The I first met Lucy & Rhys I immediately fell in love with them!  They are my kind of people, a little bit silly, super open and warm, hilarious and don’t take themselves too seriously.  On our first meeting Lucy told me all the silly things she’d done since meeting Rhys and, well, I love that about her!  We shared a lot of laughs over yummy hot chocolates, despite both Rhys and Lucy being on crazy exercise and diet regimes leading up to the wedding.  Seriously, you need to see Rhys’ before and after pictures!  They met at a fancy dress party (Rhys was one of the ex-presidents from Point Break which only made me love them more) and despite Rhys forgetting the hot schoolgirl at the party’s name, managed to track her down and ask her out.  The rest is history and lead them to this gorgeous day on the 14th November at Leeds Castle.  In true testament to Lucy & Rhys’ ever present smiles and laid back natures, even the unrelenting Storm Abigail deciding to make an appearance at their wedding didn’t dampen their spirits or stop a few blustery outdoor pictures!  Absolute legends!  Lucy look stunning, as did her bridesmaids and Rhys quite the dapper groom.  I won’t gush over these two anymore as I’ve done that enough already and people may start worrying but honestly, so happy to have met these two and been part of such an incredible day.  Thank you both for having me along, big big love to you xxx

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Here’s an absolute beauty of a wedding from last summer for you.  Sarah & Alex were married in Sarah’s family home near Midhurst, West Sussex in a gorgeous marquee by Wigwam Marquees.  The highlight of the day for me was Sarah’s dress, a stunning, intricate Halfpenny dress that just blew everyone away.  It suited Sarah so perfectly.  Everything about Sarah’s bridal look was just divine and she has absolutely dreamy eyes (girl crush alert)!  I had such a fun morning with Sarah and her lovely bridesmaids and flower girls, super relaxed with not a moment of stress.  The day continued in much the same way, super relaxed and natural, the perfect reflection of Sarah & Alex’s personalities.  The couple shots were a photographer’s dream, with stunning views over the downs, amazing light and these two beauties enjoying a few moments of peace and calm together.   The highlight for all the guests has to be super talented groom Alex jumping up to play drums for the band halfway through the evening.  I think you can tell from the photos that he absolutely smashed it!  Special thanks to the ever incredible Mari Hudson and team, who are always such a pleasure to work with and ensure I’m well fed:) It was honestly such a special day for two lovely people and I can’t wait to see this featured on Love My Dress in the not too distant future! xxx2016-03-24_00742016-03-24_00732016-03-24_00752016-03-24_00762016-03-24_00772016-03-24_00802016-03-24_00812016-03-24_00822016-03-24_00832016-03-24_00852016-03-24_00862016-03-24_00872016-03-24_00882016-03-24_00892016-03-24_00902016-03-24_00922016-03-24_00932016-03-24_00942016-03-24_00962016-03-24_00972016-03-24_00982016-03-24_00992016-03-24_01002016-03-24_01082016-03-24_01012016-03-24_01022016-03-24_01032016-03-24_01042016-03-24_01092016-03-24_01062016-03-24_01072016-03-24_01102016-03-24_01332016-03-24_01122016-03-24_01132016-03-24_01142016-03-24_01162016-03-24_01172016-03-24_01182016-03-24_01192016-03-24_01202016-03-24_01212016-03-24_01222016-03-24_01232016-03-24_01242016-03-24_0125

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I actually can’t believe I’m only just blogging this absolute stunner of a wedding and a couple.  Emily & Charlie are two of the loveliest, sweetest people and I kinda fell in love with them when we did their engagement shoot at Hever Castle.  They got married at Burcombe Manor near Salisbury, Hampshire, which is a gorgeous Manor House offering weddings and B&B accommodation.  It’s super low key, but really stunning.  The wow factor for this day, asides from the couple themselves, was Emily’s stunning Naomi Neoh gown.  I’ve been a fan of Naomi’s dresses for some time but seeing Emily step into the gown totally blew my mind, and Charlie’s too!  The day was sweet, romantic and light, with oodles of sunshine, beautiful flowers, yummy food and a kick-ass party!  Emily & Charlie met at Exeter university so the table names were places they’d been and fell in love with around Devon.  The decor was simple, yet elegant.  Going back over these images I can say I’m 100% in love with the light and the people.  Smiles and happiness, that’s what I see when I look at these photos and I hope you do too!  xxx

