What a joyous day - photographing a wedding again! After the longest gap between weddings in nearly 12 years of photographing them, it was an absolute pleasure to be there for Emma and Thomas at their wedding at Lympne Castle, near Hythe in Kent.
Emma and Thomas first booked me back in June 2019 planning for their wedding to be in 2020. As we all know, a few things happened last year to scupper such plans, and they had to postpone to 2021. Thankfully the roadmap wasn't changed and their wedding went ahead on the new date in April 2021.
It was my first time photographing a wedding at Lympne Castle & it made a striking impression. It's is tucked away down a sidestreet just far enough that you start to question if you took a wrong turn, before you see the massive archway, with flower bordered driveway leading down to the castle itself. On the other side of the building, it's strategic location on a hill affords it incredible views down to the coast.
Emma and Thomas were married in the West Drawing Room with restrictions meaning they could only have 15 attending. On the plus side, this meant they had room to bring in two beautiful framing trees either side of them, which would not have been possible with a full room. After their ceremony the first to congratulate them was their Dachshund 'Belle' who couldn't wait to kiss the bride. All the guests then moved to the front of the venue to give Emma and Thomas a confetti blessing, before having drinks on the terrace area, and enjoying the coastal view.
After the guests departed, I took Emma & Thomas around the grounds using a few of the plentiful location options for portraits of them. It felt so good to be back doing the job I love, and I felt privileged to be their photographer.
Wishing Emma and Thomas congratulations and a very happy future together.
Here are a few of my favourite images from their wedding along with info about them and their choices:
How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"Tom proposed to me the first morning when we arrived in Mexico for a holiday in Sept 2018. We had a random bag search when we arrived in the airport at Mexico and Tom was sweating that the ring would be found and that he would be exposed before he proposed, thinking he would have to do it in the airport! It was a surprise as we had already been together for 10 years as childhood sweethearts."
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"We were ready to be married in 2020, but obviously covid happened & that delayed it until 2021. But I think we started planning from early 2019 to 2020."
What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
"I am really into history - we both knew we wanted a beautiful historic venue to be married in, something a little different to everything else. I didn’t heavily decorate; we hired floral trees for the ceremony room (which we wouldn’t have been able to have if we didn’t cut our numbers down) and I bought floral garlands decorations for other areas. We had to cut down our numbers due to covid, but this enabled us to have two beautiful blossom trees in our ceremony room, which we got married under. We couldn’t have these originally as the number of seats required for our original numbers would not have left enough space for the trees, or our harpist"
What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
"I went with the dusky pinks and rose gold themes to the décor as it was a style I grew to like when I was researching wedding bits and pieces on pinterest etc."
How did you decide on your dress and accessories?
"My dress was the second dress that I tried on in MollyDollys. It had a nature, viney pattern to it which I felt matched our rings really well. It was the shape I liked too, so I just went for it. "
How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"We went together to pick out Tom's suit, & we liked the patterned style. After buying this initial suit, we decided to get very similar as closely matching ones for the groomsmen."
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 the harpist playing Perfect by Ed Sheeran."
Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?
"Unfortunately, due to covid restrictions at the time we were unable to hold a wedding breakfast. We had a small drinks reception and served our cake. Later on when we went back to our cottage accommodation within the grounds, Tom and I ordered a 'Dominos' pizza for our own wedding dinner."
Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"We met Karen at a wedding fayre, and when we tried her cake it was amazing and her designs were really classy. We had two tier naked cake – we loved the natural look to it, with the cake base log matching our floral décor. The flavors were vanilla sponge and red velvet – our faves, We wanted quite a natural looking cake, we decorate the venue with faux flowers, so it made sense for the cake to be displayed with a selection of fresh flowers and on a log stand."
What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
"It was supposed to be Perfect with Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli – we loved the italian part and some of our family members enjoy listening to AB."
What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
"Being an experienced videographer and animator myself, the photography was super important to me to find someone that had a creative eye and that was a cut above the rest. We came across Nick's card at a potential wedding venue. What really stood out to me with Nick's work was his lighting and processing – it was stunning, clean and classical."
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"Try to take it all in, take a moment to step back and enjoy every moment. It really does go so fast."
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
"We had to cancel two dates planned in 2020. The third date (19th April 2021), we said we would go ahead with as long as restrictions enabled us to proceed, even if it meant just 6 guests, we were eventually allowed to have 13 guests and then the bride and groom. There was so much stress and uncertainty leading up to the April date as the government guidelines were not clear if we could have a sit-down meal – eventually it was confirmed that we wouldn’t be able to have a sit-down meal. We also we not permitted to have an evening reception, no party and we had to cancel our DJ, losing our deposit. We were very keen to go ahead at this point in April 2021. Our original date was May 2020, so after waiting nearly another year, we just wanted to get married and move on with our lives! Not having to worry if we need to postpone again or any financial worries.
We plan to have a large party in the future that all of our family can be a part of."
- Bride’s gown (Designer and boutique): Molly Dollys https://www.mollydollygowns.co.uk/
- Jewellery (Designer & Boutique): Molly Dollys
- Shoes – Harriet Wilde https://www.harrietwilde.com/
- Veil / Headpiece: Adorn by Ashley https://www.facebook.com/adornbyashleybridal
- Hair Stylist: RKW Hair https://rkwhair.co.uk/
- Make-up Artist: Elizabeth Joseph-Love https://www.elizabethjosephlove.co.uk/
- Florist: The Little Flower Shop https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleFlowerShop89
- Rings – Chris Parry https://chris-parry-handmade.co.uk/
- Venue: Lympne Caslte https://www.lympnecastle.com/
- Décor / Styling – between the bride and Bows https://www.bowshire.co.uk/
- Cake Maker: Iced Images Cakes www.icedimagescakes.co.uk
- Cake Topper: Designs by Denisa https://www.facebook.com/designsbydenisa/
- Bridesmaids Dresses – ASOS
- Groom / Groomsmen suits: Charles Tyrwhitt https://bluewater.co.uk/shops/charles-tyrwhitt
- Videographer: Truly Madly Films https://trulymadlyfilms.com/
- Honeymoon – Eastwell Manor, Ashford, Kent. (staycation because of Covid)
- Ceremony Music (Harpist): Carys Hughes 01622 814353
- Dog Chaperone: Kings Pet Services https://www.facebook.com/kingspetservices.co.uk
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