Buckle up because this Longbourn Barn wedding is going to knock your socks off. Anna & Al’s glorious celebration in the South Warwickshire countryside is one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever photographed. I’ve been shooting weddings for over a decade now and in that time have covered more than 250 joyous jamborees of matrimonial merriment so I don’t bestow that accolade lightly.
I hadn’t shot a Longbourn Barn wedding previously. Indeed it is such a hidden gem that it wasn’t even on my radar. Needless to say it now is and if I was getting married tomorrow, it’d be high on my shortlist.
Al’s Mum lives in Stratford-upon-Avon and therefore Al and the boys got ready at the family home. Anna was a short walk away in a great centrally located hotel called The Townhouse. One of my favourite parts of the morning was the all-hands hunt for a missing pair of trousers. I have no idea how they ended up being misplaced, but the search (which took place across Stratford and was co-ordinated via telephone) resulted in some hilarious images. ‘Pie’ – one of Al’s ushers and the owner of an extremely suspicious nickname – eventually located them and I love the look of triumph on his face as he careened down the stairs brandishing the offending article.
Anna wore a simple, yet very chic, sleeved Rime Arodaky dress. She is one of my favourite designers and many of my favourite weddings have featured brides rocking Rime. Once everyone was ready, we made tracks for the little village of Sherbourne. The ceremony took place in the beautiful All Saints Church which, the verger told me, is a smaller replica of Salisbury Cathedral. Anna arrived in a cool old Land Rover and was met by her bridesmaids. Anna’s girls wore off-the-shoulder lace pleat maxi dresses in a Casal Green. They chimed perfectly with the incredible style and palette of the day and looked superb.
Anna & Al are the sort of couple who seem to do everything very well, while simultaneously being extremely down to earth. Some of this undoubtedly stems from their dedicated devil-may-care attitude to life. Allow me to offer an example. Anna & Al have the same initials: AFH. Unperturbed by the possibility of light ridicule, they decided, early on in their relationship, that this alphabetical serendipity was best recognised in the creation of a logo. Yep, these guys have their own ‘couples logo’ based around their shared initials. Now bear with me a second. Firstly, it’s at least partly tongue-in-cheek. Secondly it’s a really classy logo! Thirdly, despite having a logo, these guys couldn’t be more affable if they tried – genuinely lovely people. In short, I highly recommend Team AFH!
Anna & Al and their excellent friends clearly put a huge amount of collective heart and soul into prepping their wonderful venue. They were onsite for a couple of days ahead of time and the results speak for themselves. Longbourn Estate Barn is near the village of Little Kineton. It is set in the beautiful rural landscape of South Warwickshire and consists of a long central barn, and spaces either side with adjoining rooms. The central barn was quite simply the best dressed space I have ever worked in. Green and gold everywhere, vintage filament lightbulbs by the wagonload and custom rigged hanging centrepieces adorned with hops suspended above an impressive array of banqueting tables. Real take your breath away stuff! It was an incredible introduction to Longbourn Barn wedding celebrations.
Anna had always wanted fireworks to feature on her wedding day. Initially it hadn’t looked possible, but Al is a man of considerable resourcefulness and a ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ mentality. He managed to covertly arrange a display and then sprang the surprise moments after the first dance. Cue great reactions all round and a truly delighted bride. Following the display, which was fantastic, everyone piled back into the barn for a brilliant night of revelry. The dancing was immense, there were a variety of entertaining stage-invasions and the whisky bar was so tempting that it only narrowly escaped my clutches!
As you’ll see from the photographs, Anna & Al’s Longbourn Barn wedding was an absolute corker. It looked simply spectacular, the style was sublime and the people were wonderful. My huge thanks to Anna & Al for having me, it was an absolute blast and I enjoyed every magnificent minute. I can’t wait to get back to Warwickshire to shoot another Longbourn Barn wedding soon!