Having had her big day at the end of August, I asked my stunning bride, Paulina, if she'd like to share any top tips for all you future brides out there. Here they are...
1. Have an early night the day before your wedding. It is a really long day, starting early in the morning until late the next night. For me, it started at 6am! I woke up before my alarm went off and just couldn't get back to sleep again!
2. Spend the evening before your wedding with the people important to you, who will put you at ease. I stayed in the hotel where we got married the night before with my mother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It also gave me that amazing feeling that the next day I'd be part of their family, and the realisation that this is really happening!
3. Have a big breakfast. Even if you don't feel like eating- you have to, to keep you going! There is usually a gap between the ceremony and wedding breakfast, and you don't want to risk eating canapés when wearing a white dress!
4. Make sure you have the right amount of people getting ready with you. I found my amount just right- 4 people. I reckon any more would have been too overwhelming for me and too loud. However that's probably down to individual choice.
5. Have all your bridal stuff out & ready to put on, so you're not looking for accessories, etc. Everything is on hand.
6. Treat yourself to some special perfume. I bought myself new perfume I'd never had before, but always wanted. I know now that it will remind me of our big day whenever I wear it!
7. Have an alcoholic drink in the morning, but don't go overboard! Bucks fizz was mine- I think I had 2 glasses and it was just the right amount to help calm my nerves.
8. BUT! Make sure you hydrate yourself too, before you put your dress on. Once it's on, you'll need help whenever you need a trip to the toilet!
9. Enjoy every minute of your day! The wedding day absolutely flies; I wish I could go back to that day and do it all over again!
10. It's important to plan things before the wedding (wedding photographer, florist, make up artist, etc.) however, when the ceremony is over, just chill out and enjoy yourself as a Mrs!
Their love story
Graham & Paulina met in the old fashioned way- on a night out in Sheffield!
They spotted each other busting some moves on the dance floor and there was an instant attraction. By the end of the night, they had exchanged numbers and even had a cheeky kiss or two!
On their first date a few days later, Graham sweet-talked Paulina (after being 30 minutes late!) by giving her a guided tour of the city- via McDonalds, of course!
Fast forward four years, on a trip to Gdansk in Paulina's home country, Graham proposed after a romantic meal and a stroll down the riverside. They celebrated in true Polish style by hitting the bars to sample local vodka!
Their wedding venue
The stunning couple chose Halifax Hall in Sheffield as the backdrop for their beautiful day.
They said... "We love the fact that Halifax Hall is based so close to the centre of Sheffield and in a beautiful part of the city. We had no need to worry about transport for the majority of our guests. We also love the beauty and characteristics of the Victorian building; especially the original 19th century features and deco. There's even a bookshelf which was purchased from the Titanic's sister ship, Olympic"
Their big day
Paulina had the luxury of her Bridal preparations in the hotel attached to the wedding venue, along with her bridesmaids, mum and future mother in law. Hair by Rebecca Colley and makeup by Pacha Marshall.
The stunning wedding flowers were provided by Flower Pot Sheffield. Rings by Brown's Family Jewellers.
The couple tied the knot in Halifax Hall's intimate ceremony room, with their closest family and friends watching on.
The venue was dressed beautifully, with some special little touches arranged by the couple. The beautiful naked cake was created by Cakes By Allyson.
After the ceremony, we popped outside for a few group photos.
Before sneaking off into the gorgeous grounds for a bit of quiet time as newlyweds!
Later in the afternoon, it was time for the meal & speeches. Paulina absolutely smashed her speech... in 2 languages! The boys did a fab job of theirs, too!
The talented Rich Sings Swing started the evening's entertainment off wonderfully; performing a classic Elvis tune for the newlywed's first dance.
Their Kind Words
"We both want to say a massive thank you for these amazing pictures.
