I don’t always blog pre wedding photoshoots but couldn’t resist this time because not only were Stuart and Jade a great couple to work with, (honestly though my couples always are), but also to show how lucky we were with such beautiful sunset!

We scheduled in Jade and Stuarts pre wedding photoshoot, sometimes known also as an engagement shoot, for 6.45pm on a day in August, pretty much an hour before sunset also known as ‘the golden hour’, where the light can be beautiful if the weather plays ball, which it did!

Jade and Stuart have been together since school and booked me to photograph their wedding after I photographed Jade’s friends wedding a few years back. Only having spoken on the phone, their photoshoot provided an ideal opportunity to meet and get to know each other better before their wedding day in November.

So working with the available light and later on with an off camera flash and softbox we took a walk around the farm to get some photos of the two of them. I must at this point say thanks to my assistant on the day, Emma, who as always carried stuff for me without complaint and did a great job with the holding the light!

Jade and Stuart soon relaxed into their roles and were happy to do whatever I asked of them. I knew how beautiful the light was looking and what a difference it was going to make to the resulting photos but Jade was so surprised when she received the link to the gallery, she couldn’t quite believe how they turned out!

Quite often at a wedding, the time at which couple shots can be done are dictated by the time of the wedding breakfast, speeches, cake cutting etc. I understand this completely but how I wish when I see great light we could always capitalise on it, what a difference it can make!

So when planning your wedding it might be something you take into consideration, don’t get me wrong I’m all for letting the day run smoothly without interruptions from me, but if you’d like to make sure you have great light for your couple photographs do these things:- Allow some time during that hour before sunset for some photos and keep your fingers crossed its not a grey and rainy day!

 

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Although only knowing Kif and Becky through friends and meeting them only a few times socially, they are so easy to get along with and great fun to be around so I knew being their wedding photographer was going never going to be anything but a day to really enjoy.

Opting for a traditional church wedding in Marden, Kent near to the family farm where they live, it wasn’t far for Becky to travel, which was fortunate since she forgot her bouquet. One of the groomsmen was quickly dispatched to rush back to collect it so proceedings weren’t held up for too long luckily.

Becky looked every bit the beautiful bride and the smiles that she was greeted with as she walked down the aisle with her proud dad showed everyone thought the same, none more so than Kif. Many of my wedding photography in Kent takes place in local churches and on this occasion the vicar was pretty accommodating,  although I always like to be discreet as it’s not the sort of place to be marching around in constantly.

With the ceremony done it was time for a few family group photos outside and then back to the farm for their marquee reception, travelling in style in a vintage Rolls Royce. A friend had provided the beautiful flowers and I think I’m correct in saying that it was Becky’s mum that did a lot of the decorating which looked great, and really nice to see some prints from Kif and Beckys pre wedding photoshoot in frames as well. Most importantly Kif had put together ‘Kif’s Bar’, making sure nobody would go thirsty during the evening!

This was a laid back wedding, just as they wanted it to be and even when the catering company let them down by forgetting to provide the canapés and not providing the food and staff agreed, they dealt with it without having a melt down, no point in stressing over something you can’t do anything about I guess.

With Kif and his best man Jeremy sorting the food, the other groomsmen got the wine opened on the tables and before you knew it the food was soon being eaten, even if the top table hadn’t yet got theirs. Again it didn’t matter, it was laid back wedding!

The speeches done (well done Jeremy you got some laughs!), it was time to cut the cake and get the dancing underway with their first dance.

