A whirlwind wedding: Why you should consider one and my top planning tips

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

I planned my own wedding in 9 weeks so you could say I am an expert at whirl wind wedding planning!

Planning a wedding is fun – but drag out the process for years and it can take a little excitement out of the big day. You can find yourself overanalysing every element of the wedding and see fashions and trends changing – just as you’ve finally decided on the theme of your day. A whirlwind wedding, on the other hand, promises a real adventure. The wedding planning experience is full on from start to end. But you’ve got so much to be getting on with that there’s not really any time to stress. Believe me – I planned my own wedding in 2016 in just nine weeks!

The perks included:

A budget-friendly day


The only money we had available was that in our bank accounts, so we had to stick to budget. This meant we didn’t go overboard and were sensible with our spending. It was also nice not to spend years of savings on one day.

An up-to-date wedding theme

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

Although suppliers were limited – due to the fact that lots were booked out already – we were still able to plan a stylish wedding. Of course, we had to have an open mind about theme and style but we still ended up with the wedding we wanted.

No waiting around

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

I didn’t want a long engagement and thought it was pointless. I was too excited about being a wife and a bride! I also didn’t want wedding planning to take over my life for months or years – so a whirlwind wedding was perfect

All about love

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

When planning a wedding you can get so caught up in the little things – but they really don’t matter. By minimising time spent planning our wedding, we realised what was important about the day and were able to prioritise better.


Eight tips for planning a whirlwind wedding

Of course, I’m not telling you that every single part of the process was easy. As with all weddings, there were good and bad parts about the planning – but it only lasted nine weeks. With this in mind, I wanted to share my top tips to help you plan your wedding in just a matter of weeks too. If I can do it while juggling a busy business, so can you!

  1. Keep things simple

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

Don’t be too over-ambitious with your wedding ideas. Instead, keep things simple, as you won’t have much time to make things for your wedding or to plan extravagant décor. A simple wedding will always look stylish and sophisticated.


  1. Be organised

This one’s crucial. Good organisation is key when you’ve got a tight deadline. We had spreadsheets for everything but they really helped us keep track of everything we needed and dates they needed to be done by.


  1. Decide on your priorities

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

A good wedding planner friend gave me some great advice. She asked, “What are the three most important things you want on your wedding day?” Mine were guests and their enjoyment, lots of flowers, and a beautiful location, near a beach or in lovely gardens. This helped us focus our day and all the planning.


  1. Improve your decision-making skills


It’s so easy to go back and forth with ideas when planning a wedding but why stress yourself out about the perfect day? When planning a whirlwind wedding you have to make decisions quickly. For example, I purchased my wedding dress from the first shop I visited.


  1. Ask for discounts

If a supplier isn’t booked nine weeks before your wedding date, it’s unlikely they’ll receive many offers. This gives you bargaining power and many will offer you a discount in order to fill their last minute availability.


  1. Ask for help

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding


If you’ve got lots to do in a short time, help from family and friends is a must. So many helped us leading up to the wedding and on the day, which was amazing. Everyone loved being part of putting it all together and it just made the experience even more special.


  1. Go digital

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding



Speed up the invite process by going digital. We sent invites to our wedding website via Facebook and email and only a handful of invites were printed off for older family members. The wedding website was great and the replies were instant.


  1. Pick your bridesmaids wisely

devon wedding photographer wedding planning love my dress bride kingsand wedding

Last, but not least, pick you bridesmaids carefully – after all, they’ll be providing reassurance throughout your journey. They will need to be calm, supportive and helpful and definitely not cause unnecessary stress!

Good luck! Remember, if you’re looking for a photographer for your big day, don’t hesitate to get in touch to enquire about last-minute availability. Contact me and we can have a catch up about your wedding plans over coffee!


25% off wedding photography in January 2017

We are offering 25% off all wedding photography packages booked in January 2017.

To celebrate the start of 2017 we are offering 25% off ALL full day wedding photography packages! Yes we are CRAZY!!!!

See some of our wonderful world of weddings over the past 12 months on our recent blog post.

Claim the 25% discount and check our availability via our contact page.

We cannot wait to hear about your wedding!


English country garden wedding at Kingston Estate Devon

Such a beautiful English country garden summer wedding at Kingston Estate Devon. Kingston Estate is a luxury wedding venue in Devon that also provides luxury holiday cottages inDevon with a swimming pool and dog accommodation.

Engagement photo shoot Royal William Yard Plymouth

It was a pleasure to spend the day with Gio and Gina in the Royal William Yard, Plymouth for a photo shoot after their recent engagement. The weather was cold and grey, but the views across the Plymouth sound were very beautiful.  The cute young couple are just so in love!

