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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Venue Spotlight: Fanhams Hall Hotel

Our latest Wedding Venue spotlight is on Fanhams Hall in Ware, Hertfordshire, where we will have the pleasure of photographing Nicole & Chris’s Wedding on the 27th July 2013.

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This luxury and unique wedding venue is outstanding with warming open fires in winter, tumbling waterfalls in summer and beautiful private rooms with stunning features of the original Grade II listed Jacobean manor house all year round. They offer impeccable service in comfortable and relaxed surroundings.

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With both formal gardens and rambling grounds, carved staircases and ornate fireplaces, there are a wealth of perfect picture opportunities to enjoy at this country house wedding venue.

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An exceptional combination where old tradition meets the 21st century, Fanhams Hall Hotel is a Jacobean Manor House converted into a dedicated training and meeting venue designed to be different. The hotel’s Hertfordshire location is just a short distance from all the major routes into London, Stansted, M1, M25 or simply the A10 just around the corner.

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To find out more about this truly stunning wedding venue in Hertfordshire, visit their Website

To discover more about our Destination Wedding Photography in the UK, France, Italy & Cyprus then visit our Website

Exclusive Product Launch : BMP Media Card

1st July 2013: BMP Services (UK) Limited are delighted to announce the latest of our innovative products which truly capture and showcase our wedding images. Designed and assembled at our studio in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, the BMP Media Card is the ultimate wedding gift for newly weds to show family & friends their wedding images, in a convenient handbag sized video display unit.

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The BMP Media Card comprises a 4.3″ LCD Screen with a 256mb flash memory, preloaded wedding slideshow, volume control, pause/play, rewind, forward buttons and a mini USB port to enable charging of the rechargeable battery. The Battery has a 2 hour play time per charge and takes just 30 minutes to recharge. The product can also be personalised to include an image of the happy couple on the front cover.

To find out more about this unique product or to arrange a viewing at our Hitchin studio, please contact info@bellemomenti.com or visit our website for more information

Destination Weddings : The Wedding Planner

Planning a Destination Wedding is not an easy exercise , particularly if the decision has been made without even visiting the country of choice. The Internet is an amazing resource which can help to bring you closer to suppliers and venues and enable you to plan everything remotely.

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One of the key reasons we have found that brides & grooms choose to get married overseas is the perception that it is cheaper. The reality is that per head it is no cheaper than getting married at home, however the overall cost is cheaper because you have fewer guests attending. So please do not be under the illusion that destination wedding means cheap wedding!

For us, as destination wedding photographers, we love the relaxed atmosphere that is created by guests arriving a few days prior to the big day and getting to know all the other guests through evening dinners and drinks parties. As a consequence, come the big day, everyone knows each other and so are far more relaxed and it shows in the photographs!

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There is however, one question we are asked over and over again… why should I pay for a wedding planner, when I can do pretty much everything myself over the internet and by email these days?

– Yes of course the internet allows you to research and communicate with local wedding suppliers in the country you are planning your destination wedding.

– Yes you will most likely be able to get a cheaper deal by negotiating directly with the supplier.

– NO! you will not have the time on your wedding day to ensure that everything goes to plan. The day will fly by so quickly that you will forget so many things on the to-do list. You simply cannot as a Bride or Groom, project manage the most important day of your lives, yourselves and expect to enjoy the experience!

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A good Wedding Planner is not just there to help with the sourcing of suppliers but most importantly there primary task is to project manage the wedding day itself. To remove the stress and pressure from the bride & groom so that they do not have to worry about table settings, seating plans, running order of events etc…

The Wedding Planners role is to project manage all of the days events ensuring that the suppliers turn up on time, perform their function in the allotted time, make sure the guests and groom are at the ceremony and most importantly ensure the bride is on time. Then as the day progresses they will ensure that the venue catering team have the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast set up and ready on time. All of this activity requires a good project manager and for the Bride & Groom to attempt to do all of these tasks during the most special day of their lives is a recipe for disaster…

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We see all too often that the best laid plans can go wrong, it only takes a 10 minute slippage here and there during the day, to end up losing the best light for photographs. We are then left with the dilemma of group shots verses stylised… not an easy choice to make.

So our advice to anyone thinking of getting married overseas is to secure the services of a local wedding planner. Yes of course if you are determined to control everything, you can still source your own suppliers and communicate and plan the day directly with them. However, if you spend a few hundred Euros on securing the services of a wedding planner for your big day, you will be able to relax and enjoy it in the knowledge that they will keep everything on track.

For more information on our Destination Wedding Photography services visit our website at www.bellemomenti.com

Destination Spotlight : Paphos, Cyprus

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As most of you know, we have been photographing destination weddings in Italy & France for over 7 years now. We love both countries as they offer such a diverse range of options when it comes to beautiful wedding venues, stunning scenery and historical buildings. Having never even visited Cyprus before, it was a great surprise for us to secure 2 weddings in 2013, with UK couples who planned to have their ceremonies in Pahpos, Cyrpus.

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The historical sites dotted across the country are delightful to visit and with cheap entrance fees, you do not feel like you are getting the usual rip-off experience as tourists. With so much to do and to see the time just flew by. Thankfully we have another wedding in September, again in Paphos and so we will have the chance to see the areas that we missed on this trip.

