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Beautiful and creative bespoke wedding photography in Sussex, Surrey, London, Hampshire, Brighton, Kent. Creative photographer capturing all aspects of your day. Bognor Regis, Chichester, Worthing, Littlehampton.

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum | Vicky and Dan

Vicky & Dan | Win a Wedding Winners | V2 Radio

Highlights Blog of the wedding at The Gridshell, Weald & Downland Museum

In 2023, V2 Radio held a Sussex wide competition for a lucky couple to win a wedding! What a treat, with so many local wedding suppliers on board providing their services for the lucky couple. After a series of nominations, draws and a competition where the finalists had to battle it out with each other. Vicky and Dan were declared as the winners!

I met with Vicky and Dan on a sunny day at the Weald and Downland museum to have a little walk through, take them through a test shoot and chat more about the plans of their day. I loved their continuous cheeky banter and playful energy with each other! With the plans all settled and set into motion, the next thing to do was eagerly await their wedding day.

John and I started our day with a quick stop at Vicky’s to capture some details. With hair, make up and the usual hustle and bustle of the preparation time, we made quick work of the details before our next stop to find Dan! I had major shoe envy when I saw Vicky’s choice of footwear. Converse for the win, and those “bride” socks were a brilliant addition!

Vicky’s Dad made an appearance while she was getting into her dress, and in true mum style, multitasking was high on the agenda while Vicky also helped her son and daughter into their outfits for the day! The manicured gold “D” on her ring finger was also a helpful guide for Dan to make sure he knew where the bling would land during their ceremony!

Vicky and Dan have A LOT of friends and family, so much so that they upgraded from Crawley Hall, to The Gridshell at the Weald and Downland Museum to fit them all in! It is a striking and stunning venue, unique in every way, and used not just for weddings and events but also as a fully working workshop for the multitude if work, repairs and restorations that happen at the working museum.

Dressed by the Little Events Company, The Gridshell retained the connection to nature with soft pinks, trees and foliage moon arches and an array of festoon lighting. Vicky had sourced a variety of other details, both from the prize packages available and from her own inspiration. Thankfully for them, I didn’t think to leave them a garbled message on their audio guestbook, but I can imagine they had a lot of fun listening to the messages that were left as the night progressed!

Dan and his groomsmen took some time out from greeting the arriving guests to have a quick moment in front of the camera, and I have to say, at this time, Dan was full of chat and hiding his nerves very well!!

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The moment of Vicky’s arrival is here! You can literally feel this shift of energy change at this time. It’s like everyone goes on high alert, voices are lowered, butterflies start to kick in and suddenly it’s all systems go.

With Vicky’s daughter,  Ellie in charge of keeping the little ones in check ready for their moment down the aisle, Vicky was having some finishing touches to her veil. Unbeknownst to Dan, their son, Thomas, was walking down the aisle first, armed with his red Lightsaber to The Imperial March (Darth Vaders theme). He took his role very seriously and nailed his march, every step of the way. Followed by the slightly less intimidating flower girls, page boy and Ellie, it was time for Vicky’s grand reveal on the arm of her father. You could see the emotion and love between Vicky and Dan when they saw each other for the first time

The Gridshell at the Weald and Downland museum makes for a beautiful backdrop to a wedding. So spacious,light and airy. The ceremony was lovely, and full of laughs as Vicky and Dan giggled with each other and navigated the minor complication of sliding the rings on!!

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

A wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without a face plant of confetti and some group shots!! With a quick bit of time structured in to ensure we had covered the confetti spray and some family group shots, the guests were able to enjoy the grounds, the bar and the incredible crisps buffet to snack on! There were some favourites of mine in that collection… scampi fries and space raiders for the win!!! You could see their guests really enjoying themselves, catching up with friends and settling into to the space to relax and celebrate!

