Chris Cowley

Isle of Wight Wedding Photographer

Chris CowleyIsle of Wight Wedding Photography

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog. This is where you'll be able to see my most recent Isle of Wight wedding photography and also see some of the other things I like to photograph besides weddings.

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Isle of Wight Wedding Photography Blog

Awesome couples ride horses to their weddings

April 21st, 2014

You know a wedding will be awesome when the couple tell you they will be riding on horseback across fields to their wedding reception. From the moment Abi and Malcolm told me about their day I knew that they were going to have an incredible wedding. The bride’s parents lived in Calbourne and their reception [...]

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You know a wedding will be awesome when the couple tell you they will be riding on horseback across fields to their wedding reception.

From the moment Abi and Malcolm told me about their day I knew that they were going to have an incredible wedding. The bride’s parents lived in Calbourne and their reception was to be held in a marquee set up in the field behind their house, so the nearby All Saint’s church was a natural choice for the couple. Not only did this mean that guests were able to walk from the church to their rustic wedding reception but Abi was able to arrive at the church on horseback with her father before riding away afterwards with Malcolm as husband and wife!

The bride wore a green wedding dress whilst the groom wore a regency suit with tails and after their church ceremony the couple managed to make a quick detour on horseback sneaking off for a ride on their favourite trail before rejoining guests at their reception. This also allowed me to meet the couple half-way through their ride giving us the perfect opportunity to take some creative wedding photos of the couple riding their horses in full wedding-attire across the fields!

The traditional marquee was decorated beautifully in a rustic style by the creative couple and their wedding breakfast was a homemade ploughman’s lunch which the all the family helped to make. There were many DIY touches to their day as all their friends and family played their part; from relatives who made Abi’s gorgeous green wedding dress and crafted their awesome wedding cake, to talented friends who provided live music in the evening as their entertainment.

To end of the day as the sun began to set, the happy couple took centre stage with their first dance as man and wife to a beautiful acoustic number as guests danced around them and partied the night away enjoying the most wonderful wedding reception.

Enjoy the photos!

guests gather outside all saints church calbourne

dashing groom talking to guests

bride arrives to wedding on horseback with father

father of the bride laughing portrait

all saints church wedding ceremony isle of wight

confetti throwing alll saints church calbourne iow

horses and guests outside all saints church calbourne

bride and groom ride on horseback winkle street

bride and groom riding horses to wedding reception

bride and groom riding on horseback across fields isle of wight

bride in green wedding dress portrait in forest

couple arrive at wedding reception on horses isle of wight

diy rustic wedding isle of wight

rustic wedding ploughmans isle of wight

rustic wedding speeches marquee iow

wedding portraits in field isle of wight

creative picture frame wedding photo

guests walking through field to wedding reception

acoustic first dance wedding

marquee wedding in a field at sunset

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An incredible day complete with a special performance from The Kooks

March 11th, 2014

I’ve seen some amazing wedding bands but I didn’t ever think I’d get to photograph British rock stars, The Kooks performing at a wedding! Sophie and Max live in London and returned to Max’s family home on the Isle of Wight for their wedding. Max who works for an exciting technology start-up, began his day [...]

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I’ve seen some amazing wedding bands but I didn’t ever think I’d get to photograph British rock stars, The Kooks performing at a wedding!

Sophie and Max live in London and returned to Max’s family home on the Isle of Wight for their wedding. Max who works for an exciting technology start-up, began his day with the boys enjoying a pub lunch at The Crown in Shorwell (which was handily opposite the church so there could be no excuses for being late) whilst filmmaker Sophie got ready at the beautiful Westover Manor.

Many of Sophie’s family flew in from France and their bi-lingual service took place mid-afternoon in the Church of St Peter in Shorwell which was lit purely by candlelight. The church looked beautiful and after an emotional ceremony guests gathered outside to shower the couple with rice instead of the more traditional British confetti which was great for photos.

Upon arriving at Max’s family home for their reception, everyone enjoyed drinks and canapés around the pool before making their way to the marquee extension which had been added to the purpose built reception venue for the speeches and evening party. After the speeches guests made their way in to the elegantly decorated, candlelit, reception room to be seated for dinner which included delicious Isle of Wight asparagus grown locally at the Garlic Farm.

