Sophie & Jordan are one of those couples that are so nice & friendly, that when talking to them you feel like you known them all your life. On top of that, their enthusiasm talking about their wedding in any email or chat before the wedding was incredibly infectious and I couldn't wait for their day to arrive.
I started my coverage at Sophie's parent's house where she was getting ready with her Matron of Honour, 2 bridesmaids, flowergirl, and mum & dad. It was nice to see Laetitia from "MakeUp Angel" again & in meeting Natalie who was doing everyone's hair, and in working with Lewis for the first time, providing the videography. From there we all headed to St. George's Church in Benenden for the actual ceremony. It's a beautiful church and Sophie & Jordan's florist, Clare Staplehurst had done an amazing job with her decorations - especially the flowers along the aisle.
Then it was off to The Oak Barn, Frame Farm, (just around the corner) for the reception. This was the first time I have photographed a wedding here and I must say it's a bit of a hidden gem - glorious rustic farm buildings on the outside that have been renovated beautifully on the inside. The surrounding fields give a lovely openness, and features such as the pond and main barn are perfect photo opportunities.
I really enjoyed photographing Sophie & Jordan's wedding. For their preview picture, I chose a portrait of them just being themselves, in a field, after another shower had passed over the area, & with the sun teasing us with the briefest of glimpses before it retired for the day. I love their relaxed smiles, hinting at no thought for anything else in the world apart from the person right there, holding their hands.
But now, I bring you their the whole day, with lots more info about them and their wedding.
How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"We met 7 years ago at a mutual friend’s 21st birthday dinner and became a couple shortly after. Travelling became a big part of our relationship and we visited Lake Garda in August 2016 where we stumbled across Punta San Vigilio, and it quickly became one of our favourite places. We went back in August 2020, and this was where Jordan proposed."
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"It took us 1 year to the day! We got engaged on 28 August 2020 and married on 28 August 2021."
What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
"The Oak Barn was the first wedding venue we visited and, from the minute we arrived, we just knew this was where we wanted to get married. Frame Farm is beautiful; the farm buildings have all been renovated to the highest standard on the inside (e.g., smart lighting, sound system, in-house microphones etc.) and are surrounded by gorgeous open green fields. We loved the fact that our wedding wouldn't be constricted to just one room for the whole day; we had full use of the Farm which gave us such flexibility and allowed us to be creative to arrange the day however we liked. It was wonderful seeing people on the day explore the grounds, finding their own places to chat and mingle, and really made it feel like the Farm was "ours." The fact that there are beautiful cottages on site that our family could stay in on the wedding night was such a bonus - and really made us all feel at home. One of the things we loved most was that The Oak Barn itself is such a stunning space inside and needed very little in terms of decorating (which is highly unusual for a reception venue). We kept the decorations fairly simple with flowers and let the beauty of the venue speak for itself. Clare Staplehurst from See Rose Floral Design did our flowers, and she was absolutely brilliant. She’d worked at the venue multiple times before and so was a great adviser of what flowers would work best and where."
What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
"I had never really thought about what colour schemes or style of wedding I wanted, so I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram in the early days. This helped me to figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like, and I began to narrow it down to a simple, romantic, and rustic theme. I loved pale pink and white flowers and, as my engagement ring is an aquamarine, I wanted to have a hint of blue running through all the decorations, so I weaved this colour into the flowers, the stationary, bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen ties, etc."
How did you decide on your dress and accessories?
"I had no idea what style of dress I wanted so the first couple of shops I visited involved me trying on every single style, shape, neckline and sleeve length. Although it was unsettling that I didn’t know what I wanted, it meant I went into the process with an open mind and didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what would suit me. After about the twentieth dress I tried on (!) I started to realise that the style I loved most was a dress with a fitted, detailed top half and a soft A-line skirt. My accessories were super simple and minimal as I didn’t want to look too “dressy” – I wore a pair of my mum’s earrings (as my something borrowed), a ring from my grandma (as my something old) and a thin bracelet."
How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"Jordan wasn’t keen on wearing tails and has always loved navy blue suits. He wanted the groomsmen to stand out, so he picked a matching navy-blue three-piece suit for them all to wear (with a blue tie). For his outfit, he went for a bespoke blue suit with a grey double-breasted waistcoat and a pink tie to stand out from 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 Piano Guy’s cover of “A Thousand Years.”"
Did you have any readings? If so, what were they and why did you choose them?
"We had two readings during our wedding service. The first was Colossians 3:12-17 which had always resonated with Jordan and the second was “I will love you forever”, an extract from the Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. His Dark Materials is one of my favourite novel series and this reading never fails to make me cry when I hear it."
Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?
