Family wedding at Renew Church & chilled out after party at Bear Coffee.

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Family wedding at Renew Church & chilled out after party at Bear Coffee.

Terran & Angharad planned the most amazing day for themselves, their gorgeous girls, their closest friends and much loved immediate family. Read on for the low down.

Just a few weeks before the wedding I got together with them and captured some gorgeous images of the two of them with their girls, taking it easy at the local park. This was a great opportunity to talk through their plans and meet their girls and have a giggle with them.

Fast forward to the day of the wedding and it was a little on the damp side!! Friends and family were met in the foyer by the Groom Terran and his Best Man Craig before taking their seats ready for the ceremony to commence. Many of the guests know the family through their links with the Church that they attend.

Before long it was time for the bridal party to arrive.

2018-09-20_0135.jpg Renew Church bride arrives

Zoe arrived first with the children, then shortly after Angharad arrived with her brothers Dom and Will. She had chosen her Crystal dress from the Bridal Factory in Burton and Hannah Hughes created a stunning up-do with the bride's hair. Angharad did her own make-up and one of her best friends Lesley Dunn made the wedding flowers. A proper team effort!

bride at Renew Church Uttoxeter

Renew Church in Uttoxeter has a fantastic husband and wife team at its helm! Matt conducted the ceremony whilst Becky helped with the official aspects of signing the register. It was clear to see that Matt & Becky were incredibly happy to perform this ceremony for their friends Angharad and Terran.

Wedding ceremony Renew Church Uttoxeter

Tea, cake and photographs followed and before long we were off to Bear Coffee for the after party. Before this though Caroline (my lovely second shooter for the day) and I ventured upstairs into the old cinema part of the building to scout out the perfect location for something a bit wow. I love it when a couple are up for a crazy idea or two!

Old cinema, renew church Uttoxeter. Claire Meldrum Photography

Bear was the perfect setting for this couples after party, with it’s chilled out vibe, cosy seating areas and central location.

Uttoxeter High Street wedding photo Claire Meldrum Photography

Terran had catered for the after party and when I say catered that does it a serious injustice!! The food was amazeballs!! Teach me your ways Terran, I need to know how to recreate that watermelon and feta dish.

I have two words for you ………. BREAD WALL!! You’re welcome.

Bread Wall, Bear Coffee, Claire Meldrum Photography
Bear Coffee Uttoxeter Claire Meldrum Photography
Dancing shoes Claire Meldrum Photography

Friends from Church provided a fantastic selection of tunes to keep people dancing, taking requests as they went along. It truly was a day filled with love and laughter.

Bride and groom dancing at Bear Coffee, Claire Meldrum Photography

Wishing the Hamilton family heaps of love ……… please invite me to your next party!!

Claire x
















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Be The Guest.

I'm pretty lucky, what I'm about to talk about has never happened to me but I've seen it with other people and here is my take on it. Hate me or love me for it, see this from the side of the couple involved.

Couples search for a photographer that they love to capture their wedding day. They meet, they decide if this person is their sort of person, it's a decision they make together. The photographers' personality and photographic style is something that is intrinsic to the day. 

Part of what we do is provide a service but really it is so much more.

Photographers take on the responsibility of capturing these special moments. Although we may let our hair down and grab a drink, hit the dancefloor with the cameras ...... at no time are we, guests.

The couple don't want a picture of us. They want pictures of you their guests.

You get to see two fabulous people pledge their love to one another, they have chosen for you to attend their wedding and witness this moment. Be in the moment! Watch this moment that will never be repeated, grab those minutes that are ticking away. Think back to your own wedding day, send them love telepathically!! Think about their hopes and dreams, think about the future they are to embark on.

What they haven't done is select you to provide a service. Don't stand behind the photographer photographing what they are photographing. 

Here's why.

Most couples have spent months planning this day. They have waited and waited for this moment. Waiting a little while for professional photos to arrive is EXCITING! When they receive their images, receive their slideshow they get to relive this amazing day all over again and see it from the other side. They then also get to proudly display it to their friends and family in it's best possible light.

Instead, capture something that we can't because we can't be in two places at once. Take photos of your kids, your Mum & Dad, Aunts and Uncles. Something different to what the professionals have taken. By doing this you are adding to the memories. Not taking a little away from the service a photographer has provided that concludes all those months the couple has spent planning, the hours of smiles, the minutes of nerves.

Be the guest. 

Enjoy the moment.

 

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Tipi Wedding Staffordshire

Lizzie & Craig first found me nearly a year ago. They had searched for a relaxed photographer in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and Google hit the jackpot and gave them my name. After a brief chat, I knew that their wedding was going to be magical and that they were most definitely my kind of people!

Pre-Wedding.

A month before the wedding we met up and had some fun doing a pre-wedding session. It was clear to see that these two were going to have a blast on their wedding day. We had a really good giggle. JCB Rocester proved to be a great location for a half hour wander around and chat.

Bridal Prep.