Why have an engagement shoot? 
It’s a great opportunity for us to get to know each other so that there are no surprises on your big day. I can see you together as a couple in a ‘normal’ every day situation, and you can get to know my shooting style whilst practising and experimenting in front of the camera (and not your guests!).

As a result, I promise that your wedding day photographs will be even more amazing, because you will be entirely comfortable with what’s happening on your special day.

I am really looking forward to their wonderful wedding this autumn in Nooitgedacht Estate at the Cape winelands in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Devon wedding Langdon Court Hotel Plymouth

Beautiful Winter wedding at Langdon Court Hotel Plymouth, Devon.

How to make the most of your wedding photography

Looking for beautiful wedding photographs that tell the story of your big-day romance?

Your wedding photography will perhaps be one of the most important parts of your special day. After all, at the end of the day you’re left with just your rings and precious photographs, which together help you to remember all those magical moments. With this in mind, here are some top tips on how to make the most of your wedding photography…

How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Tip #1 Do your research

Ensure the planning process and your wedding day is stress-free by thoroughly researching all of your suppliers. Meet your photographer in person, look for feedback on your photographer’s website or social media channels, and take a closer look at their wedding galleries online (ask to see full weddings not just a few images from each wedding) ask to view their albums too. This will give you a good indication of their whole package, style of photography, and what you can expect from them on your big-day.


How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Tip #2 Choose a photographer you feel comfortable with

Posing in a wedding dress and feeling relaxed on one of the biggest days of your lives isn’t always that easy. However, choosing a photographer you feel comfortable with can help you to feel much more relaxed throughout your special day. A trusty friend, there to capture all those special moments, the right photographer will be able to bring out all those bits of your wedding that are uniquely you – while ensuring you feel comfortable.

How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Tip #3 Book an engagement photography session

Practise makes perfect! Get comfortable in front of the camera and practise your posing with an engagement portrait session with your photographer. You’ll also be able to get a sneak peak at the type of photos you can expect from your big-day. You might like to hold the session at your wedding venue so that you can identify all the best spots for your big-day portraits and your photographer can get familiar with the venue.

How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Tip #4 Think about any particular moments you want captured on the day

Whether you have a long list of must-have family portraits, or you’re feeling all inspired by some fab, fun images on Pinterest, deciding what you want from your big-day photography is key. You may prefer more natural, documentary style photography or perhaps you have some more dramatic shots in mind? Whatever it is you’re looking for, discuss any needs and requirements with your photographer.

How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Tip #5 Embrace the unexpected

While it’s great to have a plan, sometimes things may not always go the way you hoped on your wedding day. Whether there’s a torrential downpour during your summer nuptials or the timings of your day run off schedule, embrace the changes and recognise that together, they make those special memories of your wedding day.

How to make the most of your wedding photography Devon wedding photographer

Thank you for reading my top tips on how to chose your wedding photographer.

If you are a bride planning your wedding sign up here for the latest news and special offers from Liberty Pearl photography.

If you would like to enquire about booking Liberty Pearl Photography for your wedding please get in contact via our contact page.

Wed Magazine feature our tropical styled bridal photo shoot at Hotel Endsleigh

We absolutely loved having our first ever styled photo shoot featured in the beautiful Wed Magazine! Love in bloom was the theme for magazine this issue and it was great to be featured with such an amazing collection of floral themed photo shoots. The magazine wrote such a lovely feature about the beautiful tropical themed bridal photo shoot. Please read below:

PARADISE FOUND (feature written by Wed Magazine)

Welcome your guests to a gorgeously elegant tropical sanctuary, where stunning blooms dazzle with colour and lush foliage crowns gloriously eye-catching bridalwear.

Located on the fringes of Dartmoor, Hotel Endsleigh is a chic and elegant wedding venue nestled amidst an awe-inspiring botanical paradise: gardens awash with roses, rhododendrons and magnolia; streams laced with little bridges and woodland dotted with grottos, follies and unusual trees from all over the world.

Taking an elegant twist on tropical wedding styling, it was the perfect setting to capture this stunning shoot. “My inspiration came from my love of nature and passion for anything floral,” explains photographer and stylist Amber McCarthy of Liberty Pearl Photography. “Taking a tropical, elegant and chic aesthetic with a huge emphasis on tropical florals and greens, the models wore couture wedding dresses, locally handmade jewellery and beautiful floral designs in their hair.” As well as an abundance of foliage and vibrant blooms, handcrafted details from local talents were a key element of the look: pottery from the renowned Leach Pottery, glassware from Dartington Crystal, cutlery from The Cutlery Commission and exquisite jewellery from Plymouth designer, Victoria Sewart, all added a beautifully handmade and individual touch to this captivating scheme.