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

I had already had a full confession from Vicky and Dan that they are not a fan of having their photos taken… the pre-wedding shoot was a great ice-breaker for this, but being the fantastic sports that they are, they conceded that portraits on the day were an essential!! In the suitable lull before the wedding breakfast, we took a stroll around the grounds to capture them at their finest (including those cheeky moments Dan almost vanished under Vicky’s dress!!) I think you would all agree that despite not being fans of the camera, they look amazing and are absolute naturals. The superb thing about getting married at the Gridshell, is that you have full use of the grounds of The Weald and Downland museum too. We certainly made the most of it!! The fields, the historic buildings and just the closeness to nature is just divine!

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

The Gridshell Weald and Downland Museum

Again with the music choices, we arrived back at the Gridshell to all the guests seated and ready… Vicky and Dan were applauded in to the sound of The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”!! A first for me, that’s for sure. The meal was a delicious hog-roast by Foresthogs Smokery, with Mark Anthony Bars, eagerly distributing the shots ready for the toasts and speeches! With favours also provided by way of mini bottles from Chichester Harbour Gin, it was evident that a party would be happening for sure!

Toast Live were on the case with the party, Nick was DJing that evening, and he always gets the party started. Not that the crowd needed too much encouragement! With light sticks and loud music, as soon as the first dance came to an end, the dance floor filled and all the shapes started flying out! It was a fantastic energy flowing, John and I were sad to be coming to an end and not be in the thick of it! Needless to say, we also missed tasting the delicious looking buffet that was being laid out by MA Bars too! Our final parting shot was of Vicky and her best friends…. her “something blue” as portrayed by their outfits! I loved that idea and twist on the more traditional blue garter!

Thank you so so much for having us Vicky and Dan, we hope you had a thoroughly spectacular wedding!! I’m looking forward to finishing off my edits nd tweaks and delivering the full set of images very soon!!

xX Fiona Xx

Full Supplier List below (please let me know if I’ve forgotten anyone!)

Competition set up by: V2 Radio

Venue: The Gridshell, Weald and Downland Museum

Decor: Little Events Company

Dress: The Bridal Suite

Bridesmaids: Rosedene Bridal

Suits: Stephen Lawrence

Rings: L Guess Jewellers

Flowers: Manor Nursery Florist

Cake: Lauren’s Cakes

Wedding Favours: Chichester Harbour Gin

Hog Roast: Foresthogs Smokery

Bar & Buffet: Mark Anthony Mobile Bars

Evening Entertainment: Toast Live

Vicky & Tom | Engagement Shoot Southsea

**UPDATE** Vicky & Tom are now Mr & Mrs Heard, Yay!!!!! Congratulations!! Read all about their Two Woods Wedding here

Take a look through Vicky and Tom’s Engagement Shoot Southsea beach….

Vicky and Tom are due to get married in a couple of weeks in a fabulous new venue in Pulborough called Two Woods Estate, they have been super speedy organising their wedding, going from planning to wedding day in less than 3 months (I’m all for this, far less time to stress about things. I think we arranged our wedding in about 10 weeks!). Their venue is set in gorgeous woodland with space for meadows, marquees and music, however they are water babies at heart, so it was no problem to arrange their pre-wedding test shoot to be near the water. The location for the Engagement Shoot Southsea was chosen as it is near where they live.

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We met, together with their daughter,  early in the evening where the sun was still high and not a cloud to be seen. Perfect weather for sunbathing, but sadly not for photos (much to the surprise of many I speak to) so we decided to explore some more shady areas. The structures and supports under the pier being one.

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After spending some time under the pier we came out to be greeted by many obvious signs warning us to stay out due to it being structurally unsound. How we missed this at first I couldn’t tell you!

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Thankfully there were some shady spots where we were sheltered from the direct sunlight near the water as Vicky and Tom paddled and played with their daughter, Florence. It was great to have Flo there too as she will obviously be a big part of their wedding day, so the more comfortable she is with me, the better (this theory goes for the grown-ups too!)

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In order to grab a couple of shots with Vicky and Tom on their own I tried to bribe Florence with my iPhone, she wasn’t having any of it, but we still got a shot or two of them together.