Fast forward to bridal prep at the lovely home they have made together ...... and well, it was the height of calm. Tunes were playing, Bucks Fizz was being sipped and the Pink Ladies as I nicknamed them (awesome matching p.j's Lizzie!) were enjoying a chilled out morning of preparations and giggles. It was then that it hit me, my brides are definitely "more chilla and less zilla." Lizzie was the epitome of the chilla bride. She positively floated around the house, soaking in the atmosphere and love.

After a quick bite to eat, it was action stations as bridesmaid Megan worked her magic on Lizzie. Applying a light make up that was perfect for her. Time was ticking away and in no time at all Sophie Bentley was plaiting and curling Lizzie's hair into a gorgeous soft, tumbling down 'do' that would look stunning with her Pronovias dress. The bridesmaids were to wear Multiway dresses from Victoria Lou Bridal which complimented their skin tones beautifully. 

Getting into THE dress and looking in the mirror was quite an emotional moment and one that Mum Katrina and sister Amy were close by to share with Lizzie. It was a moment that gave me goosebumps.

Lizzie had mentioned that she would love to do a reveal photo. Her dress had been kept under wraps from her Dad and bridesmaids, their reactions were priceless. See the pictures!

Tipi Tastic.

Lizzie & Craig had booked their tipi from Peak Tipis and had it sited on a friends field for their wedding. With stunning views of rolling fields it really was quite breathtaking. Craig and best man Stuart were already there looking the part when I arrived, wearing green Harris Tweed waistcoats from The Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop at Trentham and buttonholes made from baby's breath they looked dapper AND at home with the Tipi setting.

It really had been a family effort creating the dream wedding that Craig & Lizzie had envisaged. Craig and Lizzie had done lots of prep, wrapping bails in hessian, putting out framed pictures and place cards and providing flip flops and blankets for their tired guests. Craig's Dad had created a beautiful arch for the couple to marry beneath and Craig's Mum had weaved flowers into it as well as creating a stunning floral chandelier for the tipi.

In no time at all the bridesmaids and bride arrived and we were ready to go. I think it was fair to say that Lizzie was smiling from ear to ear.

Their outdoor ceremony was possibly one of the most personal and heartfelt I have photographed. Their celebrant talked about how the couple had met whilst working at Argos, how their friends had played a big part matchmaking & how the couple have gone on to support each other in their chosen careers. She then went on to perform the Rose Ceremony followed by a Handfasting, a first for me. 

After group photos the guests all retired to the tipi for a gorgeous buffet and later on some epic shape throwing on the dancefloor.

Thank you!

Thank you for picking me Lizzie and Craig! Also a big thank you to all your fabulous family and friends for making me feel so welcome and letting me hit the dancefloor with you. I loved having a boogie with you all.

Check out their wedding slideshow here ............

Wedding dress: Pronovias

Bridesmaids dresses: Victoria Lou Bridal.

Hair: Hair by Sophie Bentley.

Groom & Bestman: Waistcoats Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Tipi: Peak Tipis.

Wedding rings: Mitchel & Co, Jewellery Quarter Birmingham.

Photography: Claire Meldrum Photography

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10 things that parents of Autistic children want you to know.

My first Autism blog proved to be quite popular and the messages of support I received were a bit of a kick up the backside, encouraging me to carry on with blogging. 

You see I was never that kid who kept a diary. So, typing into a big blank page on a computer screen and getting no immediate response is quiet odd to me. I'm that girl who likes a visual response, figures that I'm a photographer hey!

 Just a random picture of a gingerbread man going for a walk.

Just a random picture of a gingerbread man going for a walk.

One of the messages I received through Facebook said:

 "I wish I had the balls to do what you have done."

That got me thinking ........ what would a parent of a autistic superstar want people to know?

So I posed this question to my Facebook friends and these are the responses I got. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't. Perhaps this makes you think about what it's like for that harassed looking parent on the playground. Either way open dialogue is what is needed.

1. Our kids are not naughty and we don't need advice on how to be better parents. We just want acceptance and understanding for hidden disabilities. Wendy Harrogate.

2. We have to fight everyday for our kids. Fight for them to be accepted, fight for them to not be labelled as bad , fight for all the extra help they need, fight to make the world understand our beautiful children with this hidden disability and fight for ourselves as parents to keep swimming forward even on the hardest days to prove to our kids they may be different but isn't that a good thing? The world would be a very boring place if not! Julie Ralph.

3. Be open-minded and patient. They are fascinating kids that can do incredible things with the right support around them. They are not going to fit in a box, and who wants to fit in a box anyway! Im a very lucky mum 💙 xx Roxy Long.

4. Our kids are not naughty, they have to deal with their own battles daily, no matter how old they are, even at 17 you’re always told “he/she should know better than to behave like a brat." Jemma Payne.

5. Everyone is facing a battle and some are more hidden than others. Sometimes just keeping your opinions to yourself, being kind & teaching your kids to be kind could make a huge difference to someones day. We (parents of ASD superstars) live on a permanent plain of anxiety, trying to forward guess and anticipate the needs of our kids. Sometimes dealing with all the extra un-neccesary sh*t is the bit that breaks us. Claire Meldrum.

