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Pastoral pastels

November 04, 2015

Mark and Catherine’s August wedding was a gorgeous day full of glorious sunshine, lots of laughs and magical moments. The wedding took place at the stunning Upwaltham Barns near Petworth; the perfect venue for their pretty pastel countryside theme which included an abundance of flowers and rustic inspired details. I first met this lovely couple for their engagement photos at Goodwood, this was where they first met which made the shoot even more special.

On the big day, Catherine had chosen to get ready at their home in Clanfield surrounded by her bridesmaids and family. The girls all had loads of fun together being pampered by hairdressers and makeup artists before they headed to Upwaltham Barns. Catherine literally could not wait to get to the venue's luxurious bridal suite, Jasmine Cottage, to add the finishing touches to her look and slip into her dress!

While Catherine was making her final preparations, I went to see Mark and his groomsmen who were all suited and booted, and looking very smart indeed. We wanted to capture a few photos of the boys together around the barns before guests arrived. I knew from talking to Catherine and Mark at their planning session that they wanted me to capture a mixture of timeless yet contemporary images, allowing their personalities to shine through. I particularly like this image taken at the entrance to The East Barn. Mark and his best man are in the full shot while you can still see the two other ushers in the reflection of the glass doors. I always love experimenting with the composition of photos and looking for the unexpected, I was really pleased with how this one worked out.

We arrived back at Jasmine Cottage to find Catherine looking radiant in her princess-style wedding dress complete with long veil and sparkling tiara. The gorgeous pastel pink and white bouquets byRose Cottage Flowers complimented her look perfectly.

Making the most of the stunning surroundings, we got several photos of Catherine with her bridesmaids who all wore mint green midi dresses that matched the groomsmen’s green cravats and pocket squares, and picked out the delicate tones in the bouquet. I love this shot of Catherine relaxing on the sofa surrounded by her bridesmaids; the lighting is gorgeous and the photo has a real fashion feel to it. I used a warm toned video light on Catherine for this one and relied on the soft natural light from the window and the room to illuminate the bridesmaids very subtly which brought real focus onto the beautiful bride.

It wasn’t long before Catherine was on her way to meet her soon-to-be husband in the ceremony barn. Here's the loved-up couple, shortly after saying their I do’s. It looks like a fairytale setting with the rolling green hills in the background and the sensational flowers that create an effortless sense of balance, perfectly framing the newlyweds.

Following the ceremony, Mark and Catherine led their guests outside to enjoy drinks and canapés in the courtyard under the beautiful blue skies and sunshine. I knew the couple were keen to have lots of natural photos of their friends and family and thanks to the gorgeous weather and setting of the barns, this was the ideal time to capture those all-important unseen moments. While concentrating on getting shots of the various guests, I also wanted to include some details of the day and the venue. These images capture the pretty garden flowers in the frame and the couple’s homemade wedding signpost using thrown focus, while picking up the atmosphere of the guests mingling in the background.

For me it is incredibly important to take some time to capture some artistic moments of the couple together. This is one of my favourite photos from the day; I set the shot up so that while Catherine is the main focus she isn’t looking directly at the camera, which draws you into the picture to discover the two of them in the reflection of the mirror together. This also ties in with the earlier photo of Mark and his groomsmen, there seemed to be a theme of reflections naturally occurring throughout the day.

While Mark and Catherine went back outside to mingle with their loved-ones, I popped into the main barn to take some shots of the set-up before the guests descended. I loved the theme of the day with the pastel colours of greens, pinks and yellows; it went so well with the countryside summer setting of Upwaltham Barns. The wedding cake looked too good to eat with yellow and green bunting, and surrounded by cupcakes with matching green frosting.

There were also lots of details on the tables including these pretty pastel flowers hand-tied with twine and placed in jam jars.

The couple had a travel theme running throughout the barn with tables named after places that were special to them, including Goodwood, and a map inspired table plan with clever little luggage tags that tied in with the look.

Mark and Catherine were keen to get some special group photos out on the hillside fields behind the barns with their bridal party. With bubbly in hand and Catherine wearing her wedding-wellies, we had a great time getting some fun photos larking around in the fields. I spent most of this time running up and down the hill to get as many shots and angles as possible – this job certainly keeps me fit! I know these photos were really important to Mark and Catherine. They loved my sense of style and fun when capturing the hills around the barns and this helped them decide to book me and Upwaltham Barns as their venue. For them the hills sum up the beauty of this venue and the area in which they live. We chose to capture these photos at sunset to allow us to pick up the warmth of the sun's glow across the grass. I know this will be a moment that they will always remember!

I often can’t make use of the beautiful entrance area at Upwaltham Barns due to the angle and positioning of the sun, or lack of sun! This area is full of colour and beautiful flowerbeds and the way the light hits these can really enhance how they look in an image. I had already spotted the lovely garden of wild flowers where the sun was setting and knew this would make a perfect backdrop for a different look. It was made even more special by having Mark and Catherine’s welcome signpost in the shot while the last rays of the sunshine washed over them to give the image that all-important romantic finish.

With the weather so lovely and mild, lots of guests had come back outside after enjoying their delicious wedding breakfast and I decided to capture a few more natural moments. I picked a perfect time! Just as I walked around the corner of the barns I spotted this funny scene; Mum on her phone with a glass of wine in hand, Dad on a space hopper and Auntie settling their baby. This quickly turned into a hilarious sequence of events as Dad soon lost his balance and ended up rolling around the floor, much to the amusement of the girls. Mark and Catherine loved that I had managed to get photos of this episode, it was such a carefree and natural moment. I also love the matching vivid colours of reds and blues in the shot, from the shoes in the grass and the outfits to the space hopper!

With the wedding now in full party-mode, it was nearly time for me to head home and leave Mark and Catherine to dance the night away. However, I couldn’t go without making the most of the romantic candle-lit courtyard under the clear midnight blue sky. Framed by the beautifully lit flint of the walls and the aisle of tea lights, Mark and Catherine look so happy and in love, emotions that clearly ran throughout their whole day amongst everyone who was there to celebrate this very special couple.

Congratulations Mark and Catherine! It really was such a pleasure to get to know you both and be part of your wedding day. I have no doubt that you will enjoy a lifetime of love and happiness together.

Love Kelly xx

Kelly Hearn A.B.I.P.P - A.M.P.A