2013 was a very special year for Jake and I. We photographed stunning celebrations in Wales, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey. From snow to bright sunshine, from showers to rainbows. In this and a second companion post we wanted to share some of our favourite images from 2013. It is customary to publish this sort of post at the start of the year, but with our house move, we decided we would like to share this when many of our couples will be having their first year anniversaries. Congratulations!!!

We also wanted to share the comments our couples made when they voted for us in the 2014 Wedding Industry Awards, as they give a first hand insight into their experience. In this post we share their general comments.


Ria’s rare talent is that she balances thoughtful artistry (requiring space, quiet, contemplation) with the professionalism needed to achieve the tasks on the day. She listened, watched, sensed and then created a perfect visual representation of the emotions of our day. A joy to have her there.

Ria managed to capture all of our shots with no hassle, her photography flowed well, and her pictures are beautiful, I have yet to see another photographer who’s internet presentation is so unique especially the way she writes about each wedding. And I read a lot of them!

We were overjoyed to have worked with Ria! She was amazingly patient & supportive, working tirelessly throughout the process, capturing the true spirit & atmosphere at a venue where she had not worked before. Her artistic eye is evident in the scope of images; she is in tune with her surroundings!

The pictures are beautiful, with a lovely variety of composition and gentle tones. Ria and Jake made the photo sessions effortless and fun. Their attention to detail meant we have images that capture the essence of our wedding and the excitement and happiness of ourselves and all our guests.

Ria is a creative and artistic person who produces stunning photography that captures the mood of an occasion. Ria was is always in the right place at the right time to capture the best moments however you never know she is there. She is very friendly and helps make you feel relaxed throughout.

They worked really hard, really helped out on the day and did not make the more camera-shy people (myself included) uncomfortable in any way. Would recommend them to anyone.


Very warm and friendly photographer. Great quality photographs, very individual.

Ria and Jake were so friendly and easy to chat to that we were immediately put at ease, and she demonstrated right from the start that she was competent and able to take on any challenge. The pre-wedding photo shoot was a great ice-breaker too and confirmed that we’d chosen the right person.

Ria has a vision for all the weddings she does. That vision is clear and includes the couple, this makes the whole experience unique, beautiful and personal. We spent the whole day with Ria and our photos reflect our day in a magical way that I don’t think anyone else could have done.



Ria made our day run so smoothly. She is extremely professional but also personable. The photos are fabulous!

Ria did such a great job of photographing our engagement shoot & wedding. As two people who don’t like having their photo taken Ria made us feel completely at ease. The photos are stunning & capture the emotions in every moment. We feel really lucky to have such wonderful reminders of the day.

Ria is an extremely talented photographer – she has an incredible eye for capturing stunning and unique images. Ria has been an absolute joy to work with, and she has always been professional and open with us. We felt completely at ease with her on our wedding day. We would recommend her to anyone.



Ria has been exceptional from start to finish. On the day itself, Ria struck the balance of being discreet & yet being everywhere we needed her to be perfectly. Her photos are emotive & thoughtful reflecting her as a person. Ria listens, understands & delivers beyond expectation on every level.

Ria and Jake were the perfect wedding photographers. They completely embraced the spirit of our occasion, shared our excitement, and created images even more adventurous and unique than we had imagined. We would not have felt so happy to have anyone else capturing and sharing the day.

We are not comfortable in front lot a camera. Ria made us feel instantly at ease and relaxed – something that is very evident in our photos. Ria and her husband Jake felt more like guests at our wedding rather than suppliers. We would highly recommend Ria and are extremely pleased with our photos.


Ria is lovely to work with. We choose Ria because we loved the artistic and candid quality of her work. She takes great personal care and time to craft her photos and has an amazing eye. She has a great sensitivity to light and is able to capture the atmosphere of the event beautifully.

Ria’s photography is stunning. She incorporated our ideas without ever compromising her integrity as an artist. She is warm as well as professional; nothing was ever too much trouble. She and her partner, Jake were simply incredible before, during and after the day; our photos are testament to that

We can\’t thank Ria Mishaal enough, my husband & I have were just blown away by our beautiful photos, she\’s a true artist and we couldn’t have chosen a more caring and enthusiastic person to document our wedding!


Ria and Jake were fantastic. The engagement shoot was an excellent idea and a great way to relax us both and give us confidence in Ria’s slightly unconventional technique before our big day. The results from our wedding day speak for themselves. She achieved so much and somehow stayed invisible

Ria was so much more than just a photographer, on our wedding day she was a calming influence, a councillor, motivator, helper and friend! The selection and quality of the photos Ria took are outstanding. Her service from start to finish is second to none. Our day has been captured perfectly forever

Ria is not just an amazing photographer but also a lovely person and so good at putting you at ease for your photographs. Ria manages to capture beautiful moments and none of her photographs look forced or posed. Our family and friends have commented on how stunning our photographs are.

