Jodie Chapman Photography

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Love On An Island.


Jemma and Thomas chose Preston Court in sunny Kent for their big day; Jemma told me that she fell in love with the venue as soon as she saw it and from then on there was really no point in the pair of them looking elsewhere.

This gorgeous twosome married on the most beautiful little island. In order to reach Tom who was waiting on the opposite side, Jemma had to walk across a flower bedecked bridge over a lake. I mean you can’t really get more intimate and metaphorical than that can you.

And it gets better.

This morning folks, we have cupcakes and carousels, lace jam jars and birdcages. Jemma’s dad even made the paper pompoms strewn around the venue for her.

Blinking adorable.

Without further ado, I give you Jemma and Tom.

Preston Court Wedding Signage Birdcage Florals

Champagne Gold

Jemma The Bride:My wedding dress was a Maggie Sottero creation in Champagne gold, as the soft colour is more flattering to my skin tone than white. I loved the detail on it. Tom was convinced I would have a short dress so he was genuinely shocked when he saw me walk across the bridge.

I also had an evening dress, which was short and a completely different style to the day dress. This was so that I could dance with my girls, who also had short dresses. My evening dress was made by Barbara Seadon At Bespoke Gowns – she is my cousin’s mother in law and very talented.

Preston Court Wedding Venue South East England Unique

I didn’t want a veil, but felt I needed something to set the outfit off. I chose a piece by Jenny Packham which had such exquisite detail. We were lucky enough to have a sunny day for our celebrations and the crystals in the headpiece looked especially beautiful with the light reflecting off them.

Oh Jimmy

My bridesmaid Charlie and I were getting married in the same year and we had a girlie day out in London shopping for shoes. We must have tried on forty odd pairs! We both had our hearts set on a pair of Jimmy Choos each but we found they didn’t fit us perfectly. I chose a champagne pair of shoes from Dune, they had lovely diamante detail and matched my dress really well. They were comfortable to stand in all day, I really didn’t want to have sore feet so spent weeks walking round the house in them which definitely paid dividends on the day.

Jodie Chapman Wedding Photography UK

My friend Katie did my hair, she was very patient with me as I kept changing my mind about what I wanted. She did a fantastic job and was also a very calm person to have around whilst getting ready.

My make up was done by the lovely Leanne Robey, who I have been going to for beauty treatments for a few years. She is a perfectionist and was so helpful on the day, she even helped me get into my dress.

Romance, Prosperity And Good Fortune

Lara from Darling and Wild was fantastic, she listened to all my ideas and brought them to life exactly as I had envisaged them. I wanted soft, dusky pinks and creams with a mix of whimsical gypsophelia. Roses are a timeless symbol of love and are one of my favourite flowers along with peonies which represent romance, prosperity, omen of good fortune, and happy marriage.

Maggie Sottero Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress Bridal Gown

As well as cream roses, the boys had wheat in their buttonholes to tie together the informal feel of the venue/day with all of the pretty details.

Dusky Pinks

I chose a dusky pink colour for my bridesmaids and it was a flattering colour for all of them. They all looked so pretty. The dresses were from H&M; my sister and I were out shopping and saw a boy holding a dress for his mum, we both looked at each other as we instantly knew these dresses would be perfect for the day. The poor boy looked a bit scared clutching onto the dress as we were quizzing him over where he had picked it up from!

Blue Men's Slim Fit Groom Suit Reiss

I wanted the dresses to be short to reflect the informal vibe for the day. I also got the girls cream lace shrugs which looked gorgeous.

The boys wore their own suits, they all looked so smart. We then had ties and pocket chiefs made to match the girls dresses. I had never seen James, the Best Man in a suit before and it was lovely to see him looking so dapper.

Romantic Elegant Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress Jenny Packham Bridal Headpiece

Tom looks great in suits and wore an indigo colour three piece suit from Reiss in Knightsbridge and had it tailored to fit him perfectly. He looked very striking, the colour was divine on him – he got so many compliments on the day.

