AUTHOR ARCHIVES:
Naomi Liddell

Photography Timeline Darek Smietana Photography Pin Image

Wedding Photography Timeline – How To Get It Right

Your wedding photos are probably one of the most important investments you will make for your big day. As a veteran bride myself, I can tell you that the day goes past in a gorgeous, love-filled, rip-roaring blur. You want to soak up every moment, (in the moment!), whilst leaving the precious moment capturing to the professionals. And for them, the wedding photography timeline is key.

Our criteria for accepting wedding photographers into our carefully curated wedding supplier directory, The List, means that we KNOW you’re in good hands. And one of the things most often discussed is the importance of communication with the couple. They want to know exactly what you want. And your wedding photography timeline is a map of the day that ensures you get that cherished shot with Gran, that blissed out golden hour shot with your new husband or wife and every delicious detail in between. 

So, how do you design a wedding photography timeline? We’re glad you asked. Because below we have a step by step guide, a list of shots to consider, top advice from the industry experts (these are nuggets of golden wisdom – Do not miss them!) AND a free printable to keep you right. You are SO welcome.

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Wedding Details - Make Your Wedding Extra Pin Image

Wedding Details – Make Your Wedding Extra

When it comes to planning your big day, covering all the essentials is fun. But adding in the unexpected extras for guests is THE BEST. That feeling you get when you create wedding details that you know will have everyone laughing, talking and having a great time? All the loved up, proud feels. And lucky for you we’ve rounded up a bunch of wedding details, little and large, that will blow you (and your guests) away. They’re all showcased on our handpicked supplier directory, The List, and for very good reason. As you’re about to see…

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Nancarrow Farm Barn Wedding Venue Photographed by Ross Talling Photography Pin Image

Barn Wedding Venues – The Best in the UK

Barn wedding venues are the hidden gems of the wedding venue world. Sometimes proudly placed on Google, sometimes tucked away where only those in the know can find them. And there are some STUNNING barn wedding venues in the UK. Being the venue geeks that we are, we have done all the leg work for you and have listed over 30 of the most magical barn wedding venues in the land via The List (our carefully curated wedding directory). Best of all, with most listings featuring imagery from our real weddings, you will get a true feel for the venue as a wedding space before narrowing down. That’s not all, to make it even easier you can also filter by location, capacity and facilities. 

Are you still debating over whether a barn wedding venue is the right choice for your day? If so, let us give you a rundown of why these characterful buildings make the perfect place for both whispering vows and roaring parties. 

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Travelling Like A Minx.

I love travelling. I really do. And not just the sundowners and sun loungers part, the actual travelling. Its complete park-your-brain time, where you’re stuck in a seat with nothing to do but be hurtled toward your destination. Be it by train, plane or automobile. In fact, as I type this post, I am lounging in a Business Class seat with some fizzy apple juice on my flight from Dubai to Manchester (Free upgrade… but more on that later).

Having lived away from home (as in away-away) for the last six years, I now see airports like over complicated bus stations and have become somewhat of an expert at packing hand luggage. Your big ole check in hold luggage though? Not so much. I know that I should be rolling (not folding) my clothes… That’s as far as it goes.

Gavin has this theory that you should pack a case in terms of your body. Head things (hair dryers/make up/hats) should go at the top of the case, body things (toiletries/clothes/underwear) go in the middle and feet things (shoes and… Well, shoes) should go in the bottom. I like his thinking but someone’s clearly never travelled with a brand new Chanel powder compact, that’s all I’m saying.

As for me… I’m Le Hand Luggage Queen. And I thought that seeing as I would be making this mammoth trip home from Upside Down Land, I should dish out some of my tips and tricks for all of you honeymooners.

The Golden Rule

An exercise to do when travelling… Set out everything you’re taking with you. Sort into two piles: Things that you absolutely, categorically, unarguably need… And things you won’t mind getting to you via Marrakech baggage reclaim after a couple of days. Things-you-need should go in your hand luggage. Things-you-want go in your hold luggage. I also rest easier knowing that I have all my ‘spensives and must haves in my hand luggage, out of the reach of opportunist thieves. A sad but true fact about travelling.

