staffordshire Archives - Frances Stephenson - Wedding Photography

Things to consider before choosing your wedding photographer

Choosing your wedding photographer is an important decision. I’d actually argue that it’s as important as selecting the wedding venue and even the dress!

After all, while the day will come and go, it’s the wedding photos that will be the lasting reminder of your special day. So, it’s really important that you find the perfect wedding photographer for you. Continue reading

Fourteen ways to celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day

In the busy-ness of everyday life, it’s all too easy to forget to make a point of telling your special someone how much you love them.

Which is why Valentine’s Day, on 14th February, is a great chance to score some brownie points with your partner by showing them how important to you they really are.

But, isn’t Valentine’s Day just for retailers to sell us more stuff?

OK, yes, Valentine’s Day is a day when everyone feels compelled to buy cards, flowers or gifts. And you may not like that sense of obligation.

Maybe you celebrate each other throughout the year, so you’re wondering why you need to celebrate on this one particular day.

But, the truth is, even if you really hate having to conform to Valentine’s Day tradition, your partner will be delighted if you surprise or treat them this February 14th. So, why not just do it anyway?

A time to celebrate each other

And when it comes to celebrating the love you feel for your partner, in my book, Valentine’s Day is a two-way thing.

Come on ladies, it shouldn’t just be us doing the receiving and none of the giving! Our men deserve some special treats and attention too, right?

Fourteen ways to celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day

So, with this in mind, today I wanted to share three ways that you can let your partner know how much they really mean to you this Valentine’s Day.

I hope these are useful and spark some great ideas of your own! Do let me know in the comments below.

Valentine’s Day Ideas: Make, See & Do

Make something

Shop-bought cards and gifts are nice. As are a traditional bunch of twelve red roses. But, hand-made cards or gifts are even better! They require far more effort on your part and show your partner that you’ve really tried hard to treat them to something special.

Anything that you’ve made with your own two hands will always have more of the wow factor.

1 The sentimental value of a hand-made card or a poem that you have written will be valued so much more than something that’s been mass-produced and grabbed from the local petrol station on the way home from work on Valentine’s Day.

2. Or if words aren’t your thing, what about hand-made chocolate truffles? These are quick and easy to make even for a novice in the kitchen.

3. And even if you’re not particularly handy, it’s easy to arrange special breakfast in bed.

4. Or to go online and create something like a photobook of your favourite photos of the two of you.

5. Or take a look at Not on the High Street and find hand-made gifts produced by makers from across the world. Bespoke prints, or personalised champagne flutes, journals or jewellery will always go down well!

See something new together

It’s easy to lose the spontaneity in your relationship after being together a number of years. So, why not organise a surprise for your partner? All the better if it’s something you can see and do together.

For example, you could:

6. Book tickets to see their favourite band or comedian?

7. Or go to the theatre or cinema together?

8. Or perhaps go on a short mini-break? See a new city and explore – either in the UK or abroad. It can be so much fun discovering new places together.

Book an experience

Alternatively, you could arrange an experience that they aren’t expecting.

9. Like a camping trip or a canal boat for the weekend.

10. Or if they’re a bit of a foodie, why not buy them a place on a cookery course so that they can learn new skills

11. Or treat them to a fine dining experience at the new restaurant in town or even at home? If the latter, you could be the chef for the night and set up the dining room complete with white tablecloth and candles.

12. Or if cooking isn’t your thing, you could even hire a professional chef for the evening!

13. And even men love a spot of pampering! So, why not surprise your partner with a relaxing massage or foot rub? Or take it a step further and treat them to a spa day?

14. Or, why not capture your love in photos?

Book a couple’s photoshoot

As well as being a wedding photographer, did you know that you can hire me for a one-off photoshoot? A couple’s shoot at your favourite local location or perhaps even in your home is a great way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day!

While your wedding may not be until next year, or perhaps was many years ago, your love continues and is real, right now. So, what better way to celebrate your love for each other than with photos that will capture you exactly as you are?

They’ll become precious memories in years to come and I promise you a cheese-free photoshoot, that’s quick and fun! Plus, they’re ideal whether it’s just you two or if you want to bring the pets and the children along too – the choice is yours.

Unsurprisingly, this option is popular with couple’s who want to celebrate their wedding anniversaries too and is available all year round, not just around Valentine’s Day. Contact me today to enquire about your own couple’s photoshoot.

So, how will you celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day?

You see, if you make the effort, it’s easy to come up with creative ways that would make your partner’s day this Valentine’s Day.

