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Monday, 27 December 2010

Kelly and Paul's Wedding at the English Wine Centre, Alfriston

Two local Sussex weddings in a row is quite unusual for me, one weekend at Pelham House in Lewes, the following weekend just down the road for Kelly and Paul's wedding at the English Wine Centre in Alfriston. Kelly got ready at her Mum and Dad's with lots of family and friends round to help out.

It's just a ten minute drive from Eastbourne to the English Wine Centre and as Kelly arrived I noticed her Dad reflected in the car window:

The wedding ceremony takes place in an old renovated barn. The renovation hasn't been over done so it still feels nicely rustic without giving you the feeling that a goat could wander in at any moment and start nibbling at the floral arrangements. After the ceremony we all went out into the gardens for the drinks reception in the sunshine - the weather was perfect!

There is a large marquee attached to the back of the barn which is the location for the wedding breakfast. Kelly and Paul had decorated it using lots of blue ribbons and it looked stunning. Speaking of stunning, I didn't hear the comment during the speeches that produced this expression, but I'm glad that I got the photograph of it:

We went back out into the gardens later on for some nice romantic shots. At one point it looked like were were in for a beautiful sunset, which would have been fabulous, but at the last minute a heavy mist came off the Downs and put an end to it - even so, we did very well and there are some great spots for Bride and Groom photographs.

Kelly and Paul had a wonderful day and the weather was truly amazing for them. You can find out more about weddings at the English Wine Centre on their website:

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Karen and Pete's Wedding at Pelham House, Lewes, East Sussex

Some of you may recall a previous blog about Pelham House where I first mentioned Karen (painted wedding glasses) and Pete (the dark art of printing). Well their wedding came round all too quickly (everything seems to have done this year) and it certainly lived up to expectations! 

Karen, having confiscated the wedding rings from the best man for safe keeping, got ready at Pelham House. Normally at this point I would say something like "assisted by her bridesmaids" but this wasn't quite the case. The bridesmaids actually kept us hugely entertained by trying to figure out how to walk down the aisle, attempts at which started badly and soon degenerated into a sort of march of the animals, with Anna in particular doing a very good impression of a mutant Chernobyl chicken desperately trying to escape the clutches of a ravenous Russian peasant - you may have guessed by now that this wedding was about having fun! 

Karen has a moment of quiet reflection, while just out of camera beside her the Eastbourne Players continue working on their production of Animal Farm. Actually the enigmatic, Mona Lisa look is Karen desperately trying not to laugh. 

Meanwhile Pete is relaxing with his groomsmen in the bar downstairs waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin, probably the safest place under the circumstances. 

In the end the bridesmaids just about managed to get things together and opted for a stately sprint down ths aisle, with much giggling and bouquet waving, followed much more serenely by a very happy looking Karen - it was all pretty cool actually! 

After a lovely wedding ceremony we all moved out onto the terrace for drinks and canapes in the sunshine, with a few quick romantic shots before going back in for the wedding breakfast. 



Karen and Pete had arranged for a harpist to provide background music during the meal. Have you ever looked at a harp, I mean really looked? It's not just a million strings to get to grips with, there are pedals as well, lots of them. How on earth did someone get around to inventing something that looks like an ornate industrial vegetable slicer and then decide to play it? I'm very glad they did because they are lovely, but was going on in their head? 

Speaking of what was going on, I don't know what was happening here either, but it went on for quite a while and they seemed to be enjoying themselves, which is all that really matters. 

As the evening wore on the boys and I decided to go out for a Reservoir Dogs photo. I always like to hype the guys up a bit for this shot so they look like they own the street, otherwise there can be a tendency for them to come down the road in a little huddle that's more reminiscent of Reservoir Poodles or possibly Dew Pond Field Mice. So we take a gaggle of extrovert sportsmen, fill them with beer, steroid their ego's and tell them to go for it. They did... Lewes police station put out a "Closed" sign, people ran for cover, birds scattered in alarm, the sky darkened. I really should have pointed out that they owned the road apart from my bit though... 

Rather than doing a speciality first dance or simply settling for the traditional hug and shuffle, Karen and Pete decided to combine the two. We do the hug and shuffle during the verses and (something along the lines of) the pogo during the chorus. Like everything about them it's pretty off the wall, but it didn't just work, it was brilliant - try it! 

