Dave & Laura's Wedding, Lingfield, Surrey

After travelling the length and breadth of the country this summer photographing weddings, it was rather nice having one so close to home to look forward to at the end of September. Late last year I was contacted by Dave, fellow cricketer and teammate at Tonbridge Cricket Club about his and Laura's wedding preparations. After a few cups of tea discussing the arrangements at their lovely townhouse, their wedding day was booked in the diary and what a day it promised to be! 

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A couple of months before the wedding I took the short drive over to Lingfield to catch up with Dave and Laura to get the gist of what the day would entail - something I like to do for every wedding I shoot to run through the proposed itinerary, visit the church or wedding venue and of course, catch up over a few more cups of tea! The original plan was great - get prepared in Tonbridge, make the short journey to Lingfield church to get married and then retreat to a huge field in the Surrey countryside for the reception and afterparty. Perfect, what could be better? 

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A few weeks before the wedding I got a message from Dave saying the arrangements for the wedding had taken a slight change. To cut a long story short, the venue for the reception and afterparty wasn't to be held in a field, but in the grounds of a luxurious and secluded country house that had been very kindly offered to Dave and Laura by the owners for the weekend. Sometimes it's not what you know it's who you know! Having seen the stunning house before when I took a tour of the field that would become the car park for the wedding, this was very exciting news. It would present so many new photo opportunities with its beuatiful walled garden, stunning archways, long avenues and bright rooms for morning preparation shots. 

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When Dave and Laura's big day arrived it was such a blast. It was non-stop fun shooting and was filled with hilarious, romantic and meaningful moments. It's not a wedding that didn't come without its challenges - the variable light, downpour on exiting the church and tactical overtaking moves to make sure I got ahead of the tractor are just a few things that spring to mind, but it's all these types of things that I love overcoming to capture those special moments that can never be repeated. 

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Dave and Laura you make such a fab couple, you both looked amazing on the day and it was a pleasure working with you throughout. A massive thank must go out to your family and guests for being so friendly, helpful and a little crazy at times on the dance floor! I promise I'll get your wedding card delivered to you soon, which I completely forgot to drop in your card box and is still languishing in my camera bag.

A small selection of final edits from Dave & Laura's fabulous wedding can be viewed below...

Flowers by BlueHenFlowers
Dress by The Pantiles Bride
Photography by Michael Topham Photography

Mike & Lucy's Pre-Wedding Shoot, Hampstead

A couple of weeks back I got to meet up with Mike & Lucy - a lovely couple from Hampstead who I had the pleasure to meet for the first time while shooting Olly and Kayleigh's big day at Sopley Mill in Dorset last year. After meeting up, grabbing a coffee and running through the itinerary for their wedding that's fast approaching at the end of May, we headed for Hampstead Hill Garden & Pergola - a place I'd never been to before but is known for being one of London’s hidden treasures.

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After capturing a few causal snaps around the Pergola, we set off on a walk around the gardens to explore the endless possibilities the location offers for a few shots on Mike and Lucy's wedding day. Long avenues, grand staircases, stunning flowers and immaculately kept lawns. As locations for a wedding shoot go it really doesn't get much better!  

An hour or so later we retraced our steps, stopping off at a few different places on our way back just to grab a few more shots - some of my favourites can be found below. In just over a month I'll be heading back to Hampstead to document the day Mike and Lucy get hitched and I can't wait! Being quite a big wedding with over 150 guests, I'll be working alongside the talented Thom Law who's going to be my very competent assistant and second shooter. All that's left to say is roll on the 27th! 

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James & Clare's Wedding Cooling Castle, Kent

My first wedding of 2017 couldn't have been closer to home, just twenty miles or so up the road in North Kent. Over the years I've been shooting weddings I've heard the location Cooling Castle Barn drop into conversation many times, but I'd never actually been there until late last year when James and Clare invited me along to check the place out prior to their big day. Little did I know that the house's current occupant is the musician Jools Holland! 

You never quite know what you're going to get weather wise in the month of Feb. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll get the sun bursting through the clouds on the odd occasion and others you'll be working in that kind of light drizzle that gets you, your camera and your kit really wet.  Thankfully, my cagoule and umbrella stayed in the boot of my car. James and Clare got clouds with bursts of sunny spells just as they'd been hoping for.

What I love so much about James and Clare is their relaxed attitude - they couldn't have been more chilled on the day. Everything ran like clockwork. The stunning bridal suite at Cooling Castle Barn provided the perfect backdrop for a few incidentals of the girls getting ready and the intricate hair styling from Samantha Blake was so good I found myself rattling off endless shots of Clare's hair. 

So far I'm only a few hours into the editing process, but can't wait to really get stuck into a few podcasts and turn this set around for when James and Clare return from their honeymoon adventures in Borneo and Kuala Lumpur. Hope you're having an ace time out there guys! 

For the photography gear geeks out there, the wedding presented the first opportunity to use the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens, which I'm also presently reviewing for Amateur Photographer magazine. And before you ask, yes I'm buying one! Sublime is the first word that springs to mind to describe the quality of this lens and it'll be joining my other duo of Art primes (35mm f/1.4 & 50mm f/1.4) in the very near future. 

That's enough writing for now, it's time to make a coffee and get back to Lightroom! 

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