October 25, 2018
Natalie & Paul's Southend Barns Summer Wedding
Back at the start of the summer this year I photographed Natalie and Paul with their two sons and daughter at the stunning sunny location of West Wittering beach. Engaged to be married in August, this couple’s wedding was an exciting and long awaited occasion for the whole family and I was delighted that they had chosen me to photograph the big day. This engagement shoot on the beach was a great warm up which enabled me to get to know the family and build a little rapport with each child individually too - ideal preparation for the wedding day which would require their confidence and trust in me. Once 11th August had arrived I was pleased to be meeting up again, sharing jokes and laughs from our previous shoot and getting excited for the day ahead!
Paul had been staying at The Blacksmiths, a stylish and contemporary inn linked to the couple’s selected West Sussex venue, Southend Barns. With Paul were his groomsmen, which included his two sons Joshua and Harrison as well as his father, best friend, plus Natalie’s brother and dad. Paul and the guys looked dapper wearing suits by Astares menswear whilst his boys were like the perfect ‘mini me’s’ in their smart grey suits, tweed checked waistcoats and tan brogues. They remained confident in front of the camera and effortless in style and charisma!
Grouped together in the pub’s garden, the groomsmen made a significant impact when arranged in this composition looking ready for anything and like they meant business! The confidence and vibes were positive amongst these guys which was great and even the sun seemed to be sending forth beams overhead like a divine moment was occurring!
Up the road at the popular Southend Barns, the girls were gathered together in the bridal suite with Natalie. The sky outside had become a delicate shade of blue, patterned with the criss-crosses of white contrails and wispy clouds. The barn’s distinguishable three peaks looked defined and crisp against this busy looking sky backdrop whilst the dark and light stripes of the green manicured lawns created a lush and inviting setting in the courtyard.
Natalie had her sister, best friend and three year old daughter Holly alongside in the getting-ready process. The pink palette theme of the day had been thought about right from the very start and the ladies looked elegant in their floral kimonos as they sat relaxing and chattering away on the bed and clutching glasses of bubbly!
Meanwhile Holly, looking like a little miniature version of her mummy, was so adorable in her little ivory bridesmaid dress as she sat lost in her thoughts and clutching a single rose. Tying in with her mummy’s white lily and pink rose teardrop bouquet created by Manor Nursery, the bridesmaids had coordinating posies which complimented their elegant floor length baby pink gowns.
Natalie’s Dad looked so proud as he met her in the doorway to escort her and the bridal party across the courtyard to the Dairy Barn for the ceremony. Making a beautiful bride, Natalie looked stunning in her sleeveless fit-and-flare lace-covered gown with its flattering scalloped lace finished v-neckline and accent belt with brooch detail. Natalie’s hair was designed like that of a bohemian princess, tousled and entwined with gypsophila and little roses. Styled with magic by Jo from So Lovely, it really was an enchanting, Tangled-esque romantic look.
Each family member had their own special role on the wedding day and during the ceremony we watched the children untie the wedding bands from a little cushion with the help of groom Paul, ready for the exchange of rings and vows. Decorative white drapes (supplied by To Have and to Hire) hung from the rustic oak beams in the background, whilst gypsophila was tied in little bouquets to the sides of benches and dotted along the aisle.The scene was set ready for the bride!
Natalie and Paul touchingly reflected their hopes for their marriage as they gave these symbols of love and made their promises to each other, lead by the registrar.
And it wasn’t long after this poignant moment that the room erupted in a happy congratulatory cheer at the moment that this couple officially becoming Mr and Mrs!
In a bid to bestow prosperity, guests as per tradition threw confetti over the newly-weds as they exited the Dairy Barn. With their new status for all to see topping the wedding cake, Natalie and Paul were super excited to be official Fenns with their three mini’s in tow. As confetti collected in the train of Natalie’s skirt and remains ended up scattered across the courtyard’s slate paving, the flower girls and page boys found much joy in scooping it up and re-throwing it over and over. What simple entertainment for these youngsters, a very sweet innocent scene to watch!
As guests mingled to the uplifting sunny sounds of AC the steel pannist, the bridal party gathered for portraits in the neat gardens of sharply carved out hedges and angular landscaping. The lush greenery providing a great offset to the array of pink shades coming through the delicate dresses and pretty bouquets.
The weather had started to turn a little grey and soggy yet this couple were determined not to let it dampen their spirits or ruin their fun and as they discovered, water is always a useful, creative and often beautiful feature. I loved seeing Natalie’s stunning bridal hair design against her flattering V-back dress as she stood gracefully amids the bold garden structures, her reflection echoing in the water.
As the rain pitter-pattered, Natalie braved the elements in style against this wooden clad backdrop whilst Paul had a bit of a Gene Kelly moment with the umbrella! Why stick with dry indoor shots when being outdoors can offer so many more interesting options!
Back into the comfort of the barns, the evening celebrations were ramping up with popular DJ Gary Evans hosting the night. Natalie and Paul hit the sparkly dance floor and were shrouded in pink light for that special first dance, from which point all the guests ended up joining them. The rest, as they say, is history!
Natalie and Paul, the inclusion and importance of family at your big day was evident and I thought it was lovely how you’d considered a role for so many loved ones to be involved. Your classic and elegant theming worked so well with the rustic setting of the barns and the little touches you incorporated to give it extra wow factor brought it all together. I wish you and your little family a very happy next chapter!
Love Kelly x
Kelly Hearn A.B.I.P.P - A.M.P.A