Today I’m glad to share with you Emma & Phil’s wedding at The Long Barn in Hampshire. This wonderfully sunny, Long Barn Wedding was a day brim full of love, laughter and great memories. I first met these two a few years back when I shot Phil’s sister’s wedding at Greyfriars House on the Hog’s Back . As I said in my previous post, it’s always lovely to work with families multiple times, so my thanks go to Vicky & Paul for the kind recommendation.
Emma and her bridesmaids got ready at her Mum’s home in Beacon Hill while Phil and the gents began at their house in Haslemere. One of the questions new clients often ask is whether I am able to cover both the bride and the groom prep. I work alone for the added level of discretion it affords and it’s therefore a perfectly reasonable query. The answer is invariably yes. Provided you’re getting ready in relatively close proximity to one another and you’re willing to plan the schedule a little so things don’t clash, it should be absolutely fine! I popped over to see the gents around about mid-morning, as Phil was opening his card from Emma and handing gifts to his ushers. Phil is a police officer and the trip to see the boys also gave me an opportunity to see Milly. Milly is a vintage Met Police ‘Panda Car‘ that had been secretly arranged to take Phil to Church in a fashion befitting the strong arm of the law!
I was back in Beacon Hill in plenty of time to catch a lots more of Emma’s bridal prep. Emma wore a beautifully understated low-backed Mikaella dress and paired it with shoes from L.K. Bennett and a sparkly ribbon belt. Her look was extremely elegant and suited her perfectly. Emma’s ride to Church was in a gorgeous red 1952 Austin A40 Sports Tourer. It’s a car very close to my heart as we used the very same set of wheels on our own wedding day!
The ceremony itself took place at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Grayshott. The sun was shining when I arrived at Church and I found a beaming Phil outside chatting to his guests. Soon it was time to head inside and await the arrival of the bride. The Austin swept in, Emma emerged – looking incredibly graceful – and it was time to get these two mazzled! Emma was walked down the aisle by her brother Andy. I love the handshake between Phil & Andy as they reached the end. A fleeting moment but hugely meaningful. Whether you’re the Bride, the Groom or the photographer, ceremonies tend to fly by. They’re full of emotion and intensity and even catholic services, which tend to be a bit longer, seem to defy the normal passage of time. Before we knew it, Father McGuinness (who was ace) had completed formalities and Emma & Phil were heading back along the red-carpeted aisle.
Following the service, and confetti in the spring sunshine, Emma & Phil made their departure and we all piled into cars to follow. This was my first time shooting a Long Barn Wedding and I very much hope to get back there soon. There are many barn wedding venues in the South East these days and each has their own character and charm. That said, The Long Barn has to be one of my favourites. Firstly, it feels huge, but in a good way. It’s broken into two distinct levels – which stop it feeling cavernous – but even on a windy day, such as Emma & Phil’s, you can pack the place chock full of guests without it feeling overcrowded. Secondly, it’s run in a wonderfully relaxed, yet well ordered fashion. It feels like you might be at someone’s house rather than a wedding venue. Hats of to Kelvin at the barn for finding that happy medium.
The barn looked stunning. Lavender Hill Flower Company and caterers Kalm Kitchen, both of whom I really rate, had done a fantastic job creating a rustic English feel. I particularly enjoyed the hanging vases and the wildflower table centrepieces. With the weather sunny but rather windy, most of the drinks reception took place inside. No matter. Big windows let the light stream in and the styling kept everything feeling decidedly spring-like. Following speeches, which were fantastic, we snuck away for a few minutes of natural portraits in the evening sunshine. One of the great things about a Long Barn wedding is just how many great spots there are for portraits. It’s a bit of a photographic playground really. We were even joined by some super cute ducklings who were extremely intent on getting involved!
The evening was awesome. Emma & Phil’s friend Jethro Meyer looked after the music. A friendlier and more talented DJ you’d be hard pressed to find. There are plenty of questionable DJs in the wedding industry, but Jethro is not one of them. Emma & Phil’s guests offered up some truly excellent dancefloor antics and were still in fine voice come the end of the evening. Things wrapped up with a sparkler send-off before Emma & Phil hopped into the car and disappeared into the night.
Emma & Phil were brilliant and shooting for them was a real treat. Cheers guys, thanks for having me! Thanks also to Hannah from Kalm Kitchen for feeding me. Oh my yum – simply exquisite food! I hope to have another Long Barn Wedding to share with you soon enough, but until then, here are a selection of my favourites from Emma & Phil’s gorgeous spring wedding.