Top Tips For Planning Your Wedding – The List Before The List!

So, you’re getting married, Congratulations!

Getting married can be daunting and perhaps overwhelming. Ask any bride and they’ll say that there can be so many surprises on your wedding day, I know this well as a wedding photographer who has photographed over 100 weddings but also in my experience as a bride who planned her own wedding in 9 weeks!
Polhawn Fort outdoor ceremony Cornwall wedding photographer

There’s so much to think about and each element comes with a million choices. Through it all, you want to remain authentic and true to you and your partner’s personality, making sure it’s the magical day you’ve both dreamed about.

So here are my top tips for getting started with planning your wedding:

Grab a cup of tea and write down the 4 most important things for you and your partner on your special day. These are so different for every couple…..

1. Do you have a specific venue that you love whether it’s urban or beach or perhaps somewhere in the countryside?
2 .How many guests would you prefer to have there? Perhaps an intimate ceremony would suit you better, or a large wedding with all your friends and family around you.
3. What would you both like to wear? What will suit the season and you as a couple?
4. Do you dream of pink peonies or peach David Austin roses? Which flowers suit you and your dream wedding?

Deer Park Hotel Devon wedding photographer

Spend a few minutes every day researching wedding photographs that you LOVE and store those inspirational images in your dream wedding Pinterest board. Look at the four priorities you’ve listed in point 1, and pin images that inspire you to plan your dream wedding. Whether you’re traditional or totally alternative, you’ll find images that will help you create your perfect wedding day.

Polhawn Fort outdoor ceremony Cornwall wedding photographer beach wedding

Get organised! One of the most important things for me when I was planning my own wedding was to get the information out of my head, you can do this in to ways; creating an online checklist or getting it  onto paper, and I did both! Your mind is busy enough without trying to remember the finer details. Buy yourself a beautiful folder for all of your wedding planning suppliers and notes. Separate your folder into categories such as venue, flowers, dress and photographer.

If you prefer being organised digitally then use an online checklist, I LOVE the fabulous online planning system provided by WeddingWire. These lists are completely customisable and will manage anything from your ‘to do’ lists and manage your budget, you can even track your progress on each task. This gives you lots more time to plan the fun stuff whilst feeling rest assured the important elements are taken care of!


Start looking for your wedding photographer right away. I know just how quickly a good photographer gets booked up. It’s not uncommon for me to have weddings years in advance! Find your perfect wedding photographer who just gets your personality and will capture your special day and get them booked in.

Polhawn Fort outdoor ceremony Cornwall wedding photographer

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing so many amazing couples, capturing their most magical moments together. I love connecting with people and I would love to connect with you too. If you’re planning your special day and looking for a professional wedding photographer that really values getting to know you, then get in touch! We can start talking about all things wedding!

Tredudwell Manor Cornwall wedding photographer country house wedding



To plug or to unplug your wedding that is the question

When I married my husband a year ago today – I loved our guests having their phones because I enjoyed seeing the images that everyone captured. It helped me to see the day through their eyes.

But equally I know that some couples prefer to ‘release’ the official photographs when they want to, which is of course their choice too. Either way I thought it would be good to look at plugged (with phones) and unplugged ceremonies (without them) as it is such a hot topic of discussion in the wedding industry at the moment.

As a professional photographer, there is nothing worse than a guest stepping out in front of you to get an image of the bride and groom when they walk back down the aisle.

It can ruin that split second you have to capture a special moment. That moment that becomes forever lost behind the suit jacket of a well-meaning guest.

Everyone who owns a decent smart phone now believes they too are photographers. With Instagram filters and touch of the button editing, it’s easier to create some truly breath-taking images on a mobile. But there is a reason why a couple have invested their money in a professional photographer when it comes to their wedding.

The understanding about composition, posing and above all else light, means that the images stand the test of time. These are the ones that are framed, or end up in the wedding album for generations to come. The pictures that reflect a couple’s special day as they dreamt it would be.