Becky and Kif are two people who deserve a lifetime of happiness and as their wedding photographer and friend I’d like to wish them just that, a long and very happy life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Photograph of Paul and Lexy outside Allington Castle on their wedding dayP I NBlack and white photograph of Lexy getting ready before her Kent wedding at Allington CastleP I NWedding photographer captures Lexy having her make up appliedP I NLexy is photographed having her hair done before her wedding in Allington Castle KentP I NBlack and white photograph of Lexy walking up the aisle in Allington Castle on her wedding dayP I NWedding photography of the vows being taken by Paul and LexyP I NLexy and Paul photographed during their Kent wedding at Allington CastleP I NWedding guests photograph Paul and Lexy signing the wedding registerP I NPaul & Lexy are photographed walking down the aisle after their ceremony in Allington Castle in KentP I NConfetti photograph of Paul and Lexy on their wedding dayP I NRomantic wedding photography taken in the grounds of Kent venue Allington CastleP I NWedding photography at Allington castle during Paul and LexyP I NGuests at Paul and Lexys wedding are photographed during the wedding breakfast in the marquee in KentP I NToasting the wedding speeches with a drink at Paul and LexyP I NPhotograph of Paul and LexyP I NTraditional wedding photograph of paul and Lexy cutting their wedding cakeP I NBaby Hugo wears ear protectors during the wedding danceP I NPaul and LexyP I NLexyP I NPaul and his friends celebrate with drinks on his wedding day in KentP I NPaul and Lexy photographed togetehr in the Italian Gardens at Kent wedding venue Allington CastleP I N
How lucky did I feel to photograph Lexy and Paul’s Allington Castle wedding! Not only were they a brilliant couple to work with but they also chose to get married in what must be one of Kent’s most beautiful venues, what a little gem this place is! With a setting as romantic as this all we needed was a beautiful day and that wish was granted with the sun shinning all day.

I started my day with Lexy and her bridesmaids at The Hilton Hotel photographing the getting ready stages of the wedding which included several gifts from Paul. He had organised me to put together an album of photos of them and their little boy Hugo which I thought was a great gift, but I think he surpassed himself with the converse trainers in white and silver sparkles with Mrs Allen and the wedding date on!

The Great Hall was the setting for the ceremony and looked spectacular with its stone walls, huge tapestries and gorgeous array of flowers. I love a bit of history and this room was where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn dined with Sir Thomas Wyatt around 1530 apparently, it’s not difficult to imagine the scene even today. Lexy and Paul couldn’t have looked happier together and as they made their way outside their guests were organised by the wonderful toastmaster for the confetti throwing which took place on the castle bridge.

Drinks in hand it was then time to mingle and soak up the atmosphere of the day with their family and friends giving me time to take some candid wedding photographs of everyone before the requested group shots.

Couples having their wedding here also have access to the amazing Italian Gardens which is where Lexy and Paul had some of their couple photographs taken, and in all seriousness, as a Kent wedding photographer this venue is a dream, I could have spent hours photographing them around the grounds! Obviously though the day is about the couple and not me so it’s important that they enjoy the process and not feel that they are away from their guests for too long.

Opting for a nominated guest at each table to carve the meat during the wedding breakfast added an extra element of fun and an opportunity for me to take some slightly different photos as well which I always enjoy. With the speeches came the shot of Jaegermeister for every guest although I’m sure some probably passed on that, but it seemed to be pretty popular for many!

With it being a warm night many people were still enjoying the evening outside when I left but I’m sure the dancing got going a little more later on once the Jaegermeister took effect!

 

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Photograph of Ellie and James at their reception venue in the Kent countrysideP I NEllie having her wedding dress adjusted before her Kent church weddingP I NPhotograph of EllieP I NEllieP I NJames and his groomsmen having a swig from the hip flask before his Kent wedding ceremony in St Georges church in Benenden, kentP I NJames is greeted warmly by wedding guest outside Kent churchP I NEllieP I NJames is photographed as the vicar tells him the brides car has broken downP I NPhotograph of Ellie being walked down the aisle for her church wedding in KentP I NJames and Ellie exchange rings during their Kent church weddingP I NPhotograph of Ellie signing the registerP I NEllie and james are photographed giving each other a kiss after signing the wedding registerP I NThe confetti wedding photograph is always a favourite and this shows Ellie and James as they exit the churchP I NPhotograph of James and EllieP I NWedding photograph of James and Ellie as the enter the reception venueP I NPhotograph of the wedding party at Ellie and James Kent wedding receptionP I NWedding guests are photographed at tables at Ellie and JamesP I NPhotograph of little pigs in a field next to Ellie and JamesP I NBlack and white photograph of Ellie and her flower girlP I NEllie laughs with her dad during the wedding speechesP I NJames is photographed during the best mans speech at the marquee reception in the Kent countrysideP I NEllie and James plus their wedding party are photographed toasting following best mans speechP I NP I NAnother Benenden Church wedding in Kent and this time it was for friends of the couple who’s wedding I had photographed there in 2012. St George’s Church is set opposite the huge green where the village cricket is played and really is a very English setting.

