I'm so glad to be sharing this beautiful wedding from last October. I'd met Natalie and Sam at Blackstock Country Estate a short time before the wedding day for the pre-wedding portrait session and could see the venue's potential, but everything just clicked perfectly into place on the day. It also helped with us having some amazing Autumnal sunshine in the day and some dramatic fog in the evening (which I took full advantage of for some night-time portraits). Having grown up not far from here, I felt a special affinity for the venue - couple that with an amazing bride and groom, helpful pleasant staff, and some great weather and you have a very happy wedding photographer.
I loved so much about their wedding - Natalie and Sam's styling was spot on. Her dress and Jimmy Choo shoes looked incredible, as did Sam's choice of navy suit, grey waistcoat, and burgundy tie with the addition of a pocket watch. Having the groomsmen wear the same grey waistcoat with matching grey trousers and no jacket gave a great contrast to the groom in navy, but also set a relaxed tone. Natalie and Sam obviously had given their choices much thought and most importantly, picked things that worked well for them, the venue, and the time of year. That can be a tricky thing to get right, and they nailed it.
The surprise speech from the bridesmaids was a real stand out for me. They each had prepared a little something to say and during the speeches, stood up one by one around the room to say their part. The strength and history of their friendship with Natalie came through in waves as each bridesmaid said her part and it was truly beautiful to photograph.
This was my first time as a wedding photographer at Blackstock Country Estate and I hope to return there again soon.
Now to hear more about their day in their own words:
How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"We first met in the summer of 2008 at the local club in East Grinstead, 9 years later Sam proposed on the Ashdown Forest which was where we had our first date."
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"It took us 9 months to plan our Wedding."
What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
"We wanted to get married the same year and really liked the idea of an Autumn Wedding for the beautiful colours. Blackstock offered the perfect combination of location and the relaxed atmosphere we were after. We decorated the ceremony room with ivy, fairy lights and lanterns. The wedding breakfast room we kept simple with hessian sashes on the chairs, our table centres were logs from the tree in our garden and Sam’s mum decorated all of the jars for the flowers and candles."
How did you decide on your dress and accessories?
"There was some time pressure to choose the dress once we booked the venue, and luckily I found the dress in the first shop we went to. It was the last dress I tried on there and I immediately felt like myself in it; it was my style and I thought it suited the venue too. I knew I wanted to wear Jimmy Choo shoes, it was just a matter of which style. I went for a hair vine too which was threaded through the plaits, I wanted something for when my veil came off. "
How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"In keeping with more relaxed day, trousers and waistcoats were the chosen option for the groomsmen and page boys. The page boys wore blue trousers and waistcoat with a white shirt, the groomsmen wore grey trousers and waistcoat with a white shirt."
Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle? And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
"My dad walked me down the aisle to A Thousand Years by Piano Guys."
Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
"We gave homemade pear drop gin in a personalised bottle as favours for our adult guests and we gave the children a little bag of pear drops."
Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"Sam’s step-mum Tracy made the cake in the style of four silver birch logs, the flavours were lemon, red velvet, chocolate and vanilla. We also had cupcakes of the same flavours."
What was your first dance track?
"We chose our first dance to be to Ed Sheeran’s Tenerife Sea."
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
"So hard to choose a particular moment, the day was perfect, from the ceremony to the speeches and dancing. We took a moment together towards the end of the day to just watch our guests enjoying themselves and to try to take it all in - I’d highly recommend doing this as it is very easy to be busy talking to everyone and not actually see each other!"
What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
"Parkershots was recommended to us by a number of friends who had used Nick before, as soon as we were engaged we knew we wanted Nick to be our photographer and were so happy that he was available for our Wedding. We chose to have an engagement shoot, we both felt totally at ease straight away, and knew that Nick would capture our day the way we wanted. We couldn’t have asked for more, the photos were fantastic!"
On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
Are you looking for a wedding photographer for your wedding? Drop me a message by clicking here and tell me about your day.
- Bride’s gown (Designer and boutique) - White Dresses and Tiara’s in Crawley
- Shoes - Jimmy Choo
- Veil / Headpiece - White Dresses & Tiara’s
- Perfume - Dior
- Hair Stylist - Paula Neill, Wright Hair Studio
- Florist - The Flower House Studio
- Rings - Fraser Hart
- Venue - Blackstock Country Estate
- Décor / Styling - Inspiration Decor
- Cake Maker - Tracy Baxter
- Caterer - Fine Foods
- Bridesmaids Dresses - Asos
- Groom / Groomsmen suits - Tailor EG / Next
- Entertainment - Hipster through Hire A Band
- Videographer - James Lord
- Photographer - Parkershots
- Honeymoon - Maldives through Virgin
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