Soft Hand Luggage Bags

Too often have I been on board a flight with one of those structured wheely hand luggage numbers that zips around the front. Too often have I cursed said bag when trying to get anything down from the over head locker during the flight. So now, with so many airlines insisting that your hand luggage case should also function as your handbag (one piece of hand luggage pfft!) I have consciously decided to only travel with a soft weekend bag that will fit under the seat in front of me. I can’t even begin to tell you the hassle it saves and the amount of crap you decide not to take (you don’t need it anyway).

Take Off The Day

I always take a little tester pot of face wash and moisturiser. Especially if going long haul. In fact, I think my entire skin care range comes with me in 100ml size format. Those little travel decanters are excellent. I try to wear minimal make up as the plane air sucks the moisture out of your skin. I find that nipping off to the bathroom with a toiletry bag to freshen up before I try to sleep gives me a sense of bedtime routine and definitely combats jet lag.

Home Comforts

One of my favourite home comforts to take onto the plane is a little bizarre… A hand towel. Drying your face with a fresh clean hand towel from your own home is blissful on board a long haul flight. Even a dry face cloth would do if you’re short on space. Other home comforts I like are a good pair of thick socks and a warm cashmere pashmina for wrapping up in or using as a pillow.

Uncomfortable Truths

Ever been on a plane, finally dozing softly only to be woken up with a super dry nose and throat? Its the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. I hate it. So when a friend of mine told me she refuses to fly without nasal spray, I thought I’d try it out. I’m using an Aussie brand one, but any saline spray will do. I know its a little weird to bring it up, but I can’t even explain just how much more comfortable it makes flying. Its now a definite must have for me.

Upgrades

Free upgrade. You may be fooled into thinking that these days it’s a myth, but from the comfort of my business class seat I can tell you that it’s more than possible. The secret? Be super nice and ask. That’s it. Although I’ve found that asking the flight supervisor at the gate works way better than the lady at the check in desk. If your a little too shy to ask up front for an upgrade, ask something like “Is the flight busy today? Would you be able to move our seats to somewhere with a bit more room?” Either you get an upgrade or they move you to your own empty three seater giving you and your man plenty of room for napping and cuddles.

So, as I’m a complete hints and tips junkie, have any of you lot got any handy travel tips you swear by? Products you always bring on flights?
And where are you jetting off to on your honeymoon? I’d love to hear!!

Love,

Naomi

xoxo

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Looking Back… Bridal Beauty.

This is a bit of a personal post to be honest. I never usually have any qualms about talking to you lovely lot…
But this time I’m a little nervous.

You see I’d like to reminisce about my own big day and a few beauty related topics I feel I got wrong.

Now it’s not easy for me to talk about getting anything wrong (I’m a stubborn aul cow), let alone share something so personal as how I looked and felt on my wedding day. But we’re all here to help each other out and maybe something I say will ring true with you.

So here goes…

I should have long luscious locks

I have always been a short haired girl. I have dabbled with the long locks on a few occasions but always breathe a sigh of relief when the hairdresser takes scissors to it. I feel sexier with short hair. Plus… with hair like mine (as unmanagable as an explosion at a mattress factory) it just makes damn good sense.

So naturally, as soon as I got engaged I decided to grow it…(!) Thus ensued a year and a half of cursing at the mirror, endless hours of straightening and enough bleach to choke a playboy bunny. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

Three days after we were married, I had myself booked into a fancy salon and had my hair cut into a short platinum crop. Strange isn’t it? And it’s so common. Most women actually grow their hair long just so they can pin it up! Why I didn’t just go for extensions to my flirty bob? Haven’t a clue. Or even just sported by bob on my wedding day? It’s like there’s some invisible pressure there to make you grow a mane. Why do you think it is?

I can do my own make-up

This is a funny one. Some of you may have read that subtitle and had a small heart attack because you’ve not booked a make-up artist. Well… in a cost saving exercise, I didn’t. I hate other people doing my make-up. I always feel caked and like I’m wearing someone elses mask. So my girls and I were to apply our own war paint for the day.