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Getting Married in Cyprus is a fairly straight forward process and so long as you complete all the paperwork in good time and arrive 3 working days prior to your wedding, there should be no hiccups. The safe season from a weather perspective seems to be similar to Italy & France, April through to October are the best months.  Cyprus enjoys 300 sun days per year!

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It does however appear that most couples from the UK that choose Cyprus as their destination wedding, opt to go through travel agents such as Thomson and First Choice. Whilst this is fine for many, the reality is that it can be a very impersonal experience. The Hotels along the seafront in Paphos are massive and most can cater for up to 1500 guests at a time. The consequence of this is that the outside areas are crowded and you will have many bikini clad onlookers at your beach wedding. Most of the hotels have multiple onsite wedding planners and you could be dealing with any or all of them during the planning stage and then on the day someone completely different turns up to manage the day.

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When we get involved with a couple planning their destination wedding at an early stage, our goal is to ensue that the whole experience is one to remember, personal and enjoyable. We use our knowledge of the local area to recommend suppliers, activities to break up the day between reception drinks and the wedding breakfast and even arrange for a pre-wed photoshoot in the days leading up to the big day.

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Having now spent time exploring, photographing wedding venues, meeting wedding planners and service providers we have a wealth of knowledge that we have been able to pass on to our couple getting married in Paphos in September. So if you are planning your dream wedding destination in Cyprus why not get in touch today!

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For more information about our Destination Wedding Photographer services visit us at www.bellemomenti.com for email us at info@bellemomenti.com

Claire & Ben – Lovely words…

With so many friends in the wedding industry, we were delighted when Claire & Ben selected us as their official wedding photographers. It was however a little daunting for us knowing that expectations would be so high!

From the moment we all met at our Hitchin Studio we just knew that we would all get on and that this would be a fun experience all round. We loved photographing Claire & Ben on the Pre-Wed shoot at the Blue Herts Fireworks display and then of course their Wedding Day at a beautiful church in Willian, followed by the reception at Letchworth Hall Hotel.

Claire & Ben - Married at Letchworth Hall Hotel.

Claire & Ben – Married at Letchworth Hall Hotel.

“Belle Momenti were recommended to me by a friend that worked in the industry. As soon as we met with Andre and Suzanne, we could tell that they were such professionals and perfectionists. They were so friendly to us right from the beginning, and it felt more like a friendship than a business transaction.

Andre and Suzanne were able to offer us unbiased advice and be flexible in their approach. At the pre-wedding shoot they made us feel so comfortable and it was great to get used to being photographed. We were so impressed with the different techniques they use to get good quality shots, and there are no boring photos!

Before the wedding we had an extensive consulation with Andre and Suzanne and they really put as at ease with their knowledge of Weddings. As it was all new to us, they were helping and guiding us every step of the way. They demonstrated that they are not just photographers, but also a key part of a successful running of the day.

On the day when I saw Suzanne’s friendly face come into the bridal suite, it was so comforting to know she was there. It was like another family member arriving to keep me calm, not a photographer. I didn’t even notice her photographing me getting ready, but the photos really do look stunning.

Suzanne and Andre were helpful, friendly and assertive throughout the day in order to get all the shots we wanted, it was sad when they had to go home!

We were so overwhelmed when we saw the end results. Andre and Suzanne really did capture such special moments that seem to be forgotton so easily, and now we have memories we can treasure forever. I know it’s a cliche but pictures really do tell a thousand words!

We made the best decision in choosing Belle Momenti as our wedding photographers, they are absolutely high class and we have so enjoyed working with them. A lovely couple who are total professionals, I would recommend them to everyone.

Thank you for everything”.

Claire & Ben Osborne

 

If you are getting married and have not yet selected your wedding photographers, then visit us online at www.bellemomenti.com and arrange a consultation at our Studio in Hitchin.

Vicky & Tony – Lovely Words….

A huge thank you to Vicky & Tony for their lovely words about our work as their official Wedding Photographers…

They married at the beautiful Pendley Manor Hotel, near Tring, Hertfordshire, although it was touch and go with the spring weather. Thankfully the snow held off for most of the day, however created wonderful stormy backdrops to the Manor house.

Vicky & Tony - Married at Pendley Manor Hotel.

Vicky & Tony – Married at Pendley Manor Hotel.

“The moment we met Andre and Suzanne we both knew that they were our photographers of choice, they are professional yet warm, friendly and all over a very nice couple who work magic together. From the pre-wedding photo shoot for our guestbook it was clear that both Andre and Suzanne have a passion for photography, they helped us settle very quickly and gave us a real idea of how things would work on the day.

On the wedding day having photo’s taken by Andre and Suzanne was a genuine pleasure and we both felt so at ease it was like having friends take the pictures, they capture all the important magical moments, fine detail and more without being intrusive therefore letting you enjoy your day together. Belle Momenti have an exceptional understanding of customer service and delivering on their promises, we are overjoyed with the results we have seen to date and cannot wait to see our final wedding album.

We will certainly be utilising Belle Momenti for all of our future portraits and photos when we start our family. Andre and Suzanne don’t just take photos, they truly capture the moment and using them for our wedding was truly the best decision we made”.

Tony & Vicky Wilcock

If you are getting married and have not yet selected your wedding photographers, then visit us online at www.bellemomenti.com and arrange a consultation at our Studio in Hitchin.