Winners of {natures backdrop}

Melissa and Myself are very excited to introduce you to this week’s guest judge, UK based photographer Jamie Sia Gadong. Jamie is very well loved and respected in the photography community as not only is he crazily talented, he is also very supportive and a friend to everyone….he is our very own Guy with the Bow Tie this week. Also a contributor on The Dark Room he is very familiar with community pages and how helpful they are to us all.
Jamie has a few words about how he feels about being asked to judge here this week.

Jamie Sia Photography

“I always lovely being part of such a community and I believe it’s importance for overall achievement is paramount to everyone’s success.

I love natural, well composed and creative photography. I am far from a traditional photographer so like work that is as much. Connection in photos, a story or indeed something that is different usually catches my eye. Photography of course is so subjective and to be able to grade it is a difficult but I suppose the best judgement are those of your peers and of people you respect. That goes along way for me. With all that being said, do photography for you and no one else. Do it because it makes you happy and nothing else. Money, fame and status are just things that you may come across but if you aren’t happy then it’s worth nothing at all.”

1st Place: Kristi James Photography


1 – The connection of the couple is palpable and lighting is on point. I love the deep contrast. 3

2nd Place : Creative Edge Photography


2 – Again the connection is so lovely. The backlight brings it all together, composition is spot on.

3rd Place: Tammy Davis Photography

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3- This is what it’s all about, catching the emotions, the love, the joy. , I’m loving the near bokeh and the light coming through the trees

Keep your {bridal Prep} images coming in!!


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The Cheltonian : The Importance of Wedding Cake with The Cheltenham Cakery

The Ten-Point Importance of the Wedding Cake

This month I spoke to professional cake designer and maker, Sophie Liggat from The Cheltenham Cakery.

Too often I see a cake hidden in the corner like an apology for being there, so we decided to write you something to show you how to make your cake feel proud to be there!

Here are your top tips from Sophie herself!

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A gorgeous wedding cake sitting in pride of place atop its own designated and styled table can be the focal point of many a wedding. Normally, this carefully constructed and intricately designed masterpiece of edible art is a longstanding tradition that dates back to roman and medieval times, albeit that way back then buns and pies where the culinary order of the day.

Traditionally, however, the wedding cake was made to bring good luck to the newly-weds. It was seen as a status symbol – the larger and more detailed the cake was, the higher the social standing and wealth of the couple. Today, the wedding cake has also become another way to cement together the theme, values and individuality associated with both of the couple.

With weddings costing more than ever and an ever expanding cornucopia of choices on offer – how do couples chose what to have and who to make it? I have a favourite saying that deals well with this problem:

‘Your wedding cake will not be the most expensive part of your wedding day, but it will be the most expensive cake you will ever purchase.’

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So, whether the wedding cake features low on your list of priorities or high on the, ‘I have got to have that,’ list –here are ten handy tips to get you started.


1. Choose a cake after making the rest of your major wedding style decisions. 

The cake should complement your theme of the day. Ensure that you have these details finalised – that way you can turn up at your cake consultation with colour swatches, sketches and any other necessary notes. 

2. Learn to love Social Media

Research tools like Google Images and Pinterest on social media are great for developing your theme or chosen colours. Save the images on mood boards and,as your ideas develop, add them to your boards or remove those images that no longer fit in with your new ideas. These boards are great for sharing with your wedding suppliers, too. They ensure that your vision will become reality. 

3. Know Your Budget

Set aside your ‘maximum spend’ and also work with your cake designer to create a cake that you are happy with. Understand that multiple tiers, sugar work, cake toppers and intricate hand piping will all increase the total cost of your cake. After all, someone is spending a lot of time hand-making all of these beautiful details for you.


4. Cake flavours…. what do you pick? 

So, you and your other half love rum and raisin flavour cake? However, having your entire wedding cake made with this flavour might not be everyone else’s cup of tea – unless, of course, it’s chocolate and pretty much everyone loves chocolate cake! Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t have your own flavour hit but, perhaps,pick a smaller tier in order to achieve this? Mix and match your flavours too – not every tier has to be the same flavour.

