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Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding | Emma & Lee

Southend Barns Wedding | Emma & Lee

An April 1st wedding??? No! This is not a joke! (I admit, I did wonder when the enquiry first came through, but thankfully Emma and Lee, and their Southend Barns wedding was very real!)

Emma and Lee, despite living in a different county, chose Southend Barns as their wedding venue. They had family and friends in the area and just fell in love with it! We planned their engagement shoot for a day when they could visit Lee’s mum, ensuring she has some quality time with her grandchildren while we went for a stroll on West Wittering beach. The weather gods decided to give us everything they had that day! Wind, sunshine rain and even hailstorms! I love the final image in the set below, where they’re cloaked in sunshine and you can just see the dark clouds rolling in behind them. Thankfully the cafe was a lovely haven for us to dry off and warm up after (and we really did need drying off) while working through the timeline of their day.

I had, rather foolishly, assured Emma and Lee that a repeat of the “every weather system” was very unlikely to occur on their wedding day. Ha!! How wrong was I!!! Thankfully, when planning for a Southend Barns wedding, the venue is very well equipped with stunning indoor and outdoor spaces. As the rain wasn’t due until later, Emma and Lee still chose to have their wedding outside as originally planned. Baskets of blankets and soft sheepskin rugs came out before the guests arrived to ensure warm bottoms and shoulders for those who needed it! The weather is a pretty important factor to consider when choosing your venue, if you need more help with that, do check out my blog with tips on how to choose your venue.

We started in the bridal suite with Emma, her children, sister and both mums for the preparations. A spacious apartment suite, there’s always plenty of space and light for the hustle and bustle that goes on during the preparations.

I loved how the children also got involved, with Emma & Lee’s daughter almost getting away with wearing Emma’s bridal shoes! While this was happening, Lee and his groom squad arrived from their B&B (or maybe the pub 😉 ) to start greeting the guests. I found it quite ironic that while their son was being helped into his outfit by all the ladies in the bridal suit, Lee also needed help too! Check out the detailing on Lee’s outfit to honour their dog who had passed away, what a lovely touch

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

With the time arriving for the ceremony, and the weather still dry (albeit pretty windy) it was action stations! Lee was waiting with his guests at the foot of the aisle and a pianist providing the background music, all that was for Emma, her dad and bridal party to make their way through to join them.

A civil ceremony at a Southends Barn wedding is usually pretty swift, a blessing for everyone I think on this occasion as the winds, and the chill that came with it, only increased as the time went on. Seeing Lee’s face as both his children, then his beautiful bride came down the aisle towards him. It was clear for all to see and feel the love that is shared between them all.

With a flurry of confetti, everyone made their way back to the covered drinks reception area to enjoy some drinks and a catch up! Thankfully the sun had come back out, so we made the most of the dry space for some family portraits.

During the planning session, Emma and Lee had expressed that they erred on the preference for candid documentary with some family portraits and some newlywed portraits. Enjoying their party was high on their list, and they wanted to see their day back from a documentary style. We made sure that although some structure for the formal portraits needed to be made, we kept those moments efficient and fun!

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

As per our plan, we whisked Emma and Lee around the grounds for some very quick portraits. We kept it light and easy while ensuring they also had time to catch up with each other too for those precious moments alone. One item that was on their hit list, was the alpacas… and very cute they are too! What a wonderful addition at the venue! Everytime I return I’m sure Southend Barns have restored/renovated and added to their repertoire of being a very highly sought after wedding venue.

The other item on the agenda was to create a portrait with them and their children, and a balloon that Emma had brought with her! Timing it right around naps, and garden games distraction was key, but thankfully, all our well measured plans came together!

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

With a full on night of partying planned, it was definitely time for a meal break! With Emma and Lee making a grand entrance into the barn, the finely cooked food and flowing wine was clearly appreciated by all. To top it off, an array of speeches, including ones by Emma’s daughter and sister!

There were not many dry eyes in the house by this point… but it was ok, as Lee’s best men soon ensured the hilarity was reinstated, regaling embarrassing tales of their best mate in true style!

Instead of a traditional cutting of the cake, Emma and Lee opted for a cocktail tower. Starting with their first drinks together as newlyweds, using glasses that Emma’s dad had hand painted. Then it was a free for all as everybody else joined in. Such a great idea!!

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

When Emma and Lee broached the idea of staying later, I was initially reluctant (not because of later nights, but I don’t want to increase someone’s spend if it’s not needed) but they convinced me a party is what they would be having, and boy were they right!

With mid-evening fireworks thrown in and a pounding dance floor all night, it was definitely worth the extra time!

To start, Emma’s dad and sister had secured a surprise band for her. It was Emma’s favourite, and the surprise and joy on her face was evident. That and the fact she was first on the dancefloor and pretty much stayed on it! There was a brief interlude for the fireworks and the first dance, but after that the party cracked on!

It was an incredible night and a most energetic, fun and love filled wedding! We made our exit just as ties were coming off and turned into headbands, but the party was still going full pelt!

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding

Back home, our job isn’t over! Files need to be uploaded, backed up and stored. Then it’s the process of culling and editing…. Caffeine is a photographers friend during this process!

