Wedding Photography – Pembroke College Wedding Cambridge – Marta & Marcus

Marta & Marcus planned their wedding at Pembroke College where Marcus had studied. Marcus’s father had also studied and got married there, and as an extra special touch he was able to conduct Marta & Marcus’s wedding ceremony in the beautiful Pembroke Chapel. Marcus had shown me round the college during their Pembroke College engagement shoot so I already knew their day would be full of striking buildings, quiet courtyards and pretty flowerbeds. Marta chose a stunning FairyGothMother wedding dress – short, with pockets and a blue liberty print sash – together with delicate Rachel Simpson wedding shoes and a bouquet of deep red flowers.

They planned a relaxed wedding with vintage touches, Liberty prints and music all day long. It was a really personal wedding – not only because of the college connection – Marta handmade gifts for the wedding party, a friend did Marta’s makeup, a family member played the Pembroke Chapel organ while other friends provided flute music and singing. Music is very important to Marcus and he even picked up a trumpet to join the big band he plays in at the reception. Unexpected family talent was also on show as a little guest created some very special felt tip portraits of the bride and groom which they brilliantly recreated! And even a very old family friend turned up – the groom’s well loved childhood toy Mrs Bunny made a surprise appearance in the wedding speeches leaving Marcus briefly at a loss for words and Marta helpless with laughter.

The College grounds were beautiful to walk around and full of flowers – perfect for relaxed, romantic portraits. After the speeches, I asked Marta & Marcus to slip out for a few minutes for some evening photos, stealing kisses and twirling under the Pembroke College arches. Then they headed back inside to enjoy their amazingly decorated tower of wedding cheeses and dance late into the night.

You can see more from their day here in their wedding day slideshow:

It was a pleasure to photograph Marta & Marcus’s beautiful Pembroke College Wedding.

Thanks to the amazing team who made it happen:

If you love the look of this Cambridge college wedding you might like to see more of my wedding photography and if you’re planning a wedding please contact me to photograph your wedding.

Destination Wedding Photography – Dubrovnik Romantic city by the sea

I visited Croatia for the first time recently and stayed in Dubrovnik, an incredibly romantic city by the sea. It has a beautiful old town paved in white marble which reflects the light giving it a special glow. The old city walls have windows carved which perfectly frame the rooftop views, and you can walk the length of the walls for stunning views across the town and ocean. This UNESCO world heritage site is located right on the cliff top overlooking the Adriatic sea and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan you might recognise it as the setting for ‘King’s Landing’ with its cliffs topped by ancient city walls.

Dubrovnik is filled with beautiful buildings including some incredible wedding venues. The Sponza Palace is a 16th century palace built in the Gothic-Renaissance style with a shady portico surrounding an atrium that’s open to the sky and can be used for intimate weddings or celebrations up to 150 guests. The Church of St Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik) is a baroque church in the heart of the old town, built as a square it has a high domed roof topped by statues. For a wedding with a view across the water to the old town the Palm Terrace at the Hotel Excelsior is able to host up to 180 guests, or you could choose a viewpoint in the surrounding hills for an intimate outdoor ceremony overlooking the city.

If you’re looking for a romantic cliff top city for an epic elopement, a perfect proposal or a magical wedding, Dubrovnik should definitely be on your list! This special city has captured my heart and I’d love to go back – if you’re getting married here please send me a message.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Lizzie & David’s Family Wedding – embracing the scaffolding

Lizzie & David’s wedding was planned around St Josephs Roman Catholic Church in Highgate where Lizzie’s parents and her brother got married. I’d been lucky enough to photograph her brother’s wedding and knew how much the church meant to the whole family. So when a few days before the wedding Lizzie was told there was scaffolding filling the church she was worried and upset. We considered drapes, or flowers but in the end Lizzie & David decided to embrace the scaffolding. It didn’t look the way it had for other family weddings under the high domed roof and beautiful painted ceiling, but it was the same place with all the meaning that this brought – this time with soaring scaffolding like an art installation. Strangely, before they’d found out, they’d chosen for a reading Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Scaffolding’ – which fitted perfectly!

