Intimate DIY Rainy Beach Wedding at Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe | John + Amy | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

Oh where do you start with a wedding like this one? A beautiful couple (actually, let me correct myself *a beautiful family!), beautiful location and beautifully thought-out, DIY wedding day. I couldn’t ask for any more.

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Vegan Yogi's Take over the University of Essex | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

If you headed down to the University of Essex this Sunday, it would’ve been hard to miss the hundred of people armed with yoga mats, reusable cutlery and yoga leggings making their way onto the grounds! To celebrate World Vegan Month, the University became host to Essex's first Yoga and Vegan Festival, organised by Yogific. The festival consisted of all-day long Yoga and meditation classes, talks, workshops, classes for children, yummy vegan food and ethical shopping (which we all know I love!) Besides local yoga teachers, teachers from various locations taught on the day, including the lovely Scarlet Pigot, from Ireland and Tara Ubachs, from the Netherlands, along with various teachers heading down fro London and Cambridgeshire.

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A DIY Boho Barn Wedding at the Essex Barn, White Hart, Great Yeldham | Sarah and Paul | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Right, so where do you start at explaining how beautiful, amazing, wonderful and fantastic a wedding and the bride and groom were when there are only so many adjectives in the dictionary?!

Sarah and Paul’s wedding at the bohemian barn at the White Hart, Great Yeldham, was just absolutely stunning from start to finish, and such a pleasure to be a part of.

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Zeromkt - London's First Vegan, Zero Waste Market | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer

At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to attend and photograph London’s first vegan, zero waste market: the ZeroMkt, held at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel, in Kensington, London. You might know that I personally am all for supporting things such as animal rights, being as eco friendly as possible (reduce, reuse, recycle springs to mind!), and being vegan, but I usually keep my opinions relatively unheard of. However, the ZeroMkt was such an amazing collection of likeminded people, and it’s really encouraged me to be a bit more open about the things that are so important to me!

The ZeroMkt was organised by a few people, but notably the lovely Abi Penny, who I had initially met through her sister Katie. Earlier in the year I photographed a charity ball for Katie to raise money for Alzheimers Research, along with supporting her in running the London Marathon for her grandmother. It would seem that both sisters have their minds set on changing the world for the better, because the ZeroMkt was an amazing achievement!

I got in touch with Abi to find out a bit more about what her plans for the market were, so this is a little bit of a different blog post in that it’s kind of an interview!

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Sarah and Alex's Intimate Family Wedding, Wivenhoe House and St Osyth | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Alex and Sarah got in touch with me just a week before their wedding, which had been brought together at lightning-speed to follow their initial big wedding in the French countryside a month prior. Unfortunately, Alex’s Grandmother was too ill to attend their destination wedding, so this wedding was put together almost just for her (oh, and that small note about having a legal UK ceremony, too, but their focus was more on having their wonderful Grandmother present.)

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Tiffany and Joe's Boho Rainbow Colchester Castle Wedding | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

It's always lovely when you get to photograph your clients twice, for two really important moments in their lives... Tiffany and Joe gave me both of those opportunities, and I'm so grateful. They first booked me last spring to photograph their little girl's newborn photos, which I absolutely loved doing (as it turned out, they're also a cat-crazy couple which meant the cats got involved in their shoot too - no complaints from me!) and they adored their photos so much, that they gave me the privilege of coming back to photograph their wedding photos just last month! 

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Mark and Sophie's Boho Newland Hall Wedding, Chelmsford | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding And Lifestyle Photographer

The wonderful Sophie and Mark wed at Newland Hall, in Chelmsford this Friday, with a beautiful boho theme. It was one of the most laid back weddings I’ve ever shot, with so much time for bridal and groom prep, it was possible to notice and document every detail: and there were many… The girls looked stunning in pink and cream floral, floaty bridesmaids dresses, with complimentary blush blooms, whilst the guys opted for blue suave swallow-tail suits, complimented with a mix of golds, from antique pocket watches to shiny new watches (a gift from the bride.) Sophie of course looked absolutely stunning in her Boho Blush Boutique bridal gown, a v-neck lace number with a leg slit and fine detailing.

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John And Amy's Tunnels Beaches Seaside Wedding | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding And Lifestyle Photographer

John and Amy gave me the absolute pleasure of photographing their intimate wedding ceremony at Tunnels Beaches just yesterday, and although it bucketed it down with rain on and off all day (and just had to be the one day of the week sandwiched by warm, sunny days!) we didn't let the weather put a dampener on our spirits.

