WEDDINGS

Real Life Bride: Danielle’s Popcorn, Pinecones & Polaroids Engagement Shoot

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I may be biased, but today’s engagement shoot is one of my all time favourites!  Our gorgeous Real Life Bride Danielle {and my sister-in-law to be} and fiancé Christiaan embraced the winter chill for a cosy shoot in Hampton Court gardens with their photographer Holly from Belle & Beau.  Today she’s sharing the story of finding the perfect photographer, illustrated by their beautiful engagement shoot! When Danni asked me for styling ideas, I decided to bring along a few winter-y treats to keep them warm and provide a few pretty touches.

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Over to Danni ~

From the beginning the photographer was always going to be important to us. Christiaan is a keen photographer himself so I knew we were going to need find a photographer whose technical style he admired and for me it had to be somebody who has the ability to capture those special moments and all the little details.  For me the two most exciting things about our wedding are marrying the love of my life, and to have all of our family and friends together. I’m aware that it might be a once in a lifetime experience to have our family in one country, so we knew we wanted a photographer whose style was relaxed and natural and who would give us beautiful photographs to cherish long after the day has finished.

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I started my search on b.loved and without consciously knowing it was drawn to fine art photography. I was immediately drawn to the beautifully crafted photographs and their romantic look and feel. Very quickly I found Holly from Belle & Beau Photography and I just fell in love with Holly’s style. Her photography is bright, romantic and has a beautiful pastel tones.  While I had fallen in love with Holly’s work I had underestimated the how much of a big decision choosing a photographer was going to be. I thought it would be as simply as finding someone you liked, checking if they were available and make a booking. But it became so much more than that. You suddenly realise that you have to put all your trust in the photographer and feel comfortable with them, after all you are going to be spending most part of the day with them!

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So we asked Holly if we could set up a Skype call to chat to her and tell her a little bit more about the wedding and find out a bit more about her. I would highly recommend this before choosing your photographer, it made a decision so much easier. We found out that Holly had done a styled shoot at our venue Coombe Lodge which put us at ease that Holly knows the venue and as she told us more about her style and approach we realised it was perfect for us. We came off the call feeling relaxed and happy that we would get on with Holly and could completely trust her to capture our day.

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Once we had booked Holly we decided we were keen to do an engagement shoot. This would give us a chance to meet Holly and Phil (Holly’s husband who assists her on shoots) and give us a chance to get used to being photographed, especially since Christiaan spends most of his time behind the camera! It was quite tricky organising this with us being in South Africa but Holly was brilliant and we were able to arrange a shoot early in January when Christiaan and I visited England at Christmas.  

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Being a b.loved bride I asked Louise to help us with a few props and ideas for the shoot and Louise certainly worked her magic. On a very cold, wintery morning in January we met Holly and Phil and did the shoot. The props and ideas Louise gave us were amazing, and Holly and Phil made us quickly feel at ease. The wind was howling and we were freezing, but it was the perfect setting for a wintery scene at Hampton Court in South London.  At first it felt a little awkward being photographed but I would highly recommend doing an engagement shoot. Not only do you get special photographs which capture the excitement of being engaged but it gives you a good practice run in front of the camera. It’s definitely made Christiaan and I feel a lot more confident for the big day. And I am sure you will agree Holly’s work is beautiful.

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Isn’t she gorgeous? Danni is going to make the most stunning bride! Follow her wedding planning journey here.

***

Photography: Belle & Beau Photography // Styling: b.loved // Gift Tag: Paperknots

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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