About 10pm we wandered down to the bottom of the gardens at Pelham House for the Chinese Lanterns. Although I have photographed these before, this was the first time I had got involved in trying to light them. I don't know if this was a dodgy batch, but it was a nighmare despite being a completely still night. You hold a lighter under a wax patch for serveral minutes until your thumb catches fire. The flame coming from your thumb then starts to melt the patch which drips hot wax onto the back of your hand. If you are very lucky the patch will eventually start to burn, at which point you give the lantern to someone else, dash back up to the house and run your burning hand under the cold tap. Most lanterns only reached the dripping hot wax stage. Eventually we did get some going and very romantic they looked too.

Karen and Pete had a fantastic, fun packed day and as always Pelham House was the perfect wedding venue. You can find out more about Pelham House on their website:

01323 639404

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day, so here is a photograph of the War Memorial in Eastbourne taken at sunrise a few weeks ago.

Please don't forget to wear your poppy and observe the two minutes silence at 1100, it's not a lot to ask.

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Friday, 24 September 2010

Wedding Fairs in Sussex - Seaford

The 2010 Seaford Wedding Fair is being held on Sunday the 21st of November at Seaford Constitutional Club, Crouch Lane, Seaford, East Sussex.  The wedding fair is open from 10.30 to 4.30 and entry is free.

The wedding fair has been organised in association with the One Stop Wedding Shop in Eastbourne, East Sussex and boasts a great range of wedding suppliers including wedding cake makers, florists, photographers, wedding car hire companies, entertainers and much more. Of course you also get the opportunity to see if Seaford Constitutional Club is your ideal wedding venue. 

View Larger Map

The local area around Seaford provides some great opportunities for wedding photography, from huts on the beach and a backdrop of Seaford Head, to classic views along the Cuckmere Valley of over the Seven Sisters towards Belle Toute and Beachy Head if you are feeling more adventurous!

The Seaford Wedding Fair looks to be a great event for anyone getting married next year, so make a note in your diary to come along and see what's available for your wedding.  If you are interested you can find more information on the Seaford Wedding Fair website:, or alternatively pop into the One Stop Wedding Shop at 20 South Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex

01323 639404

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Susan and Graham's Wedding at Rowhill Grange, Kent

Susan and Graham eventually had their wedding at Rowhill Grange in Kent.  I say eventually because they were originally booked in elsewhere on a different date.  I won't go into details but due to a series of "interesting events" they decided to cancel the original wedding booking and move to Rowhill Grange instead.  Luckily the new date was on a Friday so I was still free.  Top tip:  Make sure you get everything confirmed in writing!

Panic over, Susan did all her bridal preparations in the comfort of Rowhill Grange before going down to the Clockhouse Suite for the wedding ceremony in her fabulous red and white wedding dress.

The Clockhouse Suite is actually a completely separate building from the main hotel, which makes it feel as though you have the venue all to yourself.

Apart from the Clockhouse Suite, you can also get married outside in the gardens under a very nice gazebo - assuming you are happy to run the risk of our weather of course.  It turned out that the weather was pretty good for most of the day with a bit of light rain starting just after we went off to do some photographs in the gardens - nice timing!

Although an old building, Rowhill Grange has been decorated in quite a modern style, giving it a very chic look.


Graham and Susan had a fantastic day at Rowhill Grange before flying off for a wonderful honeymoon cruise, in the end everything had worked out perfectly for them!  If you would like to find out more about having a wedding at Rowhill Grange, please visit their website:

01323 639404

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Small Copper Butterfly

I was happily trying to get a photograph of a Banded Demoiselle (a very pretty type of Damselfly) at the River Cuckmere a few weeks ago, just before a meeting with a client.  I'd been watching the little thing for a good twenty minutes, finding out where he liked to rest and slowly slithering myself into position.  

Everything was just about perfect, he's settled about 20cm away and I'm just getting him into focus when along come "Mr and Mrs we've got a dog that we can't control".  I'm not talking about inquisitive, boisterous, friendly doggy here, which would have been irritating but acceptable.  This was a barking, snarling, hugely aggressive lump of fur and teeth that for some reason has taken a huge dislike to me.  