Everyone loves to feel loved and you could put yourself in your partner’s good books by doing any one of these things this year!

If you’re an engaged couple considering hiring me as your wedding photographer, please contact me today by completing this form

I’d love to hear about your wedding plans and to get the opportunity to discuss whether I could be the right for you. In the meantime, don’t forget to have a browse through my recently updated wedding gallery and view my client testimonials.

Fran x

What’s your wedding engagement story?

So, this week the world learnt of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding engagement story – how he proposed on a cosy night in, earlier this month, while cooking a roast chicken dinner, no less!

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How to wear a wedding buttonhole

Every year it seems that my wedding couples step it up a gear in terms of style and glamour, and this year has certainly been no exception! But one thing that I have noticed is that many in the bridal party don’t how to wear a wedding buttonhole.

A common problem at weddings

When Martyn and I are photographing the bride and groom prep – the time when everyone in the bridal party is getting ready ahead of the wedding ceremony – we’re often having to step in and help position the buttonholes!

It’s hardly a surprise I guess. After all, it’s not every day that you might attend a wedding. And unlike me, being a wedding photographer, you perhaps have only ever attended a few.

When it comes to button holes, there are different rules for men and women which make it all the more complicated.  I’m not sure why more florists don’t include instructions!

So, in today’s post, I wanted to share my top tips for how to wear a wedding buttonhole.

Read on to get the lowdown and if you find this useful, why not share this with all your bridal party ahead of your wedding so that there aren’t any slip ups on the big day?

How to wear a wedding buttonhole


Women wear buttonholes – sometimes known as corsages – on the right-hand side of their outfit. (Perhaps it’s because women are always right?!!) In contrast, men wear button holes on the left.


Traditionally a carnation or a rose are used in buttonholes, but you needn’t stick to the rules! You could always choose a flower that will complement the flowers in the bridal bouquet.

As the bride, you could even add beads, pearls or feathers and really go to town with it! So, really, the choice is yours! You can go simple or ornate. It’s your wedding, so anything goes!


There is much controversy about this, and a lot of contradictory advice online.

But as I understand it, traditionally men wear a button hole facing up, with the flower pointing towards his left shoulder.

Women wear the button hole the other way – downwards, with the stem pointing up to her right shoulder.


Usually, button holes come from the florist with a long pin attached. So use this pin to position it correctly on your outfit, securing the flower to your clothes.

Position the flower on the jacket lapel, then insert the pin through the back of the lapel to the side of the flower. Pierce it through the stem of the flower, and then back through the lapel on the other side. Your aim is to secure the buttonhole as tightly as possible.

I’ve seen men who have a buttonhole in their jacket put the stem of the flower into that hole to keep it in place as well, although it doesn’t always sit right doing this. Usually, it looks better to position the flower on the outside of the jacket lapel, without tucking in.

I’m always willing to give a helping hand too….

My top tips on how to wear a wedding buttonhole

So that’s it! I hope it was helpful and that you now feel more clued up about how to wear a wedding buttonhole?

If you’d like more wedding tips and inspiration, please visit my blog. And if you are on the search for a wedding photographer, please look at some of my latest work in my wedding photography gallery.

If you’d like to know more about my wedding photography services or have any questions about my availability for the date of your wedding, please contact me today by completing this form.

Fran x

The latest wedding trend you need to know about

When you are planning your dream wedding, you aren’t a slave to fashion or fads. You have a distinctive, elegant style that you’ll want to emulate throughout your wedding.

Yet, you’re interested in knowing what the latest wedding trends are. So, I’m here to help!

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When is the right time to choose your wedding photographer?

If you got engaged recently, let me be among the first to congratulate you! You and all your friends and families must be thrilled – such exciting times! With the proposal still fresh in your mind and with the new bling on your finger to match, you may be keen to get started with the wedding planning.Continue reading

Elegant wedding at Sandon Hall Staffordshire

The wedding of Charlotte & Tim

I met Charlotte and Tim roughly a year before their wedding day. They came to see me at the studio, where we chatted about their big day, their expectations.

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Pendrell Hall Wedding Photography

Mr & Mrs Love

Pendrell Hall in Staffordshire is a stunning wedding venue. I love photographing weddings there.

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Wedding photography from Brockton Hall 

Back in sunny September, I had the privilege of photographing Louise and Kurt’s special day.

I first met these guys 5 weeks before their big day. They had left it a bit late to book their photographer. Luckily for them, it was the only Saturday in September that I wasn’t shooting a wedding!

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