A gorgeous elopement in London, with Jordanna Marston Photography
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Hey there lovelies. I really don’t know where to begin today’s blog: we had this one planned a few weeks ago, when we expected weddings of 30 guests to be happening by now and for the future. And then we heard the news that the rules wouldn’t change after all. I am SO heartbroken for all of you who were planning a celebration this weekend, or in the coming weeks. If a gathering of 30 of your friends and close family isn’t safe, how is it possible that crowds in pubs, parks and beaches are being allowed to happen? Lovelies, I am desperately hoping the situation changes for you, and the powers that be will allow small weddings soon… in which case, this article WILL apply!

With love,

The year the wedding world changed - and 5 genius ways to adapt! (10)

I’ve been a fan of small weddings from day one. Before 2020 happened, I was already in love with intimate weddings and elopements. We’ve featured plenty on the blog, and every single one has a special place in my heart. Especially for those of you having to face a mini version of the Big Day you’d planned, here are 5 genius ways to adapt to having a smaller wedding in 2020.

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Inspired by fabulous London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston Photography

We began to unplug about 5 years ago, when the novelty of aunties having camera phones became a really big deal at weddings. Rather than seeing rows of happy faces, brides began to see rows of iphones (flash on) hiding faces as they walked down the aisle. Distracting, much? And those who thought about it in advance would make or hire little signs telling the aunties their wedding was Unplugged – and to kindly stop taking photos of all the best bits.

Not everyone minded; not everyone’s aunties could confidently operate their phone cameras; sometimes it wasn’t a big deal to have elderly ladies snapping away through the ceremony.

And then coronavirus came along. And lockdown. And human contact was banned. And we haven’t hugged our aunties or even our mums in weeks. The thing we’re all missing more than anything is human contact and hugs – and this makes unplugging at weddings a massive deal for 2021 couples.

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Not all weddings are created equal, folks… and on your planning journey you can expect to hear some ‘interesting’ opinions about things brides ‘should’ do / have and things grooms ‘should‘ say / wear… because the preconceptions about weddings are HUGE!

Opinions come from all sides: families, the more traditional suppliers, the wedding press (you know, the pink magazines which are all about brides?) – and they’re steeped in tradition. Weddings have so much patriarchal baggage it’s a journey in itself to tackle the preconceptions head on and come up with a day that’s just right for you both – in equal measures!

Smashing the patriarchy on your wedding day is about both of you. It’s about picking and choosing the traditions you’ll keep, and switching everything up to turn the more misogynistic rituals on their heads. Here’s some tips to make your equal wedding super awesome. We’ve dotted this post with some glorious images by super London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston, whose fun, vibrant, alternative wedding photography style fits this theme beautifully. You can check out Jordanna’s wedding portfolio here.

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If you’re super confident having your photo taken, you can read something else instead. This one’s for the rest of us: we’re just a teeny bit nervous we’ll feel awkward having our photos taken. Am I right? You’d be surprised how many couples mention Chandler from Friends in chats with their wedding photographer… loads of us think we freeze up and go weird in front of the camera. The good news is, that’s not going to be the case for you when you’ve read this blog post. We – ie me and lovely Jordanna Marston Photography – are here for a friendly chat about how YOU can enjoy your wedding day, forget about the camera and LOVE your photos!

Old school wedding photos were all about smiling at the camera. Faces directly to the lens, fixed grin, eyes wide open (no blinking!) and ‘click’! Just enough time for a Chandler-style face-freeze to kick in… But did I say old school? Yes I did – because there’s a BETTER way now. Wedding photography isn’t just about portraits of the two of you. That’s not what you want to remember, trust me! You want to remember your whole day: the guests, the atmosphere and the general vibe of it all… and you want to see yourselves having the time of your LIFE, bang in the middle of it all.

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What’s your fave wedding venue style? Barn or farm? Festival or field? Stately home or grand hotel? Or none of the above? Are you looking for something different – and not just ‘different’ to mean quirky, but different to mean actually unique, tailored to you? Perhaps your dream venue is a little ‘preloved’ around the edges, or an eclectic and creative space? Or maybe your vision is city chic with a slice of urban cool? Whatever your tastes, there WILL be a brilliant wedding venue just waiting for you to discover its charms… and we’ve spent the morning discovering ten of England’s coolest wedding venues for you to fall right in love with. 

Inspired by – and with fabulous images from – our lovely friend and amazing documentary wedding photographer Jordanna Marston Photography. Jordanna is based in Northamptonshire and has the heart of an adventurer, travelling around the UK to capture the coolest weddings for awesome couples like YOU!

1. Walcot Hall

The cool couples’ choice: 10 awesome wedding venues outside London (3)

Where:

Shropshire

We love it for:

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Inspired by London wedding photographer and confetti-moment-nailer Jordanna Marston

When I’m asked about wedding traditions, the one golden oldie I can’t let go of is confetti. I bloody love it: the joyful moment when you’ve said your vows, finished the nervous bit of the day and are finally surrounded by your guests – and then a rainbow of bits of loveliness is released into the sky for you. It looks amazing – it looks like it feels amazing! And you know what? I always find myself grinning back at the screen when I see a brilliant confetti photo. Right now, I have face ache from smiling at the gorgeous pics we’re decorating this blog post with!

