romantic snow photo

Photo credit: ARJ Photography, Cheshire

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas holiday. If you’re working today – ack. Well I hope your boss isn’t in and you’ve brought games. Or if you’re just engaged and exploring the world of wedding blogs – welcome. Enjoy! There’s so much wedding inspiration on the interweb: start with my ‘wedding planning or work‘ features – they’ll keep you entertained for hours.

Christmas – the dream

So – Christmas. I’m not actually here; I’m spending Christmas with my family. My parents, my sister and her hubby, my Gareth and his kids, his parents, my aunts and uncles and cousins. I genuinely do love spending time with everyone, chatting and playing games, eating food, going out to places. For me Christmas is all about having a really good holiday and lots of family time. My parents live miles away in the Lake District, my sister’s in Durham – so it’s just wonderful to see everyone. It’s not about Jesus for me – I’m a pagan. I respect anyone with Christian beliefs, but for most of us these days Christmas is a sparkly holiday. Nothing wrong with that!

On independence


A new year really makes you think, doesn’t it? It helps you reflect on what you should be doing better, and plan for the next twelve months. And I’ve been pondering the big things – well, for me. Here’s one I had to get off my chest!

rainbow at a creative wedding

Photo credit: Mark Carey

English Wedding – an independent blog

Independence is massively important to me, and to my wedding businesses as well – and you might think that’s not the wisest business choice. It’s not the biggest earner for my blog. But is English Wedding Blog a business? I’m not even sure I want it to be.

It’s a passion – my blog exists because I love writing it. I love meeting all of you and hearing what you have to say about all things wedding. It’s a responsibility as well – I’m driven to get as much exposure as I can for my blog sponsors. But it’s not my day job – I love being a calligrapher too much to ever consider giving it up. The blog is something that keeps my inner workaholic very happy indeed!


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Belinda McCarthy is a bit of a famous name for wedding bloggers, I think… one of those lovely, generous people who reads and leaves the most charming comments on so many blog posts – and I’m delighted to welcome her as a new sponsor of English Wedding Blog.

Somerset Wedding Photography

Belinda has her very own dedicated English Wedding Showcase Page where she’s written a little introduction to her business – along with more gorgeous photos from weddings.

Belinda told me, “Weddings are such an amazing platform of emotions, drama, exceptional moments and true tenderness, that they’re a privilege to work on.”

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From her base in Somerset, Belinda offers a varied range of half day and full day packages augmented by a bespoke menu of extras you can choose from to create your perfect wedding photography selection – including engagement and ‘love the dress’ shoots, a variety of different contemporary storybooks and albums, thank you cards, presentation gift DVDs and a host of other delicious items.


The Elite wedding blog logoCaroline Castigliano is one of the UK’s favourite wedding dress designers and I’m delighted to say she’s joined The Elite on English Wedding with an interview for you today.

With a history of impressively elegant, gracious and luxurious wedding dress collections, the Caroline Castigliano brand is soon to celebrate 21 years in the wedding industry. It’s a fabulous achievement and an inspiration to see such quality and style from a bridal designer at the very top of her game.

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 The Elite: Caroline Castigliano: an interview

Caroline, your gowns are so exquisitely made and with so much thought for movement and grace in the designs – to what extent are your dresses inspired by their wearers? When you design a new collection are you imagining the girls who’ll wear your gowns?

“Yes, I always consider the girl that will wear my gowns, I often pop into my Knightsbridge boutique so I am fortunate to be able to meet and see brides and really visualise exactly how I want them to look when I am designing a new collection.


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Rebecca and Stephen’s November wedding in a village in Cumbria combines warmth and style wonderfully. It’s one of those heart-warming days where the smiles from the bride and groom just get to you – I knew when I saw this wedding on Simon Hudspeth Photography’s blog I had to share it with you.

Rebecca wrote a lovely wedding report as well – the title I used for the blog post is from Rebecca’s own story! Her next line made me giggle though… but let’s start at the beginning and that will come later.

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My wedding dress is Ian Stuart – Inez – Bought from ‘I Do’ in Cockermouth, Cumbria. The dress was made with French lace in a Champagne colour. I would recommend this Bridal shop as they really cared about how I wanted to look and helped me achieve the ‘style’. They were brilliant.

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The pearl necklace was my Grandmothers and is 60 years old. They were an anniversary present from my Grandad to my Grandmother and I still have the original gift box they came in.


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Two questions: who is a wedding day about? who is a wedding day for?

Instinct tells me (I’m writing quickly and from the top of my head) the day is about a bride and groom. But it’s for their friends and family (of which they are a part).

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I think sometimes that’s lost. Sometimes there’s too much “your day, your way” going on. Your guests should be a part of your wedding day: not just spectators, rather very special people in your lives, and those you want to share in your happiness and enjoy it with you.

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Here are some more pictures from Gail and Mark’s wedding which I featured yesterday. The focus this time around is on the wedding guests – captured so beautifully by documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall.

