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

Trash the dress on an Isle of Wight beach

July 15th, 2013

A trash the dress photoshoot is something that I’ve been dying to do since beginning my journey as a creative wedding photographer. I’ve always thought that the Isle of Wight was the perfect setting for it with miles of sandy beaches, gorgeous woods and other beautiful locations so all I needed to do was find […]

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A trash the dress photoshoot is something that I’ve been dying to do since beginning my journey as a creative wedding photographer. I’ve always thought that the Isle of Wight was the perfect setting for it with miles of sandy beaches, gorgeous woods and other beautiful locations so all I needed to do was find a bride who was keen to get involved…

So what is a trash the dress session?

Also known as a rock the frock, fearless bridal (or the less damaging version is called a cherish the dress); a trash the dress session is a photoshoot where you get to dust off your wedding dress one last time and give it a final outing to somewhere you wouldn’t dared to have gone on your wedding day through fear of getting your perfect, clean white dress dirty!

You can go as crazy as you like. You might want to do a cherish the dress photoshoot where you pick a picturesque location that you’d loved to have had your wedding photos taken in and we create something beautiful for you. Or if you’re like Danielle, you might want to do something that’s a total contrast to your perfectly clean wedding day photography.

Danielle is an amazing bride who got married two years ago and fully embraced the concept, wanting to create some awesome photos and give her dress a good send off at the same time. We exchanged excited emails whilst planning her trash the dress photoshoot that were full of crazy ideas, each one taking it a step further until finally we had our concept.

At this point I enlisted the help of two incredibly talented wedding businesses on the Island – Donna Jones (wedding hair) and Jo Lofthouse (wedding makeup) to see if they were up for getting involved. Luckily for us, they were, and each planned Daniellie’s hair and makeup ready for our shoot.

The day finally came and we excitedly headed out for our trash the dress session. As you can see, it began as a cherish the dress creating some beautiful post-wedding portraits in the golden evening sun, (and we were even able to borrow a Porsche!) but then things changed quite dramatically.

We moved locations at this point and Jo and Donna created their second look for the night re-doing Danielle’s hair and makeup on location (these girls really can work anywhere) as we headed to the beach. I’ll let the pictures show you what happened next. Enjoy!

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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!

Porsche wedding photo Isle of WIght

Golden hour wedding photography Isle of Wight

Trash the dress boat Isle of Wight

Cherish the dress Chris Cowley IOW

Trash the dress bridal portrait Isle of Wight

Trash the dress Isle of Wight Chris Cowley

Isle of Wight beach trash the dress

Trash the dress on the beach Isle of Wight

Bride in the sea in the wedding dress IOW

Bride in the sea Isle of Wight

Trash the dress TTD Isle of Wight

Beach trash the dress wedding photo Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight beach wedding photo TTD

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The Times Chris Cowley wedding photography feature

June 29th, 2013

The Times newspaper publishes real weddings each Saturday and today’s issue features an amazing couples that I was lucky enough to work with last month. Abi and Malcolm’s wedding was my perfect kind of day – a garden wedding set in a marquee in the beautiful Calbourne, Isle of Wight area – and to have […]

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The Times newspaper publishes real weddings each Saturday and today’s issue features an amazing couples that I was lucky enough to work with last month.

Abi and Malcolm’s wedding was my perfect kind of day – a garden wedding set in a marquee in the beautiful Calbourne, Isle of Wight area – and to have my wedding photography published in The Times was a great honour.

I’ll be writing up a full blog post towards the end of the summer once I’ve finally caught up with blogging the weddings before this so keep checking back but in the meantime I hope that you enjoy a sneak peek from  The Times newspaper today!

The Times, Chris Cowley - Isle of Wight wedding photographer

 

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An intimate and informal Priory Bay wedding

June 24th, 2013

Priory Bay is an Isle of Wight wedding venue that truly can cater for any size weddings – big or small – and Melissa and Matthew’s intimate and informal day was a perfect example of this with a party of just 7 including them. Once the couple from Chichester decided that they wanted to get […]

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Priory Bay is an Isle of Wight wedding venue that truly can cater for any size weddings – big or small – and Melissa and Matthew’s intimate and informal day was a perfect example of this with a party of just 7 including them.