Take One Talented Family Member

Jodie Chapman is fabulously talented and as soon as we got engaged we knew we wanted her to capture our special day. As expected she did an amazing job and we are thrilled with our photos. Jodie is a wonderful friend as well as a family member so we had great fun having the photos taken, we were totally relaxed with her and it was one of my most favourite parts of the day.

Darling and Wild Wedding Florist Dusky Pink Cream Rose Bridal Bouquet

Cupcakes And Carousels

The venue had a sound limiter, so we knew a live band would not be able to perform to their potential. We had a DJ from Platinum DJ Productions who was great, he played great songs and we hardly left the dancefloor all night.

Preston Court gave us the option to hire their carousel for the day and we are so glad that we did. Most people went on it, we all had great fun and it created some brilliant photo opportunities.

You Are The Best Thing

My talented friend Alex sang our first dance song for us, it was so important to me to have him involved in the day somehow and this was a very personal gift from him to us.

The song was Ray LaMontagne You Are The Best Thing – it is a song that we both love and was perfect to start off our married lives with. Alex was so good that a few people have commented that they thought it was the record being played rather than him singing!

Preston Court Unique Wedding Venue UK Carousel

I wanted a vintage birdcage cake and for all the colours to reflect the colours of the day. Charlotte from Lella’s Cupcakes really listened to exactly what we wanted – the cake was delicious, I am just disappointed I didn’t get to eat more of it! Contact details

I also collected lovely glass vases and bowls and created a sweetie table – all the sweets were pastel coloured and I also sourced pink and white striped paper bags from eBay. I had seen a few of these in wedding magazines and blogs but for most people it was something they hadn’t seen before. The table proved to be very popular – all the sweets were gone by the end of the night!

Jodie Chapman Wedding Photography

It’s The Little Touches

We wanted to add our own touches to the existing decor of Preston Court so we filled lace jars with LED lights – these were dotted inside the barns and outside in the courtyard and in the evening they looked magical.

We also tied ribbon in pink and cream on the jars onto every chair. I love photos and spent hours selecting and printing photos of all of our guests. This was a really personal touch and people have told me they really enjoyed looking at all the photos on display, especially ones of themselves that they hadn’t previously seen.

Gypsophila Wedding Table Centrepiece DIY Lace Jam Jars

My friend Sally and I also went to a reclaim yard one lunchtime and saw two cream metal birdcages, it was like they were just sitting waiting for me to buy them. We used one as a card post box, decorated with ribbon and lace and the other was filled with flowers and hung from the trees on the island where we got married.

Vintage Inspired Tableplan Sweet Short Wedding Dress

My Dad made paper pom poms in pink and cream, we hung these up in the barn and outside. They looked so cute and it was lovely for my Dad to get involved in the detail of the day.
Lastly we captured a Coney Island feel by providing little white deck chairs for the guests and added a Showman’s wagon for a bit of vintage detail which also doubled up as a beautiful place to go and get changed into my second dress!

It was lovely to do things ourselves as it made the planning so much fun and on the day I felt proud that the venue looked so fantastic as we had done this ourselves.

Words Of Wisdom

If I had to choose then there were several aspects that made our wedding special to us. The carousel which our guests jumped on after the ceremony and during the evening, the popcorn cart that made the rounds after the ceremony – this fitted so well with the carousel – and the fact that I changed into a second, shorter dress.

Lellas Cupcakes Bespoke Wedding Cake UK

For me planning our happy day was a wonderful experience, which I fully embraced and enjoyed. I treated it as a project and researched all the lovely details and kept track of the finances on one of my infamous spreadsheets. Being so organised throughout meant it wasn’t a stressful experience.

I am lucky to have really supportive friends and family who were all keen to help out in any way. My sister in particular was my rock and put up with wedding related emails almost daily for eighteen months; she was fantastic and I can’t wait to repay the favour to her when it is her time to get married. It was also lovely to have one of my best friends getting married at the same time – I will treasure all the conversations we had around flowers and shoes and details, it really brought us closer together.

