A Wedding Photographer in Cambridge
I love being a Cambridge wedding photographer – the city is truly beautiful, there’s more to it than just the university (read on to find out!). It’s such a friendly and vibrant city, it almost feels like a (much) bigger version of Oakham.
Not long ago, I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding at Jesus College, Cambridge. Ali and Garrett – it was a crazy (crazy) hot day, but it was beautiful – I have very fond memories of shooting this wedding, Ali and Garrett are truly wonderful people, so welcoming. I was also lucky enough to win an award from LOOKSLIKEFILM for one of the images I took. Read on to find out from Ali and Garrett about how to plan the perfect Cambridge wedding.
Jesus College Weddings
Here’s some information from Ali and Garrett about their big day:
We met playing touch rugby! We were then friends and team mates for years before we started dating. Ali fell for Garett’s lightening sidestep and Irish charm. Garett says it was speed and beauty combined that did it for him – and nothing to do with her short shorts, of course.
Garett proposed on the rugby pitch on Wandsworth Common where they first met by hiding the ring in a rugby ball and taking Ali for a walk during which they ‘happened’ to come across said ball. A crazy dog, Ali’s reluctance to touch the ball in case it was drugs, and ill-timed fireworks ensued, but she said yes! All the while, Garett’s Dad, Herbie, was in disguise, hidden in the trees beside the common keeping an eye on the ball containing the ring. What are the chances that a former colleague of his from 20 years ago should be walking past and catch him loitering in the bushes watching? That took some explaining!
We chose July because we love sunshine! Of course you can never guarantee it in the UK, but July is a good bet. The wedding venue we chose looks best in summer I think, and whilst winter and autumn have their charm, for us it was all about the outdoor wedding so it had to be a summer month.
The venue was always a winner rain or shine! We wanted somewhere that meant we could have the church service, reception, the wedding breakfast and the party all in the same place – plus accommodation for guests. Jesus College, Cambridge was Ali’s University College and so we were lucky enough to be allowed to marry there and even more fortunate to get one of the few dates a year they have free for weddings. It’s so stunning, with grand old buildings, big grass courtyards and a fantastic bar & dance floor that opened out into the open air. Had it rained, rooms were readily available instead, but we loved having as much as possible outdoors in the gorgeous gardens.
(1) Spend money on the things you know your guests will enjoy over the stuff you think will look nice. Be that good food, ample drink, a great band or a fun surprise on the night like fireworks. On the day, their enjoyment was our enjoyment because there was such a great atmosphere as a result. Even if beforehand all that matters to you in the run up is having *that* dress or a horse-drawn carriage!
(2) Make sure you get on with your wedding photographer & that you love their style as well as agree what you want too, because they’ll be with you all day and their work will be what you have to remember that incredible day by – not to mention document all that money spent on it!! We got lucky all round with you Barney! (NOTE from Barney (Cambridge wedding photographer – promise I didn’t add this in, they wrote it!)
(3) Give yourself headspace on the day and delegate all you can. It’s a big task to organise a wedding and it is meant to be the best day of your life, so don’t spoil it by taking on too much or keeping all the details in your brain alone. It will drive you crazy! The best thing we did was take a few days off beforehand to finalise plans & then have plenty of bridesmaids & groomsmen who picked up something each – leaving us free to just relax (ish!) and enjoy.
|| FAVOURITE PART
The ceremony. Nothing can prepare you for how nervous, excited, elated and in love you feel walking down the aisle, or waiting at the end of it. We both felt calm and happy all morning and then in the moment, we were shaking with nerves and excitement! Our ceremony was a fun, emotional and spiritual balance of Catholicism, humanism and our own take on what marriage meant to us in our readings & song choices, and it was pretty long at 45 minutes – but it still flew by! And Barney took the most incredible photos that really capture the expressions, reactions, feelings and sentiments on the day, so we will remember it always.
What Makes Cambridge so Great?
Cambridge is a picturesque university city in the county of Cambridgeshire, it is most famous for its elite university which was founded in 1209. There is a wonderful energy to Cambridge, with its cobbled streets, traditional British architecture, and buzzing and crowded streets that have unique shops mashed in.
Before I begin listing some of the best things to do and see in Cambridge, I will give you a brief history lesson about this iconic city. There is evidence of settlements in Cambridge from almost 3500 years ago that have been traced back by archeologists. Whilst it may seem hard to believe when you are there – but up until the early medieval period it was primarily farmland, up until the University of Cambridge was established in 1209 (awarded a royal charter in 1231) which has been one of the most prestigious universities in the world ever since.
As you would expect from one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Cambridge University has been home to some historical legends in all disciplines. It was where Charles Darwin, Issac Newton, and Stephen Hawking were educated and inspired to research into scientific matters that have revolutionized our way of thinking. As well as being home to some of the most renowned writers like John Milton, Vladimir Nabokov, and Sylvia Plath. Not to mention the abundance of British politicians who sat in the lecture rooms later to sit in parliament and change the fate of the country. In a nutshell, the University of Cambridge has educated and inspired some of the best British talents and by visiting you will feel the unmatchable energy that they have created.
Besides all of the wonderful history that Cambridge has to offer, it has plenty of things to keep you busy whilst you are there, regardless of your preferences for your tourist habits. If you like to spend your time shopping and finding unique buys whilst traveling – Market Square is the place to be! Market Square has been operating since the Saxon period, and you will find stalls that are filled with street foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade clothes and jewellery, and different homemade gifts from local artists. Essentially – you can find anything you desire at Market Square in Cambridge.
However, if you fancy something a bit more luxurious than Grand Arcade Shopping Centre will fulfil all of your luxurious and high-end needs. Grand Arcade has a huge John Lewis department store at its centre and is surrounded by a range of shops like AllSaints, Levis, Swaroski, and so on.
Whilst Cambridge is a city, it has a natural side to it which is worth seeing! The Cambridge University Botanical Gardens is a natural beauty that covers 40 acres of land with an impressive plant collection of over 8,000 different species from all over the world. The gardens have a small entry fee and provide a great day out – especially when the sun is shining. On site, there is a charming cafe and a plant shop.
As you would expect from a historically rich city – there is an abundance of interesting museums to choose from. One of the best museums you can visit in Cambridge is the Fitzwilliam Museum, which contains a huge range of different pieces of art and antiques from around Western Europe with a shift around of different exhibitions every few months. Another interesting museum is the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, which has a range of artifacts from Britain and around the world that date back 2 million years ago! Additionally, it has modern pieces of art that tell a tale of the life lived by different communities from all around the world. If neither of our suggestions catches your eyes, then you’re in luck as there are 16 more to choose from!
Another wonderful place to see in Cambridge is Kings College Chapel. This chapel is considered one of the most prominent examples of gothic architecture and is often used as the symbol of Cambridge. It was built over a long period (from 1446 to 1515) over a few different monarchs which characterises the chapel’s unique appearance and feel. This landmark is arguably the most important in Cambridge.
Cambridge truly holds a legendary historical status with its rich history and has plenty of things there beside gaze in awe of the ancient combined with modern architecture. It is a beautiful city that elegantly epitomises British culture. This place is certainly worth a visit!
If you’re looking for a Cambridge wedding photographer, I’d love to have a chat about your plans and how I can fit into them – get in touch today