Dream Dubrovnik Wedding Hotel Excelsior

Dream Dubrovnik Wedding Hotel Excelsior

Dream Dubrovnik Wedding: Steph & Warren

Wow where to start for this dream of a Dubrovnik wedding at the Hotel Excelsior for Steph and Warren.  Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik  is a 5 star luxury hotel – part of the Adriatic luxury chain
Ideal setting for a gorgeous wedding.  So may options for outdoor and indoor locations and fine dining.

We first met at a wedding fayre several years ago, fellow exhibitors at the time. Steph loved our style and easy going rapport and said then when the time came she knew she had found her destination wedding photographers.So fast forward to their engagement announcement and we gave a whoop of delight and thought ooh will they….
Sure enough Steph contacted us and said ..think we have found the location  …will you travel …to Bali…will we???
Well plans change and here we were in Dubrovnik for their wedding date…leaving Bali for a honeymoon later.
Like us they love to travel, walks, good food and cats.  Match made for us!

Bridal & Groom Preps

Dubrovnik is a beautiful walled city with so many locations for portraits to choose from we were spoilt for choice.
We have visited Dubrovnik twice before – pre and post war – but always something new to discover.
Steph and Warren were staying out at the Valamar President on the Babin Kuk area where many of the hotels are located.
we started at their hotel  for the bride and groom preps where everyone was in good spirits.
Steph knows how much Sandy loves details and had decorated a table  with her details

Although a little pensive about the weather which had turned slightly…a little rain fell in the morning and then cleared by the time guests were leaving for the Hotel Excelsior near to the walled old town.
A bus was thoughtfully laid on for the guests whilst bride and groom left in a Mercedes.

Wedding Ceremony Hotel Excelsior Palm Terrace

The ceremony area was elegantly set out on the hotel’s Palm Terrace with cute little jars of flowers hanging in the trees overlooking the walled town and close to Banje Beach, just idyllic and the outdoor ceremony wished for. Guest had arrival drinks in the piano bar but soon time to take their seats – think they were glad of the fans as even at 5pm it was warm and humid.
So Steph and Warren said their vows in this gorgeous setting and then time for more drinks  confetti and family shots.

 Dubrovnik wedding Hotel Excelssior ceremony location

bride walking to her groom Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik wedding

wedding ceremony Dubrovnik wedding Hotel Excelsior

wedding vows Dubrovnik wedding Hotel Excelsior

Wedding Portraits Dubrovnik Old Town

We had the luxury of a whole hour to walk the 10 mins down to Dubrovnik old town for some portraits
We’d scouted a beautiful art gallery courtyard where they could have a few mins to themselves.
The setting did perfect justice to Steph’s bridal gown fro The Bridal Room Hoylake
Dubrovnik is always a busy popular town so with street scenes we just embrace the ambience  and so many congratulated them and wanted to take pics too!.
We found some quiet spots too in the alleyways that were on the must shoot list
We were heading back just as a few drops of rain started to fall and the storm was rolling in.  Made it just in time!


ooh these stairs were partly used in the sequence of the game of thrones walk of shame! ..we told them later!

portraits old town Dubrovnik wedding walk of shame stairs game of thrones fame

Wedding Reception Hotel Excelsior

The Hotel Excelsior is a great venue though for indoor and outdoor options, plenty of space.
The planned for reception on the Palm terrace was switched to a large covered terrace – actually loved how the outdoor scenery and town were reflected in the windows behind the top table. A scrumptious dinner first and then speeches.
Steph’s dad royally entertained everyone with a rendition of Its Amore – such a good singer, at first thought it was a backing track but no it was live singing.

Lots of props for guests to enjoy, jenja bricks to help build their memories and a heart keepsake frame too.
An I spy game for guests to capture some images of their own too.
Walls were decorated with Polaroid images from their springtime engagement session with us back in the uk
– its lovely to see images used in such a special way, a lovely keepsake.

Their was the first dance and lots of great dancing going. We managed to sneak Steph and Warren down to the Palm terrace to have a private dance amongst the twinkling lights on the trees.
Guests then replenished their energy with the dessert buffet..so scrumptious ..for more merriment.
Even the cracking thunderstorm we had later was all part of the memories. Guests were out capturing videos of it on phones and trying to get pictures of the forked lightning.
Evening party went on til early hours of the morning.  We left them to enjoy the last couple of hours and strolled back to our next door hotel the Grand Villa Argentina.

