Amy & Ibrahim’s Wedding Photography at Upwaltham Barns

Wow. What a day! I don't think I've ever been a wedding photographer before when there has been so much going on. If I just tell you that the bride and groom had 3 different outfits for their wedding at Upwaltham Barns, that should give you a hint of what the day was like. When Amy and Ibs told me about what they had planned when we spoke before the wedding, Amy said she hoped it wouldn't scare me off. I assured her quite the opposite; us photographers love a wedding with lots going on (on in this case, 2 weddings with lots going on). Yes, that's right, so that they could celebrate both their heritages, they had a UK civil ceremony as well as a Yoruba ceremony afterward.

The day was an absolute photography feast with beautiful bright colours, gorgeous summer weather, a great atmosphere and so much happiness. As a surprise for Ib, Amy had booked a saxophonist who played alongside a DJ. The result was perfect and dance inducing. This is one of the stand-out weddings for me from last year!

Here's more about their day in their own words:

How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"We met through one of the best men, Mike. We got engaged on New Year's in Dubai in 2015/16 after 7 years together."

How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"We started planning as soon as we got back from Dubai! We were visiting venues in February and had our venue booked by April 2016. Then got married the following August."

What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
"We went to see a variety of venues, Manor Houses, barns and hotels. We liked the openness of a barn, and could see a lot of potential in making it our own because of all of the space and different areas for our guests to retreat to. As soon as we walked into Upwaltham Barns I knew it was the one for us because I felt emotional straight away, and the owners Tim and Nicola were so friendly and engaging."

Bridal prep by sussex wedding photographer
Wedding venue photos of Upwaltham Barn
Bridal prep photography at Upwaltham Barns

What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
"As Ibrahim is Nigerian it was really important for us to embrace the culture in our day. We wanted the 50/50 English and Nigerian Wedding experience!"

 How did you decide on your dress and accessories?
"We had three outfits each on the day, so my first I wanted to be really classic and vintage, but I knew I didn't want a white dress or a veil (!), so kept it as classic as I could. We then had the traditional Yoruba dress for our second outfit and picked white and peach and bright coloured beads and accessories. Then browns and golds for the evening to make it more glamorous!"

How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"I had nothing to do with Ibrahim's outfit. He is great at choosing his own stuff, but he knew what style of dress I would like, so chose something vintage to complement it. We made sure that the groomsmen's outfits complemented the bridesmaids and Ibrahim had personalised cufflinks for him and the groomsmen."

Portraits of groom and groomsmen at Upwaltham Barns
Guests before the ceremony at Upwaltham Barns
Bridal portraits at Upwaltham Barns

Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle? And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
"My Dad. We walked down to John Legend - So High , which is a beautiful song and one that we both love."

Would you like to share anything about your vows? Did you tailor your own?
"We kept the legal ceremony and vows simple and traditional, because we did the Yoruba ceremony straight after."

Did you have any readings? If so, what were they and why did you choose them?
"No because we had the Yoruba ceremony with the traditions from Nigeria straight after. During this someone from each side of the family read out an engagement and proposal letter, Ibrahim and his groomsmen, me and my bridesmaids and our families all danced into the ceremony too!"

Wedding ceremony photographer at Upwaltham Barns
Confetti wedding photography at Upwaltham Barns

Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?
"We had Nigerian food and English food. For the English menu we had Moroccan chicken and vegetables, and for the Nigerian food we had various dishes including efo riro, beef stew, egusi soup, jollof rice and pounded yam. It was really important to us to have both types of foods."

Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
"We had personalised wine glass charms which I spray painted gold to match the theme and personalised bottle openers that Ibrahim's sister got for us -They had a cartoon version of us on them."

Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"The cake was huge with three layers of pillows and was half brown and half cream, as a play on us! We had different flavours in each layer. It was a stunning cake with peach flowers to match the theme. Everyone said how good it tasted too!"

Amazing wedding photograhy by Sussex Wedding Photographer
Yoruba ceremony at Upwaltham Barns
Yoruba ceremony at Upwaltham Barns
Yoruba ceremony at Upwaltham Barns
Wedding Speeches at Upwaltham Barns

 What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
"We did a routine so had a few different songs. We started off with Jagged Edge - "Let's Get Married", because that is one of my favourite songs, then Next - "Wifey" because I always said we would have that as our first dance, then "Mad Over You" by Runtown, "My woman My Everything" by Patoranking, and "Yawa" by Mayorkun - we wanted to have afrobeats too and do some traditional dance moves like shoki."

What was your favourite part of the day and why?
"It's really hard because we really did have so much going on! I would say: having my dad give me away which was emotional; dancing in to the traditional Yoruba ceremony with my bridesmaids because the adrenaline kicked in and I had the best time! But mostly us doing our first dance, we had spent many evenings practising it and I think the moment that we had danced was when we both finally relaxed and enjoyed ourselves!"

What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
"We were recommended by a photographer at a friends wedding. We really love all of our photos and how you managed to capture every emotion throughout the day, but still taking amazing photos."

Evening portraits of bride and groom at Upwaltham Barns
First dance and celebration wedding photography at Upwaltham Barns

On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
"I would say not give myself so much to do, but if I hadn't it wouldn't have been the Wedding that it turned out to be, and I wouldn't change the day for anything. Everyone has said how much fun they had and we both have amazing memories."

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"Probably don't get stressed, but everyone said that to me and I didn't listen! Ha ha!"

Are you looking for a wedding photographer for your wedding? Drop me a message by clicking here and tell me about your day.

The Suppliers:
- Bride's gown (Designer and boutique) Stella York
- Jewellery (Designer & Boutique) Mother in law!
- Shoes - 2 x Ted Baker and Jimmy Choo (3 outfits!)
- Perfume - flowerbomb victor and rolfe
- Hair Stylist - my close friend Tom hart from ghd
- Make-up Artist - Georgina chambers mua
- Florist - Becca's Bouquets
- Venue - upwaltham barns
- Cake Maker - Let it be cake
- Caterer - Peasher (Nigerian) nibbles 2 nosh (English)
- Entertainment - folly fresh MC, saxman Justyn and Dj Ozzy
- Videographer - base aura
- Photographer - Parkershots
- Honeymoon - travel counsellors (Jenny Igoe)

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