Alex & Jamie’s Wedding Photography at Penshurst Place

Alex & Jamie's wedding at Penshurst Place had to be the hottest wedding I have ever photographed. Guests were using hand fans throughout the day & onto the dancefloor in the evening. The registrar commented that the bride and groom must have wished a little too hard for sunny weather & the bride's father gave the newly weds a fan with the addition of the words "I'm f**king hot" on it.

I started my coverage of their wedding at The Leicester Arms pub where both bride and groom were getting ready (in separate rooms). They then enjoyed an outside ceremony in the courtyard at Penshurst Place with drinks served on the lawn overlooking the rose garden, and then canapes back in the courtyard.

The coolness of the massive Baron's Hall was appreciated by all for the wedding breakfast, which was preceded with speeches from the bride, father of the bride, the groom, the best man, and also a lovely addition from Charlie, groomsmen / master of ceremonies. The speeches are always a favourite part of the day for me, and these were no exception - a perfect mix of heartfelt emotion and funny stories. It was very cute how Alex took a few digs at Jamie in her speech, particularly with his opening line, but how they ended up so happy and in love.

In the evening, Alex & Jamie started the party off with a first dance to 'I Got U' by Duke Damon going into 'Latch' by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith, and then it was full on party. Alex even tried her hand at DJing later on in the night and by the looks of things, she may have found her calling 🙂

I had a great time photographing their wedding & wish them both a massive congratulations!


Here is lots more information about Alex & Jamie & their wedding choices, plus photos from throughout the day.

How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"We met at a New Year’s Eve party in 2011. Jamie’s friend, Anthony, knew the person whose house it was, which happened to be a family friend of my maid of honour, Becky. Nine years later,  Jamie proposed on holiday in the Lake District. Some people may say nine years is a long time to wait, but I kept saying I didn’t want to get married! It was, however, hard to refuse when the love of your life is knee deep in a bog holding out a ring in your favourite place in the world (Wast Water). We climbed Scafell Pike afterwards to celebrate, as you do."

How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"We got engaged in October 2021 and decided on our venue in February 2022, so it probably took us a year and a half from planning to the actual big day."

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of wedding car and groom preparation before the ceremony
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of groom and his groomsmen

What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them? 

"We’re both interested in history and had walked round the grounds of Penshurst Place before we were engaged, with my Mum, in between one of the lockdowns. I remember saying to my Mum, ‘imagine being a wedding guest here’! We had no idea you could actually get married there until I started scouting historical wedding venue locations in Kent.

"Luckily, Penshurst is already adorned with tapestries, candelabras in the windows  and suits of armour, so there wasn’t really much dressing up of the venue needed! We did, however, want the candelabras on each of our guest’s tables, and were told by the venue that Lily & Myrtle supplied exact copies, so we jumped on ordering those."

What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
"We’d picked out gorgeous eucalyptus 'save the dates' and invites from Pure Invitation, so decided to continue this theme with the stationery for the day (welcome sign, table plan, place names and menu) as well as including it in the florals.

"The bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen ties were teal, so we wanted a colour featured in the flowers that both complemented and contrasted this. A pop of orange proved ideal for this, and our florists, Flowersmiths at the Pavilion, knocked it out of the park. As our wedding was at the end of summer and looking to autumn, teal and orange seemed the perfect blend of colours to celebrate that. Penshurst also has this magnificent orange coloured roofing, so it also echoed that."

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of bride's dress, shoes, jewellery, and wedding stationary
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the bridal preparation pre-ceremony
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Father of bride's first look of bride in her dress, plus bridesmaids reveal
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of the bride

How did you decide on your dress and accessories?

"In terms of my dress, I thought I’d found ‘the one’ in the first dress shop I visited, but decided to wait a while and look in at least another place before deciding. Turns out the first dress wasn’t the one after all! ‘The’ dress was the same style as the one I’d loved  before, but the train was much more suited to what I wanted (shorter) and it came with detachable ‘wings’ on the shoulders which I’d never seen before. I didn’t want a veil so these were the best substitute for that as I still wanted some drama in my outfit.  I searched for silver heels, and found ones with butterflies  on from Steve Madden, which echoed the wings of my dress beautifully. My earrings weren’t expensive at all (I think about £7 from Lovisa) but fit with the subtle butterfly theme I had in my head by this point!"