Jodie Chapman Wedding Photography Preston Court

The guest list can be a contentious issue with weddings. There were a few people who were put out by our choice of invitees, but this made us stronger as a couple as we really wanted to stick by the decisions we had made. The people that were there were people that reflected our lives at that point, I didn’t want to have long lost family members or people we didn’t know – everyone there was special to us and looking round on the day this was so important to us. It was a relaxed, happy day and there is nothing I would have done differently.

Jodie Chapman Wedding Photography

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Preston Court
Dress – Maggie Sottero
Headpiece – Jenny Packham
Groom – Reiss
Florist Darling And Wild
Entertainment – Platinum DJ Productions
Photography – Jodie Chapman Photography
Cake – Lella’s Cupcakes

How about that then? I adore Jemma’s evening gown – sassy, sexy with just the right amount of bridal to make it a rip-roaring success.

And did you spot the table plan near the end there? Amazing isn’t it – definitely the first I’ve seen of that particular style anyway. I’ll be popping that on the Pinterest board for keeps.

I would also now like a ‘go’ on the nearest carousel – what a brilliant idea to keep your younger and slightly more mature guests entertained. Not after too much of the special juice mind.

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Lovely Love Story.

Chris and Ele instantly fell in love with Notley Abbey when they went to look around its wonderfully aged walls and were determined that this was the place for them. So much so that they didn’t view any other venues.

When you just know, you know, don’t you.

And I can totally see why they picked this beautiful venue. Exquisite gardens, sheep in the surrounding fields and a whole heap of history.

And that’s not all. Ele looks like a fairytale princess in her Lyn Ashworth gown and Chris looks as proud as punch to call Ele his wife. Their love for each other positively emanates from the photos below.

Just you wait and see.


Ele The Bride: I was torn between a Lyn Ashworth dress called ‘Scarlett’ and a Jenny Packham dress (which had always been my dream!) but after lots of deliberating I just knew Scarlett gave me loads of confidence and felt like something I could swoosh around in all day and feel comfortable in. Scarlett was a full organza skirt with bodice top and detailed straps, with a detailed belt.

I never thought I would wear a veil as every time I put one on I just felt like the corpse bride! In the end though when my dress arrived and the lovely ladies from Brides of Berkhamsted convinced me to try a full length simple veil it was like the icing on the cake. I kept my jewellery pretty simple as I didn’t want to overwhelm the detail on the dress and just opted for some drop earrings borrowed from my mum.

Shoes were also important to me. I knew I wanted something that I would get use out of again, so for me this ruled out white satin shoes (especially seeing as I knew I would be out on the grass during the day). In the end I found a perfect pair of sparkly Jimmy Choos which I felt were understated but special enough for the occasion. I also had a pair of corn flower and peach Vivienne Westwood jelly shoes (my sister, also maid of honour, had a pair to match!) which matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly for the dancing in the evening. I also had a pair of peach Hunter wellies in case the rain came!

A Bevy Of Beauties

I really deliberated over my big day make-up. I got in touch with Nikki and she put me completely at ease and assured me that we could do a bridal look without being too bridal..if that makes sense. She was an absolute star on the day and even managed to help all of my eight lovely bridesmaids with their eyes which was great!

The team from Ciente in Berkhamsted did all of our hair, quite a feat with eight bridesmaids, and even managed to do my Dad’s! The girls had a selection of flowers for their hair if they wanted. It was important to me that everyone wore something that felt like them, so I didn’t ask for any particular hairstyles etc.

Beautiful English Country Flowers

One of the most important elements of the day for me was getting the flowers right. I researched hard for London florists prepared to come out to the country, but they all seemed beyond the budget

I stumbled across a website for Green and Gorgeous in Oxfordshire and fell in love straight away. Beautiful English country flowers, from a few miles up the road, that would be chosen the day before the wedding depending on what was looking best in the garden.