It got to the wedding day, I sat myself down surrounded by my newly purchased goodies and a big ole mirror in front of the window… And I froze. The light was funny, my hands were sweating and it dawned on me that I didn’t know how to apply make-up for the camera. I started panicking, then thankfully our friend Charlotte turned up. Luckily for me she swooped in and took over the make-up applying duties.

So the advice I will give you in this… If you plan to do your own make-up, awesome, please do. But make sure one of your girls knows the drill and get her to do a trial on you too. I totally didn’t expect to freeze up on the day, but I was so glad to have someone to hand who knew the look I was after.

I must be the thinnest I’ve ever been

This is very personal, but I’m going to throw it out their anyway. I have always been slim. Ranging around a 8-10. But in the six months before our wedding, I was so busy and stressed out that I went through a stage of cakes, cookies and comfort eating… and gained a stone.

This then turned into major self hate for my body in the months leading to my wedding. I lost confidence and started to place a God awful amount of blame on myself for not being like all other brides and slimming down as much as I could. After all, you’re meant to be at your thinnest for your wedding right?

Well, this my lovelies is complete and utter bullshit. On my wedding day I was still half a stone over my natural weight. And did I care? No. I honestly felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. I strutted around in my wedding dress, embracing my new found curves (and massive boobs!). Would I have felt any better if I were slimmer? I honestly don’t think it would have made any difference. I was too happy.

I am thinner now than I was on my wedding day, but I still look back at photos and love every shot. I think I look awesome. So if you’re naturally a 10, 24, 16 or 6… please just embrace your body. Your man thinks your the hottest thing he’s laid eye on. So why change who you are? Buy a dress for your shape and rock it.

I’d love to know your thoughts ladies…

Love,
Naomi

xoxo

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The (moderately) Good Wife

Back at the end of May, Charlotte’s brain exploded at the idea of ‘High fashion with a Hoover’, which resulted in the now epic and airy Real Bride shoot of RMW Stepford Wives. Which… I adored.

It was a tongue in cheek hark back to a time (not so long ago) where a woman was expected to be the utmost perfect housewife, providing a beautiful home and atmosphere for her husband and children. Thankfully, we as women these days have a hell of a lot more life choices laid before us and relationships are much more balanced now than back in the day when my Granda Hughie used to give my Granny Sarah pocket money.

And as a married, working woman, on a career path, I am hugely grateful for that.

However… part of me wants to have it all. Stupidly awesome career, social life, marriage, personal style and domestic goddess status to boot. And although before I got married I was dead set on achieving all of these things everyday, making me officially The. Best. Wife. Ever. (!)… I only manage to balance about 3 out of those 5 on the very best of days, which are few and far between.

So as a bit of insight into my domestic abilities and some Wednesday afternoon RMW fun, I figured I’d let you in on my Stepford Wife strengths and weaknesses.

Wifey Things I’m Crap At:

Laundry – Or as normal people call it… ‘the washing’. I do not do the washing. Gavin does. It’s not that I am a numpty and cannot work the machine. I am probably the best person in the house at working R2D2 (our fancy beeping, singing washing machine). I just never remember to put it on, until the morning I’m getting dressed for work and realise I have no underwear left and have to rearrange my outfit so I can wear skimpy pj shorts as underwear. It has happened. I also hate carrying wet clothes, feels like yuck. So in the odd time I do remember to put a wash on, it usually gets left in the machine until it needs washed again. As Gavin became sick of recifying all my washing mistakes, I’ve gladly been stripped of all clothing washing duties.

Cleaning The Shower Screen – I enjoy cleaning. I am one of those people who gets up on a Saturday morning, blasts music (usually Prodigy) and cleans like she’s at a bleach soaked rave. I love it, it’s free therapy. The only nook that fills me with dread is the shower screen. We have a wall to wall shower with a ginormous screen that manages to draw out of every bead of sweat and curse word in my body. So for fear that I one day might throw myself through the bloody thing, Gavin has now taken that on as one of his weekly tasks.

