Lifestyle Magazine

Me. And Why Life is Beautiful and Not All About Weddings!

By Claire

As the blog is grow­ing so quickly at the moment I thought I’d intro­duce myself to new read­ers, and update all my old friends on how my life has been turned upside down and plonked firmly back on its feet over the last year.

The incred­i­ble pho­tos telling my story are by my good friend and source of end­less cre­ative inspi­ra­tion — Chris Han­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy. Before we start… both Chris and I believe wed­ding blog­gers shouldn’t take them­selves too seri­ously. Ahem…

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I’m a part-time wed­ding blog­ger, and part-time wed­ding cal­lig­ra­pher, as you may know. I started Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog back in Novem­ber 2009 at 6am on a quiet cal­lig­ra­phy day! The blog has grown mas­sively (37,000 of you read it each month) with the sup­port of the great friends I’ve made along the way — I’ve been priv­i­leged to meet with some inspir­ing and won­der­ful brides and grooms, as well as wed­ding sup­pli­ers and other blog­gers, along the way.

Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog’s strength comes from my pas­sion for cre­ativ­ity in wed­dings. As an artist and cal­lig­ra­pher I’m always thrilled to see artis­tic wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy, imag­i­na­tive sta­tionery or bridal jew­ellery design, or any new ideas or cre­ative approaches to wed­ding design.

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Of course, I also love the romance: I love what mar­riage means to the cou­ples who appear on Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog. I love the glances caught on cam­era, the smiles, the atmos­phere which can really shine through a set of wed­ding images and grab my heart and imag­i­na­tion all at once.

There’s another impor­tant mes­sage here too: that wed­dings aren’t the be-all and end-all of life. There is so much more out there — and while my days and work­ing life revolve hap­pily around the wed­ding indus­try, I can escape into a world which is full of beauty and inspi­ra­tion with­out a veil in sight. I think it’s impor­tant not to get caught up in the whirl­wind which wed­dings, blogs and mag­a­zines can cre­ate — and I don’t just mean for me!

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The two sides of my per­son­al­ity, the cre­ative and the roman­tic, inspired this photo shoot. But it’s much more than that: I’ve had a hell of a year and liv­ing here on the coast means more than I can explain in words (but the pic­tures do it for me!)…

In Octo­ber last year my Grandma passed away. She was a very spe­cial per­son, a true inspi­ra­tion and meant the world to me. Then in May this year my boyfriend cheated on me after four­teen years together, and I came back home to the west coast of Cum­bria where I’d spent my childhood.

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Being here has given me back the life he took from under my feet, and then some. I have fallen in love with the place I will always call home: the quiet coun­try­side and beau­ti­ful coast­line to one side, the dra­matic moun­tains and beauty of the Eng­lish Lake Dis­trict to the other side. I came here to escape and I’ve found my true home — peace­ful, dra­matic and as inspir­ing as it gets.

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As Chris and Claire Han­ley arrived at my apart­ment, Chris described Seascale per­fectly: “Talk about rural!” he exclaimed (as he fell out of his car, in shock I think!*) — but he loved the beach, the scenery and the fact that my local chemist’s is the best place to buy vegetables.

The idyl­lic envi­ron­ment set the per­fect scene for our shoot: Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog meets Eng­lish Coast. Chris is one of the very best wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers in the UK, and I’m very proud to have had Chris’s sup­port for Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog from day one.

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I write for a liv­ing — in every sense of the word. But I can’t put into words how much I love this place, or why it’s such an inspi­ra­tion to me. Chris Han­ley just ‘got it’ though — and his breath­tak­ing pho­tog­ra­phy of the dra­matic seascapes and awe-inspiring skies are what my new life is all about.

Here I can be myself again, I can walk on my beach, I can write… I could almost fly. Isn’t it beautiful?

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Ever seen the film Serendip­ity? It’s made me believe I can fall in love again — and who knows what the future might bring. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Believe, and the rest will hap­pen as it should, one day.
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With huge thanks to Chris Han­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy. Chris is a mas­ter of his craft, a cre­ative mind, and an inspi­ra­tion to so many of the wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers I’ve spo­ken to since start­ing Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog. I would rec­om­mend Chris as a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher in a heart­beat, and to any­one from my clos­est friends to a pass­ing mem­ber of the royal fam­ily. He’s that good.

*that was for the blonde joke! x

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