Happy Couple Win their Wedding Photography Prize at Bride: The Wedding Show, Knebworth Barns… Now Win Yours

Competition winners Josh Greenbank and Lucy Boniface won their dream wedding photography package, saving them a fortune on their big day. Here they share the story of their relaxed tipi wedding details with Bride and we explain how you can win an experience like theirs 

Photography by Belle Momenti Photography

Among the long list of costly requirements for most couple’s dream wedding is an inspiring photographer who can capture the beautiful day perfectly.

So imagine winning a professional wedding photography package to take care of recording all those precious memories – all free of charge. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Not for Josh and Lucy Greenbank.

Like any other engaged couple, Lucy and Josh were searching for the ideal wedding photographer and by chance, decided to enter a competition at our own Bride: The Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns, with Belle Momenti Photography.

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After studying the stand and portfolio of the Hitchin-based photography team, the couple liked what they saw and entered the company’s grand prize draw to win a full-day wedding photography package. They were later selected as the winners from hundreds of engagedcouples all trying their chances to win their dream photography prize.

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Now, in a special feature with Bride, Josh and Lucy share their wedding experience with Belle Momenti Photography, showcasing the images that didn’t cost them a penny thanks to a spur of the moment competition entry.

Their relaxed wedding combined an executive helicopter journey from the church ceremony with fun wedding tipis decorated with sheepskin rugs and sequin table runners on wooden tables and of course, the presence of their beloved dog, Hugo.

After the success of the shoot with Josh and Lucy, Belle Momenti Photography has decided to repeat the grand prize draw at the forthcoming 2016 Bride Wedding Show on January 9 and 10 at Knebworth House, Stevenage.

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So, with this in mind, the company is inviting all readers to pop by their stand to enter this fabulous competition and be in with a chance of winning their all-day wedding photography service.

But first, hear first hand from Josh and Lucy what you could win…

 

The winners’ story
“As my mum and I walked around the Bride 2015 Wedding Show at Knebworth, I was feeling quite excited. We’d only been engaged a matter of weeks and had originally decided we’d wait a year or so.

“I knew that a photographer would be my next priority: mum and I chatted to some lovely photographers, some who were available, and some not. We got to Belle Momenti’s stand and as I looked at the photos on display, no one disturbed me… I liked that. I in fact walked in to speak to the man I now know was André.

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“He mentioned about a competition they were running, gave me a form and sort of left me to it. I’ll be honest, I filled in the form and did think of it as a bit of a marketing exercise. How wrong was I!

“All I do know is that I walked away from that stand and said to my mum ‘I want them to do our photography’. We left the wedding show with piles of information, suppliers details and what I didn’t think was possible even more ideas.”


Drawn as finalists
“A week or so passed and I received an email from André and Suzanne at Belle Momenti asking if Josh and I could go and see them at their studio as we had been drawn as one of the three finalists.

“Of course we accepted and a couple of weeks later found ourselves sitting in their lovely Studio in Hitchin. I soon realised we were all going to get on like a house on fire. Each armed with a cuppa, we soon got talking about our wedding plans.

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“We finished our two-hour chat by answering why we should win the competition. We could have gone really overboard here but it was important to us that the photographers (even if they weren’t Suzanne and André) wanted to be a part of our wedding day so we simply said: ‘We want our wedding to be fun, relaxed, different and rustic with a hint of glam and hope that you’d feel like guests and not just the photographers.’

“With that, Josh and I left the studio and went for dinner and spent all evening saying how much we hoped we were successful and what a lovely afternoon we’d had with them. One thing Josh and I did know was that Suzanne and André would be our photographers even if we didn’t win.”

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Winning news
We didn’t have to wait long as the next day we got the amazing news that we’d only gone and won. Josh and I couldn’t believe our luck and on Valentine’s Day when it was announced it was the loveliest feeling.”

The pre-shoot
We had the pre-wedding shoot to get through, which I knew Josh was especially worried about. Josh cannot smile on cue. He really is Chandler Bing!

