Basketball Wedding at Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel London

An amazing wedding day with Scottish, Filipino and basketball influences

The groom wore tartan; the bride wore trainers. This was no ordinary wedding. From the start, Christine and Tarryn knew they wanted an amazing wedding day but due to personal circumstances they had just three weeks to plan – just like in our favourite wedding TV programme Don’t Tell the Bride. Christine tells her amazing wedding day tale below.

"I’m an art teacher and Tarryn was my art muse. He planned a surprise trip to Italy for my birthday and popped the question at Gianicolo, one of the highest points in Rome. He found a beautiful secluded spot (a field of daisies) at the top of a hill and got down on one knee. It was all very romantic. We were engaged for just over eight months before getting married, but chose our date on Christmas Eve and got married just three weeks later, which made it pretty special."

Originally from Hull, with a Scottish mother, Tarryn is one of the UK’s most well known streetballers and regularly gets booked to perform tricks at events. He’s also played professionally when younger, has featured in TV ads and music videos and still plays recreationally and coaches some of London’s top youngsters in the game. He’s in many a You Tube video, and also had a key role in a British basketball movie – Freestyle. A large number of basketball players attended both the wedding and evening reception.

"My dress was the first thing I ticked off my wedding list. My sister and I went to just one dress shop where I tried on about eight different styles of dresses. I couldn’t decide between two of them so decided to sleep on it. My Mum convinced me to visit other dress shops before committing to one of the two dresses but after looking around I had already decided what dress I had fallen in love with without having to try on any other dress. I went back to the shop, tried it on again and was 100% positive it was ‘The Dress’. I remember saying “I want a dress that will make Tarryn cry when he sees me walking down the aisle and this is it!” I was right! It was an Anna Solerno dress from WED2B. I matched my earrings and hairclip to the rhinestone detail that featured on the dress."

"Our wedding day was a bright and sunny January day, which instantly set the mood. Getting ready was quite calm and relaxing until about half an hour before we were due to leave. It helped having a lot of hands on deck to make sure everything was good to go. We kept the bridal party as family members: my sister was Matron of Honour, while her one-year-old daughter was bridesmaid and my niece and Tarryn’s niece were flower girls, and my cousin’s son was our ring bearer." 

"We wanted to include elements from both our cultures. Tarryn is Scottish and wore a traditional kilt outfit from Kilts4All." 

"My background is mixed Irish and Filipina, and so I walked down the aisle to an Irish version of the classic Canon in D and during our ceremony we included traditional Filipino wedding customs which symbolised prosperity, unity of both families, the couple becoming one, and everlasting love and commitment." 

"Something we weren’t expecting was our vintage wedding car, a 1950s Bentley, to sound and feel like it was going to fall apart en route to our destinations! It was quite funny; definitely an experience to remember." 

"The venue, the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, is local to us and we had been there to eat and drink previously – although we chose traditional Filipino cuisine from Kabayan Restaurant for our wedding day. The atmosphere at this hotel is intimate and has a homely feel to it, which we thought would create the perfect atmosphere for us."

"Our colour scheme was pale pink, peach and ivory with accents of gold. There were many DIY elements in our wedding which made it easier to achieve our vision: from making the church pew decorations, to setting the tables at the venue, to having personalised favours to making and hanging the organza ceiling drapes which completely transformed the venue. The lighting we chose really set the ambiance: the ceiling drapes were complemented with soft white fairy lights, the room had purple uplighters spotted around the walls, the top table had a starlight backdrop, each table had floating and tealight candles and as a focal point we had 4ft LOVE light up letters that our guests loved."

"The party was so much fun! Everyone enjoyed themselves, which made us enjoy ourselves even more. It’s a great feeling knowing that all your guests are having such a good time on your big day. The DJ was on point, playing tune after tune. There were dance-offs, the Electric Slide (“It’s like caaaandy”), a crazy conga line, as well as the Macarena (of course). We put fun photo props on each table so our guests had lots of photo fun before, during and after dinner. We also had a photo booth, which was a huge hit – the queue for that didn’t end. The package included a photo book with messages from our guests that we can look back on with fond memories."

"I have plenty of advice for other bride-to-bes!

  • Try on dresses that are not your size – I bought a dress that was two sizes smaller than my size and consequently didn’t need anything altered
  • Don’t allow anyone to change your vision…whether it be flowers, decor, dress, colour scheme etc…stick with what makes you happy
  • Make a formal photograph list for your photographer and suggest any other photo ideas that you might have in mind
  • Have someone appointed to fix your dress train Have friends/family members around who can help out and are happy to be bossed around without getting offended
  • Keep your lipstick/lip balm handy all day
  • Change into comfortable shoes for the party – I wore my Reebok Classics and Tarryn wore his Air Jordans!"

"Although it’s not tradition for the bride to give a speech, I would have liked to have said a few thank yous and said a couple of nice things about my new husband. I also wish I’d had a videographer to capture funny and sentimental moments, and the party."

"We have so many favourite moments from our special day…from the first moment we saw each other at the church to getting pelted by raw rice/confetti as we left the church, to the first dance, the conga line, the dance-offs and more…we wish the day lasted longer; it all went so fast."

"I remember Tarryn and I sitting on the top table looking at the venue and our guests and thinking: everything is just perfect! The venue looked beyond amazing, even better than we had envisaged. All our guests were having a great time and above all, we were now husband and wife. All our hard work and effort over the last three weeks had paid off and we couldn’t have been happier."

Zeyn - Newborn Shoot

I may not heavily promote my Newborn Photography, but it's a nice string to have on the bow! I ventured down to North East London for this shoot with a Turkish/English family and 10 day old Zeyn. He wasn't a sleepy baby despite our best efforts, but he still provided us with some magic moments and facial expressions on the day. Best of all, was that we were able to get these images using only natural light a bed, and a few blankets!