Wearing Matching Underwear – I love underwear, I do. I have plenty of it (apart from when I forget to do the washing). But I do not understand matching underwear. How is it possible to wear matching undies everyday of the week? It’s mathematically impractical. I buy a set of underwear, I wear the panties one day then wash them, but I usually wear my bras for two (sometimes three) wears before washing… So in order to have matching underwear, I would need to buy an underwear set plus two extra pairs of knickers. This is too much for me… so I just wear what’s required of the outfit at the time. Unmatched. Unless it’s a sexy weekend… then I’ll match the colours at least.

Wifey Things I’m Awesome At:

Anything Food Related– I can cook. I’m no Nigella, but I can definitely whip up a minor storm in the kitchen, dinner and dessert style. I can also do a decent grocery shop and not spend our life savings. And for the times that Gavin does do the grocery shop and spends a mortgage downpayment; when the beer and olives are gone and we’re reduced to famine again, I can look in the fridge, find a questionable egg, a nob of crumby butter and some mustard and manage to make a pretty good meal out of it. The long and short is that I love food. So I’ve come to know it and learned to work with it, which my Dad insists is a good wife skill to have.

Finding Things – Too often Gavin will come into a room like a man waging war, throw open every drawer, box and cupboard and storm out in a fit of rage, cursing the thing he’s looking for. This is generally met with me calmly walking past him to the bookshelf and locating the object within 10 seconds. I’m convinced that if I was a superhero, this would be my power. Unless it’s something important that belongs to me, like phone, passport or keys… then I haven’t a hope in hell of finding it as I probably left it in KFC three years ago and have only noticed now.

Making a Comfortable Home – After a 4 year Interior Design degree and a student loan that could choke a donkey, you’d like to think I’d be good at this one, eh? I’m pretty good at purchasing textures, artwork and accessories to fill a space and make it more like Gavin and I’s home (even if we are renting in the other side of the world). I’m also really good at spending a small fortune on fresh flowers every week and spending Saturday mornings arranging them, taking them apart and arranging them again.

So as I skip off to clean away my dishes all the while whistling Snow White songs with a bird perched on my finger, I’d love you all to do something.

Please list one wifey thing you’re crap at and one wifey thing you’re good at in the comments box…you know, to make me feel better about not being Martha Stewart.

Love,

Naomi

xoxo

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Music Is The Fabric That Binds Us.

Music is, for myself and my delicious man, a part of the fabric that binds us. In our early dating stages, music was the main thing we talked about, danced to and bonded over most. Saturday afternoons were spent prancing around in my underwear (me, not Gavin) with a big old school set of headphones on, attached to his iPod whilst he showed off his extensive iTunes library and musical trivia knowledge. Not much has changed.

Music has always and will always fill our home. Whether it’s chilled out tunes while cooking, hardcore rock while cleaning or background party music when having friends around, we will always find an excuse to play something.

Luckily we have the exact same taste in music. Generally speaking we tend to love anything Acoustic, Folk-y, Rock-y, Grunge-y, Metal-y, Punk-y or Bass-y. Rock chick, yes I am. So how the hell do you incorporate that into your wedding and make sure everyone else (who maybe aren’t so fond of having their eardrums blown out) enjoys themselves too…

We asked our guests what they wanted to listen to! This brainchild was born out of a bit of RMW inspiration. We had a slot on our RSVP postcards that read “Name a song guaranteed to get you dancing”. The results were both varied and spectacular. I have since then seen this on many a wedding planning post and still to this day think it’s a great way to make people feel involved, whilst taking the pressure off you to come up with a playlist. Be that via the medium of DJ, Band or iPod.

So I figured I’d spend this post talking you through my mega music filled day in the hope that it may inspire/help some of you out in the music stakes.

Pre-Ceremony

My Dad, God Bless his golfers socks, made me a playlist. He even brought his iDock just so that as I was getting ready, the room was filled with music to keep me calm. I did not even think about this during my planning, but I cannot recommend it enough! Not only did it keep me calm, but it just filled the room with the most gorgeous atmosphere. Music really has that incredible way of transcending you and settling your emotions, don’t you think?

