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Sussex Wedding Photographer | The House on the Brooks, Pulborough

Sussex Wedding Photographer | The House on the Brooks, Pulborough | Matt & Jen

Sussex Wedding Photographer

Earlier last Spring, Matt contacted me to say that he and Jen were planning a wedding. As a West Sussex Wedding Photographer, based near Chichester covering Horsham, Pulborough, Brighton, Portsmouth, the surrounding areas and beyond, we were having the usual conversation about how we would approach the wedding photography. When discussing the planning and the test shoot Matt casually mentioned that they weren’t even officially engaged yet! As you can imagine, I jumped at the chance to photograph the live proposal! Check out the blog from that day here.

Fast forward a few months, Matt and Jen decided to get married at a lovely venue called The House on the Brooks in Pulborough, West Sussex. Their theme was a festival vibe with acres of outdoor space and meadows to house the ceremony and marquees. Thankfully, September in Sussex is usually a warm affair!

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The main house at The House on the Brooks in Pulborough is gloriously and eclectically finished, with every room themed with different antique finds and quirky decor. From half a boat high up a wall (the other half in the bathroom), a bed framed with French nautical figureheads and a bathroom tiled with reclaimed tiles from an old cathedral which were made using a technique that is now unknown and obsolete. It is well worth a look just for the decor.

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Despite getting ready in the same building, Jen managed to remain hidden from Matt! They had asked all their guests to arrive early, and to bring a flower each, which was to be gathered with the others and arranged to create the bridal bouquet. A lovely and creative idea, which I’m sure you will agree made for a beautiful bouquet. Jen looked beautiful in a graceful, Grecian style dress that delicately displayed a small bump housing the mid stages of pregnancy.

Sussex Wedding Photographer

West Sussex Wedding Photographer

As Matt and all the guests filtered up the meadow to get ready for the ceremony Jen stole a few moments with her Father, reading a note from Matt and watching the guests’ journey up the meadow from the view in her room. The walk to the ceremony was a few minutes long, which gave plenty of time to admire the striking landscapes of the South Downs across the fields.

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Pulborough wedding photographer

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The ceremony was very relaxed, with a close friend of Matt’s officiating. Guests were seated on hay bales and thankfully the weather stayed dry! Children played in the meadow as the formalities begun, while Matt and Jen’s son Stanley tried every tactical technique to avoid photographic capture (well, really he was happily enjoying the freedom of all the open space!)

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This venue in Pulborough is a Sussex Wedding Photographer’s dream. The meadow was a great spot to capture some family portraits. Matt and Jen wanted their images to be as relaxed and informal as their day was, so we worked with the hay bales and the surrounding backdrops of rolling hills. Matt also wanted to recreate a picture from his childhood with his dad and siblings. Without the original to refer to relying on the memory of siblings was amusing, but success was made! While portraits were happening, guests relaxed in the marquees with cocktails, giant games, sweet stands and acoustic music. It really did have a warm, relaxed vibe to the day.

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The guests dined in an adjacent barn, where they cut the cake and made time for speeches. The newlyweds had requested a picture with Matt’s best guy mates and Jen’s best girl friends. The girls behaved in a most decadent manner, while the boys, as you would expect, got a little silly!

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The party carried on with a live band, a fish and chip supper being delivered and more cocktails from the cocktail bar. The marquees, lights and much of the surrounding decor was set up by Mat’s best man Simon Horn who happens to run a company called After Dark Productions (I would highly recommend their work). It really just cried out for an ‘After Dark’ kind of shot (see what I did there?!!) Matt had also set up a photo booth area for the guests to amuse themselves with after a few cocktails. After finishing for the night, Matt insisted Lee and I grab a cocktail and strike a pose for the team…. after stalking them with our cameras for the whole day, we could hardly refuse, could we!

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Matt and Jen finished off their collection with a contemporary wedding album. The Young Book by Graphistudio ticked all their boxes. Handmade in Italy, the box was finished in a soft, faux black leather while the book was covered in a sage grey maple that offset Matt’s tie and suit to a tee. A fabulous way to collect and treasure their wedding day memories, and just in time for Christmas some Parent Copies were added to their order too.

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Sussex wedding photographer

Quite lucky they planned ahead with the presents as Baby Flora was born a few weeks early on the 16th December. A superb early Christmas present.

As well as being a Sussex Wedding Photographer, I also capture Newborn & Bump to Baby sessions so I had the pleasure of meeting her for a shoot at 14 days old. I will share those images in a later blog, but for now, here’s the happy family.

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Many congratulations Mr & Mrs Terris! Thank you for having us along on your journey.

Fiona xx

FionaMillsArt | Sussex Wedding Photographer

West Sussex Wedding Photographer,

West Sussex Wedding Photographer | Hilton Hotel, Avisford Park, Arundel

West Sussex Wedding Photographer | Hilton Hotel, Avisford Park, Arundel. The wedding of Marc and Katie.

