I really like Prim & Steve’s style – both in the clothes they wore and the feel of their day. They managed to create an extremely close-knit and chilled out vibe to their wedding. Let’s start with the venue – Oxon Hoath. I’ve never shot a wedding here before and after being there a couple of minutes, you can’t help but wonder why this place isn’t booked out for weddings 365 days a year – well, the answer is through a combination of their choice, and because the place is currently up for sale, so they can’t take bookings on when they don’t know who the new owners and what their intentions will be. I don’t know how far in advance they are taking bookings, but if you’re yet to book your venue, I highly recommend checking this place out.
This gem of a venue is hidden away between Tonbridge and Kings Hill. As soon as you drive between the gates and onto the grounds, you’re dazzled with stunning views across the valley towards Hadlow. It is a Grade-II listed manor house that the wedding has exclusive use of, with accommodation for around 50 guests. The rooms are generally spacious and light filled, and the ceremony room (which is the library) is beautiful and full of character. I’ll leave the description there as this is starting to sound like a sales pitch for the venue, but trust me, it’s a amazing choice for weddings.
After Prim and Steve’s wedding ceremony, they’d opted for something unique for their “wedding breakfast”. They’d organised various picnic benches around the grounds closest to the house, with table clothes, and decorative flowers arranged by Primrose – she also prepared the bouquets, buttonholes, and all decorative flowers for the venue. She has a real talent so I wasn’t surprised that she is actually making a professional move into floristry. They had a bar outside serving beers from kegs they’d arranged, and wine from a stock of 240 bottles (!!). The food was provided by The Pizza Project with antipasti for starters, and unlimited pizza for main course. This went down a treat with their guests (and me) and really kept the relaxed vibe they’d aimed for.
After the food, I took them for a few portraits in the gardens close by, and also out in the fields near the entrance to the 73 acre grounds where those views I mentioned could really be appreciated. Then it was back for speeches (once again outside with the guests seated on the benches), before we all headed inside for the party. They had a played track for their first dance, but after that, something a little different – a bandeoke. No, I’ve never heard of it either, but I’m sure I’ll hear of it again. This was karaoke with a backing band and singers. Now, I’m not sure if the guests are all just good singers, but if not, the support of the live band made a tremendous difference to my normal experience of karaoke. Everyone sounded great and the atmosphere was incredible. I realise it may not be for everyone but if you have enough guests brave enough, this is an amazing idea for your wedding.
You can probably tell from all this, how much I enjoyed photographing Prim and Steve’s wedding. But you know what? Even with all of these elements, it is the people that matter most, and Prim and Steve were such a nice couple that it was mainly because of them for why I had such a good time. The unlimited pizza sure was appreciated though 🙂
Congratulations Prim and Steve!
– Beer: National Mobile bars www.nationalmobilebars.co.uk
– Day time food: The Pizza Project firstname.lastname@example.org Thepizzaproject.co.uk Pizza, with charcuterie, antipasti and salads
– Evening food: Naked chips email@example.com
– Karaoke Band: Bandioke firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Flowers – Primrose instagram account to be confirmed!