Once the couple from Chichester decided that they wanted to get married on the Island they started looking for their wedding venue and discovered the luxurious country house hotel by the sea completely by chance, but knew instantly that this was the venue for them.

Melissa’s beautifully unique 1920’s dress was another lucky find which was discovered on a shopping trip for another outfit but as soon as she set eyes on it she knew that she had found her perfect vintage wedding dress.

Their day started upstairs in the hotel as everyone got ready together including the couple’s two young daughters who really enjoyed having their hair and makeup professionally done before they snuck off to play on the rocking horse in the room next-door! At the couples request just before the ceremony (whilst the girls were suitably entertained) we stepped out in to the garden to take some natural wedding portraits of the two nearly-weds, really capturing their personalities on their big day.

After a really fun natural wedding portrait session we headed back inside to re-join their party for drinks and canapés before going through the stunning Island room for their perfect ceremony.

Dinner was served soon after featuring a food prepared by top chef Oliver Stephens, famous for his hyper-local food menus consisting of ingredients foraged in the grounds of Priory Bay.

The thing that stood out for me the most from Matthew and Melissa’s intimate and informal Priory Bay wedding wasn’t the grand setting, it wasn’t the amazing food, it was the fun and laughter – just what a wedding should be full of.

Priory Bay wedding makeup

Priory bay wedding ceremony Island Room

Married at Priory Bay

Priory Bay vintage wedding dress bride

Relaxed and informal priory bay Isle of Wight wedding photos

Priory Bay IOW wedding portrait entrance

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Beach proposal at the IOW Festival

June 19th, 2013

A beach proposal at the Isle of Wight Festival I hear you say? That sounds like my kind of thing to photograph and luckily I was in the right place at the right time to capture solider Luke David, 24, propose to his girlfriend Beth Smout, 19, on the fantastic Life’s a Beach stage (a […]

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A beach proposal at the Isle of Wight Festival I hear you say? That sounds like my kind of thing to photograph and luckily I was in the right place at the right time to capture solider Luke David, 24, propose to his girlfriend Beth Smout, 19, on the fantastic Life’s a Beach stage (a man made beach complete with deckchairs and cocktails) on Saturday.

Luke and Beth who met whilst working at a bar in Nottingham had wanted to come to the IOW Festival for a while and when they saw that this year’s line-up included the likes of Example and Subfocus they bought their tickets. Luke had been planning his festival proposal for months but it was a moment whilst dancing on the beach to Island musician Derek Sandy (the singer who bought us ‘Welcome to the Isle of Wight’) that spurred him on:

“We were jamming in the crowd enjoying the music and the sunshine when I suddenly thought – this is the time – so I asked a few friends to keep Beth where she was as I slipped away”

Beth had no idea what was going on as the Beach Events crew who created the beach whisked Luke backstage:

“I came out on stage and said to everyone “I hope you’re having a good weekend, I just need two minutes of your time. I got Beth to come down the front and then I popped the question. She collapsed to her knees and started crying — and said yes.”

After Beth clambered up on to the stage for an emotional kiss in front of the crowd, the couple from Nottingham enjoyed cocktails backstage before re-joining friends to celebrate with champagne at the Zebra Lounge.

Massive, massive thanks to Ross Findon from the Isle of Wight County Press, The Isle of Wight Festival, Beach Events and everyone else who shared and re-tweeted my request earlier to track down the couple so that I could send these photos to them. What an amazing and emotional proposal.