I have been to wedding ceremonies where there has been a ban on all cameras except mine. I have also been to weddings where I have had to contend with guests in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Whilst I really liked looking through the images my friends took at my wedding, I hope they didn’t make it too difficult for the photographer to do their job on the day.

We’re lucky in that we have a beautiful set of photographs to treasure.

But I hope that our guests actually experienced the wedding in person, and not just from the view finder of their camera phone.

Having a plugged or unplugged wedding has to be your decision. It’s just worth having a think during the planning stages about what will work best for you.

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!


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.

Reasons to have a pre wedding shoot – part 1

I love being a wedding photographer in Devon, there are so many beautiful wedding venues, but I love pre wedding shoots and engagement sessions even more.  I think they are SO IMPORTANT for couples to consider as part of their wedding package and here’s why….



  1. Get to know your photographer and make sure you like them!
    It’s a great opportunity for me to get to know my couples and for them to get to know me, so that there are no surprises on their wedding day. I think it’s really important that couple’s get along with their wedding photographer, after all they will be sharing the most important day of your life! Firstly I LOVE to hear about the proposal story, and talking and meeting new people, so finding out about my couple’s and how they met is so much fun!The Duke of Cornwall Hotel Plymouth wedding engagement
    2. You have beautiful natural photos capturing real, authentic, natural love between 2 people
    The engagement session is 100% natural. There is no styling, no make up artist, no hired suits, no theme, no wedding guests, no schedule, it’s just two people in love. I can see the couple together in their natural environment and in an every day situation. The photos from the pre wedding shoot show 100% natural love and emotion between two people without any distractions.dartmoor-widgery-cross-engagement-pre-wedding-photo-shoot
    3. Practise posing in front of a camera
    I don’t ‘pose’ a couple I just help them look their best by just being themselves and acting naturally. It is a very relaxed session where I encourage the couple to have a chat about something, go for a walk, hold hands, and show affection to each other. I very simple and relaxed approach to posing but the results are natural and beautiful! The couple understand my shooting style whilst practising being in front of the camera without any distractions or interruptions.

    pre wedding shoot royal William yard Plymouth Devon Cornish wedding London engagement

    4. You can talk about your wedding in detail
    I can get to know the couple but we also get lots of time to talk about the wedding in detail. I can find out about the timings of the day, venue details, favourite locations, group photo ideas; all the elements that are most important to each couple. Every couple is so different so I ask each couple to fill out a wedding photography questionnaire, which helps me to find out what is most important to them on their wedding day. I also like to know what the wedding photos are going to be used for after the wedding, this really helps with my planning for the wedding day. I create a bespoke plan for each couple and work from this on the day to ensure I have every important detail captured.

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    5. You are more relaxed on your wedding day
    As a result, the couple’s wedding day photographs will be even more amazing, because they will know exactly what to expect from their wedding photographer and will feel entirely comfortable with what’s happening on the wedding day.

    Devon wedding photographer Liberty Pearl Photography village hall beach wedding-3

Thank you for reading part 1 of our ‘pre wedding shoot’ blog series, next time we will taking about how to choose your location for a pre wedding shoot.

If you are getting married in Devon, Cornwall, Bristol, Somerset or London and would like a pre wedding shoot please get in contact with me with details of your engagement shoot idea. I love photographing couples in beautiful natural environments – beaches, Dartmoor, woodlands and I love a creative city pre wedding shoot too I cannot wait to hear from you!


Good luck to an amazing wedding photographer x

Wedding photographers in Devon Liberty Pearl Photography Grace Elizabeth
Yesterday was a sad day, I said goodbye and good luck to an amazing photographer!

Grace Clarke came to me just over a year ago asking if she could get some work experience with me, she asked if we could meet up so she could ask me a few questions about photography….