6. Accepting nothing but the best for your child is the hardest part of parenting for all but more so for those whose kids fall within the spectrum. Expect nothing but greatness from them for it is there! Celebrate those moments and accept that labelled children are as capable of aspiring as those without. To all aim for the stars and if you only make the moon ... what an achievement. Mandy Lord-Newcombe.

7. I worry what will happen to my child if I die. Anon.

8. No, they are not all like Rainman. Anon.

9. Too many to list, I'd be on my soapbox forever! Michelle Beard ;)

10. Acceptance isn't much of an issue for us here. People seem to have come a long way here but still much more to do. The biggest thing we find is, especially with older generations, Is the idea that if your child is not doing something that you want them to do, if they're not responding the way that you want them to, or if they're not eating dinner today but they ate yesterday is getting people to understand that disciplining the child is not going to change that. When they have sensory issues and things like that it doesn't matter what you do it's not gonna change it so it's learning to not only accept them but learning to adjust to them learning to compromise and to find a way of working with them on a level that they will work with you. It can be really hard sometimes for adults to give children that respect. Adults often just assume that there the adult you're the child so your to do whatever they say. So I think that I think that's been the biggest issue for us, is getting people to understand that sometimes you have to change your way of thinking and you have to change the way that you approach them and not the other way around. Serenity Lane Beard, USA.

Thanks for sticking with me and reading my second blog during Autism Awareness Week.

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Autism Awareness Week - Mum of an Autistic girl.

Some of you may know already that our eldest daughter is Autistic. I wanted to share a blog post with you that's from the heart during Autism Awareness Week.

Claire Meldrum Photography Claire Meldrum Family

 

Our eldest daughter has always marched to the beat of her own drum. A brilliant sense of humour, kind & loving, she has a strong sense of justice, adores books, science, baking and riding her bike. She is also Autistic! You see she doesn't "have" Autism, it's not like a virus or a bad cold that will one day go away. She is Autistic and it's something that is intrinsic to her. As she grows up I want her to be ok with this.

Part of her being ok with it will be down to everybody else too. Kindness, acceptance and a smile!! In order to get to that point us as parents of Autistic children need to be their advocate though. So I'm chucking myself out of my comfort zone with this blog post.

I've known since she was 3 that she was Autistic. People didn't listen, you see I was just a Mum, a Mum who was seeing things that others couldn't. I often got told "well she's not like the Autistic boy I taught, she doesn't line things up" and "she doesn't have meltdowns in class." 

You see everything you read says "Autistic girls aren't like Autistic boys" ....... now that's a phrase that bugs the sh*t out of me. Girls and boys are dissimilar anyway let alone chucking Autism in to the mix too so why say it. Evidently though we still compare Autistic girls to the Autistic boys when it comes to diagnosis. My eye roll couldn't get any more pronounced ....... sorry Mum!

So this my friends is what Autism looks like to us.

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” Dr. Stephen Shore

 

 

You see our super star has awesome powers, yes that's right I call them awesome powers. Here are just some, some of which you will identify with I'm sure.

She has this incredible sense of smell and could happily sit smelling something gorgeous for ages. The smell of baking, freshly washed clothes, flowers, anything from Smiggle and perfume all make our girl happy. 

She has this super sense of touch. Certain clothes feel really good and the texture gets compared to silk. 

She can make the most incredible amount of enjoyment from food that pleases her senses.

She can take a subject and learn every tiny little detail about it.

She is inquisitive about everything.

Claire Meldrum Photography Family photography

Now the flip side to this is the bit that maybe you can't identify with.

She doesn't cope with change very well, conversations can be tricky as she doesn't read social queues and will talk over adults. Kids can really confuse her with their behaviour, high levels of anxiety, loud noises scare her and she is often happiest with a hood up over her ears. If something smells bad then she won't go in to a room. That same sense of wonder about the softness of the fabric or the beautiful scent can lead to repetitive behaviour. The same people who make the lovely soft clothes also go and insist on sewing the most gigantic scratchiest labels known to man inside them!

She gets very, very tired. Why? Because Autistic girls mimic to fit in with their peers. Imagine how tired you would be pretending to be something you are not for the whole day.

So this is what Autism in girls looks like to us. It's inquisitive, frustrating, eye opening but most of all it's opened up a world to me that I never knew existed. I smile often, not because I'm laughing at her but because I'm looking at the world through her eyes.

I'm going to leave you with this question. She asked it me when she was 4 ...... yes, 4 years of age. When you look at the world through Autistic eyes you see a whole lot of puzzling things!

"Mummy, why is the Queens husband a Prince and not a King?"

Let me know what you think.

 

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http://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/tmi/top-tips.aspx

http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saving the planet with shiny hair.

I love a good product or something that makes life easier so thought I’d post something different for you. Also the last few weeks have been quite tough, doing something with my girls has been just the tonic I needed.

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Growing Rural Enterprise.

Working out of their lovely little office opposite the Vernon Arms (perfect for a quick pint of Pedigree and a G&T after work!) they are well known locally for the work they do that is supported by The Princes Countryside Fund and for their four legged companions who accompany them to work. In particular Spike!

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