The couple’s first dance wowed their adoring friends and family who watched from the stairs and shortly after this best man, Alex, who also happened to be the lead singer of The Kooks, stepped up on to the stage along with his band mates to announce that they were the wedding band!

The Kooks were met with huge cheers from the crowd as guests rushed forwards to watch them perform and lots of dancing, kissing and crowd surfing (especially by the groom) ensued as everyone partied the night away at what was an incredible wedding complete with a rock star wedding band.

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church of st peter shorwell

groom pub greeting the crown shorwell

westover manor isle of wight

bride dress hanging and bouquet isle of wight

bride walking down aisle church of st peter isle of wight

rice throwing confetti wedding

rolls royce wedding car isle of wight

swimming pool reception venue

bride and groom window reflection photo

best man speech laughter with groom

cheese wedding cake and candles

purpose built wedding reception venue

marquee wedding first dance the kooks

bride cheers for the kooks wedding band

crowdsurfing groom at wedding the kooks

the kooks perform at wedding isle of wight

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Bowcombe Lodge wedding venue lighting ideas

February 1st, 2014

Bowcombe Lodge is nestled amongst spectacular scenery on the Isle of Wight. Sitting on the Bowcombe estate, it is a multi-award winning wedding venue which has been finished to the highest of contemporary-chic standards – a real hidden gem! The exclusive wedding venue boasts it’s own staff and chef guaranteeing complete escapism as well as stunning [...]

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Bowcombe Lodge is nestled amongst spectacular scenery on the Isle of Wight. Sitting on the Bowcombe estate, it is a multi-award winning wedding venue which has been finished to the highest of contemporary-chic standards – a real hidden gem!

The exclusive wedding venue boasts it’s own staff and chef guaranteeing complete escapism as well as stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside for you and your guests. Due to the exclusivity of Bowcombe Lodge I was incredibly excited when Katie from Wight Wedding Days got in touch asking if I would like to be involved in a photoshoot there.

The aim of the shoot was to show how you could use light creatively to decorate your wedding venue creating ambience and atmosphere. To create this wonderful inspiration Katie bought together some of the Islands top wedding suppliers including Jo Lofthouse (Make-up artist), Inspired Island Events (Venue Decoration), Flowers for You (licensed Vera Wang florist), StageGear Rentals (lighting), Maranelli Designs (Wedding Stationary), Forget Me Not Designs (Wedding dress) and Donna Jones who kindly modelled with her husband!

Without further ado, here are a few of my favourite shots from our evening.

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Bowcombe Lodge wedding venue Isle of Wight

Bowcombe Lodge table decorations

Bowcombe Lodge wedding table decorations

Bowcombe lodge wedding party IOW

Bowcombe Lodge bride wedding photo

Bowcombe Lodge wedding bride and groom

Bowcombe lodge IOW creative wedding photo

Bowcombe lodge bridal bouquet

Bowcombe Lodge candlelit wedding decorations

Bowcombe lodge wedding party dinner

Bowcombe Lodge bride in mirror Isle of Wight

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An Appuldurcombe House wedding full of DIY touches

January 20th, 2014

Appuldurcombe House is a striking and unique wedding venue on the Isle of Wight. Set in beautiful grounds the 18th century building was once one of the grandest houses on the IOW. Breathtaking to look at, the house and is a particularly interesting venue as the majority of the building has been left as ruins with [...]

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Appuldurcombe House is a striking and unique wedding venue on the Isle of Wight. Set in beautiful grounds the 18th century building was once one of the grandest houses on the IOW. Breathtaking to look at, the house and is a particularly interesting venue as the majority of the building has been left as ruins with only the front section of the house and small part of the interior recreated! Some might hear this description and shy away from the venue but Donna and Nick fell in love with Appuldurcombe House and set to work putting many creative touches in to their colourful big day. The creative couple made all of the decorations themselves which added an amazing splash of colour to the venue and really bought the grand house to life.

The couple chose to make the day just as much about the children as it was about them encouraging all of the kids to come in fancy dress and enjoy the masses of outside space to play in. The couples son, Murray, was dressed as Batman and thoroughly enjoyed running around the grass playing outdoor games with all the other children.

The bride, Donna, got ready with her bridesmaids in the cottages on the edge of the grounds and enjoyed  a leisurely stroll down the the house (with Batman in toe).  Following their ceremony, now husband, Nick, Donna and all their guests enjoyed Pimms, strawberries and cream on the lawn whilst the children played.

