derby wedding photographer

10 non-cheesy wedding readings that you might not have heard before

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Camera Hannah aka Hannah Millard is a wedding photographer and filmmaker from Derby, UK. She's not sure why she's writing this in the third person.

Wedding readings are a fab way to make your ceremony more personal... but do you ever get the feeling you've heard them all before?  This post is a collection of alternative wedding readings. From short but sweet quotes to poems and lyrics, pop culture, saucers, skeletons... not one, but two Garfunkel and Oates songs... here's a few you might never have heard of that might suit your ceremony. Add your favourite readings in the comments below! 

EXTRACT FROM HIGH FIDELITY BY NICK HORNBY

 

"The rest of the evening is like the end of a film. The entire cast is dancing. I play 'Got To Get You Off My Mind' by Solomon Burke, and everyone has a go, just out of duty, even though only the best dancers would be able to make something of it, and nobody in the room could claim to be among the best dancers, or even among the most average. When Laura hears the opening bars she spins round and grins and makes several thumbs-up signs, and I start to compile in my head a compilation tape for her, something that's full of stuff she's heard of, and full of stuff she'd play. Tonight, for the first time ever, I can sort of see how it's done."

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COME, AND BE MY BABY - MAYA ANGELOU

The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it. 
Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we’ve got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
What you’re gonna do. 
I got it. 
Come. And be my baby.

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ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS BY DAVID BOWIE

I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
But I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh, we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake
As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Sail over heartaches
Just like the films
If there's reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

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I GET TO DO IT WITH YOU - GARFUNKEL AND OATES

 

How many words would it take for me to say,

How much you've changed my life in every single way?
You make the good stuff better and the bad stuff too, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.


If we're eating dinner, I'll chew it with you,
If we're in line in England, I'll queue it with you,
If we're watching Green Card, I'll Depardieu it with you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.


If we've been there before, I'll déjà vu it with you,
If our honor's is besmirched, I'll Kung Fu it with you,
If we meet Droid, I'll R2-D2 it with you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.


If we learn the Art of War, I'll Sun Tzu it with you,
If we want to dance, I'll pax de deux it with you,
If we get betrayed by Brutus, I'll et tu it with you,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.


If we're reading Shakespeare, I'll hitherto it with you,
If we write a Japanese poem, I'll haiku it with you,
If we're like Richard Marx I'll be right here waiting for you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.


I choose you, I choose forever and I know we can make it,
I'm giving you my heart and I want you to take it, yeah,
Every dream I have is sweeter 'cause I pursue it with you,
If times get tough, I'll pull through it with you,
And when I remember how lucky I am, I will thank you it for you,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

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A QUOTE ON MARRIAGE BY AZIZ ANSARI

"Hey, so we've been hanging out together all the time, spending a lot of time together and everything... I wanna keep doing that 'til you're dead. I wanna keep hanging out with you 'til one of us dies. Put this ring on your finger so people know we have an arrangement."

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

“My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side. Where we could gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.” 

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THE DAY THE SAUCERS CAME - NEIL GAIMAN

That Day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and
stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find out what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn’t notice because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold,
and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true
brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across
the land and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day, the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day,
the day the great winds came
And snows and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling
us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of
the Time Machine day,
You didn’t notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

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DISAPPOINTING - JOHN GRANT

Rollercoasters and Earl Gray Malts,
Hasta La Babies but not bath salts,
Harvest moon in the arms of a tree,
Which has been growing there for centuries.

Bassoons, trombones and French horn sections
Bass clarinets and string odd collections.
Owls and good saws when they do not match
Gilda, Kristen, Cheri, Tina, Amy and Rachael Dratch.

All these things, they're just disappointing,
All these things, they're just disappointing compared to you.
There's nothing more beautiful than your smile as it conquers your face.
There's nothing more comforting than to know, know you exist in this time, in this place.

The genitive case in German, it's true,
Is something that I'm quite partial to.
Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev,
Dostoevsky, Bulgakov, Vysotsky n Lev

Francis Bacon, The Dolomites,
Ballet dancers with or without tights.
Central Park on an autumn day
Will always be stunning and never cliché.

All these things, they're just disappointing,
All these things, they're just disappointing compared to you.
There's nothing more beautiful than your smile as it conquers your face.
There's nothing more comforting than to know, know you exist in this time, in this place.

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LIZ LEMON - "WHAT I WANT" (FROM 30 ROCK)

"I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching LOST. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks, as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me even when I’m old. And that’s what I want."

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RAINBOW CONNECTIONS - GARFUNKEL AND OATES

Just after the storm breaks,
With the perfect amount of light,
You can catch a glimpse of magic
If the timing is right.

Rainbows are improbable, beautiful, and rare,
But so are you, and so is this, the love that we share.

Too vast to hold, and too small to name
It's no wonder why
You have to stand between the rain and the sun
To see a rainbow in the sky.