“As much as I adore him I knew this would be a challenge. Josh was just going to have to learn to look happy. On the day of the pre-wedding shoot we met André and Suzanne at our house, chatted through our wedding plans, with our crazy spaniel Hugo. We then ventured to the venue, an old working farm where I kept my horse Angel. Josh went off with André and I went with Suzanne the aim being that we got relaxed in front of the camera before we had photos together.”

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We were given tips on what to do and how to ‘pose’ (for want of a better word) on the wedding day. We both felt much more relaxed about the cameras and looked forward to seeing the photos. The pre-wedding photos arrived and we were both so pleased with them. Josh was even smiling. We chose one that was used for the signing mount and then knew the countdown the big day had really started.”

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The wedding day
The wedding day arrived and Suzanne came to me at the venue with André meeting up with Josh at our house. I couldn’t wait to show her the tipis; a small army of people had helped us the day before to help us create every idea that had been stored in our heads become reality.

“When a photographer walks in and says ‘wow’ despite the rain and considering the hundreds of other beautiful weddings she had photographed, I knew that the tipis were something to be proud of.

“André and Suzanne had put together a schedule for the day, which I was so grateful for. I don’t remember seeing either of them during the church service, which was exactly what we both wanted. I’d planned a surprise for Josh a helicopter to get us from the church to the venue, which they were in on. Throughout the reception, after the group shots from arrival drinks to the first dance, I saw them every now and then discretely taking photos of all the important people in our lives, including Hugo the dog and Angel the horse.

We had another surprise in the evening for all of our guests: a drag act. A bit different for a wedding, but Doug, or should I say ‘Candy Couture’, is a very dear friend of ours. He offered and how could we say no. It was the perfect addition to a perfect day and again, André and Suzanne were there taking photos at all the right moments whilst Candy did her incredibly talented act. I was genuinely sad when they left us after the evening entertainment. They had simply been marvellous, all day.

“About a month after the wedding, we went to their studio to see our official photos. They’d created a beautiful slide show, set to music from our day and the photographs certainly didn’t disappoint. They had captured every moment that I could remember and many that we didn’t: relaxed photos, stylised photos, funny photos, emotional photos everything about them was perfect.”

www.bellemomenti.com, Hitchin
01462 416369

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Four Weddings and a Fine Time at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa

In 1994 the iconic film, Four Weddings and a Funeral was filmed  at the stunning Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. This included scenes shot in the original Robert Adam designed ballroom as well as one of the bedroom suites where Hugh Grant is found hiding in a wardrobe. Elite Hotels owns 4 of the country’s grandest hotels including Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, Tylney Hall Hotel, The Grand Hotel Eastbourne and Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa.

Tying in with the Four Weddings theme, a major marketing initiative was developed to generate awareness of the four hotels magnificent setting as wedding venues.

On the 1st March 2104, Luton Hoo hosted a ‘Real Wedding’ event in the mansion house and invited a number of key Editors & Journalists from You & Your Wedding, Perfect Wedding Magazine, Sunday Express Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, Your Herts & Beds Wedding Magazine and Ultimate Wedding Magazine.

We were honoured to have been invited as one the key recommended suppliers to Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa to participate in this event. Our brief was that this needed to be photographed as if it was a real wedding, with actors playing the role of Bride & Groom, Mother & Father of the Bride and Mother of the Groom, Bridesmaid and Best Man.

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We will leave the story of the day to the journalists, however you can view the event Slideshow here;

 

Once you have viewed the slideshow, take a look at the Highlight Video produced by Ultimate Visuals

 

Finally you can view the full online Photo Album of the event Here

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The password for access to the Online Photo Album is: hughgrant

The event was a huge success and featured a stunning dress designed and supplied by the multi award winning Ritva Westenius.

Floral Displays, Bouquets & Buttonaire supplied by Wedding Venue Decorators.

The Wedding Cake was supplied by Cakes by Shelly.

Music was provided by Ariella Strings.