Our wedding was on 12/12/12. We planned an intimate winter wedding in Oxford. We hoped it would snow and it did, beautifully! Ria captured every moment of that joyful day in a very intimate and personal way that reflected us as a couple. She is a truly warm person and such a gifted photographer.


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In this guest post, one of my couples, Mike & Kate, share some of their favourite wedding images and what they mean to them.

I started this feature last year, when bride Jess Smith shared her selection. So that the collection of images I create on a wedding day serve as memories that are meaningful to the couple, I invest time in getting to know them to understand more of what they love and what is important to them. On the day I can capture the details and moments that they will value most.

Mike and Kate’s South Farm wedding was this Spring, among the pretty white cherry blossom. They crafted a day unique to them, from very special details to a cinema for the wedding speeches. Following, they share 17 of their images and the stories they tell.

When Ria asked us to do this feature, we didn’t realise how hard it was going to be to choose only a few favourites! Ria and Jake are so talented and we are so glad that we chose them to photograph our wedding and we are so happy with all of our pictures.

{The stories follow the images}


Mike: This picture, for me, sums up all of the nervous energy, trepidation and excitement I felt whilst getting ready for the ceremony with only half an hour to go. The mood of the picture is a quite a contrast to the other pictures taken on the day as it is quite dark and film noir-esque, something which I am particularly fond of (being a big film fan). The ceremony itself is something I wasn’t looking forward to so I was trying to focus on one thing at a time. At this instance it was just me and my shoes and this image captures that perfectly. The shoes are also something special that I shared with just my best man so to have a picture that showcases them so brilliantly is great.


Kate: I chose these two pictures because they take me back to the last hour prior to the ceremony and of being fairly calm up until around this time.  I began to get a little nervous and I was taken aback because within 1 or 2 seconds of those nervous thoughts popping into my head, Denise who I had chosen to do my make-up, just quietly asked if I was OK with a knowing tone.  Somehow she instantly knew that I wasn’t OK and was limbering up for a freak out but her asking this simple question reassured and calmed me and made me feel like I had nothing to worry about.  I like this photo because when I look at it I remember being grateful to Denise for this small moment as it made me realise how important it is to have positive people around you the morning of your wedding who are looking out for you.


Kate: Although me and Mike didn’t want a church wedding we still wanted to stick with some traditions including having ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’.  So for my something(s) borrowed my mum collected items from ladies from both hers and my dad’s families.  She also did this for my sister’s wedding so now this is our own little tradition.  The idea was for the jewellery to be pinned into my under-skirt in my great grandmother’s hankie however in all the commotion of getting ready, I thought we hadn’t done this and later on in the day realised that it had been forgotten and was a little upset (I had also forgotten to put on my something blue!).  However the next day I mentioned this to my mum and she corrected me telling me she had pinned it in before I had gone to get dressed and ‘the ladies’ had been with me all day, so this photograph reminds me of my family, both past and present and that I can always count on my very special mum.


Kate: This is my favourite picture of my bridesmaids as I think it is absolutely stunning.  my niece was so excited in the lead up to the wedding and this is such a cute moment between the girls.


Kate: This was the first few minutes Mike and I had alone together after leaving the ceremony and was taken after all of our group photos.  We like it because it was amongst some of the more posed photos yet this one were feel we were a lot more natural and ourselves .  We love that Ria captured this moment in front of the beautiful farmhouse (we also love the farmhouse because the front door matches our wedding colours!).


Mike: None of the people who traditionally do speeches at a wedding were particularly keen on the idea so, as a big film fan, we came up with the solution of having each of us create a short film which could play in its place. Writing a speech is difficult at the best of times but I don’t think any of us really considered how much more stressful it could be having to not only write the words but also think of locations, outfits and skits and then go through the process of filming and editing it. Even on the day itself there was the stress of getting the kit set up and keeping it a secret from all the guests as we wanted this to be a surprise. This picture ties together all the hard work by everybody involved that went into the whole process and captures what the guests would have seen walking in to the barn without knowing what to expect. It was one my personal highlights of the day.


Kate: We laughed so much when we saw this picture.  The picture captures everything that we hoped the speeches would be and we love looking at the expression on each and every person’s face! We haven’t yet worked out where in the speeches this picture was taken but it really makes all the hard work that was put in to this part of the day worthwhile when we can see how much people seemed to be enjoying themselves.


