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Wedding Photographer in all weathersWritten by Martin Neeves –Wedding Photographer in all weathers

You’ve planned your wonderful day and you really want the weather to be kind.  But you wake up on the magic day and the wind is whistling through the trees and the rain is battering against your windows.  Your first thoughts are not printable, but you worry that the weather will ruin the day.  Will people show up? Is my dress going to be ruined by the weather, how will we get great photographs, will the marquee blow down, will the marquee be freezing, damp etc? You are in a state of panic and fear.  But you know, people will show up because they will want to celebrate your happy day.

So what do you do if the weather lets you down?

Wedding Photographer in all weathersWell firstly do not panic.  If your wedding day is in the early Spring, Winter or Autumn then there is a greater chance of the weather not being in your favour.  However, even in the height of Summer the weather can be unkind. Either way we are in the United Kingdom – we all know that the weather is notoriously unpredictable, so plan plan plan.  If you assume that “Its gonna rain and the wind will blow” then you have 2 options:

  • If it doesn’t the weather seems brilliant and everyone is happy, or
  • If it does, then you will be prepared and can focus on the happy day.

So what plans can you make?

Wedding Photographer in all weathersUmbrellas.  Not just big golfing umbrellas to get to and from cars to the venue.  But also some more twee ones that can be used during photographs.  If you really think ahead umbrellas can be planned in as accessories for bride, groom, bridesmaids and guests.  Clear umbrellas are great for the photos as they allow light through so you can be seen in all your glory instead of sheltering in the gloom of a dark umbrella.

Outer Clothing.  I never cease to be amazed that even in the middle of Winter brides will not have an overcoat or shawl or rain cover of some sort.  They then have to experience a mad dash from car to venue and get soaked.  They then spend a while “drying out” – you can almost see the steam rising.  A waterproof cape, even a plastic one, will protect you.  If it is just chilly, then a cardigan, jacket or shawl will keep you warmer.  Better to have to discard the offending protective clothing at the venue or church door and not have to walk down the aisle shivering, blue and weather beaten.

Shoes.  Have a good reconnaissance of the venue or church.  If there is any chance that your dress shoes will have to traverse wet or muddy areas, either have some plastic overshoes or have a temporary pair of shoes to get into the venue, then put the dress shoes on.  If you are going to wear heels, make sure that you have a second pair of flat shoes ready if you are going to go outside. There is nothing more worrying than getting your heels bogged down in wet ground.  Walking on soft, wet ground will be easier.  Alternatively, buy some stoppers to put on your heels as they will allow you to walk on soft ground in high heels with ease.

Makeup and stuff.  Mascara does not look good if it runs especially if you get caught in the rain or cry.  Make sure your use waterproof mascara and good lipstick that is not affected by the wet.  If you know it is going to be windy, discuss with your hairdresser how your wedding day hairdo will be set up to defend against disasters.  If the weather is going to be hot, then our makeup artist may need to use different makeup.

Tents and Marquees.  A good tent or marquee company will be well versed in “bad weather” plans. If you are insistent on having your wedding marquee set up in a low point, you might find that you have a wetter floor or worse a small flood.  Higher ground will mean the water runs somewhere else and not in your tent.  Also, make sure you have a solid footpath leading up to your marquee as you will not want to make your guests walk across a muddy field in their finery to get into the marquee.

D2132-55-wet_wedding_day_at_Stoney_Stanton_LeicestershirePhotography.  Amazingly, bad weather does not mean no photos or bad photos. A good photographer will exploit the benefit that overcast skies can bring.  It can also allow for greater artistic images. Yes, bad weather can mean getting some amazing shots that just wouldn’t have been possible on a sunny day.  Discuss options with your photographer, it is almost a given that he or she will already have been thinking about their “Plan B”.  Rain and wind can lead to some amazing wedding photos as the bride gets caught up in her veil and guests cower under umbrellas as the rain lashes down.   Also, a good reportage photographer will photograph you enjoying your big day indoors rather than outdoors with no problems at all in the event of bad weather.

Insurance.  Yep there is such a thing as wedding or event insurance.  It is also called fluvial insurance.  Wedding insurance could certainly come in handy should a weather disaster strike.

Wet Weather Plan.  If you were intending an outdoor wedding, always, but always have a “wet weather” programme.  What are you going to do if it chucks it down?  Make sure you have somewhere indoors you can retreat to and carry on.

