Thank you 2013, you have been extraordinary

2013 has been an utterly amazing year. I have spent some time this week just looking back through the different weddings, family photographs, engagement sessions and other shoots that I have carried out in the past twelve months, and I am left feeling more than a little humbled by all of it.  

I still find it an incredible thing, that people invite me into their lives, and hand me the responsibility of capturing these most special of times for them - moments that will never ever happen again, that could so easily pass by unnoticed. I get butterflies in my tummy when I know that I'm pressing the shutter on these fleeting moments- the look on a father's face as he watches his daughter prepare for her wedding ceremony, a new mother gazing with raw love at her newborn baby, the moment when a groom first sees his bride and tears of emotion well up in his eyes. To be given the opportunity to not only capture these interactions, but to create the most beautiful of images from them, that is what makes my tummy somersault and my heart sing. 

I cannot even begin to summarise this year, or to start mentioning the countless different and wonderful moments I have witnessed. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has asked me to photograph their weddings, celebrate their love, capture their babies, their family - thank you for making this one of the most amazing years ever. Here are some, just some, of my favourite images.

Beach wedding: Tunnels Beaches, Devon

In October this year, Rhiannon and James got married at the beautiful seaside wedding venue, Tunnels Beaches at Ilfracombe.  It was a gorgeous day, with the soft, autumn sunshine making everything look particularly pretty and allowing us all to enjoy an outdoor ceremony!  I loved all the little touches that Rhiannon and James had organised for the day, from flip flops 'for tired feet' and heart sunglasses, to a seaside themed props basket, and a wonderful polka dot theme running through the day.

The bride and groom both got ready in the recently refurbished Bathhouse, although on separate floors to avoid accidentally running into each other before the ceremony!  I loved Rhiannon's walk from the Bathhouse, past the group of onlookers eagerly awaiting the bride, and down through the tunnels to where the ceremony was taking place.  It must feel incredible to walk through that dark tunnel, then emerge into the light and see your groom standing with all your wedding guests waiting for you, framed by the sea and sky behind…  just amazing!

It was a really relaxed and fun wedding and I loved so much about it, particularly the rather spectacular light that we enjoyed as the sun was setting.  But one of my strongest memories from the day is of a lovely moment during the ceremony, when I became aware of the sound of the waves crashing on the beach next to us while Rhiannon and James were exchanging rings.  What an incredible place to get married!

Exeter Guildhall wedding: a little preview of Andrea and Simon's day

Great big congratulations to the lovely Andrea and Simon, who got married at Exeter Guildhall last Saturday!  Theirs was my last wedding of 2013, and it was such a lovely one to finish on, with so much laughter and celebration throughout.  Their ceremony was at the Guildhall on Exeter High Street, which was just brilliant - I loved battling through the Christmas shoppers to capture Andrea's arrival and the Guildhall itself was a really beautiful venue for the wedding.  Then the reception took place at the brilliant Golden Pond Chinese Restaurant in Rockbeare - Andrea and Simon and their guests took over the venue for a long Chinese banquet and relaxed afternoon of eating, drinking, speeches and much more laughter.  As an enormous (and I mean ENORMOUS) Doctor Who fan, Simon chose to celebrate his wedding along with the 50th anniversary and there were more than a few nods to the sci-fi classic during the day.  I particularly loved best man Lee's photo of Doctor Who's new assistant - sneak preview below!  It was a real joy to photograph this wedding day and a great way for me to end the year.  It started with the most beautiful frosty morning and ended with an incredibly clear and starry night sky - I hope that you like these preview images!

Suppliers for this wedding:

Evening entertainment from Phonic FM DJ Pat Bensburg

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You might also like to have a look at some of my other recent blog posts:

Muddifords Court Country House: Devon wedding

I really loved photographing Helen and Rich's wedding at Muddifords Court back in June.  Owners Nicky and Pip have put so much work into making it into such a fabulous wedding venue, with gorgeous 'getting ready' spaces and the converted Cider Barn for the ceremony.  Then between the Shippen reception room, the onsite bar, and the relaxed courtyard area, it creates such a lovely place to celebrate a wedding.  I love the fact that everything is all based on the one site and when you also throw in a lake, vintage style caravans and a beautiful, long driveway, it makes doing my job very enjoyable indeed!

Helen and Rich were absolutely lovely to work with - their wedding was a really relaxed day and it was lovely to capture all their celebrations unfolding.  As the bride and groom both got ready at Muddifords (in different parts of the house!), I was able to move between them throughout the morning, which I really enjoyed.  The preparations are always one of my favourite parts of the day, and I love seeing the excitement slowly building as everything comes together.  I loved Helen's elegant hair and make-up, which looked beautiful with her dress, which was made specially for her.  It was also lovely to watch the beautiful little flower girls shyly having their hair done for the occasion, bolstered by a large packet of Haribos!

The wedding was all planned and beautifully styled by Nat at Jolly Good Wedding, leaving Helen and Rich free to relax and enjoy the day itself without worrying about any of the nitty gritty. Helen and Rich also booked The Roving Artist after admiring images of Michael creating silhouettes at another wedding I photographed.  It was great fun to see him work again here - in hardly any time at all, he creates the most incredible cut-paper portraits - I find it really fascinating to watch.  And a great keepsake for the guests to take home!

There were some really wonderful suppliers involved in creating Helen and Rich's wedding celebrations - the full list is at the bottom of the post if you are interested in any of the contact details.  Here are some images of their wonderful day:

Maunsel House autumn wedding: Zoe & James

It was really lovely to photography Zoe and James' autumn wedding at Maunsel House in Somerset last Saturday.  It was a beautiful November day, with soft autumn sunshine and a lovely crispness in the air.  Zoe started by getting ready at the amazing Castle Hotel in Taunton.  It is such a beautiful location and really perfect for capturing the bridal preparations.  I also couldn't resist photographing Zoe's dress on the main staircase, which caused a few strange looks from other guests!  After a really lovely ceremony at All Saints Church, Trull, everyone then moved on to Maunsel House for the wedding reception.  Maunsel House looked beautiful in the dusky light, with the fires burning and candles twinkling everywhere.  We even had the additional treat of a giant bonfire later in the evening, which was great fun!  Huge congratulations to Zoe and James, it was a beautiful day to photograph - here is a little preview:

Wedding suppliers:

Zoe's dress and shoes by Caroline Castigliano
James' suit from Astaires, Taunton
Catering by Sticky Date
Florist: Flowers by Wendy
Zoe's hair by Louise Alway
Zoe's make up by friend, Siobhan Parker
Music from Arioso Quartet

You might also be interested to have a look at other pages on this photography blog:

An autumn wedding at Reed Hall, Exeter

A tipi wedding in Somerset

A wedding at River Cottage HQ, Devon

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