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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

 

Arundel Wedding Photographer

How To Plan a Wedding

How To Plan a Wedding

Eeeeek, the festive period has just passed, you’ve got a new bit of bling on your ring finger, learning your new title of fiance, and January has started with a to-do-list to get your nuptials sorted! Are you in Camp Overwhelmed or Camp I’ve-been-planning-this-since-I-was-seven??!! If it’s the latter… High five to you, let’s chat more, you can give me tips. If it’s the former, I bet the first thing you did was google, “how to plan a wedding”?!

Firstly! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! This is wonderful news!! Just take a moment to bask in that glow!

Although planning a wedding is a big deal, don’t forget that this period of being engaged is also a pretty special time in your life too, one that’s not usually repeated. It’s like that liminal space between dating/being a couple to the actually formalities of legally being bound to your chosen life partner forever. And there’s a whole lot of planning that happens in that liminal space. Buying a house, having children and planning a wedding are up there on the list of the most stressful things you can do as a couple.

Let me help you break it down. I’m going to try to work on this chronologically in the ideal to-do order. I’m not going to tell you how long this should take, some people have a short engagement of weeks and months, some go years and years… it all depends on your budget, timeframe, availability of your must have factors and how focused your organisation can be.

1: Post on the ‘gram / wedding email

If it isn’t on social media, it’s not real!!

Haha!! Just kidding, this has nothing to do with how to plan a wedding!! Socials aren’t for all, but if you’re gonna pop your bling on display, it’s a great excuse for a trip to the salon for a manicure LOL

This well organised groom-to-be knew he was going to propose on a certain day, so booked me for a quick shoot on that day to make sure their announcement was ready to go in picture form!

In all seriousness though, instagram aside… to avoid an inbox of doom and lost threads of emails, set up a wedding email address so when you start planning, all your supplier correspondence is filtered to that account. This is simple enough to do with any mail provider (gmail/hotmail/yahoo etc) and you can both set it up on your devices to share the wedmin load!

engagement shoot chichester

2: Set a budget

You may have been saving for this very moment. Planning to budget on the go. Or even have family who would like to support you and contribute to your wedding day.

Whichever way the money ends up in your pocket, try to discuss and decide between you what services you value the most. Is it all about the epic party? The album that will be looked at forever? Or is it all about that dress?

When you start looking at quotes, you’ll probably realise that everything costs far more than you anticipated. Expect the assigned budgets for different services to have wiggle room as you move funds from one service budget to another. You don’t want to be spending more than you value on flowers if your priority was actually the rings which you end up compromising on.

3: Nail in your date and venue

This is going to be the deciding factor that will determine how the rest of your planning is structured and within what time frame. Without an official date, no other suppliers can be booked that require one (think caterers, photographers, videographers, entertainment, registrars, outfit hire, transport etc)

You may have your ideal season or venue already in mind, so scheduling in some viewings is a great place to start.  Don’t forget the added bonus of google images. If you’re viewing in January for a summer wedding, the venue will look different, so be sure to also use their portfolio and the internet to get an idea what the venue looks like in your preferred season.

Use wedding fairs as a tool to look around venues. These usually occur throughout the year and have a host of other suppliers to get your inspiration going. They’re also a great place to go later down the line if you’re just after those final services to finish off your plans (or a glass of bubbles and a taste of free cake!!).

Once you’ve booked your venue, do check what’s included (a planner/designated coordinator on the day/catering/registrar organised/PA system etc). You may find the services provided within your venue may well help you with how to plan a wedding.

If the venue booking seems overwhelming as a place to start, I’ve written a more detailed blog about that here: How to choose your wedding venue

Once you’ve got your venue you can start to finalise your guest list with the knowledge of your venue’s capacity. Depending on your plans and whether your ceremony is in a different location to the reception you may need to segment this into ceremony/reception/evening party

How to plan a wedding

4: Start booking vendors

Vendors and suppliers may be limited to how many bookings can be taken on a single day. Us photographers, for example, can only be at one wedding a day so dates can book up well in advance. Others suppliers, like entertainment agencies, may have a number of options on their books but once those options are booked, they’re booked.

To avoid disappointment, I would consider now the time to book the following services:

  • photography
  • videography
  • caterers (if not already provided)
  • registrar/celebrant (if not included)
  • band/dj
  • hair & make-up-artist
  • stationers

Looking at these services comes with its own level of research and preference. It’s down to you to work out what your wants and needs are in these areas, as well as your budget and priority value. I would say, however, that research, looking at reviews and evidence of their work is pretty key! Also chatting with those suppliers is important to get a feel for how you’ll get along. If you can’t stand to be in the same room as you’re hair & MUA, yet you love their work, that discomfort may set the tone early on in your day (FYI this does not apply to the lovely Toni Todd featured below!)

I plan to do more detailed blogs on these services in the future, but for now I have a regular Monday Mini-Blog up on my Insta with tips on how to choose your wedding photographer, go check it out here!

How to plan a wedding

5: Start scouting for your wedding dress / suit

You may be thinking “whaaaaaa??!! Already??” but yes, already. Many bridal shops are now appointment only, which means scheduling slots into your weeks and spare time to start looking at gowns. If you’re lucky enough to find the perfect dress off the peg with minimal alterations, you’re winning. Many are made to order, or come with a generic structure that will still require bespoke alterations and adjustments. I have a more detailed guide into choosing your wedding dress here.

The same goes for suits, if a hire company is required, it may still need booking in to ensure all the members of the party are catered for with the right sizes for the right day. If the suit is going to be tailored to fit, time needs to be allowed for this to happen (as well as the fitting and measuring appointments.

And don’t get me started if you’re planning radical health regimes in the lead up to your wedding!! Making sure you allow enough changes for adjustments becomes even more important. This post may be about how to plan a wedding, but I have written one about how to look and feel your best on your wedding day.

how to plan a wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

6: Send out ‘save the date’ cards or invitations

By now you will have booked the venue and hopefully some other key players in your supplier team. Each service should provide you with a timeline of any action points they require between booking and your wedding date (booking make-up trials/dress fittings/menu tastings/engagement shoots/music choices etc). Make a note of these micro details and when they’re supposed to happen.

You may also be closer still to getting your outfits. It’s time to nail that guestlist and get those invites out!! It may also be time to look at a gift registry, should you wish to include a link to that too.

I’m going to be real here. People can be a total pain in the backside (and we’re likely all guilty of it)….you get those invites out and even make sure to put a RSVP by date on it AND STILL you are waiting, chasing up and using precious energy on invite admin. It’s frustrating to say the least.

It may be worth investing in setting up a wedding website which can handle your save the guest lists/dates/invites/RSVP’s/gift registry/details of the day etc. (here’s a site for example that does this).

If you’re more analogue than digital, then make sure to create some sort of spreadsheet so you can keep track of replies/dietary requirements etc.

If you’ve hired a lovely stationer for your invites, consider also that they may also be able to provide you with bespoke stationary on the day (order of service, welcome signs, table name cards, menu sheets etc)

How to plan a wedding

7: Research and book additional suppliers

Consider the suppliers you’ve already booked the macro detail of the day, and you’ll have an action timeline for those already…. Now’s the time for the micro details, the threads that will tie in the theme, style and energy of your day, connecting all the larger pieces together.

This list is by no means exhaustive, whose services you’ll need to engage will depend on how you see your day shaping up, but here goes!

  • florist
  • cake
  • rings
  • venue decor
  • additional entertainment (music for drinks reception/magician/tattoo artist/lawn games / clay pigeon shooting etc)
  • additional details (dance floor flip flops / photo booth / wedding favours)
  • additional catering (ice cream van / pizza van / sweet cart /cocktail bar etc)
  • transport (for couple and/or guests too)
  • honeymoon (don’t forget that!!!!)

how to plan a wedding

lifestyle commercial photography west sussex

8: The final purchases

Pretty much everything major and minor should now be purchased (or as close to a decision as you can), it’s time to make sure you have some final details bought and ready.. you are really nailing how to plan a wedding!! This is actually quite a fun part as it’s some more personal touches, and you may already have sourced these earlier on, but if not, don’t forget these:

  • Bridesmaids/groomsmen/flower girl/page boy outfits including any shoes, jewellery and accessories
  • Your shoes!! Make sure you and your fiance have enough time to practise wearing your shoes inside so they get nice and comfortable for your wedding day.
  • Underwear. A nice treat for the both of you on your wedding day… 😉
  • Jewellery (including watches, cufflinks, earings, necklaces etc)
  • Bridal party/groomsmen gifts
  • Gift for each other
  • Any gifts etc to be given out during the speeches

how to plan a wedding

9: The final arrangements

This is it, you’re so close!! It’s all down to final arrangements and logistics now!