Engagement Shoot Southsea

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I’m really looking forward to seeing them again at their wedding in a couple of weeks and getting my camera teeth stuck into this new wedding venue!

**UPDATE** Vicky & Tom are now Mr & Mrs Heard!! Yay, congratulations!! Read all about their Two Woods Wedding here

Mr & Mrs Lewis | St Andrews Chorleywood

Matt and India’s wedding at St Andrews Chorleywood, felt like it had been a long time in the making as I had been booked by them over a year before, so it was a great pleasure this Spring and Summer to start setting down plans for how we were going to approach their wedding photography. They planned to get married at India’s home church, St Andrews in Chorleywood. During my first visit to their church to have a scout around I was amazed as I drove off the M25 straight onto a single track road into a stunningly, rural looking village! Where had the city and motorway and noise gone??!! it was like a mass disappearing trick, only there was still access to the tube!

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On the wedding day morning, I planned to spend a short time with India at her parents home in Croxley Green as she prepared to get ready before hotfooting it back to St Andrews Chorleywood, with my assistant Lee, to capture some moments with Matt and the throng of guests arriving.

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It was the most colourful day, with masses of glamorous looking people arriving for the ceremony. Matt and India had chosen a lovely colour palate of burnt orange, royal blue and white. The groomsmen and bridesmaids looked fabulously coordinated, and the Vicar declared himself fashioned on Meat Loaf with his long, dark, dress coat! I especially like Matt’s camera themed cufflinks!

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As a wedding photographer in Chichester, the ceremony was lovely, capturing the foundation of faith that Matt and India share, along with worship and prayers led by those close to them….but the kiss…. The kiss was the LONGEST kiss I have ever witnessed at a wedding!! After the signing of the register and Mr & Mrs Lewis’ exit, they came back in again so we could capture a quick panorama of the congregation before they exited to rapturous applause once again.

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After the ceremony, while the guests snacked on cake and tea, we popped out to the church gardens to capture the group photos the new Mr & Mrs Lewis had chosen. The joyful moment with three generations of Lockhart ladies giggling together really touched me.  I just loved how Matt’s family instantly obeyed when I called out a mood-lightening “lunge challenge”!!

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We also managed to get the bridal party to engage in some lively action for some GIF ready pics. Matt and India are a really fun couple, and with Matt’s interests lying in video and photography I thought I would treat them to some moving images of their own….and seeing as I am not wholly experienced in the art of wedding videos, comedy GIFs were the next best thing!!

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THE-KISS

During the lull when the guests made their way to the reception venue, the newlyweds detoured to Rickmansworth Common in a white wedding taxi with Lee and I hot on their tails! With a warning of not too much PDA, we took advantage of the scattered woodland and took 15 mins to capture a few portraits.

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Once we arrived at Sarratt Village Hall we found the simple hall had been transformed into a stylish wedding reception venue with the colour theme on display throughout. There were fantastic coordinated details: CD gifts for everyone with Matt & India’s favourite tunes; sweetie bags for the kids; crisps to keep everyone going until the Fish & Chip van arrived (cue wedding photographer selfies!); positive messages scattered around and dessert on the go courtesy of an Ice Cream van! I especially love how little washing up this generates!!

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After the racy speeches (complete with videos of Matt from his childhood- and adulthood – in various stages of undress) the party got into full swing to the music of a fantastic covers band. We made the most of the lowering light to grab the bridal party for a few more shots before we left.

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The-Escape

The #lewhartwedding was lively, colourful and fun! A great joy to serve them as their wedding photographers!! Wishing you both all the best for the future,

Fiona xx

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Mr & Mrs Bezerra | Bishops Palace Gardens, Chichester

Wow. There is nothing more than can describe Jess and Sóstenes’ wedding day and their visual declarations of love for one another other than wow, but I will try!

