We’re all rethinking weddings right now I reckon. All the preconceptions of what a wedding “should” be are being flung out of windows and we’re downsizing while shifting the focus from colour palettes and decor onto family and the luxury of just being together. So as always, when a York Place Studios wedding comes along, I’m thrilled because that refreshing, different, glorious perspective shines brightly.

Rachael and Charlie were married way before lockdown was a thing. They tied the knot at One Friendly Place and chose London wedding photographers York Place Studios to capture their day. I love their wedding for being so family orientated, for being an amazing celebration without all the expectations that come with the word wedding (big white dress; formal dining, structured timelines and everyone behaving a little formally) – it’s a party for adults and kids to enjoy, where the bride isn’t above putting on a spiderman cape to play with her little batman. Oh, and my favourite picture? Zebra meets elephant. Keep scrolling!

Rachael & Charlie's alternative family wedding at One Friendly Place, with York Place Studios (5)

Reportage and documentary wedding photography - traditions and tips! Martin Beddall Photography (31)

In 2019, there’s no need to stand still and say ‘cheese’. Have you ever wondered why the registrar will invite your guests up to take a pic of you “signing the register”, or why cutting the cake is such a big deal at weddings? It’s all about the photography, and dates back a generation to the times when wedding photographers had to very carefully capture 12 or 36 images on a film. You could almost count the ‘key moments’ to fit the photos on a roll of old school negatives! Documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall explains how wedding photography has changed since our parents’ days, and how those traditional moments have become something really quite special in the age of documentary wedding photography.

Weddings have their traditions. Some are even actually old, like the wedding ring or the bouquet. Wedding photography has its traditions too. Or it used to…

In 2019 it really doesn’t need them!

The ‘traditions’ attached to wedding photography date back to an era when the camera technology meant that pictures needed to be ‘set up’ and flashed. “1..2..3, look this way…and smile!

A story made up of endless beautiful moments - Morden Hall wedding by York Place Studios documentary wedding photographers London (14)

Should you polish your wedding? An odd question, I know – but think with me for a moment. In these days of Instagramming our lives and sharing only the carefully planned, tidy, and perfect sides of ourselves I kind of miss seeing photos that make me feel something. A gorgeous line of bridesmaids, a pristine wedding gown or a messy bouquet are all glorious to see on insta… but amongst all the wedding pretty, I love seeing a photo which will make me laugh out loud, scroll back up for another look or even identify with the people in the frame. And that has to be a real, spontaneous, unpolished wedding photograph.

A story made up of endless beautiful moments - Morden Hall wedding by York Place Studios documentary wedding photographers London (5)

It’s why I’m such a big fan of York Place Studios. They’re not about the pretty details – they capture the story of your day in the most fascinating compositions. They’re the wedding photographers most wedding photographers would choose to photograph their day. They shoot with real expertise and a flash of humour. They’re brilliant; their brides and grooms LOVE them – and they keep my little wedding blogging feet firmly on the ground.

Genius documentary photography telling the story of a Yorkshire wedding - York Place Studios on the English Wedding Blog (21)

A LOT goes on at weddings. They’re magical, romantic… and the busiest days of our lives! With everyone we know all in one place, a schedule to be kept and plans to be followed, it’s no wonder the day goes by in a blur. The top piece of advice couples give in their English Wedding interviews is to take a moment to stop and take it all in, because everything happens in such a rush!

And that’s where photographers come in. The best will capture the moments you missed as well as those you’ll want to cherish forever. York Place Studios get this – and they are uniquely talented in the way they do it. I love how every image tells not just one story, but many. Grab a cuppa and scroll through Sara and Sam’s day slowly, because I promise you’ll chuckle at times, love the romance and all of those precious little interactions between guests which are what really make a wedding.

