Every wedding day feels like a fairytale romance to the happy couple but classic details, like a horse and carriage or an out-of-this-world dress, can make the day seem magical to everyone involved – as well as creating dreamy images to treasure forever.
We asked three of the UK’s top photographers to tell us about their favourite fairytale wedding and the stunning photographs they took on the day.
Dreams come true in Cinderella's castle
A royal castle and a glass coach to take the bride to her handsome prince? John and Jill English at The Owl and the Pussycat Wedding Photography remember Melissa and Anthony’s very special wedding at Sudeley Castle being as far from reality as you can get: "Every Cinderella has to have the perfect dress, and even if Melissa did have a real-life fairy godmother, all her abracadabras and fairy dust could not have created a more show-stopping gown. Her beautiful dress looked like it was sewn by butterflies with threads of snow."
And as you'd expect for a classic fairytale wedding, this event was beautifully decorated with roses, which also appeared on the Welsh bride's towering cake - fairytale weddings are all about the detail, and even the champagne was rosé. As John and Jill recall, Melissa’s last wish on the day was for a carriage to take her to the ball of a lifetime with her groom. Although classic models can cause a stir at a wedding, any car would fade into the background in comparison to the fabulous glass coach the couple were transported in. It may be impractical for a trip to the supermarket, but as John and Jill point out, when was the last time you saw a fairy princess at the check-out?
A dress – and a staircase – in a million
According to award-winning photographers Teri Murakami and David Price of Murakami Photography you don’t have to book a castle, or splash out on every single princess-worthy accessory, to achieve a fairytale theme. "We had an amazing day with Charlie and Hay Ming," they recall. "It was one of the most fun, joyous weddings we have ever been part of. The reception was at a privately-owned Dorset manor house, Up Cerne Manor. Because it is a private home, it wasn’t possible to visit it in advance, but seeing how amazing it was on the big day was a wonderful surprise. It presented some exciting options for us."
To get a dreamy, magical result, it all came down to a few outstanding elements, the pair explain: "There aren’t enough words for Charlie’s gown and veil. Designed by Elie Saab, both could have been made just for Charlie, and she made them look stunning. Then, when we got to Up Cerne Manor and saw the grand staircase, we knew that we just had to take advantage of it for some dramatic and unforgettable shots."
Beautiful butterflies and a fairytale bride
The little details can make a big difference in setting a magical scene. Photographer Andrea De Gabriel says no effort had been spared in the attention to detail lavished on Lynsey and Scott’s magical wedding day at Poundon House. "The bride loved butterflies and they decorated everything from the poles in the marquee to the wine glass stems," Andrea recalls.
And as this wedding proves, the fairytale element can appear in the most unlikely locations. "I saw an abandoned cart by the side of a workshop when I got out of my car at the beginning of the day," says Andrea. “I knew I wanted to photograph the couple next to it. It was the opposite of the opulence of the day and Lynsey’s fabulous dress and her beautiful floor-length veil. I loved the contrast of putting the bride & groom next to something so unexpected, it was so quirky and made them shine all the more.
"But there was also a wonderful wooden sweeping staircase. It was only after I took a photo of Lynsey coming down it that I noticed the little girl at the bottom, looking up at her, completely entranced by the fairytale bride."