Emily & Charlie, apologies for taking so long to blog this!  Love you guys xxx

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Last September I shot a beautiful wedding at Brympton House in Somerset.   Sally & Dan are two amazingly lovely people.  I’d met up with them twice prior to the wedding and loved them from the start.  A super laid back couple who just wanted a fun celebration with their nearest and dearest.  Dan and Sally are childhood sweethearts so I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house as they said their “I Dos”.   The whole day took place at the gorgeous venue, Brympton House.  I’ve never shot there before but I would so love to shoot there again, it’s STUNNING!  The old ceremony room looked incredible, with candles everywhere.  From here they emerged as husband and wife to the most beautiful sunny day and lots of smiles and hugs.  They had an afternoon tea style wedding breakfast with moving speeches before moving over to The Stables Bar for their first dance, a gorgeously choreographed waltz.  I don’t think I stopped smiling all day, it was a total photographers dream of a day with a stunning bride, perfect weather and so many smiles.  Thank you Sally & Dan, you guys rock! xxx

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Looking back at all my weddings since having Amélie has been pretty special and totally made me realise how lucky I am to do what I do.  I’ve also realised I’m all about the hugs.  Yep, man do I love a good hug!  Hugs, smiles, moments and relationships, that’s what I seem to seek out when I’m shooting and these are the photos that, when looking back, seem to leap out at me most.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful backdrop, but only if I felt it was true to the couple and recalled a special moment between them.  I’ve had a blast capturing all these stories, every one unique and every one special to me in some way.  I have to admit, this is more like a 2014/15 post (although I’ve only showcased a handful of my 2014 weddings).  Unfortunately, with a very young baby I didn’t get round to doing a 2014 round up post so here you go, one big mammoth blog post!

The last 18 months have taken me all over the UK, Kent, Yorkshire, Suffolk, London, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Dorset and, of course, plenty of time local to me around West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.  I’ve also been incredibly lucky to capture some damn fine love stories abroad in Ibiza, Tuscany, Provence, Chamonix to name but a few and once again I’ve been blown away by some unbelievable light and some incredible venues.  The most incredible top 3 are…

1. Villa Catureglio in Tuscancy, Italy, which provided the most stunning backdrop from Natalie & Duncan’s wedding,

2. Chateau de Robernier in Provence, France and all the wonderful suppliers I met there (see post – http://www.helencawtephotographyjournal.com/2015/09/10/wedding-photography-at-chateau-de-robernier-france-ian-menas-beautiful-day-en-provence/)

and lastly 3. Vickki and her venue Elixir in Ibiza.  Vickki continues to send enquiries my way meaning that I get to return to my favourite isle in the world on a regular basis:)

I think my favourite UK venues have been Botley’s Mansion in Surrey, Northbrook Park nr Farnham, The Fuzzy Duck nr Stratford-Upon-Avon, Stubton Hall nr Newark, Burcombe Manor nr Salisbury, Highcliffe Castle with it’s stunning ceremony room and beautiful beach, Rhinefields House Hotel, Brymton House in Somerset, Leeds Castle and of course the stunning Ely Cathedral. Let’s not forget my old favourite local haunts, the beautiful Southend Barns, the gorgeous Duncton Mill and the ever picturesque Upwaltham Barns.  I’m also super excited to have 3 weddings booked in for Millbridge Court in 2016 as part of Millie & Belle Photography, my joint venture with Camilla Arnhold.

I can’t write this without mentioning the amazing photographers I’ve either worked with (Hayley Savage, Camilla Arnhold, Sharron Gibson, Mia Hooper, Nicki Rhodes, Bev Downie, Zoe Collyer, Jacques Lloyd, Fiona Cone, Charlotte Razell, Kelsie Scully, Rachel Haward) or just had the pleasure of getting to know (all you lovely Sync girls and my Way Up North roomies Stephanie Swann, Lina Ahnoff and Amanda Thomsen).  You all rock and are amazing at what you do.  I love that we work together, helping each other out rather than viewing each other as competitors and long may this continue…  Hurrah!