Genius documentary photography telling the story of a Yorkshire wedding - York Place Studios on the English Wedding Blog (28)

Kent wedding photography, beautiful quality images by Benjamin Toms (8)

Benjamin Toms is absolutely one of the best wedding photographers I know. Scrolling through his images is one of those things I genuinely treasure about my work as a wedding blogger. They bring me down to earth, focus my thoughts on what’s really important about weddings. It’s the moments of connection, the excitement, joy and happy overwhelm. The quiet, thoughtful shots, and the flashes of brilliant humour. Ben is based in Kent, and photographs weddings all around the UK – his 2017 adventures took him to weddings in Morocco, America and Poland. Ben captures beauty in everyone he photographs – more than that, he sees the character in everyone and it comes across in his images. Looking at the photos I’m about to show you, I can almost imagine how it felt – that moment in time, captured forever. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Kent or on planet Earth, you need to grab a cuppa and enjoy these wonderful wedding photos.

Kent wedding photography, beautiful quality images by Benjamin Toms (13)

Kent wedding photographer Benjamin Toms – best of 2017



Sometimes as a writer I can step back gracefully and admit that other people (Katharine & Said) are more amazing at this than me… “We could not have asked for a more stunning set of photographs. His photos are entirely unpretentious. They are colourful, vibrant, alive. I cannot recommend Patryk enough. He is extremely talented and I hope to see his work in galleries in the future. He is not just a wedding photographer, and some of his street photography is remarkable. I would not hesitate to recommend Patryk as a photographer and professional.”

Barn wedding in Hampshire with Patryk Stanisz Photography on the English Wedding Blog (17)

Contact & Bookings: Patryk Stanisz Photography


London wedding photography by Patryk Stanisz (11)


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.


The ceremony… the rings… the speeches… I think every bride and groom has a different expectation of what the most amazing moments will be when the big day finally comes around. I met up with fabulous Kent wedding photographer Benjamin Toms recently, and we got to chatting about the best moments. Ben surprised me, and talked so passionately about the best wedding moments as seen through the eyes of a photographer… and I think I’ll see every real wedding on the blog a little differently now.

claire gould calligrapher signature

Real UK wedding images by Kent photographer Benjamin Toms (6)

“As a documentary wedding photographer I will spend a full day shooting a wedding. This means I live through the nerves and excitement with my couples – and it’s such an incredible privilege. I usually arrive two or three hours before the ceremony, which gives me time to capture images of the bride getting ready.”

Real UK wedding images by Kent photographer Benjamin Toms (5)


benjamin toms photography

The English Wedding Blog would be but a speck of what it is today without the fabulous, inspiring and dedicated sponsors who fill its pages with gorgeousness every day. On a personal level too, I’ve learned so many things from people I’ve met along the way: every stationer, photographer, bridal shop owner and florist has an amazing story to tell and wisdom to share.

I had a brilliant chat with one of my lovely sponsors, the brilliant Benjamin Toms, earlier in the year and we put together a series of really useful advice and discussion features for you to enjoy. Here’s the first, and I’ll hand you over to Ben:

Your wedding through the eyes of a photographer

By Benjamin Toms Photography

Beautiful documentary wedding photography by Benjamin Toms, UK (6)

As a documentary wedding photographer I get to meet the most amazing couples and spend incredible days with all of their families and friends. I see lots of weddings, and they’re all unique – but not always for the reasons you’d expect!


Hello everyone! It’s been such a long week – I’ve done so much and I hope you’ve had a productive one too! Here’s a highlight though – one of my favourite wedding photographers has been in touch to share something special with us all. Yay!! If you’re considering documentary wedding photography or wondering what it’s all about, this is a feature you’ll really love – and there’s much more to discover via the link at the end of the post! I’ll hand over to Martin Beddall now. Enjoy!

Bride arrives for wedding ceremony at St Paul's CathedralEvery year needs a look back and last year the weddings went up until New Year’s Eve – so here’s a brief look back at a year of documentary wedding photography coverage.

Hope you like them… here’s a few preview pics. Scroll down to a link to the rest, which you’ll find at the end of this post.

A year of documentary wedding photography

Bride and groom kiss in the sunset at Newick park

A windy arrival for the bride at her Suffolk country church

Confetti at Hackney Town Hall

Guests laughing at wedding speeches

Here’s the link  – A Year of wedding photography