Nathaniel and Emma ~ Dodford Manor

Awww where to start with this couple! The reference #couplegoals doesn’t even seem adequate. Despite the fact I’ve never met them personally, I know from our communication over the years that they’re my kind of people. Their love for one another radiates off every single image. Such a beautiful couple, surrounded by equally beautiful families, this really is one of those weddings I’ll remember forever. Take a peek at their special day at Dodford Manor below ♥

Words of wisdom #1 ~ Budget

With the aim of making this Blog a hub of information, we’re going to be periodically opening up this space to our past couples who may have some words of wisdom, ideas, recommendations or advice that might be of interest to any recently engaged couples. The wedding industry is a complex one with many, many variables. We hope that these guest spots on the Blog will give couples some practical advice that they may be able to implement in the lead up to their own big day.

Our first couple to contribute had the following words of wisdom to share …

~ Set yourself a realistic budget, weddings cost money but they are definitely worth it. If something is cheap, there’s a reason.

~ Our biggest tip (and this is why we went with Tim Hill Photography) is if you see somebody and their work and get a good feeling, go with it, don’t shop around. Shopping around is the most stressful bit and will achieve nothing. Trust your gut instinct.

~ Finally, work out what part of your wedding means the most to you and expect it to go over the allocated budget. Don’t compromise on your top three. It worked for us and 1. We have fantastic pictures that we will look at for the rest of our lives 2. We had the perfect venue and 3. We had delicious food.

What truly great advice!

To feed, or not to feed? That is the question ...

Weddings can be long days for many of your suppliers, but particularly for your photographer who may well be with you from early morning right through until late evening. I know first hand that Tim's productivity is far higher when fuelled on a decent meal (as oppose to a sweaty sandwich and over ripe banana that's been sat on the front seat of the car all day!) A well fed photographer is undoubtedly a happy one! Caterers are usually pretty good at looking after photographers, so have a chat with them and discuss the options they offer for the day (I promise your photographer really will thank you for it!)

Here's what one of our Groom’s had to say on the subject ... 'Providing food for Tim was really important to us, he arrived early and left late … Wedding days are long enough WITH food and drink, let alone on an empty stomach!'

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{Beautiful plate of food by the super lovely Lemon Zest}

The Wedding Industry Awards ~ Regional Finalist!

When an email lands in your inbox from The Wedding Industry Awards letting you know one of your lovely Brides has nominated you for an award, you know instantly it’s going to be a rather fabulous day! Her beautifully kind words (you know who you are!) made the decision for us and this year we decided to enter …. and my word are we glad we did as we’ve only gone and made Regional Finalist! A huge Thank you to all our couples who took the time to vote for us, it’s a lovely feeling receiving such positive comments from you all and of course gaining this recognition amongst our peers in the wedding industry ♥

Hemisha and Liam ~ Dodmoor House

The lovely Hemisha and Liam married this summer on what was initially a rather wet day. Before long the weather lifted and they were graced with weather typical of our wonderful British summertime. Hemisha wore two wedding dresses representing two equally beautiful looks during her wedding day at Dodmoor House and I for one think she looked truly stunning. A day centred very much on family (including their two beloved dogs!) this wedding was a real pleasure to be part of. The couples wedding breakfast included amazing food by Lilu Fine Dining with super impressive attention to detail (and it really did taste as good as it looked!) Here’s a little look at that their day ♥

Jeni and Ryan ~ Dodmoor House

Awwww where to start with this beautiful couple …. it’s always a pleasure to be asked to photograph one of the Dodmoor House ladies wedding days and Jeni’s was no exception. They nailed the relaxed vibe completely and as a result ended up with a gallery that reflected that perfectly. Think a ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ stand, cake cutting and first dance in the courtyard and a beautifully relaxed afternoon tea! As always it was great to work with Julie-Anna flowers again. I can spot this talented lady’s work a mile away, she really is that good! Below is a little look at Jeni and Ryan’s day ♥

Katherine and Gary ~ Sulgrave Manor

Sulgrave Manor is a unique heritage venue set in a beautiful conservation area on the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border. This stunning venue is a Tudor and Georgian house built by direct ancestors of George Washington and really does provide the most wonderful backdrop for your wedding day.