If you haven’t already, these are the final things you will need to make sure are organised, and signed off with whoever needs to know. Also, make sure that whatever is planning to happen on your day, someone other than you and your fiance are in the know… your wedding day is your time to enjoy, so make sure you have one or two people you can rely on who knows what should happen where & when.

Anyway, back to those final bits and pieces. Here’s what you may need to do:

  • finalise any readings
  • choose music (for ceremony, reception backgrounds and reception party)
  • nail down your shot list with your photographer
  • finalise your order of service and timings of the day
  • arrange your seating plan
  • write your vows and speeches
  • book any last minute spa or beauty treatments
  • pick up your rings
  • pack for your honeymoon
  • drop off any items to the venue/s
  • ensure everyone knows their role

August syrencot wedding

10: ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!

That’s it!! You’ve made it!! All the epic time, energy, though and hard-earned dosh has gone into this day. Sit back, take in the vibe and enjoy every last minute! You deserve it!

xX Fiona Xx

How to plan a wedding

Millbridge Court wedding

Sammy & Danny’s Millbridge Court Wedding

Sammy & Danny’s Millbridge Court Wedding

To say I was doing a happy dance when Sammy and Danny announced their nuptial location is an understatement! A Millbridge Court wedding had been on my wish list for a while! I was sooooo excited to shoot here!

I had met Sammy and Danny over a variety of weddings and events over the years through our mutual friends (and my wonderful second shooter Lee). On this occasion, Lee was planning on being busy as their wedding guest, while his fabulous wife Lisa was a bridesmaid, so I was very honoured to be tasked with their wedding photography, trusting that Lee wasn’t judging me in the background while I lunged and ninja rolled my way through capturing his friends wedding, haha!!

Millbridge Court Wedding

With guests travelling from all over, the Surrey-Hampshire bordered based wedding venue was a perfect location to host everyone, including beautifully furnished rooms available for those staying, and a secret hideaway for the newlyweds. It’s such a tastefully designed space with quirky features like antler chandeliers, and mirror walls while maintaining a crisp, lofty feel that makes personalising it for your wedding theme very very easy.

Millbridge Court Wedding

Preparations:

Millbridge Court has some incredible spaces for both sides of the wedding party to get ready. John and I were spoiled for choice while we captured the first part of the primping and prepping.

Sammy was in the light and airy loft room (that overlooks the ceremony room) with her girls, surrounded by beauty mirrors, dressing rooms and a chill out area, while Danny and his boys had a den with a woody, earthy feel and a much needed bar area!

There always so many micro details to capture during the preparations, as well as watching the scene that is unfolding. Sammy was in stitches watching her bridesmaid get stuck in her dress… this is the point that you hope the mascara is waterproof! I have to admit to not being able to hold my own giggles!

Danny went all out with gifts for his boys, and made sure to take the opportunity for some magic shots of his Louboutins! A worthy wedding day purchase if ever there was one!

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

With Danny ready for business looking super sharp and stylish in his tailored suit, it was time for Sammy to finish her transformation into the glam queen that she is.

If you’ve not considered it for your wedding, perhaps this is your sign that white gloves are a must to protect all that white satin, silk and lace! While we’re on the subject of inspiration, it’s also worth considering assigning one of your gals to ensure you can always access the bubbly, even if that means hand-feeding you!

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court wedding

This is it!! The moment where the excited atmosphere of the preparations gets super charged with nervous anticipation! I absolutely love this energy shift, it’s so tangible to feel!

With a final shot with the girls together before everyone starts to take their places, we’re off!!!! Danny’s looking happy and relaxed with his Best Man, it’s always this moment that the classic ‘have you got the rings?” comes out!!

Sammy saved her first look moment with her Dad for downstairs, using the reception room. Listening to them both warning each other to not cry, then both fail at not crying was the sweetest,  touching moment!


Millbridge court Wedding

Millbridge Court wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Ceremony:

The ceremony room for a Millbridge Court wedding is just stunning. With the full height picture window looking out to the gardens, pouring oodles of natural light into the hall, it’s a dream to photograph!

After being walked down the aisle by her father, the ceremony was an emotional affair with family and friends doing the readings and witnessing the marriage. Not only was there a room full of love and laughter, there were also very few dry eyes in the house. We all know the antidote to tears though….. Confetti! And lots of it!

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Portraits:

After the ceremony, there was a drinks reception with some time set aside for portraits. Sammy and Danny split this into a few components. Family, the bridal party and themselves, with a different location and backdrop for each.

After checking his new, engraved pocket watch (again!) we got started. The formal group shots can be tiresome for guests, so I try to plan it to be quick, concise and fun. No one wants to be hanging around for hours, it’s far more fun catching the canapĂ©s and getting access to the bar.

After scoring some family dynamics we switched to the pergola to capture the bridal party and their differing personalities.

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

For the newlywed portraits, rather than stick to the venue, we ventured down to Frensham ponds where we had gone for their engagement shoot. It’s a fantastic landscape with sandy beaches, barren heathland and treelined vistas. While this was happening, John stayed at Millbridge court to capture the magician doing the rounds with the guests who were getting seated ready for the wedding breakfast.

I loved the variety of shots we were able to capture here, from close-ups, dynamic landscapes and of course some details of their well styled outfits

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge court frensham ponds

Millbridge Court Frensham Ponds

Wedding Reception:

On our return, we found the magician was in full swing eliciting LOTS of awe, wonder and laughter. The details on the tables were so well thought out and in keeping to the rest of the perfect styling at the Millbridge court wedding. With the most incredible meal dished up, it was time for everyone to start dining their stomachs ready for the speeches and toasts.

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge court wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

So, the deserts were done a little differently here with the most INCREDIBLE self service display. It was very hard to not just stand here at the dessert buffet banquet and quietly help myself to some tasters!

The space at Millbridge court is designed so well, with outdoor areas for a cheeky cigar, quirky open-spaced through ways to stop and mingle and relaxing sofas for those who would like to relax a little after their meals. There really is something for everyone.

Millbridge Court

Millbridge Court

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

As with many weddings, the party doesn’t really start until the cake has been cut and the first dance has been danced. The hexagonal cake was monogramed and decorated with a perfect replica of Sammy and Danny… there was definitely no grooms attacked by ninja-brides at the cutting!

With music by The Deloreans, it didn’t take long at all for the dance floor to be filled and the ground shaking with dance-moves galore being displayed.

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Despite having a long journey home still in front of us, it was very hard to leave this wedding while it was in full flow, with a bunch of friends on the dance floor partying to our favourite band! This Millbridge Court Wedding was so much fun! Sammy and Danny definitely know how to organise and throw an insane party.

It was such a pleasure to shoot this day. I’m so glad that Sammy and Danny have a gorgeous Graphistudio album to continue to look back on as their life journeys forward. It’s also a superb treat to catch up with these guys over a tequila or two and all the subsequent parties that just keep happening!

That you so much for having us Mr & Mrs Horada, here’s to a lifetime of health, wealth and happiness!

xX Fiona Xx

Millbridge Court Wedding

Millbridge Court Wedding

Venue: Millbridge Court 

Dress: Proposals, Chichester (No longer trading)

Hair & MUA: Olivia Mills

Suit: Vintage Suit Hire Company

Cake: Vanessa Albury

Flowers: Longacres

Band: The Deloreans & Magician Richard Kettle both provided by Toast Live

how to choose your wedding venue

How to Choose Your Wedding Venue

How to choose your wedding venue

When planning your special day there are so many elements to consider. I have created a helpful guide on how to choose your wedding venue, which is most likely the first point of call on the wedding to-do-list! So whether you’re dreaming of a rustic barn, manor house, beach, or a romantic garden. This blog will let you explore how to find a wedding venue that will make your special day truly unforgettable!

ow to choose your wedding venue, bride and groom outside Winston house

Wedding Date

Your wedding date plays a huge role in determining wedding venue options. The season can have a big impact on your budget as the pricing of a wedding venue will vary depending on the time of year you choose to marry. Prices during low season are often much less expensive, while booking a venue in a high season month (between May and September) could cost you more.

