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The perfect day to get Hitch-iner-ed!

November 06, 2019

Jo & Martin's West Sussex Summer Wedding

It's always special to photograph the wedding of a friend or loved one, so I was delighted when my old friend Jo asked me to capture her and fiancé Martin's beautiful day. Their ceremony was in their local church, St Mary's at Chidham, West Sussex, with the reception at home in their gorgeous garden, where they celebrated their union in the beautiful August sunlight.


The couple got ready at their home, and with Jo off to be pampered at the hairdressers, Martin and his usher smartened themselves up for the big day. Although initially nervous of being photographed, Martin warmed to the camera throughout the day, becoming a very willing subject by the end! The two of them dressed to the nines in their navy and mink suits, their pink floral ties linking to the natural and outdoorsy feel of the day. A personal touch was added with anchor cufflinks, a nod to Martin's love of fishing.



Meanwhile, the girls were being indulged by Jessica Hayler in her studio in Bosham. Jo and Martin's eldest daughter, Elsie, was in her element as she posed with her mum; loving the camera and embracing the moment, both of them looking absolutely stunning! Another lovely part of Jo’s preparation was the connection between the generations, with Elsie and Jo getting ready together, and later, Jo’s mum arriving to help her into her dress, a really special moment for all of them.



Youngest daughter Eleanor, however, was slightly less sure of the day, and a little less keen to pose for the camera. Luckily bunny was on hand to reassure her as she accompanied Mummy and her uncle to the church! The different natures of the two girls really come through in these photos; both equally cute but with slightly different attitudes to the day!


A unique element of this wedding was that the roles of Maid of Honour and Best Wo-man were taken by one superwoman! Meet best friend Belle, who introduced the couple years ago and today managed to keep Martin calm as Best Woman, as well as supporting Jo as Maid of Honour. This talented lady even conjured up a semi-naked strawberry champagne wedding cake for this pair! She thrived in both of her roles on the day; sassy and on point, as well as silly, fun-loving and fully involved in all the comedy moments throughout the day.


As a surprise gift, Belle arranged for a local singer to perform 'All You Need Is Love' - here you can see the wonder on their faces as they try to work out who is responsible for organising this lovely personal touch, which brought a tear to everyone's eye, even mine! Better get back to photography!


Jo and Martin walked out of the church with a real feeling of 'we've done it!' and headed to their garden in the glorious summer sunshine, ready for a well-earned Pimms on the lawn to continue the celebrations!


There was a fantastic festival atmosphere as the guests hit the reception, with live music by duet Pipe and Tabor amid the bunting and lanterns, as everyone relaxed with a drink. The two little ladies show their strong personalities in these pictures, both enjoying slushies to cool down, Eleanor with bunny in hand, smacking her lips as I caught this candid shot!




I had spotted Martin’s “man-shed” earlier in the day, and with the guests chatting and relaxing, the three of us nipped off to get a few shots amid the rustic brown tones, which formed a perfect backdrop and tied in perfectly with the outdoors theme of the wedding. I love the contrast of their outfits against the strong angle of the wood; both their personalities take equal presence in this portrait.


The shed created a natural framing for Jo with the brackets of the door pointing in towards her, and the blurred stones leading us in. The textures tie in perfectly with the brown shoes of the mystery man who has caught her eye!


It's lovely to capture the natural moments in a day, as well as the more structured, creative images. The bridal party headed into the lush green of the country lane at the bottom of the driveway, which provided a perfect frame within the woodland. Jo and I used to ride horses down this lane when we were (much!) younger; it was so special to capture these quiet few minutes in a place with such happy memories.


I love it when a moment comes together and the symmetry here of the two boys framing the glam girls is so pleasing! Not to be outdone by the girls, the pop of colour from the boys' fuchsia socks is a great contrast to the green of the surrounding woods and was a great little surprise too.


Back among the guests, it was time to capture the laughter and joy of the speeches, although for our youngest princess it all got a bit tiring! I love the slightly nervous look on Martin's face during Belle's Best Woman speech, while everyone else collapsed with laughter!




One of my favourite moments of the day was Jo and Martin's first dance, which was on the patio in their garden at sunset. The balmy summer's day was drawing to a close, the live music provided the perfect accompaniment as the flare from the sun cut across the scene. What a moment to treasure and so personal too, we were all truly captivated.


While her little sister slept, Elsie gate-crashed Mum and Dad's first dance, and loving the camera from beginning to end she was very happy to share the limelight with her newly-wed parents.


Sometimes a photo captures everything when you just roll with it. This adorable family shot embraces every aspect of a family wedding! Jo and Martin were an incredible bride and groom, but the roles of mum and dad never stop, as this photo shows!


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Hitchiner! It was a joy to capture such a relaxed, unique and homely wedding, and to share this day with one of my oldest friends! You embraced your special day hand-in-hand with your beautiful daughters, supported by a gang of amazing people. Wishing you a lifetime of joy, happiness, cuddly bunnies and welcome slushies, you wonderful family!

Love Kelly xx

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