Ceremony

I can’t offer much help to you here as very luckily for us, one of Gavin’s best friends is the insanely talented musician, Jonathan Powell who wrote us an original piece of music for my walk up the aisle. Other than that, he just sat and played beautiful melodies on guitar to ease everyone into the day.

Wedding Meal

As some of you may know from my Big Dirty Wedding Report, Gavin decided he wanted a rock star entrance to our meal. Just as we were announced, out blasts the anthem that is Black Dog by Led Zepplin. We strutted our way through the crowd, Gavin high fiving people and me sporting my leather jacket of course. I have to say… it was pretty awesome.

While planning the wedding, Gavin and I made a decision to play music throughout the entire meal. So we came up with a playlist full of soft, slow, romantic tunes that were perfect for the most important dinner party of our lives. This is, apparently, not that common at weddings. But we found that the music once again filled the room with such beautiful atmosphere and relaxed our guests. Until Gavin got everyone up for an impromptu rendition of Hey Jude, complete with hand clapping and lighter waving. It rocked.

Wedding party

Ah ha. The party. Faced with a list full of songs, the length of your average queue at a Next sale, we were struggling with the order in which to play them all. So Gavin made a brilliant observation. Play everything in order of era. That way, you give the older folks a chance to be up enjoying their tunes earlier in the night and leave all the modern music for your friends to the end of the night, when they’re likely to be the last ones left standing! It went down an absolute storm at the wedding. The dance floor was never empty and it meant that Gavin and I could play our rockier tunes closer to the end without disgusting a conservative aunt.

The music at our wedding was something that many a guest commented on days after. So as a word of advice, I can say this… Please take into consideration the music your guests will want to dance to… But please do not deny yourself and your husband a chance to listen to your favourite music. Chances are, most of your friends and family will be right up there with you. Gavin actually had a nice boogie with his Mum to Sex is on Fire… an image that (haunts me) cracks me up to this day.

So I’ll leave you with a good ole list (you know how I loves them) of my Big Day musical suggestions:

Slow and Romantic

Lovely Day – Bill Withers
(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin
That Ole Devil called Love – Billie Holiday
Feelin’ Good – Nina Simone
Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits
The Bones of You – Elbow
Running to Stand Still – U2
Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Toothpaste Kisses – The Maccabees
Her Morning Elegance – Oren Lavie
Crystal – Stevie Nicks
Right Down the Line – Gerry Rafferty
Somersault – Zero 7

The Party

Do You Love Me? – The Contours (< This was the best party starter!)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
20th Century Boy – T-Rex
Rolling in Deep – Adele
You’ve Got The Love – Florence and the Machine
Hush – Deep Purple
My Sharona – The Knack
Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springstein
Hey Ya – Outkast
Ride on Time – Black Box
Jump Around – House of Pain
Rhythm is a Dancer – Snap
Love Shack – The B52’s
Just a Girl – No Doubt
Only Girl (in the World) – Rhianna
Lust for Life – Iggy Pop
Rebellion – Arcade Fire

What music will you be playing on your Big Day?

Is there anything you would like to play but don’t feel you can get away with it?

Trust me, if we can play Prodigy ‘Smack my B*tch up’ and have my Granny up busting a move, it might not be so bad.

Love,

Naomi

xoxo

P.S. For more song choices and the post that inspired this post click here.

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The Post Polka Dot Blues.

As we all know, wedding planning is an incredibly addictive process. It unleashes the creative genius within us all that researches, pins, collects, ooh’s and ahh’s like a monster. We become some kind of super woman juggling 46,000 balls in the air and people gaze with admiration (sometimes from afar for fear of being roped in).

My view on wedding planning? I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Yes, ok, it’s stressful sometimes, but all in all it made me feel so inspired and motivated that it was hard to peel my face/hand/index finger from the screen/notebook/phone most of the time.

