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Barn weddings have been the biggest trend to hit the wedding industry in the last 18 months, and I love them for their versatility. Barns can be rustic and cosy or bright, open spaces – today we have a wonderful example in the Tythe Barn at Launton in Oxfordshire.

English barn wedding in Oxfordshire with Alexandra Jane Photography (3)

Hayley and Alex’s wedding is pretty as can be – Hayley went for a statement dress for a princess look… and she rocks it. The day has some pretty and thoughtful touches – the flowers are super feminine and the gold accents work incredibly well!

English barn wedding in Oxfordshire with Alexandra Jane Photography (22)

Images are by lovely Alexandra Jane Photography. Alexandra is based in South Oxfordshire and photographs weddings in surrounding counties. Find out more:

English barn wedding in Oxfordshire with Alexandra Jane Photography (28)
Hayley found her wedding suppliers online, through Facebook pages and groups as well as finding her photographer via internet searches. She and Alex wanted a natural look for their photography and kept searching until they found the right style. She told me Alexandra Jane was amazing! Do read Hayley and Alex’s English Wedding Blog interview after the images – it’s a lovely read!

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I would urge every stationery-loving, creative and contemporary bride and groom to discover small independent businesses while planning your weddings. If there’s an indie alternative to high street products, seek it out and support the little, local guys.

Dot Laser make beautifully designed and cut contemporary wedding invitations (12)

Independent wedding businesses will give you better service, closer attention to detail and the unique look you’re dreaming of… just like Dot Laser‘s Lucy and Lukas who I found a week or so ago and am thrilled to be introducing on the English Wedding Blog today!

Dot Laser make beautifully designed and cut contemporary wedding invitations (7)

Lucy told me, “My business partner Lukas and I own and run a small laser cutting company in London. At the Dot Laser studio, we really believe in providing couples with that something a little bit different and always with a smile! We have recently just launched a little wedding shop on our website (http://www.dotlaser.co.uk/new-products).

Dot Laser make beautifully designed and cut contemporary wedding invitations (8)

“We are a tiny creative team working to create something that will put a smile on people’s faces.” ~ Lucy & Lukas

www.DotLaser.co.uk

Dot Laser make beautifully designed and cut contemporary wedding invitations (2)Dot Laser make beautifully designed and cut contemporary wedding invitations (13)

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I think it’s the first time I’ve ever featured sleepy little piglets on the English Wedding Blog… but they’re sooo adorable!! And they’re the loveliest introduction to South Farm… a venue which today’s gorgeous bride will tell you is a worthy investment, a welcoming space and a fabulous place to get married!

Springtime countryside wedding blog at South Farm with Jude Middleton Photography (41)

Bex is more than gorgeous – she’s incredibly beautiful and looks radiant on her wedding day. She wears a divine wedding dress with the sweetest lace detailing, and her only accessory is the dried flowers in her hair (which are my absolute favourite thing!)

Springtime countryside wedding blog at South Farm with Jude Middleton Photography (27)

Bex and Rob sourced their wedding suppliers through venue recommendations and “good old-fashioned Google”, with friends and a very artistic family helping with invites and creative touches. Their wedding styling is wonderfully colourful and Bex’s paper poms are just stunning!

Springtime countryside wedding blog at South Farm with Jude Middleton Photography (28)

Images are by lovely Jude Middleton Photography, whose work you can see here:

Springtime countryside wedding blog at South Farm with Jude Middleton Photography (12)

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Is anyone else growing sunflowers? Mine are on the petite side… and I’m sure they’re meant to be as big as me! #notagardener… Unlike Elizabeth’s glorious sunflowers (by lovely Natasha at Pumpkin & Pye), which set the scene for a brilliantly sunny, beautifully styled and superbly photographed real wedding on the blog today!

Sunflowers and sunshine for a real wedding at Tunnels Beaches Devon with Evolve Photography (46)

I have so much to show you and Elizabeth and Daniel have shared a fantastic English Wedding Blog interview full of helpful advice, tips and wonderful enthusiasm and passion – they brought a tear to my eye with this:

The best thing about being married? “Having grown up together and been together for 15 years it is the icing on the cake – it completes our journey together. And it’s a great excuse to throw a brilliant party!”

Sunflowers and sunshine for a real wedding at Tunnels Beaches Devon with Evolve Photography (13)
The location is close to my heart. A beach wedding outdoors would be my dream come true. It’s unconventional and wildly beautiful, fun and encourages creativity. And speaking of beautiful… Elizabeth is stunning in her dress by Charlie Brear which she chose before she’d even seen it!