I met with Jo and she was honestly so helpful and understood everything that I wanted to achieve with the flowers, including my request for a ridiculously oversized bouquet and a big hanging pom pom for the ceremony! I adore dahlias so knew these would need to be a big feature.

When it came to decorating the venue, Jo and her team were a delight to work with and turned up on the day with an enormous quantity of flowers which were arranged around each of the rooms in a massive assortment of loaned vases, jugs and bottles. Just gorgeous!

It was very exciting a few days before the wedding going round the garden and picking the biggest most amazing dahlias for the centrepieces, and it was extra special knowing it was all home grown from just down the road. We kept the table centres fairly simple and opted for a variety of smaller displays and tea light holders.

Eight Birds

Twobirds Bridesmaids were a complete dream to work with. It was really important to me that the dresses for the girls not only matched their personalities (there were eight of them after all!) but were something that they would genuinely want to wear again and again.

Twobirds Bridesmaids fitted the bill perfectly as each of the girls could personalise the style of their dresses exactly how they wanted them. We opted for two colours to complement their different skintones and styles, and thankfully ended up with half in one colour and half in the other which meant it looked even on the day.

I also bought each of the girls a little trinket for them to wear on the day from Banana Republic or Monica Vinader.

Classic Liberty

Chris wore a gorgeous Paul Smith suit in charcoal grey and Reiss shoes. He wanted something that he would feel comfortable in and could wear again so we opted for a three piece suit.

We really struggled to find a tie that made Chris stand out but wasn’t too ott. We both agreed that something floral but not overly girly was needed. As the day approached we visited a tailor in south London whose suits weren’t quite right for Chris and his broad shoulders, but did mention that they could create bespoke ties.

I knew then that this was the way forward and in the end bought three of Liberty’s classic design prints – one for Chris, my dad and Chris’ dad. Each of the ties were different but complementary; I also used the material for Chris’ tie as the backdrop to the seating plan.

The boys had suits from Reiss and ties to match the cornflower blue that half of the girls wore.

A Friend From The Beginning

Jodie was a pleasure to deal with right from the outset. We knew we would have to act quickly with a bank holiday wedding to get a great photographer and meeting in one of our favourite London spots and seeing her beautiful work put us at ease straight away.

We did an engagement shoot near home in Angel and just loved the way Jodie felt like a friend from the beginning and didn’t ask us to pose for pictures but just snapped away in the background. We now have the most precious photo albums, including images of all of our loved ones that we will cherish always.

The Icing On The Cake

We deliberated over the cake for quite a while; it was the one item Chris and I really couldn’t agree on as he was adamant the cake had to have icing to be a wedding cake! I was veering towards a tiered Victoria sponge design but we just couldn’t agree.

Cue Rock my Wedding to the rescue.

I spotted a cake on RMW from Katja’s Kupcakes that had an intricate soft iced design which was so unusual and so I happily agreed to having an iced cake! Everyone on the day commented how original the cake was.

We chose tiers of chocolate, beetroot and raspberry and lastly white chocolate; it tasted delicious!

We wanted something traditional but quirky at the same time. We really loved the tiered designs on the ‘chunky’ side. Katja did some initial illustrations which were exactly what we were looking for and even drove the cake down from Cheshire the morning of the wedding!

My mum has always made the yummiest chocolate mars bar crispy cakes (not good for the waistline!) so she was a complete superstar and made ridiculous quantities in the kitchen in the days running up to the wedding for our wedding favours. We bought some Chinese noodle boxes and made some stickers with ‘Mrs P’s chocolate treats’ on them for guests to take home. They were all so popular we never had a look in but I’m sure they tasted great!

My Girl

We saw Andre at a family wedding and thought he was absolutely amazing. When it came to music for the ceremony we wanted something which would be memorable but in the right way! Andre invited us to see him perform with his band at an event in London and they were so incredible we decided they would be perfect for the ceremony itself. My Dad and I walked down the aisle to the Ellie Goulding version of ‘Your Song’ and had Train ‘Hey Soul Sister’ and Bruno Mars ‘Just the Way you are’ during the ceremony.