Celebrant; Bernadette French

Ice Sculpture provided by Global Ice Sculptures

Videography by Ultimate Visuals

Toastmaster – Robin Powell

Photography by Belle Momenti Photography

We all had a great day working as a seamless team and the resulting images and video are testament to what a fabulous wedding venue Luton Hoo Hotel really is.

We look forward to the next instalment of Four Weddings and a Fine Time at…

If you would like to learn more about this project or our wedding packages then please contact either Andre or Suzanne on 01462 416369 or visit our website at www.bellemomenti.com.

Magazine Feature – Destination Wedding in Venice

We are delighted that Surrey Bride Magazine  has selected one of our Destination Wedding couples as a feature in the 2013/14 Edition.

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Jacqui & Lino chose to get married in Venice, Italy in September 2012 and selected us as their Destination Wedding Photographers. What a fantastic couple they are and what a wonderful celebration they put on for their closest family & friends to enjoy, in what has to be the most romantic location in Europe.

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For more information about our Destination Wedding Photography, visit our website at www.bellemomenti.com

Wedding Cuisine to die for – 2012

Food photography is one of our passions, however we do not get many opportunities to indulge ourselves. Except of course when it comes to Weddings…

Photographing at some of the UK, Italy & France top wedding venues means that we do sometimes get the opportunity to photograph the cuisine before guests get stuck in. It is of course a delicate issue as we often have to seek out a guest who is both willing to let us photograph their dinner and is seated discreetly so that we are not interrupting the proceedings. When we do get the chance it is of course fabulous, capturing some of the finest dishes venues prepare for such special days. These are just some of the dishes we have been able to capture from the 2012 wedding season.

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To find out more about our photography services visit our site at www.bellemomenti.com

Chateau des Buis – Renewal of Vows

Posted in Real Weddings

Aaron and Sheena had their hearts set on a French Chateau wedding, but opted for a three day Asian/Western wedding celebration in their home country.  In order to achieve their wedding wish they decided that they would one day renew their vows abroad and achieve their French wedding dream.

Through their mutual love of travel, culture and all-things European, they decided that the location should be in an authentic, real-life fairytale castle – Château des Buis, situated in the Rhone/Alps region of France. The Château is family-owned and has been passed down over the generations for the last 350 years. At nearly 850 years old, the Château is steeped in history and filled with French ambience and tradition, giving Aaron and Sheena the privacy and intimacy they were seeking, with breath-taking views over the surrounding countryside.

Groom Aaron: “My wife and I both had a long filled desire to wed in a French chateau for our wedding day. As we were unable to fulfil this ambition at the time we both decided that we would one day renew our vows abroad. We were after a location which would provide us with an authentic feel, filled with French ambience and tradition, yet giving us the privacy and intimacy in wonderful countryside surrounding to enjoy our special day.

French Wedding Style Blog – Photography © Belle Momenti

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We were lucky enough to stumble upon the magical Chateau De Buis on the web and immediately made an enquiry online. Although the chateau itself was not open during our preferred date of 24th Feb, the organisers were kind enough to make an extra special exception to facilitate us on this date (as they are only open between April and October).

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From the moment our party arrived we loved this AMAZING place. Set in a traditional rural village which had stood still in time, with the backdrop of rolling lush countryside hills, it had the exact setting we were after. The chateau itself was deceptively large but beautifully kept with periodic decor with all the mod cons, but kept with embracing a rich family tradition full of character and history.

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From the moment we arrived, everything ran like clockwork, and we were very well looked after with a great team involved. The hair stylist and makeup ladies were exceptional – bubbly and friendly characters and did a great job making my wife look her best. The flower arrangements were exactly what we had asked for, and the chateau and the grounds itself were enchanting providing a stunning backdrop with a beautiful boudoir and bridal chambre.

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The food was to die for and was very well received by all guests, and the staff could not do enough for us. The photographers, Belle Momenti, were truly amazing and friendly and really knew how to capture the best photos and moments around the Chateau.

