Wedding Photos: Juliette and Tony’s Perfect Day at Topiaries!

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Wedding Photos: Juliette and Tony‘s Perfect Day at Topiaries:

Date: 20th March 2016

Location: Topiaries, Samford

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Wedding photos are (in my completely biased opinion!) probably the most important thing that a bride and groom will take from their wedding. Memories do unfortunately fade over the years but photographs last forever. That’s why having a comprehensive reminder of your day is always a wise investment! In the grand scheme of things your photos will be a small cost compared to what you get in return!

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Plus wedding photos are fun! You get to look back and relive the warm and fuzzies from the most important day of your life! So many people say to me that the day flew by way too fast and that having a fantastic collection of wedding photos helps to piece the day together, and also helps to plug the gaps that the bride and groom missed!

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Having a good scope of your day – from getting ready shots right through to the reception – is a great way to keep these memories, and venues like Topiaries are perfect for this! Topiaries is a self-contained venue that allows the bride and groom to get ready on site, to get married in their garden area or chapel, and to party the night away in their reception hall. The grounds are also beautiful meaning you needn’t leave for your bridal party photographs!

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Several weeks ago, I was privileged to photograph Juliette and Tony’s perfect day which was held at Topiaries, and I arrived to find the girls in a flurry of activity! Quick hint – if you know what time the photographer is due to arrive, make sure you aren’t having your hair or make up done then. You will be picked on! Poor Skye, Juliette’s maid of honour, had the short straw this day and suffered my camera lens from the moment I arrived! But it was soon Juliette’s turn, which she didn’t seem to mind at all. She had also very thoughtfully hung her dress from the chandeliers of the beautifully decorated room, which made for a fantastic backdrop to her photos!

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Generally I will try and make myself as inconspicuous as possible when I’m photographing the bridal party getting ready, preferring instead to capture things as they happen in a more candid and photo-journalistic style. This makes the bridesmaids feel more relaxed before the main event and allows everyone to concentrate on looking beautiful rather than being forced to pose!

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Quite often the boys will be a little reluctant to have their photos taken but it is always a nice mix to get some shots of the boys too. It also makes for a convenient break to allow the girls a few moments of modesty to get in their dresses! Tony’s groomsmen were a great laugh and helped him feel relaxed. Mocking my accent, they called me ‘undies’ for the rest of the day! Cheers, guys! Tony helped get Juliette’s son Slade get dressed and into his bow tie and then dressed himself as his groomsmen struggled tying their ties!

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IMG_3093xFor a wedding photographer, it is very important to capture the details of the wedding day – the shoes, flowers, jewellery and clothes. It is these little details that will have been pored over for days if not weeks, and these details are just as important as photos of the guests. I always meet with the bride and groom prior to the big day to discuss the type of wedding photos they are looking for – no point in photographing details if they aren’t wanted at the cost of missing photographs of things that are! I always send through a shot list for this precise reason – add it to the list and I will know to take it! I always encourage sending example shots through for this very same reason!


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And then suddenly it was action stations! As the boys headed outside to the ceremony area, Tony started to look a little nervous! The boys lined up in the pagola as the girls filtered outside. Then the bridal song started. It was time to get these guys married!

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One photo I will always capture is the look on the groom’s face the moment he sees his wife start to walk down the aisle. To me it is one of the most important photos of the day, and in truth you can never pick what the reaction might be! Sometimes even the toughest blokes will shed a tear, and it’s always fun finding out!

Tony looked delighted at seeing Juliette for the first time that day, but he still managed to keep it together for one very important part of the ceremony. Juliette’s family are originally from Zimbabwe, where traditionally the groom will give the father-in-law a dowry of cattle for his daughter’s hand in marriage. To everyone’s great surprise Tony produced two head of cattle as he shook his father-in-law’s hand. OK, they were plastic and about 5cm high but it was still a very moo-ving moment – one that was legen-dairy. Sorry, I cud have left that bit out. OK, that’s enough cow jokes, there’ll be no udders…. Sorry.

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Juliette and Tony’s ceremony was officiated beautifully by Sally Corfield ( who gave a brief history of the bridal couple before launching into the good stuff!

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Sally focussed on the couple – the way a wedding ceremony should do – and told us how and where they met, their likes, dislikes and foibles and the moment they realised that they had fallen in love. To Juliette her kids are her life and it was the moment that Tony said that he loved them that she fell helplessly for him – as a Dad I can understand this sentiment completely!

People often say to me that it must be a lot of pressure being a wedding photographer, that you have a very important job to do and can’t afford to mess up. It can be but it doesn’t faze me at all; but I always think the same about the celebrant – they really do have the most important job on the day and without them the wedding simply can’t take place! Happily, Sally was an amazing professional and the ceremony was flawless!

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Juliette’s son and daughter – who looked absolutely adorable! – were prominent in the ceremony; her son Slade had the biggest job of the ceremony as ring bearer, which he accomplished expertly! The vows were heart-warming and spoken perfectly, and then with the signing and the kiss Juliette and Tony were married! Congratulations you beautiful people!

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Following the ceremony, I always allow a good ten to fifteen minutes of congratulations time before launching into the group shot and family photos. I love the family photographs as everyone always looks so good and is in a great mood and it gives me the chance to chat and have a giggle!

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And then it was time for the bridal party photos and happily Topiaries has a wealth of locations for great shots. We started at the viewpoint which has amazing vistas over Samford Valley. The clouds had closed in a little giving us an awesomely dramatic sky and perfect lighting and the results look pretty amazing!

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We then headed to the front of the venue and grabbed some shots there before heading to the street and the forested area to the side of the venue. Juliette and Tony were very patient with my squeaking enthusiasm and posed without complaint!! I do get very excitable when I am taking what I know to be an awesome shot!

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Then as the sun set on a perfect day we headed back into Topiaries for the party! I photographed the empty reception room as everyone had drinks on the deck, which allowed the bridal party to chill out for a while and grab a drink too! Juliette and Tony had decided to have their first dance early on (to get it out of the way?!) and strutted their stuff before officially entering the room! They did a very good job too!

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The speeches followed which were equally heart felt and homourous and we saw both tears and laughter – always the sign of a good speech! The room looked spectacular and the cake divine, and Juliette and Tony very graciously arranged a meal for me which I have to say was one of the best I have had in a very long time! Hats off to the Topiaries staff too who were efficient and polite and made my job a lot easier!

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Just before I headed off, I dragged poor Juliette and her new husband outside for a few more wedding photos – the gardens of Topiaries are simply too beautiful not to get some night-time shots. I am so glad we did – the results were some of the best photos we got from the whole day!

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A huge and genuine congratulations on your amazing day guys. and all the very best for a long and fantastic marriage!

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“Thanks so much for Sunday it was the perfect afternoon and we are still receiving feedback on what a great photographer you are, you really put everyone at ease and made the whole process fun, not to mention the fact that the photos you have sent through are awesome, we absolutely love them and look forward to seeing the rest!” Juliette and Tony