Lizzie chose a stunning dress from high street brand Monsoon, coupled with a perfume she’d found when she lived in Spain and reminded her of her time there. She ordered personalised socks with a secret message on their soles as a wedding gift for David which he wore on the day. After the church ceremony there were family photos full of laughter in Waterlow park, before a walk and some portraits in the gardens. The family arranged for a surprise confetti greeting at The Vine – a local pub where they had their reception. A lot of thought had been put into the family speeches (highlighted index cards were in use!) and they caused much hilarity, before they cut their simple white M&S cake. As a shy couple, they decided not to have a first dance in front of their guests, but instead had a private first dance under the chandeliers.

I thought the simplicity of their day, the importance of family and the way they decided to embrace the scaffolding made this wedding one of the sweetest I’ve captured.

                                                

Click here to see more of my wedding photography and if you’re planning a personal, family wedding I’d love to talk to you about your plans.

The fabulous team who made it happen:

London’s best glasshouse wedding venues

Glasshouses offer one of the most spectacular settings for a wedding. I chose my own wedding venue for it’s beautiful orangery, so glasshouse weddings have a special place in my heart. Whether it’s a plant-filled greenhouse, a high roofed glasshouse or a classical conservatory, choose the style that fits you and plan a wedding with an outdoor feel, no matter the weather!

Here are my top 6 glasshouse venues in the capital…

Syon Park

The Great Conservatory at Syon Park has a beautiful high dome, thin pillars and a delicate metalwork frame filled with glass. You can choose to have a twilight ceremony in the conservatory itself, or take the wooded Queen’s Walk from a ceremony at Syon House for dinner and dancing under the glass dome. The conservatory is available for evenings from April to mid-October, it’s set in beautifully landscaped gardens and can be filled with candles. It’s licensed for 120 people for a ceremony, and can seat 160 for dinner or 200 for a standing buffet.

  

Barbican Conservatory

Hidden away in this iconic Brutalist building is a magical and unexpected space. The Barbican Conservatory is a tropical jungle full of light from walls of windows and glass roof skylights offering views of the city skyline. It’s home to over 2000 species of tropical plants, succulents and palm trees. There are even pools of terrapins and exotic fish – it’s a true urban jungle. The Conservatory is licensed to host wedding ceremonies and the adjoining Garden Room, with its floor to ceiling windows, can seat up to 250 guests for a reception with an incredible view.

  

Chiswick House

Set in a formal Italian Garden full of roses and wisteria is Chiswick Park’s 19th century glasshouse Conservatory. This formal greenhouse is a symmetrical grade I listed building. It has a central circular space under a high roof, with a long greenhouse on each side housing a world-renowned collection of camellias. It can hold 100 guests for a civil ceremony, 24 for a seated dinner or 150 for a drinks and canapé reception.

  

Horniman Museum

The Horniman’s elegant Victorian Conservatory is surrounded by beautiful gardens with views across London. The Grade II listed building was recently restored – with a beautiful tiled floor and additional lighting, and can seat up to 120. But it’s the intricate pattern of glass and cast iron from 1894 that makes this glasshouse really spectacular. It can seat up to 120 guests for a ceremony or wedding breakfast and with the additional of a marquee it can hold up to 150 guests for the reception.

 

Petersham Nurseries

A wonderful mix of greenhouses, flowers and antiques – Petersham Nurseries is tucked away between the river and Richmond Park and offers a range of reception spaces. They have a cosy little greenhouse that heats up so much it’s best for winter weddings (up to 44 guests). Their main restaurant (up to 140 guests) is a beautiful glasshouse scented by bougainvillea and jasmine and decorated in a quirky style with a range of antique furniture, statement mirrors and pieces of art – a veritable treasure trove. Although they don’t have a licence for civil ceremonies they are only a 13 minute drive from York House a 17th century Grade II listed building on the banks of the Thames and less than 5 minutes walk from St Peter’s Church.