IOW Festival beach engagement

IOW festival beach proposal

Proposal on beach stage IOW festival

Isle of Wight beach proposal

Isle of Wight festival proposal on the beach

Chris Cowley IOW beach proposal photographer

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USB of wedding photos

June 11th, 2013

“How do we receive our wedding photos after our day?”  – I present a USB containing the high resolution copies of your wedding photographs to cherish forever Over the past few years I’ve carefully created a number of wedding photography packages and all of them include a beautifully packaged USB with high resolution copies of your finished […]

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“How do we receive our wedding photos after our day?”  – I present a USB containing the high resolution copies of your wedding photographs to cherish forever

Over the past few years I’ve carefully created a number of wedding photography packages and all of them include a beautifully packaged USB with high resolution copies of your finished wedding photos. Why do I do this? Because that is what I would want (and all of the couples I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with felt the same way too!)

In days gone by wedding photographers use to run businesses where you had to purchase each and every print directly from the photographer. I hated this concept and thought it was way outdated when it came to wedding photography, so when I started my business I sat down and thought about what I would want as a couple getting married. After our wedding album the next most important thing was those treasured files. The digital copies of our images to keep forever and share with your family and friends.

Why don’t I present your images on DVD? Not only is each USB more environmentally friendly in its production, it also comes beautifully presented in luxurious 100% recycled packaging and is less fragile than a DVD which is easily scratched (however I do recommend backing up your digital photographs in a secure location also).

If you’re thinking about booking one of my wedding photography packages which includes a USB of your pictures then you have this freedom. Each of my packages includes a print license giving you the freedom to print and share your wedding photos with your family, friends and guests as much as you like – they are YOUR photographs after all so why be restricted?!

Here’s how your USB of images will arrive:

Chris Cowley USB photography packaging

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Yarmouth St James’ Church and Royal Solent Yacht Club sneak peek

May 25th, 2013

Yarmouth is a picturesque yachting town on the Isle of Wight, perfect for a wedding, and last November as the winter sun beamed down it couldn’t have looked more wonderful for Emily and Jonathan’s Yarmouth wedding. Emily and her bridesmaids got ready at a house right beside the river Yar before the bridal party made […]

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Yarmouth is a picturesque yachting town on the Isle of Wight, perfect for a wedding, and last November as the winter sun beamed down it couldn’t have looked more wonderful for Emily and Jonathan’s Yarmouth wedding.

Emily and her bridesmaids got ready at a house right beside the river Yar before the bridal party made the short walk to the ceremony at St James’ church in the town. 200 guests managed to squeeze themselves in to the pretty church and after the ceremony concluded, the congregation made the short walk through the sunny streets of Yarmouth to the Royal Solent Yacht Club (RSYC) whilst the couple were driven in a stunning wedding car. The driver wore a rather unique outfit as you’ll see in the photos!

Once at the RSYC the guests enjoyed drinks, live music and panoramic views of the Solent whilst the bride and groom braved the cold outside for some portraits on the pier. A short while later we rejoined the party in the marquee attached to the yacht club building which was filled with long banquet tables and had been elegantly dressed by the bridal party using wildflowers and candles for a beautifully romantic feel.

The couple bought with them to the Island a band to end the evening that they actually discovered one weekend busking in London which was a great addition. As you’ll see from the photos they really got the party going with a lively set of music to get guests dancing!

Yarmouth wedding bridal party by the river Yar

Map portrait of bride Yarmouth Isle of Wight

Yarmouth St James' church wedding confetti

Wedding car Yarmouth IOW

Yarmouth Royal Solent Yacht Club wedding marquee

Yarmouth pier wedding photo Isle of Wight

First dance RSYC Yarmouth Isle of Wight

Yacht club wedding dance photo Isle of Wight

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Why get married on the Isle of Wight

May 6th, 2013

Why get married on the Isle of Wight? Well for starters it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, a picturesque Island just off the south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here. The Isle of Wight boasts 13 award winning beaches and more than […]

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Isle of Wight garden wedding Ventnor

Why get married on the Isle of Wight? Well for starters it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, a picturesque Island just off the south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here.

The Isle of Wight boasts 13 award winning beaches and more than half of the twenty-three by thirteen mile Island is classed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including spectacular and unspoilt scenery and a rich historical heritage as well as a stunning coastline.south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here.