Superhero Hubby bravely slinks off and leaves his wife to drag the thing away (you must be so proud of him!) and of course by the time it's over the Demoiselle is long gone.  It's bad enough having to pick your way through their droppings in some areas without having to put up with mad dogs as well.

As a consolation I did come across some Small Copper butterflies (Lycaena phlaeas) later on though, which are just as pretty as Demoiselles but a different colour (and shape for that matter):


It's quite surprising what hairy (and dusty) little devils they are up close isn't it?  It almost looks as though he's waiting to be fed in this shot!

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Maria and Robert's Wedding at Nonsuch Mansion

Maria and Robert had their wedding at Nonsuch Mansion at Cheam in Surrey, which does sound like an odd sort of name the first time you come across it, although it is close to the site of Nonsuch Palace, built by Henry VIII and long since demolished.  Interesting though this fact is, it doesn't shed much light on the origin of the name and if anyone is in a position to enlighten me I would be most grateful.

The beautiful pink wedding bouquet

Maria is from Sweden and a lot of her family had made it over for the wedding and were busy helping her get ready in the bridal suite at Nonsuch Mansion.

Maria's Mum inspects the wedding dress

Maria was incredibly relaxed during the bridal preparations and great fun to be with.  Her hair and makeup were done by Diane Cundell who provides mobile hair and beauty services in Sussex and Surrey. You can visit Diane's website at:

The Bride ready for the wedding ceremony

Nonsuch Mansion is one of the best wedding venues I have come across, the way it has been decorated is stunning and the service and catering are second to none.  It's one of the few venues that you really would struggle to fault - even the wallpaper in the gents is outstanding!  

Couple taking their vows

Bride and Groom together during their wedding

And if you have anything like reasonable weather, there are extensive grounds to have your wedding photographs taken in.

Bride and Groom in the garden at Nonsuch Mansion

Bride and Groom having their first dance

Maria and Robert had a wonderful wedding, with fantastic weather at an amazing venue - it couldn't be better!

If you are getting married in Surrey then Nonsuch Mansion is a venue that should be high on your list, I'm back there for a wedding in a few weeks time and I can't wait.  You can find out more about weddings at Nonsuch Mansion on their website: 

01323 639404

Monday, 6 September 2010

Please don't step on the bride!

Just a quick one from Saturday's wedding in Hove, Sussex.  You pick a nice out of the way little spot during a quiet part of the evening for some nice fluffy dress photo's.  OK, so it's on the first floor just outside the lift, but there's no one around and you get away with it, in fact things are going swimmingly.  Until you feel the urge to say something really daft like "Thank goodness no one wanted to use the lift!"


Yes, she did stop in time - luckily it wasn't the Sussex Ramblers Association with large muddy boots and awash with several pints of Harveys!

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Monday, 23 August 2010

Gritte and Stephen's Wedding at Rosslyn Hill Chapel and Camden Lock

Gritte and Stephen had their wedding at Rosslyn Hill Chapel near Hampstead Heath and their wedding reception at the Camden Lock Holiday Inn a few weeks ago... actually it was several weeks ago now, I'm desperately trying to play catchup here!

Gritte got ready at the Holiday Inn, ably assisted by family and friends.  All the wedding flowers were supplied by Lulu, who wanders streets broad and narrow, selling flowers from a barrow, while simultaneously campaigning to become Mayor of Camden.  I don't know how Lulu has got on with her political aspirations, but her flowers were certainly a vote winner.

Rosslyn Hill Chapel is a lovely and incredibly well hidden little place, you really wouldn't have a clue it was there unless you knew about it.  Gritte and her family are from Germany and had borrowed the priest from a German Church in London to conduct a lovely Anglo-German ceremony. 

Both Gritte and Stephen are very keen archers and their archery club formed a tunnel of arrows for them after the ceremony.  The original plan was to use bows as well, but the logistics of transporting bows and arrows on the tube (as well as the danger of arrest) proved a little too much.

The view from the top of the Camden Lock Holiday Inn is really quite spectacular and Camden Lock itself provides some fantastic backdrops - even the graffiti looks cool.

Shy about doing your first dance?  Gritte and Stephen's top tip is to wear a cunning disguise so no one will recognise you!

Gritte and Stephen had a brilliant fun fulled day and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for them.  The Camden Lock Holiday Inn is a great venue right at the centre of one of London's most exciting areas, you can find more information on their website.

01323 639404