Photography and styling Liberty Pearl Photography www.libertypearlphotography.com

Second shooter Grace Elizabeth www.graceelizabethphoto.com

Videography Charlotte Dart www.charlottedart.co.uk

Cake Edible Essence Couture Cake Co. www.edibleessencecakeart.com

Dresses Days of Grace www.daysofgracevintage.co.uk

Ted Baker www.tedbaker.com

The Mews Bridal www.themewsclifton.co.uk

Shoes Rachel Simpson www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk

Make-up Oksana Beauty Salon www.oksanabeautysalon.com

Hair Regan Hair, Plymouth

Jewellery Victoria Sewart www.victoriasewart.com

Flowers Bloom and Flourish www.bloomandflourish.co.uk

Stationery Sincerely May www.sincerelymay.co.uk

Crockery The Leach Pottery www.leachpottery.com

Glassware Dartington Crystal www.dartington.co.uk

Cutlery The Cutlery Commission www.thecutlerycommission.com

Handmade silk Kate Cullen www.katecullen.co.uk


If you would like a styled wedding photo shoot or styling advice for your wedding venue or wedding business please get in contact via our contact page.

If you are a bride planning your wedding sign up here for the latest news and special offers from Liberty Pearl photography.

If you are a wedding photographer and would like to find out more about planing your own styled photo shoot, workshops, training and mentoring opportunities sign up here.


It’s our third birthday!!!

Liberty Pearl wedding Photography new website launch


So this week is Liberty Pearl Photography’s third birthday. I set up my website and registered my business three years ago!!

It has been three AMAZING years! I have photographed 84 weddings across the UK and Europe which have all be soooo wonderful and so different, along with over 100 other photo shoots including families,events, commercial products, press, births, and photo booths!

I set up my website thinking “I will see what happens, I might not get any bookings” 5 months later I had handed in my notice, and I cannot believe where I am today!

I want to thank all my lovely bride, grooms and families who have supported me by booking me for their weddings and family photo shoots and recomending me to all their friends, I receive most of my enquiries through recommendations and I am soooo grateful!

I also want to thank all the wedding suppliers who had faith in me and collaborated with me when I was a ‘newbie’ on the wedding scene. The opportunities have given me so much confidence and have taught me so much about the wedding industry.

This year has seen Liberty Pearl move in so many exciting new directions including my workshop series, organising styled photo shoots and planning my own wedding (in 9 weeks) and there is much more to come!

I am celebrating today by launching my NEW WEBSITE which has not been refreshed for almost 3 years so it was about time!


Bristol wedding photographer new website

So I got married…..

Amber and Jesse’s wedding in Cornwall 

Sorry it has been a little quiet on the blog over the past few weeks! My excuse is that I GOT MARRIED by the seaside and it was the most amazing day of my life!

wedding in Cornwall Amber and Jesse Kingsand Village hall Grace Elizabeth Photography





















Our Story
How Jesse met Amber….
We met on a dating website Christian Connection back in January 2015….

We had an amazing time travelling in New York and visiting Jesse’s dad in Pensilvania – our first holiday. Jesse bought my beautiful sapphire engagement ring in NYC!

The proposal
Jesse to proposed to Amber (and Liberty) at the beautiful Gidleigh Park Hotel in Dartmoor on 12th March 2016 and made Amber the happiest girl in the world!

The wedding date
May 21, 2016 in Kingsand Village Hall, Cornwall
Will always be a very special day in our hearts!

We had a village hall wedding and the day was all about LOVE LOVE LOVE and little bit more LOVE!!!
I cannot describe how happy I was to be a bride and marry my gorgeous husband, it was literally a dream come true!

Wedding suppliers
Venue: Kingsand Village Hall, Cornwall
Dress: Suzanne Neville, The Mews Bridal Clifton
Flowers: Bloom & Flourish Plymouth
Suits: Ted Baker
Bow ties: Little Red Fox
Jewellery: Victoria Sewart Plymouth
Photographer: Grace Elizabeth Photography
Cake: Edible Essence Couture Cake Co.
MUA: Oksana Beauty Salon Plymouth
Hair: Regan Hair Plymouth

How to get your wedding photography published?

I am running a wedding photography workshop which will help you organise your own styled wedding photo shoot and get your work published! It will explain how to get your favourites wedding published on top international and UK  wedding blogs!


Location: Ocean Studios Plymouth
Date: Saturday 11th June 2016

If you would like further information please email libertypearlphotography@gmail.com

or visit our styled wedding photography workshop webpage.

Here is a testimony from a previous workshop attendee

“the highlight was being able to pick the brains of a pro who has been there and worn the t-shirt, especially when that pro is so willing to share her fantastic experiences to the benefit of all those attending”

P.S If you would like to learn from a widely published wedding photographer and update your portfolio book now. Our early bird offer lasts until May 18th at midnight.

Liberty Pearl photography wedding workshop 2 Ocean Studios Plymouth