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The weekend is for R&R… that’s ROCK & relaxation!

On Saturday we did something very rare in our book – we actually blocked out a Saturday in July not to shoot a wedding.  This is never a decision we make lightly as we love our work so much, but when I got the opportunity to sing at the O2, I couldn’t pass it up!

For the last two years I’ve been a member of Cambridge Rock Choir led by the superb Carrie Rawlings. When I first heard about Rock Choir a few years ago from the ITV documentary, I’d been searching for a choir ever since I moved to Cambridge in 2008. There are lots of choirs in Cambridge, but many are, well, quite serious, and although I had been classically and contemporary trained in my youth, as well as doing my stint in amateur musicals, what I wanted was a community choir where I could turn up, belt out a few songs and get that endorphin rush for pleasure. I was gutted to see that there was no Rock Choir here – there was even one in my old home town of Dunstable! Thankfully, barely a few months later, I saw an ad in the paper announcing some introductory workshops for a new Rock Choir in Cambridge – yay!

 

I went to the workshop and instantly warmed to our leader-to-be Carrie Rawlings, she was full of energy and went at a good pace. Importantly, she had talent! There is always a danger you’d end up with a ‘couldn’t make it in the industry’ type – this may sound harsh but I used to work in a  musical theatre agency so have met them all! – yet Carrie has a cracking voice and still works professionally on stage alongside Rock Choir. Fairly soon in the workshop I felt my singing voice leap back into action after laying dormant for very many years. I signed up, and am happy to be starting ‘year 3’ with Carrie and all my lovely choir friends (including my best bud Aimee!) in September.

Rock Choir - IMG_0096  Rock Choir - IMG_0169

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Katie & Matthew’s Fun-Filled Spring Burwash Manor Wedding Photography

It always bowls us over when a client contacts us far in advance to secure us for their wedding date, and we were delighted to hear from Katie who had seen a piece on us in a magazine she worked on some two years before the wedding, and decided we were the photographers for her. Meeting Katie and Matthew, we knew this relaxed couple would have a fun wedding reflecting their personalities  that we really wanted to be part of, and we weren’t disappointed on the day!

Katie_and_Matthew_-_IMG_1783

A gorgeous yellow colour scheme was perfect for the bright April day of the wedding, and stunning flowers by our favourite florist Flowers by Mooi really stamped spring on this wedding.  Gorgeous accessories such as Katie’s bright yellow LK Bennett Shoes, fully visible thanks to her stunning 50s style Coast wedding dress, and the funky yellow sunglasses sported by bride and bridesmaids really made this a fantastically bright celebration – you couldn’t help but smile right from the moment we arrived to cover the couple’s preparations. As well as parents, friends, bridesmaids, we also had three gorgeous doggies looking bemused at all the fuss over at Katie’s mum Delia’s house.  We then all headed to Cambridge Registry Office for the wedding ceremony. The couple chose to walk up the aisle together which really set the tone for the day as this fantastic couple committed their lives to each other.

Katie, Matthew, their family and friends were determined to have fantastic fun and didn’t let us down as we boarded the red wedding bus to their Burwash Manor wedding reception. This was our first Burwash Wedding and we have wanted to shoot there for a while, especially as they are one of the closest venues to us. The sun shone brightly highlighting the splashes of yellow as we set up a shower of yellow confetti over the couple and their guests. We had some much fun as the group enjoyed posing for our cameras, a rarity these days with so many people telling us they hate being photographed!

Some highly emotional speeches followed an amazing meal by another supplier we recommend, the fantastic Puddini at the Deli, and then it really was party time! Katie and Matthew had booked our all day coverage package, so we were there to cover the whole story of the day. The bride and groom were on the busy dance floor for most of the evening and when not there our photo booth studio was incredibly busy – processing these images was hilarious, this group were so much fun! We absolutely love the dance floor images though, a true testament to how good coloured lights can look and make a real difference to the atmosphere of your party – we would highly recommend it.

We wish Katie & Matthew a lifetime of love and laughter and thank them for choosing us to capture such a fantastic wedding!

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The end of an era! Tom’s dancing shoes are laid to rest

It is with great sadness that we announce the retirement of Tom’s famous (infamous) dancing shoes.

The unique shiny black and white spats/winklepicker combo have served well, circling many a dance floor up and down the country, even travelling across the pond for our destination wedding photography in the USA.