When I met Katie, she had most of their wedding day planned and organised… except for the photographer. Their wedding was to be set in the beautiful grounds of the Avisford Park Hilton Hotel. As a Chichester Wedding Photographer and West Sussex Wedding Photographer, the Arundel setting was right in my stomping ground. Katie and I arranged to meet with her and her fiancé Marc to discuss their ideas and plans for the day and see how I could tell their story and complete their collection in a luxurious manner befitting the day they had planned. We spent a lovely morning at the Hilton planning their day and shooting some tests to help them be camera ready for their wedding day.

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On the morning of their wedding, Katie was getting ready in their West Sussex home together with her bridesmaids, which were mostly made up of Marc and Katie’s daughters and Katie’s best friend and niece. Katie’s Mum was also there, and I have to say the combination of colours and styling was just exquisitely beautiful. Make-up for Katie and her younger daughters was being done by Emma Banks, the hair by Cheryl Stanley. The soft pink and champagne colours of the dresses complemented Katie’s dress and the season to a tee! Finished off with the perfect blooms by Katherine Stayt Floral Designer, the sight was just glorious I think you would agree. I just love how the girls bustled around Katie before they prepared to leave!

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West Sussex Wedding Photographer

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West Sussex Wedding Photographer

West Sussex Wedding Photographer

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Luxury West Sussex Wedding Photographer

West Sussex Wedding Photographer

Before heading to The Hilton at Avisford Park, Arundel, I took a very brief detour to Marc’s parents house. He was flanked by his best mate and his and Katie’s son acting as his Best Men for the day. They were looking equally as sharp in their grey suits with the complementing soft pink details and on-trend brown brogues.

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At the Hilton Hotel, Avisford Park, the Great Hall was luxuriously finished with draping and lights by Fabricate which really set the soft and romantic atmosphere for the day, while the lighting in the evening became intimate yet retaining the luxury feel of the day.  Marc and his groomsmen were eagerly awaiting his brides arrival and for the ceremony to begin. The anticipation of the brides arrival is one of my most favourite times of the day. While Marc was checking his watch, again, Katie was arriving with her Mum in a stunning white Rolls Royce from West Sussex Classic Wedding Cars while her bridesmaids waited on.

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As a West Sussex Wedding Photographer also covering the London, Brighton, Horsham and Portsmouth areas, I have found that what many of my clients want to see from the day is the love, emotion and beauty of the day. For this reason I often advise my couples to create an “unplugged wedding” where guests switch their devices off, leave their cameras at home, or in their bags for later and truly engage with the day without the barrier of a phone or tablet to catch the moment. This also enables me to capture their emotion as it happens, without a camera or the back of an electronic device obscuring their expressions. Marc and Katie’s is a case en-point. Their families were so full of passion and emotion, it was a joy to be able to capture the laughter and tears of joy that filled their day. From the moment beautiful Katie and her bridesmaids walked down the aisle, the the marriage declaration complete there were tears and smiles galore!

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Scott from West Sussex Classic Wedding Cars did an amazing job finding a sheltered spot out of the bright August Midday sun so we could take some portraits of the newlyweds with the Rolls Royce while the rest of the guests were being ushered to the green in anticipation of the formal photographs. We even managed to fit in a cheeky drive around the grounds!

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We opted to take the formal photographs in a secluded area under some great trees, keeping the harsh sunlight off everyone’s faces. Katie was keen for her Nan to be included in some of the shots so we designed the group photos around a bench brought in for Nan. It was lovely seeing such large groups of siblings gathering together for their day.

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After Pimms and canapees were served in the garden the wedding party moved to the Great Hall which had been turned around ready for the Wedding Breakfast. Katie and Marc had a little surprise up their sleeves…. between courses the speeches were happening when one of the team of waiters decided to interrupt the Best Man and take over the mic and sing a little song. Low and behold, the West End Singing Waiters begun. A trio of superb voices singing love songs, hits and medleys. The entire wedding party were up on their feet singing, dancing and even joining in on the mic. The deserts were delayed as the guests were insatiable for more, the waiters succeeding in satisfying the masses! It was a fabulous treat of entertainment for all. After the singing waiters adjourned for later, one of Marc’s very talented nephews took up the mic himself and continued to woo the crowd!

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During our pre-wedding meetings with Katie and Marc it was very clear that family is one of the most important things to the pair of them. Their Bridal Party was mostly made up of their 6 children! We made some time during the day to pop outside and capture some portraits of them both as a Bridal Party and as family units. The newly erected gazebo at The Hilton Hotel, Avisford Park Arundel made for a great posing prop! The family looked gorgeous from head to toe with the en-trend colour coordination and soft textures.

