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A Classy Fairytale

May 26, 2016

Pippa and Kristian's March Wedding at Southend Barns

Kristian and Pippa are a young, trendy, bubbly couple who came to me last minute when their original photographer pulled out. It turned out to be one of those 'meant to be' moments, as the wedding was a joy to photograph; full of emotion and magic, and the couple ended up loving the results. Phew!

Muted pinks and greys were the order of the day, and the soft tones were beautifully complemented by striking spring sunshine, baby blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Perfection! This quirky gardening fork somehow ties the entire wedding together for me; it looks like it was born to be nestled in the lawn at the rustic haven that is Southend Barns; the couple painted it up to be in keeping with the colour scheme but it carries an emotional back story. It belonged to a grandparent who was sadly not around to be part of the day, but definitely there in spirit! Check out the fresh spring green of the grass, and that wistful sky behind.

The Southend Barns team also run a pub nearby called the Blacksmiths Arms, and this was where I found Kristian and his groomsmen grooming themselves for the big day. The pub is stylistically very similar to the barns in its decor and furnishings, so linked aesthetically to the later images in rather a pleasing way! I used the funky radiators to capture the groom’s details, they tied in to the silvery grey theme perfectly, and balanced the pretty dramatic shadows cast by his shoes!

Knowing Kristian and Pippa's personalities, I went for one 'silly' and one 'sentimental' shot here of the gentlemen as they donned their smart blue suits and tasteful soft pink ties. The first shows four of the lads in the throes of preparation; I'd say this is a 'peach' of an angle (groan.... sorry!!!) But I countered that humour (and hopefully the terrible pun) with the next shot of Kristian looking dashingly happy, his brother there for him in the background.

We ventured outside for this shot of all six of them looking relaxed and happy before heading onto the venue. The log pile in the background is also a feature at the barns, keeping that classy rustic theme running subtly throughout the day.

As I arrived at Southend Barns I took the opportunity to shoot this atmospheric image of one of their iconic doors. Perhaps the shadows I created earlier with Kristian's shoes had stayed in my subconscious; I couldn't walk past without capturing the dramatic low spring sunlight streaming through the graceful cut out bird, the symbol of Southend Barns.

The ladies were just around the corner in the 'milking parlour' - the gorgeous bridal suite on site. Here you can see again how the pastel blue sky complements the colour scheme of the day; the tasteful soft tones of the bouquet by 'Full Bloom' in semi-silhouette, framed by the beautifully simple window.

My eye for a good shadow was seemingly still with me as I photographed Pippa's enchanting wedding dress. Hung up on one of the high beams in the suite, the heartshape neckline cast a beautiful shadow over the heart wall hangings, leading the eye to the splash of light on Pippa's shoes.

You can appreciate the gorgeous dress so much more in the next two shots, with Pippa in it!! To me, she had perfectly tied together a magical, fairytale feeling, while remaining gorgeously glamorous. Her hair, done by Bex at 'The Hair Boutique', was delicately up, and had that feeling of effortless beauty, and her makeup tied it all together, provided by Magui at Margarida Marinho.

The shape of Pippa's gown was incredibly photographable I must admit! Look at how it billows out over the rug here in this important moment as the girls stand together admiring their fairytale friend.

The day was filled with emotion, from Pippa especially, leading Kristian to name her his "beautiful crying bride" when it came to his speech! Here she is clutching her blue handkerchief, overwhelmed by that once-in-a-lifetime moment when her father stood to give her away.

As family friend 'Reverend Julie' added a new level to the emotion by blessing the couple as they went forward in their new life together; I'm sure everyone in the room was fighting back the tears!

The entire day was full of beautiful emotional moments, which is why this next shot makes me giggle so much. A complete contrast, here we have the excited guests getting rather overzealous with their confetti throwing! I managed to capture the exact moment when poor Kristian got a face full of the stuff as the couple made their way back out into the fresh spring sunshine.

The sunshine lasted, allowing the guests to spread out on the lawn and celebrate. I nipped off with the newlyweds to an adjoining room to take this funky shot. I used the triangle of Kristian's legs to mirror the shape of Pippa's dress as she posed coolly in the background. Despite the fact that Kristian's face is not in shot here, his hands with their symbolic new wedding ring strongly dictate his presence.

We then ventured into the Threshing Barn just before the meal to take in the ambience. They really had done a beautiful job! The fairytale feel to the day continued with the elegant high candelabras on each table festooned with soft pastel flowers. It just takes your breath away!

You can see in the details here how the couple managed to keep a classy modern feel within the fairytale. It started with Pippa and her whole 'look' but was continued in the Threshing Barn with the juxtaposition of soft, romantic wistfulness like the table decoration below; floral magic, sprinkled petals and cut out hearts, and the contrasting classy, modern 'K&P' logo they had designed. This more modern feel was also found in the wedding stationary with its simple strong lines in pink and grey. The logo appeared hanging behind the top table in wood, and adorning the top of the cake, which was made by one of the bridesmaids. I love how even the cake fits perfectly into this subtle theme, with its funky textured buttercream finish softened by the delicate wisp of greenery, like you've just happened upon it in a woodland glade!

Just before the speeches the couple stole a moment with the setting sun overlooking the South Downs. The spring months are special out here as they provide extra strong sky colours which soften as summer appears. The sky in this next image is truly magic; I love the last of the evening light picking up the detail in Pippa's bouquet and how the light seems to burst out from between their bodies in almost a heart shape.

As the night drew in, the party got into full swing! Pippa and Kristian were able to let their hair down and enjoy being surrounded by their loved ones. Let's face it, a wedding is not a wedding without a dance with your mum and dad! Here they are, enjoying just that.

I am always looking for new angles on the outdoor setting that Southend Barns provides at night. It is such a relaxing and flexible space, and often becomes a real hub as guests gather round the fires and have some fun. I took the opportunity to get a few more shots of the bridesmaids with Pippa. I often find that in the mornings the priority and focus is all on the bride; it is a special and unique time for me to capture the intimate atmosphere present as she prepares to becomes a married woman. It is different for the guys, they are often almost ready by the time I arrive so we have more time for a variety of group shots in the morning. I always try to manage it though, and make sure I catch up with the girls later, so that everyone gets their fair share! The girls had some fun on the sofas outside, I tried to capture their characters as they put a bit of personality into this shot:

We let the girls head back to the party and grabbed Kristian for some final night shots. The sofa lent itself to this casual 'fashion-y' look; the fires behind leading the eye to the ceremony barn that held all that early emotion and excitement.

We finished with a different viewpoint of the central fire from the front of the barns. I love how the smoke adds the romantic wistfulness we found present throughout the day, and the two splashes of light either side form a triangle with the intimately lit doorway. It is as if we have snuck up on these two romantics, stealing a kiss.

Pippa and Kristian I feel privileged that you turned to me to capture your enchanting yet classy wedding day. I wish you all the magic in the world as you continue your life together.

With love, Kelly x

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