Katherine and Gary were wonderful to work with, both in the lead up to and on the day itself. Originally guests at another of our weddings, it was an absolute pleasure to be asked to photograph their day too. Katherine’s dress had a wonderfully classic feel and the pretty pink colour scheme used throughout their day in their flowers, bridesmaids dresses and room decor really did compliment the venue’s beautiful gardens and barns perfectly. Take a peek at their day ♥

Harriett and Jamie ~ Sedgebrook Hall

The beautiful Harriett and Jamie married this summer, saying ‘I do’ at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Bugbrooke and then going on to celebrate with friends and family at Sedgebrook Hall. Harriett’s dress was the ‘Electra’ by Ronald Joyce and was from A Brides World in Northampton. To say it was perfect would be an understatement! The long sleeved beaded bodice, full skirt and pretty veil created a beautifully glamorous feel and Harriett really did look beyond stunning. As for the Groom, they don’t come more dapper than Jamie! His suit was by Hugo Boss, which complimented the Groomsmen’s French Connection suits perfectly. Other suppliers on the day included … hair by the lovely Nicole Peet Hair, make-up by the equally lovely Sophie Duffy and the reception room at Sedgebrook Hall was styled by the talented Stingray Events (including supplying a baby grand piano for the Bride to play ‘Fly me to the Moon’ to her Dad) Take a peek at their rather special day below ♥

Cake Smash sessions ~ Little Carter

Our first birthday shoots are a perfect way to mark this key milestone in your little ones childhood. The sessions take place in Northamptonshire in our purpose built studio and provide the opportunity to have a mini portrait shoot before we move on to the cake smash element of the session.

Our first birthday shoots include a studio session, a beautifully decorated cake from The Creative Cupcake Company, a styled backdrop, use of our props and accessories, all edited images as high resolution files, your favourite two images as 8x6 prints and use of our password protected Client Area for friends and family.

We recommend our cake smash sessions are booked when baby is between 11 and 13 months old ♥

Sara and Michael ~ Crockwell Farm

We've loved getting to know Sara and Michael in the lead up to their wedding day. They've been great fun and really do have the loveliest of families. Crockwell Farm was a new wedding venue for us. A truly beautiful Northamptonshire venue, close to both the Oxfordshire and Warwickshire borders, the oak beamed barns really do create a truly beautiful backdrop for any couple looking for a blank canvas for their big day (they have a pretty amazing Honeymoon cottage too!) Here's a sneaky peek ♥

Spotlight ~ Taylormade Duo & Wedding Band

We've known Carley and Matt for years. If you're looking for an acoustic duo for your big day these two really are at the top of their game. Not only are they both talented musicians, they're also dedicated to providing an exceptional experience on your wedding day. Here's what they have to say .... 'Taylormade Acoustic Duo/Trio will add a stunning soundtrack to your day with beautiful acoustic covers. The perfect addition to your Ceremony, Drinks reception, Wedding breakfast or for a breathtaking live performance of your First Dance. With a set list full of gorgeous tracks and a mix of traditional, classic and modern day songs - from Eva Cassidy to John Legend, Snow Patrol to Ed Sheeran, The Beatles to Rhianna - Taylormade Acoustic Duo have something for everyone.'  

A rather fabulous promo video for Taylormade Acoustic Duo is available here

If however you're looking for a live band for your wedding day Taylormade 4/5 piece Live Band are most definitely worth a look. As Carley says, 'our live band have been filling dance floors since 2008, bringing their fun and infectious style to a mix of Pop, Rock, Indie, Motown and Soul hits. Expect floor filling classics and the latest chart hits to keep you and your guests on the dance floor until the end of the night!' They also offer a DJ add on until 12.00am for anyone looking for entertainment through until the end of the day ♥

Meet the Tim Hill Photography team

Meet the 'team' ... pfft who am I kidding! The 'team' consists of Tim and I (well and the occasional 2 year old office assistant, but her contribution of late has been seriously questionable)

So ... Tim and I have worked alongside each other for a very long time. We share an office space and although his photographic paraphernalia continually spills out on to my side of the office (we've not quite reached the masking tape line down the centre of the room yet, but we have been close on several occasions!) our working environment and relationship works.