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With Benjamin Toms

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series of photography advice articles with documentary wedding photographer Benjamin Toms. They all stemmed from a conversation we had a little while ago where I learned so much about wedding photography I simply had to share it all with you… which brings me to one last little piece of advice I absolutely couldn’t miss!

Benjamin Toms Photography Kent

This one’s a little tongue in cheek, but the message is still important…

Documentary wedding photography is storytelling in pictures. It’s never a dull timeline, but more of a journey through your wedding day, captured through the eyes of your guests. You’ll see lots of wonderfully candid photos of your favourite people in the world chatting, laughing, smiling and so much more. This style of photography will capture the spirit of your day like no other.

… and then there’s Auntie Muriel.

Understanding documentary wedding photography with Benjamin Toms, Kent UK (2)

Please note, I have made Auntie Muriel up. Much as JK Rowling invented Harry Potter (but I’m sure he was loosely based on a boy with wizardy tendencies… although I digress) Auntie Muriel is not a real person.

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I often feel grooms are neglected when it comes to wedding styling. There’s nothing I love more than to see tailored suits, carefully chosen cufflinks and shoes… and Chris and Rob are the epitome of superb groom styling! Their wedding at Windsor Guildhall is wonderfully elegant and chic, fitting in with the grand surroundings… and yet has a twist of fun with their ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory‘ golden tickets and vintage photo booth.

Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (1)

I think you’ll love it as much as I love these two – they’re both gorgeous, have the most amazing smiles and look on top of the world on their wedding day.

Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (2)

The wedding was styled and planned by lovely Petra Opperman (who has featured on the English Wedding Blog many times and comes highly recommended!)

Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (24)

Images are by London and international wedding photographer Nick Rose Photography, who you will find here:

claire gould calligrapher signature

Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (3)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (4)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (5)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (6)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (7)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (8)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (9)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (10)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (11)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (12)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (13)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (14)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (15)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (16)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (17)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (18)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (19)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (20)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (21)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (22)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (23)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (25)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (26)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (27)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (28)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (29)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (30)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (31)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (32)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (33)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (34)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (35)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (36)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (37)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (38)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (39)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (40)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (41)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (42)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (43)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (44)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (45)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (46)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (47)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (48)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (49)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (50)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (51)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (52)
Real wedding in Windsor with Petra Opperman and Nick Rose Photography (53)

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* * * YOU CAN STILL JOIN US ON AN UPCOMING MODERN CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP! PLEASE VISIT * * *
Modern calligraphy workshops – information & online booking

I can’t tell you how much I loved teaching modern calligraphy in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in June. It was amazing. So I’m thrilled to say there’s another workshop coming up on Friday the 21st of August and I’d LOVE for you to come along!

20141106_Elegant Rustic Organics_TF_

Learn calligraphy – join my calligraphy workshop in Manchester

Modern hand lettering is one of the loveliest DIY projects you can do for your wedding – and it’s a skill you’ll never lose! I’ll teach you quirky styles in a one-day workshop and you get to take your dip pen and nib (and some goodies) home with you too!

Only £59, payable when you book by emailing me:

hello@Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com

The workshop will be in a gorgeous venue in Manchester’s super cool Northern Quarter from 11am until 3pm and there are only limited spaces available – get in early and book today!
book calligraphy class manchester

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I loved featuring June’s series of wedding craft projects and they seem to have gone down a treat – so here is another one… and something a little more involved for craftier types!

make your own modern calligraphy table plan (9)

As I’m sure you’ll have noticed I’m running modern calligraphy workshops in Manchester (and loving every second!) so I wanted to share some ideas to do with calligraphy. It’s super easy to try your hand at modern calligraphy, and once you’ve mastered the pen you’ll be itching to write on everything you see… so how about making your own wedding table plan?

make your own modern calligraphy table plan (8)

Make your own suspended flower wedding table plan

This modern calligraphy table plan project is quirky, beautiful and only takes a couple of hours to make at home. Its selling point is the gorgeous antique frame; by adding your own hand lettering you’ll give it a personal touch, and the flowers add romance and colour – simply perfect for a rustic, handcrafted wedding!

make your own modern calligraphy table plan (1)

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Morning lovely! It’s time for a real wedding… and I promise you this one’s a diamond! We have the most beautiful English bride and gorgeous groom – their happiness is infectious. There are the prettiest details, the most romantic moments and the sweetest glances exchanged… my heart might just melt this morning!

Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (37)

All of today’s fabulous images are by Nicola Casey Photography, who is based in Cambridgeshire and photographs weddings all around the UK. Find out more about Nicola here:

Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (46)
Deborah’s interview at the end of today’s feature is a classic. It’s full of brilliant advice and tips, with lots of helpful stories especially for DIY brides. I laughed out loud at Deborah’s comment that her big box of gypsophila “smelled like feet” – it soooo does! I’ve always wondered if florists know something about gypsophila that the rest of us don’t!

Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (24)

Grab a cuppa, hang on to your mouse and prepare to smile your way through the next ten minutes with a truly wonderful couple. Enjoy. Oh! And when you see who caught the bouquet you will giggle… promise. 😉
claire gould calligrapher signatureHomemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (1)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (2)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (3)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (4)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (5)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (6)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (7)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (8)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (9)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (10)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (11)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (12)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (13)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (14)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (15)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (16)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (17)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (18)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (19)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (20)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (21)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (22)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (23)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (25)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (26)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (27)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (28)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (29)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (30)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (31)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (32)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (33)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (34)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (35)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (36)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (38)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (39)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (40)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (41)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (42)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (43)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (44)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (45)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (47)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (48)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (49)
Homemade wedding in Hertfordshire images by Nicola Casey Photography (50)

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This summer is flying by isn’t it?! It hardly seems like a week since I was featuring spring weddings full of cherry blossom and watery sunshine. Soon autumn colours will hit our screens and we’ll all be looking forward to our 2016 weddings… and for those of you who haven’t yet found a photographer, it’s definitely time to make enquiries before your date is booked! Today I’m thrilled to be welcoming a brand new sponsor to the English Wedding Blog. Jennifer Sinclair is a lovely wedding photographer who wrote to me in June and won me over with images from one of her beautiful Hampshire weddings.

Jennifer Sinclair Photography in Hampshire on the English Wedding Blog (2)JenniferSinclair.co.uk

I love Jennifer’s passion for pretty details (she fell in love with vintage bicycles in Amsterdam and now has a gorgeous bike of her own, complete with basket!) and love of the romance and charm of English weddings. She told me, “for me wedding photography is a lifestyle choice as well as a profession!

Jennifer Sinclair Photography in Hampshire on the English Wedding Blog (3)

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Hiring a wedding photographer isn’t the same as booking a car service or buying a loaf of bread. You’re hiring a creative person whose own style will shape the wedding photos you receive. So how much direction should you give your photographer? It’s a tricky subject, and I was pleased when Mark at Evolve Photography got in touch to share his advice.

claire gould calligrapher signatureUnderstanding wedding photography styles and ways of working

spring outdoor wedding devon Evolve Photography Dartington Hall (11)

All wedding photographers have individual styles, some (like me) are more documentary and their skills are observational: seeing and capturing things outside the box, creating a narrative, emotive photos that have context and feeling; capturing real moments – timing is everything.

Other photographers veer more towards contriving fun compositions. Not to say that documentary photographers are grumpy but those comedy shots of the bride out-drinking all the groomsmen, or the bridal party being chased by a dinosaur? That’s just not our bag.

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Did you know… that wedding cars don’t come with that frighteningly shiny ribbon as standard?! They weren’t manufactured with the stuff on back in the 1940s / 50s / 60s so don’t let their owners convince you it’s a fixture now! With a little creativity, an open minded car company(!) and the right team you can decorate your wedding car so it looks divine inside and out. I have a gorgeous shoot to show you and some more ideas at the end of today’s feature. Enjoy!
claire gould calligrapher signature

styling your wedding car with The Little Vintage Car Company and Dottie Photography (2)

All images are by Dottie Photography

We (The Little Vintage Car Co.) collaborated with Dottie Photography and fellow wedding suppliers this summer to create a set of wedding images with a romantic vintage theme.”

styling your wedding car with The Little Vintage Car Company and Dottie Photography (6)

This shoot has a fresh and stylish take on a classic vintage theme – the star of the show is beautiful convertible cream VW Beetle Carmen. Carmen formerly starred as a centrepiece in an American Diner so she is in excellent condition and perfectly at home in the limelight! The styling team also used a Chinese paper and bamboo parasol, a set of antique Harrods luggage and dresses from a local dress company Shades of White to bring the look together.

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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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