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Tiffany and Joe's Colchester Castle DIY Wedding | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

When I first met Tiffany and Joe, it was to photograph their newborn baby girl's photographs, but I never could've imagined a year and a half later I would be photographing their beautiful DIY wedding at Colchester Castle!

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Fitch Family Session at Colchester Castle Park | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer Colchester, Essex

So, here's a funny story... I used to actually go to school with Emily-May, who booked this family session with me to celebrate her mum's birthday... But I hadn't seen Emily in almost ten years! It was so surreal to catch up with her and meet the rest of her family, and what a fun session this was!

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Sarah and Paul's Beautiful Boho Barn Wedding, Essex Barn, White Hart, Great Yeldham | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer

When I first met Sarah and Paul last year, I was welcomed at the door by the pair of them, trying to battle their way through two excitable dogs and puppies. Apologies and uncontrollable big dogs out of the way (I know the feeling well!) I knew right away we would get on well! I can't believe a year has passed and yesterday was their wedding day!

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Barker's Summer Evening Extended Family Session | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

I was admittedly a little bit lost on the way to the Barker family session, and after a quick phone call to Bryony, who booked the session, I was pointed in the direction of the house - turns out no one can find it! A few moments later, and still a bit confused, I was excitedly greeted by three little girls, waving at me with huge grins from across the road. 'Ah, that'll be the house then!' I knew right off the bat that this would be a lot of fun, because the girls were so keen. I always love an extended family session, and the Barker family's session was no exception!

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The Gold Dust Project - Chapter Three - Lily-Mae's Gastroschisis journey - Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Let's talk about one of the bravest little girls I've met: Lily-Mae, the little girl born with her intestines outside of her body... She was wise beyond her years, and for just five years old, I was absolutely so impressed with her knowledge of what I was doing with the Gold Dust Project, and why it's important.

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Intimate Outdoor DIY Summer Wedding at Prested Hall | Sophie and Christian | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

When I met up with Sophie for a raspberry lemon-lime soda at a local pub a few months ago, I knew she was my kinda bride! We chatted about her wedding plans to long-term fiancé, Christian, and her eyes absolutely lit up as she spoke about him. They're just the cutest couple, and you will just see how in love they are!

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Guest Feature: The Best UK Barn Wedding Venues According to Guides for Brides | Grace Elizabeth: Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex, UK

So today on the blog, I have something a little different to my norm... It's an exciting guest feature from Guides for Brides! I have been featured on their blog before with one of my real weddings, so of course it made sense for them to do a little feature here to share - because sharing is caring in this industry! As many of you know, I travel across the UK and the world, and these are a few venues I would love to shoot in!

So, do you want a chic, rustic barn wedding but struggling to find the perfect venue? Guides for Brides have picked out some of their favourites from across the country to get you inspired!


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Mermaiding UK: Body Positive Mermaids Shoot | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

Okay, this post is a total throwback, but can we talk about the time I got to photograph REAL LIFE MERMAIDS?! I am so stoked to be really good friends with Kerenza Sapphire (known to her less-finned friends as Carla), the mermaid (lady!) who runs Mermaiding UK, and who made this girl's dream come true! I mean, who doesn't wanna work with REAL MERMAIDS?!

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The Parker's Suffolk Extended Family Session | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Colchester, Essex

When the Parker's got in touch with me a little while ago about booking their extended family session, I was super excited, because the session was going to be a surprise! Elizabeth's mum was celebrating her birthday the day of the shoot, and the day after, her parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, so it was such a lovely gesture to book the session for those reasons! It made it even more special!


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Sophie and Christian's 'Cute' Bohemian Wedding Previews | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

I absolutely adored their wedding and how sweet they were, I think #cute is the only way to describe them (Sophie and Christian will know what I mean!) but also their bridal party, family, and friends were just the kindest people. Oh I do love these weddings where I end up feeling like a guest!


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How to hold a laid-back modern Buddhist wedding at Firstsite, Colchester | Georgie and Amalaketu | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

When Georgie and Amalaketu got in contact with me about shooting their laid back, Buddhist wedding, we met up (as I always do!) and chatted over some vegan food and drinks in my favourite little nook - Sip and Tuck. An hour or so later, they invited me to have a look around their trendy, modern wedding venue: Firstsite, an art gallery in the centre of Colchester - and as it turned out, the planets had aligned... 

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