How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"Jamie originally wanted a light grey suit and we’d discounted navy, thinking it would clash with the teal of the bridesmaids as we’d already decided on that colour, until one of the staff at Well Suited in Dartford suggested we try the navy ‘just to see,’ with a grey waistcoat instead. We were instantly sold as Jamie tried it with a teal tie and it worked wonderfully. He also tried an off-white tie and decided to wear this for the wedding day to differentiate from the groomsmen and to match my dress."

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the ceremony location and floral details
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of their outside ceremony in the courtyard
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the wedding ceremony including the first kiss
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos from the end of the ceremony, & bubble confetti
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Candid photos of guests enjoying post-ceremony drinks and canapes

Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle? And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
"I decided I wanted both my parents to share the spotlight for this moment, so I had my Mum on my left and Dad on my right side. The song I chose was Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine, played gorgeously on the harp in-person on the day by Nicola Veal. Florence and the Machine’s music means a lot to me, and Cosmic Love is a song I’ve seen live twice and each time it has given me goosebumps. There was so much emotion running through me walking down the aisle, along with seeing all our guests for the first time and of course Jamie at the end of the aisle, but I managed to remind myself to listen to the music during this moment too, as I’d been told I wouldn’t even hear it amid everything else, – so that’s a bridal tip from me!"

Would you like to share anything about your vows? Did you tailor your own?
"We personalised a small section of our vows and while we both knew what we’d chosen to say, we heard them spoken aloud by each other for the first time on the day which made it even more emotional and special. We won’t share them here but we made sure to strike a balance between loving and funny (as Jamie is usually the more loving and I like a laugh)!"

Did you have any readings? If so, what were they and why did you choose them?
"We decided not to have any readings as we were really nervous about the ceremony as it was and wanted it short and sweet. I think our guests on the day appreciated that too, because of the heat and our ceremony being  outside with the sun blazing down,, in Penshurst’s Inner Courtyard!"

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom with their wedding car outside Penshurst Place
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the wedding party, bridesmaids, and groomsmen
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of bride and groom around the gardens
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portrait of bride and groom with Penshurst Place behind them

Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?

"Our wedding breakfast was provided by the exceptionally talented Seasoned Events, who are the recommended suppliers by Penshurst and we and our guests could certainly see why. We had a three course meal with bread on the side, with options to suit every gluten-free and vegan guest, as well as those with allergies (including myself). We’d chosen a sparkling wine for the toasts and every table had red and white wine. We decided to have our breakfast after our speeches on the day, so that we could eat with the nerves subsided which I’d recommend (only if you’re providing canapes after the ceremony though – you don’t want anyone fainting)!"

Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
"We chose not to hand out favours in the end, but we did have disposable cameras on each table with prompts for guests to take photos during the breakfast and the party afterwards, to capture even more candid moments for us all to share."

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos from the wedding speeches with the bride's speech
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos from the wedding speeches with the father of the bride speaking
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos from the groom's speech
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos from the best-man's speech

Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"We wanted a visually simple but delicious cake, with some succulents as accents, so opted for a white buttercream consisting of three tiers with different flavours: white chocolate and raspberry, lemon and elderflower, and salted caramel. Flo at Let Them Eat Cakes did an absolutely beautiful job working with our florists on the day to create a gorgeous cake,  and even added ‘A&J’ in gold lettering for us." 

What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
"Our first dance was to ‘I Got U’ by Duke Dumont – when we met, we bonded over our love for dance/house music, so we thought it was fitting to stick with that genre rather than go down a more traditional route. The first time I heard it, it filled me with pure joy and it was special to be able to share that with everyone on the wedding day."

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of the married couple on a staircase plus sunset portraits of bride and groom around the grounds
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom around the gardens
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom in the rose garden at Penshurst Place

What was your favourite part of the day and why?
Jamie – "It’s so hard to highlight  a particular moment as there were  so many great ones, from walking down the aisle with my Mum and to saying my vows to Alex. But I think it’s going to have to be the moments where we are able to relax and chat with our guests just after the ceremony and the amazing party scenes during and after the first dance."

