The Magazine of a Northern Ireland Photographer

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Adding something unique to your wedding?

With the addition of magicians, photo booths and staged dances, the possibility of getting that something extra unique and extra fun for your wedding guests is becoming more of a challenge. The time between ceremony and food, or from first dance to the last, has been pinterested, storyboarded and outsourced for many. However local sports center, Eddie Irvine’s is soon launching their exclusive driving simulators for Wedding hire which may bring that much sought after difference to your Big Day!

Scenario: Your guests arrive to your chosen party venue to enjoy some tea and shortbread whilst your wedding party and gorgeous selves are around the grounds with your wedding photographer, capturing the moment. As nice as that shortbread may be, a harp playing in the corner, your party could literally start from that moment with the excitement of a Formula 1 driving experience.

Having had our own staff day out at Eddie Irvine’s Go Kart tracks, we were keen to see what they could offer our wedding couples.

Andy, what exactly is a driving simulator?

An Eddie Irvine Race Experience is completely unique. Our racing Simulators are incredibly realistic. They have F1 steering wheels, bucket seats and paddle gear changes. The racing experience is equally realistic. We can add options like fuel consumption effects, engine damage (if you over-rev), tyre wear etc. This makes the experience much more challenging for your guest pros. On the other hand, say if your in-laws or your Great Grandpa takes the wheel, we can remove all of those aspects and add driver assist, which makes it as easy as possible, allowing ANYONE to enjoy the experience.

So how would this work on the day of a wedding?

We would place the simulators in the venue with our staff to man the machines. Guests would take turns racing against each other.  This always creates competition and provides a real buzz in the room. We can stop/pause the machines at any stage of the day, so guests could enjoy the simulators while the bridal party are having photos taken, then pause during dinner/speeches and start again after before the first dance.

Now you already have had these simulators out at corporate events. What has been the reception? 

We have attended some very high profile corporate dinners/events over recent years and the Race Experience has worked extremely well and looks excellent in the room.


Looks great and provides a read buzz
Watch the race or Join in the fun


How much space would couples need at a venue to have one or more simulators?

4 or 5 metres of space, it really doesn’t take up too much space at all.

Can couples come in before their wedding and have a go on them first?

Yes! We would encourage couples to have a Race Experience when discussing their event. We also carry out a site visit to look at best placement at the wedding venue.



What price range are the simulators?

The F1 & Motorbike simulators are the same price. We book the simulators in

groups of 4 and/or 5, space permitting.

4 Simulators £1500

6 Simulators £2000

Any more information please check out




Hair & Make-up advice: Interview with Bridal Beauty NI

With all eyes on you, it’s no surprise that’ll you want to look and feel amazing on your wedding day. Having worked with Bridal Beauty NI for years, I know first hand how wonderful this company are, making them first choice for hair and make-up with brides across the country. Today, I caught up with Claire Gibson, hair and make-up artist at Bridal Beauty NI to discuss trends, best products, and the importance of booking professionals for your wedding day.

Claire, how long have you worked in the make-up & hairdressing industry?

Initially I trained in make-up when I wasn’t long out of school (at the age of 16), with the wife of my Church’s pastor. She had trained in make-up, colour analysis, light hair etc in New York after her modelling career and my mother thought that it would be good for me to train in make-up because I really hadn’t decided what I wanted to do and so she was getting a tad worried. Therefore in many ways, you could say make-up chose me! I wasn’t a girl who wore lots of make-up but I was intensely creative and had a real love for how the light fell and captured people’s features.

Hair came much later. I found when working with brides that I would often have to fix their hair. I was working at a time when a lot of hair stylists had just been trained through NVQ. which included little in the way of up-styling training. A lot of the hairstyles created weren’t built to last. They would have been perfect for a few hours on a night out, but a wedding demands an up-style that can last up to 16 hours. Seeing there was demand for this, I trained in session styling and up-styling because I found brides referring people to me and so I always had to tell them that I wasn’t a hairstylist. One of my previous brides said: “Well you need to go out and get a certificate because you re-did my hair in a way that was far superior to what I was given at the salon”. So I trained and that was around 7 years ago now. I have attended lots of different training since but first-hand experience has been the best training of all.

