Inspirational UK Wedding Blog
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Company Name: Just Miniatures

Website: www.justminiatures.co.uk

Location: Hadleigh, Suffolk

What does Just Miniatures do?

Just Miniatures is a specialist supplier of miniature bottles of spirits, engraved glasses and personalised miniatures for weddings, events and personalised party favours.

Miniature Spirits - Just Miniatures

How did the business start and how long has Just Miniatures been going?

Just Miniatures started as an idea between two brothers after we first became aware of the large number of miniature bottle collectors in the UK, and the scale of their demand for miniatures. When we first launched our website in 2003 we catered almost solely to their requirements, stocking pretty much Scotch whisky and nothing else, but it wasn’t long before demand arose for a wider range of miniature spirits, and we realised that people also saw our products as the perfect items for wedding favours and small gifts. We diversified our range and vastly increased our stock, and the company as we know it was born!

Moet and Chandon Champagne - Just Miniatures Heidieck Monopole Champagne - Just Miniatures

Why is the business called Just Miniatures?

Because, well, we sell ‘just miniatures’! Perhaps that isn’t quite so true anymore: we initially set up only to supply miniatures to collectors, but our range has grown and broadened to include bigger bottles of whisky, beers, wines and liqueurs, as well as personalised shot glasses and gift boxes.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

We ship to the whole of the UK, excluding the Channel Isles.

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Tasha of Ikonworks

Ikonworks logo

Interview with: Tasha Newland

Company Name: Ikonworks

Website: www.ikonworks.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Hampshire based, but happy to travel almost anywhere. My website has details of my National UK and International costs.

How did the business get started and who works at Ikonworks?

Ikonworks was founded in 2009 while I was still working fulltime as an Executive Assistant within the Telecoms industry. I had my son, Sam, in 2004, and my daughter, Abby, in 2007, and after falling head over heels in love with them, as well as with the memories I was able to capture by taking pictures of them, I decided there had to be more to life.

I needed a challenge, wanted a different focus, and desperately needed to feel inspired. I started a photography course at a local college; it was the content of the course, as well as the attitude of the tutor, that defined my future path. Clare is a wedding photographer, and it was her teaching and motivation that made me stop, think, re-train, and re-evaluate my profession.

Ikonworks is just me; 36 hours a day, 9 days a week, 4million days a year and, honestly, I would not have it any other way. I truly love what I do, and firmly believe that this comes across in my work, my attitude and my approach.

I was lucky enough to give up my day job completely in 2012, and I now focus solely on Ikonworks. This allows me to truly develop the business into what I dreamed it could be six years ago. It’s something which constantly evolves through hard work, determination, and constant learning.

Boho bride - Picture by Ikonworks

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

NO! This career-path truly had not crossed my mind until I had my children. I figured my career as a PA was ‘it’, and actually used to get annoyed when people asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up” (10 years into my career). Then I found myself staring through a camera lens and my perspective totally changed! I used to say that I did not have an artistic bone in my body; my stick men drawings are a testament to that! However, camera in hand, holding my breath as I press the button, I find myself complete.

Bride on swing - Picture by Ikonworks

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

One of the first personal images I remember taking was of my husband on our honeymoon, all dressed up ready to go to dinner after a dusk stroll on the beach (that was over a decade ago, and I remember it as though it was yesterday).

One of the first professional images I took was at my dear friend Natalie’s wedding at Oakley Hall in Basingstoke. It was a picture of her daughter Ashlee in her dress and feather cape. The picture appeared on her Facebook page and we giggled about how young she was in the picture. Those were captured memories that can be treasured forever, and I love that Nat and I have that connection which can never be taken from us. Surely that is the point of working for someone as a photographer; to catalogue moments, occasions and celebrations, so that they can be enjoyed and remembered forever.

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Paul Tansley of Stylish Wedding Photography

Stylish Wedding Photography logo

Interview with: Paul Tansley

Company Name: Stylish Wedding Photography

Website: www.stylishweddingphotography.com

Location / Coverage: Mainly South East UK – Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, but will travel further afield. Have shot weddings in Wiltshire, Dorset, Kent, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and London. Will cover national and abroad if requested.