The finished result is sooooo worth it.

As part of their collection, Emma and Lee had chosen the Duet album. This is a 2 part collection, handmade in Italy, of a 30 page A4 album and a 100 page A3, nestled together in a bespoke box. This was a perfect way to display both the highlights and portraits in the 30 page album, plus the candid flow of the whole day spread across the larger, coffee table style book. The colours designed to compliment the colours of their day.

Thank you Emma and Lee for having us on such a beautiful and lively day! Wishing you all the happiness in the world!

xX Fiona Xx

Southend Barns Wedding

 

Southend Barns | Wedding Photographer | Geoff & Jess

Southend Barns | Wedding Photographer | Geoff & Jess

Wow. I cannot believe it has taken me nearly 11 months to write this blog! This year has been busy!! You may remember this lovely couple from their engagement shoot last year at Bishop’s Palace Gardens? Click here for a refresher.

Engagement photographer west sussex

Geoff and Jess have had an amazing love story. They met two Novembers ago when Jess arrived for a job interview in Geoff’s company. It seemed their informal interview lasted a lot longer than half an hour and by the end of the month they were a formal couple!! In May the following year (2016) I met them, newly engaged, to document this exciting part of their life. Between us we had an army of mutual friends and wonderfully hit it off from the beginning! In fact, Geoff and Jess even asked my husband and I to have the very responsible job of their “pre-maritals”. This is when a couple marrying have sessions prior to their wedding, over a variety of subjects, to open up the opportunity for any tricky issues, unexpected areas of difficulty, or potential challenging hotspots of the future to be brought to attention. Enabling us all to discuss and support this in a safe environment.

Fast forward to November of last year (still 2016) Geoff and Jess had arrived at their wedding day. Their ceremony was booked at Chichester Baptist Church where they had both started attending as a couple, followed by the reception at the stunning Southend Barns. As Jess and her bridal party were busy preparing at a good friend’s house, Geoff and his family were ensuring the church was all set up and ready to go.

Southend Barns Photographer

Southend Barns Photographer

These stunning flowers and floral displays were created by Bridal Flowers Direct. A perfect tone to complement the bright autumnal colours around and I just love these personalised robes, ideal for a chilly November morning.

southend Barns Photographer

Southend Barns Photographer

I absolutely adore the moments when the girls get their first peek of Jess in her dress. The emotion is evident!

Southend Barns Photographer

The image below is a personal favourite of mine. Jess is alone in the room while the make-up artist provides some finishing touches. The simplicity and serenity of this shot is what draws me. It also happens to have been awarded a Merit in a Regional Print Competition with the Master Photographers Association, and as well has received a Highly Commended Award in a National, monthly Master Photographers Association competition.

Southend Barn Photographer

Southend Barns Photographer

Southend Barns Photographer

The service at Chichester Baptist Church was a very personal service with people conducting different parts of the ceremony that they have close relationships with. A great testimony to their faith. I loved how Geoff chose his Dad to be his Best Man. What a touching gesture.

Southend Barns Photographer

While the guests enjoyed a light fish and chip tea at the church, Mr & Mrs Youngs and I popped to Southend Barns a little early to take some quiet moments for their portraits. Although in the midst of a downpour, the great thing about Southend Barns as a wedding venue is the abundance of photogenic indoor space as well as their stunning outdoor space. Once the guests arrived they were treated to mulled cider by the Field & Fork catering team to warm themselves back up before supper.

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

The venue was dressed to perfection with lovely book related touches and quotes and name placings, menus and table decor all linking back to the stunning bridal bouquet. The speeches had everyone laughing out loud, especially when Jess’ Dad, Pete, brought out the “Sofa Fund” box and various other props to help them prepare for married life.

The Killer Groove played a lively, party-starting set in the evening, but not before Jess’ sister, Ciara, sung them in for their first dance. The party was stomping with a full dancefloor and lots of sweaty bodies!!

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barn Wedding Photographer

Southend Barn Wedding Photographer

Southend Barn Wedding Photographer

Southend Barn Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Geoff and Jess decided to upgrade their album choice to include their entire day in print (not just the highlights) by having a Graphistudio Duet Album. There’s some more details of what this entails here, but I think you’ll agree from the picture below that it looks stunning, bringing in details from their wedding invitations and colours from their day to really personalise their albums. Something to treasure and look back on forever.

Southend Barns Wedding Venue

Speaking of forever…. things seem to happen in November for this couple as their first baby is due this November!! Here is a little peek from their Bump Shoot at West Dean Gardens, I will be sure to keep you updated when Baby Youngs is here and the Bump to Baby blog is up! Most importantly, however…. these fabulous Youngs have also asked my husband and I to be Godparents. What an absolute honour and I cannot truly convey how much of a friendship we have built up since meeting for that engagement shoot back in May ’16! This is perhaps the thing I love most about my job, is the relationships that can truly develop from something so personal as taking someones photograph.

Bump to Baby photography

xX Fiona Xx

FionaMillsArt | Southend Barns Wedding Photographer | Geoff & Jess