Ten Times That Love Won Over In 2020

Ten Times That Love Won Over In 2020

Well, 2020. What a year! There’s a whole lot to reflect upon from this year. But if there’s one thing I want all of us to carry in to 2021, it’s the notion that love always wins. Here’s ten times that love won over in 2020.

It all started so well!

Before we had even heard of Coronavirus, Dan and Jen created a tropical paradise in a winter wonderland and filled it with love and laughter

Then Meg and Dan sprinkled Disney magic on to a sunny Saturday in February

But soon after we learned that the year wasn’t going to go ahead as planned.

Jen and Duncan were the first of my wedding bookings to have to rearrange their plans. Jen and Duncan’s creativity and commitment set the tone for the rest of the year. Just before lockdown we got together and celebrated their plans to create something that would acknowledge their original intention without compromising their loved ones.

And then everything changed…

Through an act of love we stayed at home.

In July the sun started to shine again.

Mark and Livvy made it through the wilderness and bought their wedding plans forward because they just wanted to be married to each other. Their plan for a big wedding was rearranged to something that was small, intimate and very sweet.

Alice and Jess found a way to have their dream of an Italian vineyard wedding right here at home in the UK.

The Italian sunshine even showed up as the guest of honour. 

Caro and Gurj got married in front of their close family, all spread out at a social distance.

But they bought their friends and family together in an electric dream of a wedding streamed out on Zoom.

Jen and Duncan then tied the knot for real, followed by a picnic in the local park.

The restrictions on the number of guests at a wedding was no barrier for Gemma and James.

They got married in a small church wedding with their closest family present, plus all the family dogs. They were limited to just 15 human guests, but no limit on the number of dogs!

It was third time lucky for Bhav and Paul’s wedding date

They got married in October after rescheduling from March, to July and then finally made their marriage official on a blowy autumnal day at Marylebone Town Hall.

Corona was no challenge for Naomi & Kalia. They always wanted a small, intimate wedding, followed by a South East Asian adventure.

Their wedding was perfect, just as they always planned, with just two witnesses and a very quick signature on the formal paperwork. Their adventure in South East Asia is still in the pipeline, but they did enjoy a mini-moon in Gloucestershire instead (same, same but different).

Gemma and Terry then surprised everyone with a secret elopement to Gretna Green

Finally, the year ended on a high with the arrival of the beautiful baby Saffron to make Christmas 2020 for Bhav and Paul

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Cotswolds Elopement Photography in a Vineyard

Cotswolds Elopement Photography in a Vineyard

 

What was it like to work with me on your Cotswolds elopement?

UNREAL. We felt like we had known you forever. Your personality and professionalism made our experience with you just perfect. The confidence you gave us and the relaxed atmosphere you created was just great. The photos are better than we could have ever imagined, honestly Rowan they’re beautiful. You are so talented and it helps that you are a super smart, switched-on lady boss! We loved sharing our day with you. Bringing the dogs was a bang on idea and it also made our day THANK YOU! Thank you also for sharing a sneak peak with us on the actual day, that was incredible and we didn’t expect it at all! It really made telling our friends and family extra special and everyone has commented on how beautiful the photos are. It’s not easy getting good photos in insanely bright direct sun like we had but that just shows how good you are.

What was your original wedding plan?

Our original plan was to do the legal Civil Partnership in Hackney Town Hall in London and then elope to a vineyard in Tuscany with our two best mates, have a small ceremony where we all got to speak and then travel up the coast from Pisa-Genoa for a week eating and drinking.

When did you realise you were going to have to change plans? How did that feel?

In March 2020, when they stopped travel to and from the North of Italy and the Town Halls closed. To be honest even with a very small ceremony it still felt really disappointing and I was being made redundant at the same time so it was super tough. We were happy to have our health but it was just a bit worrying as nothing at that point was certain.

How did you make allowances for your wedding to take place under current covid-guidelines?

We were already quite relaxed about the whole thing but we made our options a lot more flexible. We decided what mattered and what didn’t matter to us. The day it happened didn’t have to be a weekend as there were so few of us so we aimed for a week day to save a bit of cost where possible and also allow the flexibility to book you and our celebrant Zena in at short notice as you were more likely to be available. We had to wait for the town hall to re-open to do our legal paperwork and so we worked in reverse. We booked in the vineyard venue, photographer and celebrant for August and hoped that we could do the legal part as close to that date as possible. It worked out perfectly in the end but ultimately it really didn’t have to happen in any particular order.

How did you feel on your wedding day given that you had to change your plans?

