Tag Archives: london wedding photographer

Relaxed first dances to match your personality

How to choose a song and tell your story, whether you’re shy with two left feet or a pro who loves the spotlight. Here are my ten top tips for finding a first dance you can relax and enjoy, from a choreographed masterpiece to a private moment for non-dancers.

Planning your first dance is often left to the last minute, but it’s a great opportunity to choose something unique and personal – and it’s often where some of my favourite photos are captured. Maybe you can’t agree on a song or you hate the idea of being the centre of attention. Maybe you’re looking to include your story and culture or you want to perform a grand finale. Relax – there’s a perfect first dance for everyone.

1. Choose a song that makes you smile

It can be hard to choose a song – it doesn’t have to be romantic or even seasonal (my first dance was to “All I want for Christmas” and I got married in September!) just something that makes you smile. If it’s hard to pick only one, try a mix tape with clips from all your favourites or even a song from each year you’ve been together. And if your tastes are totally different you can always go for rival playlists in a silent disco dance off!

  

2. Embrace the romance

You don’t have to be a dance professional to have a first dance – it’s fine to just hold each other and enjoy the moment. Some couples feel more relaxed with simple steps to follow and there are many dance instructors who can tailor something just for you.

  

3. Go for it and laugh!

Who cares if you aren’t ‘Strictly’ standard – just learn a ballroom hold, throw in the odd twirl, go for it and laugh your way through. Remember enthusiasm is both appealing and infectious – you’ll soon have all your guests up and dancing!

 

4. Escape the spotlight

If you can’t stand to have others watching, then how about a private first dance? Head into the ballroom before your guests or escape for a few minutes to dance under the stars.

  

5. Tell your story

First dances don’t have to be all music – some couples have recorded voice overs telling the story of their romance. And you can even use props and act out your proposal.

 

6. Showcase your culture

First dances can also be a chance to share your culture or passion – whether it’s ceilidh dancing with a folk band, showing off some salsa style or breaking out your best Bollywood moves.

7. Involve your wedding party

Consider getting your wedding party to join you for a conga line, a choreographed group dance or get everyone on their feet and dance and dazzle your way through the crowd.

 

8. Let the little ones shine

Little guests always add cuteness and often steal the show.

  

9. Solo spots

For those with killer moves, keep everyone’s eyes on you and step into the spotlight for a solo.

 

10. Grand finale

Want a first dance that no one will forget? Take centre stage with dramatic twirls, streamers and confetti canons – end with a kiss, or sweep your bride right off her feet.

  

Good luck finding the perfect first dance to suit your personality!

And if you’re looking for a wedding photographer who loves weddings where personality shines through, it would be lovely to hear from you. Let’s tell your story.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

A modern twist on an Asian bridal look

I love weddings where elements of culture and tradition are updated or combined with quirky details to truly express the personalities of the couple. I find Indian bridal jewellery beautiful and intriguing – the intricate elements all combine to create a stunning look. But whilst I’ve photographed traditional styles before, I wanted to find a way to keep the important cultural elements, but with an up to date modern style.

Beautiful model and dancer Nikita, showed off the maharani neckline green blouse and pink high waisted bridal lengha perfectly. Choosing these bright colours rather than traditional golds and reds, already introduces a modern look. Continuing these colours into the makeup, Shreya Pandya used a pink lipstick and a brilliant green eyeliner on the lower rims, creating dramatic emphasis to her deep brown eyes. She added a graded silver shadow to the lids and accentuated the look with eyelash extensions, sculpting the face with blusher to accentuate Nikita’s high cheekbones.

Shreya styled long loose curls, carefully pinned to frame Nikita’s face. Opting, instead of the traditional centre parting and tikka, for a side parting combined with a beautiful white passa with accents of green and pink to match the lengha to create a very different look. Long matching earrings were used together with a large hoop natha or nose ring with a diamond flower. Picking up on the diamond, the white statement 18 strand necklace completed the look.

Choosing bright accent colours, for both the the bridal lengha, jewellery and makeup – together with a side parting and passa without a tikka, allows the traditional Indian bridal style to be updated, giving a fresh modern look.

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Creative Team:
Model Nikkita Chadha
Hair & MUA Shreya Pandya
Clothing Maahira
Jewellery Nishel

I’d love to connect, find me on Instagram @hannahlarkinphotography or visit my website.

Meera & Raj – St Paul’s sunset engagement

After introducing me to the hidden gem of Pergola & Hill Garden in Hampstead for the first part of their engagement shoot, Meera & Raj opted for a more well-known spot for sunset. Raj’s favourite part of London is the Millennium Bridge with its view of St Paul’s Cathedral. We met on the steps of St Paul’s at the start of the golden hour as the sun started to set. I love the huge scale of the doors & pillars, and the beauty of the building’s white stonework. Sitting on the steps also allowed Raj to show off his impressive eyebrow agility! We found a quiet alleyway that gives beautiful reflections of the cathedral, before heading down to the Millennium Bridge for sunset & a dreamy blue dusk.