Steph and Warren it was a marvellous wedding date in Dubrovnik for your memories.  I know we will never forget it/
It was a real honour and privilege to be with you and your wonderful welcoming friends and family.
as your props said it truly was “Best Day Ever”

So many pics to choose for your highlights, enjoy.  Much love Sandy & Dave xx

Sunny Torre Perrotti Wedding Santa Maria di Castellabate

Sunny Torre Perrotti Wedding Santa Maria di Castellabate

Sunshine & Surprises: Torre Perrotti Wedding

Destination Wedding Italy, Torre Perrotti Wedding

Janine and Bryan where do we start for your fabulous romantic fun filled, sunshine Torre Perrotti wedding in beautiful sunny Santa Maria di Castellabate
A princess – yes you are – marrying in your fairytale castle surrounded by your loved ones.  Such a wonderful day and night you had, simply epic!
We loved it!…as did all your family and friends

We were so thrilled to be back here in gorgeous twinkle town that is Santa Maria on the Cilento coast of Italy.  Our previous Santa Maria  wedding was on the beach  which was better suited to the  early season then as not so busy with sunbathers.
This time we were atop  Palazzo Perrotti Tower roof space, a romantic location overlooking the clear blue waters of the sea.

Janine and Bryan’s day was impeccably planned by the amazing Julie of My Secret Italy.  She excels at being a wonderful host, making sure guests are looked after and providing couples with extra little surprises throughout the day to create a magical day.

Janine and her girls got ready in Residenz 1893, beautiful apartments overlooking the promenade leading to the beach.
Julie pooped along with balloons from Bryan, tied with messages to be opened throughout the morning and then balloons released to signify she was on her way!
I took a few goes and the wind kept blowing them back in, much to everyone’s amusement! There were a few moist eyes as Janine came down the stairs to her waiting Dad.
Then the bridal party were serenaded along the quaint Italian alleyways to the Perrotti Tower, Janine being led by her proud dad to her waiting groom.

Torre Perrotti Wedding Ceremony

The ceremony was intimate and funny with personal humorous vows, reading from both mums and lots of kisses!
Soon it was time to go back down the tower stairs for a courtyard reception of music and canapes and cake.  Another surprise was a Spanish castanet musician.

Later when Janine and Bryan had signed the registers at the improvised Town Hall and returned there was confetti by the masses as they exited the courtyard gardens of the Torre Perrotti
Then ice-cream from Baffo were really appreciated in the warm weather.  Time for portraits and then back to the Lido Azzurro for the evening reception were the guests were enjoying the beach.
…but not before our couple took time to enjoy a stunning Santa Maria sunset.  They are a bit special here

Lido Azzurro Reception

Speeches done  – oh little Ollie did an amazing speech, so natural!, touched everyone in the room.
Next up food – a delicious bbq and lots of salads –  and party time! The evening was filled with music dancing and fireworks.
Lots of dancing and singing., a fabulous dance where a member of the family kept being added to the line and a famous rendition of Rick Astley’s, “Never Gonna Give you Up”
The Maieutiké liveband were fabulous as usual, always a pleasure to hear them play and sing.
The fireworks were the icing on the cake of such a memorable day.

Thank you Janine and Bryan for bringing us back to Santa Maria for your wedding, it was flipping awesome!
Wishing you much love and happiness  Sandy & Dave xx

view of Torre Perrotti



maieutiké liveband at Lido Azzurro

Memorable Moments of 2016

Memorable Moments of 2016

Reminiscing – Review of 2016


Ah what a wonderful year 2016 was, one of our busiest so far.  So time for Pixsmiths review of 2016

We’ve laughed at all the funny moments and heart leapt at all the special looks our wonderful couples give each other.
We’ve cried when we  know brides have lost special family members just months later…and humbled that we have given memories for them to hold onto in the dark days after
and the joy that they will recall from them.  We started with a Valentines day weddign and ended with fireworks in December – a packed year!

From parks to palazzos, hotels to zoos, from beaches to rustic barns its been a year of discovering new places and challenges for old favourites.
We’ve been there from early on in the preps to party time at night with fireworks late into the night

Most of all we want to thank all our amazing couples for choosing us to capture their da, without you we simply couldn’t do this!
Also to all the wonderful suppliers we meet along the way and who support us on the day>

We look forward to meeting all our 2017 couples and new adventures we will have throughout this year
For now just a teeny look back at some moments from 2016 – enjoy the review of 2016review of 2106


Foppa to Fidaz, Flims to the High Bargis

Foppa to Fidaz, Flims to the High Bargis

Scenic Hiking in Flims Switzerland

We recently enjoyed a break in a very sunny Switzeland in Flims in the Graubunden region.  An area of a variety of scenic hikes.  This little blog post shows a few images from a couple of routes we joined together. Starting  with an esay ride up to 1400m with a chairlift, right near our hotel, from Flims to Foppa, we followed the Romansh language themed trail over to Fidaz, over the meadows  and via a delightful alpine hut ..where we stoppped for the obligatory cake. Just before Fidaz a delightful farm wedding was taking place …such a wonderful setting and  a glorious day for the event…many congratulations to the couple …loved their tractor transportation!  From Fidaz the trail winds up to the high Bargis valley with its views of the Flimstein ever present – one of the oldest Via Ferrata routes is here ..not that we tackled it!
So lovely to see families out together having a good time in the fresh mountain area just enjoying the idyllic nature.  Perfect place for a picnic at the riverside.
Enjoy these alpine vistas …could so easily go back here!