It’s too hot.  Yes, that can be a problem as well.  Make sure there is plenty of soft drinks for people as dehydration might be a problem, especially if guests are going to drink a lot of alcohol.  Maybe paper fans can be used a party favours.

Ask your Venue.  Seek the advice of your events manager at the venue.  Yours will not be the first wedding that will have to cope with the vagaries of the weather.  Ask them for options, they may have something really imaginative you may not have thought of because they know their venue.

The Ultimate Plan B.  If you are really worried about the UK weather and want to guarantee sun and all that goes with it for your wedding – go abroad to a sunny clime but remember, sunshine alone doesn’t make a wedding great, but the couple and their guests do.

If you are looking for a wedding photographer who is going to make you look great whatever the weather, then Contact Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591 for the highest quality Wedding photography


Written by Martin Neeves –Wedding Photographer

When is it right to get engaged

There’s often a great deal of debate about when is the right time to get engaged or how long should you wait before getting engaged.  This is quite an interesting discussion point.  Some get engaged having only known each other for a very short time.  Others go out together for many years before getting engaged, indeed some remain engaged for an extremely long time before tying the knot.  In addition, some live together for a period ranging from a short to a long time before deciding to get engaged and then married.

So how long should you wait before getting engaged, hence married?   Let me state straight away that I do not think there is a “right time period”, but I thought it worth discussing some of the reasoning people use for justifying a notional period of time.

Some initial thoughts on when is it right to get engaged?

In my mind there are some things that should be in place before making the decision to get engaged.  I do not think “because it seems like a good idea” is necessarily the best reason to commit to getting married. Here are some things that I think make good reasons to get engaged, but equally this could be a good reason to live together. My feeling is that this will mean that an engagement is likely to be at least 3 to 6 months long. I think you should:

  • Love each other, rather than just feel attracted to each other.
  • Feel that your partner is one of your best friend, if not, your best friend.
  • Be able to talk about difficult issues together.  Believe you me there will be plenty to talk, argue and disagree about when you get married. So it helps that you have the ability to talk about issues to each other.
  • Have a good understanding of each other’s personality AND flaws.  Sorry there are no perfect relationships or people. Are each other’s annoying habits ones you can tolerate?
  • Have a good understanding of your partner’s values and beliefs.  If they have moral values that are in conflict with your own, there is a good chance that there will be conflict later in the relationship.
  • There has got to be trust between you both, this is a fundamental quality.  It is not unknown for people when they break up to say something on the lines of “well I always had my doubts, but….”  Well if your “gut feeling” has doubts, then think very carefully before committing to each other and getting engaged.
  • You should be able to respect and allow for each other’s views.
  • You need to be able to enjoy each other’s company. Much of your time when you are engaged, and married, will require some form of team work.  If you cannot work together then life is not going to be much fun.
  • Have realistic expectations of what engagement and marriage is.
  • Have the same attitude towards financial matters.  One of the most common causes of divorce is money, so make sure you are both on the same wavelength about when to spend i and when to save it.

So what might influence the length of an engagement?

Engaged2Culture. One key factor is often cultural.  There may be cultural norms in your area or background that push you to wait a certain time before becoming engaged.  This may just be a feeling that “you need to have been going out together for a reasonable or decent time” before an engagement.  It may also be that the culture dictates that marriage only takes place at certain ages.  Subsets of culture can be family and friends.  It may be that religious beliefs and codes have some definition of the period that lead to a marriage.

Pressures.  This might be driven by pregnancy, peer pressure, financial or any number of external influences that “pressure” the couple to become engaged either sooner or after an extended period.  If some external influence is pushing you together and you are not sure, then my feeling is that you should think carefully before flying into an engagement.

Misunderstanding the difference between love and attraction.  To be quite brutal, love is a real feeling for each other.  Attraction is often little more than a sexual desire.  Now in many or even most cases, the relationship will start in that manner – “Cor he/she is a real stunner”, or “I fancy him/her”.  Love is a real caring for each other beyond base sexual desire.

So how long then?

Sorry, but in my view there is no magic time period that defines now long a couple should go out together before getting engaged.  It will vary from couple to couple.  What I do feel is that a couple should go out a few times together before the engagement so that they know a little about each other.  However, they should only get engaged when they start to care about and feel a strong feeling for each other.

It doesn’t matter whether you take 5 days or 5 years five years or five months to get engaged. What matters is that you both feel that you are committed to one another.

After you have got engaged and decide to get married, why not choose a Photographer who will complement your wedding and contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.