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We made sure to pop out for 10 minutes at golden hour to catch that warm soft sunlight, risking life and limb on the (thankfully now empty!) golf course

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The evening party was met with much music and merriment and of course, more food! After the first dance the floor was filled again and again. The passion of the guests was contagious, the room was buzzing with excitement and joy and the smiles on everyones faces just screamed of happiness. They really did party hard and love fiercely!

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No wedding collection is complete with me leaving the event and electronically passing on some digital files…. An album is a must for every couple. I use Graphistudio for their luxury, hand made Italian albums with the most up to date print technology. As Marc and Katie’s day was so full, we really couldn’t leave it at just one album. I designed a Duet album for them which included a main 40 page album showcasing the highlights of the day, the portraits and key moments that you cannot resist but look at again and again, printed in high definition on thick, glossy paper. This book was hidden in a specially designed box under another album, this time a 100 page Primo book which is a thinner papered, magazine style album with high quality photo-lux printing. This album told the story of the whole day in chronological order. This book was a massive 30×40 inches, which is almost A3! The books and box were all designed to complement the colour scheme of the day in soft faux-leathers and engineered maple finishes. The images really don’t so these books justice…. I would be really up for having my wedding all over again so I can create me one of these albums too! There was a big part of me that didn’t want to hand the Duet over, I was so in love with it!!

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Marc and Katie’s wedding was a joy to photograph. With Katie’s gentle, and so so kind nature and Marc’s cheeky charm with an ever-busy mind it is clear they are made for each other. I am selfishly glad they waited over 16 years to marry otherwise I may never have had the pleasure to shoot such a fun-filled, passionate and emotional day. Thank you Mr & Mrs Robinson, I’m looking forward to seeing you all again!

Fiona xx

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West Sussex Photographer

West Sussex Photographer | Autumn Portrait Sessions

West Sussex Photographer | Autumn Portrait Sessions.

As a wedding and portrait photographer based in West Sussex, I feel very lucky to have some beautiful local landscapes to choose from as my backdrop to a shoot. From beaches to woodland, open fields, castles and cities, the list goes on. One of my favourite times to shoot is definitely Autumn. Being very visual by character, the vibrant transformations nature goes through during the Autumn captivates me every time! Just this morning, as I was driving along the South Downs to meet a client, I was easily distracted by the rolling mist traversing through the hills and valleys with shocking reds and auburns peeping through the last of the green.

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I love that look as Eva realises who’s responsible for all the leaves falling on her!!

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As I am currently in the middle of an Autumn Portrait Promotion (click here for details) I jumped at the chance to do one right on my doorstep in Hotham Park. John and Inna and their family of three children came geared up and ready to play. The day was mild and clear and colours vivid! John being a very popular wedding and portrait photographer himself had his trained eye tracking the light pockets and dappled spots with me! (Trust me, it’s almost impossible to switch that gift off!).

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Mixing kids with fallen leaves, open space and their parents for company is just asking for fun and laughter. Mikey, Georgie and Eva took great glee in playing and leaf bombing, jumping and swinging. Children were born to play, and they just love it if their parents are playing too, they almost forget they’re on a photoshoot!

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Part of the joy of being a West Sussex Photographer covering weddings in West Sussex and portraits is seeing families experiencing fun times together. Being able to freeze those moments in a picture to be treasured for years to come, reliving those warm, happy memories.

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To take advantage of the current Autumn Portrait Session, do get in touch 🙂

Two Woods Wedding Photographer

Pulborough Wedding Photographer | Two Woods Estate | Vicky & Tom

Pulborough Wedding Photographer | Two Woods Estate | West Sussex | Vicky & Tom

When Vicky contacted me at the beginning of June this year to shoot her (very short notice) August wedding at Two Woods Estate in Pulborough I jumped at the chance to be her Wedding Photographer. The date was good, I was free. It’s as if all the stars, planets and polo mints were perfectly aligned.

Vicky and Tom live in Southsea on the South Coast and are very much water lovers so we took the opportunity to meet there for their test shoot, check out their images from that session here and their back story. They had planned a festival style wedding at Two Woods Estate…a Wedfest! Being very much active on the camping and VW Club scene it was only fitting that this should be a more alternative wedding.

On a gloriously sunny and hot August morning Vicky was getting ready at her bridesmaids house in Chichester, her sister diligently applying make up…until her daughter took over Nanny’s application that is!

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Vicky had a gorgeous dress, lace panels giving a cheeky peephole reveal effect on the hips while staying classy and elegant. With a colourful headpiece to complement the Wedfest vibe and bridesmaids in bold block colours, the scene was certainly set early on. I loved the light, airy rooms in the house, and the finer details and sculptures which I couldn’t resist including in some of the photos, especially with Vicky and Tom’s daughters cute little outfit!