A fairly normal start to a wedding morning, Lee and I hotfooting it to Jess’ parents house. Amongst the tea and pancakes that were being devoured we were able to capture the moments as Jess was transformed from a stunning, make-up-free young woman in her checkered pyjamas to a glamour-puss siren immaculately styled from her hair and make up to her dress, shoes and jewels in what can only be described as befitting for the red carpet, on Oscars night, and the Bafta’s and every other ceremonial event that screams glamour and style! There was a definite Cinderella theme going on here, those shoes got featured a lot!!

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Jess and Sóstenes share an incredibly strong faith, so were determined to spend some time together before the ceremony in prayer with one another without either clasping eyes on each other or sneaking a giveaway peak as to what colours Sóstenes had decided to wear. This coupled with a cheeky flower girl and paige boy led to some fun photos capturing both the seriousness and happiness that was present. This took some fun juggling to ensure Jess & Sóstenes didn’t accidentally cross paths!

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While Jess was spending some final moments with her family, Lee and I took Sóstenes to Aldwick Baptist Church to await their ceremony. It was a very moving and joyful ceremony. Jess & Sós had legally married prior to this ceremony so were able to unleash their creativity in their declarations of love. Sóstenes had written his own vows for Jess, while Jess had been taking secret singing lessons and sung a song to him in Portuguese. This surprise brought Sós to tears of emotion as Jess had predicted! After lighting candles to represent their joining in lieu of signing the register, they danced out of the church to the sound of Uptown Funk!

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After a brief detour to Hotham Park to capture a few small family portraits the new Mr & Mrs Bezerra swiftly came to Bishops Palace Gardens, Chichester to have their portraits taken in the grounds of the beautiful cathedral. The setting here is fantastic, a fabulous array of backdrops. We could have spent far longer, but here are some of my favourite shots from the afternoon…including a quick Cinderella and Prince Charming recreation!

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The evening reception was also full of vibrancy and fun. As the newlyweds arrived at their reception venue, Jess’ home church, Opengate, it was Jess’ turn to be surprised as instead of a first dance, Sóstenes sung to her in the middle of the crowded hall. During dinner there were party games, lip-synch battles and a mass of homemade desserts which went down fast and easily. Interspersed with music and dancing, some of the guests took advantage of a studio booth we had popped up and continued the fun!

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Congratulations Mr & Mrs Bezerra, it was an absolute pleasure to have been a part of your wedding day by being your wedding photographer in Chichester and I wish you every blessing as you embark on this next stage of your journey together. Fiona xxx

 

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Jess & Sos | The Engagement Shoot | Chichester Cathedral

In the normal timeline of events, having your Engagement Shoot just 5 days before the wedding is pushing it, but with this transatlantic couple it was the only way! Jess and Sòstenes met on soil foreign to both of them. She is English, he Brazillian. They both live in Portugal but were coming back to Bognor Regis for their wedding. We had booked in a morning to do a location recce and capture some shots of them together to practice their pouts and posing for their big day. The Engagement Portrait Photography Shoot spanned Chichester Cathedral, Bishops Palace Gardens and somewhere a little closer to home, Hotham Park.

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Jess and Sòstenes have a wonderful combination of characters; Responsible, flamboyant, expressive, fantastical, fun and generous. I cannot wait to see these characters combine to create, what I truly believe, will be a unique, colourful and expressive wedding!

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Jess really wanted to incorporate some comforts of home into her wedding day so off we headed to the beautiful grounds of Chichester Cathedral for the first leg of the Engagement Shoot. The Cathedral and its grounds will be a fantastic setting for the fairytail wedding that is being organised. With the dramatic, gothic architecture of the Cloisters and the soft and colourful secret gardens leading towards the beautifully landscaped Bishops Palace Gardens we will certainly be spoilt for choice for portrait opportunities!

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To bring things closer to home, Hotham Park will provide a simple and accessible backdrop for some family group shots….however, for the purpose of this visit a little more childlike fun was enjoyed (as you can see from the lower images!)!!

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I cannot wait for their wedding on Saturday, the colour, the themes, the love and the marriage that will be combined to create a flamboyant, fun and emotional day….I’m hedging my bets on Sòstenes being the first to shed a tear!!

 

Fiona xx