Sunday, 2 January 2011

Ally + Brad's winter wedding

It is the smell of winter. The cold crisp air, the cinnamon and mulled wine, the crunch of frost under foot. Lights twinkling as the daylight fades early. They tried not to fall in love, walking in the parks of London. But it didnt work. Her laugh, exuberance, sense of fun and creating an atmosphere of happiness around her that are infectious. Brad loved her. And she loved him. His assuredness, the fact he's a man's man with a caring heart. That they both are so expressive in the way they talk and laugh. It was fate that caused them to meet and fall in love. So, when Brad suggested they have more tea before their planned trip to Paris Ally reluctantly said OK. Why was he dragging out having another cup of tea when they had a trip to pack for. Why. Because he had a present for her. Reaching over he handed her a gorgeous ring and asked her to be his wife. She starts to cry. As Ally says - like a clown, and puts the ring on her finger. Brad gently gently asks her - is that a yes. And she says emphatically - YES!

Their wedding in December celebrated the smell of winter which is forever part of their romance. They were married in the Highgate Scientific and Literary Institute which was a short walk from where their reception was held in the Red Lion and Sun pub where the fantastic Heath and his team decorated and then fed and watered all the guests.

The details were gorgeous, Ally had painstakingly stamped each place setting. The tables were decorated in tea lights, white and green seasonal flowers in silver pewters, napkins tied in black ribbon with silver thread. There were garlands of winter firs, holly, ivy and mistletoe. Fir cones dipped in silver twinkling with robins hidden in their midst. Scented candles, mulled wine and log fires burning created a heady mix of Christmas gorgeousness. And, the boys in black suits, the girls in black and Ally in a floor length sweetheart necked gown and bolero. Her sister made her birdcage veil and for the evening Ally added a black sash and let down her hair.

Ally and Brad, you are both such lovely people. Ally, you are truly gorgeous, inside and out. Such fun to be around and giggle with. Brad you are so generous. With everyone. Your warmth and humour are infectious. So, thank you. Thank you for asking me to be your wedding photographer. It was a real privilege to shoot your wedding, and just to be there and see you both get married. Congratulations. x

I think I could photograph Ally all day, she has such a 50's movie star quality. Gorgeous.

Ally's dad let me in when I arrived. The girls hadnt come back from having their hair and makeup done so I had some time to photograph the details.

I Love this shot of Ally's shoes. The defused light through the window spotlighting the shoes and the old leather chair creating a depth like an oil painting. Well thats what I think.

Ally, her sister and her mum. What a moment. And what a classy family - I loved the black dresses.
I asked Ally to put her dress on in their drawing room which had lovely light and a great backdrop of books and antiques. If I spy somewhere with better light than the bedroom which is the natural place for the dress to be put on I will suggest moving. It makes so much difference to the quality of the photographs if there is good light.

Ally in her dress. I asked her to look out of the window so I had her face framed in natural light and the background light from the lamp creating a colourful juxtaposition between the white/blue of outside and the yellow of the tungsten light.
Brad waiting for Ally to arrive. His son in the bottom lefthand corner.

Ally with her dad proudly walking down the aisle. As a professional photographer himself I felt completely in awe of. And yet, this was just me because Mick was so so genuinely lovely and made me feel so at ease.
I was allowed to take photographs during the ceremony - yeay. The lighting wasnt the best, but with the 50mm 1.2 lens, the white balance and colour came out alright.

The kiss.
And the beautiful moment afterwards - both Brad and Ally shining with happiness.

So, I knew that with the schedule Brad and Ally had for their wedding I wouldnt get to the reception before it was dark. So I went there before the wedding started to get some daylight shots. Heath and the staff were still setting up but luckily the top table was already dressed. And how gorgeous does it look.
The little details were fantastic too - this was hung above Brad and Ally's seat.

Ally had hand stamped each of the table place settings and slotted them into antique looking Christmas baubles. Such a classy affair.

Seasonal white flowers were understated and perfect for the venue and the feel to their wedding.

Wreaths of firs and cones with little robins and fairylights. Such a great way to make it feel Christmasy without it being over the top.

After the ceremony Ally and Brad had allowed half an hour for photographs of them. I always think that it is great when my couples decide to dedicate some proper time for photographs. Not only can I take better shots if I have more time, we can also have fun with the location and it gives my couples some alone time.

I had spied the village green in Highgate which had been decorated in fairy lights and was perfect with the snow that had also fallen in making a truly magical setting for photographs.

Wow! This is one of my favourite pictures. Like a fairytale. I was so busy loving the setting and taking pictures that I had forgotten I had dumped my camera back on a park bench the otherside of the park. All OK thought.
I love this picture too - its like a movie. I know in terms of photography its not perfect but hey. Sometimes its the risky shots that turn out to be so evocative. Here we had just jumped in the cab after the shoot so my camera lens was all steamed up, so Ally has a misty quality surrounding her.
The Red Lion and Sun gastropub which is gorgeous. I have photographed three weddings in gastropubs this year and would totally recommend it. The food is always hearty, served quickly and a laid back venue. The managers have always been so so accommodating. Heath was no exception and couldnt help Ally and Brad enough. I think it is such an important event that pubs rarely get the chance to host so its extra special for them too.
The new Mr and Mrs as they arrive at the pub.

This is so typical of them both as people. Having fun and a laugh. Here they are getting ready for the reception dinner - of homemade burgers and fries. Perfect.

The cake, baked by Ally's mum and decorated by Ally's dad and sister. Gorgeous, and tasted lovely.
The speeches and the moments between.

Ally's dad's speech was so heartfelt. And Ally loves her dad so much. I love the frame of the paper from which Mick is reading, and Ally's expression.
And then the best man's speech. So funny!

The raucous cake cutting - there wasnt much space so I focused more on Ally and Brad's expressions which are so great.

The first dance. Another true movie still photograph (in my eyes anyway). I love it.

And the quiet moment. Ally, with her man.

Fun with the guests - here one of the boys has very fetchingly put on one of the girls headpiece.

Natural light, no flash - yes it was this dark, but close to the bar it created a very "Godfather" type lighting effect.
And, at the end of it all, Ally and Brad stepped out for a shot underneath the arch of branches outside the pub. Perfect.


  1. I love your winter wedding pictures. I have to agree with you the photograph on the green is magical-plus I wish they decorated my local green so prettily! Keep taking inspiring pictures.

  2. Natasha - These are amazing!You are truly talented. Have a great new year! x

  3. I couldn't agree more..... Natasha really is a truly talented photographer, but not only that, she is the most wonderful person to work with... I normally can't stand having my photo taken, but with Natasha it was an absolute joy.


    Brad x x

  4. I love the "quiet moment" pic, they are all beautiful!!!The bride is amazing!
    Well done again!!!!xxxxx

  5. Very useful information on your wedding and hope you had a good time there. I am in search of best New York wedding venues for arranging my best friend’s wedding and came to know about few venues online. Planning to book one soon.