Are you planning a spring or summer wedding? If so, would you consider your ideal venue having a beautiful outdoor ceremony space? Maybe a beautiful garden or a terrace? Do have a contingency plan incase of rain though!! Some venues are solely designed as an outdoor space and are stunning for it, but my concern would be the “what if”. Is it a risk you want to take?

Southdowns Manor Wedding outside wedding venue

Or is a winter wedding is more your thing? Then a rustic barn or manor house with a twinkling christmas tree, fire pits and cosy interiors might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s always worth googling the venues you’re earmarking to see images during different seasons. What looks warm and inviting in the winter may look cold and stark in the summer. If that’s got you thinking, I’ve another post about winter wedding inspo over here….

Sussex Winter Wedding

If you are planning to get married between May and September then it is also a  good idea to start looking for venues as early as possible. This period is when wedding venues are in high demand, meaning that it could be difficult to find one that both matches your budget, and wedding vision. Looking early is also important because you don’t want to fall in love with your dream venue only to find out they’re fully booked for the next 12 months. Wedding venues can get booked a year or more in advance.

how to choose your wedding venue, bride and groom walking through meadow

Civil or religious ceremony

This is a very important factor to consider… For churches and other places of worship, there may be rules regarding how you have access to that building for the ceremony. Perhaps you or your family may have to be members, or attend regularly. Or is there a parish connection? Some churches require bans to be read and a certain number of services you should attend in the lead up. Some have a limited number of weddings per year, some have restricted access to other providers (musicians, photographers, videographers etc) that may be in conflict with aspects you would also like on the day. Some places of worship have very clear definitions of how their wedding ceremonies are conducted, and others are more fluid and open to the less traditional approach.

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

When having a civil ceremony, the world of venues available for your ceremony opens up! It is also worth noting that there are many aspects to this. There is the local register office, whom will often have a hireable room for ceremonies, or a registrar will have to be booked from the district in which your venue lies to come to your wedding to conduct the ceremony. The time of your wedding will be dictated by their availability. There is also other forms of ceremonies. Some choose to be married by a celebrant, or have a humanist ceremony, or a friend conduct the service. To ensure the legality, the marriage register will still have to be signed. Some people choose to do the “legal” part on a different day, ensuring that the wedding day spent with their chosen guests is exactly how they want!

Weddings at Arundel Town Hall

Location

Having an idea of your preferred location is very important during your wedding venue search. You have to think about things like, are there hotels nearby? Will we need to transport our guests from the ceremony location to the reception? Is it accessible for people with disabilities? Is there parking nearby? Where is the nearest airport? These things should all play a role in your decision making to give your guests the best experience on your big day.

I would definitely recommend giving your guests detailed information on travel/directions if the ceremony is being held in a different location to the reception. Or, will you be including in your budget the transport from one venue to another for your guests? Doing a test run yourself would be beneficial so that you can see how long it takes. This will help also in the scheduling and timings of the day.

If you’re looking to cut costs for your wedding, then a great solution is having the same venue for the wedding ceremony, breakfast and reception.

Wedding transport double decker bus

How to choose your wedding venue, a wedding in the woods

Wedding Style

Identifying your wedding style before you start looking for a venue will really help in narrowing down the search because you will know straight away what isn’t suitable. Pinterest is the perfect tool to help you get inspiration for your wedding style and also looking at my Portfolio of other weddings. Creating a visual mood board is great way to get inspired and will help you really visualise how your wedding will look.

Rustic barn wedding venue

You will then need to ask yourself questions to work out what style/theme you and your partner want. Things like, do you know what kind of wedding you want? Will it be formal or casual? Inside or outside? Intimate or a large celebration? Traditional or fun festival vibes? Adults only or children welcome?

During this process also write down the priorities of things you want the venue to definitely have, for example an outside space to have the ceremony (if the weather allows!) Doing these things and asking yourself the questions above will really narrow it down for you to find your perfect venue. If all this talk about style has got you thinking about your dress, I hear you!!! I’ve written a little ditty about finding your perfect dress over here…

Wedding Venue Decor Ideas

Meet a Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner isn’t necessary, but it can really make a difference when choosing a wedding venue. Wedding planners are professionals with extensive experience, however this will come at an extra cost and is something you will have to consider. Many venues will come with a wedding planner included in the wedding package, which is a fantastic opportunity to get the best advice. They will know the venue perfectly to ensure that the space is created in a way to make it unique to you.

Bride and groom getting married at Chichester Cathedral

Budget

Having a wedding budget is important, so that you don’t fall into the trap of over spending. It is very easy to get carried away when you choose your wedding venue and suppliers that your well intentioned list starts getting longer with more ideas to make your wedding the most perfect day. Proper planning is so important!

It is very likely that your venue will be a large chunk of your budget and it’s important to bear in mind all the added costs that can come with a venue, like chair covers, table linen, catering, corkage, insurance and service charges….to name a few! That is why when you have found a venue that you like you need to ask questions and be prepared. Ask things like, what is the rental fee and what’s included in that price? How many hours does the rental fee include, and is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? Do you have liability insurance? Can I have my ceremony here too and is there an additional cost?

Many venues will offer wedding packages, offering things such as venue hire, catering, entertainment etc all included for a lower price. If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, opting for a wedding package could be a great way to save some money, as well.

Wedding breakfast and speeches at Syrencot Wedding Venue by FionaMillsArt

Having a set budget in mind will help you stay focused on finding a space that has all the important features included at the price you can afford to pay. And remember to ask family and friends for help where they can  to cut costs, for example, someone who can sing in the ceremony or play an instrument. Or maybe you have creative people in your life who could make your wedding invites or even bake the cake!! Use the talents of your guest list!

Wedding Decor and Style ideas, teal and gold

Guest List

You should have a guest list before you start looking at wedding venues. Even if its a rough idea, because it will save you any disappointment if you find your perfect venue and discover its not going to accommodate your guest list. Especially if you’ve set your heart on it!

Whether you’re planning a huge celebration or an intimate one, you want to celebrate at a venue that is perfect for your number of guests.  If you are having a big wedding with many guests then I would suggest to find a venue that can accommodate more than the number on your list. There should be ample space for your table layout and for the guests to mingle and dance. You should also be aware that if you are having a smaller wedding and you hold it in a large a large venue  it may feel empty and lack the intimate vibe you would want for a smaller wedding. Size of venue really does matter!

Worthing Wedding Bride and Groom walking up aisle smiling

When a venue is empty it is hard to imagine how it will look when filled with tables and all your guests. If you can visit the venue when it is set up for a wedding, then it is a great idea. If this isn’t possible, ask to see photographs. Another tip is to ask for a seating plan of the room as this will give you a good idea of how much space there is.

Think about Catering

Weddings are a celebration of your marriage and also a time to eat, drink and be merry so the food served deserves your special attention. Think about whether you want internal or external caterers, as many venues will provide catering services and others will leave it entirely up to you.

Wedding catering

Also consider what type of cuisine you would like when you choose your wedding venue. If you’re going for a venue with catering included, make sure that the type of food you want is available. Sampling the food before you make any decisions is a really good idea, the last thing you want is a venue with a fantastic atmosphere but average food!

Also, ensure that the catering provides food that is suitable for all your guests, check with them to see if anyone has any dietary requirements, whether they’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc. If children are invited, then providing kids’ meals is also important.

Trust Your Gut

When making the final decision to choose your wedding venue, it’s good to think of a few final things. Look at the venue from the guests perspective. Would you enjoy a wedding as a guest at the venue? Do the staff seem friendly, focused and professional, as well as genuinely excited about your big day? The staff can actually make or break your day!

Ultimately your gut will let you know when you have found your perfect wedding venue, you will feel excited, warm and probably get that fuzzy feeling in your stomach!

If you’re lucky enough to have multiple places that fit your overall criteria and budget, pick the one that makes you FEEL the best and excited for your Big Day!

Country House Wedding Venue
I hope that this guide has given you lots of helpful advice on how to choose your wedding venue!

If you are still looking for a wedding photographer than take a look at my PORTFOLIO on my website, I would love to hear from you.