100% excellent. It was so much better than either of us could have imagined! Small means personal, everyone was involved, everyone laughed, everyone shared a more intimate day.

How did you add your personalities and individual style to your small wedding?

With the help of our wonderful celebrant Zena Birch! She created a super personal ceremony that reflected our personalities and relationship, there were speeches and promises we wrote ourselves, surprise musical performances and dogs (courtesy of Rowan and Zena)! We got a wooden wine box engraved and put a bottle of wine from the vineyard we were staying at along with some letters we wrote to each other and hammered it shut as part of the ceremony which was hilarious. We will open the box in 5 years time and have some wonderful memories to reflect on. We made our own bouquets out of maps because we are geeks and it is something we could keep. We made sure we had our ceremony at a vineyard and used a campervan as our transport and for photos as our first few months of dating were spent in campervans and cycling around vineyards in New Zealand. Having the dogs there really made the atmosphere relaxed and we just love dogs!

What’s your advice to other couples planning a small wedding after rescheduling?

Pick out a few of your “must haves’ and stick with just those as the base of your plan. Be flexible and adaptable. Consider what actually matters to you and don’t get caught up in the detail. For us, our most important factors were having it in a vineyard, a tight budget and keeping it chilled, relaxed and fun.  Everything else like the food/booze/cake/the actual date/dresses/hair and make up etc came after and we locked in the most important parts that would make our day special first and then added bits as we went.

When no one else is involved in the planning it’s actually very straight forward and stress-free.  We would recommend elopements to anyone! Small is not bad, it’s BRILLIANT! You can have a big party next year when everyone can celebrate together but for now just make sure you organise something that makes you happy.

Cotswolds Elopement Suppliers

Celebrant – Zena Birch: Humanist Celebrant

Venue – Woodchester Valley Vineyard

To see more weddings in a natural environment, check out this Sheffield Botanical Gardens wedding – it’s lush!

 

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LGBTQ Wedding | Birmingham | Naomi & Kalia

LGBTQ Wedding | Birmingham | Naomi & Kalia

Scroll down to see photos of Naomi & Kalia’s LGBTQ wedding in Birmingham


What was it like to work with Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography?

Great! Neither of us really like having our photo taken but we knew we’d regret it if we didn’t have memories of the day. You really made us feel at ease and we actually enjoyed the experience. You were relaxed and chatty which was really nice. We loved trying out your creative ideas and the pictures are better than we could have imagined. Thank you!
 

Newly married LGBTQ couple stand smiling at camera with autumnal trees behind them

You got married during the Coronavirus Pandemic, did you have a plan for a bigger wedding? Or did you always want a small wedding?

 

We always wanted a small wedding. We’d talked about having close family with us, but kept thinking of more and more people we’d want there. It was too hard to find a cut off point so in the end we decided it should just be us two.

LGBTQ couple in wedding clothes stand next to each other against black wall

How did you make allowances for your LGBTQ wedding to take place under current covid-guidelines?


We had to wear masks during parts of the ceremony which was a bit weird, and we went to Tetbury instead of Thailand for our honeymoon, but other than that we didn’t have to make too many adjustments!

Newly wedded couple stand under a white umbrella in the rain. They are at the gas street basin in Birmingham.


How did you feel on your wedding day given that you had a small wedding?


A small wedding felt perfect for us! Neither of us are great at being the centre of attention, so we definitely felt less self-conscious without an audience. All of our focus was on each other and the whole day was just about us.

 

LGBTQ couple kiss in front of black wall with LED lights and kiss

How did you add your personalities and individual style to your small LGBTQ wedding in Birmingham?


We probably spent the most time choosing what kind of outfits we were going to wear. It was really important to us to be comfortable, but our first couple of ideas didn’t feel ‘wedding-y’ enough so I think we ended up looking quite traditional in our own way.

LGBTQ couple in wedding outfits smile at the camera in Birminghams mailbox
What’s your advice to other couples planning a small wedding after rescheduling?


Don’t wait! Focus on what you want as a couple rather than what people might expect from you. It saved us a lot of stress and money!

LGBTQ couple stand together against black wall with LED lights just about to kiss

 

Want to get my full guide for finding your ideal wedding photographer?

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Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

Want to see more LGBTQ wedding inspiration? Check out these real weddings:

  • Alice & Jess’ Summer Elopement to a Vineyard in The Cotswolds
  • Bhav & Paul’s Autumnal Small Family Wedding at The Old Marylebone Town Hall

Plus, check out my favourite resources for a variety of LGBTQ wedding inspiration

Gay Wedding Blog – for wedding inspiration that’s modern, elegant, original and fun

The Same Sex Wedding Guide – an award winning directory and blog for same sex couples

LGBTQ Equality Weddings – a community led project to make the wedding industry accessible to all people in love. Check out their great directory of inclusive wedding suppliers.

