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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.”