church or the field behind your house. What’s not to love about all this freedom… but where on earth do you start?