A forest-walking tree-climbing car-pushing pre-wedding shoot at the Lickey Hills, Birmingham

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"We had a fantastic day with Phil and Toby doing the pre-wedding shoot at the Lickey Hills. They made being followed around by slight strangers in a forest seem totally normal 😜 A fun afternoon getting used to being photographed without it feeling awkward in any way, and now we're really looking forward to having them with us on the big day. The photos are a great mix of playful and serious, formal and individual. (Plus they helped push the car out when it wouldn't start). Totally recommended!"

James and Paul are marrying at the Mill Barns near Bridgnorth in Shropshire in just a few weeks’ time, and we can’t wait. The Mill Barns is a fantastic venue full of light, symmetry and style, all set amongst a beautiful lake and garden grounds. It’s a stunning place for friends and family to meet and witness a beautiful wedding ceremony, and to have a great party afterwards! It’s also a gift for great photography.

We met with Paul and James at the Barnt Green Inn (recommended!) on the outskirts of Birmingham. There we had a beer/cider/lemonade, and chatted about the wedding plans. With a fusion of Irish and Yorkshire families on the day, it’s sure to be a raucous party! Our couple have agreed a citrus safe-word with us: if it’s all getting too much, we’ll spirit them away for ten minutes for an “important planned portrait shoot” so they can have a quick bit of peace together! Just another of the unique incidental services provided by The Dignums!

Big shout to the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza (EWE) wedding fair, who provided us with free prize tickets to pass on to James and Paul, which was our very first chance to meet up face to face. EWE is a wedding show in central Birmingham unlike any other that attracts loads of fun couples just like Messrs. J & P, and we’ll be back there 9-10 November 2019!

The EWE wedding fair gave James and Paul lots of ideas for awesome fun to be had during their wedding celebrations. We’re looking forward to a stylish Made You Look photo booth, and Guitar Hero and Mario Cart for guests to play courtesy of Gaming 4 Weddings! The wedding rings have been made by Enki, another EWE exhibitor. In the evening there’s going to be a ceilidh led by Rapscallion. They weren’t at EWE, but certainly do embody the eclectic spirit. Phil and I had a ceilidh at our own wedding, and it was so much fun, and got everybody dancing like crazy! I plan to get some great shots, but join in myself for at least one dance!

Plans discussed, and pints imbibed, we all headed to the nearby Lickey Hills Country Park, a large island of green in the West Midlands suburbs for some photos in the sunshine. James' and Paul’s humour and affection shone through straight away, and we got some great pictures of the two of them just being themselves as the sunlight shone down in-between the trees.

Then, before we knew what was going on, Paul and James were up one of those trees! They’re both very tall chaps, which must help with getting past those difficult lower branches, but I must say that there is some serious climbing skill, gentlemen! I do not put it past to two of them to attempt something similar on their wedding day itself.

Trees climbed, and some great pictures taken, we looped back round to the visitor centre and car park, only to discover that James’ and Paul’s vehicle had a flat battery! Yet another unique Dignums service was called into action as we pushed the car down the hill for a jump start!

Our pre-wedding shoots mean that we always get to bond with our couples well before their wedding day, but both Phil and I particularly enjoyed our afternoon with Paul and James. Thanks, guys, and we’re truly looking forward to being part of your special day. 🍊

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