There are a number of Churches and Approved Premises on the Island which are licensed to hold civil wedding ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies giving you a wide choice of settings for your day ranging from striking grand manor houses with stunning sea views to wildly romantic retreats set in beautiful gardens.

Beach weddings, garden weddings and outdoor ceremonies – the Isle of Wight can cater for them all and as one of the UK’s sunniest and warmest places why marry abroad when the Island provides such a diverse backdrop for your wedding?

Wedding on the Isle of Wight in a garden

Stunning coastline Isle of Wight wedding

 

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IOW wedding businesses featured in top national wedding magazine

April 16th, 2013

Remember last year I blogged about a wedding photoshoot at Afton Apple Farm featuring some of the Islands top wedding businesses? Well we were lucky enough to have the amazing national magazine Unique Bride feature it in their January/February issue! Many, many thanks again to the awesome Isle of Wight businesses who worked so hard […]

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Remember last year I blogged about a wedding photoshoot at Afton Apple Farm featuring some of the Islands top wedding businesses? Well we were lucky enough to have the amazing national magazine Unique Bride feature it in their January/February issue!

Many, many thanks again to the awesome Isle of Wight businesses who worked so hard to make this shoot such a success. It was great to see so many awesome companies getting exposure all over the UK! I managed to quickly grab a copy of the magazine to show you the gorgeous FIVE PAGE feature that Unique Bride published:

Isle of Wight businesses in national wedding magazine

Isle of Wight businesses in Unique Bride wedding magazine

Isle of Wight companies in national wedding magazine

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Priory Bay Hotel Fiona and Nigel sneak peek

April 8th, 2013

Priory Bay is the most beautiful venue for a wedding – a country house beside the sea in Seaview on the Isle of Wight – and the weekend before Christmas I photographed Fiona and Nigel’s wedding there. Foregoing the traditional bridesmaids and best man Fiona and Nigel had a surprise up their sleeves for their […]

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Priory Bay is the most beautiful venue for a wedding – a country house beside the sea in Seaview on the Isle of Wight – and the weekend before Christmas I photographed Fiona and Nigel’s wedding there.

Foregoing the traditional bridesmaids and best man Fiona and Nigel had a surprise up their sleeves for their guests. As the Registrar asked for whoever was presenting the rings to step forwards, Nigel was presented with a falconry glove and in swooped the most beautiful owl bearing the rings – much to the shock of everyone else in the room who had no idea that the couple had planned this!

Fiona and Nigel made the most of their seasonal Priory Bay wedding by tying in the hotels Christmas decorations with their own colour scheme and theme which made for a lovely, warm and festive feel for their day. Partway through festivities the exquisite hotels team laid on a selection of locally sourced food and other delights for the guests to enjoy as we snuck off for some portraits. We made full use of the grand stone carved archway at the entrance before their day drew to a close with a sit down meal and dancing in the Priory Oyster restaurant.

Priory Bay wedding ceremony

Priory Bay wedding Owl ring bearer

Priory Bay Isle of Wight wedding owl ring bearer

Priory Bay bride and groom portrait

Priory Bay IOW wedding reception speeches

Priory Bay confetti throwing

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Boring business cards SUCK

April 3rd, 2013

Business cards – BORING. Let’s get creative! I’ve had a few different sets of business cards over the past couple of years but they were more function over form and didn’t really catch my eye so this time I set out to do something a little different. I gave awesome graphic designer James Marriot the task […]

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Business cards – BORING.

Let’s get creative! I’ve had a few different sets of business cards over the past couple of years but they were more function over form and didn’t really catch my eye so this time I set out to do something a little different.

I gave awesome graphic designer James Marriot the task of coming up with a design for me that was a bit alternative because let’s face it, if your business cards don’t slot together to make a massive never-ending pattern, then they suck:

Chris Cowley Isle of Wight wedding photographer business card

Chris Cowley wedding photographer contact details

P.S. Let’s meet up to chat about your wedding