Read what previous clients say about working with me

Check out my wedding photography prices

Find out who I am

Get cracking advice and see real weddings on my blog

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Wedding Photography Nottinghamshire | Gemma & James | Covid Safe Wedding

Wedding Photography Nottinghamshire | Gemma & James | Covid Safe Wedding

What was it like to work with me?

Rowan was absolutely incredible! We had met her previously at James’ brothers wedding and absolutely loved the photos and the atmosphere. We loved the informal look of her photos and the colour and we both separately thought of Rowan when talking about a photographer for our wedding. We had a couple of video calls to talk about what we wanted and the process.

 
On the day Rowan was so organised that we didn’t have to worry about lists of photos or who needs to be where. The vicar commented that she barely knew she was there in the church yet the photos perfectly capture the service. We were actually really relaxed for the photos and shows through as pure joy in the photos. The photos are absolutely incredible and I have so many favourites. She even helped out with getting ready on the day; she didn’t have to, but she was so much helped in ways I couldn’t have expected.
 
We had the small wedding package with the plan of photos at the church and the couple and family photos as the reception. We weren’t sure if it would be a bit odd having family and Rowan, but it was like having an old friend there and felt completely normal! She’s now the official family photographer.
Furthermore, she was so quick at getting photos back to us. We had a selection of photos on the wedding night, and the whole collection within a week. It helped to keep the wedding vibe going.

What was your original wedding plan?

We are really lucky and essentially got to do a mini version of our original wedding – church ceremony followed by marquee in the garden. We just had 10 guests instead of 200! We tried to keep things the same as much as we could; we still filled the church with beautiful flowers, of course we had a photographer and we all looked the part.

When did you realise you were going to have to change plans? How did that feel?

As soon as lockdown started we were fairly sure we wouldn’t be able to do the original plan. We decided that for us getting married was more important than a large wedding, but agreed that we would only get married if our immediate family could be there. We decided quite early on to keep the numbers small as we would not know if changes would be made on guidance (which did happen….multiple times)!. This meant that the best man and a bridesmaid couldn’t come, but they were really understanding and wanted us to get married even if they couldn’t be there!

How did you make allowances for your wedding to take place under current covid-guidelines?

We accepted that we would only have 10 guests (immediate family). We decided to make the wedding feel more intimate and actually we realised that this would make the wedding much more relaxed, which was a relief!. As part of this we didn’t want to stream the wedding as we felt it would be artificial.

However, we set up an instagram page just for the wedding so that people could see photos from the day.
We elected to have a self-imposed ’social lockdown’ for two weeks before the wedding. We didn’t go out for dinner, we made sure hair and make-up appointments were before this, James didn’t play cricket. We wanted to do whatever we could to make sure the wedding went ahead.
 
We were very fortunate that we could walk from the church to the reception, and amazingly people in the village came to the end of their gardens to share the moment with us (socially distanced of course). It was such a special experience!

How did you feel on your wedding day given that you had to change your plans?

I actually felt a bit relieved. There was no pressure…it didn’t matter if things ran late, we didn’t need to worry about logistics. We knew we would be getting married and we knew we would get to spend the special day with our families.

How did you add your personalities and individual style to your small wedding?

James had always dreamed of catering the wedding (he loves cooking, and he’s amazing at it too!) This wasn’t possible when catering for 150-200 people, but was for 12! He did slow BBQ pulled pork and lamb shoulder, and family helped with the rest of the food.

I love baking, and was able to make my own gluten-free wedding cake! If fact there ended up being a cake competition with families members, which was highly entertaining, and never would have happened with the larger wedding.

We love our dogs, and although there was a limit on people there was no limit on dogs! We had three with us, the girls had flower collars, the boy had a bow tie to match the ushers. They were so well behaved in the church and were amazing for the photos.

What’s your advice to other couples planning a small wedding after rescheduling?

For us we felt it highlighted the reason we were getting married -for the marriage, not for the ‘big wedding’. Obviously its disappointing not being able to share with everyone, but there are so many advantages. I didn’t feel stressed, the whole day was relaxed and about family. Its cheaper. We actually got to spend some time at the hotel on the wedding night rather than arriving after midnight. There was no waiting around!

If we could do it all over again we would have another small wedding! We’re planning on having a first anniversary party next year to celebrate with everyone, but the wedding itself was perfect!

