What Victoria Did… Winter Kisses

Hello lovelies!

Now then. I was going to write to you this week about THE dress. The one. All the pretty, a crying Mother, and the whole shopping extravaganza. And maybe shoes (plural). Even wedding wellies… BUT a couple of weeks ago we managed to meet up with our stunning photographer, the gorgeous Naomi Kenton and we had our engagement shoot in London, and well we’re really rather chuffed with it all so I’m going to be a little bit brave and share it with all of you lovelies. (*brave because I maintain I’m not as rock n’ roll as Karen – coolest eshoot ever -, nor do I have the ‘I-look-like-Disney’s-inspiration-for-Belle’ quality of lovely Lolly!)

It was an astonishing winter day with bright blue skies and sunshine. It was also absolutely FREEZING but somehow Naomi has managed to remove any hint of hypothermia from the resulting pictures, clever girl. I even went for a run in the morning in an attempt to put a rosy glow in my cheeks and remove any clues that we’d been out on the lash the last three nights…. probably should have invested in more duvet time instead. We visited the woods near home to play with Costa (who eats leaves) and then walked around Crystal Palace, visiting the antiques market (where much wedding ‘tat’ – according to Simon – has been sourced from) and headed into the park as the sun set over London.

Curious here – Did anyone else find it funny explaining to friends/family about the whole engagement shoot “thing”? I had a few puzzled faces to deal with… Personally I found it a great way to get to know our photographer, see how she works and to get used to relaxing in front of the camera and having fun with Simon. Plus usually the only pics we get are ones that I am hastily untagging on a Monday morning (yes I’m referring mainly to the one of me and my lovely BM Alex having a nap outside a bar, on the pavement, sorry Mum). Finally we have some really lovely pictures of us as a couple that also captures the first place we’ve lived together. It will be so special to always be able to look back at them and say that’s when we bought our first home together.

For those of you worrying about your own, we both enjoyed the shoot a lot more than we thought we would. Having set the date in stone I waited until about 24 hours before (no back out time) until I starting teasing Simon about having to cuddle me for about 4 hours the following day. In public. {evil face}. In fact we both laughed an enormous amount and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed that many PDAs in one day, I may have used up my quota until wedding day {“nuzzle her neck again, ok stay there, stay, staayyyy, kiss her again, kiss her again, kiss her again” – sigh. BEST. DAY. EVER}

I mentioned in earlier posts that fate seemed to bring some suppliers to us and Naomi was one of them. For those yet to embark on the search for a photographer, enjoy! There is soooo much out there to look at and admire, it’s quite overwhelming really unless you know what you want. I happened upon Naomi’s website quite early on, looking for natural and romantic photography, something timeless and graceful and had her in my shortlist to show Simon. Then when we were venue hunting I found a wedding at Crasken Farm, one of our options at the time, that she had shot.

When Naomi and I got in touch I then found out that she’s spent loads of holidays that area of Cornwall, and that she lives near to where Simon is from in Wiltshire. Too many coincidences and connections to believe, and after lots of nattering we luckily were able to book her up for our Big Day {Whoop Whoop}.

Planning an engagement shoot I discovered was Very. Good. Fun. There are all those outfit and location decisions to make, will you style it, what can you persuade your man to wear etc etc. I entirely blame Naomi for the fact that I ended up doing reckless shopping a few days before the shoot (“oh you know what would work with that… You NEED a leather jacket”), and LOVED that she tipped up at our flat with a giant bag of clothes and shoes for me to look at, just in case. Simon took one look and the {worried} face appeared, I’d found someone new to play dress up with. That and the combination of high speed gabbling about weddings and everything we love and have in common, I think he’s convinced that if I’m late for our wedding it’ll be because I’ve run off with the photographer!!!

So I’d love to know now, who have you all chosen as your photographers and why? I’ve seen very cool pictures before that just left me personally a bit cold, or beautiful images but just didn’t click with the photographer themselves. Being on the same wavelength for me is very important, you’re inviting them to be a massive part of documenting one of the most important days of your life. They get to see all the nerves, all the tears, all the joy (frankly I’m not sure how they do it, I’d be a big blubbering ball the whole time!). We’ve been discussing this in our facebook group a bit, and it seems an important decision for most people, and often a big part of the budget – searching for the right person that “gets” a wedding in the same way you do, whether that’s having posed pictures that you want, or full reportage, or the way they capture the emotion of the day – what was the ‘hook’ that made you book your photographer? I’ve also had raised the curious paranoia about “living up” to the photographer that you’ve chosen – how many more of you out there feel like this? Do you worry you’re not cool enough/edgy enough/hot enough? Do you obsessively facestalk to see what new weddings they have posted and compare them to what yours could be like in your head??! (QBB I’m not naming names!)

