Beautiful Twilight Wedding at Newland Hall | Sophie + Mark | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer

Sophie and Mark’s gorgeous bohemian twilight wedding last September at Newland Hall was definitely one of the highlights of 2018 for me, and I am so excited to finally be able to share their day with you! You might be surprised to know that I was absolutely full of flu when their day rolled around (seriously, who gets the flu in September?!) but I absolutely would not have missed this wedding for the world. I had SO much fun and it was absolutely gorgeous!

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Post-Wedding Sessions | The Clark Family | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer

This blog post is going to be introducing something new to you - my post wedding sessions! I am so excited to launch these, because I think they might just be a huge game changer (not to mention a stress reliever!) when it comes to the formal photos on your wedding day…

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Best of 2018 | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

What an absolute year 2018 was. It was the year I went from doing photography on the side, to going fully self employed, and for that, I am so very grateful. 2018 gave me the opportunity to photograph the most amazing weddings and lifestyle sessions, and to meet so many amazing people. It was a year full of love, I started the #GoldDustProject, I photographed quite a few charity events and I documented a few eco friendly vegan events too. So here it is, a round up of the best moments of 2018!

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Retro 50s DIY Crabbs Barn Wedding | Rhia + James | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Colchester, Essex

When bride Rhia first got in contact with me back in the summer, I knew from her messages that right away we would get along, so it wasn’t long before we organised meeting up to chat about their plans. It was the middle of summer, with the blazing hot heatwave, and I think I must have spent about three hours at their home… No wonder that now we are such good friends! Funny how you never know where one facebook message might lead six months down the line!

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Winter Family Beach Sunset Session at Cudmore Grove | Bushell Family | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

I first met Jo (also a wonderful family photographer!) through one of my Gold Dust Project participants, Lorna. After photographing Lorna with her little ones at her home (and spending a little too much time chatting at the end!), just as I was leaving, Lorna’s good friend Jo turned up for a catch up with her. I never expected that a few months down the line, Jo and husband Stephen would be looking for family photos. It is always a HUGE compliment when another photographer wants to book in with me!

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Classic Intimate English Wedding, Wivenhoe House and St Osyth | Sarah + Alex | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Colchester, Essex

You know what, if I could shoot intimate garden weddings all of the time, I totally would, and this wedding is exactly why…

Sarah and Alex got in touch with me just ten days before their wedding day in October. Having wed in France in a beautiful chateau a few weeks prior, they planned an intimate re-run of their day, so that Alex’s grandmother would be able to attend (you’ll spot her as the smiley blonde lady in the blue dress in the photos later!) Straight off the bat, I thought that was just so kind and I absolutely said yes to doing their wedding (what a stroke of luck it was that I was free!)

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Cosy Woodland Extended Family Session | The Dow's | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Colchester, Essex

After heading to take a few photos with Joe and Emily’s grandmother at her home, we all drove a short distance to Donyland Woods on a chilly but sunny November morning, somewhere that Joe and Emily spent many hours exploring as kids with their parents and grandparents. I am always happy to suggest photo locations but more often than not, it’s lovely when you take the lead because it lets us make memories in a place which is probably already packed full to the brim of memories from years gone past!

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Freespirited Bohemian Beach Maternity Session in Kent | Jess + Kerion | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Jess is such a special friend to me. I remember when she announced she was pregnant in April with a WhatsApp message that went something along the lines of ‘So, Grace, would you ever do my maternity photos?’ of course she knew I would say yes, but I had no clue that she was literally asking me to do them, in October of this year, because she was pregnant! ‘Is this your way of telling me you’re pregnant?!’ I asked, hesitantly. ‘Well, yes!’ She exclaimed, and honestly I have been just as excited as them both for this little baby’s arrival!

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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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