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Ivory & Evergreens

March 01, 2017

Katie & Steve's Southend Barns Winter Wedding

On a crisp winter's day in West Sussex, Katie and Steve tied the knot with effortless style and in a calm easy-going fashion ensuring the atmosphere was as chilled as the December day itself! By having family on board with many elements of the wedding planning (a big shout out goes to Katie's Mum in particular!), the bride and groom were fully at ease leaving plenty of time for enjoyment of all the great things that the day incorporated. This couple's relaxed and trusting approach enabled friends and loved ones to feel comfortable to let their hair down and really have loads of fun whilst celebrating this happy occasion.


When I first met Steve with his groomsmen at his and Katie's home, they were already dressed and looking the part in smart blue suits. Steve wore a stylish wool grey check waistcoat whilst the best man and ushers also looked very gentlemanly wearing ties in the matching tweed. Steve's cufflinks were fascinating and contained so much detail captured here against the waistcoat, they revealed tiny little mechanical parts and their intricate design looked super classy with Steve's attire. As the guys were ready for action we thought we would venture outside where I shot some portraits outside the pub. (This was where Katie worked as a barmaid and it became a sentimental location of choice as it is also where she and Steve had first met!).


Although the weather was cold and it was a visually nondescript day, I was able to use this to our advantage throughout the duration of the day by incorporating a selection of different lighting techniques and utilising a variety of cleverly chosen locations. The vast opportunities to change up the backdrops and work creatively with the light, provided assurance that the pictures would be full of atmosphere and feeling despite the changeable weather.

So, as you do in December, at this point we decided there was nothing for it but to hit the beach! The white canvas sky helped create a naturally monochrome moody scene for these group shots which I loved, and the strong dark shapes of the guys balancing on the blocky shoreline structures provide a high contrast against the sea, which fades seamlessly into the sky.


Leaving the icy cold Aldwick beach landscape, I was glad to be able to shoot Katie's portraits in the warmth of her parents' home. Katie was looking extremely elegant in a floor length lace-covered gown detailed with crystals and pretty intricate beading. Her dark hair was styled off her face in an elegant updo and make-up that beautifully accentuated her eyes was professionally applied by Arabella Hewitt, a local wedding make-up specialist (who's mother incidentally also designed the flowers for the day! Read more on that in a minute…!). 


The bridal party arrived at the rural converted farm buildings of Southend Barns in old fashioned white London taxi's. Seeing Katie step out of the wedding car with her father at her wedding venue of choice, I could sense the anticipation in the air of a brilliant day ahead!  


The couple were filled with an array of emotions as they exchanged vows amongst family and friends in the intimate and idyllic setting of the Dairy Barn. The ivory roses and green hydrangeas in the floral displays decorating the space classically and beautifully, tied in pleasingly with the bridal party bouquets (designed by Full Bloom of Chichester) which also incorporated a touch of eucalyptus, bringing a wintery element to the greenery. Having got the seriousness of vows under their belts, it was lovely to see great big smiles on Mr and Mrs Smith's faces as they exited the service!




With a tasteful floral colour palette of white and green tones, the classic English winter shades seen throughout the decor were perfectly complimentary to the bridesmaid dresses. Their jade green shade fabric slightly hinted at the foresty pine feel one might associate with Christmas and an English winter, and thus they were a fitting choice for a December wedding. As we gathered the wedding party for pictures after the service, the weather had turned a little miserable and so we became creative with the cosy indoor space and furniture that we had to work with! 


A very subtle acknowledgment of the season and Christmas came through in the decor to the reception venue, albeit in a very tasteful and understated way. Pretty silver baubles dangled and twinkling fairy lights sparkled on a tree whilst tables were filled with flowers in the complimentary greens and whites and a chandelier of flowers hung from the rustic old oak beams overhead. The details were well considered and I particularly loved the simplicity of a pinecone acting as a place name holder for each guest.




A wonderful idea which spoke of the warmth and generosity of Katie and Steve was that each guest was given a tiny star pin to wear as their favour. This was attached to a card which revealed that instead of buying favours for guests, Katie and Steve had made a donation to 'Make A Wish Foundation', - a charity that seeks to enrich the lives of children fighting life-threatening conditions. I found this a very thoughtful touch that highlighted how this couple had such consideration and love for others.


All day Katie and Steve had been excited to have fun with friends and had really looked forward to the evening celebrations. They couldn't wait for the dancing to get started and local covers band 'The Deloreans'  kicked off the party proceedings ensuring a memorable first dance and packed dance floor for the rest of the night! 


I did steal the new Mr & Mrs away for just a few moments to capture them together, in semi-silhouette as they were rim-lit by the string of glistening festoon bulbs and the warmth of the simmering fire pit in the courtyard outside. It was the perfect winter evening made to feel even cosier by the red glow of the outdoor heaters and the air buzzing with the wonderful happy vibes of the newly married couple! 

I really enjoyed shooting your wedding day Katie and Steve! Thank you for your trust and for embracing the cold day with it's white/grey skies and making the very most of each moment! Here's to a very warm and bright future for you both!

Love Kelly x

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