Tell us the history behind Bridal Beauty NI.

I moved to Belfast in 2006 and until then I had been living in my home town, Omagh. In Omagh I had always have been very quiet about doing make-up because I was in a town of people who knew me from my school days. I had worked in insurance while living there as well so make-up was only part time for the first while.

When I moved to Belfast, obviously no one knew the ‘dorky Claire’ from school (which was an advantage) but also no one knew I did make-up and I needed to start again. I was planning my own wedding at the time and it was really hard to actually get someone to come to the house to do my make-up as I didn’t want to do my own (every bride deserves to be pampered, right!?).  So I had the idea that I would set up a company based around bridal.

I bought the site and put up a few photos of bridal make-up looks that I had worked on. I also linked in with a stylist who did the hair while I did the make-up. A few years went by and the stylist became popular outside of Bridal Beauty NI and I was also working on my own more and more and I had trained in hair by this time. It became very clear to me that I needed others on board too when I started initially referring people to other artists and then the bride wouldn’t book them. I realised that instead of referring to the other artist I needed to take the booking and now I have lots of great freelancers too.


What sets you apart from other hair and make-up artists?

A lot of make-up artists do make-up because they love makeup, but I really see make-up as a means to an end. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain products I love because of what they do to transform your features, but for me it’s all about instilling confidence.

When I was first training many years ago, I fell in love with what make-up could do. When someone comes to you with little confidence, with their shoulders hunched forward and apologising for the face that they have been given, I see real beauty and use make-up to capture that beauty. Whenever they then look in the mirror and like what the see (perhaps for the first time in their lives) it fills me with a warm glow inside. I had very little confidence coming out of school when I was trained, having been bullied and I thought there was nothing uglier on this earth than me and so I meet versions of me every single day and get to transform not just their face, (because largely my make-up is very natural) but their self view.

What are your top 3-must have cosmetics

Cosmetics wise, there are products out there that are big because of Youtube/ Instagram influencers who have been paid to promote them and then there are products that are the unsung heroes and are often from companies that either disagree with that kind of marketing ethically or don’t have the budget for it.

My favourite powder by far is the RCMA No Colour Setting Powder. It looks white in the packaging but goes on completely transparent with no detection. It is finely milled and very little goes a long way.  My favourite highligher technically isn’t a highlighter; it is the Ambient Lighting Powder by Hourglass in Diffused Light. This is a brilliant product for any age, and offers a way of infusing light into the skin without drawing attention to fine lines and wrinkles. My favourite foundation is by Face Atelier and is the Ulta Foundation.  It is silicone based so it is a product that is very stable in cold and warm temperatures over hours and hours of wear. Also, it doesn’t need the same degree of powder to set as liquid or cream foundations will. What’s even better is the brand has adjusters so that I can adjust the tone of the foundation for a perfectly matched result.

What do you love most about bridal make-up?

Bridal make-up for me is about making women look their best possible self. In the make-up world there’s a lot of cut creases and intense contouring that has been borrowed from the drag artist world and made its way onto the mainstream faces of Kim Kardashian etc. But that’s not what my brides want. They want to look like the best version of themselves and not have their face transformed into something their spouse-to-be won’t recognise. So what I love is that time when you give the bride the mirror and she is almost in tears because she likes what she sees for the first time in her life.

What hair and trends are proving popular with brides this year?

This year I am seeing a little bit of a change in direction with a lot more brides going for the very undone look with soft waves/curls and up-styles that look loose (but obviously aren’t loose because they have to stay up. Braids are still there a little bit but are more pulled out and loose than the tightly braided crown braids etc of years gone by.

Are there any trends that you would love to see left behind?

Personally, I would love to see what I call the ‘slug brow’ left behind. Black product has no place in a blond person’s eyebrows and thick brows are lovely when natural but when they have been filled in to the point that the brow hair can’t even be seen, then it’s not a good look. Intense contouring also needs left behind. I have been contouring for years and it can be done in a very natural way, but if someone’s contour looks like they fell asleep on a Mars Bar then it isn’t going to fool anyone! Contouring is supposed to mimic natural shadow and natural shadow is something that is just naturally there – it isn’t obvious unless someone puts an intense light above someone’s head in a dark room.

