Provence: A Wedding In The South of France

Every now and again I’m asked to travel a little further afield to take some photographs…

I’ve had the privilege of being flown out around the world to do my job and I’m always grateful of the opportunity, especially if I’m taken away to a beautiful part of the world that I’ve not seen before. With the growing popularity of weddings abroad, it looks like I’ll be packing my little brown suitcase more frequently in the future, something that I’m not completely adverse to, as long as my expenses are all paid for!

My next wedding adventure takes me out to the spectacular region of Provence in the South of France, a land as well known for its fine wines as its beautiful vistas. The couple in question are the kind of people that I love to photograph. Janet and Ian are both divorcees who had all but given up on ‘finding love’. The road to a happy union can be a rocky and long one, but these two are proof that the journey is most certainly worth it. One of the benefits of getting married a little later in life is that the couple can afford to spend more money on their big day, and their guests can also afford to travel further for the day.

Despite the attractive prospect of a wedding day spent in warmer climes, there are a few more challenges that come with hosting a wedding in a foreign land. Regardless of the stage of life you might be in, not all of your guests will be able to attend. Travelling to a wedding takes time and money, I’ve already been notified from Janet and Ian that a fifth of their invitation list has had to decline due to either the distance or the expense. In response to this they’ve decided to hold a reception party back in the UK that everyone should be able to attend and celebrate their relationship.

For my part I’m very much looking forward to taking a trip out to Provence for the big day, it’s been a while since I’ve taken an extended break overseas and I feel like the time is right for me to really indulge. After having a snoop around the internet for villas to rent in the South of France, it struck that this was the perfect opportunity for me to take my camera and put it to work in a completely different way. For years now I’ve focused solely on photographing people, I’ve trained my eye to capture micro-moments; the glances between newly-weds that would otherwise be forgotten, the proud smile of a Father who is seeing his ‘little girl’ for the last time. I’ve always felt real pride in this skill, but in doing so I’ve not paid attention to the other facets of photography that have been open to me.

I settled on book a full week’s stay at a small villa in Provence with 2 days at the end of this period taken up with the wedding. I’m really looking forward to spending some days wandering around the local area, taking photographs and attempting to take a new look at the world around me – it’ll be the first time in a while that I’ve taken photographs without getting paid for it!

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Cutting Costs On Your Autumn Wedding

There was a time when weddings were organised exclusively for Summer.

Who could blame a young couple for wanting to get married in the height of the English heat?

With the weather being so variable here in the UK, it’s easy to see why marrying couples would want to hedge their bets and get hitched during June-August. However, with the marriage business being as big as it is today, finding a desirable wedding venue during the high season is starting to become an expensive challenge. With the rising costs of catering, wedding dresses and waiting staff, it’s no surprise that I’m starting to receive more bookings for Wedding Day photography during the less traditional months of September-March.

Having worked at countless Weddings over the years, I’ve seen how different these special days can be. In recent years, I’ve been surprised and impressed by the different ways that young couples have found ways of reducing the overall cost of their big day, so I thought I’d share a few of the best ones here with you: 

Enlist friends and family where you can

Everyone loves a wedding – it’s an excuse to have a drink, laugh and dance. It’s up to you how well you treat your guests, but not everyone expects to be waited on hand and foot. If you’re short handed when it comes to drinks servers or even need a hand with transportation, you should ask around with friends and family before hiring staff. Often guests like nothing more than making themselves useful, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Create your own decorations and invitations

The amount of money that could be spent on ancillary things such as invitations and place cards is limitless. Whilst the aesthetics of these functional items might well serve to demonstrate your style or taste, they are by no means compulsory. If you take the time to design and make your own invitations then you can save money, these little touches will also feel more personal for your guests.

Buy secondhand formal attire

Understandably, there’s a certain stigma around wearing a used wedding dress. Brides want to feel special on their big day and the idea of wearing a used dress doesn’t exactly scream ‘best day of my life’. Still, with the demand for vintage dresses as high as it’s ever been, you have to ask yourself if it really matters, especially when you could save hundreds of pounds in the process – the same also applies for bridesmaid’s dresses and suits for the guys.

Book one venue for the service and party

This last tip is very much dependent on what kind of wedding you’re going to have. If you’re from a religious background, partying in your local church or synagogue probably isn’t going to be an option. However, if you’re comfortable getting married in a less formal setting, then there’s no reason why you can’t combine the reception and service venue.

Remember – when all is said and done – the success of your wedding day depends on the people you share it with, not the amount of money you spend on it.

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Wedding’s Are Now More Expensive Than Ever

The cost of wedding’s have skyrocketed in the time that I’ve been a photographer.

Hold-weddingaving been in this profession for the best part of four decades, I’ve been given the unique opportunity of witnessing the progression of the modern wedding.