Xx Fiona Xx

 

Here us some helpful links for when you are choosing your wedding venue:

Pinterest

Wedding Mood Board

Wedding Venues in the UK

Wedding Planner

Pangdean Barn Wedding Venue

Two Woods Wedding Venue

Syrencot Wedding Venue

 

 

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy & Alex’s Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy & Alex’s Alternative Autumn Wedding

While I’m in the final stages of completing the full set of edits, let me journey you through some highlights of their wedding day. We started this October day at Alton House Hotel where the wedding prep and ceremony was happening. It was a glorious day. You know, one of those autumnal days where the sky is blue, the leaves are starting to turn and the air is still warm!

Alternative Autumn Wedding

As some of you may know, autumn is one of my favourite seasons. You may also know that I have a penchant for black clothing and I’m a little too fascinated by skulls and other kooky things.

There is also a strong chance you will not know any of this, but you may well know Lucy and Alex, who I discovered also shared my quirkier tastes. We planned from the offset how to incorporate those black and gold deer skulls into their portraits and I couldn’t wait!!

While Lucy and her bridesmaids were getting ready, and Alex was returning from a coffee run, we took the time to take some shots of all the details available. Lucy had chosen a stunning black gown from Hannah Black Bridal in Luton, with the bridesmaids dresses sourced from Ever Pretty.

I was chatting to Lucy during the lead-up to their wedding about how she found her dress. It seems there aren’t very many places that actually stock black or alternative styled wedding dresses, so she worked hard to get this right for their wedding! We’ve also got a blog here all about finding your perfect dress!

Alternative Autumn Wedding

The bouquets were adorned with black feathers, skulls and chains as well as a spray of white flowers… So striking! Lucy’s shoes were from Demonia. Apparently they were VERY comfortable!! A win when spending the whole day on your feet. After seeing Motley CrĂŒe a few of months previously, I was mighty envious of that jacket too!!

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alex was wearing a Charles Gale green tweed suit and gamers dice cufflinks, which were a perfect complement to Lucy and the general theme of their day.

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy and Alex exchanged gifts during their preparations. Lucy had purchased some pretty special rum for the occasion and had it delivered to Alex in a newly personalised hip flask (of course she made sure to have a flask for herself too!!) Alex had commissioned a necklace which contained images of their three cats whom were unable to attend their wedding day for obvious reasons!! Lucy was under strict instructions to open her gift before applying her makeup incase she cried…. unbelievably she resisted all watery temptations and held it together!!

Lucy’s dad came to collect her for the ceremony, but not before he had a little readjusting to his buttonhole. With the final details of ensuring Lucy’s mum’s garter was secured and boots all zipped up, all were ready for the ceremony.

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy and Alex’s alternative autumn wedding kicked off at Alton House Hotel in their light and airy ceremony room. It was a lovely ceremony presented by a Hampshire registrar with some wise words of wisdom! I loved how the rings exchanged continued the green theme spun through the day.

Before Lucy and Alex walked back down the aisle together as husband and wife, we made sure to create a quick group shot of everyone. This is often a super time saver that is worth considering, as once that bar opens, gathering your whole congregation again can be somewhat like herding cats!!

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alternative Autumn Wedding

While the guests journeyed to Beech Village Hall for the reception, we had planned a short interlude for some specific group portraits at the hotel, then off to an old abandoned Abbey that Lucy and Alex had found, just down the road! We went armed with smoke bombs and a host of inspiration! Here’s a peek at that time!

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Once at the Beech Village Hall, we were met with a “Rumception” drinks bar and a parliament of owls being handled by the guests. We won’t talk about the unwelcome deposits the birds made on a certain gown!!

With the weather so fine and warm, most of the guests found themselves mingling outside, munching on canapĂ©s while supping on rum cocktails (or from whatever concoctions were now in those hip flasks!!!) It wasn’t long before everyone was ushered inside to be seated at a decadent table display of blacks, greens and golds, including some hand-painted deer skulls set midst the flower displays.

alternative autumn wedding

alternative autumn wedding

After the meal, and with a box of smoke bombs still to play with, we gathered Lucy and Alex with their bridal party to have a quick play. This led to some others waiting in the wing for a turn and some time of hilarity while we all ran around getting engulfed in plumes of smoke! In the green at the village hall there was a play area for children…. this, however, is what seemed to keep some of the “bigger kids” entertained for a while!!

Gothic wedding

gothic alternative wedding

I loved the detailing that went into Lucy and Alex’s cake table, but what tipped it all off above that was the knife that Lucy had commissioned as a gift for Alex. Unbeknownst to her, their friend had also engraved it with key dates in the coded language used in World of Warcraft.

The evening reception continued after the cake cut with a first dance and a father/daughter dance. With a playlist full of the couple, and their guests favourite songs, plus a photo booth and continued bar, there was much more continued merriment to be had!!

alternative wedding

Alternative Autumn wedding

Alternative Autumn wedding

We had absolutely the most fun time shooting Lucy and Alex’s alternative autumn wedding, being able to sink our teeth into venues and landscapes we don’t regularly frequent, with a couple who truly chose to create a wedding day that honoured who they were and what their interests and personalities are.

I’m really looking forward to finishing the complete set of edits over the coming couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you’d like to pre-register to see Lucy and Alex’s gallery once they have received it and made it live for their family and friends, you can do so here.

Thank you so much for having us!

xX Fiona Xx

Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy & Alex’s Alternative Autumn Wedding

Lucy’s Dress: Hannah Black Bridal

Lucy’s Boots: Demonia

Alex’s Suit: Charles Gale

Bridesmaids Dresses: Ever Pretty

Venues: Alton House Hotel & Beech Village Hall

 

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding | Sabrina & Luke

Chichester cathedral wedding | sabrina & Luke

Sabrina and Luke booked me for their Chichester Cathedral Wedding followed by a reception at Southdowns Manor, so when planning their engagement shoot we chose to visit the Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace Gardens to familiarise ourselves with potential shots spots on their day and make the most of the Autumnal weather at the time. Here’s a little look back at that!

engagement shoot chichester

The Preparations:

As a wedding photographer, I’m always involved at the event planning stage where the location and other details are taking precedence. I do love finding out how people met! Sabrina and Luke’s love story began in their local gym where they met and got to know each other. I think this is brilliant, and I am always in awe when people say they met at the gym, as from my own experience I’d be such a sweaty ball of mess I think I’d be hiding from public view!!

On their wedding day, Sabrina and Luke planned for a Chichester Cathedral Wedding, followed by a reception at Southdowns Manor. What a beautiful pairing of locations to have as a backdrop their day!

Sabrina and her ladies primped and prepared at the gorgeous location of 4 Canon Lane,  just behind the cathedral… the light and space within the house was just absolutely breathtaking! Perfect for capturing those small details while looking out to see the cathedral right in front of you!

Luke and the boys got themselves ready a short walk away at their home! You’ll probably notice the difference between the serenity of the ladies vs the playfulness of the gents as they prepared for their wedding!

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

As a photographer, I usually lean towards colour as my main supply of finished images, but when shooting at the cathedral and it’s grounds, I couldn’t help but feel more and more of the frames lent themselves to a black and white conversion. Sometimes it’s very easy to define whether an image should be either colour or black and white, however there are occasions when even I can’t make up my mind so I supply both versions… perhaps it’s also because I’m already considering the album layout and whether a set of images will work better than the other version!

When the girls were getting ready, for me there was a very strong sense of wanting to use monochrome. Sometimes I find it just makes the subject more impacting! The light and setting just really lent itself to this classic feel… I’m not surprised Arleta D picked that prime spot to apply Sabrina and her mum’s make up! The girls had the run of both 4 Canon Lane and an additional building to wait and prepare in which we were able to jump between while the preparations continued.

To complement the monochrome prep, I ensured that a selection of images of Luke and his Groomsmen were also provided in black and white! I love how when showing off his Dartagnan’s “Black & Gold” suit, Luke’s gang of fellas couldn’t help but get really handsy with him!! I especially like their “strut walk” through the city to arrive ready for their Chichester Cathedral Wedding, anyone else hear the soundtrack to Reservoir Dogs in their mind?

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

While Luke was on his way to the Cathedral ready to greet the arrival of their guests, Sabrina was still in the final throes of getting ready. With the most striking gown from Proposals in Chichester (which is now Whyte Weddings), it was hard not to feel the anticipation and excitement in the room as Mum helped Sabrina into her dress. You could feel the pride and love flowing through mum at this special moment!

Sabrina retained the reveal to her bridesmaids until she was dressed, who then helped her with the finishing touches of her veil and shoes!