What about bridesmaid looks? What do you recommend for a bride’s leading ladie

I absolutely love it when there is a common thread running through hair and make-up.  The bridesmaids shouldn’t really be attracting more attention than the bride so the looks very much depend on what the bride is having. I’m seeing a lot of requests for simple buns and chignons these days with brides taking the main statement style. Sometimes if the bride has requested a braid through hers then the only common thread needed is to incorporate braiding into the bridesmaids’, like with a braided chignon or a loose braid coming from front to back on one or both sides.

What pre-wedding skincare and hair advice do you recommend?

Pre-wedding skincare is very important. Exfoliation is key as it is usually dry skin that causes problems. I usually recommend having a microdermabrasion facial about a month before and then just once a week using a very fine exfoliator to keep on top of it. It’s important that the the exfoliator has fine bits because otherwise it could cause skin damage. If brides have been using the same skincare products for years without breakouts then don’t fix what isn’t broken. The brand of products isn’t really important but I try to stay away from anything with parabens that would irritate and so natural based products are great.

Why do you think it’s important for brides to choose a make-up artist, rather than a DIY approach?

A properly trained make-up artist will know things like what products will flash back (no one wants to look like a ghost in photos) and how to make the make-up last the duration of the day. I have had texts from brides the next day saying that they fell asleep in their make-up and it’s still going strong. If someone who isn’t a professional (either themselves or an artist that is self taught) does the makeup then it may look fabulous for a couple of hours and take a nose dive at the worst time (ie during photos). Your photos are the one thing that are a perfect momentum of your day and admired by future generations, even after you are gone, so it’s very important that your makeup lasts through your photos at least and my preference is long into the night, while you are greeting your evening guests as well.

How do you ensure a stress-free wedding morning?

I try to keep things really calm. When I’m setting up I try to angle for a place that has great light but is out of the way. If it’s a small house and it isn’t possible to be completely out of the way then I treat the bride like she is the only one in the room. I am a firm believer that if someone is being talked to like they are the only one in the room then they start to feel like they are and the chaos of the bridesmaids running around starts to feel more distant.









For more information on Bridal Beauty NI & to book their services for your day, check out their website here.

Top luxurious honeymoon destinations

One of the most exciting tasks on your wedding planning to-do list will no doubt be booking your honeymoon! Many couples take the opportunity to go all out and book a once in a lifetime trip and we say, why not! From sensational all inclusive resorts, to tropical islands, we’ve rounded up our favourite luxurious honeymoon destinations to ensure you kick off married life as you mean to go on… in style!


Bali, Indonesia

With a well-earned nickname of ‘Isle of the Gods’ it isn’t hard to see why. Acclaimed movie, Eat, Pray, Love may have brought this majestical island to many people’s attention but it has long been adored by romance seekers for its exceptional beauty. Take things to the next level with a trip to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, perched atop a cliff 200 feet above the Indian Ocean and soak up that sunset.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

With a celebrity fan base including Bill Gates, Elle Macpherson, Diane Von Furstenberg and Mick Jagger you can expect only the best from Harbour Island. Spend time unwinding on the postcard perfect Pink Sane Beach and bathe in three uninterrupted miles of turquoise water.


Santorini, Greece

Sensational sunsets and picture perfect villas await you on this idyllic volcanic island. With the superb mix of glorious beaches and adrenalin inducing activities, Santorini is fab for couples looking for that mix of relaxation and adventure.



Lough Eske Castle, Co. Donegal

For homebirds, a staycation might be an appealing option and thankfully you don’t have to skimp on luxury. Nestled in Donegal resides the picture perfect Georgian splendour of Lough Eske Castle. Unwind in the spacious and tranquil rooms, immerse yourself in luxury in the simply stunning spa and end your days with a sumptuous meal cooked to perfection in the hotel’s restaurant! Bliss!