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One the girls had finished fitting Vicky into this most beautiful dress we had a few moments alone before her mother, Ann, got her first peek at her gorgeous daughter. Tears came, of course! I’m sure I would be the same with my own daughters….(to be fair, I’m already like this with each bride I shoot but we’ll keep that between us)

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Vicky’s wedding convoy was made up of vintage VW vans and cars. It was fabulous hearing these old engines roaring along! We trundled along the route from Chichester to Pulborough to the wedding destination, the newly opened Two Woods Estate.

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Jade from Two Woods is a fantastic organiser ensuring all aspects of the day are run smoothly. The decor is wonderful, from handcrafted wood sculptures to beautifully bespoke furniture, the venue fits the bespoke wedding, Wedfest festival vibe perfectly. With 42 acres of land, the towering Redwoods, plenty of meadow space to camp and party in…not to mention the lofty Bridal Suite (very jealous of this space!) and the converted barn indoor area. It really is perfect! They also have some fabulous vintage caravans on site which can also be used for guests. I’m pretty sure Mark was creating something new each time I visited! If you haven’t already checked out their website linked above, also have a nose at their Facebook page here.

While Vicky, her bridal party and VW convoy was trucking it’s way to Pulborough, Tom and his Best Men were busy ensuring everything was where it should be at Two Woods. Signs put up and facing the right direction, decorations laid out and the meadow ready for those setting up their tents. Tom and Vicky had chosen to get married in the stunning Redwoods. These ancient trees towered gracefully above a long aisle leading to the Wooden Pergola at the end providing the perfect frame and canopy for their ceremony.

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In keeping with the Wedfest theme, Vicky and Tom had created Festival style lanyards detailing all the aspects of their day, including a well thought out map and menu. The Redwoods were delicately decorated with paper hearts, paper flowers, tree stumps and tea lights. Much of which hand crafted by Vicky. How she managed to do all this planning and preparationin 8-10 weeks is incredible!

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Vicky and Tom had asked for an unplugged wedding, which is a fantastic idea. Not only does it mean your guests are truly engaging with you (rather than through their devices) during such a special ceremony, but I get to capture the emotion that is happening, not faces and people half obscured by someone’s iPad Pro! Here’s a selection of that special ceremony….

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Two Woods Wedding Photographer

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As it was such a hot, bright day with gallons of blue sky we decided to use the shaded canopy of the redwoods to create some family and newlywed portraits. I think you would agree, it really is the most photogenic setting for such a beautiful and happy looking couple.

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While we were taking a moment to capture some portraits the rest of the guests were settling into the festival vibe, playing giant games, listening to some sweet sounds from Frankie & Louie, supping on Pimms and eating oodles of cheese, pate and biscuits. I had one final request from the newlyweds before they were released to party…They wanted a group shot with their Dirty Low Down Dubbers crew. Easy I hear you say?? I’ll just add that we needed to include the vehicles too!! The VW’s as vintage as they are, behaved with absolute decorum and class…their owners on the other hand….I leave you with our achievements before the crew got back to their Wedfest partying!

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As the afternoon moved on,  the party resettled into the barn area ready for stage 2 of the Wedfest. The BBQ…as food is always a central point to people’s day it was only befitting we captured the crowd hanging out, and getting into the grub….quite literally!! It was lovely to also see Vicky’s craft work and decoration in the barn too, as well as their quirky Star Wars take for their cake topers!

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After all were fed and watered there was a brief interlude for the speeches. Lots of laughter ensued, especially as the best men regaled why Tom had his name legally changed (twice) to include that favourite Top Gun moniker, Maverick. A quick break upstairs to capture a couple more portraits before these guys got their party back on. It was great to capture a few more portraits of Tom too as the groom is often neglected photographically while the bride gets most of the preparatory attention.

Apparantly, no DLDD wedding is complete without the Dirty Low Down Dubbers traditional party piece, The Human Pyramid. No bananas were harmed in the making of that photograph.

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Vicky and Tom had a fantastic fun and alternative wedding day, it was a real pleasure to be part of it. As they were planning a delayed honeymoon I was eager to get their images and album design finalised as soon as possible. It was a joy to hand deliver their albums to them this weekend. For me, although sad that my journey with them and their wedding is now complete, seeing a couple react and handle their images, reliving the day and those memories is the perfect end to my job. Here’s a peek at what their finished Graphistudio albums looked like. Vicky was excited to discover I was able to include their Wedfest Artwork into the box, as well as theme the colours to complement the artwork and the lanyard ribbon. Their designer, Mark at Storm Bird Design was incredibly helpful too, forwarding on the appropriately sized artwork and font download so I could match up the font on the album. I hope you agree, it looks fabulous. What a special box of memories to treasure forever.

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I look forward to keeping up with your news Vicky and Tom, here’s cheers to the next chapter in your life!

Many thanks for choosing me,

Big love,

Fiona xx

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