In keeping with their super relaxed and fun day guests went back in to the building and enjoyed a relaxed afternoon tea complete with a finger buffet of delicious sandwiches, savouries, cakes and scones. Jam goes hand in hand with scones and so for their wedding favours the couple made their own jam in tiny pots complete with labels created by Nick encouraging guests to ‘Spread the love’ which was just one of the many small touches that made Nick and Donna’s Appuldurcombe House wedding so great!

I hope you enjoy look their photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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Appuldurcombe House colourful DIY wedding decorations

Appuldurcombe House bride walking down to house

Appuldurcombe House bride walking down the aisle ceremony room

Appuldurcombe House confetti throwing outside

Appuldurcombe House DIY table plan

Appuldurcombe House creative tea party wedding cupcakes Miss Dotty

Appuldurcombe House sunset wedding portrait by the gate

Appuldurcombe House creative couple wedding photo

Appuldurcombe House creative couple wedding photo

Appuldurcombe House paper flower bouquet and buttonhole

Creative wedding portrait at Appuldurcombe House

Appuldurcombe House wedding evening band

Appuldurcombe House night wedding photo

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Looking back at 2013

January 1st, 2014

There were so many awesome weddings on the Isle of Wight last year! Join me on a look back at some of my favourite photos from 2013 but before you scroll down I just want to express my appreciation to everyone I’ve met, worked with, chatted and drank tea with over the last year. Massive [...]

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There were so many awesome weddings on the Isle of Wight last year! Join me on a look back at some of my favourite photos from 2013 but before you scroll down I just want to express my appreciation to everyone I’ve met, worked with, chatted and drank tea with over the last year. Massive thanks go to my friends and family who once again have been a huge help and an extra special thank you to my amazing wife, Becky, for being so awesome and helping me photograph another busy year of weddings (the most important one being ours of course)!

Most importantly though I want to say a massive thank to all the wonderful couples who entrusted me with the honour of photographing their weddings. You are all awesome and it’s thanks to you guys that 2013 has been such an amazing year.

So here we go. This was 2013. Roll on 2014!

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P.S. Most of these weddings haven’t been blogged yet as I’ve been fully booked all year but watch this space over coming months where I’m going to be sharing many more photos.

Bridal photoshoot in bluebells IOW

Dark sky wedding photo Isle of Wight

Bride and Groom reflection at Bowcombe Lodge

Bride shoves cake in grooms face

Appuldurcombe house couple portrait at night

Blue wedding dress bride IOW

Bride and boat Bembridge Isle of Wight

Abandoned building wedding photo smashed

Couple on open top bus wedding

Couple splash in puddle

Winter snow wedding photo Osborne House

Young couple just married in a field

Guy fist bumps groom Isle of WIght wedding

Creative puddle wedding photo

Groom kisses the singer at wedding

Yurt wedding at night IOW bunting

Golden Hour bridal photo in a field Isle of Wight

Interesting cake cutting photo

Green dress wedding photo in the woods

Groom carrys bride on shoulders in sunset

Wedding couple romantic walk in the street

Isle of Wight handfasting portrait

Lisle Coombe wedding couple Isle of Wight

Paddle boat wedding Calbourne Mill IOW

Priory Bay wedding entrance

Smokey first dance Isle of Wight

Polka dot dress and braces wedding outfit

Snow globe wedding photo

Sunny summer wedding photo Appuldurcombe House

The Duver Isle of Wight wedding photo

Ventnor Botanic Gardens Chris Cowley Isle of Wight couple

Wedding bus transport couple IOW

Wild dancing bride Isle of Wight

Horse riding bide and groom wedding

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The Hermitage Country House party

November 3rd, 2013

The Hermitage Country House is the perfect secluded wedding venue. Hidden amongst rolling countryside near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight I was delighted when Ian and Joe got in touch to talk about their day and I knew right from our first conversation that this was going to be a party to remember. The [...]

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The Hermitage Country House is the perfect secluded wedding venue. Hidden amongst rolling countryside near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight I was delighted when Ian and Joe got in touch to talk about their day and I knew right from our first conversation that this was going to be a party to remember.