Attending a Wedding Can Be A Disaster If You Forget These 6 Rules

So you are attending a wedding.  It’s easy: all you have to do is dress up, attend, drink the alcohol, eat the food and dance hard at the reception party.  Whatever could go wrong?  You have no responsibilities so all you have to do is enjoy yourself?  Well if all goes well there are no problems, but what happens if you forget the “rules of the game” and make a faux pas? You might be the one who “makes it all go sour” or you might feel bad afterwards.  You can avoid some of the potential disasters by understanding basic wedding etiquette when attending a wedding.

Invitations.  Make sure that you reply in good time to the invitation.  If it says RSVP, then jolly-well RSVP – that means reply in good time. Help the bride and groom to plan the day. Do not assume that it if the invite is to you and your partner, that it will be okay for you to bring along your Mum or the children.  Some people do not want to have children attending their wedding.  In addition they will count the number of replies and cater for that number.  If some kind person then “invites” their own extra guests that will throw the planning out completely and may also cause an embarrassing situation.

Where to sit

Where to sit?  Be careful to understand when you get to the wedding if the seating is formal or informal.  If the couple have set out a named seating arrangement, then do not move place-names “so you can sit next to your friend”.  You may have time to ask if you can make changes, but if there is a printed seating plan do not get your hopes up.  AND do accept their choice of seating unless you are put next to your ex or a long term enemy. Be gracious.

Wedding Gifts.  Do give your gift to the bride and groom, but do not make a show of it, even if you think your generosity is going to put others in the shade.  Do not comment upon others gifts, or poke around on the gift table.  If the bride and groom do not choose to open your treasured gift, do not make a fuss.  Many couples want to open their wedding gifts when they have time to really appreciate them.  They really may not want to open their gifts in front of all the guests at the reception.

Dress.  If the bride and groom have chosen to have a theme or style, then try to play along.  Do not feel that your job is to upstage the happy couple.  The day is about them and not you.

Keep your cool

The demon drink.  I suppose that I really should not have to make this point, but some folk do think it is their duty to “get hammered” at a wedding.  If you overdo it and spoil the wedding then you will not be popular – to say the least.  Many people forget how long a wedding celebration can go on for and start the proceedings by “going for it”, not realising that they have an afternoon and evening to contend with.  You may feel that I am being a bit of a preacher here, but the number of weddings I have attended as a very sober photographer, only to watch some guests spoil things for the happy couple.  I suppose I would reiterate that end of my last point – “The day is about them and not you.”

More up to date.  There are more and more same sex weddings now.  If you do not agree with it, or have other opinions about these events, then either do not attend or keep quiet.  The world is changing and there are many things that we have to accept as being different.  I have photographed many gay weddings and they were all about the same thing as straight weddings.  i.e. Two people who love each other, want to spend the rest of their lives together and who want their relationship to be recognised in law.  What’s not to like about that?

Hopefully you will find these few pointers useful when attending a wedding, even if you do not agree with them.  If you know someone who is planning a wedding and they are looking for a quality photographer who will complement their wedding, then ask them to contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.

Hinckley Island Wedding Show


Hinckley Island Wedding Show Feb 2016


I will be exhibiting my reportage wedding photography at Hinckley Island Wedding Show this Sunday (28th February) from 11am to 3pm.  I will have a full range of sample wedding albums on show, including a very posh new one that arrived from Italy today!

The wedding show will be held at Hinckley Island Hotel (Jurys Inn), Watling street (A5, just off junction 1 of the M69), Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3JA.  Please CLICK HERE to register for FREE TICKETS.  Every bride registered, gets bag FREE goody bag too!

If you are planning a wedding in Leicestershire, it would be great to see you at the show.

Even if you can’t make it to the Hinckley Island Wedding Show and you would like more information about my unobtrusive documentary style of wedding photography, please contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.


Written by Martin Neeves – Reportage Wedding Photographer Northamptonshire

It is iHow long should we go out before getting engaged?nteresting how much the commitment to marriage has changed over the past 50 years.  As they say “back in the day” or shall we say the 1960s it was totally frowned upon to live together and there was still a very rigid structure about the courting process.  Asking the prospective father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage was expected.  The length of an engagement was defined as being not too short as to appear hasty (i.e. having to get married because of pregnancy) and not too long as to keep the relatives waiting.

