I know I’ve said this a few times now, and believe me it pains me to keep repeating myself like polly ruddy parrot BUT…. sometimes…. I look at an image and it makes me fall in love with love all over again.
And it doesn’t have to be because there is a fancy designer dress or a delectable piece of D.I.Y or some of the most beautiful blooms ever-known-to-man in said image, in fact although lovely these “unique details” are not even close to being my favourites.
Nope. Nada. Not on your nelly pet. What makes me fall in love with love is the JOY. The joy of finding your soulmate. Your one true life partner. The other half to your whole.
And that’s why some of the most breathtaking and moving moments caught on camera for me are the ones of the bride and groom, either captured in those precious, giddy, delicious moments during or just after the ceremony. Equally in a pre wedding scenario – where there is no last minute stress or burden of the Big Day at all. Just you, him and your favourite photographers.
So when the engagement shoot of Victoria and Steve submitted to us by Chris Barber Media landed in my inbox and it had “Charlotte O’Shea will love this” stamped all over it (in big, bold, blue polka dot patterned font obviously)…. the first thought that sprung to mind was: This is like a great tidal wave of JOY.
I hope you gorgeous lot fall in love with love today all over again.
Rock My Wedding : What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Victoria: The thing I am most looking forward to on my wedding day is marrying Steve and getting to wear my dress!!
Joking aside, I suppose we’re no exception to anyone else – our wedding will have taken a couple of years of planning, and we want it to be right. Having said that, I want to ensure we can both enjoy the day, even if not everything goes to plan. I think it’s such a shame when I hear of a wedding where the bride had a strop because the flowers didn’t quite match the table cloths… it’s supposed to be the happiest day of my life and I’m going to ensure I enjoy it! Photography plays a hugely important part in our lives and it thrills us that Chris & Dani will be there to capture all of our hard work and planning.
We’ve had so much fun in choosing everything from the cake to the venue to the wine to car, that it will be fantastic to see it all come to together. Most importantly, though, will be the chance to get all of our friends and loved ones together for what we hope will be a wonderfully relaxed, fun and, most importantly, memorable weekend. Many of our friends will never have met each never and may never again – it’s so lovely, just once, to get everyone together – and who knows what friendships will be forged as a result?
The other thing we’re really rather looking forward to is hearing the bells chime out as we leave the church. We set about cleaning them earlier this year, the local press got wind of it and, before we knew it, we’d made the national press, Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme and the BBC Breakfast news! It was crazy and left us feeling quite bemused by the whole thing. Our friends all think the interest we were shown was great fun and it will be lovely to share the sound of the bells with them.
Rock My Wedding: How did you decide Dani and Chris were the perfect photographers for you?
Victoria: Quite simply, they’re awesome. No, awesome doesn’t begin to sum them up. I honestly think they’re amongst the most talented and professional photographers within the UK, and their work simply goes from strength to strength. That, and the fact that Dani can knock back Pimms like no-one else I’ve ever met. It’s something quite incredible to see….
But how did we come to find this out? Well, we’re both keen amateur photographers and have an eye for the quirky and fun. Steve would look at some photographers wedding portfolio and complain of the happy couple – ‘ they just don’t look in love’. It was a difficult quality to explain, but I knew exactly what he meant – no matter how beautiful the bride and dapper the groom, how impressive the venue or classic the car, some photographs just failed to capture the sparkle in the eyes or stolen glances that we felt make a wedding day special – and we knew we didn’t want to think that of our photographs. We also loved the dramatic, the quirky, the creative – too many photographers seemed to be following a formula and were a little too ‘safe’. In one case, we went for a viewing to a photographer’s studio and were shown a wedding slideshow of a numerous different weddings – it felt like the same wedding shot over and over at the same venue, simply with different actors.
We drew up a short list of photographers and travelled across the UK to meet with our hand-picked few. We travelled hundreds of miles over a number of months, from the South East to Wales, even driving to Glasgow to meet someone who interested us… but no-one quite met our expectations. Too inflexible, too opinionated, too laid back, too expensive… and then I chanced upon a solitary photo on Rock My Wedding... and something about it just really caught my eye. I made some enquiries, spoke with Chris & Dani, and showed Steve their site. We were both blown away by their pictures but Steve was a little cautious as they’d, at the time, only been shooting weddings for a year or two. “Let’s go meet with them anyway” he said, “it can’t do any harm”. And so another road trip began…
We met with them in their studio in Stourbridge, just west of Birmingham, and an hour later left beaming, feeling like we’d not only met the most fantastic, awesome and professional couple on our travels, but had also made two new friends. Fast forward nine months and we find ourselves appearing on their blog, each picture bringing back a most wonderful memory of a weekend spent drinking, eating and snapping with them. It absolutely tipped down but it didn’t matter in the slightest – it just made our engagement shoot all the more fun – and different!
Reflecting on this, regardless of budget, venue, kit or experience, we’ve come to realise that if you don’t get on with your photographer(s), they’ll fail to catch the magic of your day. We feel like we’ve struck gold with Chris & Dani, and know that they’ve a hugely successful career ahead of them. Superstardom here they come…!
The last image made me laugh out loud. A lot.
We can’t wait for the wedding 😉
For the whole story behind the shoot and a whole lot more happy-ever-after then check out the full blog post on Chris and Dani’s blog
Big Bell Ringing Joyful Love