Nottinghamshire Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Photography: Parrot & Pineapple

Wedding Dress: Lillian West bought from The Wedding Room Nottingham

Grooms Suit: Barrington Ayre

Wedding Flowers and floral collars for dogs: Catkin Flowers

Bridal Hair & Make up: Adele Coxon 

 
 
 

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Yeldersely Hall Wedding | Derbyshire | Rose and Koray

Yeldersely Hall Wedding | Derbyshire | Rose and Koray

Rose and Koray’s Vegan Yeldersely Hall Wedding in Derbyshire


What was it like to work with Parrot and Pineapple as your Yeldersely Hall Wedding photographer?

It was a pleasure to work with you as our Yeldersley Hall wedding photographer! You were friendly and attentive before the day, keeping us up to date and letting us know what to expect. On the day you were fun, energetic and friendly to all the guests. They all loved you and we had lots of lovely comments!
We also appreciated that you were happy to take control to get the best shots. Nobody had any idea what to do with the confetti so I’m glad you could wrangle us all into some sort of order! You put us at ease and we didn’t feel so awkward in front of the camera, when one of us, in particular, is very used to being behind it.

Couple in glasshouse Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding Bride and groom cut wedding cake

How did you get started with planning your Yeldersely Hall Wedding?

We really wanted a woodland wedding but just couldn’t find a way of pulling it off in the wild without it being a logistical nightmare. Resigned to a venue instead, it was a struggle choosing between Manchester (where we live) and Derby (where I am from). We went for Derby as it has more green space.
We didn’t do anything until we found a venue. There didn’t seem any point until we had a date to work to!Outdoor wedding ceremony first kiss Groom sticking his tongue out while dancing Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding

How did you find planning your wedding?

It was fun for the most part! We never really had a set theme or idea other than we knew we wanted the ceremony outside. It was quite fluid and things were changing right up to the day.

Some things were more difficult than others. We had some stress from useless suppliers who really didn’t help! Which made us do even more of the wedding ourselves, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Koray’s family coming from Turkey was somewhat stressful – it’s hard juggling all those balls when people aren’t even in the same country! It was a bit of a family affair with everyone pitching in, which was lovely! We couldn’t have done it without them. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and make all these things myself.

The most stressful time was the week leading up to the day I think.Groom leaving for Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding Bride putting on blue boots Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values into your wedding day?

The whole wedding was very ‘us’! I am vegan, Koray isn’t, but it was his choice to have a completely vegan day because he didn’t want me to miss out on anything.

We also had to get the cats involved of course. We named cocktails after them, had a painting of them at the bar, and had cut-outs of them in our photo booth. They also made an appearance in some speeches!

The bee was a recurring theme – it was used on the invitations and save the dates, I had bee brooches/slides in my hair and a bee brooch on my dress. This was a nod to our love of Manchester (our adopted home) and the environment. We chose wildflowers and herbs for the tables as they are good for bees, and invited people to take them home.

Everything was biodegradable or recyclable, down to the confetti, as we wanted to keep our impact on the environment as minimal as possible.
We chose a ring blessing as we aren’t religious and the ceremony wasn’t a legal one. This kept everyone happy and was a way to involve everyone in the ceremony so they didn’t get bored. The wooden animals used as the table names are ones Koray has collected and built over the years – he likes the puzzles.Wedding party group shot Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding Bride and groom walk through shower of confetti Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding

Why did you choose Yeldersely Hall for your Wedding?

We chose Yeldersley as it had everything we wanted in a venue – woodland area for an outdoor ceremony, a beautiful courtyard for socialising, a walled garden and glasshouse for photos, lawns for relaxing. Plus they are extremely encouraging about you doing your own thing and you’re not obliged to use their suppliers, decorations, caterer etc. This was very important to us!

What is your advice to other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

Start planning early. We put things off because ‘it’s still so far away’ but some of it could have been done earlier. I don’t regret this as I changed my mind a lot about what to do, so inevitably would have ended up not wanting what I had already done if I started too early!

Don’t take it too seriously – at the end of the day, it’s a big party and a chance to have fun and celebrate your relationship with all the people that matter.

Delegate where you can. People will be happy to help.

Don’t just go by the latest Instagram trend – it’s boring and you’ll look back and notice how dated it is!

Set aside time after your wedding for just the two of you, even if you’re not going on your honeymoon straight away. It’s been a month since our wedding and I’m still tired! We had family staying with us and then went back to work as soon as they left, which sucked.Bride in star covered dress walking up aisle smiling Group of guests enjoying drinks at Yeldersley-Hall-Wedding

How did you stick to your wedding budget?