The islands that form Fiji are enclosed by coral reefs resulting in warm lagoons and picturesque coral beaches. For a true taste of luxury, spend a night in an over-water thatched roof bungalow at Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji. Soak up the rich culture of this island by exploring its nature trails and ancient sites.

Fiji – Suva Island



With a longstanding reputation for luxury, Hawaii remains a popular choice with honeymooners. With tropical sunsets, crystal clear waters and stretches of sandy beaches, Hawaii always appeals to hopeless romantics.

Waikiki Beach - Honolulu, Oahu Island
Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Oahu Island


Waikiki Beach – Sunset

St Tropez

Renowned as the playground for the rich, famous and fabulous, nowhere screams luxury quite like St Tropez. With beautiful people, notorious night life and parties on yachts, celebrity coupling fans include Victoria and David Beckham and Beyonce and Jay Z.



Sex and the City showcased this country in all its glory. Meander a movie set of belly dancers, snake charmers and a maze of souks and soak up the glory of gorgeous Morocco.  The country has long been the inspiration for many a designer’s collection, including Yves Saint Laurent, whose former home is well worth a visit.


Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and with miles of shoreline, amazing resorts, French cuisine to die for—Tahiti has all the traits of a luxurious honeymoon destination. Powder-soft sand, uninterrupted blue skies and a rainbow of coral and fish in sparkling azure lagoons are just a few of the reasons why this paradise is popular with honeymooners.


Happy planning from us at the studio! If you chose a honeymoon destination not featured on here and want to tell us all about it, please comment below. We would love to hear from you.


Stuck for ideas of what to bring?

So, you have booked your family photography session at the studio and now you need to get ready – but you are unsure of what to bring with you or even what to wear.

Help is here! We have compiled this blog to inspire you towards your personalised photoshoot.  Have a look through these images and get thinking. We will update this as more of you come in with your wonderful worldly possessions.


The traditional newborn photoshoot can be personalised with a favourite blanket or sentimental pieces or of course, a HUGE teddy bear.

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Often a stimulating toy is what your toddler will enjoy playing with but a few unique options will provide a different visual story.

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Youngsters of Today!

Young ones can enjoy showing off their love of music, fun with fashion and sibling bonds. Ask them to bring something they love to play with or co-ordinate their outfits for maximum effect.

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Don’t forget that you can also create a more personalised style for your portrait session. Think about accessories, your love of shoes and matching themes too!

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Our pet portraiture has won awards, and who can help loving our four legged family members. Along with the suggested treats, why not bring their favourite bed, decorative outfit or toy.

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Things to avoid doing the week before your wedding

Week before the wedding

With just days to go to your wedding day, no doubt you’ll have a list of things the length of your arm to do. Now here come the don’ts. The week before your wedding, avoid these 10 common mistakes for a stress-free countdown.

Week before the wedding

1. Don’t forget to break in your shoes

No doubt you’ve purchased a stunning pair of shoes which perfectly complement your wedding dress. Hours probably went into their choosing so you’ll want to show them off and glide effortlessly among your guests. Avoid the inevitable pain which comes with brand new shoes and break them in well in advance of those “I dos!”


Week before the wedding

2. Don’t go tanning

Stay well clear of tanning beds (at all times) and don’t buy into self tanners the week of your wedding to avoid looking 50 shades of orange. If you are considering a golden glow for your wedding day, go to a professional weeks before the wedding and only then if you’re confident with the outcome should you have it done for your wedding day.


week before the wedding

3. Don’t do your nails in a rush

In fact, treat yourself and go to a professional! With so much going on it can be easy to leave your nails to the last minute and rushing around means smudges! Instead, book an appointment to go to a nail salon and get a gel manicure for long lasting, smudge resistant nails. Why not bring along your bridesmaids and make a day of it for a relaxing, pre-wedding treat?


4. Don’t get a deep cleansing facial

Everyone’s skin is unique and reacts in different ways to various things so unless you’ve had one before, don’t use the week before your wedding as a time to try one out.