So on 1st May 2015 we arranged to meet for coffee in Prime Cafe Bar, Grace arrived with two A4 pages of questions about wedding photography, how to set up a business, styled shots, posing, camera kit, editing techniques and much much more. I was very impressed! I knew from that moment that this girl was special. She was so keen, so passionate about photography and had so much enthusiasm to learn everything she possibly could about wedding photography, I couldn’t wait to start working with her and mentoring her.

The first time Grace worked for me as a second shooter was one month later for a styled wedding photo shoot with Duke of Cornwall Hotel organised by Jenny Wren Weddings & Events, Grace had so many creative ideas she wanted to try out and worked very hard all day. One month later we found out that a selection of Grace’s images were published in the feature for Wed Magazine and on a number of top wedding blogs!

Since then Grace’s has assisted me with a number of pre wedding shoots, weddings, events, workshops and styled photo shoots which have been widely published, and she has gone on to set up her own successful wedding photography business Grace Elizabeth Photography. Grace has achieved all of this and much more whilst studying photography Plymouth College of Art!

It has been so wonderful watching Grace develop her own signature style of wedding photography. Grace aims to tell love stories through artistic, honest and authentic photographs, capturing precious moments so that they can be re-lived again and again.

Jesse and Amber | Kingsands, Cornwall | Grace Elizabeth PhotographI love her photography so much I booked her for my own wedding back in May!

GOOD LUCK GRACE! You are an EXTREMELY talented photographer and you work is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! We are so blessed to know you and have you as our personal family photographer, and friend, Plymouth will not be the same without you!!!!

It has been so great mentoring you and seeing your confidence grow, and so lovely getting to know you and I wish you all the luck in the future. I am so excited to follow your progress see your business develop and your work become even more beautiful.

P.S If you would like to be mentored by Liberty Pearl Photography please get in touch via our contact page xxx

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

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

Liberty Pearl’s surprise proposal Gidleigh Park Devon

Liberty Pearl’s surprise proposal Gidleigh Park Devon

I am a wedding photographer who recently became engaged when my savvy other half Jesse not only created the most perfect surprise proposal and celebration, but also had a photographer capture the whole thing. He’s a definitely a keeper!

I wanted to tell you a little bit more about my romantic surprise proposal, sharing the gorgeous images and a film of the whole thing as it unveiled.

Liberty Pearl's surprise proposal Gidleigh Park Devon Grace Elizabeth Photography

A little bit about us…
We met on a dating website in January 2015, met in person in February 2015, and starting dating in march 2015, and we have very happily been dating ever since! We just have so much in common and get on so well, we knew early on that we wanted to get married and share our lives together. We talked about getting engaged and looked at different engagement rings a couple of times, but I am very impatient so at every special occasion including birthdays, Christmas, Valentines day, our holiday in New York, I was expecting a proposal!!! And of course I was disappointed when this didn’t happen the way I expected it to.

Surprise engagement
I am so busy with wedding bookings and engagement shoots on weekends we hadn’t been spending a lot of time together so Jesse asked me to book out a Saturday free from meetings and photo shoots so we could go for lunch together. I just thought we were going for lunch and I was quite excited about having a nice relaxing afternoon together, just the two of us. But little did I know that he had planned a surprise proposal at the beautiful Gidleigh Park on the edge of Dartmoor.

I said yes!
It was the most amazing moment of my life, we walked through a stunning woodland to a bridge at the entrance of the hotel and the sun was shining through the trees. It was so romantic, and yes he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening!!!! Of course I said YES through my tears of joy.

But not only did he propose to me, he also invited my daughter Liberty and my closest friends and family to the venue to share this special moment and celebrate with. It wouldn’t have been the same without Liberty.

Celebrations with family and friends
Jesse had organised a champagne reception on the lawn and an amazing 6 course lunch in a private dining room which was out of this world. The food was sooo delicious and the champagne was flowing. It was so lovely having my friends and family there with us. It was a mini engagement party
This alone made me so happy I was going to marry Jesse! He is just thoughtful in every way and always remembers the tiny little things I say.

The ring
I am very fussy and I don’t like wearing too much jewellery, so looking for engagement rings was very difficult. I am not the traditional type of girl, I don’t wear jewellery, follow fashion trends, my style is very simple and classic and I don’t own a ring so didn’t really know where to start. I knew I just didn’t want an ‘off the shelf’ diamond ring. When visiting some friends in Bristol back in October we popped into a couple of antique shops in Clifton village, I tried on a stunning 1930’s art deco sapphire and diamond engagement ring and I fell in love with it, until I saw the price tag. It was a whopping £7000!! So I thought that was the end of that! But Jesse remembered the style of ring and when we went to New York this Christmas he secretly went shopping one day and searched high and low and found an even more beautiful sapphire and diamond ring and I LOVE it!!!! and he assured me it wasn’t anywhere near £7000! It is simple and unique, and it is from New York which is really special because that was our first holiday together.

The photography
I am a wedding photographer and I photographed my first proposal in New York this winter – the proposal was a complete surprise to me included, it was so special, so I hinted to Jesse that I wanted my proposal photographed. Jesse had arranged for amazing photographer Grace Elizabeth Photography to come and capture our proposal and document the day, Grace also carried out a pre wedding shoot for us after our lunch which was sooo special! She also arranged for the proposal to be filmed as well, so that was an wonderful surprise for both Jesse and I.

No messing around…
We have booked our wedding for the 21st May this year and we have booked Grace as our wedding photographer, because her style is so beautiful, natural and relaxed and she is so lovely, we can’t imagine anyone else photographing our day for us.

Words from our amazing photographer Grace Elizabeth
Marriage is an incredible, precious thing. At Grace Elizabeth Photography I value the opportunity to document weddings, creating natural, authentic photographs that capture the emotion, joy and character of the day. I am unobtrusive and tell stories beautifully and artistically, as they unfold, encompassing the quiet, candid and informal, as well as the significant, big moments of the day. I am based in the East Midlands, UK but I am rarely happier than when exploring new places, so I am more than glad to take my camera wherever, no matter how far or wide.

It was such a privilege to document Jesse and Ambers surprise proposal, to capture such an intimate and personal moment which marks such an exciting new chapter in their life together.

My first wedding photography workshop was a success!

I had such an amazing day yesterday at Deer Park Hotel in Honiton, with a group of 8 very talented photographers! We spent the day getting know each other and talking about our businesses and our journeys so far!

It was my first ever wedding photography business workshop and I loved every minute of it! There was so much I wanted to talk about and share with the aspiring wedding photographers about my business!

It definitely was a day of inspiration, growth, opportunity and fellowship with like minded creatives! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I cannot wait to share the photos and the feedback with you all!

Liberty Pearl wedding photography workshop portraits Deer Park Hotel

I am now extremely excited about workshop 2 in a few weeks time, which involves a styled wedding photo shoot to enhance your portfolio!!

P.S. If you would like further information about any of my workshops please visit my workshop webpage and fill out the contact form.

Special offer – free Folio wedding album – Wed Magazine January 2016

wed magazine liberty pearl photography january wedding

Take advantage of Liberty Pearl Photography’s brilliant promotion, where they are currently offering couples a free Folio Fine Art wedding album worth £600 with every full day wedding photography package.

For a total price of £1700, their popular package includes a pre-wedding shoot to warm you up in front of the lens, 8-10 hours of wedding photography coverage, 800-1200 images on an online gallery, plus all images professionally edited in both colour, vintage and black and white. Simply quote WED2016 when sending your enquiry but please note this special offer is only valid for bookings made in January.

The result? An inspired set of images displayed in a gorgeous album of fresh-from-the-day memories that you’ll treasure a lifetime.

Visit the Wed Magazine website.