It was mid-August and, as usual, the British weather didn't know what to do with itself. Was it going rain? Was it going to be sunny? Who could tell? And so I made my way to the prep venue... and got lost! The postcode was for a looooong road and the house I was looking for only had a name, not a number! Fortunately, I always leave in plenty of time. This Kent Wedding Photographer will not be late! Well, with the help of some almost-as-clueless neighbours, I drove further down the road, where it became a beautiful country lane, and finally arrived at the cast iron gates of the bride's parents' home. They welcomed me into to their gorgeous house and so began a day that would turn out to be one of the best weddings I have ever photographed!
As a wedding photographer, the thing I look forward to the most is seeing the bride's dress. There are so many options these days and I think you can learn a lot about a bride by their choice. Emma's dress was hung carefully at a window by the stairS, allowing the train to flow down like a waterfall. The lace detail was stunning and the material so soft. I knew this would be so beautiful in the photos, especially as the bride's sister was carefully steaming every last crease out to make it absolutely perfect. A wedding photographer's dream!
This summer, I have been to all sorts of wedding venues, from village halls to manor homes. When you arrive at a venue, you can tell instantly what to expect from the day. This was my first wedding at The Oak Barn, Frame Farm, and my goodness I hope I have the opportunity to return many times over! The countryside on the Kent / East Sussex border was so inviting, and then, as I drove down the drive, the barn appeared. A gorgeous building, dating back to 1607 and expertly restored. And it didn't stop there: a patio over looking the fields, a drinks reception summer house with bi-fold doors, a large, open wood store (great for fun photos!) and quaint pond with a jetty and little waterfall. And to top it off, the staff were so lovely and helpful. When doing wedding photography, I often end up as MC and organiser as some places don't have the staff for this, so it really makes my life easy to have an expert team organising the day and leading the bride, groom and guests gently through the day.
There were so many details that were clearly carefully selected by Emma and Tom. Their semi-naked cake was so fitting for the rustic venue, as were their wooden, heart-shaped table numbers and photos of absent loved ones in frames. But, not wishing for everything to be too serious, their favours were little jars filled with Tequila Rose! This Kent wedding photographer was in for a fun day!
Two bridesmaids (the bride's sister and best friend) wore long, flowing pink dresses and carried white roses. The lads wore dark blue three-piece suits, with the groom sporting a tweed waistcoat to set him apart from his team. The groom's son had the job of ring-bearer and he made his dad proud!
The Oak Barn has such a unique ceremony room: not only does it have beautiful vaulted ceilings, but there's a stage upon which to get married! Emma's father walked her up the aisle and carefully up the steps to her groom. They stood in full view of all their guests, accompanied on stage by the bridesmaids and groomsmen, as they made their promises to each other. Just as they were announced as husband and wife and shared their first kiss, some gentle singing was heard - just a little humming, which was soon joined by a singer and two further choir members! The bride had arranged to hide a four-piece choir in amongst her guests to sing 'Stand By Me' and it was beautiful! A surprise for me as the wedding photographer, but I was able to capture the moment for them as I scuttled as subtly as possible down the steps!
It's safe to say that Tom was not a fan of having his photo taken, so this Kent wedding photographer had to pull out all the tricks to help him feel more comfortable in front of my lens. Firstly, we got relaxed by having a little fun shoot with the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Then we just went on a little walk around the pretty pond and quickly snapped a few choice moments. However, with the weather being as lovely as it was, and the surrounding scenery being so picturesque, I knew I couldn't use up all of the groom's tolerance for having his photo taken as I had to save it for golden hour - and I'm so pleased I did. A little standing over here and walking over there gave me some fantastic shots in the golden sunset and we'd finished before Tom even knew we'd started!
Well... what can I say? Everyone's speeches were thoughtful, heart-felt and funny - but nothing could top the groom' speech when they announced they were due to have a baby! Cue floods of happy tears - not a dry eye in the house (including me!). What a caring and loving group of friends and family.
With the sunset pouring into the barn, the couple took centre stage for their first dance. The light was so beautiful that I didn't even need to use my flash much! After their dance together, Emma and her father danced and sang to Queen and then it was time to get the party started!