Bright palm house wedding with Charlie Brear dress & beer pong – Sarah & Ricky

If you’re an avid follower of my blog or social media you have probably heard me talk emphatically about how important lighting is to documentary wedding photographers. And not just any old lighting – natural lighting! Traditional photographers quite often carry around a large amount of professional lighting equipment to set up and shoot dramatic portraits. But not only do these take a long time to organise, meaning you will spend quite a bit of time away from your family & guests, and your poses will also be fully directed to get the perfect shots.


On the other hand, if you’re looking for laid back, uncontrived, genuine photographs from your big day, natural light is imperative for documentary wedding photographers; because, while our equipment is just as professional as a traditional photographers kit, it’s much more lightweight, mobile and carefree. This allows us to dash about and capture everything as and when it happens, without carting a whole load of heavy lights around.

As you will see from the images I am sharing with you today from Sarah & Ricky’s heavenly wedding at Sefton Park Palm House, the lighting is absolutely spot on all day. Guests are not shadowed in dark corners, every table is illuminated beautifully, the gorgeous details picked out perfectly by little shafts of sunlight here and there. It may have been about 3000 degrees in the middle of the day!! But it’s a tropical palm house, what can I tell you. The important thing is that there was no escaping the daylight. Which made me incredibly happy.


Soon I will be releasing an entire blog post about lighting and how you can help ensure your venue is beautiful and bright which will only benefit the photos you receive from me and hopefully keep you happy for years to come.


For now I am going to leave you in the capable hands of Sarah & Ricky as they tell you about their big day in their own words…

We want to thank you for making us feel so comfortable, we trusted you immensely and could tell how passionate you were about capturing our day as well as your love of photography. We’ve both said you were one of favourite parts and we enjoyed being photographed more than we thought! - Sarah & Ricky


Click here to listen to Sarah & Ricky’s wedding soundtrack while you enjoy the rest of their blog post.


We loved the band and the dancing in the evening after all the formalities were over. It was the part that we could enjoy without having all eyes on us. There was also one moment where it was just the 2 of us whilst everyone was taking their seats for the meal, we just took it all in and it felt like our moment and no one else’s.


Our major disaster was that Ricky ordered a tailored suit through a recommended website online – he was cutting it fine with his time frame as it was! We’d spent hours matching the groomsmen’s suits to the navy blue swatch. The suit arrived 2 weeks before the wedding and they had made it in grey not navy and it didn’t even fit! It was an absolute disaster. So panic set in! We managed to source the same suit as the groomsmen and he had it tailored 2 days before the wedding. Phew!


The best man’s suit also got lost in the post – the box turned up 6 weeks after we got married as ‘return to sender’!


Moral of the story: make sure you’re on top of anything you’ve left your other half to organise regardless of how much they say it’s in hand!

One of the biggest things that kept me calm throughout all the tough stuff was the advice a friend gave me – “when it comes to all the little details the only person who knows how they were meant to be was you and if you don’t get time to do them literally no one will notice!” Some of the little details are great for Insta but not for your stress levels.


I spent a lot of time Googling photographers and then checking out their Instagrams. Amy was the only one I contacted from the list! I loved that she captures moments rather than posed moments. On the day Amy was brilliant and we actually really enjoyed shooting the couple portraits. It was much less posey than we thought it would be! She also provided great advice about how long confetti shots would take and to limit the number of family shots.


We didn’t find out until later that there were technical difficulties with the band, so we switched the first dance around and zipped out to shoot sunset photos; Amy just grabbed us but we had no idea there was anything slightly wrong.

We are absolutely over the moon, we couldn’t have imagined our day being captured so perfectly... so much so they reduced my dad to tears! - Sarah & Ricky


Our favourite photo is the sneak peek Amy posted on her Instagram during our wedding where Ricky has his sunnies on and I’ve got my arm rested on his shoulder and we’re looking at each other.


Try and enjoy all the experiences, cake tasting, wedding dress shopping, venue choosing. It’s actually quite fun, take your time.


Don’t put pressure on to turn it all around too quickly!


Venue: Sefton Park Palm House

Videographer: Lara Elliott

Dress: Charlie Brear from The White Closet

Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Bridesmaids: Phase Eight

Flowers: Angela Adlard Floristry

Flowers: Marie Antoinette Cakes

Make up: Abbi Penketh

Hair: Christopher Millea

Stationery: Anna Calland

Band: The Mac Bros

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