As a documentary wedding photographer I’ve had the pleasure of photographing weddings as close to home as Nonsuch Mansion and as far away as Tahiti in the South Pacific.

I love capturing the spontaneous moments, the laughs, the tears, the hugs, and the little small ‘in-between’ moments.

These moments of emotion are the common threads that weave through any wedding day regardless of whether it’s a local or destination wedding, or whether you choose to have lots of guests or keep the day small and intimate.

I’m not sure there’s really such a thing as a traditional wedding anymore here in the UK.

At one time weddings could only take place in churches or council run registry offices, which were often drab and inhospitable.

As the rules were relaxed, and weddings were allowed to take place in a wide variety of locations, some of the traditions faded and you are now as likely to get married in a field as you are in a church.

Let’s take a look at what was once a traditional white dress style wedding and see how things have changed over the years….

The white dress: Brides have traditionally worn white for over 200 years.

A white dress was originally supposed to symbolise purity but later became a fashionable symbol of wealth since only the truly rich could afford to keep a white garment clean!

These days white dresses are still extremely popular, with off white shades being a close second, but wonderful wedding dresses can now be found in a wide array of colours, including red and black!

Of course white wedding dresses are still a challenge to keep clean and there’s generally a short outdoor walk needed at any wedding but the bridesmaids can usually be relied on to lift the hem of the dress and help the bride keep it clean.

The ceremony: Weddings in the UK usually start with the ceremony which could be in a church or any other or other licensed wedding venue, such as a hotel, historic home, marquee, or garden.

There are certain words that must be recited for the wedding to be legal but there is some flexibility to personalise ceremonies, particularly those that aren’t in a church.

As a documentary wedding photographer, I take a discrete approach to photographing the ceremony so the guest’s attention will always remain on you as a couple.


The wedding cake: Traditionally a wedding cake comprises several tiers of white frosted fruitcake with some form of decoration although centuries ago when sugar wasn’t available, it was made of bread or pastry.

The wedding cake used to be seen as a token of good luck.

Today you are likely to see a huge variety in wedding cakes, from the traditional to cupcake towers and even tiers of gourmet cheeses.

Although very much a personal choice the wedding cake is usually cut in the time after the wedding meal and speeches but before the reception party gets underway.

The Reception: The wedding meal is still traditionally referred to as the ‘wedding breakfast’, a confusing term since the meal could be at any time of day but never takes place at breakfast time!

The speeches will typically take place during or after the meal and this will generally be followed sometime later by the reception – a fun evening party which goes on to around midnight and sometimes later.

If you’re planning a UK wedding, whether it’s traditional white dress style wedding or something more contemporary, as a top London and Surrey Wedding Photographer I’d love to chat about your plans and discuss how I can help you achieve timeless natural wedding photographs.

To check my availability or arrange to meet over a drink and cake, please contact me here.