Dani & Jenny's wedding at Upwaltham Barns
It's such a treat when the happy couple share your artistic nature and vision. On this occasion I was very lucky - the two brides, Dani and Jenny, booked me to cover their wedding for just that reason and, more importantly, gave me free reign to get creative.
The day brought classic British summer weather - it threatened rain all day but delivered nothing but a warm breeze and scudding clouds. The venue, Upwaltham Barns in West Sussex, is a family-owned enterprise which exudes warmth and friendliness making it the perfect setting for a romantic, countryside wedding.
As we all know weddings are typically all about the bride so on this occasion, the attention was on both of them! This was the first time I had photographed (or attended) a civil ceremony and it was an absolute delight. Once Dani and Jenny were scrubbed, polished, blow-dried, made-up and all ready to go, they emerged into the courtyard to receive their enthusiastic guests. Well-deserved gasps ran around the courtyard area - they looked stunning.
The ceremony took place in the East Barn, its floor-to-ceiling windows allowing light to spill in, but with extra atmosphere from flickering tea-lights in tiny wall recesses and a gorgeous brass chandelier hanging above.
The chosen colour scheme for the day was purple and white, and everywhere you looked were little touches of that scheme - from lovely purple flower bouquets to tiny purple buckets full of chocolate eggs!
Dani and Jenny had very kindly invited me to be a guest as well as the photographer, so I even got to enjoy the delicious wedding breakfast, including a divine cheesecake!
Being a singer/songwriter, it's no surprise that Dani had ensured that there was live music, both during the mingling outside before the ceremony and at the evening reception. I have said it before and I'll say it again, it makes such a difference to the atmosphere and makes it very personal to your occasion!
I knew the brides were good sports and that they trusted me and my ideas, so I got to produce some quite different and interesting images for Dani and Jenny, including the arm wrestling shot. These are great because they can help to lighten the sometimes over-seriousness of the day and gives everyone the chance to have fun - just as it should be.
I created this shot by playing with lens flare and an ornament - it is just the kind of thing the brides wanted, instead of the standard wedding shots. However, as a professional, I of course shot the traditional images too.
As part of the evening celebrations, all the guests went into the courtyard and lit sparklers around the couple in their specially-decorated car. Although challenging to capture, it did make for an interesting shot, as you can see.
The couple are now enjoying their honeymoon in Portugal. I am sure they are enjoying themselves and taking a well-earned rest.