"Our wedding breakfast was fairly traditional with the exception of our top table. We didn’t want to be “on show” as such, and so we chose not to have a top table that faced our guests, but instead had a roundtable like the rest of the wedding breakfast. The food was extremely important to us, but neither Jordan or I have particularly “fancy” tastes, and we didn’t want any ingredients we didn’t recognize or foods we couldn’t pronounce. We wanted simple, yet delicious and homely food, with ample delicious options for our vegetarian and vegan friends, and for those who were gluten and dairy free etc. For starter, we served a pea shoot salad (diced mint cucumber, broad beans and peas, roast red peppers, aioli and crispy parma ham). For main, we served fillet of beef with jus, balsamic sticky potatoes, broccoli with leeks and cabbage and fine dice ratatouille. For the vegetarian and vegan main we served aubergine, pumpkin and chickpea tagine with coconut yoghurt and naan bread. And for dessert (the most important part!) we couldn’t narrow it down to just one, so we served a trio of desserts: sunken chocolate cake with crème fraiche and raspberries, lemon posset shots with shortbread, and espresso cups of eton mess with candy stripe meringues on top.
Sarah Hall was our caterer, and she was totally outstanding. She’s incredibly professional and so kind, and nothing was too much trouble for her. What we loved most was how flexible she was; unlike most caterers who want you to pick from a set menu, Sarah put the ball in our court, constantly asking us what WE would like, and then making it happen. She really puts the couple and their wants first, and with such creativity helps their vision to come to life. On the day itself, Sarah and her team go above and beyond catering - they all coordinate together, ensuring everything is taken care of and that things are running to time, but being so flexible when they (inevitably!) don't."
Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
"We didn’t provide wedding favours but bought gifts for our best men (personalized hip flasks) and bridesmaids (engraved bracelets and earrings) and gave these to them on the wedding morning."
Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"Deborah Newington was the cake supplier at the wedding of some close friends a couple of years ago and came highly recommended. Deborah was fantastic to work with right from the beginning. We contracted with her whilst in the winter lockdown but she sent cake samples to our home so we could try out all the flavours. She creates the most delicious cakes, and it was very hard picking our favourite flavours. We wanted a three-tier cake but neither of us like fruitcake, so we decided on carrot cake, white chocolate and raspberry, and double chocolate. We wanted a buttercream icing and a simple and romantic design, so chose to have the cake decorated with the same flowers as from the bridal bouquets."
What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
"Our first dance was to “You send me” (covered by Aretha Franklin). This was an ode to Jordan’s love of 1960s music and our mutual love of the film ‘The Holiday’ (in which we first heard this cover being played!)"
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
"There are so many favourite parts of the day - it’s hard to pick just one! Two key highlights are the wedding ceremony itself in the Church, and then sitting together outside on the garden wall at the end of the night to watch all our friends and family dancing in the Oak Barn – truly one of those special moments where you can see everyone you love in one place."
What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
"A photograph lasts a lifetime, and so we naturally felt quite a lot of pressure in choosing a wedding photographer. There are a lot of photographers to choose from, but Nick's work really stood out right from the beginning. His photos are a great combination of beautiful portraits and family formals, along with natural "action-shot" photos, which was perfect for us. From the first time we met Nick we liked him instantly. He's super friendly and approachable, and a total expert. In every correspondence we had with him, we were totally reassured of how professional he was. He's incredibly organised, and yet also builds in the flexibility for when things may not go to plan. On the day itself, Nick was amazing. He's so unobtrusive, yet totally in control. Every single member of the wedding party commented to us how friendly and professional he was. What we loved most about Nick was how enjoyable he made the process. The time we had for our couple photographs was so enjoyable, it felt like such a lovely "breather" away from the wedding and a time to be together, and Nick put us totally at ease. And we are over the moon with the photos themselves!"
On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
"Although this wouldn’t realistically have been possible – we both wish we could have started the day earlier so that we could extend the experience!"
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"All the cliches about planning a wedding are sadly very true. The key piece of advice I would give is not to worry too much about what other people think. Whilst family and friends are never shy to share their views and advise how “they” would do things, it’s so important to remember that it’s their day. Take your time to uncover what’s important to you as individuals and as a couple, and how you’d like to feel on your wedding day. I would also really recommend plotting out all the tasks in advance and then dividing and conquering with your partner, wedding planner, parents, or bridesmaids/groomsmen."
- Dress: Naomi Neoh (designer) from Mirror Mirror London (bridal store) https://mirrormirror.uk.com/>(bridal store also made bespoke veil)
- Jewellery: borrowed from family
- Shoes: Lace and Favour - https://www.laceandfavour.com/
- Perfume: CHANEL N°5
- Hair stylist: Natalie Blake - https://www.hairbynatalieblake.co.uk/
- Make-up: Laetitia Rix - https://makeupangel.co.uk/
- Florist: Clare Staplehurst -https://seerosefloraldesign.com/
- Venue: Tim & Deana Maw - https://www.the-oak-barn.co.uk/
- Cake Maker: Deborah Newington - https://newington-cakes.com/
- Caterer: Sarah Hall - https://www.sarahhallcatering.com/
- Bridesmaid Dresses: JJ’s House - https://www.jjshouse.co.uk/
- Groom suit: Edit Suit - >https://www.editsuits.com/
- Groomsmen suits: Ted Baker - >https://www.tedbaker.com/
- Stationary: Lauren Marie Miller - https://www.laurenmariestudio.co.uk/
- Entertainment (band): Lilac and Remko - >https://www.soundwithus.live/
- Photographer: Nick - http:www.parkershots.com
- Videographer: Lewis Adger - https://lewisadger.co.uk/
- Honeymoon: Carla Melmoth -firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wedding Planner: Emma Haxell
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