Image credit London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston (6)

Your confetti moment – and your confetti photos – can be really great. Or they can be epic and exciting and bursting with fun and colour and laughter!

Here are 20 tips to help you nail your EPIC confetti moment!

 

Image credit London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston (14)

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Inspired by the fabulous images from London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston

There’s a photo somewhere of a four-year-old me, hiding behind my mum’s leg (and clinging on for dear life while peeking around the side) at a wedding. It’s one of my favourites – who’d have such a cute (but terrified) little monkey would be a wedding blogger in later life? If you’d asked me way back then, I’d have said kids don’t want to go to your wedding. But that makes light of what’s actually a huge talking point all over the interweb: should you invite kids to weddings?

brilliant proof that kids at weddings is a huge win! Photo credit Jordanna Marston Photography (13)

People have asked people – in official surveys – if big people should invite little people to weddings. The result is a surprising 50% split – this is contentious! Half of us (big people) want overexcited, small, messy, super fun people to celebrate with us. The other half would rather enjoy a sophisticated day (off) to relax and celebrate, and leave little ones at home. Which is fine!

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Inspired by / images by London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston

I’m half hoping you’re reading this blog post because you think I’m a little insane… who on earth is actually out there looking for wedding photos that aren’t perfect?! Surely we should all be carrying out a careful search for the very best wedding photographer our budgets will allow? And with all the time and effort we’re putting into planning our weddings, we want the day not only to be perfect, but to look perfect in our pictures?

What even is perfect, though?

What does perfect mean, when we’re chatting about weddings?

I like to feel like I know you guys. I know you love indulging in a little wedding pretty on the internet – scrolling through fabulously pretty, beautifully styled wedding editorials and bridal photoshoots on blogs and Pinterest. Hey, so do I! And I imagine you’re reading this post because the last thing you are is Princessy. But maybe you’re still a little unsure about your wedding photographs being less than ‘perfect’. Shall I explain?

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Inspired by / images by Jordanna Marston Photography

You don’t like them*, but you think you probably want them*. For your mum, or your gran, or his auntie and all the people who love the family gathering aspect of weddings above anything else. You dread them* – but secretly you know that in 20 years time you will have a tear in your eye as they* become rare and treasured memories of your loved ones. And you worry a little, because you’re not sure if taking them* is going to be a bore, or a bit shouty and embarrassing, or if your uncle Raymond is going to disappear for a fag while it’s all going on (true story!) – but you know it’s a thing and it has to be done

* You guessed it – “they” are wedding group shots. And they’re a bit of a thing!

Group shots at weddings - fun and quirky alternative wedding photography in London by Jordanna Marston (1)

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How many wedding blogs make you laugh out loud?

What do you want from your wedding album – a beautifully styled and presented coffee table book? …

…Or a feast of memories of you with your friends and family, laughing, smiling and doing all the wonderful and crazy things you love them for?

Perhaps a bit of both.

wedding photography with a sense of humour York Place Studios

Photographer credit (this image and header pic): York Place Studios

The wedding industry is guilty, to an extent, of portraying weddings as perfectly unattainable dream days. We share swoon-worthy images of styling and design, fashion and beauty, with couples primped and pampered to perfection – more like a vision of heaven than real life – and there’s a danger we’ll lose focus and forget what weddings are all about.

Because don’t you think a wedding is a day to just love to bits? To fill and overwhelm your world view with happiness and companionship and a rollercoaster ride of emotion so bright you’ll remember it forever?

I do.

London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston (2)
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London is literally heaving with wedding venues – but without a little insider knowledge you’d never know some of them are even there! We’ve put together a list of the coolest 10 wedding venues in London: our favourites for their character and style, whether that be grand old buildings or alternative urban spaces. London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston has photographed weddings at these venues, and her couples are 100% brilliant and creative, so do click through to see more from each of their days.

1. Wilton’s Music Hall

Cavernous on the inside but hidden and unassuming from the outside, Wilton’s is one of London’s last remaining music halls. It dates back to the 1850s, and captures the spirit of the time – you’ll feel as though you’re making history when you wed here. Stand on floorboards where actors and musicians played in years gone by, and fall in love with this charming London wedding venue for its crumbling brick walls and beamed ceilings, tapestries and sense of history.

London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston on the English Wedding Blog (20)
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Images by London wedding photographer Jordanna Marston

Planning your ‘best day ever’ is the most amazing rollercoaster ride – and now is a fantastic time to get married! Some time ago we threw away the wedding rulebook, and couples are celebrating their commitment in creative, personal and truly individual style. I’ve been a wedding blogger for eight years and seen so many exciting changes in how we get married – and you know the very best thing about weddings now? They’re all so very different and those personal touches every couple include make every day special and magical in its own unique way!

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ wedding any more. I love that guest lists can be anything from two to five hundred of your nearest and dearest. Dresses and suits can be as formal or as boho as you like – and you can choose to be married in a centuries-old church or the field behind your house. What’s not to love about all this freedom… but where on earth do you start?