Sandford Springs Golf Club Weddings

Reading wedding photography at Sandford Springs Golf Club, couple kissing

Sandford Springs is a super place to get married! Having visited so many venues it was obvious to me, as I wandered around, that everything was well set up to host a seamless wedding experience. On site is The Clock House (a bespoke ceremony building), an hotel, and of course the golf club itself (complete with large dining, dancing and bar facilities). My seal of approval was confirmed when I met Robin, the Events Coordinator. He knows the place back to front, what works on a wedding day, what needs to be done and when, and he is totally focused on giving the Bride & Groom exactly what they want. Everything in Robin's world is done with care and some gentle humour.

I look forward to working at Sandford Springs again in the future. 

For more photos from my last wedding there see my link on Sandford Springs Golf Club

Throwing the bouquet

Come on ladies, keep the tradition going!!

Getting married can be infectious. Give a friend the gentle nudge by ensuring someone special gets to catch your bouquet. Believe me, the end result is often engineered.... so make it happen!

Here's my favourite "Bouquet Throw", involving a mixed rugby team (yes, really!) enacting the line out. Check out the little lad on the far right!

Great wedding flowers from Ashley Blooms.

Reading Wedding Photographer's day out in London

Yes, I know Reading and London aren't that far apart, but still it's nice to have a change of scene... and what better place than our capital city!

Now if I start talking churches gloriously adorned in gold, white and red, HUGE wedding breakfasts, and superb socialising over the meal (which is a way of life) some people might just recognise that I've covered an Italian wedding!

This particular ceremony was in Farringdon, where typically the church was not impressive from the outside, but wow... from the inside!! Afterwards guests too a London bus (private hire) to the reception at Hampton Court, travelling right through the centre of London along the banks of the Thames.

Great wedding, or as the Italians would say..."bellissimo!"

What should wedding photographers wear?


... well at least when they're working. But seriously, this question does come up quite a lot. And it's not that surprising because I have heard some horror stories, not least because my industry has its share of idiots and chancers like most others. Jeans and a T shirt should be a definite no no!

Firstly, you're the employer and as such don't feel awkward about asking the question or making (reasonable) stipulations. 

Secondly, it's a wedding. Anybody working there should show respect to the people and the occasion. Whether they're a wedding photographer from Reading or a DJ from Ibiza, common sense must prevail.

Now, there is a train of thought in the wedding photography business that us 'Togs' (as for some strange reason we have named ourselves) believe we must be comfortable. This is not unreasonable, and very sensible. But this shouldn't detract from being smart and presentable.

Far be it for me to say what wedding photographers should wear (we're generally big enough and ugly enough to make our own decisions), but I see nothing wrong with wearing a suit (for the men) just like the other male guests. Female photographers, I believe, should be equally smart but obviously not too "dressy", they need to remain practical. 

Some photographers will wear a top with a logo. You may or may not find this acceptable, and your view may be effected by the colouring and size of any logo on display.

So, do ask. You may be glad you did!

Who can get married in a cathedral?

Can anyone get married in a cathedral? Not surprisingly, the answer is no.

A cathedral must rank as one of the grandest places to have your wedding, if not the grandest. I recently photographed a wedding at Salisbury Cathedral…. and wow! I’ve seen some churches, but the sheer scale of Salisbury Cathedral makes it extremely impressive.

The couple didn’t just rock up and ask to be wed there. Oh no. A cathedral has its own parish (in this case the Cathedral Close), so those worshipping there on a regular basis can count it as “their church”. By chance my wedding couple actually lived outside the Close, but had long been welcomed to the congregation. Even so they had to apply to the Archbishop of Canterbury to be allowed to hold their wedding in Salisbury. Apparently the agreement sent to them was something akin to the Magna Carter or some Royal charter, very impressive and in keeping with the venue itself.

As with many places of worship, be warned. The professional photographer can be restricted in what they do. This is, of course, always to be respected… and even then a real treat.

When to have speeches at a wedding

"When do we have the speeches? It’s after the meal isn’t it?"

Well, not always.

There aren’t the wedding rules like there used to be. So why not make your wedding day suit you? I often hear myself encouraging Brides and Grooms to “Build it how you want it, because you really can!”

OK, so more often than not when I photograph a wedding the speeches do occur after the Wedding breakfast. But there has been a trend over the last few years to “do your own thing”. The main reason for moving the speeches seems to be in consideration of the speakers themselves. Let’s face it most people aren’t used to standing up in front of a packed room and waxing lyrically for 5 or 10 minutes. It’s a nervy/scary situation for most involved, and the anticipation could potentially ruin their enjoyment of the lovely food put before them (if it’s touched at all)!

So what are the options?

The most popular variation is to do the speeches before the Wedding Breakfast. Beware here, depending on meal time your guests may be hungry so pushing back the food might not be well received! I have also seen speeches take place between courses, but as a rule Chefs hate this because they are trying to get hot food out on time. The other option, which I have seen quite a few times (although it doesn’t help with the above paragraph), is to do the speeches before or during the dessert.

By the way, photographing the speeches can be a joy. The Bride and Groom rarely know what’s going to be said and consequently there can be some great expressions which all make for wonderful wedding photos.

Wedding rings, here are some ideas

Choosing a wedding ring? Not so easy is it! There are plenty of shopping options now: Reading, Basingstoke, Salisbury, good online services, Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter (excellent choice and service!), Hatton Garden etc. You'll receive loads of great advice whichever route you take. But where do you start? Well, style is a good place, so take a look at what I've been seeing at my weddings. Obviously some styles suit some fingers better than others, so you really need to try rings on before making a firm decision. Once you know the style you can then start considering what materials... and then watch the prices rocket, but hey, it's once in a lifetime and you knew at the outset it wasn't going to be cheap!

Wedding photos, why it's not all about albums

Photography is a wonderful art form, and can be presented in a variety of ways. I'm forever ordering prints and albums, they're not going away any time soon. And of course, everyone now wants digital for that instantaneous fix... so online galleries, apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & Pinterest, they all come into play. But I want to wave the flag for the rather humble slideshow. And here's why...

They've been around a while now and are often ignored or under appreciated. But here's the thing- They're a really good way to view and share your photos! They can easily be put on social media, or played on the device of your choice or even on a Smart TV's. As a wedding photographer I get close to my photos when I'm editing/processing them. And every time I get to do the slideshow I love it! The addition of transition and sound really boost the pictures, and this combination gives the telling of the wedding story a moving edge. This is why for every marriage I cover I now provide a slideshow as standard. The feedback I've received from Brides & Grooms has been excellent, and I firmly believe a photography package with a slideshow offers a better option for the couple..

This is Jack & Rebecca's barn wedding. Take a look!