Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer | Lorraine & Andy
Lorraine & Andy had chosen the stunning 19th Century converted water mill, Sopley Mill as their wedding venue. What a great decision that was. In a chocolate box village in Dorset, surrounded by well manicured landscapes, flowing rivers and an abundance of fields (with the occasional roaming cow!)
We had spent some great time getting to know one another during our test shoot and planning session, also at Sopley Mill, do check out their antics here… Lorraine is a hilarious, vibrant lady with amazing energy complemented by her distinct Irish accent. Andy is cheeky yet thoughtful, both continually chatting and bantering with each other and me… we almost needed to book in extra sessions just for the chat! It was awesome getting together!
Lorraine and her Best Women prepped and preened at The Captains Club Hotel, Christchurch. It was very chilled and peaceful as Lorraine had her hair teased into vintage style waves and striking make-up to compliment her features and styling for the day.
While Lorraine was finished up her prep, Andy was in charge of setting up the PA, the booze and the PA some more. His best man, David, was in charge of making sure Andy got dressed properly!
As a Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer, it’s always a pleasure to see wedding guests enjoying their surroundings throughout the day. This particular day happened to be perhaps the hottest of the year. Guests were refreshed continually, looked after in shady or sunny spots depending on their preference and entertained with lawn games while they waited to be called to the ceremony room.
While Andy awaited his bride with the calm confidence of a man who’s got this under control, Lorraine arrived with the company of her father to a brood of eagerly awaiting nieces and nephews. She looked absolutely stunning! The layout of the venue meant we were able to take a few moments for a portrait or two before she headed upstairs with her entourage!
Lorraine and Andy had planned the most personal and intimate wedding ceremony. The Vicar was a close friend of Andy’s, the music performed by friends and Paul, one of the Ushers, and readings read by family members. You couldn’t hide the joy on their faces as they married in front of their nearest and dearest.
While the guests shimmied down to the grounds to drink Pimms, Champagne and various other refreshments while enjoying the lawn games available, Lorraine and Andy joined us for a short stroll to take some newlywed portraits. One of the things I love about having my second shooter with me during a portrait session is not only are they invaluable at holding lights/gear/reflectors but the shoot time is faster as they can operate from alternative angles and help with dress/suit arrangements, leaving more time for the happy couple to spend with their guests and each other.
The image below was taken while Lorraine and Andy were waiting for their guests to be ushered into the dining room upstairs. It was one of my favourites of the day and one of their sneak previews. I loved it so much I decided to enter it into a couple of competitions and and proud to say I won the Gold Award for the Master Photographers Association Wedding-Photographer-of-the-Month as well as receiving a Merit Award in the South East Regional Print Competition with the Master Photographers Association. I would love to know what they are saying to each other as there is a definite sense of mischievousness in their expressions! I am very pleased to be a Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer taking award winning images at their venue. The venue themselves have just picked up a “Best Countryside Venue” award in this years wedding awards too. They certainly deserve it!
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed a pirate and a fairy as part of the guest list. No, this was not a fancy dress wedding, they had actually procured the services of a local team of childrens entertainers to entertain and feed the children while the grown-ups wined and dined. What a great idea! It went down an absolute treat!
The early evening entertainment was by way of some live jazz outside with a plentiful open bar. Children and adults frolicked and relaxed on the lawns, people chilled indoors and out. The feel was friendly, informal and relaxed. Exactly as Lorraine and Andy had described their intentions. The speeches also came as the heat of the day lowered. With vibrant and entertaining speeches from all, the prize to most emotive speech however has to go to Lorraine’s sister and Best Woman, Caroline. She not only managed to hit the tears button, but the laughter and shock button too as you can see for their ther sister’s reaction in some of the shots!!
As the sun was setting, we took the opportunity to capture a few shots of Lorraine and Andy’s families together. There was a point when gathering the nieces and nephews was has hard as herding cats as they had all spread around the grounds exploring the wonders and nooks and crannies of Sopley Mill! A quick shot with the lowering sun before heading inside to their night time party!
The first dance and the rest of the music was brought to the guests by way of Our Dad, a band made up of 4 kids and their dad (when I say kids, I do mean proper grown-ups!) and a couple of other musicians too. These guys are awesome, playing some epic grooves getting everyone up on the dance floor. Andy works in music, so his input to ensure the musical ambience was set properly throughout the day was spot on! The bar had a steady flow of custom and the other areas of the mill were being used well. A cake bar and sweetie counter, fish & chips outside and pumping music in, it was a superb day that created a party for everyone to be a part of.
As Lee and I set off for our drive home, we reflected on how much of a truly awesome day we had. It’s hard to believe that we can have such fun days while we are working, but it really is a pleasure to shoot each and every wedding. The relationships built with the couples on their planning journey make for some lovely friendships that develop.
As part of my service, an Italian Handmade Album by Graphistudio is included. To know that these albums are going to be treasured forever and thumbed through, laughed and cried over (and maybe even mocked in 30 years time when their fashion senses and hairstyles are questioned) is the icing on the cake of what I do. To hand over just the digital files to get lost on a USB or a corrupted hard drive just isn’t worth it to me. The memories are just too valuable to treat so loosely. Andy and Lorraine had chosen the contemporary Young Book in silvers and blues to complement the colours of their day. I used metallic pages for their album to really make the colours pop. It looked fantastic. With some Parent Copies delivered too just in time for Christmas!
Thank you Mr & Mrs Chamberlain for having us on your precious day, we loved every minute!
xX Fiona Xx
FionaMillsArt | Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer | Award Winning Photography