If Toby and I are already familiar with particular wedding venues, it means it's not quite as essential that I meet up with couples at the venue itself for their pre-wedding shoot. Leanne and Darren have chosen the stunning Pendrell Hall for their wedding day next year, and as we've photographed many weddings there previously, we decided we'd head somewhere else for our pre-wedding meet up, and portrait practise. We settled on the location of Leasowes Park, which is a hidden gem in the nestled away in Halesowen.
Rain was drizzling down when we first arrived, so we decided to head to the relative shelter and warmth of a local coffee shop, to have our chat and get to know each other better. We got rather distracted with chatting and enjoying ourselves over lattes. Eventually we remembered it was time to head back to the park, to start working out what suited them most as a couple when it comes to photos of themselves. We strolled along the canal, headed to the lake, and then wondered back through the woodland. We were even treated to a mini sunset just as the shoot ended.
Their photos show that even on a damp, grey, early winter day, you can still capture wonderful and intimate photos.
Leanne shared some of their story with me, so enjoy some insight in to their lovely relationship, along with a handful of photos from their shoot.
How did you meet each other, what's the story?
"We met in 2005 when we both worked at Tesco! I trained him on his first day and apparently he liked me from day one, but I don’t think I acknowledged him until 2013 when we found ourselves with the same friends and going out more!"
In brief (or as long as you like), tell me a little about your engagement.
"Poor Darren had so
many elaborate plans on how he was going to propose, and it was all planned and booked - and then I went and got a new job and I ruined it! On our first ‘date’ we went a place called Earlswood Lakes, so after enjoying our 3rd anniversary dinner, I wanted to get some pudding! But before getting some Darren wanted us to go for a walk to Earlswood. I guessed straight away haha. I believe my words were "Don’t you dare propose to me at Earlswood Lakes"
. So of course Darren being Darren, he gets down on one knee in the pitch black, so I can’t see the ring, and asks me to marry him! It was a very us
What aspects of your upcoming wedding are you looking forward to the most?
"Just seeing everyone we both love in the same room and (hopefully) having a great time is what we’re both really
looking forward to!"
Do you have any advice for other couples currently planning their wedding too?
"My advice is, "do what you want"
. Which is probably what everyone says, but now we’ve started planning we can see why, and don't compromise for anyone too. This is your day! Once you embrace that, it really does take the worry and stress away."
"We were both really
nervous before the shoot; as other than Darren’s selfies, we don’t really take photos of ourselves. Knowing it’s in a public place just makes it even more terrifying. But, we really needn’t have worried. We chatted to Phil for ages in a local Starbucks before we even started, and it felt like we’d known him for years. So once we started the shoot it was really relaxed, we didn’t feel stupid when couples and their dogs walked past. It has made us so much more excited for the day, and we know if we can love photos of us in jeans and jumpers, then we can’t wait to see how much we love the photos of us dressed up on the actual day!"
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