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Modern weddings with a vintage theme are wonderful, and I love blogging them and reading about vintage weddings on other wedding blogs. But I’d love to travel back in time a generation or two and see real weddings first hand.

I recently spent a weekend at my parents’ house and had a chat with my Grandma too, and found out loads about their weddings as well as discovering family wedding pictures I’d never seen before.

My parents’ wedding day – in words and pictures

Mel and Dot and the white wedding taxi

My parents' wedding day: Mel and Dot and the white wedding taxi

My parents were married in December 1971. They didn’t organise their own wedding, my Grandma arranged everything for them – and she told me she spent a day or two – in total – planning the wedding. I loved hearing about it: they had the kind of wedding that appeals to me so much nowadays. Both of my parents were very independent and relaxed about the celebrations, so there was no wedding planning stress.

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I can’t resist a snowy wedding scene, and Claire’s purple dress is a gorgeously creative touch – so here’s a very quick blog post to show you the latest from Cumbria wedding photographer Chris Freer’s own blog.

Claire and Andrew's winter weddingI love the blanket of snow and the open landscape with the mountains behind – and Claire’s purple dress is fantastic for a winter wedding with a white backdrop! Doesn’t she look incredible.

Claire and Andrew's winter weddingFrom time to time I’ll be posting just a couple of pictures of a wedding day with creative touches I love – in this case, Claire’s dress and the snowy scenes. These posts will be filed under a new category: Wedding digest.

See more of Andrew and Claire’s wedding on the Freer Images wedding photography blog.

Looking for a wedding photographer in Cumbria or the Lake District? www.freerimages.co.uk

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One of my favourite real weddings from 2010 was submitted by the brilliant photographer Joseph Yarrow. I always think Joseph gets the very best out of the brides and grooms he photographs because he clicks with them, and the results are always amazing. In the case of Jodie and David’s colourful wedding, I had to write two blog features: this is called…

Wedding Inspiration – Peacocks!

Get the look - colourful wedding

Get the look - a gorgeous colourful wedding. All images by www.JosephYarrow.com

To see the full post just click Wedding Inspiration – Peacocks!

To see David and Jodie’s wedding click the photograph below. You’ll love it, I promise!

Claire x

bride and groom

Bride and groom Jodie and David, by Joseph Yarrow

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Another favourite wedding featured this year was from March – in this case it’s the wedding dress I absolutely adore: the vibrant red is out of this world. Bride Gemma is stunning and wedding photographer Amy Wass is one very talented lady. Enjoy!

red maggie sottero wedding dress

One of my favourite Amy Wass wedding photographs

Rhinefield House

Rhinefield House is a luxury wedding venue with bags of character

wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony - the opulent setting makes it really special

wedding speech

The wedding speeches embarrass Gemma, just a bit!

To see the full post just click Stunning Red Wedding.

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This gorgeous vintage inspired wedding has a special place in my mind – when I think about the weddings I’ve blogged over the year, Vanessa and Michael’s day always makes me smile. Manchester wedding photographer Neil Redfern captured some incredible images of the reception at The Barlow Institute which positively glow with gorgeousness.

Vintage inspired English Wedding

Incredible image of a beautiful vintage wedding reception

wedding speeches

vintage inspired wedding cakes

Beautifully colourful vintage wedding

To see more, please click Vintage English Wedding.

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In the spirit of the festive season and in the best tradition of television and radio over Christmas and New Year, I’m going to be writing a little “best of” series of blog posts over the next few days for you. These will be my favourites from the year, and will show you what the English Wedding blog is all about.

A wedding of pure beauty on English Wedding

Belle Epoque Knutsford wedding by photographer Chris Hanley

Belle Epoque Knutsford wedding by photographer Chris Hanley

Catherine and Kevin were married at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford and I featured their wedding day in July. The photographer was English Wedding favourite Chris Hanley Photography, and you can see the full post by clicking A Wedding of Pure Beauty.

Vintage wedding bus Cheshire

fun with the bridal partyThe Belle Epoque in Knutsford wedding venue

I’d love to hear your comments, and if you’d like to see more please pop your email address in the little box at the top right of your screen to get new blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Claire x

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Modern bride and groom in gorgeous wedding attire

Modern bride and groom in gorgeous wedding attire

Here’s another gorgeous wedding from London photographer Matt Parry. He says (on his blog), “aidan and sarah’s wedding was another lovely laid back and informal affair with just a few traditional trimmings…just the way I like it!“… and you know what, it really shows when you ‘click’ with your wedding photographer like this.

My tip of the day then: meet your wedding photographer. If they ask about your wedding, your style, your personalities… and if you can really identify with them – book them! Matt Parry is right up my street.

In Matt’s own blogging style, I’ll show you all the gorgeous photos from Aidan and Sarah’s wedding day and finish up with Matt’s YouTube slideshow of their day at the end. Enjoy!

The wedding dress: beautiful vintage style lace

The wedding dress: beautiful vintage style lace

Bridal preparations go swimmingly with a little bubbly to help along the way!

