Hello and welcome (back) to my blog! As I write, I'm really excited that we're coming out of lockdown this week, and weddings can resume. Happily I have two lovely couples who've opted to downsize their special days in December and go ahead with 15 of their nearest and dearest. Those of you who've read my previous blog post all about small weddings will appreciate just how much I'm looking forward to capturing these!
I'm already planning my "Best of 2020" slideshow to showcase the ten amazing weddings I will have been lucky enough to be a part of this year. Half the amount of weddings I usually capture (and a fraction in terms of hours spent photographing) but packed with emotional moments all the same. Keep an eye out around Christmas/New Year depending on how organised I am!
Halley & Anthony appreciating the stunning skies after the rain at their marquee wedding in West Sussex
This month's blog is from a gorgeous late Spring wedding in 2019 which took place at the groom's family home and local church in Rusper, West Sussex. Bride Halley is American and the couple live full time in Chicago. They decided to get in touch after reading my blog post about my logo and how I started up my photography business when living in the US (if you're interested, you can read it here!).
Apart from anything else, the couple knew I would appreciate and understand the challenges of planning a wedding from another country, and I was pleased to be able to put them in contact with some of the suppliers I trusted to be super flexible and work around their timeframe. Especially as the couple would be arriving in the UK just a week before the wedding. We literally met up for the first time three days before the big day and headed into the countryside for their pre-wedding shoot.
"Jenny was a joy to work with throughout the end to end process. We currently live in America but got married back in England. This made the long distance planning complicated, but everything with Jenny was clear, friendly and responsive. She really understood us and what we wanted - and she delivered!
We are so thrilled with our amazing photos, thank you Jenny."
Halley & Anthony
On the day, Halley got ready in a large suite at neaby Stanhill Court Hotel, along with her Mum and bridesmaids. In spite of the rain, the morning was fun and relaxed with lots of laugher and an especially lovely moment when Halley's Dad saw his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. The dress was from Chicago boutique Palazzo Bridal, an absolutely stunning ivory gown with a gorgeous bow at the back and lace overlay. The dress and the rings - by Daniel Levy Jewelry - were the only two things sourced from America.
Kimberley Louise Make Up, who I've worked alongside on many occasions, worked her magic on the bride and her entourage, and hair and make up was set to withstand the elements!
With help from their wedding planner, Helen of Hels Angels UK, the couple sourced two red vintage buses to transport their 140 guests to the church. There were plenty of fun moments to be had as the guests alighted in a typical British Spring downpour! Happily for Halley, the rain stopped and the sun made a welcome appearance just as she arrived in a classic white Rolls Royce [by Horsham-based wedding transport company DS Wedding Cars].
The weather remained unpredictable for the entire day - heavy rain one minute, and bright sunshine the next. If anything, the crazy weather just added to the Britishness of the day and was the source of much amusement to Halley's family and friends from across the Pond.
Dinner was served inside a large marquee hired from Pulborough-based Paul Simon Marquees, which was also a perfect refuge from the sudden downpours during coctail hour. In traditional US style, the newlyweds entered the marquee to high-fives from their guests before enjoying a delicious three course meal from Dorking-based catering company JRC Events. The main course was a carvery, with one guest from each table given a chef's hat and apron, a fun and interactive idea for the wedding breakfast that I've enoyed photographing at several weddings recently.
I kept a keen eye on the skies to make the most of the glorious sunset that followed all the rain. It was literally a short stroll from the marquee to ancient trees and fields full of sheep which backed onto Anthony's parents' garden. The perfect backdrop for a few relaxed couple photos.
Traditional speeches followed, with Halley also saying a few words, before the couple's first dance to Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere", one of my favourites too! DJ Wedding Jam manned the decks and even the vicar joined the throngs packed onto the dancefloor inside a beautiful beamed barn in the grounds of the house.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into Halley and Anthony's wedding story. I'm very much hoping for a return to weddings of all shapes and sizes from next Summer (is Spring too optimistic?) including several large celebrations I'm booked to capture, with plans for 120+ guests. Fingers crossed!
Please pop back next month for my Best of 2020!
Thanks for reading,
Halley & Anthony's wedding team:
Wedding Planner: Hels Angels UK
Marquee: Paul Simon Marquees
Videographer: I Do Productions
Caterers: JRC Events
Florist: The Flower Shop Pulborough
Make Up: Kimberley Louise Make Up
Bride's Dress: Palazzo Bridal (Chicago)
Groom's Suit: Oliver Brown (London)
Classic Car (Rolls Royce): DS Wedding Cars
DJ: Wedding Jam
Rings: Daniel Levy Jewelry (Chicago)
Beer Sponsor: Lacons Ales