They will be somehow be replaced, but never forgotten, and will live on in the many phone pictures captured by guests in the last couple of years…

 

The search is on for the replacement… watch this space…

 

 

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Have fun in your wedding dress REVISIT: Rachael & Nik’s mini-moon find

Last month I wrote a wedding blog on a subject hugely close to my heart, about letting go on your wedding day and not worrying about getting your dress dirty etc. I was inspired by the lovely Rachael, who was persuaded to dance in the rain in her gorgeous full skirted Maggie Sottero gown. A few days later we received the most wonderful follow up that I want to share with you – and here are Nik’s own words as I couldn’t put it any better…

 

Hi Lina and Tom,

 We’re back now from our camper trip with lots of happy memories, but felt we just had to share one with you because it’s all down to you…

 As you know, we headed down to Devon and Cornwall to revisit a few old haunts and explore some new ones.  We realised on the way down that Rachael hadn’t thrown her bouquet on Saturday night, so we decided to head all the way down to Land’s End so that she could cast it into the waves.  In a spirit of solidarity, the weather continued wet and VERY windy and as we sought refuge in the gift shop, looking for a memento which would properly sum up our experiences, we spotted a photo frame which perfectly encapsulated all the advice we’d been given.

 In advance of seeing the finished photos, I hope you don’t mind me cloning/cropping/butchering your preview shot to make it fit the frame, but we hope you recognise the sentiment, and get the same huge smile* as we did!

 All the best,

Nik and Rae.

* you might not get the same lump in the throat… that’s optional.

Take a look for yourself – needless to say, we had the lump in the throat! This is what it is all about for us. We are so so passionate about bringing you these experiences as you start your married lives together – it’s not just about taking pretty pictures for us, it’s about your experience.

 

Mr & Mrs Whiddett – we salute you! Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of it, you are an inspiration…

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All the (not-so) single ladies! Lina and Tom in Vogue Beyoncé issue

Strike a pose – we’re in Vogue!

 

Calling all fashion concious brides, look who was asked to be in “Vogue’s guide to the Top Wedding Photographers” – woo!

So all you not-so-single ladies, check out the May 2013 Beyoncé cover issue for our inclusion as a Vogue Top Wedding Photographer!

 

Lina and Tom wedding photography in Vogue Magazine

Lina and Tom photography in Vogue Magazine

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Having fun in your wedding dress: why you have to let go on the day!

As people who attend weddings for a living, we have obviously seen a lot of weddings. Tom and I have seen all colour combinations, styles and themes. This means we are well placed to  give our clients an idea of what will and won’t work, and I always say to our clients that I am always contactable to talk anything regarding their wedding, not just photography. From being unsure which side of your head your headpiece should go (on the right, if you’re wondering!) to where your DJ’s kit will be better placed in the room, I am always here ready to listen when you have tested the patience of your bridesmaids!

One of the key pieces of advice we will always give however, is regarding your wedding dress. Actually we have two. Firstly it is to try on every style that exists, even if you think you know what you want. One of the most common things we hear from brides is ‘It was completely different to what I though I would go for!’ Even if you know you don’t want the big fairytale dress – try it on anyway! When else will you have the chance to try on a big meringue of a dress – have fun whilst you are looking for the one!

However, my main piece of advice is regarding the actual wearing of your wedding dress on the day. It’s a major piece of advice actually: HAVE FUN AND LET GO! Yes the dress is white/ivory. Yes it probably cost you a month’s wages. Yes it is possibly the most beautiful thing you have ever worn. But you only wear it ONCE. Make the most of your time in it.

If it is pouring with rain, who cares?

If the grass is a bit damp and muddy, who cares?!

Once you are past the ceremony, it’s time for celebrating. As photographers, we would rather work with a bride who is willing to let go and go out and enjoy herself, not worrying about the spec of dirt that ends up on the hem (that’s what Photoshop is for!) because we know we will get amazing wedding photography that shows the couple having the time of their lives. Do you really want to look back on your wedding with regret that you didn’t let go? Or do you want to look back and think wow we had so much fun!

Perfect case in point this weekend was the lovely Rachael. Looking stunning in her full skirted Maggie Sottero dress, unfortunately the weather was not on our side. We postponed taking the couple out into the grounds during the reception drinks of their Easthampstead Park wedding, hoping the rain would settle later on . We even managed to persuade the venue to let us do the confetti shot inside! However, when it came to wanting to photograph our bride and groom later, it was still raining, and harder. Our couple were no strangers to being photographed in terrible weather, the wind and drizzle on their Wells-next-the-Sea pre-wedding shoot challenged their resolve so we had a feeling they may be valiant, and they were!

Agreeing to go out for wedding photos in the rain, at first we used the heart shaped umbrella we used in their pre-shoot, but they were soon persuaded to go for it. The taster of the day just had to be this fantastic shot of Nik swinging Rachael around in the rain, the shot is utter joy and we love it! When we returned inside Rachael’s train was soaked through and the bubble hem dirty but she didn’t care and just look at the result! It was so, so worth it!