Bridal preparations go swimmingly with a little bubbly to help along the way!

And for the hairdressers, concentration on their craft!

And for the hairdressers, concentration on their craft!

Sarah is beautiful - and this photograph is divine.

Sarah is beautiful - and this photograph is divine.

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Vintage and retro weddings are still big news and as we approach the beginning of 2011 I have to ask my burning question. Perhaps you can help me answer it.

Why are we still spending so much on vintage-inspired wedding days?

Vintage wedding

Credit: FashionEra.com

I can’t deny I love a vintage wedding theme, with inspiration from a few generations ago, gorgeous gowns and retro stationery and accessory designs. But isn’t it funny how our 21st century wedding budgets are still stretched when we plan a vintage wedding celebration?

I’d love to know – and I’m secretly hoping – whether vintage-inspired brides are the thriftiest and most inventive out there. Pre- and post-war brides were making their own wedding dresses and more, before most of us were even born.

Your vintage inspired wedding

Have you made your own wedding bunting, stationery, jewellery, flowers, cake… dress? I’d love to hear about your wedding plans if you have a second.

Vintage wedding budget top tips

1960s wedding photo

Credit: www.fashion-era.com

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Gorgeous London wedding photography by Matt Parry

Gorgeous London wedding photography by Matt Parry

The thing about London is it has those fantastic visual icons: the red phone box, buses and top class wedding venues like One Whitehall Place. We just don’t have quite the same accessories up north! So I do love a London wedding when I see one.

The thing about wedding photographer Matt Parry is his sense of fun and eye for a gorgeous photo and an unforgettable moment. And I love these photos of Avril and Chris’s wedding day.

Avril and Chris are both from Canada. They had a beautiful wedding day with bags of style. I love Avril’s shoes (which match London! … you’ll see!) and the way this couple just smile and smile and smile. And One Whitehall Place is a standout wedding venue: wow.

Chris gets ready for his wedding

Groom preparations

Groom and best man in That London

Groom and best man in That London

Groom and best man enjoying that London

Groom and best man enjoying that London: the Thames

Avril's wedding dress

Avril's wedding dress

Champers for the ladies

Champers for the ladies

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I love that wedding photographers are compiling show reels and slideshows of their favourite weddings of the year – it’s great to sit back, feet on my desk and watch so many gorgeous wedding photos fly past my toes!

Kevin Mullins‘s favourite wedding images from 2010… so far (as he still has two December weddings to shoot!) is beautifully constructed, a real showcase of his best bits.

I admire Kevin’s documentary style photography for the genuine emotions he captures: real, loving hugs, smiles and tears of happiness, laughter and pride, nervousness and excitement from brides, grooms and guests alike.

Enjoy this wonderful compilation and watch out for my favourites: the little girl and boy with a whistle and a tambourine, the bell ringers in church, the outdoor jenga on its way down, the gorgeous bride skipping down from a vintage bus…

Wedding Photography from Kevin Mullins on Vimeo.

Wedding photographer Kevin Mullins is based in Malmesbury, in the Cotswolds. He photographs weddings throughout the UK and internationally – and is one of the UK’s most sought-after photographers.

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Time for something a little bit awe inspiring, I think! How about a beautiful wedding in a 12th century English abbey?

Malmesbury Abbey is a uniquely impressive church, and Mark and Laura were lucky enough to be married there in the late summer. Only parts of the abbey are still standing, as it dates back from the 1100s – but restoration work means the church can still serve as a parish church for daily services and wedding ceremonies.

Photography is by Magic Photography‘s Allison Dench, a Berkshire-based wedding photographer who I love for her ability to capture all the most romantic moments of a wedding day.

Laura getting ready

Bridal preparations - I love the two perspectives on this image with Laura's reflection (and isn't she beautiful)

Bride and headband

Laura is a striking brunette and looks fabulous with this pretty flower headband

The flowers are lovely: orchids in white and red with a dash of yellow

The flowers are lovely: orchids in white and burgundy with a dash of gold

Malmesbury Abbey historic English wedding venue

Malmesbury Abbey historic English wedding venue

Handwritten wedding pennant

Handwritten wedding pennant: Love always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.

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Beautiful brideI’m very much in awe of wedding photographer Katy Lunsford right now. I spotted Sarah and Dan’s wedding on Katy’s blog and the beauty of it all – from the colours to the blog itself to bride Sarah – took my breath away.

So I had to give this blog post – which I’m actually feeling really honoured to be featuring on English Wedding – a great title. I got stuck: could I name it after the gorgeous reds and purples, or after Sarah’s incredible dress, or should I focus on the beautifully decorated church and religion or on photographer Katy’s talent for writing the perfect blog feature?

In the end I went with the feelings this wedding evokes for me. The overwhelming beauty of it all, from the emotions and moments captured in the photographs to the details that readers of my blog and Katy’s might love, and take away, and recreate for your own weddings. In a word, this is an unforgettable wedding. Be prepared to have your socks blown off. Both of them.