I shot Katy and Mark’s wedding last Summer and you can see more of the photos in the wedding blog post (the above shot is from their engagement shoot) … I thought it would be fun to run a series of interviews to get an idea of the story behind the love story and the wedding … I hope you enjoy it, here’s Katy’s story, in her own words …

So Katy, how did you meet Mark?

Rather un-romantically, at work … our eyes met over a paper strewn desk.  I thought ‘he’s hot’ and he, in return, just grunted and put his head back down. We didn’t start to go out until about 6 months later.

How did he propose?

We went to Florida on ‘holiday’ in May 2009, which was a holiday with a triathlon planned in the middle of it.  After the first week and the triathlon were over the weather changed to the most bad-ass rain/thunder/lightening/hail storms I have ever seen. We took to driving to Clearwater to avoid the storms.  One day, after a rain shower, we paid 50 cents for a walk down the pier off Clearwater beach.  We were watching the buzzards dry out and were planning to go back to our hotel.  He said ‘before we go, I’ve got something to ask you.. Will you marry me?’

I think to this day he says that it is the only time I have ever been speechless!

Literally… No. Idea.

What was the most stressful thing about planning your wedding?

I would have to say, the guest list … Nightmare!

What was the inspiration for your theme?

We didn’t really have a ‘theme’ I knew that hot pink was going to figure strongly… which it did. It was just really simple.

Where was your wedding and why did you choose your venues?

We initially planned to go abroad and get married on a beach, but then common sense took over and we started to look close to home.  The ceremony venue was a no-brainer.  Shugborough Estate.  We had our ‘first date’ there and I spent a lot of time there as a child.  Lots and lots of sentimentality.  We saw the mansion house and the Tower of the Winds, which we instantly fell in love with.  I think we booked it there and then.

The evening reception location wasn’t so simple (back then you couldn’t have your reception at Shugborough, this has changed since!).  We initially thought about having an ‘outside marquee’ type thing, but given the unpredictable British weather (even in July) we decided to look at the local wedding venues.  We looked at Weston Hall, The Mill at Worston, Ingestre Hall, Sandon Hall and The Swan Hotel (interestingly, Katy, that’s where I had mine! … sorry, carry on …).

All of these were very lovely, but just didn’t feel quite right.  We then decided to have a look at The Moat House in Acton Trussell. Well, I was blown away.  It was beautiful.  Again, after a little bit of negotiation over the date, we pretty much booked it there and then.

We booked both venue about 18 months before the actual wedding (back in November 2009).

Where did you get your dress and why did you choose it?

I bought my dress from a shop in Lichfield which is sadly no longer there.  It was an Amanda Wyatt dress called ‘Poppy’ It was on a sample sale rail in the store and fitted right off the hanger.  I got it for less than half the original price, which was the deciding factor.

It was an ivory dress with pink beading all over the front, side and back.  I think the reason I chose it was probably because of the unusual pink beading (followed by the price).  I loved it and got a lot of compliments on the day and since!

So who were your other memorable suppliers?

Claire Garfield, Princess Brides, for the bridesmaids dresses and mens’ suits.

Alison O’Mara for the flowers.

My lovely and talented friend Sally Dean for the cake.

Euphoria Couture for my tiara/headpiece thingy.

Vivienne Westwood for my shoes :o) (forever known as ‘The Vivs’)

Oh and some bird with a camera … Hahaha!!! Love you Gill Taylor xx

We were really lucky with our suppliers, they were all very professional and we didn’t give them many ideas, pretty much said ‘we want pink, now go!’ and the results were breathtaking.  I met some lovely people and now consider some of them to be amongst my closest friends!  I couldn’t pick out one as being a favourite because they were all ace, but I would highly recommend Claire and Alison, both very knowledgeable and friendly … and Gill of course !

What were the most memorable parts of your wedding day?  Are there any particular photographs that define these?

The whole day was amazing, but I think that amongst the most memorable parts for me was probably when we went for some photos with Gill to the mansion house.  The staff at Shugborough arranged a bus for us to take us round to the house.  The weather was beautiful and, whilst we were walking around with people visiting the house looking at us, I felt like a rock star.  At one point a lady came over with a little boy in a wheelchair, she said he has something he would like to say to you.  The little boy then said ‘you look really pretty’ … nearly made me cry on the spot. (Katy, thanks for the reminder about this, maaaaaaaaan !!!)

I guess, for me, the following photos were my favourites from the day …

Finally, what was your favourite photograph from the day, and why?

OK, so I can’t actually choose just one …

This one sums up the day and has been taken with some of my favourite people !

This one has my 2 favourite men in it ! (Dave Grohl couldn’t make it)

And this one … because I have a standy out collarbone !

