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Words & images by Amanda Karen Photography

I love meeting couples before they book, it’s exciting to hear about their plans, but it can also be a little nerve racking, a bit like going on a first date!  This first meeting is about getting to know each other and finding out if you like each other, after all, your wedding photographer will be with you for a long time on your big day.

As well as hearing all about your wedding plans, this meeting is about you seeing gorgeous album samples and finding out how your photographer works.  Any professional wedding photographer worth their salt will have insurance, back up equipment, provide you with a contract, and all those great business practices.  So what should you ask during that first meeting? Claire asked me to give a little insight into those first meetings, and to share the questions we’ve been asked by couples just like you, as well as the answers we give.

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Words & images by Amanda Karen Photography

As a bride to be I was a Pinterest addict, in fact I think I could have planned several weddings with all the things that inspired me! I was convinced I could be a DIY bride too, but thankfully realised very early on that this was not to be the case.

Essex wedding photographer Amanda Karen on the English Wedding Blog (7)
I think this is why I have such a mixed love-hate relationship with Pinterest, it’s amazing for inspiration and even to find suppliers, I love it for finding recipes for dinner. But when it comes to wedding planning I think there is a fine line between a casual browse for inspiration and losing hours pored over your phone and getting stressed because you can’t recreate the wedding on your board.

Essex wedding photographer Amanda Karen on the English Wedding Blog (3)

So how do you make the most of this visual inspiration site whilst still having a wedding that is true to you? Here are my tips…

Think about the look, feel and style for your wedding. That may be a colour palette you like, interests you share or even the venue you have chosen.

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If you don’t remember seeing Amanda Karen’s gorgeous shoots on the blog, I should really remind you to check them out… they were some of my highlights in 2015. Getting to know Amanda Karen Photography has been lovely: images are always out of this world, and Amanda is truly lovely – so I’m thrilled to say they’ve joined my little group of handpicked sponsors of the English Wedding Blog. Amanda & James – welcome!

Amanda Karen Photography London fine art reportage wedding photographers (16)

Contact & Bookings: Amanda Karen Photography

www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk
Instagram.com/amandakarenphotography/
Facebook.com/PhotographybyAmandaKaren
Pinterest.com/AmandaKHutch/

If you’re looking for fine art wedding photographers in London or Essex, then Amanda Karen Photography might just be your perfect choice.

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Amanda Karen Photography was born out of a love for photography and weddings, especially after our own wedding in 2013!  It’s truly the best job in the world, to capture people in love declaring that to their nearest and dearest, and to do that alongside my own husband is even better.  The beauty of being a husband and wife team is that we can relate to just how our couples are feeling, the anticipation, the excitement, the fact that the day goes by in one romantic whirlwind, it’s an amazing and emotional day for all involved.  I love it!

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Do you know, I don’t think there’s anything more romantic than ballet: its grace and enchantment are second to none. Ballet as wedding inspiration is drifting onto the wedding scene for 2016 in a big way and I fell in love with this shoot as soon as I saw the first images. You will too, I know! The photography is exquisite. The dresses and setting are dreamy and oh, that bouquet! The styling and special touches are out of this world.

Ballet bride photoshoot Amanda Karen Photography (19)

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Ballet bride photoshoot Amanda Karen Photography (17)

Words and images: Amanda Karen Photography

I love the beauty of ballet; it’s graceful and reminds me of how a bride looks on her wedding day, so serene and almost magical.  This love of ballet and the rich autumnal tones around me were the inspiration for this styled shoot, as the combination made me think of the Nutcracker ballet.

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The question of etiquette came up the other day when I was chatting with brides – specifically, whose name should come first on invitations: his or hers? It inspired me to write a feature about wedding traditions and etiquette – and as you can see from the title, it’s not my favourite thing.

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I know many of us choose which traditions to include in our weddings: it’s nice to throw confetti, to cut the cake and give wedding favours. But personally I’d love to see new traditions instead of boring old etiquette: with a focus on creativity, saving money and enjoying more relaxed and intimate celebrations with closest friends and family. Is it just me?