How did your business get started and who works at Stylish Wedding Photography?

I shot editorial fashion in London for nearly 20 years for many leading UK women’s magazines and wedding titles, including many front covers. I was also the Daily Mail’s main fashion photographer for 12 years, before moving to shooting weddings four years ago.

Carol, my partner, is an Art Director, and during her career was the Art Editor/Director of Wedding magazine for 7 years. From our first wedding assignment, Carol has shot alongside me as a ‘second shooter’. She has an incredible eye for an image, and as there is no pressure on her to get the main shots, she is able to have a lot of freedom to capture creative angles and scenes that I might miss when I am busy covering the main action. This is particularly useful in situations such as shooting the groom looking nervous at the beginning of the ceremony, where I can concentrate on him and the bride walking up the aisle, while Carol can concentrate on the bridal party waiting to enter.

This year however, I’m starting to push shooting solo on more jobs, as couples can’t always afford two photographers, but having both of us is still our premium package. I think no solo photographer can be in two places at once, however good they are.

Bride and bridesmaids looking in mirror - Picture byStylish Wedding Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I was planning on studying computers at university, but that was simply because I had no other plans. However, after leaving school, I started a fine art black and white photography evening course (aged 18). That got me interested in photography in a serious way and opened my eyes to some of the world’s greatest photographers.

When I was 23 I gave up my office job and moved to Rome to study Fashion Photography. Two weeks into my stay I started assisting one of Rome’s leading photographers, and haven’t stopped working in the photographic industry since. I spent five years assisting some of the world’s best fashion photographers.

I’ve now been working in photography for 27 years, and shooting professionally for over 20 of those years, so I’ve been around a long time and have seen the move from film to digital, and also the move from staged wedding photography to today’s reportage styles.

Bride having make-up done - Picture by Stylish Wedding Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

No idea; my parents always had a camera. I probably shot something boring as a kid with dad’s camera! However, I do remember my early work aged 18 on the black and white course. My tutor, the late Mike Skipper, taught us one evening that ‘anything’ could look good in a black and white image, so long as the light was good. He then added, “well, almost anything – maybe not a milk bottle”. I’ve always loved being set a challenge; I’m a problem solver, I just love puzzles etc. So, at next week’s class I bought in a picture I’d taken of a milk bottle, the glass type from the good old days! It was a stunning image. To this day it’s one of my all time favourite images, with light falling naturally through a window and reflecting through the glass; I’m a lover of natural light and reflections.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

Mainly Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, although we’ll travel anywhere practical in the UK and abroad. So long as couples’ budgets allow for accommodation and extra days travel etc. then I’ll travel anywhere in the world. I’d love to shoot weddings where the light is beautiful – Italy or anywhere sunny.

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Kevin Wood - Scott-Wood Photography

Scott-Wood Photography logo

Interview with: Kevin Wood

Company Name: Scott-Wood Photography

Website: www.scott-wood.co.uk

Location / Coverage: UK, Europe, and Worldwide

How did the business get started and who works at Scott-Wood Photography?

My wife was instrumental in me making the change and starting my business, by asking me one deceptively simple question when I reached a point in my life where I was unsure of my career path. She asked me ‘what would make me happy’. It was an immediate response – photography full time.

Bride and gromm ducking from confetti - Picture by Scott-Wood Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

Yes, but life took me on a different route initially with a career in engineering, before returning to college to study photography.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I have an early recollection of taking (or trying to take) family snaps when we lived overseas, but then after that my earliest recollection is the excitement of discovering photography again when I went as a young 18 year old to work in the US.

Bride and groom on gondola - Picture by Scott-Wood Photography

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

My local area is Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, but I work anywhere in the UK (and beyond!).

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Jen Stuart-Smith - Blooming Green

Interview with: Jen Stuart-Smith

Company Name: Blooming Green

Website: www.bloominggreenflowers.co.uk

Location: Loddington Farm, Linton, near Maidstone in Kent

How did Blooming Green get started and how long has the business been going?

My cousin Bek and I started Blooming Green in a mushroom shed on the family fruit farm in 2007.

