Louise and Ian – The Swan Hotel, Bibury, Wedding Photography – Bristol Wedding Photographer

I’ve been looking forward to blogging this wedding since before I even shot it, it’s going to be an epic long post, prepare yourself :) On a very sunny day in October I had the pleasure of both photographing and being bridesmaid for my very good friend Louise and Ian. I had mentioned to quite a few of my couples and friends throughout the year that I was going to be doing this and all of them seemed to think it was quite insane to try to do both. I didn’t understand why, but now I do :) It was very very stressful!! BUT also, lots of fun, when I caught my breath :) Louise and Ian were so incredibly lucky with the weather, it was quite possibly the sunniest day I have photographed on this year, it was almost too bright if anything! This meant though that they could have their wedding outside (outside in October!! Yes!!) at The Swan Hotel in Bibury. Before this year I did not know you could get married outside at The Swan (it may be a new thing this year) but it was so gorgeous with the sun coming through the massive tress onto the guests while Louise and Ian were bathed with the sunlight. Louise and Ian had also asked me to be one of their witnesses which, for the legal part of the ceremony just Louise and Ian, Ian’s Dad and myself were taken aside under a little structure, it felt really special and I felt very privileged! There kind of feels like there is just too much to say about this wedding and all the thoughts and feelings that accompany these photos for me so for a change I am going to write as I go. I’m going to mention all the awesome suppliers as I go too but first I must say a big thank you to Eliza Claire who shot with me for the day, allowing me to actually be in some of the photos and for being a great support. I also should mention that Louise is behind Cirencester Cupcakes in Cirencester, she produces the best cakes around (and I’m not saying that just because she’s my friend, we actually became friends through mutual appreciation of each others work). So anyway, here is my take on their day:

It all started for me the day before the wedding, doing various things like picking up the dress :) and other errands, meeting Louise’s good friends and generally attempting to be the best bridesmaid I could be :) (I killed a massive spider for her, I think I win!) Louise and I stayed in one of the cottages that The Swan Hotel have the night before the wedding. She gave me some awesome and thoughtful little gifts which I had to photograph and wanted to share. I can tell from her packaging how well she knows me, one part was wrapped in quirky, artsy packaging that made me say ‘Ooooo’ and the rest was in this awesome children’s wrapping paper that made me say ‘yay!!!’ :D
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We had a relatively slow start to the day with Louise getting up and making me peppermint tea (bridesmaid fail). Clare Bryce arrived while I was still in bed :D to start on Louise’s nails, then her brother, sister in law and nephew came over to bring her a present, which started the first tears of the day off
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I won’t annotate the whole day, some is self explanatory :)

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Clare also did our make up (Louise’s hair was done by her good friend Kelly)
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Typical Louise :)
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Meanwhile Eliza met Ian in bar while he opened his present from Louise
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Back over with Louise, here’s a few photos of her amazing shoes!! They are Iron Fist Shoes I believe and even had cupcakes on!14 Iron Fist Wedding Shoes