Annie, one of my beautiful bridesmaids read ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton, absolutely amazingly in the ceremony. It was one of our favourite moments and she deserves a special mention as she so nervous when we were getting ready in the morning!

We had a Jazz band in the evening – The Jazz Cannons – who got everyone up and dancing all night before the DJ later on.

Chris had two best men, both old school friends. We knew Dickie (one of the best men) was due to go out on duty to Afghanistan for his first tour with the TA shortly after the wedding. What we weren’t expecting however was that the army would decide to bring this date forward to the week before the wedding! One of our friends works for the BBC as a sports presenter and together with one of the bridesmaids arranged for the filming of a mini speech for Dickie – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when his little face appeared on the wall, especially after Chris had got so emotional talking about him in his speech!!

As Chris and I have been together for quite a long time (coming up for ten years now) and the songs we used to love back in the day all seemed far too outdated for our first dance. We opted for a classic ‘My Girl’ as it made us both smile when we heard it and knew we could shuffle along to it and look like we vaguely knew what we were doing!

The Finishing Touches

Notley is so gorgeous we wanted to let it speak for itself and didn’t want to go OTT with the décor. We did however make sure there were lots of fresh flowers dotted around the place and candles in the evening. Jo our lovely florist also brought along some ribbons for the covered walkways too.

Mum and Dad organised a surprise fireworks display for later in the evening which was amazing
We also created a homemade photo booth with a Polaroid camera which everyone enjoyed using and we now have a great guest book to flick through.

We made our own stationery designs, and used a local printers to get them all printed professionally. I was particularly proud of the table plan which incorporated the Liberty fabric from Chris’ tie and a bargain ornate frame with printed cards.

Stop Procrastinating

My top tip as a fairly (ok very!) indecisive person, would be to not give yourself too much time to plan. I found after the first six months I spent far too much time procrastinating and just wanted the day to hurry up!

On the morning of the wedding itself, I felt remarkably calm and somehow managed to get a good nights sleep. So take it from me, just relax and enjoy the day as it goes so quickly. It’s not worth stressing about the tiny details on the day as it is too late by this point.

So there we have it.

Isn’t Ele’s bouquet simply gorgeous…and how about those eight beautiful bridesmaids. They are the most perfectly girly entourage you’ve ever seen.

And I well and truly take my hat off to any woman that picks not one, not two but three different sets of footwear for her big day. Ele you were well and truly prepared for whatever the weather.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Pictures You Love Forever.

I don’t know about you gorgeous lot but James and I are really bad for forgetting to take our camera anywhere with us. I know – Ironic considering most of my job revolves around looking at beautiful images all day long.

When we had “more time” as it were we used to make the effort to get photo’s developed, make albums, generally preserve important and significant events and memories. The sad thing is, when we do get around to the occasional holiday snap it’s rarely of us actually “together” due to the very fact that one or other of us having to be behind the lens.

One of my all time favourite photographers Polly Alexandre now offers couples shoots as well as actual W-day coverage so if you are a married who fancies a ridiculously beautiful and poignant anniversary gift or just a pair of love birds with a burning desire to capture the moment…. then I can highly recommend.

Another uber talented (and seriously stylish) photographer Jodie Chapman certainly thought it was about time she and husband Greg had some timeless keepsakes to cherish and hot-footed it over to Ibiza for some sea, sunshine and delicious memory-making.

Be warned. This couple are illegally attractive. And you will more than likely spend the remainder of the evening with a severe case of wardrobe envy.

Jodie Chapman: As a photographer, much of my time is spent behind the camera. Our holiday pictures are always of Greg or I separately, never shots of us both together. Having been married for six years, there was no chance of having an engagement shoot or getting re-married, so I decided to arrange a special couples shoot for no other reason besides why the heck not!