All images used today are from a styled shoot with Amanda Karen Photography, previously featured on the English Wedding Blog. There’s a full supplier list at the end of the article.

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I love an elopement more than anything… and as the magazines tell us weddings are getting ever more expensive, couples are embracing the latest trend and running away together again. But times have changed and we all want our lives, Instagram feeds and elopements to look amazing… so I asked Nicola from Ever After – A Dartmoor Wedding to share her very modern take on elopements with us! Enjoy. claire gould calligrapher signature

“Elopement weddings, intimate weddings, runaway weddings, micro weddings – whatever you call them, they’re becoming increasingly popular.

Running a wedding venue I have regular contact with our local Wedding Registrars and they’ve been telling me that elopements are on the rise for couples. You don’t need a crystal ball to guess some of the reasons why…

According to a survey published this year by You and Your Wedding, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is over £20,000. That’s a lot of money for most couples. Add to the mix family politics, the fact that the average wedding takes 36 days to organise and you begin to see the attraction. Take a look at a previous feature on the English Wedding Blog  for some of the reasons couples choose to elope.

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A few weeks ago I picked up a copper jug from a village hall sale. It’s battered, patched up and utterly gorgeous. I’ll style my calligraphy studio around it; if I was planning a wedding I would style the sparkliest of modern tablescapes around it. Today we’re taking a look at how YOU can style your own wedding with copper accents and super sparkle. Images are by lovely Amanda Karen Photography.

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Amanda curated a styled shoot along with Daydreaming Bride which contrasted grey and copper tones with a city chic wedding style. I was in my element writing copper calligraphy pieces for the shoot – we came up with a handwritten invitation, envelope and menu using the palest grey card and metallic copper ink. It worked beautifully with the lush greenery on the table. (oh, those ferns…)

copper wedding stationery with calligraphy photographed by Amanda Karen Photography (6)

The shoot was lovely in every way: the overall look of the set was breathtaking; the bride was more than beautiful and every little detail was so carefully considered to fit with the chic styling of the wedding tablescapes.

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Copper is lovelier to me than any diamond could ever be. I love its warm shimmer; and my copper ink is the most exquisite thing in my calligraphy palette. So when I was asked to write some copper hand lettering for one of the most amazing styled shoots of the year, I was ridiculously excited.

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Amanda Karen Photography – based in Essex and specialising in fine art wedding photography – and Nodlaigh from gorgeous new wedding blog Daydreaming Bride, came up with the idea of contrasting grey and copper tones with a city chic wedding style. They arranged a shoot at the fabulous Belair House and recruited an amazing team of the very best local suppliers.

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I adore the contrast of soft metallic copper with the palest grey; the subtle softness of succulents and leafy fern fronds, the glamorous bridal look (and oh, those sequins make my heart sing!) The cake is divine: the accessories exquisite and the flowers to die for.

Amanda Karen Photography copper sparkle calligraphy ideas (6)

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Hannah and David really are the sweetest couple, and their vintage tea party wedding is wonderful. The little details and handmade touches make this a very special day – by being thrifty today’s bride and groom could afford a reception in a venue they’d had their eye on for eight whole years!

A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (36)

So many brides tell me it’s hard to relax on the day, but Hannah’s lovely approach worked well: “I thought I would stress too much, but I actually stayed calm in the knowledge that we were getting married and it didn’t matter about minor things.” The smiles prove it!

A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (32)

Images are by lovely Amanda Karen Photography. Amanda is based in London and you can see more of her photography here:

A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (30)

Let’s enjoy today’s gorgeous wedding… sooooo pretty!
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A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (1)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (2)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (3)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (4)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (5)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (6)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (7)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (8)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (9)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (10)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (11)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (12)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (13)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (14)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (15)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (16)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (17)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (18)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (19)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (20)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (21)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (22)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (23)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (24)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (25)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (26)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (27)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (28)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (29)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (31)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (33)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (34)
A pretty vintage tea party wedding at the Barns Hotel with Amanda Karen Photography (35)

The English Wedding Blog interview: Hannah and David

Wedding photographer’s website:

www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk