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Weddings aren’t just for women. The wedding industry often ignores grooms – focusing every publication and brand on all things pink, pretty and romantic. But there are two halves to every wedding, and I think it’s a fairly safe bet that over half of the humans getting married wouldn’t choose pale blush and ivory as the most important aspects of their day.

Think about it.

So I love seeing weddings where real life stands at the forefront. Moments, smiles, emotions, interactions between all the human beings who are there. Being a blogger means I know a lot of photographers: most folks I follow on instagram happen to be wedding photographers. And I get to see their other work: the real life things they capture* and my favourite of all, their street photography. And when this style creeps into a wedding it is one of the best things EVER.

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Can we leap into Monday with a brilliant, fun-filled, EXCITING real wedding? Can we? Because the sun’s all gone in and I don’t know about you but I need something to fill me with happy vibes and beautiful inspiration. And also because I have this blissful day hiding up my sleeve that I have been so looking forward to sharing with you! It’s gorgeous couple Caroline & Sid, who were married at Barn Drift in Norfolk and chose our faves – top UK wedding photographers York Place Studios to capture their day.

Caroline and Sid's brilliantly fun party wedding at Barn Drift, image credit York Place Studios (28)

Caroline and Sid knew what they wanted from their wedding photographers. They weren’t looking for fine art or a focus on details – they got in touch with York Place and asked for “raw, documentary style pictures with the entire event covered in a candid way.”

Boy, did they get everything they could have dreamed of! The wedding is a joyful celebration mixing Sri Lankan touches with tons of personality and colour – and it’s an absolute treat from beginning to end.

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Article by our fabulous sponsors Entertainment Nation; header photo by the magnificent York Place Studios

Ready to throw away tradition, and eschew all those notions of dancing to the tried-and-tested at your wedding reception? New music is emerging all the time – so why stick to what’s already been done on your once-in-a-lifetime day?

If you’re a cutting-edge contemporary couple, or you simply want to make a statement by defying expectations, we’ve put together a list of infectious dance tracks and romantic stripped-back ballads to help inspire your wedding playlist.

From country blues to contemporary pop and dance floor filling house beats, here are 20 modern songs you and your husband or wife-to-be can use to make memories and strut your stuff on the dance floor. They guarantee a night you’ll never forget!

1. Paradise – George Ezra

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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.

A blissfully happy wedding full of moments and stories at Alrewas Hayes with York Place Studios (15)
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How was your weekend? Ours has been lovely with a day’s tidying up (doesn’t it feel amazing when a forgotten corner of your house gets all neat and shiny?!!) and a day of tootling about in the Lake District. So I’m feeling refreshed and excited for the week ahead, and all the more so because we have some fabulous weddings to share with you from around the UK. We’ll start in Staffordshire with Lucy and Tom’s brilliant wedding story, which I love to bits!

A blissfully happy wedding full of moments and stories at Alrewas Hayes with York Place Studios (16)

This gorgeous pair married at Alrewas Hayes, a modern countryside venue near Lichfield. Their insanely amazing photos are by documentary wedding photographers York Place Studios, who are based in Yorkshire, travel throughout the UK and are partial to a destination wedding too!

Real life wedding at the Town Hall Hotel in London, with York Place Studios (16)
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Images by Town Hall Hotel wedding photographers York Place Studios

Real life wedding at the Town Hall Hotel in London, with York Place Studios (18)

Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love grows and gives us a fairytale – Michael’s mum

Scrolling through the fabulous images from today’s London wedding, I get a very strong feeling that this is only the beginning of gorgeous couple Michael and Dorito’s story. It’s for this sense of ongoing narrative that I love sharing documentary wedding photography – I find it keeps my feet on the ground and reminds me that weddings are just as much a part of daily life as having breakfast and chatting to friends.

Your wedding will be your best day ever. That’s guaranteed: you’re marrying the love of your life, setting out together on an adventure. But that perfection is all about the people, the laughter and the love. However you choose to ‘frame’ your day (with styling and decor, flowers and sequins) it’s important to remember that those details are only a frame or a backdrop for your celebrations. On the day, you’ll know just what I mean.