 

Kew Gardens

Known for it’s huge Victorian glasshouses filled with tropical plants, there are several venues available at Kew. The stunning Nash Conservatory has a glass roof and floor to ceiling windows on three sides making it feel like you’re getting married outside. For a drinks reception with a difference you can visit the Princess of Wales Conservatory a large glasshouse containing ten different climatic zones, raised walkways and ponds, while the 18th century grade I listed Orangery, with high ceilings and grand arched windows, is the spot for dinner and dancing.

 

As a natural light wedding photographer I seek out light and airy settings, and glasshouses might just be my favourite. I’d love to talk to you about your perfect venue and how I can capture the story of your day – please send me a message.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

A traditional Kyrgyz Muslim wedding

Ever wondered what a small, rural wedding is like, in a country few people could spell let alone point to on a map? Where no photographer is present, internet is sparse and so images aren’t generally seen? During my trip to Kyrgyzstan I was honoured to be able to capture Kayrat & Ayzada’s simple Muslim wedding in their home in a small rural village near Lake Issykul.

I was welcomed with smiles and invited to join the family on beautiful patchwork cushions surrounding a low table full of food, in a room hung with carpets. They insisted my friend sat next to the grandmothers and treated her as a VIP, everyone laughing when we dazzled them with one of our six words of Kyrgyz. I met the bride Ayzada, who wore beautiful midnight blue velvet with a dazzling white headscarf, and the groom Kayrat, casual in jeans and a t-shirt but finished with a striking embroidered Kyrgyz hat.

When the Imam arrived and sat with the rest of the family, Ayzada covered her whole head with her scarf and accompanied by her family, she entered the room and knelt on the floor. Kayrat followed taking his place next to her. There was a short speech and prayers by the Imam before the couple were ushered into a smaller room with another table full of food where they fed each other a special milk dish.

The formalities over, bride and groom were dispatched to continue work – helping with the slaughter of a goat and preparing the meat for the meal, and serving tea to the older members of the family. Whilst I photographed, my friend was being introduced to vodka shot toasts and fed delicious dill-flavoured salads, borsook (a type of fried dough, used as a lavish display at celebrations), homemade jams served in cut glass dishes and delicate fried pasties. Meanwhile the children helped Ayzada and her sisters to arrange sweets, nuts and dried fruits on many painted china cake stands.

The family took me out into their garden where I was able to take some family photos – they insisted on taking some with me and my friend as the ‘guests of honour’. I asked to take some portraits of Kayrat and Ayzada which caused surprise, but they were happy to leave their tasks and come with me giving me a chance to use one of my six Kyrgyz words ‘Suluu’ (which means beautiful) to great effect! Ayzada then shyly took me to see the bedroom that had been prepared for them that night, a part of a room separated by a pink curtain decorated with lace, where she asked for a final photograph.

Throughout the day we were a curiosity, the children especially giggling at us and dashing off to hide. I saw a few mobile phones with basic cameras, but felt so happy to be able to send them prints of all their wedding photos – including portraits of each guest for the couple to give out. It was such a privilege to spend time with them on their wedding day, and despite no shared language, to be able to celebrate together.

                                                        

Thanks to my amazing guide Tilek at CBT Kyrgyzstan for connecting me with Kayrat & Ayzada. For more Kyrgyz family life and culture you might also like to read about my stay with an eagle hunter.

And whether you’re planning an adventurous wedding in some far flung destination, an intimate at-home celebration or something in between, please send me a message – I’d love to talk to you about your plans and how I can capture the story of your wedding day.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

 

Jo & Ali’s festival wedding

There are so many things I love about this wedding – and I’m not the only one! Featured on top wedding blog Love My Dress, free-spirited bohemian inspiration blog Festival Brides and an article on Huffington Post about genius wedding ideas, it was such fun to photograph.