Kate:  Mike and I were so lucky to have this beautiful blossom on our wedding day.  We had visited South Farm 4 days before the big day and there was only a small amount of blossom out, so when we arrived at South Farm’s entrance in the morning and were greeted by such a beautiful site it was such a nice surprise.  We chose April as we wanted a spring-time feel to the wedding and spring flowers but visiting in April 2013 there were very few flowers due to the rather long winter.  So we were very grateful to be able to have a photo like this as this is exactly what we wanted when we chose South Farm.


Kate: As Ria and Jake know all too well after our engagement shoot, Mike and I are not the most camera loving couple, me in particular, so I quite like that I have a lovely photograph of me with my flowers without worrying about what my face is doing!


Kate and Mike: We love that Ria and Jake are able to make random candid moments look effortless and beautiful.


Mike: This was something that Kate’s parents, Terri and Richard, organised. Each picture is a different family member on their wedding day including siblings, parents and grandparents. It was a lovely touch and for me this picture highlights that it is not just a day for the bride and groom but also for the whole family and guests to enjoy.  Also, since some none of our grandparents could be there on the day it was nice to have something there to remind us that even without their presence they were still a part of our wedding.


Kate & Mike:  This sums up our relationship in one photo, it’s soft and romantic without being over the top or in your face, we are close and respectful to one another and sweet without being sickly.


Mike: This picture is Kate in a nutshell. Even on her wedding day she finds time to sneak in a cup of tea and a truffle. Ria and Jake are exceptionally skilled at understanding the people they are photographing and capturing everything about that person in one picture.


Kate: Who needs additional entertainment when you have a 3 year old niece and friends who agree to be your wedding band?  My niece was so exhausted and so ‘star struck’ by Penny our lead singer, that for the rest of the evening she would collapse on the dance floor to stare at Penny,  which would re-charge her batteries just enough for her to do a bit more frantic dancing (jumping!) only for her to collapse again.  I love the expressions on my niece’s face and how happy she looks when she’s dancing and she provided everyone will some very memorable moments throughout the day.


Mike: At the end of the evening, when everything is winding down after the manic-ness of the day’s events it’s  nice to just take a step back and appreciate everything that has happened. Months of planning, stressing over every little detail and constantly reminding yourself of things still left to do and all that’s left at the end is a few stragglers and some bunting to take down. It makes everything feel worthwhile and I think it was around this time of the evening that I finally started to calm down a little and take it all in.

Thank you so much Mike & Kate for sharing these images and the memories and significance they hold for you.

If you would like to see more of Mike & Kate’s celebrations, please see their wedding premiere.

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Cherries were ripe on the trees that line the driveway to the main house. Light glittered through the leaves making the fruit glow brightly. This was to be a South Farm wedding to remember.

When Annie and Jim came to meet me for their Southampton Common engagement shoot in January, I could so clearly see the love and respect they have for each other in each gesture they make. Jake and I had been looking forward to these celebrations and meeting their family and friends.

To complement Jim’s army uniform, Annie chose an elegant tea length 1950s style dress by English designer Candy Anthony. The lace overlay of the dress was complemented by a lace parasol and embellished heels. She wore a pretty cherry red lipstick, and pale blue accents in her underskirt, in her veil and in the sapphire earrings Jim gave her.

As they walked back up the aisle towards the guard of honour, they were framed with jars of roses and flowers from Annie’s mother’s stunning garden and ribbons dancing in the breeze.

They had some striking homemade details. Their table plan was printed on to vintage plates, and their guest book was a special plate on which their guests could write – messages that would later be fired into the glaze.

As the evening drew in, Annie and Jim danced in the meadow in the setting sun. This was a very special occasion, and we just know they will be surrounded by the love of those close to them as they begin their married life together.


Annie & Jim’s South Farm wedding team:
Venue: South Farm
Annie’s dress: Candy Anthony
Bride’s Shoes: Monsoon
Bride’s details: Candy Anthony
The Bridesmaids dresses: Phase Eight
The bouquets, buttonholes and reception flowers: Crazy Daisy
The Buttonholes: Crazy Daisy
Groom’s suit: Army Uniform
Stationary: home made
The cake: home made
Music: Sons of Dooneen
Photography: Ria Mishaal Photography

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In the shade of the majestic trees that surround the Cathedral in Verulamium Park, Ian proposed to Laura. They took me back to where they had picnicked that day, and together we explored the beautiful parkland which will forever be close to their hearts.

The park takes it’s name from the Roman City of Verulamium on which it stands. There is something very ancient and regal about this place. Something special.

We walked and talked of their plans for their wedding next year. Planned well in advance, it will be a beautiful and relaxed occasion, and I’m excited to get to know Laura and Ian better in the coming year.


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