farm wedding transport



Swiss farm wedding








High valley Bargis, Flims




Destination Wedding Italy: Santa Maria Di Castellabate Photography

Destination Wedding Italy: Santa Maria Di Castellabate Photography

Stephanie and Barry’s Destination Wedding Italy: Santa Maria di Castellabate

Wow where to start with this fabulous destination beach wedding in Santa Maria di Castellabate, an idyllic authentic part of Italy.  A little  known seaside town in comapison to the Amalfi coast but just what Barry and Stephanie wanted.  A laid back affair with the closest of their friends (some whose weddings we had covered in the uk) and family.  They thought Italy would be too expensive and they wanted a lovely beach …..so I showed them Santa Maria and they fell in love with the place!
The number 19 is an important date for Steph and Barry – they met on the 19th, one of their daughters was born on a 19th, somehow their wedding in Santa Maria was booked for the 19th May They even chose row 19 on the plane out to Naples! It was meant to be!
The family stayed in the humunous Villa Virginia up in the hills overlooking Santa Maria.  Lost count of the number of bedrooms!

Bridal preps were in the local hair dressers – Angela’s in the main street, before heading back to the Villa for final preps and dressing.  Stephanie chose a gorgeous Italian design from Tina Louise for her lace bridal gown.  Soon time for the taxi and cars to wish the bride and bridal party to the Lido Azzurro for the beautiful beach ceremony.  So touching at the end when Stephanie and her Dad linked by phone to her sister, who unfortuantely could not be with them.
The customary walk through the town to sign papers at the Town Hall, taking pics as we went along and then back for the Lido Reception to enjoy a fine meal, hilarious speeches with Barry demonstating his chat up moves, dancing and fireworks on the beach for a spectacular end to a most memorable day.
Thank you Steph and arry for our personalised favours, a lovely touch with the poem , so happy you an amazing time here and know you will be back!




that figure 19!Leason_wedding_Santa_Maria_023


















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palazzo Santa Maria di Castellabate









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Venue: Lido Azzurro Di Sessa
Wedding Planner: Slow Dreams
Photography: Pixsmiths Creative Photography


Italy Destination Wedding Workshop: Santa Maria Secret Retreat

Italy Destination Wedding Workshop: Santa Maria Secret Retreat

A picture of a quaint authentic Italian seaside town, Santa Maria, or twinkle town as I later learnt its affectionate name, tugged at my travel-prone heartstrings. Booked a holiday here…and then just a short while later The Secret Retreat workshop was launched. I had to go, simply could not miss this opportunity with 3 fabulous photographers I’ve admired   for a while Claire Penn, Andrea Ellison and Lucy Woodrow in this special place. No lie it sold with an hour … …but yay I got a place!!

As we were flying in to Naples I took some shots of  islands just offshore Naples, I knew it wasn’t Capri…. Mental note to google map later.

So there we were 30 girls all mixing well and having a great time in the sunshine, eating pizza, sunbathing by the pool, we had a party night with music, dancing and surprise fireworks…..oh  yes and we did get t to shoot in two amazing palaces  with real couples head over heels in love with each other and meet the Prince and Princess of Belmonte who were so hospitable to us. What more could we want!

Each day a  leader set up a styled shoot and gave an informative talk and exercises to help with the business planning  side of things, something for everyone whatever level. Even with many years’ experience but I craved new inspiration, new creativity and new guidance on branding and marketing, always developing.

I can honestly say I got all this out of it and so much more – really cannot thank ALL the girls enough for this experience.  Valuable time was also spent networking and bouncing ideas off each other.  Special thanks to Mandy the creative expert from Saddleworth Shindigs for all the goodies she used was in detail heaven!  And to the florist and make up artist who did a fabulous work on our amazing couples Paul and Bev and Luigi and Antonia.  Extra special thanks to Julie McKenzie and daughter Emily of My Secret Italy  they really are the best wedding planners her and go the extra mile for you– can appreciate how much hard work goes into organising such an event, often having to make impromptu changes on the day.

Words are inadequate to fully sum up this amazing amazing experience, we all received motivational kick up the backsides and I know not only myself but everybody else will be buzzing from this magical workshop  and putting things into practice for a good few months yet.

I dared to dream ….and  my dream is coming true I will be back here in May 2016 for a wedding….and as for those islands I discovered it was Ischia and Procdia…places I wanted to visit on honeymoon 30 years ago   …and now we are in less than 2 weeks time carrying on the love affair with Italy.

Santa Maria in the summer




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Want to see more of this amazing workshop – then check out this amazing secret retreat 2015 video

captured by Laura Jane Dale Photogrpahy – huge thanks Laura, fabulous memories

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