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

The final stage of the bridal prep was still not done! Sabrina had yet to see her Dad…. when we were planning her day photographically, she mentioned the statement staircase at 4 Canon Lane. What better way for a father’s first look than seeing his beautiful daughter emerge from height and walk towards him down such a grand aisle?! The front door made a tidy little frame too for their first pictures together!

The pathway connecting Sabrina’s preparation venue and the cathedral was in full bloom of colour. What a sight to see them all walking down towards her guests and waiting groom whilst ensuring her dress was kept aloft and pristine before her arrival for their Chichester Cathedral Wedding.

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Most of my weddings are shot by two of us. This serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it ensures that we don’t have to compromise between choosing a candid or more structured moment to capture. Both can happen simultaneously by either of us. My second shooters and I have worked closely together for a number of years where our communication has largely become non-verbal. This has really helped our shooting become seamless and cohesive.

Secondly, it means we are able to capture both evolving scenes from each partner. So many of my couples love to be able to see and share the experience of what the other was doing while they were busy with their own preparations.

The second shooters I use are also professional photographers themselves, and I often shoot for them too in a “second” capacity. This really helps us as professionals step away from being primarily responsible for capturing the day (as well as ensuring timings are kept to, people are where they should be etc) and helps us practice our craft with a creative freedom. It also enables us to practise our ninja skills in a variety of settings where rolling under bushes and hiding behind walls and pillars are essential moves to “get that shot”!

The point is illustrated perfectly here for this Chichester Cathedral Wedding where both perspectives in these final few moments before the ceremony are captured for the other to see.

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

The Ceremony:

The time has come! The Dean of Chichester Cathedral is ready and waiting with the Verger to accompany Sabrina and her Bridal Party down the long aisle towards her waiting groom. This is always the moment that gets me in the solar plexus… no matter how many weddings I shoot, I’m still a softy at heart, feeling the knot of nerves in my gut and the emotion seeping out of my eyes as both partners experience the anticipation of the ceremony about to start. I’m glad when I see my couples also feeling ALL the feels!!

The images will speak for themselves, but you can see that Sabrina and Luke chose very well with a Chichester Cathedral Wedding. With the gothic architecture, the traditional symbolism and the tall grand building, it was a ceremony fitting for all the time, planning (and pandemic re-scheduling), styling and love that was packed in that space.

The emotion was palpable, the celebration from their guests immense and the traditional aspects of their service felt perfectly sacred too. What a pleasure to be able to create images that not only show the intimacy of the ceremony, but the grandeur of the venue too.

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Sussex cathedral wedding

west sussex wedding

wedding in chichester cathedral

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

cathedral wedding

chichester wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester wedding photographer

signing the register in chichester

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

christian wedding

cathedral wedding

chichester wedding photographerChichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

During the wedding planning session, Sabrina and Luke wanted to minimise the the “formal group” shots, focussing on just the immediate family and bridal party. One of the reasons for this is they wanted a more candid approach when documenting their day, but also so while their guests were mingling and being transported to Southdowns Manor for the reception which was planned to be a full on party, they could spend some quiet time together in the cloisters and cathedral grounds capturing their portraits.

Sometimes having a large number of formal shots can be time consuming, especially when guests need to be somewhere else for the next stage of the day. To minimise disruption, we often plan in the timeline the vital “formals” then structure in a list of “must have” shots which can be more candidly captured and arranged in a more relaxed way at appropriate times later during the day.

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

There is limited availability to book a Chichester Cathedral Wedding, perhaps 12 per year, so taking the opportunity for some portraits of just the newlyweds in the grounds was a must have! While waiting for Luke to see off some of the guests, Sabrina was the perfect model to show off her stunning style and poise in her finest gown.

We revisited the cloisters from the engagement shoot as well as ensuring we had a shot of the vintage car Sabrina and Luke had hired for the occasion. Scott at West Sussex Wedding Cars was as wonderful and accommodating as usual to get his 1025 Rolls Royce Phantom looking it’s best for it’s close up!

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

The Reception:

Next stop, Southdowns Manor! A firm favourite of mine, not just for its location and setting, but also the service and team that make it a joy to work at. A wedding venue that truly goes above and beyond, I can’t recommend them enough.

The guests were already being served with drinks and canapes when we arrived, a self service Pimms set up was a great idea (and one I wished I could have taken Sabrina and Luke’s invitation to partake in, were I not driving and on duty!!). While the newlyweds greeted their guests, Lee and I did the rounds capturing the candid moments and the details involved in this part of the day. From a violinist providing background music in the courtyard, to the guests getting into the social spirit, to the table details and Beauty and te Beast themed wedding cake by Foxwood. Here’s a small selection from that time…

Southdowns Manor wedding

Southdowns Manor wedding

Southdowns Manor wedding

Southdowns Manor wedding

In the 10 minutes or so needed for the Southdowns Manor staff to usher the guests in to the dining hall and find their seats, I usually take this period to take the newlyweds away from the crowd to capture a few more portraits. This serves 2 purposes… On the one hand, when you remove the main attraction, the guests are more likely to head to their next destination… this helps the serving staff immeasurably. On the other, it gives the couple a few minutes together to reconnect with each other. We’re often using long lenses at this point and asking them to just walk and talk together. Giving them some privacy and us some more candid portrait moments.

I had to include Sabrina and Luke’s “we’re done, we’re off ” moment as it made us all laugh that they could go back to their drinks ready to be welcomed into the dining room for their wedding breakfast!

Chichester Cathedral wedding

Chichester Cathedral and Southdowns Manor wedding

Southdowns Manor WeddingChichester Cathedral wedding

Southdowns Manor always provide the most scrumptious food for their guests and this wedding was no exception! With the speeches set between courses and drinks flowing freely, I think everybody thoroughly enjoyed this break in the day to refuel. With 2 best men, the speeches were very tongue in cheek, Luke took this all in his stride with laughter, even when he was presented with lingerie of his own! It was great to see the top table (and the guests) wiping away the tears of laughter!

Southdowns Manor wedding photographer

Southdowns Manor wedding photographer

Southdowns Manor wedding photographer

Southdowns Manor wedding photographer

Southdowns Manor wedding photographer

When Sabrina and Luke said they were going to bring the party, they really did! With a hefty supply of prosecco and pimms stocked up behind the bar, an extra cocktail bar as well, they and their guests were all in a great celebratory spirit! A lot of fun was had…

Here’s a small glimpse midst the cutting of the cake and the first dance!

Southdowns manor photographer

Hampshire photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

As we say our goodbyes and head off into the sunset, while the revellers continue their party, our job is not yet over. The first thing that happens is the lengthy process of ensuring all the memory cards are uploaded safely and backed up securely. The editing process is quite complex and goes through a number of stages over the next 8 weeks or so resulting in a beautiful set of images from the day.

Firstly, the couple get to view their images before they then choose which ones are for the album! Sabrina and Luke had gone for the Deluxe Collection which means they get a Duet Album. One for the main highlights, with thick pages and a high definition finish and the other a larger coffee table style book which holds the whole day in print. The great benefit to this is you don’t really have to compromise on what’s printed and what’s not. This collection also includes smaller, parent copies of the highlight album which make a great gift for those family members who have supported  you on this journey.

Sabrina and Luke also chose a number of fine art prints for their wall. All of my printed products are handmade in Italy using the finest materials and inks, using the most up to date printing technology to ensure the optimum quality, colour balance and longevity of the photographs.

Here’s a quick glimpse at their albums, I’ll save the video of the un-boxing for another time!

Graphistudio Wedding Albums

Thank you so much Sabrina and Luke for choosing us to create the memories of your beautiful day. We had the most amazing time getting to know you both better over the years of preparations (and covid) and wish you health, wealth and happiness for your future together.

xX Fiona Xx

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

SUPPLIER LIST:

Venues: Chichester Cathedral & Southdowns Manor

Dress: Proposals (now Whyte Weddings)

Suit: Dartagnan’s “Black and Gold”

Rings: Ebony

Flowers: Mundham Nursery

Cake: Foxwood

Car: West Sussex Classic Wedding Cars

MUA: Arleta D

Chichester Cathedral Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter wedding inspiration

Winter Wedding Inspiration

As 2022 draws to a close, I thought I’d round up a selection of images of winter wedding inspiration for those planning their 2023/24 winter weddings.

