Warm tones on a summer's day
December 02, 2015
I was very excited about shooting Sarah and Chris’ wedding, which took place at Rivington Hall Barn in Manchester. Most of the weddings I do are at venues across Sussex and Hampshire so it was great to go further afield and shoot somewhere completely different. It was also a pleasure to get to know Sarah and Chris who were absolutely lovely. They were obviously pre-destined to be together as they conveniently shared the same surname!
Sarah and Chris had picked a stunning venue for their wedding day. Rivington Hall Barn is a historic Grade II listed building that dates back to the 12th century and still retains lots of its gorgeous original features including the huge Saxon beams. Surrounded by lush green fields with plenty of trees and long grass, it was the perfect location for creating some magical scenic photos. To complement the warm tones of the historic barn, Sarah and Chris chose a subtle orange theme which was accentuated by the glorious sunshine we enjoyed on their beautiful August wedding day. With lots of personal touches and stylish displays of calla lilies, they had created a really classy and artistic wedding that I couldn't wait to photograph.
When we were discussing their wedding photography, Sarah and Chris were really drawn to images that used lots of sultry lighting and they wanted to combine this style with plenty of traditional and romantic photos. This shot of the couple soaking up the last rays of sunshine in the picturesque gardens of the venue has got to be my favourite from the day, I love the warm tones from the sun and the moody lighting.
The couple heard about me through Sarah's sister, Nicola, who I met whilst in Egypt, speaking at a photography seminar back in 2009; we got on like a house on fire and made sure we stayed in touch. On Nicola's recommendation I was honoured to be asked to photograph Sarah & Chris' special day, despite living over 250 miles away. A year before the big day I travelled up to Manchester to do a recce of the venue and meet the gorgeous Sarah and Chris in person, which was lovely; I already felt like I knew them so well after our many giggles over Skype!
A year on and the day before their wedding, I took the long drive back up North and what should have taken us 6 hours ended up taking the whole day thanks to every drama and hold-up imaginable, including bad weather and cows on the road! However, we finally got there and after falling straight into bed I woke up the next morning to a gorgeous summer day - just what we were all hoping for.
On the morning of their wedding Sarah and Chris both got ready in a nearby hotel with their nearest and dearest, only a few rooms away from each other the atmosphere amongst the guys and the ladies was of nervous excitement. Once Chris and his groomsmen were ready having started the morning with some celebratory bubbles to calm the nerves, we went to capture photos of them all looking very dapper in their three-piece morning suits with matching cravats and pocket squares. I had already noted the reception area as a good spot for photos with its bright colours and interesting lines.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Sarah was getting ready with her six gorgeous bridesmaids and her Mum. I love this photo of Sarah framed by her bridesmaids while her Mum does her dress up. I spot lit Sarah to make her the focus of the image while surrounded by all the important ladies in her life. This is always a special moment in a wedding day, when the bride is laced into her dress and her friends get to see her for the first time - Sarah and her friends were literally overflowing with excitement at this point!
To complete her look, Sarah's beautiful bouquet of orange calla lilies went perfectly with her chosen colour palette and the amber hues of the couple's venue.
Before long it was time for the couple to head to the venue to say their much-awaited 'I Dos'. One of the most important memories to capture for Sarah and Chris was the moment Sarah walked down the aisle with her Dad. This photo was taken just after Chris had glimpsed his soon-to-be wife having taken a sneaky peek over his shoulder – just look at that expression of pure pride and happiness.
Following the beautiful ceremony, the beaming newlyweds and their guests flowed outside onto the sun-drenched lawns to enjoy drinks, canapés and strawberries while the barn was transformed for the reception. To make the most of the high sun, I took the bridal party to one side for some group shots in the surrounding grounds. The greens of the trees and lush grass look so vivid in the bright light, which really helped make the orange and white stand out in this photo. I love Sarah’s sense of style with the reversed colour theme of white calla lilies against the vibrant burnt orange of the bridesmaids dresses and orange against the ivory of the bride's dress.
This was also a great opportunity for Chris and Sarah to steal some time away together. They look like the perfect fairy-tale couple here with Sarah’s princess-esque dress and long veil, and the beautiful English countryside backdrop and bright summer sun. We decided to put a bit of a twist on this photo by contrasting the traditional setting with a more modern and unexpected pose of them together.
Before the guests made their way back inside the barn to enjoy a sumptuous reception meal, I took the chance to take a few photographs of the couple in the romantic reception barn which twinkled with fairy lights and candles. This shot really highlights the atmospheric lighting of the barn with its romantic white drapes while the focus is on Sarah and Chris.
Sarah and Chris have a great eye for detail and had put so much thought into all the personalised touches of the day. Calla lilies were a continued theme in the barn decor where the flowers were used as beautiful ethereal centrepieces, fully submerged in vases with tea lights floating above them. The warm and earthy orange tones combined with the candles, fairy lights and all the personal touches - such as the wooden engraved hearts scattered on the tables - made the beautiful barn twinkle throughout the evening.
Later in the day, as the sun was starting to lower we headed out into the surrounding fields to make the most of the setting sun and to capture some romantic moments between the new Mr & Mrs Taylor. Sarah and Chris liked this shot so much they chose it for their thank you cards. The rays of sunlight and the lens flare from the sun create a soft, romantic atmosphere, adding lots of depth to the photo.
As well as the romantic photos, it was also important to capture Sarah and Chris’ great sense of personality, so we had a bit of fun with this photo of the boys getting them to jump in the air and strike different poses.
To end the evening, while the party was in full swing inside, I caught this lovely peaceful moment of the gorgeous bride and groom. The black and white image ties in perfectly with the Tudor style of the barn and really sums up the fairy-tale romance of what was an absolutely enchanting day for Sarah and Chris.
Thank you so much to Sarah, Chris and their whole family for choosing me to be part of your beautiful wedding. I have loved editing your photos and remembering all the magical moments of your special day with the personal details, the beautiful colour theme and lovely warm tones. I wish you all the happiness for the future.
Love Kelly xx
Kelly Hearn A.B.I.P.P - A.M.P.A