Week before the wedding

5. In fact, don’t try any new products of any kind

Risking a breakout or skin reaction the week of your wedding isn’t ideal so stick to your usual beauty routine.


Week before the wedding

6. Don’t cut or colour your hair

If you are having a professional do your hair for your wedding, by this stage your should have had a trial and booked them. It can take a good week to get used to a new haircut and it takes time for hair colour to settle so have either of these done well in advance and don’t do anything drastic the week before your wedding. Stick to a hairdresser that you’re used to and who you trust and discuss ways to ensure your hair is in tip-top condition for the big day.

7. Don’t play contact sports or up your usual workout routine

This one definitely applies to the men too! Cuts, scrapes and bruises—three things that definitely won’t look great in wedding photos, so avoid any contact sports. Furthermore, the effects of a gruelling workout can be felt for days so don’t use the week before your wedding to up the ante.


Week before the wedding

8. Don’t binge eat

No doubt you’ll have paid a little more attention to what you’ve been eating in order to look and feel your best on your wedding day. The week before your wedding can be hectic and those on-the-go days could see you reaching for carb-laden takeaways. Don’t offset all that hard work and avoid bridal bloating by eating healthy and drinking plenty of water in the run-up to the wedding. When it comes to alcohol, you may be celebrating so a few sips here and there are fine but limit intake to avoid bloating, redness and bad decisions.


Week before the wedding

9. Don’t leave DIY projects to the last minute

As you’ll probably know by now, wedding planning takes up a considerable amount of time. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that those small finishing touches such as place cards or favours won’t take up much time. Save yourself a lot of stress by preparing these well in advance.


Week before the wedding

10. Speaking of stress…don’t panic!

Remember, you’re prepared and so far everything has (hopefully) gone to plan. Use the week to relieve your stress, doing whatever it is that keeps you calm. The night before the wedding, have a bath, a nice meal or spend time with family and friends, knowing that everything is done and firmly in place. Now all that’s left to do is get a good night’s sleep and say those “I dos”.


Top tips for choosing your bridal hairstyle

If you haven’t given your wedding day hairstyle much thought, or simply don’t know where to start… don’t panic. Guest blogger Aideen McCanny shares some top tips for choosing the bridal hairstyle which is right for you!



1) Choose your dress first

Before you begin the quest to find your perfect hairstyle, make sure you’ve found the dress of your dreams. The style of your dress will impact massively on your chosen style. One-shoulder, backless and strapless dresses all call for different styles so make sure you tick this off your list first.

2) Buy your hair accessories

After you’ve found your dress, choose your hair accessories before you decide on a hairstyle. Whether you choose a veil, comb, hair band, floral crown or delicate clips, bring these to your hairdresser so they know exactly what they are dealing with.

3) Be realistic

If your hair is short or fine, be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t aim to grow your hair in an impossible time frame, but instead, consider extensions. Discuss this with your hair stylist and listen to their advice as they no-doubt will have guided numerous brides over the years.

4) Be prepared

As soon as you’ve found your dress, begin your search for the perfect style! A good place to start is with the designer’s photo of your dress. Find your dress online and look at which hairstyle the model is wearing as it will most likely complement it. Browse wedding magazines, online blogs and Pinterest (undoubtedly the best source for inspiration) and keep a mood board so you can easily establish a pattern in what you like. Try to narrow it down to just a few styles.

5) Book a trial

Don’t neglect this step as it will save you much time, stress and heartache on the morning of your wedding. Booking a trial means that you can bring along photos of styles that you like and try a few to determine which looks best. Don’t forget to listen to your stylist as he or she may offer suggestions you hadn’t even considered. Ask for tips to ensure your hair is in the best possible condition for the wedding and if you are considering having it cut or coloured, seek advice on when is best to have this done. But remember, drastic changes before your wedding are not recommended! Ensure any changes are subtle to avoid drama in the run up to the big day.


Upstyles are perfect for dresses with delicate back detailing that is too pretty too hide. They are also ideal for destination weddings as they will keep you feeling cool!



Source: Pinterest


Long, luscious locks go hand-in-hand with flowing gowns. Add floral finishes for a true touch of romance.