My photography coverage started at Ellie’s parents house with her getting ready and so I met her family and bridesmaids early on, they were all so relaxed, so it seemed to me anyway! Ellie looked beautiful and her dad’s reaction when he first saw her in her wedding dress summed up his feelings completely, I don’t think he could have been any prouder.

With some ominous clouds building but the sun still out and the temperature rising, James and his groomsmen were greeting people at the church. There was the odd swig from the hip flask just to settle the nerves and then it was time to move inside.

So the bridesmaids arrived and then we waited, and we waited and eventually we found out the at the car had broken down that was supposed to be bringing Ellie, much to the amusement of James who blamed it on the service it had received from the local garage owned by someone he knew.

Thankfully it wasn’t too long a delay and the ceremony was soon underway, and those ominous clouds fortuantely became a downpour during the service. We came out to more sunshine and managed to get some family photos outside before the rain started again. With English churches being such beautiful historical buildings its nice as a Kent wedding photographer to try and capture some traditional family group photos at the church before moving onto the reception, which was to be at The White Dog in Ewhurst.

With a marquee set up down in the field behind the pub garden there was a beautiful view across the Kent countryside and even some little piglets running about in the field adjacent. This perfect setting for an English summer country wedding was enhanced by the good weather that everyone could enjoy and although the harsh sunlight is a little more difficult to photograph in, the guests certainly enjoyed it.

Photographing the speeches was to be the final part of my day with Ellie and James so I hope they enjoyed the rest of the evening, and partied well into the night, I’m sure they did.

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This was my first Crown Lodge wedding in Kent and what a beautiful spot! Sitting at the top of Wye Downs the view is stunning and although it was wet, windy and overcast at the start of the day the sun came out later on for those views to be able to be appreciated.

Regardless of the weather I was greeted by a very happy and relaxed looking groom who was clearly looking forward to the day. The ceremony had been planned to take place in the gazebo outside but that idea had to be abandoned due to the rain, so family and friends were gathering inside after their mad dash from the car park.

Stevie arrived looking beautiful and like Lee was all smiles, I’m not sure either of them really noticed the rain to be honest! Escorted to the door by her very proud dad, shielded by umbrellas and her dress being held out of the puddles by her bridesmaid and good friend Helen, Stevie was being looked after just as Lee promised to do in his lovely speech.

The ceremony brought a few tears to the eyes of family and friends but definitely happy ones and once the formalities had been completed and the register signed, the rose petal confetti and bubbles were thrown and blown and seemed to go everywhere!

I always love photographing this time immediately after the wedding ceremony where couples are being congratulated by their family and friends and don’t like to intervene to take the group photos before they have had time to enjoy this period. On this occasion it worked even more in my favour as the sun started to break through the clouds which allowed us to venture outside for photos.

As a wedding photographer I’m always looking for good light and just under the trees was perfect, although with each gust of wind the groups did get a little wet from water dripping off the leaves on the trees but they were very good natured about it.

The speeches were held back inside and enjoyed by everyone, including myself. They were all heartfelt and funny and Bobby who was Lee’s best man delivered a great speech, despite saying how nervous he was to start with.

Unfortunately the picnic hampers put together by Chives Caterers had to be eaten inside rather than out, but the food looked delicious and I don’t doubt that it was enjoyed just as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bethersden Church Christening

You might be surprised to know that as well as photographing weddings I also get commissioned to photograph portraits, commercial work and christenings. This particular christening was in my local village church in Bethersden and was the little baby boy of someone who as a family I have known for years, so it was so much fun to see them all again.

Photographing christenings is lovely as everyone is generally happy like they are at a wedding, but as a photographer you don’t have the same time pressures of a wedding and consequently it all feels a lot more relaxed.

With a very friendly and accommodating vicar I was able to take photos throughout the service which in my opinion only serves to encourage people into the church as it’s ready publicity in terms of photos.

Food and drinks and a bouncy castle for the children was all laid on back at Georgia’s sisters family home nearby, so I then spent some time simply documenting the day as well as taking a few family group photos that had been requested.

Unusually this wasn’t the baby of a couple who’s wedding photography I had done but I was told that they had wished I had done which was really nice to hear. 🙂

 

 

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