A Wedding Photographers Guide
Today our blog and small guide features Hayley and Mark's special day BUT rather than use our words we thought we'd use Hayley's words that she put together when she was asked to feature their special day in the Suffolk Ceremony magazine, illustrated with some of her favourite chosen photographs.
Venue: All Saints Hotel Suffolk.
Tel: 01284 706777
We are proud to be a recommended supplier of All Saints Hotel.
All Saints Hotel Golf and Spa is situated in the village of Fornham All Saints just 2 miles from the centre of Bury St Edmunds.
A long engagement, I proposed in 2012 the leap year when Joe was a baby we agreed getting married would be much later when the children were old enough to be a part of the day, that and I think Mark thought he might get away with it!
A late night chat on Boxing Day 2019 we talked about the year ahead and decided my 40th in April would be the perfect excuse for a party and linking a wedding into the occasion as a twist - we would not tell anyone!
We are the last of our friends to marry, with most tying the knot before starting a family the running joke was always ‘will they ever get married?’
We started the ball rolling and quickly made a decision on a local venue with time not really on our side - four months to plan and execute the wedding.
Mid February I took my mum, mother in law and sister out for a surprise day of wedding dress shopping.
We went to Ipswich and I had no idea what I wanted and was very prepared for the next few weekends to be consumed with dress shopping. They were incredibly helpful and I found the perfect dress by Justin Alexander little did I know it would hang in the wardrobe for such a long time after finding it so quickly!
On 4th March for my dads birthday we brought the immediate family together to share the news, shutting all the children into a different room to not hear what was going on.
This was to be a secret for as long as possible. Family & friends were all very happy to receive an invite to a 40th party so the surprise was in full swing. I even managed to book a long weekend in Rome for my ‘40th’ with a group of friends - who now realise it would have been my hen weekend.
Two weeks later unfortunately we had to postpone due to covid and needless to say like most brides to be in 2020 it was a terrible time rescheduling each time getting my hopes up as well as shedding the covid lbs to get back into the dress! Then ‘finally’ we had our date of 6th August 2021, with everyone completely accepting that I still wanted my 40th birthday party!
We told my daughter and our day guests 2 weeks before the event. I had ordered a dozen dresses for my daughter to choose from in a panic, it was a real risk telling her so late in the day.
Our boys learnt of the surprise 2 days before the wedding. We just couldn’t risk a slip to their friends as most the parents were coming to the party! My youngest Max did ask if Daddy knew what was happening or was it a surprise for him as well!
The night before my daughter and I stayed at All Saints. My friend Rachel brought her girls along to help ‘decorate’ the hall, much to their surprise no blowing up balloons it was a takeaway dinner and finding out they were attending our wedding the next day! How Sophie didn’t burst and tell them in the two weeks prior still amazes me.
The morning of the wedding Sharon arrived to do hair and make up for my daughter, Rachel and her girls. The rest of our family arriving around 3pm for champagne and photos.
Mark on the other hand had only one job. Keep the boys amused for the morning and arrive around 2:30pm to get ready. Max FaceTimed at around 1pm to let me know Joe and Mark had been wrestling and hurt Marks hand. The left hand, three fingers - the crucial finger completely swollen. Joe in tears that he thought he had ruined the day - the wedding ring wasn’t going to fit despite the application of frozen peas!
My dad came to the rescue and supplied his ring instead for the occasion, Mark was unable to wear his ring for around 6 months!
We found the wedding entrance music really tricky but settled on a beautiful piece called Rainbow an instrumental cover by Allen & Bright well worth a listen to if you are struggling to find something neutral.
I was more nervous than I thought I would be, after the ceremony seeing the videos of my boys waiting with Mark for me to arrive were lovely. They were clearly nervous and they were quite emotional during the ceremony.
We signed our certificates to a Beyoncé cover of ‘At Last’ and headed outside for drinks and photos with Awaken Images in the gardens and on the golf course.
Our evening guests arrived around 7pm and All Saints did a marvellous job of hosting and showing guests to the function suite for the ‘40th Party’ everyone was really surprised and it was a fantastic evening.
The photo booth supplied by Awaken Images captured some brilliant pictures of fun and laughter throughout the evening, a keepsake with our official photos we have really enjoyed looking at.
The day itself was very relaxed and as we wanted, just unfortunate it was over far too quickly. I think everyone had missed socialising over the previous 18 months so it was the first time to let our hair down and party into the evening.
Dress from Just a day Bridal Wear Ipswich
Hair & Make up - Elegant Hair & Beauty
Flowers by my mum
Bouquet & Button holes by what the fleur
DJ - Night To Remember
We hope this story and our images have helped inspire you. If you are looking for photographers who always provide 2 shooters on the day, who will get to know you and what you want for your day, and to accompany you on your wedding journey why not get in touch -
T: 07751 604315
If you're contacting the venue, don't forget to tell them where you saw it.