It can be a challenge when planning a winter wedding to factor in a number of components that may have a direct effect on your day. These may include: Staying warm in your outfits; navigating the shorter days and loss of natural light; styling your wedding venue and creating a theme.

Outfits: For anyone braving the cold outdoors, layering up is a must! The same applies for your outfits… Styling your outfits with removable layers is a superb idea for keeping the chill off, it also enables us to provide a variety of images, with and without the layers throughout the day!

Take a look at some images for some winter wedding inspiration for your clothing 🙂 You will notice that a fur bolero or jacket is a popular choice for keeping that winter chill off! Have you considered a colour that fits your theme too? Despite a kilt appearing to only enhance cold knees, a full outfit, jacket and socks can actually provide more warmth than expected for those gents who want to go back to their gaelic roots.

Sussex Winter Wedding

Sussex Winter Wedding

Chichester Wedding Photographer

Chichester Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Winter wedding inspiration

winter wedding inspiration

Flowers: Another factor often looked over… when sourcing flowers, it’s worth considering that going for blooms that are in season can be a more affordable option than choosing a bouquet or floral decor with items that need to be sourced from overseas. Please bare in mind that when sourcing flowers that are out of season and not native to this country, extra attention needs to be given to their storage and preparation to ensure they are fresh for your big day.

I love seeing the creativity some couples have used… you can see here in this set of images that your floral winter wedding inspiration can be out of the box! We have broches, winter blooms and foliage, colours to complement the theme, Christmas decoration inspired centrepieces etc! The possibilities are endless!!

Winter wedding inspiration

Weald & Downland Wedding

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Chichester wedding photographer

Styling: What about dressing your venue? Are you planning to incorporate Christmas, Narnia, or your own theme? The wonderful thing about the winter season is it is the perfect season to use the darker days to go crazy with decor and fairy lights!! You can go as subtle or as ostentatious as you like! Keeping the christmas tree in the background as a subtle reference or going in hard and make the most of it! What will be your winter wedding inspiration for your decor and venue dressing? Handmade or hired? Sometimes these aspects are down to your budget, creativity, time and energy. Some people love to spend the time hand making everything for their day, others would rather hire a company who have the tools, stock and know-how to make your vision happen in a flash. Either way, the opportunities are boundless.

Winter Wedding Inspiration

Winter wedding inspiration

Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Arundel wedding photographer

Wedding Photographer Arundel Town Hall

Sussex Winter Wedding

Weald & Downland Wedding

Weald & Downland Wedding

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

artistic Chichester Wedding Photographer

Photography: What about your portraits and group shots? It’s worth considering that if you absolutely LOVE natural light photography, then a winter wedding might not be for you as the low sun and dramatically shorter days will have a direct impact on what is able to be achieved and captured using natural light. If a winter wedding is for you, then consider hiring a photographer who is comfortable and competent in both natural light and off-camera flash & additional lighting. This will make a big difference in your finished portraits.

It’s also worth considering that your plan of the day may need to be navigated to make the most of the natural light… this will happen during the planning conversations with your photographer. to give you an example, during the summer, your planned portrait sessions may be over two or three very short sessions at appropriate parts of your day to make the most of the longer days and changing light. However, during the winter that window is shorter, so you might find yourself allowing more time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast to ensure enough time is allocated for groups and newlywed shots. All these things are worth discussing with your photographer and planning in advance.

The location of your groups and portraits is also worth thinking about… you may find yourselves making moments en-route so guests aren’t subjected to more cold. Or, taking advantage of christmassy scenes in the local area. Some couples have chosen to get re-dressed on another day and shoot their portraits without the pressure of timings and light. Whatever works for you, I hope you can find some winter wedding inspiration for your planned portraits and group shots:

Winter wedding inspiration

Winter wedding inspiration

Arundel Wedding Photographer

Christmas wedding photography

Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Arundel Town Hall

Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photographer

Sussex Winter Wedding

Award Winning Wedding Photographer FionaMillsArt

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Photographer

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

talented Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

Chichester cathedral wedding photographer

So, in summary (no pun intended) for your winter wedding inspiration, I hope my offerings have helped!! Whatever the season you choose to wed, you can make it your own! With a little foresight and planning you can also keep within your budget and have the perfect wedding that you’ve dreamed of!

I’ll add a list of suppliers who have also featured in the images above, incase you need some sign-posting for your day 🙂

xX Fiona Xx

 

Dresses:

www.whyteweddings.com

https://trulygorgeous.co.uk/#/

www.bijoubridal.co.uk

Suits:

www.astares.co.uk

https://www.greyssuithire.co.uk/

https://www.moss.co.uk/

Flowers:

www.flowers4worthing.co.uk

https://www.janewalkerforgeflowers.co.uk/

https://www.earthseedtobloom.co.uk/

Venues:

www.wealddown.co.uk/commercial/weddings

www.southendbarns.co.uk

https://www.arundeltownhall.com/

www.norfolkarmsarundel.com/weddings/

www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/venue/vicars-hall

Stylists:

www.littleeventscompany.co.uk/

https://www.tohaveandtohireweddings.com/

 

 

Brighton Pangdean wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding | Nat & Ollie

Brighton Pangdean Wedding | Nat & Ollie

Although it seems like absolute eons ago (thank you Covid), I met Natalie and Oli at their wedding venue, Pangdean Barns in Brighton, for their engagement shoot. Ollie was sporting an incredible black eye courtesy of a football injury that week. Here’s a flashback from that session in 2019!

Brighton Pangdean Barn wedding

Brighton Wedding Photographer

The Preparations:

Due to the various lockdowns that have plagued our recent years, Nat and Ollie postponed their Brighton Pangdean Wedding until 2021. Thankfully, the celebrations were in full flow when their day finally arrived!

The difference in preparations between Natalie and her bridesmaids and Ollie and his groomsmen was hilarious! As you can see here, while the girls were in synch with hair, make-up and bubbles, the boys were in full on chill and drink mode! I do love capturing all those little details that make up the final outfits midst the chaos of a busy preparation time!

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

It’s incredible how fast the time comes when it’s finally time to put on your wedding day outfits. Hair and make-up is complete, deodorant applied, aftershave spritzed! All those plans are ready to come together.

I think you’ll agree how stunning Natalie looks in her Fross wedding dress, and how dapper Ollie is in his suit… thankfully minus a giant shiner this time!!

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Due to renovating their home (remember how so many of us took on big lockdown projects!) Natalie was getting ready at her bridesmaids house, while Ollie was at his groomsmens pad. When Natalie’s dad arrived, it was a great opportunity to capture him seeing his beautiful daughter for the first time. She looked absolutely stunning, perfectly befitting their Brighton Pangdean wedding. I love how coordinated and stylish both the bridesmaids and the groomsmen are! It’s always important to get those shots that are instagram ready too!!

Pangdean Barn wedding

Pangdean Barn wedding

Pangdean Barn wedding

Pangdean Barn wedding

The Ceremony:

Pangdean Barn is located in the midst of the downs in Brighton. It’s a truly beautiful venue in the most stunning of settings. The venue have nailed the art of hosting weddings… they are so accommodating and flexible, ensuring that the needs of the couple are catered for. They are also so welcoming to us as suppliers every time we have shot there. Always going above and beyond, resulting in a perfect day for all.

I especially love the grounds and garden games that are on hand… you can never be too old to have a game of Connect 4 or a cheeky cruise on the go carts!! Seeing all the guests arrive and marvel at the venue whilst sipping on a cold glass of bubbles brings the start of those butterflies (that I’m sure most wedding photographers have), where the much anticipated action is about to start! Cue the arrival of the bride and it’s all systems go!

Brighton Wedding

Brighton Wedding

Brighton Wedding

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Being a Brighton Pangdean wedding photographer, isn’t just about capturing the epic shots, it’s about the small and intimate moments too. Just before Natalie was about to make her entrance, Ollie and his brothers spent some time with their mum who was unwell. It was so endearing to see these moments of tender love and care.

Pangdean Barn has the flexibility of offering both an indoor and outdoor ceremony space. In the height of summer, outside was the way to go here. I often shoot with a second photographer to be able to capture moments from a variety of angles. This certainly helps too when one of us find ourselves a little stuck and unable to move positions without disrupting the ceremony! Our main goal is to be as unobtrusive as possible whilst shooting a variety of perspectives.