The most notable change is the cost of the events. Weddings used to be simple affairs. All that was needed was a church, a priest and a hall. As communities were so much smaller, especially back in the 60s, the organisation of a big wedding party was handled by a committee of Mothers.

With Mothers in charge, costs were kept reasonably low and an attention to tradition, decorum and class were high priorities.

Since that time, the importance of the Wedding day itself has risen in stature. For modern couples getting married, thousands of pounds will be spent on their one special day in the hope that the memories will remain in their guests minds, as well as their own, for the rest of their lives. As the organisational responsibilities shifted away from the parents and moved onto the bride and groom, I’ve noticed a greater focus on fashion and novelty experiences over tradition and economy.

When I married my June, back in 1968, her dress was the dearest thing about the occasion. The design was timeless and she looked stunning. My suit was a hand me down from my father, he’d worn it at his wedding and passed it on to me. Passing away during the war, my Father’s suit was a beige-brown affair that I loved dearly for it’s sentimental value, but it was by no means sharp. The hall we hired for our party was available at a discount rate, my family arranged all the food and my friends bought us two cask of ale to whet our whistles.


The whole affair cost less that £400, there are only a few photographs to commemorate the day – but I’ll always cherish the memories I have of it.

Of course, in the modern age of ‘sharing’ and ‘tweeting’, the priorities of the wedding couple have changed. Guests will seize the opportunity to dress up and arrive in suits and dresses that cost twice as much as my entire wedding. Page boys and brides maids will be kitted out in designerwear, the venues will resemble country estates from the television and the wealth of booze on offer will act as a status symbol – showing the guests the affluence of the parties contributing to the event.


Although I might sound like an old fuddy-duddy, tutting from the sidelines whilst I photograph the whole circus, I’ve enjoyed watching the escalating extravagance of the modern wedding. The bells and whistles might be nothing more than passing fads, but the intentions behind them are always pure. The young (and old!) people getting married in the 21st Century are still bound by the same love and commitment that has been bringing people together for centuries.

They share the same kind of love that June and I had when we married and it’s always a wonder to see.



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Hot Tips For The Summer Wedding Season – Vodka Luges!

So Summer ends and the Winter comes and that’s how this whole thing works.

The planet spins, things are born, and things die. They die, they die and they die again. But they are born, they are born, they are born and they are born again. Birth. Death. Birth. Death. Birth. Death. And that’s fine.

The Winter is dying, not necessarily that fast, and not necessarily everywhere all at once, but it is dying, and it gives way to the birth of Summer.


So the Summer is being born and is ready to rumble and you must be too!

A wedding in the weather of the Summer is completely and absolutely different to a Winter one. I’m going to give you a list of things, and you have to say whether you think they fit a Summer Wedding or a Winter Wedding:

  1. Ice Cream
  2. Thick Coats
  3. Tuna
  4. Outdoor games and activities
  5. Warm Tea
  6. Vodka
  7. Milk
  8. Tuna
  9. A 12 piece suit

Answers underneath picture…


Answers: 1) Summer 2) Winter 3) Summer 4) Summer 5) Both  6) Winter 7) Summer 8) Winter 9) Summer

An amendment to number 7 about the Vodka.

Whilst it may be true that Vodka is better in the Winter, hence its popularity in very cold climates like Russia (not to encourage the stereotype that they’re all drunk on Vodka all the time). But it can work in the Summer; they do special ice sculptures for Weddings now, which makes all the Vodka nice and cool and can be drank in the Summer as a refreshing beverage.

Wow! Well that’s good for absolutely everyone!

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Venues And Beauty, Architecture And Love

A beautiful wedding obviously requires a beautiful wedding.

It’s essential darling! It is absolutely essential.

You can have everything perfect, but if it’s in a boring, dull, done-a-million-times dunce of a building, then there really is no point.

The dream, really should be that you pick an absolutely fine and fabulous venue that, by very virtue of its fabulousness, demands that all the other elements of your wedding raise their game to meet the venue. A great venue can elevate and average wedding just in the same way that a great house can elevate your life or whatever.


Well that is just a gorgeous place to spend your days, well done!

Nowadays, ‘wedding venue’ does not just mean classic classiness. You can have all types of weddings, in all types of fancy and strange places, places you’d never have thought to base a wedding really, places you probably shouldn’t really be basing your wedding really to the traditionalist sensibility, but screw the traditionalists heh?

Go out there and make it your own. I photographed a wedding at the Pen Factory in Liverpool not too long ago (designed by the Architects at and that was not your usual setting.

But who cares about normal! Run from normal! Be you and be fabulous!

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Why We Marry, And Why We Make Mistakes

Marriage is a strange thing to do, or at least it can appear so if you attempt to perceive it from some sort of ‘other’ perspective.

‘This is really strange.. why are we doing this?’