The more we’ve seen Naomi’s work the more and more excited we’ve become – she seems to bring sunshine and light into all her photographs and I guess I only hope we look as lovely as her usual wedding parties!!! It’s the soft romantic glow that she manages to draw out in her pictures as well as capturing all the tiny details that make up the day, and I have also never seen flowers photographed more beautifully.

They have a timeless quality that I know we’ll look back on and adore forever. Having had the engagement shoot I now feel like I don’t need to worry come the wedding, it will all be captured perfectly… And, no matter how crazy everything is in the run up, somehow everything on the day will look utterly pretty and graceful – because that’s her magic.

This leads me to my final point, looking at the pictures its clear to me how much we enjoyed the day, because I can see the love and laughter in the shots (yes, Simon apart from when we got told off in the market and the Sunday shoppers stopped to watch). It’s been a really hectic year for the pair of us; he’s worked his socks off – even during holidays – and won a promotion at work, we’ve moved in together properly, bought our first home, planned a wedding, fretted about a giant tree destroying the garden, I’ve studied and passed PT exams, we’ve lost a loved one and watched friends and family marry, welcomed a new nephew and saw life around us change irrevocably. Once we relaxed into it, this day really made us pause and look at each other. Properly. With love. Sometimes, no matter how crazy busy life is it’s so wonderful to stop, remember what’s important, and think THAT’s the face I’m marrying. And we stopped, and we stared, and we kissed, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of forever doing just that.

Merry Christmas everyone, and Simon I can’t wait to marry you in 2013

Miss Vix xx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

20 thoughts on “What Victoria Did… Winter Kisses

  1. Awwwww Vix that last bit put a tear in my eye!!
    Such beautiful words 🙂

    The pictures look immense & I LOVE that you went with shorts!! You look fabulous in them 😀

    You’re getting me all excited to have our E-shoot! (Although I’m slightly panicked that the cast won’t be off in time for our winter plans!!! Keep your fingers crossed peeps!

    Fab post lovely xxx

  2. Bloody hell Vixen, I was fine up until that final ‘Simon I cant wait to marry you’ and then I burst into tears! Actual, sobbing, water on my face tears!

    Such gorgeous photos of you both and the energy in the ones of Costa is fantastic! She is perfect for you and I cant wait to see your big day.

    I completely get what you mean about the opportunity to pause, look into his face and really reflect on what you’ve been through and why you’re marrying him. I found that too. Sometimes life and routine get in the way and we dont stop to take a breath and really appreciate one another.

    I love how in love you are and how well Naomi has captured it.

    Thank God for Kleenex Balsam xx

  3. That last paragraph. Bottom lip wobbles. What are you doing to us all girl?!

    Facestalk? MOI? I’m deffo not elegant enough. Or willowy/wan/winsome enough. But I’m hoping it’s just the unbelievable skill of my photographer that makes ALL her brides look that way.

    Thanks for that post Vix. I was only thinking today how we’re just nose to the grindstone 24-7 and haven’t paused for breath all year. This is a welcome reminder to do just that.

  4. Congratulations on your engagement! Your photos look absolutely beautiful. I’ve been following Naomi’s work for some time now and I have to say she’s in a class of her own. Best of luck for your futures!

  5. Miss Vix – such a lovely post. Especially the last part, such lovely writing and like the others, made me feel very teary and sentimental. I will be giving Chris a massive snotty (cause of my cold, it’s not normally) smooch when I get home!

    Your engagement shoot is so beautiful, I love all the photos of Costa but I especially love how you can really feel the love between you and Simon radiating off them.

    We picked our photographer because he captures all those little moments that you didn’t even realise you were having! I caaaaan’t wait!!!


  6. What a corking post lovely, and the snaps are just beautiful. Big wet eyes here too! I may have to go and snog the boy (he will probably bash me, he’s ‘working from home’ with his eyes shut on the sofa…..)

    Hurry up with the wedding won’t you!

    Ps. You and Swale have the best fringes! xx

  7. Haha thanks @Carrie!

    Jeez, our men will all think we’ve gone mental later. You can imagine them all later when we pounce on them “urgh get off, i’m watching The One Show!”