Once the groomsmen had ensured Ollie was looking ship-shape, and the rings were definitely there, the ceremony was good to go! Preceded by her bridesmaids, Natalie glided down the aisle to her besotted looking groom. A wonderful ceremony filled with joy and laughter. How wonderful for all to witness Natalie and Ollie tie the knot after the long period of lockdowns and postponements. How else to celebrate this new union with an explosion of confetti as they walk back down the aisle as Mr & Mrs!!

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

Brighton wedding ceremony

The Portraits:

The next order of the day was drinks, canapes and some family group photos! As the sun was high and hot, we picked a spot under a shady tree to protect everyone from the harsh elements… there is another reason for avoiding the high sun. Although it may be wonderful to feel the sun and its warming tingle on our skin, when it comes to group shots it can actually be quite unflattering to have everyone squinting to avoid the brightness. Also, the contrast between the highlights and shadows is far more extreme. We save those creative camera settings in the high sun for when it’s just the couple, getting the brightness working in our favour!

The guests dutifully played, drank and socialised to Tobias’ crooning  while we set to work. There was entertainment a plenty to keep their friends and family occupied, so we nipped off to spend some time with Natalie and Ollie and the fabulous car they had hired for their day! We even managed to convince the driver to bring it up the hill so we could capture the grounds and scenery in all its glory!

Sussex wedding photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

Sussex wedding photographer

Once the car continued on its merry way, it was time to focus on just Natalie and Ollie, back in the place we had earmarked all that time ago during their engagement shoot! With a view like this, it seemed a waste not to use it for some newlywed portraits! Summer flora was in high bloom and the rolling hills in the background did not disappoint!

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

On our way back down the hill to the barns for their wedding breakfast and speeches, we couldn’t resist one more cheeky set of portraits outside the the different backdrop of the rustic barn!! I love how varied we can be in capturing the newlywed portraits, and the Brighton Pangdean wedding venue certainly lends itself to those opportunities. The nature of these frames made me think of the fun had in photobooths when your strip of film came out of the bottom!!

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding

The Wedding Reception:

Pangdean Barn has a great seating area for the wedding breakfast. Filled to the rafters with fairy lights coiled around the beams. The guests dining together on well dressed round tables. Everyone in prime position to watch the groom get thoroughly roasted by his best men!!! What more could you want??!! Oooodles of bubbly, that’s what… and it was certainly delivered!

Brighton wedding

Brighton wedding

After the ties were loosened, and inhibitions lowered by a few measures of carefully curated shots and drinks, we were able to encourage the bridal party out for a few portraits using yet another area of the grounds. The industrial barn backdrop!! By this point, these guys were hilarious!! Herding cats is probably a good comparison…. full of giggles and mischievousness, it was a really fun filled part of the day! As you can see by the way the bridesmaids had hold of Ollie, they were taking no prisoners!! The guests had also continued to be on fine form as they carried on celebrating!

Natalie wanted a shot with her Hen-Do girls (including the mask of their friend who was unable to make it due to having Covid) It quickly got out of hand, but don’t worry, no hens (or grooms) were harmed in the making of these images!!

Sussex Wedding

Sussex Wedding

Sussex Wedding

Sussex Wedding

Sussex Wedding

The evening went off to a bang with Tobias and the Hustlers performing! The dance floor was pumping after Nat and Ollie’s exquisite first dance. The band definitely brought the party tunes to the stage!  The tie around the head shot epitomising the evenings events…. sadly our time was drawing to an end, but we left safe in the knowledge that the party would continue long into the night.

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Brighton Pandean Wedding

Natalie and Ollie completed their wedding photography collection with an Italian handmade album by Graphistudio. As I’ve perhaps mentioned before, all my couples will receive an album, afterall, an image remains an image until its printed… only then it becomes a photograph….

For Nat and Ollie, we personalised the box and album cover using their colour theme of the day with rich burgundys and blues and a stylish maple finish. Something that they can continue to treasure and look back on with the best of memories.

Brighton Pandean Wedding Album

Thank you so much Natalie & Ollie for having us capture your day! We had an incredible time and are so glad that despite the lockdown setbacks leading up to it, your wedding day was in no way restricted or compromised when it finally came!

Sussex Wedding

Brighton Pangdean Wedding | Nat & Ollie

Venue: https://www.pangdean.com/

Wedding Dress: https://www.frossweddingcollections.co.uk/

Rings: https://www.rtfj.co.uk/

Band: https://www.instagram.com/tobiasratcliffe/?hl=en

Flowers: https://www.lydiedaltonfloraldesign.co.uk/

 

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer | Megan & Leigh

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer | Megan & Leigh

I’m a lover of all seasons, but I have to say being able to capture the spring fields of gold and blue for Megan & Leigh’s engagement shoot coupled with the summer blooms for their wedding, I feel I really got the best of sceneries for them both! I love being able to get to know a couple better during this relaxed time together… Here’s a peek at their E-Shoot:

Engagement Shoot

Megan and Leigh chose the gorgeous Southdowns Manor for their wedding. A beautiful venue which provides the perfect spots for everyone to get ready, plus rooms so the guests can really let their hair down without having to worry about the journey home!

It felt like a spa with Megan and her girls in their matching robes and slippers having their hair and makeup done! The bridal suite was free to hold the gorgeous dresses and accesories away from the risk of mascara smudges and rogue directional hairspray! I love being able to capture the details… so much thought has gone into everything, it’s very easy to forget once the day has passed. I think it’s wonderful when people choose a special scent to wear on their wedding day… using that perfume or cologne again at a later date can really evoke the senses bringing those memories back to the surface!

The flowers were beautifully put together with their soft colours and tones, I adored the juxtaposition of their delicacies against the industrial outside fire-escape and roof tiles!

The boys were busy bustling together to all get dressed in another room… although there was calm, there was definitely a touch of chaos too!! Being a big group of boxers, there was also a lot of fists and growls as they cheered each other on! The bridal party and groomsmen also consisted of Megan & Leigh’s children, so it was lovely to see them in their parental roles helping their kids whilst also getting ready themselves!

The bridal suite at Southdowns Manor is decorated in stunning soft blues with a four poster bed taking pride of place. Clear from the clutter of the earlier hair and make-up prep it made for an incredibly peaceful (and photogenic) space for Megan to be helped into her dress.

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

The venue was all set up for an outdoors ceremony, which was perfect on such a warm and sunny day… there was not a cloud in the sky! The flowers and decor fit the soft white and pink tones of Megan’s colour schemes while the boys offered up a contrast in their blue suits. Leigh showing pride of place in his tweed finish.

You could absolutely feel and see the joy on both Megan and Leigh’s faces as the ceremony started. Thankfully sheltered from the harsh sun under the canopy of Southdowns Manor’s outdoor ceremony space, they just looked a picture of radiance as they said their vows to each other.

With the team on hand with cold beers, bubbly and refreshments the guests were completely looked after. The weather and outdoor space providing the perfect setting for a relaxed celebration once the vows had been exchanged!

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Due to it being the height of summer, we had planned the group and newlywed photos in stages. As a Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer it’s important to recognise the seasons and how the light plays into that… making the most of the light available whilst ensuring the couple don’t feel they’re on a constant photoshoot! The bonus of summer is the days are long so we can schedule in short bursts throughout the day.

I tend to choose shaded areas to keep people of of the direct sun, not only for comfort, but generally it’s far more flattering to have the softer light on us rather than squinting eyes or sunglasses being the order of the day!

First up, the family groups and a quick newlywed session while they’re on the flush of that adrenaline high! With their children playing a major part of their day it was great to incorporate them into the group shots, but also capture what they (and the other guests) were up to while they were patiently waiting for their turn!

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

It was time for the wedding breakfast and speeches, so making the most of the wonderful walkway at the venue, Megan and Leigh walked through a cloud of confetti before greeting their guests in turn using their stunning flower wall. As always, the food at Southdowns was absolutely delicious and the team serving with a professionalism that surpasses many restaurants.

The speeches were met with tears of joy and laughter (and maybe a little shame courtesy of the cheeky best man who proved himself to be a worthy orator). I love listening to the speeches, sometimes I get so caught up in the emotion of it all I have to remind myself I’m their photographer!! To be honest, I’m usually brimming with some sort of emotion throughout the day while I’m feeling all the feels!