The Hermitage wasn’t just the wedding venue of choice for Ian and Joe. This fun-loving couple also happened to be the managers of the grand country house and so knew the setting intimately and it had many happy memories for them. The other benefit was that the venue was exclusively theirs for the whole weekend!

I joined the couple just before their ceremony on a typically grey and rainy Saturday in April but I was told from the moment I walked in that the rain wasn’t going to dampen anyone’s spirits. Their wedding took place in the beautiful ceremony room at 3pm and was full of giggly laughter at some of the binding ceremonial words. Shortly afterwards the party headed out in to the entrance hall for their drinks reception and following a few small group photos the rain eased a little so the couple and I stepped outside to take a few pictures in front of the house they so proudly ran.

After a relaxed buffet style meal the evening party began with the bride kicking off her wedding shoes as soon as she could and getting straight on to the dance floor. She wasn’t short of dancing partners as all the guests got their groove on and there were multiple dance-offs including four frames below showing my favourite between the groom and his dad.

As the clock struck midnight I made like a banana and split but rumour has it that most of the wedding party was still propping up the bar at 3am – the perfect end to an awesome day and a fun-filled night.

The Hermitage Isle of Wight groom getting ready

Groom waiting for bride at front of ceremony room

Bride and groom happy smiling wedding

Wedding ceremony at The Hermitage IOW

Hermitage IOW walking down the aisle

iPad wedding guest group photo

Bridal bouquet and flower girl Isle of Wight

Hermitage House wedding photo Isle of Wight

The Hermitage wedding first dance

Isle of Wight wedding party rocking out

Dance off competition wedding Isle of Wight

Groom vs Dad wedding dance off competition

Creative first dance wedding photo

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The Times Isle of Wight wedding feature

September 21st, 2013

Pssst… Check out The Times newspaper today – it features a lovely Isle of Wight wedding full of awesomeness took place last weekend. Sunflowers and beach wedding photo goodness to follow on the blog at some point

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Pssst… Check out The Times newspaper today – it features a lovely Isle of Wight wedding full of awesomeness took place last weekend. Sunflowers and beach wedding photo goodness to follow on the blog at some point :)

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The Times newspaper Isle of Wight wedding feature

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A Cowes wedding at St Mary’s Church and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club

September 16th, 2013

Cowes on the Isle of Wight has to be the ultimate wedding location for couples who enjoy sailing. Famous for Cowes Week among other sailing events, it is also home to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, the beautiful St Mary’s Church and was the wedding destination of choice for James and Catrin. The couple – [...]

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Cowes on the Isle of Wight has to be the ultimate wedding location for couples who enjoy sailing. Famous for Cowes Week among other sailing events, it is also home to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, the beautiful St Mary’s Church and was the wedding destination of choice for James and Catrin. The couple – who both live in Cowes – are keen sailors and so being able to hold their wedding in the town where they live, right on the seafront, couldn’t have been more fitting!

I joined the bride in the morning at K & H Hairdressing as she and the girls began their day joined by a number of visitors who popped in to wish Catrin luck. One of which was someone I only know as “Champagne Man” who made a grand entrance bursting in to the hairdressers and pouring a few bottles of champagne for everyone before disappearing just as quickly!

Once everyone was ready to go the bridal party made its way through Cowes to join Catrin’s parents and grandparents at a beautiful house right on the water’s edge and get in to their dresses. After a few sandwiches (and some more champagne, naturally) everyone got in to their outfits and off we went in a lovely classic car to the beautiful St Mary’s church.

After a wonderful ceremony guests made the short walk through a sunny Northwood Park lead by the bride and groom down to the seafront to carry on the festivities at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

During the afternoon (before everyone headed in for a traditional English high tea) James, Catrin and I snuck off for a short while along Cowes seafront to take some photographs beside the water. The adventurous bride wasn’t afraid to get a little mucky asking to jump down on to the beach for a few pictures and even wanted to climb on one of the lion statues that stand proudly on the seafront! Her now husband James sensibly suggested they didn’t do that particular picture for fear of injury but as you’ll see from the photos below, Catrin eventually got her way ensuring I took one last photo for her to surprise James with!