  8. @Carrie thanks!! I like being Team Fringe. Means you can’t tell if I’m getting old. Or if I’m surprised. Or if I need to do my eyebrows 🙂

    @Karen thanks for the snotfest!! 🙂 glad you enjoyed it. I LOVE my red heels. I was Dorothy in a former life. Was very tempted to wear them for the wedding, but shocked enough people wearing them for Nana’s funeral (she loved them). Now go give Lee a big christmassy squish xx

  9. thanks for the love ladies, can i say i’m really pleased i’ve made you all cry without sounding mean??!! 🙂

    @philippa you tick all my willowy/wan/winsome boxes, ‘specially in THAT dress

    @tabs thanks lovely! that’s what i was so pleased with in the pics, that the love really does come through, i laughed a lot that day, particularly that neck nuzzling picture!!

    @Rebecca – thanks for giving me the short inspiration!! and btw I have totally missed a whole plot point – what did you do to end up in cast??!!

  10. @Vix – haha!
    All I’ll say is this: a bar floor covered in spilt drinks, massive platform heels & maybe one too many cocktails = Becca’s left arm in a cast!

    @Carrie – they do have awesome fringes!! Makes one jealous! heehee


  11. Awww arent you just a sweetie! As you know im not usually into the real mushy squishy stuff but reading this does give me hope that there is real love out there somewhere…SOMEWHERE!! and i do love good photography im hoping she will be able to take 10lbs off instead of putting them on 🙂 xx

  12. Good grief! I’ve sat here with tears streaming down my face throughout the whole post – the last paragraph just finished me off and now Adam is looking at me with a slightly concerned look on his face.

    Vix you are gorgeous! Especially with your fringe (I had to go and have mine cut back in because I missed it so) and forget those heels – just look at your cracking pair of pins woman!

    So whilst Naomi is an extraordinarily talented photographer, you and Simon bring your own bit of sunshine to the pictures too. It’s quite clear you love each other very much.

    And I have to say that I’m feeling a bit smug about the whole Belle compliment (she was always my favourite Disney character). Thanks lovely xx

  13. @Alex – glad I’ve given you some faith today!! 🙂

    @Lolly thanks for your lovely lovely message you really made me smile 🙂 and you totally look like Belle 🙂 (minus yellow ballgown)

  14. Hi Vix – well, what can I say! Thank you so, so much for writing about my photos and about your engagement shoot! It’s so kind of you to include me in your Real Bride feature, and I am so, so glad that I am going to be part of your wonderful day by the sea in Cornwall! I loved meeting you both – and little Costa too! It feels like we’ve already been friends for ages and I really have the best job in the whole world when I get to work with a bride as lovely as you, and I honestly can’t wait for your wedding – it’s going to be AMAZING! Thank you for a lovely day too on your engagement shoot and so glad you both enjoyed yourself – and thank you for the amazing lunch you cooked me when I arrived too! Lots and lots of love, Naomi xxx (PS – everyone is loving Costa’s photo on my blog today!!)

  15. Loving the pics! Esp. of Costa (we’re spaniel obsessed in this household!) Choosing a photographer is always difficult, I trawled through hundreds, got it down to a shortlist of 10 that the boy and I looked through, then we chose 3 that we wanted to meet. One we knew immediately that he wasn’t the one, we just felt uncomfortable with him, and then it was really difficult to choose between the two as we really liked them both and liked both of their photography styles in the end we went with Alex Beckett (https://www.alexbeckett.co.uk/2012/07/05/wedding-amy-and-neil-st-agnes-cornwall/) because the boy works in lighting design and we liked the way Alex used light in his photos. We didn’t have an engagement shoot, the boy just couldn’t get his head around the idea, but I can see the benefit and it looks like you had such a fab time!
    PS I love your closing paragraph, so sweet xxx
    PPS can’t wait to hear more!

  16. Sorry i’m late as usual Vix..but omg! Im teary at work! this is embarrassing! But you have summed everything up…sometimes when we’re wedding planning we’re so busy we forget the reason we’re busy being busy! I love your pics and Costa should have been on that dog model programme! Hes a natural…you all look beautiful, what a perfect day for it too..you cover up being cold very well! xx

  17. Awwwww 🙂

    What a brilliant write up, its so true how you get tied up in your every day busy lives and sometimes almost forget about eachother.

    Fantastic photos too xx

  18. I’ve just realised that I never commented on your post Vix! I managed to read it when I was away at Xmas on Al’s phone but it was too fiddly to comment on there so I thought I’d do it later but I never did!

    I’ve already told you how wonderful your photos are – you do look so so happy and in love and it makes me smile! Your write-up was also amazing, and your last paragraph has cheered me up no end when I’m feeling pretty rubbish.


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