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

While the room was being turned around and prepared for the evening party, many of the guests used this time to pop to their rooms to refresh. It’s so convenient having this facility on site, us girls love to touch up our hair and make-up!! I’m sure the guys take advantage of the space too checking out the two fully stocked bars available (of course, I’m generalising here, but you get my gist!)

This was the perfect time to take Megan and Leigh away for their newlywed portraits. I knew that Megan and Leigh wanted a combo of a candid document of their day plus some killer shots for their album of the two of them looking their finest, so we got to work! The sun was still high in the sky, but the light and tones around the grounds were just perfect.

Humble brag, I’ve picked up several awards from The Master Photographers Association from this session with Megan and Leigh including Wedding Photographer of the Year in my South Central Region. I love being able to create art for my couples, and their happiness is always my main objective, but I’m very happy to also be recognised professionally for my work.

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

The evening celebrations continued with guests relaxing in the grounds, soaking in the warm air… although the warmth could have come from the cigar smoking endeavours haha!! The cutting of the cake and first dance followed into the evening with the resident DJ providing the tunes. The guests partied hard and really seemed to take the whole relaxed and party vibe in their stride! It was like they were made for this wedding!!

We took a final stroll around the grounds with Megan and Leigh as the sun lowered, giving them some time to just enjoy each others company. It really is such a versatile and beautiful venue to marry in, it’s hard to not take advantage of all the opportunities! The flower wall proved to be a perfect place to capture some portraits while guests rested from all that heavy dancing!!

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

As we bid our goodbyes to the happy couple and guests, we embarked on the next stage of our photographic mission…. the uploading of files, editing and album design!

Megan and Leigh chose the Italian handmade Young Book by Graphistudio, a stunning contemporary album designed with the soft tones of their colour scheme in mind. It looked absolutely gorgeous and will stand the test of time as they look at this legacy of memories for years to come.

Thank you so much for choosing me to capture the memories of your day! It was a gorgeous day filled with so much love, laughter and friendship. A true pleasure to witness.

I wish you all the best for your future,

xX Fiona Xx

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer | Megan & Leigh

Venue: Southdowns Manor | Dress: Proposals | Shoes: Dune | Bridesmaids: Opulence & Grace| Suits: Astares & Herbie Frogg | Flowers: Rose Cottage Flowers | Hair & MUA: M.E.Hair & Make-up | DJ: Mark Winter | Cake: Caked Away Kelly 

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer

Southdowns Manor Wedding Photographer | Megan & Leigh

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer | Siobhan & Matt

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer | Siobhan & Matt

I met the lovely Siobhan and Matt during a wedding fair, where we got chatting about the plans for their day…. It turns out that they had actually seen a shot online from a previous Farnham Castle wedding they loved, which happened to be one of mine that I’d won with for the Master Photographers Association “Reportage Photographer of the Year” for my South Central region (see, entering these competitions can come in handy!) … it’s highly likely we also chatted about subjects totally irrelevant to weddings or photography… This often happens!! After a further telephone consultation away from the sensory overload of a fair, I was super excited to be booked to capture the memories of their day.

As with most of my wedding photography collections we continued our journey together with an engagement shoot. The weather and location on our side, West Witterings was perfect for a stroll and a chat while we shot. Here’s one from that session… they had chosen their favourites to be presented in a GoBook Album by Graphistudio as a lasting memory of this time in their lives.

As a Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer, Siobhan and Matt couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful venue…. there’s a little Disney inspired story that led to their choice. It seems Disney and castles in particular had played a major part in their lives over key dates and proposals, so it was only befitting that they marry in a castle.

Naturally, Siobhan and her bridal party got ready in the Gatehouse while Matt prepped elsewhere with the boys. Siobhan has a love for detail, textiles and design so there were so many aspects and details found during the day that tied their theme together perfectly. With gifts galore too, it was lovely to see how the couple had thoughtfully considered their friends and family in their plans.

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

With Siobhan in the final stages of getting into her gown and the boys all ready and casually sipping on their hip flasks (I mean checking all details are correct and guests happy!!) we were almost ready to get into that nervous anticipation of the ceremony. Farnham Castle has either the Norman Chapel for CofE services, or the Lantern Hall for civil ceremonies. It’s great to have a venue with that flexibility. Siobhan and Matt had chosen a CofE service for their wedding, and the chapel looked beautiful adorned with flowers in their soft colour palate of pinks, whites and blues. This was continued into the Great Hall where we peeked in and noticed every table was named after bands which the couple had seen live… I’ve got to admit, I had some serious gig-envy going on there with some of the names present!

I absolutely love that moment where the father of the bride sees his daughter for the first time, and this was no different. The love and adoration was so very present and heartfelt.

A short walk to the chapel for the Bridal Party and a few extra moments of nervous waiting from Matt and his boys, then a clearly excited Siobhan was ready for her entrance!

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

The lovely ceremony included readings from Siobhan’s mum and a very personal address from the Vicar. Before the newlyweds were presented to their waiting guests to be assaulted with handfuls of confetti, after the ceremony they were whisked off through the back way to see their decorated Great Hall and have a moment to themselves, celebrating with a glass of fizz.

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

For a Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer, it is not unusual to use the steps for a group shot straight after the confetti! It’s a perfect way to keep the crowd together before they get tempted by the drinks and canapes! This was also a great time to spend 10 minutes with Matt & Siobhan around the grounds from some newlywed portraits after their family shots… Check out the gorgeous generational image of Siobhan with her Mum & Nan (and grandad waiting patiently lol!!)

I love how the scenery changes so much with the seasons at Farnham Castle, seeing the gardens in full bloom in June is a wonderful sight!

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Once the guests were seated in the Great Hall, Siobhan & Matt were welcomed in to a rapturous applause before sitting down to a divine wedding breakfast. The catering at Farnham Castle is superb, and as a supplier who is always well fed there, I’m not just relying on the couples feedback!! The speeches followed with much hilarity as both best men re-told stories from their adventures with Matt, yet despite the ribbing, it was clear he was truly loved by his friends.

While the Great Hall was being turned around for the evening celebrations, many of the guests took the opportunity to pop to their rooms (another super bonus of this venue, incase you need more, they have rooms!!). We used this lull in the day to whisk Mr & Mrs Freeman up to the original castle ruins for some portraiture using the historic features available.

I find that rather than doing one long formal portrait session during a wedding, I much prefer to break it into a couple of smaller, yet well timed sessions. Making use of natural breaks in the day, whilst enabling the couple to actually have some time with eachother alone…. I say alone, I’m often using a long lens at times to give the couple space and distance from me where they can have privacy in their conversations during the portrait session.

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer

The wedding cake had super subtle nods to Disney, can you spot them amidst the mini Mr & Mrs Freeman? With a swift cutting of the cake, we moved on to the first dance before the dance floor was mobbed to the tunes of the live band!

Siobhan & Matt has also chosen to have a photobooth to enable Matt to include his other love…. Marvel!! This was a great hit, with many choosing the booth and others choosing to also grab a more classical portrait with their loved ones!

It was a truly superb wedding day and the service provided by Farnham Castle did not disappoint! What a wonderful way to get to know a couple better than to walk on this journey with them

After the day was finished, our job was not yet done. Once the images were edited it was time to curate these into a collection for Siobhan and Matt that consisted of multiple albums…. The Duet by Graphistudio is hugely popular. The initial 30 page A4 Young Book album containing all their super favourite portraits and moments of the day in the highest quality of paper and printing techniques. From that we create another album, The Primo… 100 A3 pages all bound beautifully into a coffee table style book, enabling so much more of the day to be printed. This is handmade and created to fit both into a bespoke Design Box. The collection was completed with some mini-parent copies and a personalised USB to match the books and box design. Truly, a stunning way to display and view your albums.

Graphistudio Wedding Album

Thank you so so much for putting your trust into me to capture your day, we had a blast and it was lovely getting to know you. I can’t wait to hear about the next chapter in your lives and be on hand to document your journey again!

xX Fiona Xx

Farnham Castle Wedding Photographer | Siobhan & Matt

Venue: Farnham Castle | Dress: Berkatex Brides (no longer operating) | Bridesmaids: Tilly Mint | Suits: Moss Bros | Cake: Suzy Blake Cake Atelier | Florist: Sarah’s Floral Designs | MUA: Liz Patey | Accessories: Ivory & Co | Rings: Ernest Jones | Stationary: Infinity Creative Studios | Band: Festival Nights | Lighting: Jim Party Lights