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Imagine a story: a proper story, written by an author, in a book and everything. Any wonderful story which grips your heart, makes you laugh and cry and think. It’s by someone (the author), it’s about someone (the bride and groom) and it’s written for someone (the reader).


The Elite wedding blog logoThe second in my series introducing you to the Elite of the UK wedding industry: Chris Hanley is a top UK wedding photographer, always in demand for weddings at fabulous venues and a definite personal favourite of mine!

This year Chris’s work has been chosen by Queensberry to promote their luxury wedding albums, by Chanticleer Bride to promote their 2012 collection and by Hengrave Hall to promote one of the UK’s luxury wedding venues. Chris is an elite wedding photographer, a talent, a master of his craft, a gentleman and… quite cheeky. The Elite welcomes Chris Hanley Photography.

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Photo credit: Chris Hanley Photography

Chris Hanley Photography: The Elite: an interview

Chris, you’ve photographed weddings at some of the UK’s most exclusive venues and run photography training workshops in Italy and Spain. Which is best?

“The best is simply the one I’m shooting at the time. Why? Because I am so focued on creating the most beautiful pictures for my clients. Observing light and understanding how to use it or replicate it is one of the principle foundations of great wedding photography.”


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Be ready to catch yourself smiling – gazing at your screen with a bit of a romantic grin on your face. Whether you’re in the office pretending to work, or maybe at home in your pyjamas all wrapped up for Christmas… I’m going to stop you in your tracks with this beautiful wedding story. Down with your pens, sellotape, gin and sparklers ladies -because this wedding’s a gem.

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Gail and Mark’s Tythe Barn wedding was submitted by wedding photographer Martin Beddall. Gail wrote a short wedding report to go along with the pictures, and I’m going to leave the wedding photographs to tell their own story. Because they do – all on their own.

Martin is a documentary wedding photographer in Sussex and a friend and sponsor of English Wedding blog. His focus is on capturing moments during your wedding day; his talent is in recording your wedding day in the most beautiful way. There’s rather an unusual ‘part two’ to this blog feature coming up tomorrow.

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Photo credit:

If anyone out there is actually working now…. my heart goes out to you. That’s so unfair! And my blog post for today has the sweetest intentions to create a little distraction for you! Step into the world of weddings for a minute with me. Here’s the best of the world of wedding blogs (and weddings, and blogs!) from the week just gone.

Real weddings


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Loulabelle (aka Louise) became a friend and a regular source of hilarity as I followed her wedding blog at Met My Match through 2011. As a writer she is simply wonderful. I believe I may have begged to blog her wedding. There’s no shame in that. Such an enterprising, intelligent, creative and beautiful lady?! I had to see her wedding pics!

So Louise planned her countryside creative wedding with a fabulous vintage twist. One thing I hadn’t seen on her blog was that Garry, her groom, was a policeman. Cue vintage police car as a surprise – along with the loveliest driver to chauffeur the boys around.

Of course Louise’s own beloved Bertie (the Beetle) took pride of place carrying the bride and her dad to the church…

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As a surprise I’d arranged a vintage police car to collect Garry, his best man and two ushers who are all Metropolitan Police Officers. The driver Ernie, was fantastic! He even wore his old uniform to add to the experience. Garry was so chuffed when he saw the Police Car rock up outside his best man’s. And the driver was just sooooooooooooo lovely!!!


‘Tis the season… for lots of lovely discounts off wedding dresses, it seems! Here’s another – save 30% off the Coast bridal collection from today until the 23rd of December.

The Bridal Collection from Coast

The Coast bridal collection embraces sensational and breathtaking designs that have been expertly crafted to make you take centre stage on your wedding day. Sophisticated and glamorous, the bridal styles combine soft feathers, feminine frills and dramatic draping for a truly romantic appeal. A style for every bride, choose from our deliciously opulent selection of gowns and make an unforgettable entrance on your wedding day…

To claim your discount simply quote ‘BRIDAL30’ at the checkout.

This is a spon­sored Eng­lish Wed­ding blog post. (Click the link to see what this means.)


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At a real wedding, scary things can happen. Picture the scene: having your picture taken outdoors, a gust of wind and… off flies your veil. Over a barbed wire fence, or so I’ve heard. Who’d have expected intrepid Yorkshire wedding photographer Pete Barnes to follow, risking life, limb and trouser-safety in a daring dash to the rescue.

Our knight in shining armour submitted Anna and Fraser’s beautiful wedding to my blog. I don’t think he mentioned his little adventure in his emails! Wonderful what a bit of wedding-blogger-research turns up. Also of note are Anna’s adorable flower garland – I want one – her stunning smile and the romance that fizzles between the happy couple.

You’ll love the warm sunshine in the wheat fields, you’ll love Anna’s look and Fraser’s loving eyes, you’ll love the pics from Pete Barnes Photography – and you’ll love Anna’s wedding story. Dive in. Enjoy.

Claire x

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A friend designed our invitations and order of service. He designed a logo using our names which made them really personal.

Karapürçek Escort Bilecik Escort Bolu Escort


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Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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