Jo & Ali’s fabulous Glastonbury-inspired festival wedding on a rainy day in Oxford was full of personal touches, quirky details and handmade items. Jo created a stunning look with a veil over her stylish pixie haircut, short dress, gorgeous heels with a lucky sixpence (later swapped for pink flip-flops) and personalised nail art. They had masses of bright, locally grown flowers arranged in an eclectic collection of teapots, rugby-playing superhero figures on top of their cake and miles of homemade bunting. After a moving ceremony in the beautiful Catholic Church of Saint Gregory and Augustine they travelled in style (vintage buses for guests, an orange campervan for the couple) to The Perch, a lovely pub by the river. Here they enjoyed picnic style sharing feasts, laughter-filled speeches and took advantage of a break in the rain for riverside portraits at dusk. They ended the night with a silent disco that had everyone on their feet. Jo and Ali each created a playlists of their favourites and with the headphones’ coloured lights showing which playlist guests were listening to, there was lots of hilarity as new songs started, two very different dancing styles mixed or people were persuaded to switch over!

                                                    

Jo & Ali chose ‘Flaws’ by Bastille for their first dance – I loved this acoustic version and used it for their wedding story slideshow:

Click here to see more of my wedding photography and if you’re planning a fabulous, personal, quirky wedding I’d love to talk to you about your plans.

The fabulous team who made it happen:

Sparkling Santorini

Looking for the perfect spot to propose, a magical setting for a destination wedding or the ultimate choice for a luxury honeymoon? With sparkling seas, gleaming white washed churches & the most incredible sunsets – Santorini truly is an island made for romance.

This crescent shaped island is the top of a volcanic caldera, with steep cliffs running down into the Mediterranean Sea. Here are some of my favourite spots…

Oia – home of the luxury hotels and packed at sunset, Oia is popular for a reason. The sunsets here are incredible – bathing the white washed buildings and coloured roofs in beautiful golden light.

         

Oia-Fira Hiking Trail – to escape Oia’s crowds, hike South along the crater’s edge from Oia towards Imerovigli and you’ll find little blue and white churches tucked away and breathtaking views over the ocean.

Imerovigli – another lovely spot for sunset is the little Chapel of Theoskepasti near Skaros Rock with the ruins of a Venetian castle.

 

Finikia – a small village walking distance to Oia, with small winding pathways lined by tall white washed walls and friendly donkeys who carry supplies into the village.

  

I fell in love with Santorini and I’d like to go back! If you’re planning an island proposal, a Greek elopement or Santorini wedding I’d love to talk to you about capturing your special memories on this beautiful island paradise.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

How to photograph your engagement ring

Just engaged? Have you had a sparkle on your left hand since Christmas or New Year? Here are seven ways to photograph your engagement ring to share your news with friends and family…

1. Simple ring lying down

Place the ring on a flat surface – a windowsill, table or even a blanket. Get low down so you’re eye is level with the ring and get close up to capture every detail of that sparkle.

2. Simple ring standing

With a little white tac on a white surface you can balance your engagement ring standing vertically. This perspective allows you take a photo from directly above looking down, focusing on the stone.

 

3. Pair with perfume

A miniature bottle of your favourite perfume works beautifully to show off your engagement ring – and you can slip it in your purse to top up your fragrance on your wedding day.

   

4. Beauty in the box

If you have a beautiful ring box then use it – place it on a clear surface and try different angles to capture the profile and stone of the ring nestled in the velvet.

  

5. In your hands

One of my favourite ways to capture an engagement ring is to have held loosely in both hands – you’ll need someone to take this shot from slightly above, focusing on the stone.

 

6. Holding hands

An engagement ring is a promise between two people – so holding hands is a perfect pose to show off that sparkle. Face away from a friend whilst holding hands and ask them to take a photo level with the ring. Or hold your hands out towards them so they can take a photograph looking slightly down at the ring.

  

7. Spell it out

Break out the scrabble or bananagram tiles, take the magnetic letters off your fridge or use your ring with calligraphy to spell out your love.

 

And of course I’m always happy to lend a hand and would love to photograph your ring in an engagement shoot or as part of your wedding photography. Please send me an email – I can’t wait to hear the story of your proposal…