Its with great pleasure that today I can bring you a shoot that to me just captures the day so clearly, whilst also reminding me of a lovely city that has a piece of my heart as I grew up around the area. I LOVE BRISTOL!! Bristol is a city that just heaves with creativity and with activity as you will never be short of finding something wonderful to do from food festivals to balloon fiesta’s.

Hope and Neil’s wedding is captured here by Mark of Mark Leonard Photography – a lovely chappy who covers the Bath, Bristol and Southwest shooting weddings in his signature photo-journalistic, candid style working hard to show and share people’s stories. And what a lovely story to tell…



“I met Neil through my neighbour.  I wasn’t looking for a relationship at the time but he followed me around the world and that’s when I realised he’s the gentlest and kindest person I know…

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As we still need to buy a house, we needed to plan the wedding within a small budget – initially £5k but we ended up spending around £8.5k. I therefore tried to make as much as possible – so I made all the bouquets, dress sash, my bridemaid’s hairpiece, table stationery etc.  All after Noah had gone to bed! (I have a 15 month old boy).

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My main aim was for all of our guests to have fun so we had crazy golf, giant snakes and ladders, skittles and bubbles.  I also wanted a vintage feel to the day so I asked our guests to come in art deco/1930s dress.  They all looked fabulous!  I introduced a competitive element into the wedding by having a novelty shape bake off and the winner which was a roast chicken dinner was amazing!

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I chose Merchants’ Hall as it was local and has the most beautiful chandeliers.  One way to keep costs down was to have a smaller day reception and have more people come in the evening – we could do this as Merchants is local.  It was also the perfect size as it concentrated our guests within 2 rooms inside and a garden.  As Merchants is so beautiful and had lovely oak tables it did not need too much dressing up – I didn’t have table decorations or chair covers – which again kept the cost down.


I bought a Claire Mischevani dress from Carina Baverstock boutique. Claire Mischevani makes one off creations so I knew no-one else would have the same dress.  I felt the flutter sleeves gave a 1930s feel.  The dress allowed me to have 2 looks – a 1930s demure look during the day with the beaded champagne lace overlay and a more glamourous hollywood evening look with the duchesse satin dress after removing the lace overlay.


My neighbour Hermione Harbutt made my headdress.  Her creations are simply the most beautiful things I have seen!

I chose my shoes from Rachel Simpson because I wanted shoes that i could wear again and that were comfortable.  They were a little more expensive than some wedding shoes but you get more than one day wear out of it and comfort is important as you are on your feet the whole day.


We decided to have a ceilidh as it gets everyone dancing.  It was so fun! And we found JP Crooner at a wedding fair.  I walked in and heard his amazing voice. I cannot express how fantastic his voice is and how amazing it was listening to him on the terrace.  It added to the vintage feel and created such a good-feel vibe.

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Wedding cake was from the fine cheese company in bath.  They have delicious cheeses and have reasonably priced wedding cheese cakes”


Hair: Becks Simpson from Thairapy .   Make up: Nina Norman.   Dress designer: Claire Mischevani.   Headdress: Hermione Harbutt.   Entertainment: John Prescott or JP Crooner.   Shoes: Rachel Simpson.   Venue: Merchants Hall.   Cheese Cake: The Fine Cheese Company, Bath