We didn’t keep a strict eye on the budget (oops) but did get the wedding we wanted for a lot less than it would have cost if we hadn’t done so much ourselves.

Yeldersley Hall Wedding Suppliers

Venue – Yeldersely Hall
Brides dress – DIY
Brides blue ankle boots – Top Shop
Grooms Suit – Moss Bross
Brides bouquet – English Flower Farmer 
Catering – Soundbites Derby
Doughnuts – Doughnotts
Bar – The Giddy Gelding

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Islington Wedding at The Canonbury Tavern | Rachel & Ian

Islington Wedding at The Canonbury Tavern | Rachel & Ian

Rachel and Ian’s Small Islington Wedding at The Canonbury Tavern pub

What was it like to work with Parrot and Pineapple on your Islington Wedding?

Working with Rowan on our Islington Wedding was amazing. I’m a bit useless with technology so wasn’t great with video calls but it was really good to speak a few times. Rowan really helped us order our day and added an official structure, but yet kept it real at the same time. We couldn’t have picked a better wedding photographer. Much more than just a photographer – an organiser, a mentor, and a friendly voice!Bride and groom cutting cake at Canonbury Tavern Islington Wedding

How did you get started planning your Islington Wedding?

We went to a few wedding fairs. When we started by looking at venues, we went to Islington Town Hall open morning and we fell in love instantly. We knew we wanted to get married there. We had both lived in Islington and love it, so it was an easy choice. We also looked at receptions venues, mostly London Pubs with character. We picked The Canonbury Tavern.Bride and groom getting married at town hall Islington WeddingGuest doing reading during wedding ceremony Islington Wedding

What was it like to plan your small wedding?

We’re both Librarians so we are very well organised. Planning was fun! As the bride I became a bit obsessed, Pinterest was my bible. I also brought some wedding magazines but didn’t really find these worked for me. Some of the wedding fairs we visited were good, especially the more indie type ones.

We had a very clear idea of what we wanted, but the wedding industry is probably one of the most exploitive businesses out there! Weddings don’t have to cost what the industry tells you they cost. The hardest part was dealing with our venue, the organisation, staffing and communication was really bad and very stressful. It all came good in the end though.

Confetti exit Islington Town Hall wedding

Couple portrait by red phone box Islington Wedding How did you bring your individual personalities to your intimate wedding day?

We discussed very early on what type of wedding we wanted and agreed that we wanted a small wedding, that reflected who we are. Our vows that were non- religious and personalised, we made our own website in place of invites, created our own playlist for the evening, made some of the decorations, flower displays, buttonholes and cake stand. We also wanted a vegetarian/ vegan wedding which was a challenge for the venue. Our cake maker, on the other hand, made a small vegan version of our cake, which was great.

Islington Wedding day of the dead decorWedding guests listening to speeches Islington Wedding

Why did you choose to get married at Islington Town Hall and The Canonbury Tavern?

We were married in the Council Chamber in Islington Town Hall, because we lived and work in the area, as well as having some of our first dates there. The Council Chamber is the largest room and although we only had 40 guests the room still felt full and intimate. It’s a beautiful room and felt really official.

Our reception was at the Canonbury Tavern in their Blue Room. We looked at a few venues in Islington. Our priority was somewhere with character where we could have a sit-down meal in and a party afterwards. The Blue Room is beautiful and the cost was reasonable. It was also in walking distance of the Town hall and we had a beautiful sunny day. It was a pleasure for the whole wedding party to walk down Upper Street and through leafy Canonbury with members of the public cheering us on! The reaction of people who we didn’t know being so positive really was very life-affirming.

Bride in alternative head piece Islington Wedding

Groom hugging son Islington Wedding What is your advice to other couples planning a small wedding?

Agree on a budget and the size and type of wedding you want from the start. Plan, look around, research. Stay true to yourself. We might have gone with a different venue because communicating with them was very difficult, however on the day it was lovely. I booked ‘Get a Cab’ for a London white cab to take me to the Townhall and they didn’t turn up… It’s YOUR day, so don’t listen to other people. The wedding day is one of the few days in your life it’s ok to be self-obsessed!

Small Wedding Suppliers

Ceremony: Islington Town Hall
Reception: The Canonbury Tavern
Bride’s outfit: The Dress Maker Essex
Groom’s Outfit: Adam of London
Brides shoes: Charlotte Mills
Earrings: IACF
Flowers: Floral Design House
Tiara: Esty
Cake: Kat Bakes

Want to get my full guide for finding your ideal wedding photographer?

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