We're very different in that Tim's patient, technical and very methodical, where as I'm a little bit more of an impatient creative (in that I have a super busy mind with lots of ideas, an unhealthy addiction to stationery and still very much like using coloured Post-it notes to organise my life)

Tim trades in the currency of chocolate, mainly Dairy Milk (but by no means exclusively) and thanks to a shelf of photography props in the office can often be found (under a certain 2 year olds insistence) editing your wedding photographs in a top hat! He's also partial to a slice of wedding cake and with photographing so many weddings over the years I have to say he's become quite the connoisseur! I however favour Galaxy (always) and have a love of pretty shoes and fedora hats.

We have clear defined roles for both the wedding and newborn sides of the business, which have gradually been carved out over the years. Tim is the man behind the business name and the one who holds the camera. He primarily shoots weddings alone and works super hard to achieve the best results for our couples. He's conscientious and forever committed to professional development, always looking to improve, grow and master his craft. Anything behind the scenes is my role, so all correspondence, social media, album design and looking after our website. I also pose and style all of your beautiful little bundles in our newborn shoots.

At the centre of everything we do is our commitment to our couples and the babies and children we photograph. Together our differences really do compliment one another and when combined (even if I do say so myself!) we make a pretty magnificent team ♥

Megan and Tom ~ Dodmoor House

The lovely Megan and Tom married at Dodmoor House in February. As always the Dodmoor team did everything possible to make sure the rain didn't interrupt any of the day's plans and with the Bride and Groom up for venturing outside with our trusted white umbrella we were all set.

The fabulous Sophia at Green Room flowers provided beautiful blooms for the day, including the most wonderful orchids. These alongside the rich emerald green Bridesmaids dresses really cemented the colour theme of the day. 

Here's a little peek at their day ♥

Honeymoon suite make over at Dodmoor House

The honeymoon suite at Dodmoor House has recently undergone a little make over and really is looking quite beautiful. They've incorporated a fabulous make-up bar in the adjoining Dodford Room, which acts as a real feature, enabling 6 of you to get ready at once. This room has a really great feel so is the perfect place to open that champagne and enjoy the lead up to the ceremony surrounded by all your friends and family.

The *new* honeymoon suite now features a beautifully muted grey colour palette and is filled with lots of lovely textures, including fluffy cushions and furs. There's also a real nod to industrial interiors with some pretty special lighting, both bedside and hanging from the ceiling (anyone that knows me will know this style is right up my street!)

Tim and I are looking forward to photographing lots of our 2018 couples (and beyond!) in this new sparkly room. Well Done Dodmoor team, you've done a truly stellar job ♥

Spotlight ~ Dodford Manor

Dodford Manor is a, 'beautiful exclusive use barn wedding venue nestled amonst rolling Northamptonshire countryside. It offers a stunning collection of lovingly restored 17th century stone and contemporary oak barns with spectacular rural views.' The owners Simon and Annabelle really are the most lovely of people and are dedicated to making your day truly memorable from start to finish. They have a fabulous events team under them who all work extremely hard, discreetly liaising with all your suppliers to ensure your day runs smoothly.

Dodford Manor work hand in hand with Jenkinsons, who pride themselves on, 'catering superbly for every occasion'.  They also say that, 'working with only the best quality ingredients, using local suppliers and seasonal produce where possible to create impressive and irresistible menus at outstanding value, Jenkinsons are dedicated to ensure you choose the menu that suits your theme, personality and of course budget.' We've had a fair few meals provided by Jenkinsons over the years (!) and can certainly vouch for their beautifully cooked and presented food!

We've been fortunate enough to photograph weddings at Dodford Manor since it opened and really do love this venue and everything it stands for. If you're still looking for the perfect wedding venue this place is most definitely worth a peek ♥

Unplugged weddings ~ Yes or No?

This is such a tricky subject and one we've had many a conversation about over the years. As modern technology has advanced and so many people now own a smart phone we've seen a real increase in guests disregard for the 'no photography please' from the vicar or registrar at the beginning of the ceremony. We really have seen it all - from guests standing up during the ceremony with their flash continuously popping off, guests videoing the entire ceremony holding an iPad above their head and guests leaning in to the aisle completely blocking the Groom's view of his Bride as she walks in. 