Polly has been my favourite UK photographer for a long time, and having the shoot in Ibiza where she spends part of her time meant we could combine a holiday with getting papped. Perfect! I brought along six of my favourite outfits, including a few vintage dresses as well as a selection from my favourite designer, Orla Kiely. My hair and make-up were done specially for the second half of the shoot, and I wanted a messy, Bardot up-do combined with smokey eyes.

When I looked in the mirror, I felt like a film star. I am over the moon with the shots. It’s always my firm belief that the pictures you love forever are the ones that are timeless and beautiful, and that’s exactly what Polly created. I also prefer the look of film over digital – the colours are softer and capture the light beautifully.

We loved every moment of our Ibiza shoot, and are thinking of making it a tradition ever 5 years to capture our life as we grow old together.

I want all of the dresses. And that hat. And the swimming costume is divine right? I have decided that a trip to Ibiza is definitely in order….

When I was having a peek at Polly’s blog recently I noticed a post on a truly spectacular boutique hotel called the Giri Residence, has anyone been? and can anyone recommend anywhere else lovely to stay on the sunshine island?

I think Mr O’Shea and I probably need to pay a visit. And have pictures we love forever taken by Madam Alexandre.


Big Ibiza Love

Charlotte xxx

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Ladies in Red… Part 1

We don’t see many Red Weddings here at Rock My Wedding and I’d venture to say that Red has been done a bit of a disservice over the years, with a time in the recent past when there was a monotony of deep red maids in stiff satin and roses….

This wedding however is a breath of fresh air – bright, airy and modern with a simple, slightly preppy vibe and lots of London cool. All Photographed beautifully by Jodie Chapman.

Chris & Nicola were married on 27th March at Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey.

Sleek Simplicity

My dress was by Chandrika Thomas.

I wanted something very simple and although I tried on a few bigger and fussier dresses I knew that simple and sleek was for me. My bridesmaid who is very nifty and creative made the distressed flower which was clipped to the dress at my hip to add a unique touch.

Fashion DIY

My headpiece was again made by my bridesmaid Liz who is a fashion design lecturer and maker of all little crafty bits and bobs!

I knew from the start that I wanted something like this rather than a veil, especially with my short hair, I knew it would give a different look which was what I was after.

As Liz doesn’t live nearby all the additions such as this where quite last minute and we were still fiddling with the headpiece and cutting pieces of it when we should of been in the wedding car on our way! I then opted for simple additions – tiny pearl studs and a silver bangle.

Handy Helpers

Working in magazines and arranging photo shoots as part of my day to day job meant that when it came to choosing hair and make-up artists I did already have some people to hand! I decided on Lou Morgan who I have worked with on several occasions over the years.

I wanted someone I would feel comfortable having around on the day and Lou was perfect, so calm and relaxed and it was great to have her as part of my wedding day.

Ladies in Red

For the bridesmaids the dresses were a lovely bright ruby red with a red ribbon sash and flower (you can guess who made them!) These dresses were absolute bargains, I am hesitant to reveal where they are from and how much of a bargain they were!

All the groomsmen wore hired grey suits from Moss Bros with cream waistcoats. As a thank you for the day we treated them all to a silver Ted Baker tie with a cool ornate design.

Chris decided that if ever he would buy himself a nice suit then it would be for our wedding day! So he opted for a Paul Smith suit. Also with a cream waistcoat and tie to match the ushers.

Customised Cake

Good old Marks & Spencer! We didn’t want to spend a fortune on a fancy cake, as long as there was a cake and it looked nice that was fine for us : )

We customised it with bride and groom figures that my husband made. Long story but wedding related!…Chris is a toy designer for Wow Toys.

All the toys he makes come with little figures, so prior to the wedding he adapted two figures to look like him and me. It took quite a lot of sanding, filing and painting but it was worth it!

Photography – Jodie Chapman

Venue – Pembroke Lodge

Dress – Chandrika Thomas

Grooms Suit – Paul Smith

Cake – Marks and Spencer

I have totally saved the best for last here with the modern and chic florals bound to wow you all tomorrow. Come back soon peeps 🙂

Yours (Loving the Clean Modern Wedding) Truly,