We love Brighton and we know you do too, so when bride-to-be (and Love Sussex Weddings reader) Collette got touch, we just had to feature this beautiful engagement shoot.
Over to Collette for more about their engagement shoot and their wedding planning too:
“We met each other in secondary school. We were two years apart but had mutual friends. Three years later I was looking for work in my gap year before Uni and Andy was running the bar I ended up working at. After getting to know each other, trading music, and with numerous hints from colleagues that “something” is sure to happen, we went on our first date. Now it’s almost nine years on and we’re about to get married! We got engaged on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, October 2010. A year before our holiday to San Francisco Andy was planning his proposal. This involved digging out old photos of us, and having to take new photos, each of which had the shape of a letter in – so that once bound in a photo book in the correct order spelled out the words “will you marry me?”. All that was left for Andy to do was smuggle the book and engagement ring to San Francisco then sweat it out until the right moment.
I knew something wasn’t right with Andy all that day (he claimed it was just jet-lag) but never guessed what he had planned. He walked us to a lovely secluded spot between the bridge and water bank and popped the question by giving me the book – just in time, as minutes after saying yes (and drying my eyes) a policeman showed up to move us along as we had been trespassing on private land!
We love Brighton for its open-mindedness, colourful residents, BBQs on the beach and that there’s always something to do. That’s why we decided to have our engagement shoot here. We’re getting married in Bedford near our hometown, but didn’t want to leave Brighton out, so used our engagement shoot to capture all of our favourite parts of the town, and the memories we have of being here together. Our ideas for the shoot came from our photographers, Paul and Perry from Shears•Mockford Photography. They are based near our wedding venue but suggested a road trip to Brighton for an “English seaside out of season” engagement shoot. We loved this idea as it kept Brighton as a part of our wedding. We wanted very natural, non-cheesy and non-posed photos, aiming for a snapshot of a day-in-the-life in Brighton. As for the look of the photos, we love that vintage/de-saturated style which the guys created perfectly. Ideas came from us making a list of our favourite parts of the town, and from previous engagement shoots we’d seen by Paul and Perry. After a four hour trek around Brighton we seemed to make a good team and were all pleased with the results.
I’d tell anyone to do an engagement shoot. In fact, don’t hire a photographer unless they recommend a pre-wedding shoot! It’s the best way to get to know your photographer and to experience having a camera around you all day. We were surprised at how self-conscious it can make you, but after a day spent with our photographers we now know what to expect and know we’ll feel confident and comfortable on the day.
We started planning our wedding twelve months ago so are right on schedule and have had a lot of fun making and collecting all the bits and pieces to make the day reflect our personalities. All of the main things are booked and confirmed, so our time will now be spent making the rest of the decorations and putting together the finishing touches. We’re actually really excited now that it’s getting so close and feeling relatively calm, thanks to the advanced planning. The big day is on 24th May and is taking place in a 13th century riverside barn in Bedford. Our civil ceremony will be held in the barn and then Brighton band The Swing Ninjas will table serenade our guests over dinner. More guests will join us in the barn for our evening reception where there will be a DIY photo booth, plenty of cake and 80s music. We love the convenience of the entire day being held in one location. The barn is run alongside The Barns Hotel where our guests will be staying. We’ve gone for a rustic English countryside theme and will be decking the barn out with bunting and fairy lights. Our wedding will reflect our personalities purely because we’re choosing the things that we want – we’re making the rules. Ultimately we want people to come to our wedding and think to themselves ‘this is obviously Andy and Collette’s’. Further inspiration came from my obsession with Pinterest, wedding blogs and magazines, taking ideas and making them our own. Almost everything for our big day has been sourced locally, picked up in town, Googled or found on eBay. “
How sweet is this shoot? We think it’s great that while these two lovebirds are getting married in their Bedfordshire hometown, they still included their new home of Brighton in their big day planning.
We wish you lots of luck for your upcoming vows and hope you have the day of your dreams, Mr and Mrs Orwell!