I’d pestered Bek for years to start an eco-florist, and as the movement towards locally grown produce and British-grown cut flowers really took off, she got excited at the thought of being involved and finally gave in.

Before we mulched the first beds and sowed any seeds we did our homework. We found out about growing foliage at the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall, and took LANTRA funded training under the Women in Agriculture initiative.

After we’d prepared the land and established the flower beds using borrowed equipment from a neighbouring strawberry farm, we waited and watched the ground hopefully to see what would emerge. I’m happy to say Blooming Green has grown steadily from that first year.

Bride holding pink balloon amongst flower beds

Why is the business called Blooming Green?

Our ethos is about being environmentally friendly, creative and sharing a passion for organic and locally grown flowers. We use the natural beauty of flowers and foliage to prove that “green” is anything but dull.

Who works at Blooming Green?

Our success comes from the mix of our skills and personalities. My big cousin and environmentalist Bek is at home in the polytunnel or out on the plot. She nurtures our seedlings, chats to the perennials and jokes that she avoids contact with customers as much as she can, although she’s great company really.

I’ve been creating rustic flower arrangements since I was 12, when I entered a local garden show. I arrange flowers once they’re picked and impart my love of flower arranging to brides-to-be.

Jen and Bek of Blooming Green

Where is Blooming Green based and do you have a shop? Which areas of the UK do you cover?

Blooming Green is on an acre plot in the middle of our family fruit farm near Maidstone in Kent. Brides love the experience of pick-your-own wedding flowers and many then learn how to arrange the blooms themselves. For our full wedding flower service we can also arrange delivery as part of the overall package. Cost-conscious brides, using the budget wedding flower service, arrange for friends and family to collect their arrangements from the shed at Blooming Green, or they come themselves, to de-stress before their big day.

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Ria Mishaal - Ria Mishaal Photography

Ria Mishaal Photography Logo

Interview with: Ria Mishaal

Company Name: Ria Mishaal Photography

Website: http://riamishaal.com

Location / Coverage: Hampshire, England. Available to photograph anywhere in the UK and beyond.

How did your business get started and who works at Ria Mishaal Photography?

Growing up, there were always old cameras around. I liked taking pictures of the natural world around me as a way of capturing how I felt about something. I also did a lot of visual artwork, creating panels of images for my Royal Photographic Society distinctions and for competitions and exhibitions.

When I was studying at University, I, together with another photographer friend, were asked by a couple of colleagues to document their wedding in our own styles. To my surprise, I absolutely adored the experience; I was able to photograph the wedding as I photographed on the street – capturing moments, emotions, details that caught my eye or moved me. This was back in 2004.

Then, some friends of this first couple saw their album and wanted me to document their wedding too, and through referrals and word of mouth my business grew. I loved this work so much it took over the other vocation I had planned for myself, and it only made sense to embrace it.

My husband, Jake, photographs with me on wedding days. We have been working together for many years now, so we complement each other’s styles very well.

Bride and groom under tree - Picture by Ria Mishaal Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

The first thing I remember wanting to be was a photographer for National Geographic Magazine. Both my father and grandfather are keen photographers, so I had a lot of exposure to photography from an early age.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I was very young, maybe four. It was of my mother, and my parents still have the image somewhere.

Bride and groom - Picture by Ria Mishaal Photography

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

Jake and I will go anywhere in the UK or abroad to photograph. For weddings, we work most regularly in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London. We have done engagement shoots from Bala in Wales to Norwich, from Edinburgh to Brighton.

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Olivier Laudus Boutique

The new Olivier Laudus wedding accessory boutique is now open. A sanctuary of calm from the hustle and bustle of London’s Oxford Street, the boutique offers affordable luxury for the modern bride. From statement headbands, bridal jewellery and now also introducing wedding shoes and veils, brides will find everything they need to complete their perfect wedding day look, under the expert and friendly guidance of Olivier, and with complimentary refreshments.