So what happens when all of those magazine cutouts, bookmarked blogs, conversations with suppliers, cash withdrawals and invitation replies culminate to one of the happiest days of your life?

You get on with the rest of your life. Yes, ok there is some aftermath from the day itself. Family to see, thank you cards to write and so on. But essentially your wedding day has been and gone, so now what? At this point, it is pretty common to experience a case of the blues.

I know some of you are probably thinking “What the hell does she know about post wedding blues? She flew off on a round the world trip, what’s depressing about that?”. But let me tell you. About two weeks into our trip, I had a minor breakdown in the pool of a very nice hotel on Koh Phangan, Thailand. You see… I had spent 18 months planning this wedding and also this trip. And here I was on said trip after having had said wedding and I felt, well, lost.

All my effort had previously been spent running. Running as fast as my knobbly legs could carry me, full tilt towards the wedding and the trip. Sometimes it was like being a kid and running so fast downhill that your convinced your legs can’t keep up and any minute you’ll fall. But I didn’t. I made it to the bottom of the hill, I burst through the doors of the wedding and the trip and here I stood on the other side.

And on the other side, I stood on top of another hill, overlooking a gorgeous wide open landscape that stretched for as far as the eye can see and quite frankly, I sh*t myself. Because I had no idea how to compete with all that space, time and emotion without a plan. Like I said, I was lost.

So after a much needed sob, cuddle and glass of fresh coconut milk, I spoke to Gavin. I told him how I was feeling and he laughed at me. Yes. Laughed. Initially I was appalled at his reaction, but after he regained composure, he said the most beautiful thing to me:

“Darlin’, we have the most amazing life laid out ahead of us. We can do anything we want and we get to do it all together. There’s so much more to come.”

Cue my moment of dawning.

Yes the wedding is important and it’s a fantastic thing to be working towards, but one day you lot will be standing on the other side of it. Whether you’re making dinner together in your house or packing to come home from your honeymoon, do not mourn your wedding day. Look toward that beautiful rolling landscape that lies ahead and get excited that it’s just the beginning of your life together. And you can do whatever the hell you want… together.

And as a final note… All you married ladies that keep coming back to Rock My Wedding. I do not want to see another apology from any of you. You are welcome here. You always will be. Hell I still visit everyday! Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t lust after a pair of Louboutins or a delicious centre piece.

So, ladies, are any of you worried about what happens after the day itself?

Any newlyweds/old marrieds have any advice they’re care to share?

Love and rice crispy buns,

Naomi

xoxo

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Naomi Rates – Rockalily Lipstick.

I have a bit of a love affair going on with lipstick. It’s easy make-up. As Ditta Von Teese once said “all you have to do is slick on some lipstick, a pair of shades and no one needs know you aren’t wearing anything else.” (I think she means other make up, but you never know with that one). So I have been practicing this of late. On days when perhaps I just have to run out to the supermarket, I wack on a big ole pair of sunnies and slick on some ‘stick. Makes me feel quite glam actually. It’s slowly gaining ground on my love for mascara.

So that’s my big face up there with the red lippie on. Rockalily Lipstick (or what shall now be known as ‘the worlds best lipstick’) in the limited edition shade ‘Sailors Beware’. Good old ReeRee Rocket has developed this incredible range of lipsticks in shades that will help you channel your inner Marilyn (see what I did there Jenny?). Sick of searching for the perfect red lipstick, ReeRee went and did what any of us only dream of doing and created her own make up brand. She worked damn hard and developed what I have to say is the best lipstick I have ever worn. I’m not exaggerating. It’s the most flattering, perfect, teeth whitening shade of red. It stayed on me for an entire night out and it’s the only lipstick I’ve found that actually makes my lips feel super moisturised while giving me that nice matte red I’ve been after for years.

ReeRee (she’s bound to be cool with a name like that, right?) couldn’t have been nicer, she emailed me with some advice to help me chose my perfect shade of red and even shipped it all the way to Upside Down Land for me.

And what’s more… Each one is only 14 quid.

I’m working through the entire range. Gwen Stefani eat your heart out.

Love and lipstick,

Naomi

xo

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