Source: Pinterest

Best of both

Can’t decide. Get the best of both with a half-up half-down creation and finish those tresses with gorgeous accessories!



Source: Pinterest

Wedding guest etiquette: Dos & Don’ts

Wedding guest etiquette

No doubt you have been to your fair share of weddings but as a guest, there are still some grey areas surrounding this social situation. While traditions may change, there are aspects which will forever remain so here we consider the unspoken rules of wedding guest etiquette to help you avoid any awkward situations.

Wedding guest etiquette

Don’t assume you can bring a plus one

Unless the invite explicitly states that you can bring a guest, don’t assume you can bring one. Weddings can be an expensive affair so don’t be offended if your invite doesn’t extend to the option of bringing a guest.

Do RSVP early

With so much involved in planning a wedding, the bride and groom don’t need to waste time chasing RSVPs. Be aware of the RSVP date on the invite (it’s there for a reason) and send your reply as soon as you can.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do buy a gift early

Although less couples now register for wedding gifts, it still remains a popular option. Choosing from a wedding list is a great way to give the happy couple a gift they’ll be delighted with as it’s something they actually need so shop early and you’ll have plenty of options.

Don’t bring a large gift to the wedding

The last thing the newlyweds and their families need is trying to find somewhere to store large gifts so if you’re planning on gifting something of a large size, arrange to meet the couple in the run up to the wedding or have it shipped to their house.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do arrive on time

While traditionally weddings start a little late, it’s still a good idea to be prompt, allowing plenty of time to get a seat.


Don’t keep your phone on

An unexpected outburst can definitely be distracting and easily ruin a sentimental moment so before you take your seat, make sure you turn your phone off completely and give the bride and groom your full attention.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do respect the couple’s social media wishes

Many couples ask guests not to upload photos to social media in order to avoid ruining the surprise for guests attending the evening do, so if this is something to couple wishes, abide by it.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do be mindful of dress codes

Everyone knows the golden rule: don’t wear white and while that may be a given, don’t be tempted to break the unspoken code! Even if you own a white or cream dress which isn’t distinctly bridal, avoid hurting the bride’s feelings. If you’re not sure what to wear, simply dress for your surroundings and play it safe.


Wedding guest etiquette

Don’t get in the way of photos

Resist the urge to photobomb when the photographer is capturing a quiet moment of the bride and groom together or run the risk of ruining a potentially amazing photo.


Do sign the guest book

The bride and groom will want to remember every detail of the day so don’t feel that just because you have written a card, that you shouldn’t also sign the guest book. Use the opportunity to be creative and share an antidote or poem about the happy couple.


Wedding guest etiquette

Don’t hog the bride and groom

Time is immensely precious at a wedding and with so many guests to get around, don’t keep them all to yourselves. Do congratulate and thank the happy couple but keep your conversation short and sweet.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do thank the parents

You may never have met them before but a quick thanks and expression of how great the day was will mean so much to the bride and groom’s parents.

Don’t forget your favour

Often, considerable time and thought has gone into the wedding favours and while it may not be something you like, show your gratitude and take it with you.


Wedding guest etiquette

Do party!

A commonly shared fear of many couples is that their guests won’t get up and dance and enjoy themselves so afford them peace of mind by mingling and dancing with guests.


Tips on choosing your first dance song

Short wedding dress

For every couple, choosing their first dance song is a completely different experience. For the lucky few, it’s a hassle-free, utterly romantic affair of simply going with “our song”, which you’ve had picked out from the moment you met, while for others it’s a completely different, head-scratching experience, which involves conflicting tastes in music, or “our song” is just too embarrassing to say out loud. So, if you fall into this category, we’re here to lend a helping hand with some tips on choosing your first dance song.


choosing first dance

Getting started


Songs with special significance


When it comes to choosing your first dance song, there are a few different avenues which you can take. Many couples decide on a song of special significance, which can make the whole process a little easier. How about a song that reminds you of when you both met, bearing in mind that if you locked eyes on a Saturday night to the tune of Gangnam Style, then it might not be appropriate, but then again, if you’re a couple who doesn’t shy away from the limelight, then we say go for it! Get on those dancing shoes and bust a few moves.