To be honest, it was incredibly difficult to choose.  I love all my wedding photos.  I guess that’s what happens when you have an awesome photographer !

Katy, thank you for your story … I had a wonderful time with you all on the day … and many more since, so thank you xx

Staffordshire wedding photographer

I have been shooting weddings professionally now for the last 9 years.  I love weddings.  Everything about them still excites me and I love my clients that I get to work with.

I also love shooting portraits … families, babies, people with their pets, pets on their own, children, teenagers, boudoir, engagements … you name it, I love shooting it.  Over the years I have been very fortunate to have been chosen my so many families to record their memories … with such an abundance of photographers out there, along with the current technology that means everyone with a camera is a photographer (LOL) I do feel awfully chuffed to be the one they choose.

However, the portraits side of my business has always been a bit of a tag-on to the wedding business.  It’s not that I haven’t taken taking the photos seriously, but if I’m completely honest, I haven’t really taken the business seriously.  I don’t actively market portraits, I just take them as they come along.

I enjoy them so much I want to do more of them.  End of.

So after a small straw poll with some of my clients, I came to the conclusion that if a bride (or groom) is looking for a wedding photographer, they want to see photos of wedding, brides, details … they don’t necessarily want to see photos of babies !  It made sense, therefore, to split the websites out.  The domain name I wanted for the portrait site was available, so I snapped it up right away !  It is live but there is no content currently.  This was to be a winter project but I seem to have jumped the gun a little too early (I didn’t want to lose the domain!) … in the meantime you can still view my portrait work on my wedding site and as soon as it is all split out properly I will let you know to go check the new site … it’s gilltaylorportraits.co.uk in case you want to keep tabs !

There will be new pricing, some really fab products, lovely photos I have taken and very likely never shown, some old favourites and of course new stuff from this year !

Gill xx

This past weekend found me doing something I haven’t done since I was a very young girl … ok, 18 and 21 years young !!  Back then I toured France twice with my friends, on motorbikes.  We took our time and saw many wonderful places.  I always wanted to have a chance to do it again, but without the camping and in a car.

So I was shooting a wedding in the south of France last Saturday and after looking at the abysmal options for flights (hand luggage allowances etc) I decided to drive and take a couple of extra days to do it in time and to get back to the office afterwards.

John decided he’d rather like to come along, so I had the added “stress” of finding somewhere I would trust to leave my dogs for a few days … eeeeek … after many recommendations for the same place (Quintessential Quarters) in they went and off we went.  It was a lovely drive down, I decided to drive the whole way, I enjoyed it that much.  I really got on well driving on the right and, apart from that illegal U-Turn in Paris that we will never speak of again, I was practically native by the time I reached Calais on the way home.

I decided to keep the professional photos for the Saturday wedding and to take some iPhone photos of the trip instead … here are a few …

So this was the trip according to Google maps … daunting at best …

Leaving Dover …

I didn’t lift a camera again until I got to the wedding … this was the ceremony in the 13th Century Church in the stunningly pretty village of Bram …

So, on the way back home, we stopped in the gorgeous City of Orleans … naturally I had to stop in and check out this church on route to our walk along the River Loire and to the pub, of course …

Orleans …

In no time at all, we were back in Calais … time flew, as did the driving … all 1900 miles in the end … Au Revoir France !

We were back too late in the evening to pick up my babies … this photo of Tess and Daddy says it all when we picked them up the next morning …

I think Millie is also glad to be home …

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you liked my journey … naturally I shall be blogging the wedding but in the meantime here is a sneak peek, taken on the banks of the canal just behind Dad’s house in Bram …

French Wedding Photography

I get enquiries for dates I am already booked all the time.  Of course I hear you say.  Rather than just go back and say, sorry I’m booked, I like to check within my professional network to see if I can at least go back with some recommendations, specifically with recommendations of photographers who are available.

I got a rather panicky email from a bride (and separately the groom, within minutes of each other) today and so I did my usual.

I got this from the bride, who wanted to give me a testimonial !!!

Absolutely delighted, thank you Alex, this is lovely.

“This wonderful woman went above and beyond the call of duty when I had my photographer cancel on me with a few months to go before my big bank holiday weekend wedding. I was obviously in a blind panic due to the fact it had taken me four months to find the first one but, there was Gill Taylor. Although she was already booked for that day herself, she responded to my email within seconds, had called me within minutes and had sent a list of recommendations within half an hour – Proof that this lady I have never met has what it takes to be a wedding photographer. Not only are her photos really very pretty, she is kind, conscientious, diligent and organised and has a marvellous knack for de-stressing bridezillas in their moments of madness. I’m just peeved I didn’t go to her first.”

Staffordshire Wedding Photographer

All images Copyright 2017 Gill Taylor Photographer ... please don’t steal them, it’s not nice !