My last blog post featured Holly and Martin's fun and relaxed pre-wedding shoot at Nymans National Trust gardens. Here I'm showcasing the couple's equally fun and relaxed wedding, which was held three months later at picturesque Long Furlong Barn in the heart of the Sussex Downs. It's a venue I photograph weddings at regularly and at all times of year - in 2016 I captured three Winter weddings at Long Furlong. One of those was Ellie and Jamie's January wedding, which you can view on my blog here. And another was Josie & Paul's New Year's Eve wedding, which I've yet to blog (so many weddings, so little blogging time...!)
It was actually dry for all three of those Winter weddings, unlike my last wedding at Long Furlong Barn, that of Alex and Dan last weekend (i.e. end of July) when it poured for a large part of the day. (It didn't matter though, we still had an absolute blast and I love the resulting white umbrella in the rain with puddle reflection images!)
Holly and Martin chose to have their wedding ceremony at Holly's family church, St Mary's Catholic Church at Preston Park, Brighton, a short drive from her parental home where the bridal preparations took place. Lucky that it was a short drive, as Holly's stunning winter bouquet by Miss Mole's Flower Emporium almost didn't make the ceremony! It was the week before Christmas and I made sure to capture the atmosphere of the home lit by fairy lights, and tree decorations that Holly would remember from childhood. Adding one or two of these into their wedding album can really evoke that feeling of pre-Christmas excitement, which was certainly a part of their day. Especially as Martin had proposed to Holly a year previously on Shoreham Beach on Christmas Day, wearing a Christmas jumper! How romantic is that?!
After the ceremony, and lots of hugs and confetti, the couple enjoyed champagne in the back seat of a lovely 1964 silver Jaguar with red leather interior by Amazing Grace Wedding Cars, with the added and unexpected bonus of glorious sunshine pouring through the rear window. And then onto Long Furlong Barn for the reception celebrations, with guests following behind in a red double-decker - the perfect way to maintain the fun atmosphere during the drive to Long Furlong, and to avoid the need for guests worrying about driving, or parking at the church. (Actually, the parking thing is probably just me! Regular readers of my blog will know that nothing stresses me about a wedding except for the possibility of being unable to park near the ceremony - I plan these things to the 'nth degree with my couples!)
Holly's dress was sophisticated and stunning, and simply perfect for all the dancing the couple did! They began with some nifty moves outside in Long Furlong's grounds before heading indoors to make their grand entrance dancing to the top table. Having re-fuelled with a delicious meal by Long Furlong's wedding catering company, Circa Events, the couple and their guests enjoyed ceilidh dancing, for which I broke out my ultra-wide angle lens, enabling me to get close to the action but still capture full length shots of Holly's dress and the beautiful lighting chandelier by Sussex venue stylist To Have and To Hire.
Holly wore a stunning veil too, which we made the most of for some beautiful couple shots in the grounds of Long Furlong Barn. I'm proud to say that I was recently awarded Highly Commended by the Master Photographer's Association for this atmospheric black & white image of Holly and Martin:
The day ended for me with a fabulous sparkler arch and a special long exposure image to capture 'H & M' in sparklers with the help of Holly's bridesmaids. The perfect end to a simply lovely wedding, which was exactly what the couple had wanted from their special day. Please scroll down to enjoy the story of Holly and Martin's church and Long Furlong wedding as viewed through my (mostly!) fly-on-the-wall eyes:
If you're planning a winter wedding, and like my relaxed, documentary style of wedding photography, do get in touch! I still have dates available for the late Autumn and Winter season, as many people book out of season weddings later. Many venues still have dates available too (I know Long Furlong Barn has special winter rates currently on offer - head over to the Long Furlong Barn facebook page for the most recent news).
Following this weekend's weddings I'm having a little time off with the family (yes, I know it's peak wedding season, but my kids won't be school age forever!), so may be a little late with my next blog! Apologies in advance!