Well ‘strange’ is simply uncommon, everything is strange that isn’t normal, and marriage has long been normal for the majority of people so it isn’t really strange.

If you imagine anything that is common place didn’t exist, and then suggest it, it would seem strange. Apart from, I guess, running water or irrigation. But, in a way, the man does have a point, and that point is about religion.

Something like marriage is slowly entering a new reality, a reality where its original ideological justification of religion has less of a grip on people’s perspective on reality.

Marriage has always been a ceremonially religious practice, but underneath that surface has lain the true structural requirements it fulfils of economic structure, of familial bonds as they serve capitalism, of the servitude of woman to husband and children and of husband to industry and labour.

So, in the end, when the justification for this whole bizarre, aggressive, ritualistic and trapping practice is revealed to simply be ‘tax purposes’ we actually see a key contradiction of our modern world play out.

Denial State - Clean

For large sways of people Religion and God is not really a part of their lives. Either they are atheistic, or lapsed, or simply do not care.

Certainly, for a growing section of the population, the idea of forming their life and their loves around a relationship with God would seem bizarre.

There are only three drives now; love, pragmatic concerns (money, tax, status) and tradition. Your family wants you to get married, you’ve always wanted to have the ceremony etc etc. The institution show can perhaps be reformed for these goals.

If your marriage is pragmatic then just go sign a form. The irony is this: if marriage is openly pragmatic it may eventually lose its status, as its importance and legal status is partially built around its existence as a religious and cultural tradition right, and that religion and that culture continues now as somewhat of a charade (when was the last time you heard two of your friends were getting married in a church and you knew they were both deeply religious?) because they have become part of the language of our expression of love and life and its progress.

To get married in a church you have to profess a connection with God, a connection which for many is a lie.

If we stop lying, how long will marriage really stick around?

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Winter Style Retrospective – Fur Bobble Hats

Summer is coming and that is a pleasant thing for all, and also a beginning to the busiest time of the year for weddings.

I’d say that a majority of people want a summer wedding.

Some may fancy snow, but no one wants it to rain on their wedding day. There are even a few long running superstitions that rain on your wedding day basically means that your wedding is cursed and you are going to be miserable and you’ll both probably die soon. Not very kind, these superstitions. A little harsh really to make some young couple think that their marriage is doomed because of something completely out of their control.

But hey, what are families for?!


Yeah…good work!

Anyways, we’ve reached the end of the winter wedding season and now have the opportunity to take a little look back at some of the styles that emerged over the period.

Now, here is something that I have not seen myself and have not been given any pictures of, but apparently Amelia Jane fur bobble hats were popping up all over the place at weddings last winter. The hats are pretty nice…


Just wondering – have you lot seen these all over the place? Am I just being misled?

Answers to the normal address…

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Wedding Services, SEO Services, Emergency Services

Wedding Services


It is hard not to be touched by a wedding ceremony, when the love and commitment feels genuine.

For me, someone who can be quickly put off by self-aggrandisement and pomp and circumstance; weddings are somewhat gross and horrible. But still, when there’s a moment of genuine joy from the couple, all the bullshit peals away, and you realise that whatever the cultural memes through which this joy is filtered and however destructive, insidious and pervasive some of these cultural memes may be, there is still a core of joy there, and that is beautiful, life-affirming and important.

SEO Services


I meet a lot of interesting people who do a lot of interesting things. Recently I started doing some work with Mayfly (Seo services Liverpool) who help you get your website more respected and widely seen on the internet. Maybe that’s what got you here!

The services they provide me have been very helpful, SEO really is a necessary part of being in this highly competitive internet marketplace, it seems.

Mayflies are very interesting insects, which hatch in their millions around the Mississippi river in America every summer. It is quite disgusting for the towns who are blanketed in mayflies every year.

Emergency Services


Where would we be without the Emergency Services?

Well, some of us would be completely dead. I have a complicated relationship with the concept of the police, who obviously exist as a political entity, an extension of the state, and it’s violent arm of self-reservation and enforcement. They also save lives and stop bad people doing some things. All I’d say is that policing has to be a thankless task, they must be constantly tested, they must never feel their power sits too freely, it’s just too great a risk…

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The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth: I Do

I Do. By Ben James Lyle

Those two little words: I do,

The biggest words you’ll ever speak: I do,

Thinking of love and all else: I do,

Thinking of life and release: I do,

Thinking of me and you: I do,

These things I do, I do them for love,

I do them for life, I do them for us,

At the alter and forever: I do.

What is a wedding?

It is a declaration of love.

A declaration of commitment. A declaration of a union. It is a declaration of two people connecting their lives together . One’s life becomes the others. One’s feelings and emotions become the others. One’s dreams mix with the others. When one breathes, one breathes with the other.

It is these moments I wish to capture.





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