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Hey everyone! I’m spending this afternoon nose-deep in my email inbox, catching up with all of your messages. While I’m in there, I thought I would ask for your help with something!

As we come up to Christmas and the New Year the English Wedding Blog is going to get busy with newly engaged couples looking for wedding ideas for 2016. I want to give our readers what they’re looking for: brilliant ideas from amazing suppliers; the best photography and most creative inspiration for the year to come. And I think – no, I know – you can help.

I’m looking for lovely products to show my readers: anything from stationery suites to cake designs and flowers.

I’m looking for new styled shoots which will set 2016 on fire.

I’m looking for those little gems of suppliers who are worth their weight in gold: it could be you, or a supplier you stumbled across, even a friend whose handcrafted pieces are perfect for 2016 weddings.

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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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Hey again, Happy Friday everyone! I have to confess I’m not here this morning… it’s music festival time at English Wedding Blog towers this weekend! But what better opportunity to share the best UK wedding blogs of recent weeks, hey? In fact I’ve been saving these up for about three weeks, possibly more! Oops. But that means more wedding goodies to share with you today. Enjoy! And have an amazing weekend. Claire xxx

Midsomer Murders wedding blog

Country fete wedding blog – photo credit Lifeline Photography http://lifelinephotography.co.uk/

Real weddings – the best UK wedding blogs

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The shortest of introductions today because Andrew from Lightworks Photography writes beautifully – better than I do. Unmissable reading… an eye-opener indeed! Enjoy. Claire x

On arriving at church to photograph a wedding recently:

Vicar: “You must be the photographer, I can tell because you look like you don’t know what you’re doing”

Me: (having picked jaw up from floor and mentally counted to ten) “Hello, nice to meet you. I can assure you I know exactly what I’m doing, I’ve been photographing weddings professionally for over ten years. What are you worried about?”

Vicar: “That you won’t do as you’re told!”

Me: (struggling now, but outwardly the paradigm of professionalism) “Ok….What exactly would you prefer me to do?”

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Part 1: How to find the wedding photographer for you

Hurray it’s all happening, you are tying the knot! You’re probably browsing the web right now – and magazines, and everything else you can think of for inspiration – to gather ideas that will make your wedding day fantastic. I’m sure you’ve come across loads of gorgeous images and just can’t wait to have your own photos from your day. But where do you start? Who do you choose and how do you choose your photographer – and how do you get the best wedding photography on your big day?

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This chapter will advise you on how to research and choose your photographer. Chapter 2 will be about how to make plans together with your photographer – exploring ideas for your day, figuring out what shots you want and getting comfortable with the camera. And finally, chapter 3 will be about your actual day – how things might run with your photographer and how to get the best shots.

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This guest blog post brought a wry smile to my face this morning – so for any men planning to propose in the near future, here’s some advice to help you propose without a hitch!

engagement ring by wedding photographer Alison Groves

Photo credit: Alison Groves (click to see featured wedding blog)

Of course the first step in any wedding is the proposal, and what is a proposal without the perfect engagement ring? Taking that first step can be a frightening prospect as there is always some amount of doubt in the back of the man’s mind as to whether or not his proposal will be accepted.

It’s almost like a toddler taking his or her first steps when learning to walk. You see the baby standing there precariously, wobbling back and forth a little awkwardly, until enough courage is amassed to take that giant first step. This is probably what most men are experiencing when trying to find the perfect moment to ‘pop the question’ and one which would be great parodied on classic comedy hours such as America’s Saturday Night Live or the UK’s fabulously famous show of the late 60’s and early 70’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus.