Engagement ring balanced on top of a champagne cork with daisies in the background. Fife wedding

The morning of your wedding

It goes without saying that the people you have around you on your wedding day are ones you love, trust and laugh with the most. Normally, those chosen to spend the morning of your wedding with you will be you bridesmaids and immediate family.

There will be a roller coaster of emotions before you even leave the house. Some will find it hard to believe they are actually getting married today. Others may be remembering loved ones who won’t be present during their big day. And of course, the excitement of it all – putting on the gown you chose twelve months ago, seeing your mum all dressed up and your dad’s face when he see’s his little girl as a bride. There will be lots of laughter and you and your bridesmaids will have lots of fun.

Part of my role as your chosen photographer is to capture all this fun and emotion. Yes, that does mean you will be having your photo taken whilst you have no make up on or your hair not perfectly coiffed. I won’t lie to you, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed when I get asked to only cover from the ceremony onwards. There is a whole piece of your day that won’t be recorded.

This time of the day also gives me a chance to photograph rings, bouquets, jewellery, your gown, suits, kilts, shoes, all the calm or chaos, fun and reflection. All the things which you have planned meticulously for the last two years.

We also tend to forget that the boys also have lots of fun on the morning of the wedding. Normal things like trying to tie their own ties and putting on cufflinks also seem to cause such hilarity too! All perfect for making natural photographs of your day.

There are some great opportunities for me to take photos during the morning:

If you are giving gifts to your bridesmaids and, mum and dad

When mum helps you put on your necklace

The moment your florist arrives and you see your flowers for the first time

Or when the doorbell rings and it’s a surprise message and gift from your husband or wife to be

These are moments that are part of your day and should be documented in photos. It is also a nice way to see what your other half got up to before the ceremony too – when your images arrive you can tell the story behind the photo. Literally relive the whole day again and again.

Obviously I am unable to be in two places at once but if you and your partner do decide that you would like both sides of the morning of your wedding story to be told then I have a couple of options. Firstly I can spend a small amount of time at two locations (providing they are not too far apart) or I can make arrangements to have a second shooter.





Wedding flowers for brides with allergies

I recently read on a wedding Facebook group about a bride whose groom suffers with hay fever and so do most of his family. If I’m honest this isn’t something I had even thought about previously but it does obviously happen. With this in mind I contacted one of my favourite florists for some advice and idea’s for wedding flowers for brides with allergies.

The most obvious idea (and not one Kathryn gave me) is artificial flowers. Personally I’m not a fan but there are many options such as button bouquets, paper and silk flowers. But if you do want the real thing you do have options.


Don’t write off the simplicity of fresh green foliage. It comes in so many shapes, sizes, textures and shades. Here is a small list to give you some idea:

Ferns: Great for their slender, delicate shape, adding height to your bouquet.

Eucalyptus: The unusual shade of these leaves offers not only a soft colour but a delicate scent when rubbed.

Fatsia: The glossy leaves of the fatsia will add a shine to your bouquet.

Bamboo: Two stalks of “lucky” bamboo are supposed to represent love, sounds perfect for a wedding bouquet.

Ruscus: Usually used by florists as a filler but I think this would make a great table decorations and would look good all day.

Seed Heads: It’s always quite nice to see a hand-tied bouquet with a statement piece and poppy seed heads are quite special.


So what about the traditional bridal bouquet? You want to know which flowers you can safely have without causing a sneezing fit, then read on:

Roses: Lets get this one out of the way straight away. Roses are okay to use, whatever the size.

Wedding flowers for people with allergies

Peonies: The delicate peony is also a safe bet. They do have pollen but it is sticky and is only transferred by insects not the wind. They are also scented.

Cala Lillies: Unlike their heavily scented cousins these little beauties are perfect for wedding flowers and their colour options are almost infinite.


Gerbera: These cheeky and cheery flowers would make brilliant table centre pieces in water but they don’t fair well as boutonnière or bouquets. They are too delicate & are easily bruised.

Tulips: Just like the cala lilies, the choice of colours for tulips is vast as is the size and shape. Check out Parrot Tulips!

Dahlias: With many different shapes, sizes and colours, dahlias have had a big come back in the past few years and no longer just associated with granny’s garden. Well worth asking about.

Hydrangea: On their own or mixed in with foliage or other flowers these really are quite a statement.

Wedding flowers for people with allergies. Hydrangeas

Sea Holly: This is an ornamental blue thistle and is one of a few naturally blue flowers available.

Pamela & Russ Flowers


And then there are those slightly flowers with a more tropical look about them:

Wax Flower:  This shrub originates from Australia. Its small delicate flowers are so pretty and can be used as boutonnières, table arrangements and in bouquets.

Orchids: I know that you have immediately thought this will cost a fortune but it doesn’t have to if you use it sparingly.


Protea: This rather beautiful flower is from South Africa and known in local tradition to represent change and hope, I think it is rather special.


Have you thought about lavender or rosemary? Nice scent, pretty flowers and could be used on tables, handties and button holes. Or succulents? Something a bit more robust but equally beautiful.

There are many options and I would suggest that you pop in to your local florist and speak to them, their training and knowledge is fantastic and you will be in safe hands. I am sure they have done wedding flowers for brides with allergies before and will be only too happy to help. You can see more floral designs over on Pinterest.


Love and Marriage

Love and marriage, Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. Wise words. This song makes me smile so just imagine the smile on my face when I got to photograph all three for Pamela and Russ’ wedding day back in April.

We have actually known each other for about ten years as we were neighbours for a short while (and in fact we moved into their old house when they moved from Ledbury to pastures new) and although they have since moved several times and had their gorgeous daughter together in this time, we have stayed in touch. Imagine my excitement when I received the email telling me off for moving to Perthshire as they had now set a date and needed a photographer for their big day! I was more than happy to travel south again to be a part of their wedding.

They had chosen an intimate day with a small number of loved ones to join their celebration and it really was quite special. As wildlife and nature lovers with their hearts in the countryside this couple had opted for spring greens with a hint of blue thistle.

Pamela & Russ Flowers  Pamela Engagement Ring

With the groom’s tweed jacket and the bride’s lace tea-dress beautifully complimenting each other there really was a sense of knowing this wedding would show Pamela and Russ’ sense of fun, style and totally owning their wedding

Pamela Gown Russ Suit

Pamela & Russ Pamela & Russ

One of my aims during weddings is to capture natural moments and the image above was exactly that. Look how they are looking at each other, like there is no-one else around, totally consumed by their love for one another.

105  Pamela & Russ & Horse  Pamela & Russ

With it being April they did have the obligatory April shower (read: downpour) and of course it happened during the five mile horse and carriage ride across to their reception. But the beaming smiles on their faces as they were greeted by their guests you would never have known about the rain.

What I loved about this laid back wedding was how laid back it was – just like the couple. Throwing “the norm” out of the window. This was a day of celebration – love and marriage. I would like to wish Pamela & Russ all the very best for their future together. You are, of course very welcome at any time to visit us in beautiful Perthshire.

Booking your wedding photographer

There are plenty of “How to choose a wedding photographer” blogs and with lists of questions to ask (and rightly so), but it is also important to me (and many other photographers) that we find the right clients. I know that booking your wedding photographer can feel like a mammoth task but it really is quite easy.

For me, I want my clients to be at ease around me and my camera’s during any photo shoot but especially on your wedding day. Personalities are important. I would consider myself to be a happy, friendly person with the ability to speak to anyone in any social circle.  We will be spending a lot of time together on the day of your wedding and for the most part I would like you to not even notice me. Let me just do my thing.

Whilst back in Herefordshire recently I met up with a couple who have booked me for their big day in August. I had previously only spoken to the Bride on the phone and by the time we met it felt like we were already friends. How had this happened?

We spoke about the venue, how they met, food, drink and their affinity to Ledbury. We ran through some ideas for photos and it was all rather exciting.

After coffee we wandered around the venue talking about all the fun we will have with the photographs on the day. I was way too excited about this couple and the venue to have to wait any longer for an excuse to get my camera out! It was just a natural progression and playing it by ear but definitely the right choice.Verzons Wedding Ledbury Verzons Wedding Ledbury

This could have gone a totally different way with another couple but we parted as new friends and giving hugs so I think it went well?

My point is that getting on with your photographer is so important. We share so many precious moments throughout your day – bridal preparations, your ceremony and even your speeches can all be quite personal affairs. So, if you are thinking of booking your wedding photographer please remember it’s not all about quantity of images, packages and photo booths.

Needless to say I am super excited about this couple and their big day.

Verzons Wedding Ledbury

The Guest List

Getting married is one of the happiest occasions in a persons life. However, once you have shown off the engagement ring, booked the venue, bought the gown and of course hired the photographer there is the serious and sometimes complex business of the guest list.

Personally, and I am not even getting married, the thought of making a wedding guest list sends chills down my spine.

Once you have decided on how many loved ones will witness your nuptials it’s down to the nitty gritty of who! This could be quite easy or very difficult depending on if you have any family politics. Just a few things to remember when writing your list:

Be realistic to avoid stress later on. It may be that you have already chosen your intimate wedding venue because they only take up to fifty people. OR have chosen some lavish stately home or castle that can cater for up to 500 people. Think of it like this: the more guests you have the more your caterers will have to prepare, more favours, you see where I am going with this? Your budget can just disappear.

Don’t feel guilty. Your wedding list isn’t the same as your Facebook friends list. It probably won’t include your best friend when you were eight who you haven’t spoken to since you left school but is still on your book of faces. This next one applies to both family and friends – have I spoken to them in the passed year? If the answer is no then you probably won’t need to write them an invite. Also don’t feel obliged to invite your whole Spin class. Just because you have been working out with these people for twelve months in preparation for your big day doesn’t mean that they have earnt a place at your wedding breakfast.

Children. There is a lot to consider when inviting the small people. Do you hire an entertainer or childminder? Will your caterer provide child friendly meals? Will you be giving them a favour bag of colouring books, crayons etc? Or will you be saying no children under the age of 16? Lots to think about and of course, money involved too. This won’t really work if you have your own children or a flower girl or page boy.

Family Politics. This is a fairly common problem and as a photographer I come across this a lot. It might be that your parents split up some twenty plus years ago and still struggle to be in the same county let alone the same room or may be your uncle borrowed your Dad’s drill six months ago and hasn’t returned it. What ever the story, remember this is YOUR day. No-one can take this from you. But on the other side to this you also don’t want to be on edge wondering if something is going to kick off after a couple of glasses of fizz!

There are so many additional factors to writing the guest list for your wedding. Don’t feel bad about those you don’t invite or get invited to, there is always a good reason – and being family isn’t always one of them! The Guest list


Reasons to hire a wedding photographer

I happened to read a blog post recently “Planning your wedding? Here’s 5 ways to save money without sacrificing style.” They had written about buying a pre-loved gown, having your wedding out of season and in one venue with a buffet instead of the traditional “sit down” meal. It was suggestion number four that stopped me in my tracks “Get someone you know to do the photography.” Even just typing this makes my blood run cold! Unless your “someone” is a photographer who does this for a living then my answer would be no, don’t do it. And so on this note here are some reasons to hire a wedding photographer:


Reasons to hire a wedding photographer

Many of the moments during your wedding day will only happen once and many will be spontaneous. You have to trust that these key moments will have been photographed. A professional will have attended many ceremonies and know where to be (not to be), when and will be one step ahead of the game. They will have experience in taking photographs in low lit churches without using flash and within seconds of walking into a room know exactly where to stand and where the best light is. This will also be because a professional photographer will have either worked at this venue before or have been to do a recce well in advance.


Reasons to hire a photographer

What if the friend with the nice camera doesn’t get all the shots you wanted throughout the day because they were catching up with your mutual friends from Uni? This could put a huge strain on your relationship. You invite friends and family to your wedding because you want them to celebrate with you. What happens if this person has one to many glasses of bubbly? It’s not a pressure I would bestow on any of my pals.


Reasons to hire a wedding photographer

All weddings are highly emotional events. There are lots of things going on and loved ones wanting to help but sometimes this can be quite stressful. Having someone there that can tell you it will be okay and taking control of the situation will be great for diffusing any atmosphere caused. A photographer will be used to being the unbiased third party and is good at thinking on their feet. Maybe Aunty “Barbara” is being a little over baring? Well a professional photographer would maybe ask her to go ahead to the reception whilst we do the couple shots you wanted. Last thing you want is too look stressed on your big day photos.


Reasons to hire a photographer

There is SO much more to being a photographer than pointing and shooting. We are artists. You will be investing in artwork. We use the things around us (things you have maybe spent over a year planning and putting together) to make a bigger picture. So all the small details you have agonised over, taken out and put back in – they will all be there long after the band have packed up and left! We reveal emotions and you can relive the whole day over and over. This takes experience.


Reasons to hire a wedding photographer


A wedding photographer will be 100% committed to you, your story and your pictures. You will work closely with your photographer before the wedding so that on the day everyone (the three of you) will know what is required – the commitment works both ways. As I mentioned we are artists and so we make sure ties are straight, buttonholes are pinned and lipstick isn’t smudged – all part of the commitment for perfect photos.

Back in October 2014 I wrote a post about a then recently married Bride who hated every single one of her wedding day photo’s because she didn’t think she would be able to afford a “proper one.” Such a shame and I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.

Other than the wedding gown and the rings, the photography is the only wedding expense that you get to keep forever. There are so many more reasons to hire a wedding photographer but I hope this post has given you some food for thought?

You can contact me here if you want to know more about my packages or personal quotes.






February Proposal

February this year is rather special in terms of being a romantic month and 2016 we have a double dose. This year is a leap year and traditionally the 29th February is a day in which ladies can propose to their partner’s. For the record, personally I think we have come a long way since this tradition started and could do this at any day of the year, if we so wished. So, are we to expect more February proposals given the extra day?

If you are going to propose to your partner this month have you made an elaborate plan – skywriting (going by today’s weather you might want to have a back up), maybe you have been taking photo’s to make a video for the passed twelve months or even got your family and friends involved? Or will you be going out for a meal and asking the pastry chef to write “will you marry me?” in chocolate sauce around the edge of the dessert plate? The sort of thing you would see in the RomComs…

But how about a photo shoot on location for the two of you? Picture this (excuse the pun):

You explain to your significant other that you have booked a photo shoot for the two of you as part of their Valentines present or “just because.” We go to the place that means something to the both of you – your favourite walk, park, steam train line, zoo or even cafe (because they do the best latte and cake) and have some fun. Then part way through the shoot you ask the biggest question of your lives. I capture your nerves, the reaction and of course the answer. This then turns into an engagement shoot.

Something to share with your loved ones when you tell the story of your proposal, after all, every story should have pictures, right? You can, of course, involve your pet pooch, they may make a great ring bearer!  Jess & Ben

The cost of a two hour lifestyle shoot is normally £90 but for these proposal sessions you will pay just £50, leaving you with an extra bit of money to spend on flowers or something special. Your photo’s will be available for you to download, print and share from an online password protected gallery. Just imagine sharing your news with images of the actual proposal.

If you think this idea is something you would love to do then get in touch and we can start making plans for your February proposal. Eeeeeeek, I’m excited already!

2016 Wedding Photography Offer

We are nearly at the end of the year and it’s been quite a big one for me, moving my whole life and business to Scotland so I thought I would share my happiness. So I am starting the new year with a 2016 wedding photography offer. What better way to start planning your big day knowing you have already saved £100.

This offer is for full day coverage of your wedding – Bridal preparation through to your first dance and all the laughter and happy tears in between. The cost for this service is normally £950 and includes consultations and a pre-wedding shoot. Your USB stick will contain edited high resolution images and selected watermarked images for social media use.  Also a  personal password protected online gallery to share with your family and friends. An unobtrusive storyteller.

I am sure there will be many Christmas and New Year engagements. Then of course there is Valentines Day but next year is also a leap year and as tradition goes women can propose to their partners on this day. There will also be some of whom are already deep into planning stages and are still looking for a photographer.

