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All In Good Taste

May 12, 2017

Christina & Gavin's Spring Wedding at Upwaltham Barns

I arrived at the idyllic wedding venue of Upwaltham Barns in West Sussex and felt a pang of excitement to be returning for my first Upwaltham wedding of 2017. Kicking us off in style were the lovely Christina and Gavin who chose to marry in the beautiful converted barns in the heart of the flourishing green South Downs countryside. Having photographed here many times I know for a fact that this is a place where making a grand entrance is a given, considering the wow factor presented by these lovingly restored old farm buildings. Sitting amongst perfectly manicured gardens (which are always tailored with seasonally fitting florals), the barns played perfect host to this classy couple who, just married, also made a grand exit, stepping out into the cosy courtyard as a new Mr & Mrs.  


Having chosen to get ready at the barns that morning, the lovely Christina (who by the way did not stop smiling all day!) was pampered by Chichester-based and Wedding Industry Award Winning 'ID: Hair, Makeup & Beauty' as she enjoyed preparations in the comfort of the private cottage. This unique accommodation within the barn grounds is filled with romantically rustic painted french furniture set against beautiful original exposed flint stone walls which I felt all tied in perfectly with Christina's chosen style. Gavin, meanwhile, was tasked with the role of checking and perfecting the decor, ensuring the finishing touches had not been overlooked throughout the barn, after which I met up with him, his best man and ushers for some artistic groomsmen portraits.


I feel that the details on a wedding day are really important as they are little stamps reflecting the personalities and tastes of the bride and groom. Christina's inherent class was definitely revealed through such details which definitely highlighted her appreciation for what's 'hot right now'. Her hair accessory choices; the little leaf hair pins made from copper was a subtle hint to her on-trend taste which I used for inspiration and opted to apply a copper tint onto the portrait above - a little gesture to salute Christina's great taste! The colour palette Christina chose to theme the day consisted of an array of mint greens, whites, lilacs and pale pink shades which worked together harmoniously and complimented the barn's rustic country feel really successfully.



The minty fresh sagey shades of the bridesmaids dresses looked elegant and modern, toning in beautifully with the pretty bouquets of spring flowers in mixed pastels designed by 'Spriggs Florist' of Petworth. These included one of my favourites - Ranunculus, with their subtle yet colourful hues and delicate crepe-like petal layers.



Perfectly coordinated with the outfit choices and floral details were some bespoke hanging lanterns in the South Barn where the reception was to be held. The simple spherical paper lanterns, provided by 'Colour Pop Occasions' looked magical in all the varying pastel tones found in the bridal bouquet. I loved this refreshing and effective alternative to the vintage style bunting often seen hanging from the beams at barn weddings. The elegant wedding cake designed and made by Chichester's 'Wedding Kate', was bedecked with flowers that also complimented Christina's pastel bouquet and remained to be another tasteful element that tied in seamlessly with the chosen colour themes for the day.



In the courtyard, Nibbles2Nosh, Upwaltham's fabulous in-house catering team, served some exquisite food to the guests starting with canapés at the drink's reception. These were displayed in smart hand-crafted wooden trays which even incorporated a row of little pink roses, coordinating well with the bridal flowers. Later in the day guests were served a Mediterranean tartlet to start followed by roast beef and all the trimmings, finishing with a warm chocolate brownie stack and local vanilla ice-cream. The food looked seriously delicious and guests looked seriously happy!


As guests mingled and chatted throughout the day, the atmosphere was welcoming and warm and it was lovely to see family and friends gathered close to celebrate the newly weds. As I stood up on some steps above the crowd to gain the all-important group shot, we managed to snatch some great expressions in a 'fly-on-the-wall' fashion as my assistant photographer captured some really fun unexpected and incidental moments! I love the joy that the couple get from viewing these candid pictures after the wedding day and seeing all the little funny things that they may have missed on the day!



Likewise for family and friends who (later down the line) get the opportunity to view the wedding album, it is fantastic when they see shots of the bride and groom that we had snuck away to capture, that they never knew had been taken! Portraits with an element of comedy are always such fun to shoot and I find doing these help to remove some of the tension from the inevitable gravitas of the day. Christina and Gavin were well prepared for the wedding photography having already had an engagement shoot with me. I knew this couple were relaxed as we joked that whilst we couldn't stop Christina from smiling the whole time, Gavin instead was perfecting his smoulder! Gavin's 'love' of being photographed and his quick and easy way to deal with it perhaps could be the interpretation of this next image!


This April wedding was full of love, laughter and fun and partying the night away was definitely on the agenda that evening. As Christina and Gavin delightfully danced their first dance, family and friends soon surrounded them and the letting-down-of-hair commenced on the dance floor, continuing into the night!



Towards the end of the evening I saw how the sky had turned a deep shade of blue and I grabbed Christina and Gavin, stealing them away from the celebrations for just one more shot under the tree with the twinkling lights. I wanted them to remember this wonderfully magical evening, a bit like a final bow before the curtains would inevitably close on the day of their dreams.


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Ashford on a beautiful wedding of simplicity, elegance and class. You both shone bright with joy on your special day and I'd like to wish you a long and happy future together!

Love Kelly x

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