These days there is no definition of what’s “normal” for the length of an engagement.  Living together is now seen as nothing unusual and definitely quite normal.  In the past “living together” was hidden under the pseudonym of “common law wife”   You can bet that your friends, family relatives and colleagues will all leap to your aid with advice, guidance and strong views on the matter. You will no doubt get various comments ranging from “Do you think it is too soon?”, “Do you know him or her that well?”, “Is he/she going to propose?” and many others quite pointed questions.  Comments will sometimes be quite cutting and insensitive because it is an area that people feel they are free to impose their opinions on you. But there is no magic formula. It is recognised that living together before making a final commitment is a good way to get to know each other and assess your suitability as a couple.

and they lived happily ever afterWhilst it is true to say that you can never truly know if a relationship (or marriage) is going to work, there are some things worth considering before you make a final commitment.  However, I am also a realist and know that people are often totally besotted with each other, faults and all. Even though you may know what those faults are you may still decide to get married.

Okay, so what would you do in the ideal world to decide how long to go out together before getting engaged?

For some people they will just reach a stage where they decide that it “just feels right”.  Others may want to be more considered about the process. Well there are some things you might want to consider, these are definitely not exhaustive.  I would also say that they are not a one size fits all solution, but I offer them to help you think about this important question

Do you like or love the other person or are you in lust? Sometimes it is not an easy thing to understand when hormones are pulsing their way round your veins, but only one of the reasons makes it worthwhile to get engaged.  When you say “I love you” to one another, do mean it?  Do you feel in your gut that you can trust this person? If all is good then that is a signal to “go for it”.

What are your aims and ambitions?  You will each have dreams and ambitions; are they close enough not to cause problems in a marriage? If your ambitions are so far apart then this may cause friction or distance between you in the long run.

Religion! If you have different beliefs will this form a barrier?  How will family and friends feel about any differences? Can you manage any differences? 

What are your attitudes to money? Do either of you bring a great deal of debt into the relationship? Are your spending, saving or gambling styles radically different? Amazingly money is one of the frequent triggers to divorce.

Do you both want children? It is becoming more common for people to not want to have children. But is can impose a great deal of pressure on a relationship if one strongly wants to have children and the other does not.

Do you get on with each other’s family?  This is one area where there can be a great deal of friction.  It can be a very divisive area for a relationship, often putting pressure on one or both of you.  Do either of you have any relatives that may cause problems?

Your history. Are there any aspects of past relationships, behaviour or acts that might embarrass either of you?  Make sure you come clean about them because the world is getting a smaller place and it is becoming easier for secrets to leak out. This can range from previous relationships, misdemeanours and many other incidents of “Stuff that happened”.  Are there any previous girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses or children?  There are some surprises that can be very shocking or damaging in a relationship.

What are each other’s bad habits or qualities? Love often masks or overlooks problems.  But if there is something that bugs you when you are in the early stages of a relationship, when each is trying to impress, then it will become an issue as the rose tinted glasses take on a more realistic viewpoint.

Friends or foes.   Are there any friendships that either of you disapprove of?  Are those friendships likely to endure?  Are any of the friends likely to be or are foes?  During arguments these can become areas of stress and catalysts for friction.  They can also take sides and stir the pot during arguments or disagreements

Love is a bridge between usWhat are your beliefs? It is wise to discuss a wide range of issues before committing to marriage.  What are their views on race, gay marriage, politics, religion etc?  You will never agree on everything, and that is a good thing, but if their opinions are extreme compared to your world view then this will cause discord. It helps for a married couple to have similar values. If you’re pulling in separate directions, that could pull the marriage apart.

Are you able to compromise with each other?  There are going to be times when you need to be able to compromise.  It might be simple things like are we having fish and chips or a Chinese meal?  But it might also be regarding something more significant like where and when you are going to have a holiday or spend your money or where will you live?  Are you both ready to make the commitment that it is about being a ‘we’ rather than a ‘me’?

Honesty and conflict.  You will have times when you disagree or argue about issues and events.  There will be times when you need support from your partner.  Will they meet you halfway, support you or leave you to fend for yourself? Can you respect each other’s points of view?  Can you speak openly and feel respected at all times

Do you feel comfortable together?  If your relationship feels comfortable and you are at ease together then it is likely that you are suited to live your life together.

There are those who feel that understanding all those points above usually takes at least six months. Notwithstanding that, there are many cases where people have known what the will term “love at first sight” and remain happily married for the rest of their lives.  As I said previously there is no golden rule, but if you have considered all the points above, then you have a good chance of making a good fist of your relationship.

Once you have decided that you are going to get engaged and eventually married, why not choose a Photographer who will complement your wedding and contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.