Karen & Sam were married in a gorgeous Rivervale Barn wedding a couple of weeks ago. I travel all over the country photographing weddings, but strangely I find that it’s sometimes the venues closest to home that are new to me. Such was the case with Rivervale Barn. Rivervale is located just down the road in Yateley, but, after 7 years of wedding photography it’s the first time I’ve shot there. I think it’s a bit like Londoners never doing all the touristy things until they have visitors!
Karen & Sam are wonderfully relaxed. Every time we met up ahead of the wedding I was pretty much guaranteed a huge smile, a hug, heaps of laughter and an exceedingly easy-going attitude. My friends often ask me when I had my last ‘Bridezilla’ and the honest answer is I’ve never really encountered such a thing (people are almost without fail awesome on their wedding day), but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an absolute pleasure working for people who are so incredibly chilled out.
We kicked off in the morning with Bridal prep at Karen & Sam’s in Ascot. Laura, one of Karen’s bridesmaids, was in charge of hair while Katie Moore looked after makeup. Mid-morning the wedding car arrived. The stunning Jaguar Mark 1 3.8 Litre racing car that you’ll see below has some serious heritage for Karen’s family. Karen’s Grandfather used to race it and her Dad rebuilt it some years back before it finally passed on to new ownership. You can tell a car means a lot when guests at the wedding are checking with me that I’ve got lots of photographs of the Jag! Needless to say it was a pretty unique and very cool choice. That said, I think Karen would agree that racing bucket seats are tricky to extricate yourself from while wearing a wedding dress!
In terms of layout, Rivervale Barn weddings work very well. There’s three distinct indoor spaces and this allows for plenty of space for ceremony, wedding breakfast and dancing without having to turn things around midway through the day. So, ceremony time! Karen followed her bridesmaids down the aisle, lead by two extremely sweet flower girls, and, when she arrived at the business-end looking suitably lovely, Sam did an excellent job of literalising the definition of the word stunning. In short he looked a little stunned – in a good way!
Without wishing to jinx things, we’re having a pretty great summer by British standards and once again we had fine weather for pretty much the entire day. We got out into the fields for some portraits and guests enjoyed the Rivervale Barn courtyard late into the evening. Despite a slightly over-zealous venue sound-limiter this didn’t seem to get in the way and everyone had a suitably rocky boogie late into the night. My thanks to Karen & Sam for having me. You guys were a treat to work for. Here are some of the best bits.