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Massive thanks to Clare for stepping in to help Sara do up the dress!
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The Amazing flowers that you will soon see were all done (with complete freedom) by Sara from Aqua Wedding and Event Flowers, that’s Sara laughing in the background :)
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Walking down the aisle is terrifying!! This is the first time I’ve ever done it (as someone other than just the photographer) and my mind was completely blank and I can’t remember a thing from the photo above til I was at this point when I remembered I wanted to take a photo of Ian as I walked down to catch what Louise will see :) I wonder if Louise remembers any of it… Now Ian is not known as being one to show his emotions :) so as soon as I saw him I pretty much started crying myself!
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Me again! Check out the shoes!! (Kurt Geiger)
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Louise’s nephew was ring bearer
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That’s as long as the shoes lasted for me (Louise lasted ages!!), for reasons which should be obvious :) (sinking over an inch into the soft grass)
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My brother, who was also a guest at the wedding, actually took these :) I gave him my camera while Eliza shot a photo of Louise with friends that I had to be in and he took a few
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It was now time for Louise, Ian and I to go and take some couple portraits around Bibury. The guests were going to have a duck race while we did this!! Louise and Ian had sent out ducks as their save the dates and people were asked to decorate the ducks and bring to the wedding for a race!
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Insert obvious joke about this being the best photo of Ian… (actually really like it :D )
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Meanwhile we could hear screams coming back from the duck race, I’m pretty sure that looks like some cheating going on there from Jon from Lumiere restaurant! Plug, because why not? – the only place to be eating if you’re in Cheltenham!! :D
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Now you don’t get much more Cotswoldy than Bibury, so if you get married here you have to expect a coach load of Japanese tourists!
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We were back in time for the final of the duck race!
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My duck is the one on the right, it’s Maverick “Top Gun” Duck! (his swimming hat is just like mavericks helmet and has the Top Gun symbol on his back!) The one on the left is Batduck! Which was my brothers.
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Shameless plug, Decimal Skate Duck being held by Gaz who owns Decimal skate shop in Cirencester, for all your skating needs :) (or clothing needs)
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Duck retrieval
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There was a bit of a sweetie theme to the wedding. Instead of a table plan they had escort cards in the form of lollipops which told you which table to go to. The table centres themselves were sweet trees that Louise, Ian and I had put together, the rest put together by Sara. The favours were bags of sweets too :) I loved that each table had a duck pond to put our ducks into. And the flowers are just so colourful I love them!!
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I should probably explain about the bottom right photo in the above details montage. As all eyes were going to be on the cake, Louise decided she wanted to have a fake cake, something as hideous as she could think of, to see how polite people would be about it :) not revealing the real cake until later that night. During the speeches they even said that it was made for them by Louise’s apprentice Claire, they were quite rude about it and it all felt really awkward, which was the plan :)

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She’s off again :)
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My sneaky brother taking sweets from the trees
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which set a trend
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The sun had been shining SO brightly for their couple photos that once it had moved around a bit I suggested nipping out between courses to get a few more photos, which they were up for which was particularly good as we were on limited time before the meal
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Couldn’t stay serious for more than a second :)
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The bouquet! As you can see it contains lollipops as well, the lollipop is kind of what started off the multicoloured aspect of the day, Louise loved all the colours and wanted them all :) so that is why they are included, why the flowers are so colourful throughout and why the bridal party all had different colours, mine was turquoise as you saw
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Following the speeches they gave out various rosettes for the winning ducks
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Actual race winner!!
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Now, the actual travesty of it!! My cheeky brother won best in show for his batduck!! I still can not believe it, I was robbed!!!! (he incidentally also got thanked, rightly so, as he designed their wedding invite for them)
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Now, I had already posted this on facebook, but for those that did not see that. As a photographer I often get asked who would photograph my wedding when I get married. I would imagine as a cake maker this was a question that Louise got asked a lot too. The great thing about this though is it was something that Louise could do herself before the day, and she did, with the help of Claire her apprentice. The cake had three layers, the bottom layer represented diving, which is how Louise and Ian met as they both love diving. The middle layer represented the sweetie theme of the wedding and the inside was three colours which were the colours that the bridesmaids wore. The top layer represented Bibury.
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At the very top were a Mr and Mrs Duck, this part was a surprise to Louise as it was made by Claire and so she did not see it until this part of the day, and she loved it!! Ian had not seen any of the cake until now!
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The evenings entertainment was provide by Neil, The Cheltenham Wedding DJ himself
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First dance – Drops of Jupiter by Train
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I debated whether to post this last photo for ages, but I should end the post how the night ended, it makes me laugh so much every time I see it :) and know they’ll love it too! This was the last dance of the night. Louise has maybe fallen asleep, I’m not sure, while Ian just about holds it together but wants to nod off too clearly. I must have been pretty tired too, wonky photo :)

Nails and Make up (and other above and beyond help :D) by Clare Bryce
Cake by Louise herself at Cirencester Cupcakes
Flowers by Sara from Aqua Wedding and Event Flowers
Evening DJ – Neil The Cheltenham Wedding DJ