With all of this in mind, the offer will remain open and be valid for bookings made between now, Sunday 6th December 2015, and Friday 1st April 2016 for weddings in 2016 & 2017.

You can in the meantime head over to Pinterest to see what has been catching my eye.




Styled photo shoot. Model the antlers and a floral head dress

Inspiration, knowledge and my business

In the beginning

My inspiration, knowledge and my business have all grown greatly in the last six years. When I first started out I was very self conscious of everything I did and had a keen eye on other people’s work. This is not to say I “copied” anyone, I’ve never been about that or felt that I needed to. I have enough of my own wild ideas!

My life as a photographer started by accident. No, literally a car accident. For several months I was unable to drive so I was getting out of the house daily for walks around the market town armed with a small compact camera.  At the time of my accident I worked for the Police as a civilian Detention Officer in a Custody block – a million miles away from anything creative. Taking photos of landscapes and the small things too, it was a great way to escape (for want of a better expression!) the pain of the injuries.

Skip forward a few camera models

I have gone through multiple stages of wondering if I am doing it right. Whatever “right” is? You can look up endless video tutorials, ask fellow photographers, read up on stuff but does this make it ME?

I decided not in the end.

So and so get their clients because of that style. Thing-a-me-bob does it that way and it works for them. You get the idea? So, once I decided to stop worrying about what other folk are doing I felt able to get on and develop my own style and that is so important. Discovering that actually, my inspiration and drive is from seeing the smaller picture. The finer details in life. Of course I am also inspired by meeting couple’s on their wedding adventure (I won’t use the expression journey because I dislike it ALOT!). Families with their own stories to tell and being a part of that story even for just one paragraph, I am grateful.

Again, I know this makes me sound crazy but I am definitely a glass half full type of person and hope that it makes me a better photographer.

I have along the way made friends with fabulous photographers and other creative people so I do find this a good way to bounce idea’s around with them too.

To the future

I have been told it is a brave move to up-root my business and move four hundred miles but I don’t think it’s brave at all. I am looking forward to the challenge and will be searching for some more fabulous photographers and other creative people in the Perthshire area. I think that my inspiration, knowledge and my business can only benefit from our move and I am looking forward to see where it takes me.

As for inspiration, for me it’s not found on the internet all the time, it’s all around us in the real world.

Scottish Travel Blog, Scotland

Creative Photoshoot

Before leaving Herefordshire I wanted to do one last creative photoshoot. By this time I didn’t have time to plan a full wedding shoot so I trawled through Pinterest looking for idea’s. Any of you that use Pinterest know how easy it is to get completely sucked in and sidetracked! Well this time wasn’t any different. My initial brief was maybe to have an urban ballet shoot. This quickly changed into something more theatrical after seeing some other Pins.

Fox Ballet? Of course that is normal, right? I would need just one model and a wonderful make-up artist – I knew just where to go for that, but I didn’t know any professional ballet dancers. Twitter to the rescue.

Within the hour I had contact from two dancers. You gotta love the power of Social Media sometimes.

Sharing the Pinterest board with both my model and chosen make up artist meant that everyone knew what I had in mind. It contained poses for Rebecca to look at and hair and make up for Maria to take ideas from.

I love seeing my concept become a reality. Also the look on Rebecca’s face when she saw the transformation, magic!

The actual shoot was fun and my fantastic fox was able to make some beautiful lines and shapes in the field we were using.

018 022 091 173 205 295Fox & feather pin


































I think over the years and certainly more recently with the glitz and sparkle of Strictly Come Dancing there has been a lot more emphasis on learning to dance and especially for a wedding first dance. So maybe we will be seeing more ballet dancing foxes?

With thanks to a gorgeous vintage boutique in Ledbury for supplying the stunning delicate lace blouse. The lovely people of Juice Collection for the loan of their highly sought after feather lapel/hat pins. All sorts of creativeness and beauty by Maria of Sprinkle Magic. Of course, this wouldn’t have happened without my very own ballet dancing fox and good sport Rebecca White of The Starlight Company

If you are interested in a collaborative creative photoshoot, Spring 2016 then get in touch – mel@melaniechadd.co.uk