 

Fun in your wedding dress - Lina and Tom

 

Even if you have great weather, maybe your venue backs on to woodland – don’t fret over the mud, go in and create gorgeous memories to last a lifetime. Tom and I always try and get new perspectives on venues, and sometimes walking that little bit further can give you beautifully unique wedding photos.

Here’s another big tip: bring different shoes! You’re not going to want to venture far or on grass in your four inch platforms, so bring a different pair of comfy shoes for your photos, particularly easy if you have a full skirt. On Saturday evening, Rachael was heard saying. “I’m so glad I brought my wedges!” So were we!

So please ladies, getting married in the UK means you can’t predict the weather, so what will be will be – whatever you end up with just concentrate on having the best day of your life!

Lina x

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Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Pre Wedding Shoot

Being Cambridge wedding photographers we tend to do a lot of pre-wedding and engagement shoots in the city, which we love as it is beautiful, but it is also wonderful to get out of the city every now and then, and we were excited when Rachael & Nik booked us for their April 2013 Berkshire wedding and told us that the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea was special to them.

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Pre-Wedding Shoot

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And the BAFTA goes to… the beard! How Grooms can learn from film stars their wedding day grooming

Watched the BAFTAS on Sunday night? We did. My love of the arts and entertainment industry combined with my adoration for Hugh Jackman (Tom understands) meant we settled down for the BAFTA Awards ceremony on TV this year. Very soon we began to notice the beards. It wasn’t just us either, Twitter and the following day’s media became awash with comment about how the great and the good of Hollywood now had beards.

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/style/articles/2013-02/11/bafta-beards-mens-grooming-george-clooney-ben-affleck

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/quiz/2013/feb/11/grammys-baftas-guess-beards-quiz

This makes me very happy. As a beardy-loving lady (on my men that is) it’s great to see lots of facial hair around. I found myself even looking at Ben Affleck in a new light. It got me thinking about our lovely grooms, and the rituals of shaving we see in the morning preparations. Now there will likely be a few ladies (Brides and MOG’s equally) who will disagree with me, but guys, YOU DON’T NEED TO SHAVE FOR YOUR WEDDING!

Now a disclaimer is needed here, by not shave I don’t mean rock up to your wedding looking like you have been asleep for five days, but if you usually sport a trendy smattering of stubble, then keep it. In much the same way people tell women not to lose too much weight for their wedding day as they ‘need to look like them’, so the same should go for the boys!

 

So take a tip from the red carpet boys, the beard is back and looking fab, so  if you usually rock facial hair or your bride-to-be swooned over your sexy stubble when you met, then keep the razor blade in the cupboard on wedding morning.

 

Lina x

 

 

 

 

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Choosing your wedding photographer and how to get the best out of your wedding photos!

For the Knebworth Wedding Show 2013 we were asked by Wedding Link Herts and Cambs to present a seminar to prospective brides and grooms. We decided the best advice we could give would be tips on choosing your wedding photographer and therefore get the best out of your wedding photos. Those of you who know our work will know we are all about making sure the fun you have at your wedding and we capture it – the day goes too quick for you to be standing around in endless photos.

Choosing your Photographer seminar - LinaandTom.com

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Wedding Fairs – Do you really need to go to them?

Ah tis the season for the wedding fair. Or fayre, if you are so inclined. Between September and April us wedding industry folk are usually giving up a few weekends to dedicate ourselves to meeting future clients face to face. A battle ground for the suppliers all fighting to be your chosen one, we get to eye each other up, see who is offering what, and who are the trailblazers in the region. In particular, wedding fairs seem to have more wedding photographers than anything else, and good shows are hard to get into if you have not done them before.

We love doing wedding fairs, which makes us quite different to a lot of suppliers, particularly certain types of wedding photographers (you probably know the types I mean!) We have heard many a grumble about having to give up your Sunday to smile and endlessly talk about weddings. Tom and I love wedding fairs, we really do. We’ve never wholly felt comfortable with the notion of our website being the only shop window to prospective brides and grooms, as wedding photography is such a personal business. It’s so important you like your wedding photographer as a person, not just for their work. We like to tell people, we’re the guests you have to invite!