In terms of suppliers, there is some insanely amazing talent out there and I’ve been privileged to work with some wonderful people…  I won’t list you all (you know who you are) but I just wanted to mention the stunning girls from ID Salon, who won Wedding Make Up of the year at the Wedding Industry Awards, so well deserved!   It was also a real treat photographing Kat’s stunning bouquet by the lovely Emma from Ladybird flowers and also, pretty much anything designed by Kate Avery!  Mari HudsonJacaranda & Kalm Kitchen, you’ll always be my favourites caterers and Irene Piera & the ladies from Reel Love Films, you’re both my number 1 recommendations for videographers.  Michelle from Pocketful of Dreams, you are a Wedding Planning legend and it was beyond amazing getting to shoot you and your beau Matthew out in Ibiza in September.

On a very personal note, shooting my first wedding season with a little person has been extremely challenging and at times, felt downright impossible.  Trying to find my way as a full-time Mum whilst still trying to give 100% to my own business has taught me so much about myself.  I’m not as strong or as infallible as I once thought I was, I cry A LOT, I can cope with being tired, but only to a certain point, after that, I’m in total meltdown.  I’ve learnt that you just have to let some things go and deal with some things not being quite as perfect as you’d want them to be.  I’ve learnt that the only way to be strong, is to lean on others for support, and for this I owe my amazing husband Dom and my super Mum Jane a whole heap of gratitude.  Without them, I’d still be editing my March weddings and probably huddled in a corner crying & shaking!  This all being said, being a Mum to Amélie is also incredible, and makes me happier than I can ever express.  She’s a little package of love and I think Winnie The Pooh said it best with this quote… “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts”.

I’m hoping 2016 will be just as epic, but with a little more balance and calm!  I haven’t had the time to use my Contax or take on any personal projects so hopefully this year I’ll have time for both of these.  I’m also looking forward to some much needed snowboarding & mountain time in March for my husband’s 40th (oh yes it’s true) birthday.  I’m so excited about Dom’s change in career – he’s now writing recipes and doing the Home Economy for S Mag.  I’m looking forward to seeing this new role develop for Dom and I couldn’t be more proud of him.  2016 is all about spending time with the people I love and simplifying life.  Cheers to that!

Thank you x a million to all my brides and grooms, who have let me into their lives so I can tell their stories.  Each wedding has been an adventure and each couple I meet teaches me something new.  I apologise in advance for the 150+ images below, you don’t have to look through them all, it’s been more of a personal project putting this together and rediscovering exactly what it is I love about shooting weddings.  Here’s to 2016 and all the hugs, smiles, moments and relationships I get to witness and capture.  Let’s get cracking!  Helen xxxx

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  • Epic round up lady! Gorgeous set of images. Have an amazing 2016! XxReplyCancel

    • info@helencawtephotography.com

      Thank you so much lovely. A real compliment coming from you xxxxReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous work – so much happiness captured in such a beautiful way! You had an absolutely amazing year and I loved shooting your first 2016 wedding with you – that was pretty awesome! Hope the rest of the year goes equally well for you… much love xReplyCancel

    • info@helencawtephotography.com

      Thank you Nicki. LOVED shooting My first 2016 wedding with you! Thank you for your continued friendship and support Mrs xxxReplyCancel

  • Camilla

    Beautiful images and even more beautiful words. Oh and do I spy us in there? We were so lucky to have you capture our day 😍ReplyCancel

  • Emily

    Helen, I loved your post and that you included so many beautiful photos from our day. We loved having you there! XxxReplyCancel

    • info@helencawtephotography.com

      I absolutely LOVED your wedding Emily. Thank you so much for asking me to capture it all xxxReplyCancel

  • Such pretty, beautiful, sweet work Helen – Wishing you a fantastic 2016!ReplyCancel

    • info@helencawtephotography.com

      Thank you so much Jordanna! Here’s to an amazing 2016 for all of us :) xReplyCancel

  • Amazing Helen, each frame filled with love & light. Simply beautiful :)ReplyCancel

    • info@helencawtephotography.com

      Thank you so much Kelly xxxxReplyCancel