London Southbank Engagement Shoot - Elizabeth & Craig - Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer

To me, London is the greatest city in the world, and despite it's size, it's surprisingly easy to hoover up several major tourist attractions in one short walk. Perfect for engagement shoots such as this one! 

Elizabeth & Craig both live in Chicago, but with Craig being English they plan to marry next July at the wonderful Luton Hoo Hotel & Spa resort. Their recent wedding planning visit seemed a perfect opportunity to show Elizabeth some of the main tourist sites of London during their Engagement Shoot. Craig also showed his fiancée his old University stomping ground - Kings College London, just off the Strand.

Here are some highlights from our lovely afternoon together. Please leave a comment at the bottom!


Grand Staircase Wedding - Renaissance Hotel St Pancras London

Ali and Charlotte enjoyed a low key wedding for very close friends and family only at the spectacular setting provided by the Renaissance Hotel St Pancras London. The ceremony took place on the beautiful Grand Staircase which offered me the chance to take some beautiful images of them. After the ceremony we grabbed a few photos of the couple, while the guests headed off to Searcys Restaurant for the Wedding Breakfast. Charlotte had a quick dress change into something more comfortable and a wonderful meal followed with the traditional speeches.

The party was only halted because the newly weds were due to catch a Eurostar train to France for their honeymoon. Luckily they didn't have far to travel!

The full gallery of images can be viewed here

Jessica & Richard Engagement Shoot - London Southbank

The weather for our Engagement Shoot in London was very much indicative of our summer so far, but we weren't put off and the rain passed over and the brolly could be put away. We undertook a short lap from Westminster across to Southbank, and down to Hungerford Bridge during which there are numerable great tourist spots. The rush hour foot traffic gave me the oppotunity to isolate Jessica and Richard in the crowds and use passers by in the composition of my images. With their Surrey wedding coming up in a just over a month, we're all getting rather excited now, so stay tuned for the wedding shots in due course!

Food Blogger Photography Training at Min Jiang Restaurant, Kensington

Tuesday night provided me my first ever photography training opportunity, so I brought my good buddy Oli Sandler along to help run the session with me. We taught a group of London based food bloggers how to get the best out of their camera equipment when photographing food for their blogs. The amazing Min Jiang Restaurant in Kensington hosted us and provided us all with a mind blowingly good meal afterwards. Thanks also to Sauce Communications for pulling this opportunity together for us all. We must do it again soon! :-)

Shake Shack - Westfield Stratford City Restaurant Launch Party, London

It's always a pleasure to work for one of my regular corporate clients, Shake Shack UK. Recently they opened their second UK restaurant at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford in East London. The festivities began with a Launch party on the Tuesday evening with many of the companies senior figures from abroad attending alongside many other suppliers and industry experts. DJ Martin 2 Smoove and DJ Beat a Maxx ran the decks while the upcoming band, The Coronas played a great set for the guests. The Weds saw the restaurant open to the public, and the weekend saw a whole variety of experiential activity take place around the shopping mall to promote Shake Shack, including the London Lions basketball club running a basketball shooting competition on a specially built court in the centre, giving away prizes ranging from burgers, sunglasses, t shirts and London Lions tickets. Inside the centre a variety of bands played on stage and a Spray Wall was set up where people could create their own art with a virtual spray can!

Below is a selection of images from the events:

Hannah & David Engagement Shoot - Hampstead Heath, London

Hannah, David and I met up with me after work on a lovely warm May evening. We parked near the ponds and walked up to Kenwood House, taking full advantage of the glorious warm light on offer as the sun was setting. Even a family of patrolling geese would not prevent us getting the shots we wanted! I was ably assisted by Oli Sandler on the day who was invaluable helping me with equipment and locations. Hannah and David will be tying the knot soon at Tewinbury Farm in September in a Jewish ceremony that I am very much looking forward to capturing!

Roma & Peter - Shenley Cricket Centre, Hertfordshire Wedding 6/2/15

Winter Weddings can always be a bit of a roll of the dice with the weather. You know you're in for some cold, but can it at least be dry? Thankfully for my first call to arms for 2015, the answer was a resounding YES! Accompanied by my good friend, and talented second shooter, Steve Granger we headed south from Hitchin and into London to meet with Roma and Peter. I dropped Steve off at the Village Hotel, Elstree to cover the Grooms Party, while I headed to Roma's house in Temple Fortune to meet the Bridal Party. 

Unfortunately for all of us a couple of the bridesmaids were delayed in traffic that morning, and Roma's hair appointment ran on longer than expected, so everyone was late getting into make up. "No panic", I reassured everyone. "We've never had a missed ceremony on my watch before!" - words I would soon regret saying with such confidence as time ticked on! Vee (Roma's make up artist) http://veemakeup.com/ worked fast and delivered amazing results given our time constraints, but word from Steve at the church was that of an increasingly fraught sounding Church Warden urging us to hurry up!

Of course we all managed to get to Saint Jude-On-The-Hill Church http://www.stjudeonthehill.com/ just in time, and everything went swimmingly well for the rest of the day, despite slightly revised schedules! A relieved looking Peter met eyes with Roma as she walked down the aisle and everyone there could instantly see the chemistry between them both. After a beautiful ceremony the wedding party departed for the Reception at Shenley Cricket Centre in Hertfordshire http://www.shenleycricketcentre.co.uk/ where the Wedding Breakfast was capped off with some wonderful music from the acoustic band, The Supershakers https://www.facebook.com/TheSupershakers . Roma and Peter's chosen theme for the wedding was Vintage Travel and they went to great trouble to prepare some amazing details for the reception such as old suitcases, cameras and letterboxes.

Here are a selection of magical moments from this wonderful day!

Rafe