Helen and James had been together for eleven years, before James planned the perfect whispered romantic proposal. Honestly it sounds so so romantic.
They had no need to worry about their engagement shoot, for it is breathtaking. Heading to a sheep field, with beautiful surroundings, gorgeous light and looking fabulous, they look so loved up.
Thanks so much to Rhys Wheatley Photography for sharing his photography with us today.
How we met: “James and I met almost 12 years ago; I was 17, living in Sheffield and had just returned from my first ever ‘girls holiday’ in Newquay, where we had met a boy who took a liking to my friend. She was in a relationship at the time but I ran after his taxi and took his number for her, in case she became single anytime soon … she did (as was often the case in our youth!)
We immediately invited the boy to come and visit so we could show him the sights of Sheffield and he brought some moral support, in the form of my James. An evening of match-making our two friends led to us inadvertently match-making ourselves, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was just three weeks after my father died that I met James. I’m a firm believer that we met for a reason.”
The proposal: “After eleven amazing years I had, perhaps, stopped imagining (but never hoping) that James would propose. A surprise birthday trip to Marrakech didn’t arouse my suspisions, nor did a dawn hot air balloon ride in the Atlas mountains (but then I realise that I may not be too perceptive as I didn’t even suspect anything when the ring caused his bag to be searched at customs!)
Waiting for the driver to pick us up at 5am, to take us into the mountains, I noticed that I had bird droppings on my shoulder. At the time James just smiled and said perhaps it was a sign of good luck – how little I knew!
True to form, James had all the details planned … my favourite piece of music, ‘Clare de Lune’ by Debussy at the ready and a romantic ‘down on one knee’ moment scheduled – but the total silence at thousands of feet and the cramped confines of a hot air balloon basket meant a quick change of plan.
A whispered proposal and five minutes of silent, secret celebration as the sun rose over the Atlas Mountains is a moment that I will remember, and cherish, all my life.”
The shoot: “James is, of course, a natural in front of the camera. I’m the polar opposite – nervous, rigid and trying to avoid being in front of the lens at every opportunity. I’m well known amongst our friends for taking copious amounts of photos but never appearing in any without a trusty prop (friend or other).
It’s no exaggeration to say I was dreading the engagement shoot. Whilst I had every confidence in our photographer Rhys Wheatley (having fallen in love with his work months ago) I firstly couldn’t imagine that with me as 50% of his subject matter the results would be pleasing on the eye and secondly wasn’t sure about the notion of an ‘engagement shoot’ (imagining some kind of soft focus, fixed grin, catalogue posed images that would never grace our albums).
But I’m so glad that Rhys encouraged us to have the shoot. The results are beautiful (I think he may be a magician!), I feel far more relaxed about the photos for our wedding day and love that fact that they reflect us at our best – larking around doing ‘Blue Steel’ impressions in a field full of bewildered sheep!”
Wedding Plans: “A long ‘courtship’ dictated a short engagement, so nine months after James proposed we will be married, at Stoneleigh Abbey near Leamington Spa (the town where we live).
I travel with my job so James will be in charge of most of the detail of the wedding – designing invites, table plans, favours and more, themed around the iconic Penguin book design. I’m aware that this would fill most brides-to-be with fear, but it has been fantastic to see him so involved in preparing for our day and knowing that so much of what our friends and family enjoy will have been created by him.
I’m focusing on the ceremony; simple, meaningful readings, personal music and most importantly, making our vows to one another. But as a fan of ‘organised fun’ I’m also relishing the opportunity to give the day a personal, playful touch – with a Morton and Marsh Quiz, garden games, tombola and Polaroid corner … we are hoping for a day full of love and laughter.”
Ahh aren’t they the loveliest couple?!! I so love Helen’s relaxed approach to wedding planning too. I cannot wait to see your wedding guys :-) XOXO Lou