Fabulous, Fun and Four Legged Love
October 10, 2019
Marina and Nick’s Summer Southend Barns Wedding
Having already photographed Marina and Nick for their Autumn engagement shoot last year, I was very much looking forward to their summer wedding day, knowing it would encapsulate their warm and fun-loving personalities. This couple’s friendship, natural togetherness and excitement was so genuine that it was reflected on their beaming faces throughout the day!
Along with the close family and friends who made up the bridal party that day, were two honorary guests, the couple’s beloved pooches. As a professional dog walker, it was only natural for this bride to want her precious four-legged friends, Sky and Jet, to be very much part of the proceedings on the big day. Lucky for Marina the roles were to be reversed and with an aisle still to grace, this bride could look forward to one of her dogs walking her for a change!
Southend Barns was the exquisite wedding venue of choice, a complex of beautifully styled contemporary outbuildings, located between the Cathedral City of Chichester and the beach setting of West Wittering. On what turned out to be a glorious July day, an abundance of picturesque backdrops were on offer including the pretty outdoor ceremony space known as The Secret Garden. Here, Marina and Nick were to exchange their vows surrounded by the rich and sophisticated floral colours of purples, greens and ivory which adorned the romantic outside space.
Beautiful flower arrangements created lovingly by the bride’s mum, comprised of pure ivory roses and delicate gypsophila interspersed with summer purple. The altar table garland and topiary trees dressed the interior of the wooden wedding gazebo, whilst coordinating posies lined the aisle making for a stunning floral impact. This personal touch carried through to the indoor space of the Threshing Barn, where the wedding breakfast and evening reception were to take place later on. Ensuring the colour palette was consistent throughout the day, the love, care and attention to the entirety of the floral design effectively brought the outside, in.
Having enjoyed photographing some decor details in the venue that morning, I went to meet the easy-going groomsmen who were looking on point with the colour theme and sporting their formalwear, supplied by the aptly named, ‘Dapper’ in Kingston. Nick had chosen his brother to be his usher, whilst his best man also happened to be the bride’s cousin and the one responsible for the couple's first meeting, (great match-making skills by the way!). While the groomsmen donned pale grey waistcoats, Nick stood out in his contrasting ivory version and the trio’s look was finished with on-scheme purple ties and a daring choice of green socks reflecting their vibrant personalities!
Later that morning I met Marina and her girls who were getting ready in the venue’s bridal suite. Included in the party was her cherished dog, Sky, who sported a beautiful satin bridal collar adorned with flowers and who was ready and waiting to escort ‘Mum' up the aisle.
Looking elegant in their floor length gowns, Marina’s bridesmaids - two of her longest and dearest friends, helped her into her wedding dress whilst keeping the atmosphere light, calm and full of laughs. With Jazz Rawlins Hair and Makeup on hand for all three ladies, the half-up hair created a relaxed, elegant look. The lightest touches of sheer make-up enhanced the girl’s best features - the natural flawless finish perfectly suiting Marina’s effortless style.
Marina, who normally sports casual wear and wellies in her dog walking business looked incredibly beautiful in a dreamy, fairytale-like gown from Wed 2 Be. With spaghetti straps, a sweetheart neckline and full ruffled skirt, her look was finished with elegant laced corset bodice, button-down back and a delicate two-tier, waist-length veil. As far removed from her everyday working wear as possible, Marina’s bridal style was successfully soft, feminine and romantic.
Meanwhile Sky’s brother Jet seemed to know it was his big moment as he stood with Nick and purposely looked up the aisle in wait of ‘Mum’s’ arrival. The four-legged groomsman stood suitably dressed, imitating the groom in a matching waistcoat, shirt and tie!
One of the joys of an outdoor wedding at Southend Barns is the opportunity to photograph the bridal procession as they make the short journey from the bridal suite across the courtyard. The colour of the bridesmaid dresses alongside the vibrant green of the lawn, against the flint barn looked stunning as they walked. Little Sky led the way and following behind, looking incredibly proud, was the father of the bride who gallantly escorted his beautiful daughter to her groom.
In The Secret Garden under blue skies and a bright shining sun, the couple exchanged their wedding vows in front of their delighted family and friends during a heart-warming ceremony. When the photographer is permitted, what usually follows the vows and signing of the register is a photo of the bride, groom and two witnesses posed at the table.
During this traditional scene, Marina and Nick happened to spontaneously look at each other whilst pulling some unexpected funny facial expressions, just as I took the shot! This was amusing in itself, but what enhanced the capture more was the serious composure of the witnesses who remained totally unaware of the bride and groom’s departure from the seriousness of this moment! (Sometimes a great image is one that doesn't go according to plan, but actually ends up being way more memorable)!
No English Summer event is complete without Pimms and on this balmy afternoon soon after the ceremony, guests were mingling and laughing on the lawn with glasses of this quintessentially English drink firmly in hand. Spirits were high as the whole wedding party gathered together to raise an enthusiastic celebratory cheer to the newly-weds!
I stole the bridal party away from the Pimms for just a short while to bring a different edge to the group shots. Whilst the girls took centre stage amongst the topiary in the venue’s manicured gardens, Nick had already admitted he wasn’t one for the spotlight and remained happily in the background, allowing the girls to step into the limelight and have their moment!
Continuing with the unconventional poses, going with an artistic direction for some of the couple’s portraits. We made use of the wedding venue’s bold copper of the rusty gates and vibrant green foliage which complimented the couple’s colour theme. The less traditional composition served to bring a contemporary edge to Marina and Nick’s pictures,helping to complement their modern style and give reflection to their fun-loving personalities!
The beautiful cake, perfectly capturing the colours and theme of the day, was cleverly handcrafted by one of Marina’s bridesmaids. As the weather gods had blessed us, where better than to cut the cake than outside where it could be enjoyed with a refreshing sparkling drink, under the warm summer sun.
On such long July days, capturing the light on the wheat fields as the sun starts to go down is a must-do. I took the opportunity to chase the sun and capture the happy couple in the golden neighbouring fields. There, they took a moment to quite literally bask in the comforting glow of their newlywedness, the balmy evening making for the perfect backdrop to their wedding day reflections.
Silhouetted against the pink-tinged sky, Marina and Nick stood by the farmers gate, carefree and content. It was lovely to see how their relaxed stances reflected their total ease with each other in this naturally peaceful moment.
I soon whisked them back to their celebrations and guests where the couple hit the dance floor for that all important first dance as Mr and Mrs, with music provided by a Toast DJ.
As if their guests even needed a cue, it was time to party and that they did with endless smiles and laughter throughout the evening. The guests, from the smallest to the tallest remained loyal to the dancefloor ensuring hair was let down and fabulous shapes were thrown! But whilst the most perfect of days was coming to an end, a lifetime of togetherness was just beginning for Marina and Nick.
So to Mr and Mrs Tyne, It was an absolute pleasure to get to know you both and be part of your day. From us all at KHP, enormous congratulations on your wedding day and may your lives be filled with continuing laughter, funny faces, and four-legged friendship.
Wishing you so much happiness together!
Love Kelly xx
Kelly Hearn A.B.I.P.P - A.M.P.A