Olivier Laudus Boutique - Necklaces

Chic, stylish and in-keeping with the brand’s contemporary feel, the boutique has two distinct areas; a glamorous, minimalist space for jewellery and shoes with grey lizard effects and mirrored furniture, while the veil section has dreamy duck egg blue Laura Ashley wallpaper and a vintage-style mirror. With soft lounge music playing in the background and the smell of gorgeous candles, Olivier Laudus hopes that their new look boutique provides a comfortable and appealing space for brides to relax and enjoy their bridal accessory shopping experience.

Olivier Laudus Boutique - Cabinets Olivier Laudus Boutique - Shoe Wall

Olivier Laudus Boutique - Veil Section

Consultations are by appointment only, with evening and weekends available.

Olivier Laudus, Lower Ground Floor, Jordan Burr, 63 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 1BQ

Visit the Olivier Laudus supplier page on The Wedding Community

Lena Konstantakou - Lena Love Light

Lena Love Light logo

Interview with: Lena Konstantakou

Company Name: Lena Love Light

Website: www.lenalovelight.com

Location / Coverage: Athens, Greece, London, UK

How did your business get started and who works at Lena Love Light?

I worked for many years at The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London as a graphic designer (Deputy Art Director in Create team), and freelancing as a photographer as well since college. I moved back to Greece three years ago to follow my passion for photography and I spend time in London, mainly for work, as well.

Lena Love Light started in September 2013, after I woke up one morning with the name stuck in my head. Before that I was photographing weddings using my name as a company name. I work mainly by myself, but sometimes have another photographer to help me out.

Bride and groom in countryside - Picture by Lena Love Light

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

No, I wanted to be an actress. Everything changed the day I took my first series of photographs at the age of 20, while I was in art college; I immediately knew where I wanted to channel my energy.

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

I was 20 years old and they were landscape pictures of Maidstone in Kent, where I lived and studied at that time.

Wedding dress haning in door - Picture by Lena Love Light

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I have photographed weddings so far in London, Buckinghamshire and Scotland. I cover all the UK and also cover weddings internationally.

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Linus Moran - Linus Moran Photography

Linus Moran Photography logo

Interview with: Linus Moran

Company Name: Linus Moran Photography

Website: www.LinusMoranPhotography.co.uk

Location / Coverage: Dorset, southern England, UK and abroad.

How did your business get started and who works at Linus Moran Photography?

I launched my wedding photography business in 2010 after returning from living and working in Eastern Europe. I had a 15 year career working for the leading Fleet Street titles supplying news and features photography in the UK, along with running my own agency based in the Balkans.

We are a husband and wife team, with my wife Moni handling all client viewings, products and wedding album production.

Bride standing om hill overlooking lake - Picture by Linus Moran Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

No – like some others I didn’t have a clue what direction I was heading in, and I didn’t feel that I shone in other subjects I studied at school. It was only when I started 6th form college that I opted to enrol on a photography GCSE, got the bug and started buying all the gear. I set up a B&W darkroom at home in the bedroom and built on things from there. Picking up a grade A led to me pursuing higher education and a full time career.

Bride and groom first dance - Picture by Linus Moran Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

My interest in photography started when I was 17 having picked up a girlfriend’s Practica she received for Christmas. This coincided with the great storms of 1987, so it was a great news job to start my career, documenting it’s trail of destruction.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

Southern England, Dorset / Somerset, but will travel the UK and selected destinations.

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Nina Pang Photography

Interview with: Nina Pang

Company Name: Nina Pang Photography

Website: www.ninapang.co.uk

Location / Coverage: North West

How did the business get started and who works at Nina Pang Photography?

The business started from me originally helping friends and family by photographing the events they hosted, helping me grow my portfolio, alongside being a second shooter for some photographers.

Bride and groom holding tree branch to show wedding rings - Picture by Nina Pang Photography

Had you always wanted to be a photographer?

I have enjoyed photography since I was little, from toy camera to DSLR; my mum bought me my first DSLR for my 16th birthday. A few years ago I attended a photography workshop and to find out more about how to use manual mode, and since then I have found my style in photography.

Bride and groom kissing on doorstep - Picture by Nina Pang Photography

Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?

When I was around six I took a picture of the street from my balcony.

Which areas of the UK do you cover?

I am based in the north west, but cover all of the UK.

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