Cambridge Cottage wedding at Kew Gardens

By the time Hannah and Joe’s Kew Gardens wedding arrived we already felt like friends, as I’d had the pleasure of an engagement shoot with them a few months before. They were concerned they might feel a bit self-conscious on their wedding day and wanted to use the engagement shoot to get used to me, and like a bit of a ‘practice run’ for their wedding day.

This is actually a really good idea! In fact it’s the number one reason I offer engagement shoots, and everyone who books one definitely feels the benefit on their wedding day.

Actually, while I’m here, to be honest I find the name ‘engagement shoot’ a bit weird anyway, as you’ve usually been engaged quite a while before we do the shoot! It’s really just a ‘lifestyle portraits session’, but even that sounds kind of weird to most people who aren’t photographers that have to come up with names for this stuff – so if you’re wondering what it really is, we basically hang out for an hour or so somewhere that means something to you, we go for a walk, and have a laugh while I scoot around looking for cool angles and capturing fun moments between you. But that’s a bit of a mouthful for a pricing sheet!

Anyway, engagement shoots: I highly recommend them!

So, when it came to the wedding day I felt much more like a mate with a couple of cameras. Hannah and her sisters friends all got ready at the Coach and Horses opposite Cambridge Cottage, their wedding venue in Kew Gardens. Joe and his mates were just around the corner at The Botanist for a quick G&T, so nobody had too far to go!

They’d told me in advance that Joe was going to wait for Hannah outside the ceremony room to see her for the first time, so I scooted out behind Hannah to make sure I caught his reaction before nipping ahead for them to walk down the aisle together. Such a lovely, raw moment to capture, one of my favourites!

Then after the vows everyone sang along to It Must Be Love (Madness – lyrics helpfully provided!), and they all had bubbles to blow instead of confetti (gorgeous on still summer days when the sun catches them!). Hannah, Joe and I jumped on the Kew Gardens Buggy to get whisked away to get some relaxed portraits at some of their favourite spots.

And then back to Cambridge Cottage to get on with the party, that’s what we’re all waiting for after all! Everyone really got stuck into the garden wedding vibe, relaxing in the grounds with outdoor games, candles, plenty of G&Ts, and a hog roast for evening snacks.

And that brings me fairly unimaginatively to my Wedding Tip Of The Day: never skimp on the evening snacks!

After the dinner, and the drinking, and the dancing, and more drinking, the evening snacks refill everyone’s tanks. Not gonna lie, I’m VERY partial to that 10pm crispy bacon roll with plenty of brown sauce, but a hog roast takes the biscuit!

Credit where it’s due

Wedding Photography : Owen Billcliffe Weddings | Ceremony & Reception Venue : Cambridge Cottage at Kew Gardens | Event Coordination : Kew Gardens Events Team | Floral Design : Mary Jane Vaughn | That Incredible Cake : Le Papillon Patisserie | Dress : Fairy Goth Mother | Bridal Shoes : Charlotte Mills | Suits : Edit | Shoes: Grenson | Hair & Make-Up : Makeup by Jodie