We have an obvious job to do on a wedding day and all of the situations mentioned above undoubtedly make the job that little bit harder. We're all guilty of living our lives through a screen, but seeing guests watch an entire wedding ceremony through their phone and not living in the moment, sharing that special moment with the couple, makes us a little bit sad.

The notion of having an 'unplugged wedding' is becoming increasingly popular. Whether it's because of the shift in focus towards mindfulness, whether couples value their photography more or whether they're just more aware of the repercussions of a guest stepping across a critical frame. Whatever the reason we've definitely seen an increase in couples adopting the idea of an unplugged wedding and from our point of view it's been a breath of fresh air. We've seen some cute signage around venues reminding guests about remaining 'fully present' during the ceremony, our favourite being - 'there's a bloke here with a rather big camera. We invited him here to capture our day, so we ask that you please keep yours tucked safely away!' ♥

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Sarah and Phillip ~ Dodford Manor

Sarah and Phillip became husband and wife at Dodford Manor back in October. This wedding had some really beautiful and personal touches, including the Mother of the Bride making Sarah's dress out of material generously gifted from her Uncle - such a wonderful touch to the day. The fabulous wedding cake was made by the Mother of the Groom and really did look stunning displayed with pretty co-ordinating cupcakes. As always great to be working at this gorgeous venue and alongside The Ashmore Brothers again. Take a peek at Sarah and Phillip's day ♥

Bex and David ~ Dodmoor House

The super lovely Bex and David married at Dodmoor House in October this year. The day started with bridal preparations and once ready Bex and the girls headed over to Dodmoor House in a rather beautiful vintage car. Blessed with blue skies and sunshine the autumnal weather mirrored the relaxed vibe of the day perfectly (and just wait until you see the spectacular sky at sunset!) ♥

Bridal make-up (and looking great on camera!)

We're often asked by our Brides about make-up on camera and how to make sure they get it right so they look truly fabulous in their wedding photographs. Having your make-up done by a professional on the morning of your wedding is a little luxury we all deserve. Handing over the responsibility of your make-up gives you the opportunity to sit back with a glass of bubbles and soak in the atmosphere around you. It also gives you time to focus on the ceremony ahead and really acknowledge all the feels ♥

In collaboration with the super talented Kaye Salmon here's a few words of advice from the lady herself, 'I always advise my Brides that it's really important they still feel like themselves on their wedding day, but just on a really, really good day! In essence a polished version.' She says, 'it's all about getting the balance right with bridal make-up. You need a little more than you're used to, as it will need to last the whole day and look great on camera, but not too much that you feel uncomfortable or look too made up for a daytime ceremony.' With a specific focus on products Kaye recommends Brides, 'wear a lip colour that's not too light as it can make them look washed out on camera. So something perhaps a shade darker than their natural lip colour, unless they are going for a strong statement lip colour of course!' 

Kaye uses waterproof products and only recommends Brides top up their lipstick throughout the day as she, 'sets the face with a super duper fixing spray so it stays put!' For Brides who tend to have a more oily complexion Kaye suggests using a, 'light setting powder for after the wedding breakfast when they might start to look slightly shiny on camera.'

Kaye firmly believes in treating all Brides as individuals, 'as make-up is such a personal thing, with each Bride having a different version of 'natural' it's important to listen to their preferences and then tweak the look during the trial.' Kaye's main focus is to, 'get the skin looking 'naturally' flawless.' She spends nearly half the time on a make-over working on the skin, 'buffing and blending until it's absolutely perfect!'

Her main piece of advice is, 'You want people to compliment you on how amazing you look, not how good your make-up looks. You don't want the make-up to wear you. It's got to look naturally amazing and enhance your features rather than completely change them,' and quite frankly we couldn't agree more ♥

Spotlight ~ Ashmore Brothers Live Music

Matthew and Liam - the Ashmore Brothers - really are one of the coolest bands around. In their own words, 'We have been performing together since we were knee high, which not only means we have exceptional experience of performing but we have a special connection.' Their energy when they perform is undoubtedly infectious and they really do invest in making your day a truly outstanding affair. If you're looking for a band that can offer everything from, 'an unplugged acoustic set during your ceremony, playing outside in the sunshine whilst you sip champagne to dancing your socks off in the evening', then the Ashmore Brothers really could be the perfect band for you. On top of all of the above they really are the most loveliest of people ♥

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