All the things that had to go right,
All the things that had to go wrong
That lead us to the place where we were going all along. 

Right now they fall away,
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise:
If you do, then I do too.

Don't know how we found it,
But we did somehow.
All the moments of our lives,
Were leading up to now.
I used to feel uncertain,
But now I realize
When I wanna see my future,
I just look into your eyes.

Too vast to hold, and too small to name
It's no wonder why
You have to stand between the rain and the sun
To see a rainbow in the sky.

All the things that make you - you,
All the things that make me - me, 
That lead us to the place where we were always meant to be.

Right now they fall away
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise.
If you do, then I do too.

A rainbow doesn't choose to be a rainbow,
It just shines in the sky,
And there's nothing to debate
And there's nothing to deny.
Love might be a privilege,
But marriage is right,
So to all of you detractors
Who don't know you've lost the fight,
To all of you in the darkness
We're here turning on the lights.

Now I stand with you,
For the world to see,
My love, my dreams, and me
My love, my dreams, and me.

Right now they fall away,
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise:
If you do, then I do too.

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The West Mill, Derby Wedding Video | Charlotte & James

We love it we love it we love it!!! So many lovely little moments that I had forgotten or didn’t see! The amount of people who have said “I want a video just like that!” Or “I don’t usually like wedding videos but that is amazing!!” Thank you for sharing your talents with us and leaving us with mementos that will last forever
— Charlotte & James

When The West Mill opened in Derby, I knew I would absolutely love shooting there. I mean... a wedding in a beautifully converted mill building with killer natural light AND it's ten minutes from my house? Yes please. 

What better way to shoot The West Mill for the first time than Charlotte and James' wonderful Christmassy wedding. I met them when I photographed Charlotte's sister's wedding back in the summertime and when they got in touch about their day I was so excited! 

 

They booked my video only package, which includes a shorter highlight film (above) and a longer extended version. While I really love combining photos and video, I do really enjoy having the freedom to concentrate solely on the filming at weddings from time to time. To get to do this at my new favourite venue... well... I was most definitely in my element! 

Here's their extended film!

Don't forget, if you're getting married locally to me I offer a discount on weddings nearby. So if you're getting hitched in Derbyshire get in touch soon! 

 

Wedding Photography and Filmmaking - 2016 Highlights

Alternative wedding photographer with bridesmaids in red dresses taking photograph

2016... well it was a bit of a funny one hey? Just a quick disclaimer before I continue... I'm about to put myself out there. I think there's not a lot of point in blogging if it doesn't help you get to know me a bit better... so here goes. *Deep Breath*

It was a tough year for me... not just because of what was happening in the wider world but because my own personal 2016 was a year of upheaval and change. At times I felt like I'd been turned inside out, trying to put myself back together despite illness, stress and a lot of heartache. The reason why I'm sharing this is because despite all these things something amazing happened... and when you're grateful for something it's probably a good thing to put a great big Thank You out there:

I am so damn grateful for this job. Seriously, how can I thank my couples enough?

Even in the darkest bits when I felt totally lost and couldn't see an easy way forward... weddings were my refuge. Love and cake and tears and proper hugs and daft moments and wisdom shared and trembling hands and belly laughs and ridiculous dancing and the most beautiful quiet moments. They were a reason to get from one week to the next, work to be done that felt valuable... that made me feel valuable despite everything else happening. The times when I felt like myself.

Thankfully, things began to get so much better over time and I now feel happy and well again... I can let go of last year's troubles and keep hold of some truly awesome memories.

So that's quite enough waffle from me hey? Time for some visuals! First up... the video! This year more couples than ever opted for my photography with video highlights package. The closest call was a couple who phoned me up the day before the wedding telling me they suddenly realised they would really regret not having one and asking to add it on... it's now one of their favourite keepsakes of the day!

Narrowing down all my favourite footage from the year to the length of just one song (How We Met (Cherry Pie) by Teen Canteen) was so tricky but I really love the result. 

So without further ado... 2016 in video...

And now onto the pictures! Last year I photographed more weddings than ever... and in total I delivered 34,016 (!!!) images to my wedding clients. It's taken weeks of chipping away but here's the collection of 250 (I know, it's still loads but my initial selection was over 500!) that I've narrowed down to share with you today. 

Wedding photograph of Bride in vintage dress and alternative groom  at Town Hall london wedding covered in confetti by Camera Hannah.
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flower girl at london wedding in vintage dress photo
same sex wedding couple in fifties style dresses with petticoats by pretty barn venue
wedding guests running reportage wedding photograph
cute vintage village hall wedding, guests throwing rainbow confetti on bride and groom
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Well, if you made it through this post... perhaps you deserve some kind of medal. I promise I will be better at narrowing down photos by this time next year.... Probably.

If you're engaged and like what you see get in touch to book me for your wedding photography! 

2017... bring it on. More adventures, more fun, more moments like this. 

To 2016 and the people who put me back together, even if they didn't realise it at the time: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.