KH wedding makeup Cowes

K and H wedding hair Cowes Isle of Wight

Bride getting ready Cowes Isle of Wight wedding

Cowes wedding marina view

St Mary's Church Cowes Isle of Wight

Wedding walk through Northwood Park Cowes

Wedding procession Cowes Isle of Wight

Royal Corinthian Yacht Club wedding Cowes IOW

Wedding high tea and cakes IOW

Wedding speech bride crying Isle of Wight Cowes

Wedding speeches Royal Yacht Club Cowes

Creative wedding photo Isle of Wight

Bride riding lion Cowes Isle of Wight

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Trash the dress wedding cake food fight

August 29th, 2013

You’ve seen trash the dress, how about trash the cake (or a cake smash)? That’s right – WEDDING CAKE FOOD FIGHT! After the amazing reaction we had to our trash the dress photoshoot (where the bride ended up in the sea wearing her stunning wedding dress) we were inundated with emails from Isle of Wight [...]

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You’ve seen trash the dress, how about trash the cake (or a cake smash)? That’s right – WEDDING CAKE FOOD FIGHT!

After the amazing reaction we had to our trash the dress photoshoot (where the bride ended up in the sea wearing her stunning wedding dress) we were inundated with emails from Isle of Wight couples who were dying to rock their frocks giving their dress a proper send off by doing something a little crazy. I’ve wanted to do something involving wedding cakes for a long time as being totally honest, they just look too yummy and pristine to be left sitting all day.

After an inspiring chat with the wonderful Jade Thornton of Petticoats and Frills Cakes the hunt was on to see which of the newlyweds who got in touch would be up for getting a little messy on our next shoot. Up stepped Carrie and Phil who wanted to celebrate their first anniversary in style by doing a trash the dress photoshoot!

Jade spends her time carefully crafting the most beautiful wedding cakes, but sometimes she likes to do things a little differently. For this photoshoot she made a cake which was elegant in design – a simple white wedding cake that would suit any kind of wedding – but inside each tier was made of the most brightly coloured cake you’ve ever seen! I think the proper name is colour pop but whatever it was – Amazing.

We were once again joined by the wonderfully talented duo Donna Jones (hair) and Jo Lofthouse (makeup) who upon Carrie’s suggestion transformed her with a vintage look influenced by our location for the shoot – an abandoned holiday camp on the Island. The contrast between the dirty, smashed up, derelict building and the beautifully clean and pristine couple (and cake) really drew to me to this setting and it worked perfectly as a location for our wedding cake food fight!

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Love it or hate it, here is our latest trash the dress cake smash photoshoot (beginning with a cherish the dress session).

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P.S. If you’re interested in doing a trash or cherish the dress of your own then please do get in touch!

Cherish the dress Isle of Wight

Cherish the dress Chris Cowley

Derelict building wedding photo kiss

Derelict building wedding photo

Abandoned holiday camp Isle of Wight wedding photography

Alternative wedding photography Isle of Wight Chris Cowley

Bridal wallpaper abandoned building Isle of Wight

Cake smash petticoats and frills wedding cake

Bride and groom eating cake in abandoned building

Couple wedding cake fight

Wedding cake food fight

Food fight with wedding cake

Trash the wedding cake smash colour pop

Couple throwing wedding cake

Bride smashes wedding cake in to grooms face

Bride pushes grooms face in to wedding cake

Trash the cake smash Isle of Wight Chris Cowley

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We got married (the short version)

August 20th, 2013

Wow. I’m really struggling to put it in to words exactly how I feel but I think that ‘incredible’ sums it up nicely. On Saturday, Becky and I got married. Best day ever! We wanted our wedding to be as outdoors as possible and even though it rained at some points we managed to stay [...]

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Wow. I’m really struggling to put it in to words exactly how I feel but I think that ‘incredible’ sums it up nicely. On Saturday, Becky and I got married. Best day ever!

We wanted our wedding to be as outdoors as possible and even though it rained at some points we managed to stay dry holding an awesome party in two yurts joined on to a marquee in Ventnor Botanic Gardens. As well as all the traditional stuff there was giant connect four, close-up magic and even a ghost walk at one point in the evening.

I’ll write more at a later date but I just wanted to thank all our friends and family for all their support and love as well as all the awesome suppliers who played their part in making it happen.

Much love,

Mr and Mrs Cowley

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P.S. Even before we were engaged one of the first questions people asked us was “Who’s going to do your wedding photos?” Jakob from Nordica Photography flew in from Stockholm to join us.

Amazing.

Nordica Photography Chris and Becky Cowley