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Following the intimate wedding ceremony and photographs, Aaron and Sheena moved into the Écurie, for a lavish yet intimate reception meal with their friends and an appropriate toast of the Château’s own Grand Cru Rose wine. After cutting their cake – a chocolate gateaux covered in a Chantilly cream icing, the couple fed each other ‘Tart au praline’ – a delicious specialty of the region.

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Unbeknown to the happy couple, their family and closest friends had contacted the Château beforehand, to offer their congratulations and loving wishes. Lucy, the Château’s dedicated wedding planner, transferred these messages to handmade labels and tied these with coloured ribbons onto a wishing tree…adding a further surprise to their day!

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To end the celebrations, Sheena changed into her Asian wedding dress, which she wore on her wedding day, before joining Aaron to dance under the candle lit lanterns that Lucy had arranged for them.

“Overall we had a truly enjoyable experience and only wish we had actually got married here, with the only disappointment being having to leave! We would highly recommend Chateau De Buis to anyone wanting to capture their special day in France.”

I love the idea of renewing your vows and it is certainly something that I would/ have considered for the future.

How do you feel about renewing vows or have you already done so?

Monique xx

www.frenchweddingstyle.com 

Wedding Suppliers:

Wedding Venue: Chateau des Buis
Planning, catering and Flowers: Chateau des Buis
Photography: Belle Momenti Photography

Real Wedding – Paris, France

Many thanks to Monique at French Wedding Style for featuring one of our Destination Weddings.

Classic romantic style for a destination wedding in Paris

Posted in Real Weddings

wedding in parisWelcome to the start of the week and I have some fabulous real weddings this week, starting with Cheryl and Lou’s  classic romantic destination wedding in Paris. Cheryl and Lou’s eyes met over a critically ill patient they were caring for – Cheryl working as a trauma nurse, and Lou an eminent cardiologist. It was through their mutual love of travel and European culture that they decided on Paris for their wedding.

Coming from the Miami heat, the one item they couldn’t guarantee was the weather! This didn’t faze them and, together with their two best friends, and 24 of their closest friends and family, travelled to Paris for their special day.

French Wedding Style Blog – Photography © Belle Momenti Photography

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After some getting-ready shots at the beautiful Renaissance Paris Hotel where they were staying, Cheryl and Lou were taken on a whistle-stop tour of the City so that Destination Wedding Photographers, Belle Momenti, could capture them in all the key locations.

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Although a little chilly, the couple were happy to pose for photographs and Cheryl wore her Mother’s fur stole to keep warm. Afterwards, the couple boarded the ‘Paris Iena’ yacht, moored at a quiet spot on the Seine with views of the Eiffel Tower.

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The officiant, Arthur Gillette, a US citizen who has lived in Paris for many years and is also a historical tour guide, performed the marriage ceremony, surrounded by their friends and family. In a nod to his Jewish origins, Lou broke a napkin-covered glass in time-honoured fashion.

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The couple then relaxed with their guests – enjoying a gentle cruise along the Seine as they dined in style aboard the yacht. The talented ‘Jazz around Midnight’ played well-known hits throughout the evening, in keeping with the party mood. At one point, Cheryl and Lou posed for photographs on the top deck as they passed the Eiffel Tower – such a romantic scene reminiscent of some of Hollywood’s greatest movies!

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The bridal party continued their evening at L’arc club – an opulent mix of contemporary and vintage Parisian style – the perfect place to end the night and their stylish yet relaxed wedding celebrations.

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True classic romance in the romance city of the world – j’adore!

Monique xx

Wedding Suppliers Paris
Hair Stylist:  Sophie Gaultier email galtier.sophie@wanadoo.fr
Floral Designer:  Feuille a Feuille Fleurs
Musicians:  Jazz Around Midnight
Transportation:  Paris Yacht 1
Officiant: Arthur Gillette

Celebrating 3 Years of Wedded Bliss today!

Today we celebrate our 3rd year Wedding Anniversary! We thought we would reminisce by sharing a montage of some of our favourite images captured on the day. For those people that know us, you will not be surprised that we used remote controls to take all our own photographs for the day.

Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas

Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas