Gemma & Ben’s Wedding Photography at Winters Barns

Gemma & Ben wanted a fun and relaxed wedding - basically a big party with their friends and family. They chose Winters Barns in Canterbury for their venue and had the whole day there; with both bride and groom getting ready onsite in the morning, an outdoors ceremony in the courtyard, and then the wedding breakfast and evening party in the barns there.

They met about 5 years ago whilst they were on holiday in Cyprus, and are an active couple, with Ben loving regular football, and Gemma a keen horse-rider. Although Ben is more indoorsy and Gemma outdoorsy they create a nice balance and share obvious chemistry. Both of them place great importance on their relationships with friends and family, and it was evident throughout the day how much their guests reciprocated this.

I had a great time photographing their wedding & wish them lots of happiness in their future together.

Congratulations Gemma & Ben!


Here is some more about the couple and their wedding choices in their own words:

How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?

"We met on holiday in Cyprus just over 6 years ago. The pair of us hit it off, and what started as a holiday romance took us both by surprise by blossoming on our return to England. Ben proposed 4 years later on a return holiday to Cyprus, to the same place we met, which was where he’d been coming away with his family from a young age, so was a place that has always been special to him. We were away with friends and family who’d been with us from the start, which made the engagement celebrations even more special."

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

"After getting engaged we got married 2 years later- a good amount of time as the planning wasn’t stressful at all."

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

"We got married at the beautiful Winters Barns. From the moment we saw it we knew it was where we wanted to get married. It is such a stunning venue with many natural features from the iconic bridge- perfect for a photo shoot, to wooden archways, big barn doors, and stunning grounds.

"Flowers on the bridge, down the aisle and on the tables were the only decorations we felt were necessary. The rest we left to the natural features of the barn as we felt they spoke for themselves and didn’t need anything extra, including the wooden barn, hops, and twinkly lights etc."

What inspired you to style your day the way you did?

"We loved the grey blue colour for bridesmaid dresses and felt it was nice for a summer wedding. The fabulous Victoria’s Bridal Boutique where I bought the dresses from then had perfect match ties and pocket squares made for the boys. The amazing florist Jane at Graham Greener was amazing and then matched the flowers to these perfectly, with the addition of ivory other flowers."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of venue and surrounding views
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of bridal details and bridal prep

How did you decide on your dress and accessories?

"My dress wasn’t what I’d of expected to pick at all. However, with the guidance of the talented stylists at Confetti and Lace, I knew from the minute I put it on it was the one. My mum and dad had watched ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and encouraged me to go to Confetti and Lace as they’d seen people working their magic. I tried on a number of dresses, and then hearing what I liked and disliked about each the stylists at Confetti and Lace then picked Snowball out for me to try and I loved it. I did however have it altered slightly by removing the train and a few layers, so that it was more me and without too much ‘poof’, allowing me to feel comfy and unusually girly and like a princess all day."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of groom getting ready before the ceremony
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of the groom and his groomsmen
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of the wedding rings and the bride's bouquet

How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?

"Ben always knew he wanted navy suits so his choice was relatively easy. The blue grey ties and pocket squares then complemented the suits and matched perfectly with the bridesmaids dresses thanks to Victoria’s Bridal Boutique."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of bridal prep
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of father of bride seeing bride in dress for first time and bride and her bridesmaids

Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle?

"My dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away, which was made even more special and emotional as he’d had to have emergency open heart surgery only 4 months prior, so the fact he was able to walk down the aisle at all was incredible." 

And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?

"I walked down the aisle to Ellie Goulding’s "How long will I Love you" which was played by Rob, a very talented singer / guitarist from Tailored Entertainment. He welcomed our guests in, played our entrance and exit songs and during the signing of the register and also our drinks reception. He was excellent, and our guests all seemed to love the addition of live music."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of their outdoor ceremony
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of end of wedding ceremony, confetti and guests enjoying themselves

Would you like to share anything about your vows? Did you tailor your own?

"We went for traditional vows- with neither of us love public speaking, so we didn’t want to increase our chances of fluffing lines."

Did you have any readings? If so, what were they and why did you choose them?

"We opted for no readings as neither of us are religious, and we didn’t feel like we needed anything extra, our vows were enough."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom around the grounds

Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?

"We knew we wanted a sit down wedding breakfast rather than buffet style. The catering provided by Scott Anderson caterers was phenomenal- they went above and beyond to make our day perfect and took amazing care of both us and our guests. We opted for a choice of 2 starters, mains and deserts for each of our guests, as well as having a vegetarian option, which they selected 4 weeks before the special day. This made everyone happy and catered for all our guests needs and tastes. We also added sorbet as a palate cleanser which was nice to cool everyone down in case of a warm August wedding."

Did you provide wedding favours?

"We had mint tins personalised with our names and wedding date- something that could easily fit into handbags or pockets and was useful to our guests in the future. We sourced these from Etsy."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of the wedding breakfast barn
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of the wedding speeches

Please describe your cake and why you chose it?

"We opted for a three tiered cake, with a different flavour for each layer as the choices were too delicious to pick just 1. Both of us love buttercream so we opted for buttercream icing, then added flowers that matched the bouquets and table flowers for decoration and personalised cake topper."

What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?

"Our first dance was Lonestar ‘Amazed By You’ as we both love the song and lyrics…. It’s surprising when you listen to many love songs that when you carefully listen to the lyrics they can actually be quite depressing… unlike in Lonestar’s ‘Amazed By You’."

What was your favourite part of the day and why?

"We couldn’t possibly pick one moment. Our whole day was perfect and we wouldn’t have wanted to change a thing. The only thing is that we wish it hadn’t gone so quickly, and that we could repeat it all over again in slow motion."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom
Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Portraits of the bride and groom around the grounds at Winters Barns

What led you to choose Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on their work?

"Parkershots was recommended on Winters Barns recommended suppliers page. Looking at samples of previously shot weddings we loved your attention to detail, how you captured couples and their guests and captured natural photos of the day, we then booked you for our wedding asap as we knew we wanted you to shoot our wedding. 

"After meeting you we couldn’t have been happier. Your photos are truly incredible. We were a couple that usually doesn’t enjoy posing for photos, and the photos were a part of the day that Ben especially had previously been dreading, but after meeting you at our pre-wedding shoot you instantly made us both feel relaxed and at ease, making us laugh and feel that we were out with a friend rather than someone we’d only just met. The photos from the pre wedding shoot were stunning and made us excited for photos on the day 

"On the day you fitted in like a wedding guest and friend, making us laugh and naturally smile throughout the day whilst capturing stunning couples shots. You ensured we had plenty of time to enjoy our day with our guests, whilst still ensuring key group shots were captured. 

"Your attention to detail was incredible, for example capturing parts of the venue including our table plan and wedding favours/ name cards, my dress on the barn doors in the morning, our rings and the bouquets later on in the day, as well as using a cleverly placed mirror to capture both mine and my dad’s reactions during my dress reveal. 

"The use of changing skies and locations made for a really lovely memory of our whole day, and meant we had the impossible task of trying to narrow all the images down for albums- we very gladly made the choice to double the standard number of pages in our album. 

"We can’t thank you enough for creating such perfect memories of our perfect day."

On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?

"Nope- I don’t think either of us would have changed a thing. The whole day really was perfect."

Winters Barns Wedding Photographer - Gemma and Ben's Wedding - Photos of the first dance and guests dancing

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?

"Book the venue early (we strongly recommend Winters Barns), if the venue has a recommended suppliers page, it is incredibly useful and I would recommend using it as most of the suppliers we used were from the recommended page, and were all amazing. But mostly don’t stress about small details, remember its your special day so make sure you enjoy it. The whole day will go incredibly quickly so cherish every moment. Pick Nick as your photographer…. You’ll have incredible photos that will be forever lasting memories."

Is there anything else you would like to add?

"Just a big thank you."


The Suppliers:
- Venue : Winters Barns - https://www.winters-barns.co.uk/
- Suits : Slaters Menswear (Guth & Val, Yunsa Suits)- https://www.slaters.co.uk/
- Wedding Dress & Veil : Confetti & Lace, Snowball by Dando - https://www.confettiandlace.com/
- Bride's shoes: Rainbow Club
- Bride's perfume: Black Opium by YSL
- Bridesmaid Dresses & Ties : Victoria's Bridal Boutique - https://www.victoriasbridalboutique.co.uk/
- Florist : Jane At Graham Greener - https://www.grahamgreener.com/ Make up - Lauren-Elle 
- Make-up : https://lauren-elle.co.uk/
- Hair : Gemma Goldsmith @gg_hairdesigner
- Cake : Jey Heavenly Events @jeysheavenlyevents
- Musician : Rob (Tailored Entertainment) - https://www.tailored-entertainment.com/artists/rob-singer-guitarist
- DJ : The Wedding Chaps - https://www.theweddingchaps.co.uk
- Photobooth : Photo Chic Booth - https://www.photochic.co.uk
- Caterers : Scott Anderson - https://www.andersonscaterers.co.uk/
- Bridal Jewellery (Designer & Boutique) Swarovski
- The Wedding Rings: Coo Jewellers
- Wedding Stationary: Designed & printed by Groom's place of work
- Photographer: Parkershots
- Honeymoon: Luxtripper helped to organize 1 week safari to Thabamati  Luxury Tented Safari, then 1 week in Mauritius at Paradise Cove


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