Choosing first dance song


Music marking a milestone


Alternatively, there may be a song that marks a significant time in your relationship, such as a holiday away together or a weekend spent at a music festival. Check out your playlists from around those experiences and you may just recall a song you had forgotten about!


Choosing first dance


Theme tunes


Another popular route which couples take is to select a song which reflects the theme of their wedding. If your wedding evokes vintage vibes, why not go with something retro, a big band classic might be appropriate for a glamorous affair, while an outdoorsy summer theme goes hand-in-hand with festival favourites.


Choosing first dance


Common ground


It might simply be the case that you don’t have a song in mind, but hey, that’s okay! Weddings are a romantic affair (if you didn’t know) so no one will fault you for sticking to the classics. Listen to a few romantic playlists until you find something that you both love. Alternatively, deciding on one artist or band that you both like will help narrow your search.


Choosing first dance


Consider your band’s style

If you’ve booked a band for your reception, think logistically – will they be able to play your chosen song? Some bands won’t be comfortable playing a song which doesn’t suit their style so don’t book a jazz band expecting them to play a rock song. If you’re struggling to decide on a song, why not ask your band for a list of first dance songs in their repertoire and choose from that?


Choosing first dance

Get inspired

If nothing springs to mind and you’re still struggling to find your perfect song, the best thing you can do is relax a little about it and take inspiration for other sources. Keep the radio on in the background and listen to music on-the-go, keeping a record of any songs which may be suitable. Then, when you have a list with a few songs, listen to them together, eliminating any which are too fast or slow. Before you know it, you’ll be left with your perfect song!


Choosing first dance

Still struggling?

Spotify recently revealed its users’ top wedding tracks, after analysing over 400,000 wedding-theme playlists across the world. Here are the top 15 most popular tracks which couples choose for their first dance…


  1. Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sherran
  2. At Last, Etta James
  3. Can’t Help Falling In Love, Elvis Presley
  4. Marry Me, Train
  5. Tenerife Sea, Ed Sheeran
  6. You Are The Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne
  7. First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
  8. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  9. Everything – Michael Buble
  10. Lucky – Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat
  11. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Ingrid Michaelson
  12. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  13. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  14. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
  15. The Luckiest – Ben Folds

Reasons to choose a short wedding dress

Short wedding dress

In recent years there has been a rise in short dresses sashaying down the runways. You may have noticed them hidden among a gallery of dresses in bridal magazines and quickly flipped the page, but don’t snub the short wedding dress! Here, check out the reasons why more brides are opting for a short wedding dress.

Short wedding dress

Enjoy being stylishly comfortable

It’s no surprise that a short wedding dress comes with the gift of added comfort. If the thought of dragging around layers of tulle fills you with fear, a short wedding dress might just be your life saver. The short dress’ practicality also makes it ideal if you are planning a wedding abroad. Its lighter silhouette makes it much easier to transport, not to mention it’s easier to wear on sandy surfaces if you are opting for a beach wedding.



Short wedding dress

Unrestricted movement

If you’re the kind of gal who loves to meander among guests, not to mention hit the dance floor, don’t ditch the short dress. Plus, the shorter length means you won’t need your bridal party entourage when nature calls.



Short wedding dress

Perfect for petite brides

Although there’s no rule that says you can’t choose a full length gown if you’re petite, many shorter brides prefer a shorter length gown which isn’t as overwhelming on their figures.



Short wedding dress

Show off those show-stopping shoes

If shoes set your heart aflutter, a short wedding dress is ideal for showing off your shoes. If you have found the heels of your dreams and they simply must be on show, a short dress is the perfect choice. It also gives you the opportunity to go all out by choosing those once-in-a-lifetime pair of shoes.



short wedding dress

It suits your theme

If you’re a bride with a penchant for vintage, a 50s inspired tea-length wedding dress might just be perfect. What’s more, if your wedding venue or theme lends itself to a bygone era, a vintage inspired gown could perfectly enhance those vintage vibes.