Alex – "Jamie said in his speech about my ability to forge forever friendships and how we’ve been able to share those friendships which made me very emotional.. Oh and I also got to DJ in the evening for a bit and the crowd went wild. Huge thanks to Eugene at Mint DJs for making that happen and egging me on, as well as fanning me to cool me down mid-set!"

What led you to choose Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on their work?
"We first met Nick at the Penshurst Place wedding fayre in February 2022, but were in no way ready to book a photographer at that point as we had only just begun looking at the venue! When we’d finally got to thinking of photographers, we definitely wanted documentary style mainly but also wanted someone who had experience at Penshurst and knew all its dramatic angles for the ‘wow’ shots. Nick was the perfect choice here, and we felt confident we’d made the right decision after our initial video call with him. In our heads it would be strange on the day having an almost stranger with us 24/7, but we felt so comfortable around Nick, it really was like having an extra friend there, and he was always on hand. For instance, we grabbed him between our main course and dessert for an extra, not planned photo on the staircase off of the Baron’s Hall, and it ended up being one of our favourite photos from the day, despite us originally worrying about the back-lighting!"

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the bride and groom cutting the wedding cake
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Photos of the first dance
Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Night portrait of bride and groom plus guests dancing

On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
"Not a thing!"

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"My main advice would be not to sweat the small stuff too much. I’m very details-oriented but knew that not everyone would notice what I would, so tried to keep that in mind during planning (nobody is going to care if the font on certain stationery on the day is slightly different, for instance).

"I got given the tip of sticking to your other half for the whole day if possible (unless you need the loo) so you get to experience everything together because after all it is a day celebrating you both. It can be easy to be sidetracked but staying together helps keep you present and you can also catch moments where it’s just the two of you taking in the magic of the day.

"My last piece of advice is to not panic in trying to catch up with all your guests. We went in with the mentality that if we get to at least say hi to and hug everyone, it was a success, and we managed that. You can fit in time before and after the wedding for proper catch-ups and to reminisce your day with them, and possibly hear about the parts of the day you didn’t see (as long as they’re good parts, mind you)!"

Is there anything else you would like to add?
"Just another massive thank you to Nick for capturing the magic of our day!"

Penshurst Place Wedding Photographer - Alex & Jamie's wedding - Night portrait of the bride and groom

Suppliers:
- Wedding dress: Zavana Bridal, Dress Dreams. www.dressdreams.co.uk
- Wedding dress seamstress/alterations: Delphine Couture www.delphinecouture.com
- Bridal Jewellery: Lovisa www.lovisa.co.uk
- Perfume: Paco Rabonee “Olympea”
- Bridesmaids Dresses: JJ’s House www.jjshouse.com 
- Wedding Rings: Alex: Beaverbrooks www.beaverbrooks.co.uk Jamie: Chisholm Hunter www.chisholmhunter.co.uk 
- Groom & groomsmen suit hire: www.suited-well.co.uk
- Florist: Flowersmiths at the Pavillion. www.flower-smiths.co.uk
- Florist (supplying candelabras on tables only): Lily & Myrtle www.lilyandmyrtlesurrey.co.uk
- Bridal hair: Katie Crabb. www.hairbykatiecrabb.com
- Bridal makeup: www.hollierosemakeup.co.uk
- Cake: Let Them Eat Cake. www.letthemeatcakesuk.com
- Caterer: Seasoned Events www.beseasoned.co.uk
- Harpist (ceremony): Nicola Veal. www.nicolaveal.co.uk
- DJ: Mint DJs. www.mintdjs.co.uk
- Videographer: Sebastian from ’Tell the story films’ www.tellthestoryfilms.co.uk
- Venue: Penshurst Place & Gardens www.penshurstplace.com @penshurstplace 
- Stationery: Pure Invitation  www.pureinvitation.co.uk 
- Honeymoon: Sardinia, Italy


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