Posts Tagged ‘Isle of Wight’

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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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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 […]

 

“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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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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Wedding dress rain cover test Rainaway Bride

March 28th, 2013

English weather is unpredictable at the best of times and rain on your wedding day can be a couple’s worst nightmare. You’ve picked a gorgeous dress, you’ve had your hair and make-up perfected and now you’re all set to walk down the aisle in style. Then, rain drops start falling from the sky… All you […]

 

Wedding dress rain cover Chris CowleyEnglish weather is unpredictable at the best of times and rain on your wedding day can be a couple’s worst nightmare. You’ve picked a gorgeous dress, you’ve had your hair and make-up perfected and now you’re all set to walk down the aisle in style. Then, rain drops start falling from the sky… All you can think about now is how you’re going to be dragging the beautiful train of your dress through puddles and dirt and then what about your hair? It’s going to be ruined in the wind that’s joined the now torrential, horrible rain.

These are exactly the thoughts that went through a wedding dress designers mind on the Isle of Wight and this inspired Karen Robb from Dornellie to create the Rainaway Bride.

Rainaway Bride is a waterproof wedding dress rain cover designed specifically to protect you and your dress from the wind and rain on your big day. It is a waterproof cloak which has an elasticated hem allowing you to scoop up your beautiful wedding dress away from puddles and mud leaving you to walk without fear of dragging your dress along the wet and mucky ground. It fits nearly all gowns and trains and has a large hood which protects your hair, make-up, headpiece and/or veil if it should be raining or windy on your wedding day.

Having worked with Karen previously I asked if she was up for putting Rainaway Bride to the test for a photoshoot to show how good it really was. Whilst this was just an excuse for me to take a bride and groom to a muddy pit to make some creative wedding photos I’m pleased to say that she accepted the challenge and with a volunteer bride and groom we headed out to Knighton Sandpit to create some unique wedding photos which pushed the rain covers protection to its limits!

On what can only be described as a freezing winter’s day last weekend we put the rain cover through some perhaps more “extreme” scenarios including climbing sand banks, running through mud, jumping in puddles, throwing mud and even a water fight! To end the day we had our couple stand next to a big puddle and someone drove through it sending a sheet of water over the two of them!

We really put the rain cover through its paces and the real show of how well the Rainaway Bride protects a wedding dress was the big reveal at the end where the bride stepped out from the cover. She looked pristine; and the dress – totally dry!

The whole day was filmed by Michael from Wight Productions whose excellent video I’ve included at the bottom of this post. Special thanks go out to Karen for allowing us to test her rain cover, the bride and groom for putting it through its paces, Dan for arranging the venue and George and Grace for their assistance on the day.

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P.S. Annoyingly, I got covered in mud and soaked – so although the bride got to do the fun bit splashing in puddles I actually came out worse off as the cover worked so well!

Unusual wedding photos

Quarry wedding photograph Isle of Wight

Puddle wedding photo Chris Cowley

Raining wedding photo Isle of Wight

Wedding dress rain cover test

Rainaway bride wedding dress cover test

Video

Want to see the wedding dress rain cover in action? Check out the amazing video by Wight Productions below or watch it on YouTube

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The importance of your Wedding Album

March 11th, 2013

Wedding albums are more than just a collection of amazing photos. Do you remember looking through your parents wedding album as a child? Imagine being in your parents shoes re-living their joy, excitement, love and emotion, all captured in those pages with you sat next to them. As cheesy as it may sound, wedding albums […]

 

Wedding album additional copies Wedding albums are more than just a collection of amazing photos. Do you remember looking through your parents wedding album as a child? Imagine being in your parents shoes re-living their joy, excitement, love and emotion, all captured in those pages with you sat next to them. As cheesy as it may sound, wedding albums are a family heirloom and a fine art wedding album is one of the best ways of preserving the beautiful images from your wedding in a timeless format you can enjoy forever.

When you open your album all those happy memories and emotions from your big day come flooding back; as you turn each page you’re able to relive exactly how you felt the moment you put on your wedding dress, how your partner felt the first time he saw you, that magical first dance and just how wonderful your day was spending it with your nearest and dearest.

As the years go by after your big day your memories start to fade, but the carefully chosen photos on each page bring everything straight back as if it was yesterday. To me being able to do that is priceless and that is why wedding albums are so important.
Wedding album couple testimonial Jo and Alex

“Just a quick email to say that we received our albums and we love them! Thank you so so much! We presented both sets of parents with the albums on Sunday and they were very happy!”

    Jo + Alex

 

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of a wedding album – think beyond sharing your amazing day and proudest moments online and instead imagine wowing your future grandchildren with a bound collection of beautiful photographs.

By investing in an amazing wedding photographer for your day you understand how valuable these photos are and the fact that they will allow you to relieve all the special moments from your day for eternity. We live in a digital age and whilst it’s important to have copies of your wedding photos digitally, it’s killed the enjoyment of printed, tangible photos (and it’s a crying shame to keep all these beautiful images locked away on your computer)!

When looking through my wedding photography brochure I encourage couples to consider a fine art wedding album for exactly this reason- I use the most amazing, hand bound albums which are printed on archival quality paper and I personally design each one in a clean, timeless style.

If you would like to view my sample album in person just get in touch and let’s have a chat over a cuppa.

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Wedding album Isle of Wight Lay-flat wedding album Clean and simple wedding album design Full page wedding album Print across spine, middle of wedding album Fine art wedding album set Parent size wedding album