Short wedding dress

Wear it again

While many shorter wedding dresses are still distinctly bridal, the less traditional you go, the more opportunities you’ll have to don your dress again. Just imagine how great it would feel to be able to celebrate your anniversary each year, while wearing your actual wedding dress.



Short wedding dress

Evoke elegance

You’d be forgiven for thinking that shorter dresses aren’t elegant but the fact of the matter is they are actually the epitome of ladylike elegance, given that we have the iconic Audrey Hepburn to thank for bringing them to the forefront of fashion.



Short wedding dress

Wedding photos with a difference

With the added bonus of flexibility of movement that comes with a shorter wedding dress, you can really go all out for your wedding photos, allowing you to experiment with poses and locations. Being comfortable in your wedding attire will not only add to the enjoyment of your nuptials, but also really enhance your photos as you’ll feel at ease.

So before you begin your wedding dress shopping, don’t completely rule out the short dress.

Grooms accessories guide

Grooms accessories guide

Here at Peter Thomas Photography, we love a groom who takes his style seriously! It is your day too, after all and while the bride will always take centerstage (of course), there’s nothing wrong with putting your stamp on the day, and accessories are a great way to do just that.

Here, we take a close look at accessory options, which serve to distinguish your wedding day look.

Grooms accessories guide

The shock sock factor

Although somewhat concealed, socks hold a great deal of power! Go loud and proud with your choice of hosiery, safe in the knowledge that your bold bravery will be a best kept secret… that is until your photographer catches sight of them! We photographers love the ‘shock sock’, which makes for a cheeky, informal welcome addition to any wedding album!

Choose to nod to your wedding colour scheme or go bold with a contrasting colour and why not get the rest of your leading men in on the action with alternating colours. The Sock Shop offers a multitude of style and colours so make this website your first port of call.


Off the cuff

Don’t be the weakest link and forget to snap up a pair of cufflinks. These small but mighty accessories combine both style and function, making them an essential accessory for your wedding day. Cufflinks hold the power to really exude your individuality, with customisable options available. Reflect the theme or colour scheme of the day, hint to a hobby or passion or evoke a shared memory between you and your future wife.

Etsy is a great place to start for cufflinks. Check it out here.

Grooms accessories guide

Put your best food forward

Always judge a man by his choice of shoes… right? So choosing the correct shoes to complement your suit is of the upmost importance. Get it wrong and they’ll stick out like a sore thumb in your wedding photos.

Unlike women who meander around a myriad of shoe shops in search of that perfect stiletto, court, pump, wedge, flat or boot to add to their already overflowing collection, you probably only have a few pairs in your wardrobe and don’t give your footwear a second thought.

When it comes to choosing your wedding shoes, the main thing to consider here is colour. To keep things simple, you basically have two colour choices: black or brown and which one you opt for depends on the rest of your look. Traditionally, a black shoe is considered more formal and the rule of thumb is that a dark coloured suit (with the exception of navy) calls for black shoes, while brown or tan shoes should only be worn with navy blue suits.

Get the colour right and all you have to do is choose your style, depending on how formal your suit is. Or, many modern grooms are now opting for an alternative choice, such as Converse or loafers, serving as a true reflection of their personality.

Grooms accessories guide

In the neck

When it comes to neckwear, you have three options: tie, cravat or bowtie. A black bowtie is perfectly paired with a classic tuxedo for more formal attire, while a cravat is the tie of choice for morning suits. A popular choice in recent years, a funky dapper dicky-bow is popular with grooms in that quest for something different.

When it comes to styles and colours, there are a wealth of designs available. From stripes, to spots, paisley to prints, the options are endless and all it comes down to is personal choice and matching your suit and colour scheme.

Need a little inspiration? Check out The Tie Store.

Grooms accessories guide

One to watch for

Whether you choose a classic wrist watch or the accessory of the minute, the pocket watch, ensure you arrive to the church on both time and in style! And with a few perfectly timed hints you might even end up with a nice little wedding morning gift.

Grooms accessories guide

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