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Christmas Wreath Workshop – Joanne Truby

Joanne Truby is an incredible florist who I was lucky to work with with on a festive Asian bridal shoot for the Secret Wedding blog last year. This year I was excited to join one of her Christmas wreath workshops at the Traflagar Tavern in Greenwich. I’ve never made a wreath before so when Joanne and her team unpacked a huge variety of foliage, flowers, berries and dried fruits for us to choose from, and I was faced with a simple circle and a reel of wire, it felt slightly overwhelming! However, along with instruction sheets, Christmas carols, hot chocolate and candy canes, Joanne kept us calm and cheery while she demonstrated three clear stages. Firstly, we created a ‘sausage’ of moss to fill the frame. Secondly, we covered this with our choice of foliage – I went for a mix of pine, rosemary, eucalyptus and berried ivy. Finally, we were let loose to choose our decorations – it was hard to pick from so many beautiful options including holly, whole limes, sliced oranges and apples, cinnamon sticks, crab apples, ribbons and flowers… in the end I decided to stick with a green and blue winter theme and used thistles, viburnum berries, dried lavender, poppy seed heads and a fir cone. The whole workshop was wonderfully festive (it wasn’t just me in a Christmas jumper) and it was great fun getting my hands dirty while somehow managing to create a finished wreath! Everyone created a beautiful wreath. It was amazing how different they all looked – from classic red holly wreaths to floral hydrangea-filled ones, ivy dripping with colourful fruits and my very own wintery blue wreath.

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Thanks again Joanne for a wonderful afternoon – I’ll be enjoying my beautiful wreath all December!

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www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

 

Dean & Alice’s English & Bengali Weddings

Dean & Alice are lovely friends of mine – Dean was an usher at our wedding and we discovered he also has a talent for wedding planning, he arrived the night before with his own clipboard! So when he and Alice decided to have not one, but two wedding celebrations I was so excited to see what they planned. I enjoyed both their English wedding at the beautiful Hampton Court House full of fairy lights & pompoms, and their vibrant dance-filled Bengali wedding at Manor of Groves. I tried to repay the favour of all the help Dean gave us, by running round lighting & replacing candles, filling bubble guns (which they used instead of confetti) as well as taking a few photos. Alice looked stunning with two beautiful headpieces, classic white wedding dress and heavily jewelled gold and turquoise dress, while Dean was handsome in a blue suit and gold embroidered outfit. I loved to see how the different cultural traditions were included and enjoyed every minute – congratulations Dean & Alice!

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You can see more of my wedding photography on my website, and if you’re looking for a wedding photographer for the UK or overseas I’d love to talk to you about your plans.

Traditional golden Indian bridal look

As a London wedding photographer, I’m lucky to be surrounded by diversity and love to celebrate different cultures. So I was excited to be part of a creative team working to produce a traditional Indian bridal look, with a regal golden theme.

Kiren Modi was our stunning model and she showed off the gorgeous bridal lengha set, covered with intricate gold embroidery, to perfection. The dupatta, featuring a gold lace edging with red piping, was secured over a low bun and it draped beautifully to complete the outfit. Kiren’s understated up-do had a centre parting to showcase a golden double teardrop tikka, complimented by a gold and white passa over her left temple. Her earrings and necklace matched her tikka, with five gold chains fastening the teardrop pendants around her neck, while an additional gold chain attached her large hoop natha or nose ring. White and gold bangles and an ornate kundan and ruby ring finished the look. Shreya Pandya is a really talented bridal hair & makeup artist and she created a look that perfectly balanced all the bridal jewellery. After forming a flawless base, she emphasised Kiren’s eyes using smoky reds and greys with long lashes and a heavy outline so they could hold their own amongst all the jewels!

I really enjoyed working with this talented team and look forward to sharing more Indian bridal images from both weddings and styled shoots soon.

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Creative Team:
Model Kiren Modi
MUA Shreya Pandya
Clothing Maahira
Jewellery Nishel

You can see more of my wedding photography on my website.

Raj & Meera’s Pergola & Hill Garden engagement

Meera & Raj suggested visiting the Pergola & Hill Garden in Hampstead for the first part of their engagement shoot and I’ve fallen in love with this hidden gem. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of London it has raised walkways, beautiful brick archways and carefully landscaped gardens. Meera & Raj are great fun and happily braved creepers and spiders so we could find some precious spots of shade on this bright and sunny afternoon! Then we used little arcs of sunlight created by a row of arches to frame them laughing and snuggling together. That evening we headed to St Paul’s Cathedral for sunset – those photos will follow.

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com