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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Jess and Tom's Boho DIY Norfolk Countryside Wedding | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

Fast forward to June, and oh my goodness I just don't have enough words to describe how amazing their wedding was! From groom prep with the guys who were totally laid back and couldn't stop laughing, to bridal prep with the girls (I do love this part - all the makeup, hair, dresses and jewels get my creative mind buzzing!), to the beautiful, touching ceremony itself at their local Kingdom Hall, to the abundance of lovely family and friends who posed for group shots, to Jess and Tom themselves, who were absolute models during their couple session (the connection they have exceeds something way beyond their years) to the amazing Thai food, to the tear-jerking, belly-laughing speeches, and finally their sweet first dance. ALL of it was perfection.

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A cocktail evening at Liberty House | Business Branding Photography | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

A beautifully modern renovated 17th-century barn, set in the gorgeous Suffolk countryside, this place is both picturesque and the perfect location to throw a party. With the ability to accommodate twenty people in eight luxurious bedrooms, and six bathrooms (five en-suite) each hand decorated with interior design even Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen would be envious of, not to mention an indoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tub, Liberty House Luxury Retreat is truly the place to relax with a glass of champagne!

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A Laid Back Woodland Family Session with the Chandrasiri's | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester Essex

The family travelled over an hour to come and see me, and we explored Highwoods Country Park, here in Colchester where I live. It is one of my favourite spots for sessions, plus I like the challenge of always trying to find new parts within the forest!. It was a super warm day, and the Chandrasiri's were so organised that they even brought multiple outfit choices with them - oh how I excited I was! I LOVE an organised family and the different outfit choices were amazing. I tell you, Mira and Marianna both do a fabulous job of co-ordinating outfits for their bookings!

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Georgie and Amalaketu's Laid Back Buddhist Firstsite Wedding | Previews | Grace Elizabeth, Colchester, Essex Alternative Wedding Photographer

I decided to meet up with them to have a chat over a hot chocolate (no surprises there!) at one of my favourite little cafés, Sip and Tuck. Having ordered my coconut milk hot chocolate, I pondered around the corner to find them sat there awaiting me. Within a few moments and hello's, a waitress peered round and asked if I wanted the vegan hot chocolate, so I said yes! Off she went again, which prompted 'are you vegan too?!' from Georgie and Amalaketu. 'Yes I am!' I said. Turns out they were too, and they'd been looking for vegan wedding suppliers because they too, are vegan! If that's not fate - I don't know what is!

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A few days in the South of Wales | Travel Diary | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex

Just over a week ago, I took a little break and drove down to the South of Wales with my aunt and uncle, to see my cousin, who I hadn't seen in over a year since she moved to the area (and I can totally see why she doesn't want to move back!) I then travelled down to North Devon for a few days, but I will post about that later!


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Rhiannon and Will's Art-Deco Town Wedding | Grace Elizabeth | Colchester, Essex, Alternative Wedding Photographer

When I met up with Rhiannon and Will on Christmas Eve of last year, they told me of their non-traditional, vintage-twist low-key wedding plans. These two were not about having a big, over the top wedding, and focused more on having a small, intimate get together with family and friends, which I absolutely adore in a wedding. I was most intrigued by their laid back nature, highlighted by their plans to get ready together, to walk to the ceremony location together, down the aisle together, and of course leave as husband and wife. Their laidback natures even rubbed off onto me, as I was asked quite a few times if I was friends of theirs. Although not quite, I always feel like I ultimately end up becoming friends with my couples!

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