5. To Topper or not to Topper?

Why not finish your cake off with a quirky topper that is representative of the pair of you as a couple? Perhaps you both love penguins? Or, maybe, a simple and stylish topper such as one of the acrylic toppers which are gaining popularity at present. Alternatively, you may not want or even need a topper at all, depending on your final design. 

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6. Style Your Cake Table

Don’t forget to style your cake table – the reason that all of those, ‘Oh, so scrummy,’ cakes look so amazing in the pictures is completely due to the styling of the cake table. Prior to its being cut, the cake will be on display for quite a while to be admired by your guests and provide photo opportunities. Ensure that your cake table is well lit, and well dressed.  Think sumptuous fabrics such as sequins or chiffon, glorious candles and romantic flowers. Also bear in mind that you don’t have to settle for a boring white tablecloth!

7. Book your Delivery and Set Up

Don’t skimp on having your cake delivered and set up by its maker. If you have ordered a cake for £500, why would you want to set up and organise it yourself.  First,you most probably won’t have the time and second,most cakes are elaborately decorated and, as such, are often transported to venues in separate tiers and assembled on site. Don’t risk a catastrophic cake disaster in order to save a few pennies.

8. Eat Cake

Many couples just don’t get the chance to eat any of their own wedding cake! Ensure that your caterer saves you some or, alternatively, ask you cake designer to provide you with a box of cupcakes in your personal flavours that are yours and yours alone to eat. 


9. I Have A Friend….

Don’t have a friend make your cake. As tempting as it may be to have a friend make your cake, how would you feel and how would your friendship fair if the outcome of the cake is not quite what you envisaged?


10. Book Your Cake Designer

So, then, you’ve found your cake maker…… don’t forget to book them! Many people find their cake maker and then go on to get absorbed with other wedding details, vowing to sort something a little later. This may mean that you’ll lose your prime choice to someone else’s booking. Although most planning guides tell you to book your cake 6-8 months in advance, talented wedding cake makers can be booked up to 18 months ahead. BOOK IT FAST!

Whether a wedding cake is high or low on your list of priorities, I hope that this ten-point checklist will serve toyou get started on creating the cake that is truly reflective of you both on your special day. Remember, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. It’s eating your cake and still having it that is the trick that no-one manages to pull off. 

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Keeping Up with The Jones’

I first met Michelle through my talented friend and regular team mate, Amy Hickey, make up artist extraordinaire! When we sat down to discuss her wedding, I knew we were going to have a fabulous day!! We started bridal prep, with Amy and myself providing the usual entertainment of playful banter, little Sophia was helping, and sat beautifully for her own hair and make up too!!

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We then drove out to a lovely little church in the Cotswolds, then to Gupshill Manor. I have to say that the staff at Gupshill Manor were very helpful, and definitely went above and beyond for the wedding couple.

The manor is situated next to a wild meadow, and also has their own lavender garden, which of course we made great use of!! I hope you enjoy this wedding as ,much as I did!!

Good luck and congratulations, Mr & Mrs Jones!!

Make Up: Amy Hickey

Bridal Hair by Chloe Britton Hair, Tewkesbury

Flowers by Simply Flowers by Jo Hiorns

Venue: Gupshill Manor

Dress Designer: David Tutera at Grand Jour

Videography by The Wedding Station

Wedding Cars by Satin & Lace





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WINNERS of {I Do, Take You}

Thank you to everyone who participated in our very first week here at A Lens On Love! This community is the baby of myself (Sheryl) and Melissa from Melissa Bliss Photography in Virginia, USA

We wanted to create a place for wedding photographers to grow, support, create, and learn. We have on hand some of the elite from around the world of wedding photography participating in both judging the weekly themes competitions and to be on hand to advice, no matter what level of experience you are!.

We are so very grateful to Lisa Lobonova for being our first judge! We look forward to her coming back later on in the year.


1 – A winner no questions asked. I love the emotions and a nice black and white conversion really works well with this image

Fiona Kelly Photography


2 – again, shows genuine emotions

Captured By Katrina


3 – I like the bokeh at the background and a simple clean edit

Blueberry Fields Photography

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