Beautiful photography of a December wedding in candlelight at the Star Inn Harome, photos by York Place Studios (2)
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It’s always the images that get me; the beautiful photography and the intuitive captures. With York Place Studios that’s always the hugest thing. Then there’s Beth and Tim – a couple whose love, laughter and secret glances steal my heart. They’re adorable, romantic, heartwarming and surrounded by everyone they hold dearest at their Star Inn wedding in Harome.

Beautiful photography of a December wedding in candlelight at the Star Inn Harome, photos by York Place Studios (25)

Now this wedding is extraordinary for one more reason: Beth and Tim got married at 4 o’clock on a December day. Their ceremony and reception were to be lit by candlelight – which meant hiring top UK wedding photographers York Place Studios was a must. To take great photos in low light requires a ridiculous amount of skill and absolute top-of-the-range cameras. Prewarned, and relishing the challenge, the guys from York Place captured this day in their inimitable documentary wedding photography style. The images are bursting full of treasured memories, love and a sense of fun.

Beautiful photography of a December wedding in candlelight at the Star Inn Harome, photos by York Place Studios (24)

A brilliantly fun wedding story in pictures told by York Place Studios at Appletreewick Craven Arms (38)
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Time doesn’t stand still at weddings. Wedding blogs and magazines full of photos give the impression that a wedding is a series of amazing moments, stepping from one to another with a ‘click’, ‘click’ of a camera shutter at every step along the way. But the brides and grooms on English Wedding tell me – almost every time – that the day goes by SO FAST – it’s a sprint, a story which keeps on running like a fast-paced movie. There can be moments where ten things happen in the flash of an eye; and moments of stillness too. 

Why am I saying all this? Because today’s wedding from York Place Studios really brings it to mind. Rebecca and John’s wedding photos tell more than their story: they tell the story of everyone at their wedding – the joy and tears of the adorable children in their family. The excitement of their dogs as they get to play with so many brilliant people! The preparations in the morning, the ceremony, the reception and the dancing. I don’t doubt it felt as though this fabulous day was over in a second. But I know I could spend hours flicking through the wonderful photos, and seeing more moments to make me smile every time!

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

Exceptional UK wedding photographers York Place Studios - real vineyard wedding on English Wedding Blog (24)
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This gorgeous pair celebrated with a relaxed vineyard wedding reception where guests could relax in an outdoor sitting room – a space filled with comfy sofas, chairs and hay bales. As with every wedding our friends from York Place Studios share with us, this is a day full of character where the atmosphere just zings through my screen and makes me smile, chuckle and grin my head off.

Exceptional UK wedding photographers York Place Studios - real vineyard wedding on English Wedding Blog (32)

Wedding photography should never be all about the details. Don’t let wedding blogs fool you – planning can be detail-focused, that’s fine. But on the day all that matters is the people, the love, the laughter, the party. And when your memories arrive through the post box a few weeks after your wedding (because that, my lovelies, is what your wedding photos are: memories to keep forever) – it’s the moments of joy and connection and pure happiness which are important.

Exceptional UK wedding photographers York Place Studios - real vineyard wedding on English Wedding Blog (12)

Genius documentary photography telling the story of a Yorkshire wedding - York Place Studios on the English Wedding Blog (33)
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A guest article by Jon Beck at RedLine DJs and Entertainment

Photo credit: York Place Studios

You’ve said your vows, the wine’s flowing and the speeches have been a success… step up the all-important first dance. At Redline DJs and Entertainment I spend a lot of time talking to couples about their first dance, and have seen everything from choreographed three-song extravaganzas to no first dance at all. Neither are right or wrong – a wedding is a highly personal thing, no part more so than your first dance as husband and wife.
Some couples have a song that they consider ‘theirs’ but a lot don’t –and that’s OK! Either way, this isn’t something you should be nervous about. The below steps will help you plan the perfect first dance… one that you genuinely enjoy.

1. Brainstorm (without each other)

When people ask me for first dance recommendations I can always give them a list of suggested songs, but first I recommend that they have a think about it, away from each other. It sounds silly, as this is something so personal to you as a couple, but if you have an independent sit down, it will trigger songs that perhaps you hadn’t previously considered.

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