“Liza , thank you so much for your amazing work! We’ve just had a session of looking through the pictures with our loved ones, and everyone has been blown away by how gorgeous the pictures are. I even showed them to my colleagues at work; one of them got a bit tearful, and another colleague took down your name for him and his partner to look into! You really went above and beyond to make me and Hannah feel safe and valued. With the world seemingly going through another anti-LGBT phase, I felt braver with you with us. I can’t tell you how much it comforted me to have someone with us who saw the beauty in us, and encouraged us to slow down and see the beauty around us. It takes true skill to capture not just the images but the mood of the day- I look over them and think “Oh my goodness, that’s exactly what it felt like, that’s how I remember it!” We’re both genuinely so grateful that we had the chance to work with you. It was better than anything we could have hoped for. Lots of love”
Hannah & Jess
Dream to photograph a LGBTQ+ weddding at Kew
As a newly fledged Kew Gardens wedding photographer, I am stoked to be able to share these pix. The enchanting wedding day of Hannah and Jess was such a privilege to be a part of. This gorgeous London LGBTQ+ couple grew up just streets apart, unbeknown’s to each other. They describe themselves as “colourful cardigan queers” which I think is pretty cool!
I had always wanted to photograph a wedding at Kew Gardens. Thanks to Hannah and Jess I got to do it twice, at their most favourite spot on the planet. I was gutted months earlier, (when I had COVID) and had to get a fellow photographer to stand in for me and shoot another LGBTQ + wedding at Kew. This time I was gonna make it!
Bumpy journey to Kew Gardens
The girl’s journey to say “I do” at Kew as also a little bit bumpy due to that pesky pandemic! But they persevered and celebrated their love in the most magical way at Kew Gardens Cambridge Cottage. I was so happy they chose me to be their Kew Gardens wedding photographer.
Engagement Shoot at Kew Gardens
But let’s wind back bit first…. Months before the big day, when I met up with Hannah and Jess for their engagement shoot also at Kew! Blimey the breathtaking beauty of Kew Gardens was stop dead in my tracks gorgeous. We wandered through this green paradise chatting and capturing their love story in a very candid way. It was a great opportunity for us to all to connect and get to know each other a little prior to big day.
Hannah and Jess are the cutest couple ever. They wanted their photos to be natural and relaxed, nothing too posed or cheesy. Just candid, fun, and oh-so-romantic! They were said they were a bit camera shy. This made it even more important for me to be able to capture those genuine moments of laughter and love.
First – little bit of background about Hannah and Jess…
“We had grown up just down the road from each other. We had taken the same bus, played in the same parks, and been freaked out by the same creepy porn shop as kids. We had our first date on the South Bank, where I ate most of Hannah’s dinner. She absolutely kicked my arse at Pac Man. Since then we’ve had four and a half amazing years together.
Hannah makes me laugh literally every day, and she says that I give excellent cuddles. We’re both quite nerdy people (eg: I play Dungeons and Dragons, while Hannah is more of a nature-nerd. Hannah is the voice of mischief/adventure in our relationship, even though she looks innocent and shy. I look confident, but I have NO idea what I’m doing. We love eating and cooking together, dancing and singing together. We joined a choir earlier this year before Corona made that impossible. If I’m honest, we both really like getting a good night’s sleep! “
Honestly, I just loved spending time with these two. They put a smile on my face and just felt so good to hang with.
Looking Forward to their wedding day
Hannah and Jess were really looking forward to catching up with their close friends and family. Especially after the long covid lockdowns. They planned to have delicious Caribbean food, plenty of dancing, laughs and music. The support of their community overwhelmed them on their wedding journey.
When it came to wedding planning advice for future couples, they strongly recommended considering a wedding planner. “Get a wedding planner if you can afford it. Ours was one of the biggest parts of our budget, and it’s the wisest money we’ve ever spent”
The awesome wedding planners for the big day were Rebecca Brennan-Brown and her wonderful team.
Both Hannah and Jess were walked down the aisle with their parents. The ceremony, was led by celebrant Audrey Simmons. It was a real heartfelt celebration of love which had most guests grabbing for their tissues. Close friend Daniel, delivered a moving poetry reading. Another close friend Justina’s soulful song added an extra layer of emotion to the atmosphere and gave me goosebumps.
Kew Gardens Wedding Photographer – the perfect setting
Kew Gardens well it’s just the perfect backdrop for capturing Hannah and Jess’s love story. Couple pix meant a half hour quiet drive away from the guests. We hopped on the cute Kew Gardens buggy, and the super helpful Kew Gardens staff took us to all the girl’s favourite Kew spots. We stopped at the tropical house, the Lily Pad house, and every nook and cranny that screamed romance and beauty. As a Kew Gardens wedding photographer, this easily one of the most stunning settings I’ve ever been lucky enough to capture.
Dancing the night away
The dance floor was rammed all night but first the first dance!
The girls explained their first dance song choice to me. “Heaven is a Place on Earth- was inspired by the ending of San Junipero. This is the only episode of Black Mirror with a happy ending, and features an interracial same sex couple. So many visions of the future are bleak, especially Black Mirror, so it was a really special moment of hopeful representation”
Hannah and Jess’s wedding day at Kew Gardens was an absolute dream, filled with laughter, heartfelt moments, and gorgeous memories. As their Kew Gardens wedding photographer, I was chuffed to be part of their journey and day. From the engagement shoot to the ceremony and beyond, their genuine connection shone bright, creating an atmosphere of pure love and celebration.
Warmest congrats again Hannah and Jess— what a special day and a beautiful couple inside and out. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness and adventure!
Photographer: Your’s truly! Liza O’Malley Photography
Venue: Kew Gardens Cambridge Cottage
Wedding Planners: Get Wed
Dresses: Dig For Victory
Celebrant: Audrey Simmons