 

Not for us is the usual table approach at a wedding fair. The first few we were exhibitors at, it never felt right standing behind a table, with people coming forward to just browse our wedding albums whilst they were on the go. It felt like we needed to sit down with people, even if it was only for a few minutes, to give them a true (if quick!) representation of what we do. The Autumn 2011 Wedding Show at Wimpole Hall was our testing ground, run by Wedding Link Herts, Beds and Cambs, this was our first two day wedding spectacular, and there was a best stand competition. So we had a good think about it, how would we like people to view our work, spend more time with us? The result of our thinking was our living room. We wanted prospective clients to be comfortable with us. So we brought our chesterfield chairs, fire surround, hat stand and lamp, as well as various other pieces from our house to make it feel homely. Pieces of our work hung around the stand so couples could hopefully imagine their wedding photos above the fireplace, which was finished by a gorgeous piece of floral design by Cambridgeshire floral designer Nicola Fowler of Mooi Flowers.

We didn’t win the stand prize, but we had some fantastic feedback and found couples and their parents were definitely spending longer with us. Since then, we have never had a standard table at a wedding fair as it just doesn’t feel right. We love sitting with brides and grooms and hearing about their proposals, looking at the engagement ring and hearing about where they are in the process. To be honest, now we’re in 2013, we’re surprised to have not seen anyone copy us yet, but maybe because it’s quite a unique look. Every now and then a bride will say, oh yes I remember you from another show, which is great. It’s lovely to see their growing excitement and great to be helpful with suggestions for venues or other suppliers.

As a bride, a wedding fair can be a brilliant place to get ideas – not just about what you want but also what you don’t want. Good wedding fair organisers will have a good range of each supplier in different styles and different budgets, so it can be a great way for you to decide what is right for you and your wedding. And that really is what it is about. It’s your wedding. Don’t get swept up in the wedding checklist of things that you think you want to have. Not sure about what dress style will suit you? Go and see one of the catwalk shows, most dress shops at the show will be showcasing their dresses on the catwalk, and will show a range of styles.

Wedding fairs are also a good place to get offers. Most suppliers will have a show offer, something like a freebie or money off towards booking. Check their offer though, as it may have an expiry date – as a supplier, a show offer is a good way to get people to book you sooner rather than later. Beware the offers which are labelled ‘if you book today’ though. At a show you are seeing a  limited cross section of suppliers, who in most cases have all paid to be there. Especially beware of any photographers with this offer. No one should be forcing you to make a decision that quickly! It really is important to do your research. If you really love a photographer, by all means email them as soon as you get home, or ask them to pencil you in, but allow yourself the right amount of time to be sure – it’s a big decision!

You can also just treat the show as a good excuse for a fun day out, be it getting excited with your other half, or having a girls day out with your mum and your bridesmaids, most wedding fairs are a lovely way to spend a few hours together.

We spent this weekend at not one but two fairs – well, sort of!  On Saturday and Sunday we exhibited at The Wedding Show Knebworth Park, a fantastic two day show with great catwalks and a seminar schedule. We were honoured and flattered to be asked by Wedding Link to present a seminar in their demo area about photography, and we gave a 20 minute presentation titled How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer and Make Sure You Get the Best Out of Your Photos! Both session were busy and we were delighted to hear many Brides and Grooms tell us we gave them food for thought, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. There is a lot to consider when it comes to your wedding photos, and we wanted to help them make informed choices. Again, our ‘living room’ concept stand went down well and we thank everyone who joined us on the Love Seat!

LinaandTom-KnebworthWedding Show-Stand2012

Knebworth_Jan2013_ShowGuideDemo

 

On Sunday we should have been part of the second Hotel du Vin Cambridge Wedding Fair, an intimate exhibition featuring only the hotel’s recommended suppliers. As recommended photographer to Hotel du Vin Cambridge we are honoured to have a space in their fair, and after a great wedding fair in September 2012, unfortunately we found ourselves double booked with Knebworth for the January date. So we entrusted former clients and good friends of ours Aimee and Sam to cover the show for us, as we felt it would be great for couples to hear first hand from clients who had booked our services. They tell us Hotel du Vin had a great day and they were talking non-stop – so we can’t wait to catch up with some of the fabulous-sounding couples they met! Thanks to the lovely ladies at the hotel for looking after them.

 

So if you are unsure about going to a wedding fair, I’d say go. Even if you think you want a small relaxed affair, have a wonder around to get some ideas. Sometimes seeing colours together or certain flowers can stoke your imagination, without you feeling that you have to have certain things and book certain people on your wedding day. Getting married is an exciting time, so go on, indulge yourself a little!

Lina x

Ps… apologies for some of the grainy phone pictures on here, but we don’t usually have time at a fair to get our cameras out! Thanks to Wedding Link for the snap of us doing our seminar.

You can come see Lina and Tom at Liquid Photo, Hertfordshire Wedding Photographers, next at the following wedding fairs:

 

Letchworth Hall Hotel, Sunday 17th February 2013

Hatfield House, Sunday 19th May 2013

 

 

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