We went through the photos last night and we love them! :)
Especially the unexpected photos of guests socialising and having fun. It brought back some happy memories." - Graham
"Thank you so much, Sarah for the beautiful pictures. I love every single one of them! Thank you so much again, I'm so glad we chose you! xx" -Paulina
It's been a jam packed year since starting my little business! At the very start of my adventure, I had mentoring from the fabulous Kathryn Hayhurst- I'm beyond grateful to you for teaching me and helping me get set up! If anyone needs advice on setting up a photography business, Kathryn is your woman!
Since then I've had so much fun shooting some beautiful weddings throughout Yorkshire and beyond. I've finally found my dream job which makes me so very happy! Each and every wedding I've worked on this year has been unique, and has helped me to learn more about my style and built my confidence. I absolutely love it!
So I thought I'd take a bit of time this afternoon to have a look back over the weddings I've captured so far, just so I can give myself a little pat on the back for how far I've come... and to look at all these gorgeous dresses and happy smiles of course! I've recently got engaged myself so any excuse for dress inspo- and last year's brides wore some absolutely stunning gowns.
I cannot thank Sally Eaves Weddings enough for taking me under her wing as a second shooter and showing me the ropes- she is such a talented photographer; she's absolutely fantastic and I am eternally grateful to this amazing lady. She's taken me along with her to gorgeous venues and I've shot lots of her beautiful brides...
I've even started going it alone...
I can't wait to work on my upcoming 2019 couples shoots, christenings and wedding bookings... I'm even off over to Ireland in July to shoot a wedding in Co. Cavan! Super exciting!! You can follow my adventures this year on insta and facebook
I'm truly thankful to everyone who has helped and supported me this year. You're a wonderful bunch!!
What gorgeous weather we had for Ashley & Tracy's festival tipi wedding in Sheffield on August 18!
They tied the knot in a private ceremony with just the closest of family, then headed on over to meet the rest of their guests at Stoneybank Farm, Oughtibridge; whose lovely owners had rented them a field with the most beautiful views for the whole weekend.
This wedding was totally DIY, and the Bride and Groom clearly put their heart and soul into every last detail- with a little help from their friends of course! I'm talking giant dreamcatchers, an enormous 'WEDFEST' sign, burlap and lace, multicoloured pompoms, fairy lights, and even a secret, secluded honeymoon suite!
Tracy hadn't seen anything in the field until arriving on the day so it was very emotional to see her reaction when her beautiful venue was revealed and she realised how well Ashley had pulled everything together.
Thank you for sharing your special day with me!
Our ceremony and reception were a direct reflection of our relationship. We love each other dearly, but are not religious, so to have such an intimate ceremony reflects our closeness. The reception was a reflection of our lives together so far; parties, friends and having a good time... That's why we loved having our friends involved!
Tips from the Bride...
1. Completely immerse yourself in the experience when shopping for your dress! You will never do it again and it will become one of your most treasured possessions.
2. Have your day EXACTLY as you and your hubby want it. Everyone will have an interest and opinion, but these are your memories, you get to choose what they are made of!
3. Just let all the stress and worry go on the day. Embrace what will be the best day of your life. I promise you will want to remember every single emotion you felt during every single part of the day, and for this to bring a lump to your throat and a tear to your eye. I can remember all of it- all the emotions, and it makes me cry every time.
Venue: Stoneybank Farm
Tipi: Tipi and Kata
Caterers: Kevin Platts
Hair & Makeup: Sara-Kirsty Twins
Suits: Suits Direct
Florist: Moss & Clover Kelham Island
Entertainment: Cat On Sax, Reverb, Sam O'Hara, & Andy Hilton
Pulling everything together- Ash, Friends & Family!
One sunny Sunday, a few weeks ago, Tracy, Ashley (and their dog Ozzy) and I wandered on up to Padley Gorge in the Peak District, Derbyshire, for a lovely little stroll and a cooling paddle... Oh, and to take some gorgeous photos!
Their pre-wedding shoot came just a couple of months before they are due to be married in their DIY festival-style wedding in Sheffield this August- words can't express just how excited I am about shooting their wedding! (Watch this space for an upcoming blog!)
They really were chilled out in front of the camera, which meant we could create lots of natural, relaxed & fun images. Here's a small selection- just a few of my faves: