Beaulieu Abbey Wedding Day - Chloe & Ben
I had so much fun at the wedding of Ben & Chloe, not only are they super lovely people but you can really see the love between them which makes me feel so privileged to be part of their special day.
The night before the wedding, after about 7 solid weeks of scorching sunshine we were hit by one of the biggest thunder and rain storms I have seen for a very long time. As fun as shooting in the rain can be it's obviously not the dream choice of weather for your wedding day, so needless to say I was very pleased to wake up to a much dryer day the following day!
I had a busy morning starting with the boys before heading over to the girls and then over to the magnificent Beaulieu Abbey. When I arrived to the boys, they were just cracking open the champagne and were all very relaxed. I only had a short time with them but that was plenty to get some great shots of all 9 of them! When you ask 8 groomsmen to lift up the groom like he's the bride you will not be disappointed... I better add that no suit trousers were harmed in the making of this shot!
Over with the girls it was just as a relaxed morning, everybody was sat down relaxing as the hair and make up team worked away. There was definitely not anybody running around in a rush! During prep photos I capture a lot of those little magical details that so much time goes into choosing. The shoes, the dress, the flowers, the hair piece, that all tie together as the bride makes her first appearance into the room wearing it all at once. And what a stunning bride Chloe made, I couldn't help but take her dress out to a beautiful rose trellis in the garden before she put it on because it was just perfect and definitely the dress for her.
The house the bride was getting ready with her bridesmaids in was amazing, with beautiful light pouring in from all angles. Whilst I was there two spotless old cars rolled up to the house, ready to take the bride and her party to the Abbey.
Watching those old cars make their way up the long drive to Beaulieu Abbey was like a fairytale moment, the sun was really shining at this moment too and the Abbey looked perfect as the brides car pulled up to the front gate. Inside Beaulieu abbey I had a Birdseye view over the ceremony and guests from the gallery. From there it is the perfect spot to capture the bride and her father make their way up the aisle to the groom, the brides train laid out behind her as she walked.
After the ceremony it was time to hand out the mass of beautiful confetti that had been hand dried by the bride and her helpers on the lead up to the wedding. The confetti tunnel ran all the way along the church path and there was not a shortage for petals that's for sure! Just as Chloe & Ben thought they were home and dry, some groomsmen hiding at the end of the line emptied what was left in the baskets over them, getting a great reaction from everyone nearby.
Some of you may know that Beaulieu Abbey has a hidden little gem of a place called The Cloisters behind it. Once the guests had gone on to the reception after the group photographs were taken the bride, groom and I made our way through to create some couple shots to remember. The Cloisters is old ruins joined on to the Abbey and it is perfect for photographs with bare brick walls and old archways. I absolutely love taking my brides and grooms away from the crowd of their friends and family for their couple photos because I think the moment is so much more real when you haven't got aunties, uncles and parents looking at you or distracting you with their phones and iPads as they take some photos too. I am absolutely up for everyone to get their photos of the day but it is also so important for that little bit of privacy and peace after the ceremony!
After we finished at the Abbey we headed to Lymington Town Sailing club for their reception and even though I have been in there before I have to say it really was transformed into a beautiful wedding venue. It suited them perfectly as Chloe is a professional sailor and I even spotted her name up on the wall inside! I had forgotten what a view the room had and as the main backdrop behind the people seated at top table it really was a feature in itself! The room was decorated with metres and metres of bunting across the ceiling which I later learnt was also hand made in their at home 'wedding workshop'.
Now the speeches... If you regularly read my blogs you will have read about how much I love the speeches. These didn't disappoint! With stories of drunken nights out and voicemails being left on the wrong phone I was loving capturing everyone's laughs and smiles about stories that some were hearing for the 1st time and some were probably hearing for the 100th time.
After the meal we went outside to do a few more shots on a jetty on the water, for a couple so into sailing I couldn't resist. We even got a beep and waves from the Isle of White ferry as it photo bombed across the back of our photo. Just as we were finishing on the jetty out of no where the heavens opened so it was a mad 2 minute dash back to the sailing club with the dresses train under one arm and a camera under the other!
The day flew by and before we knew it the cake had been cut and the first dance had been performed, after we snuck outside to the bandstand for one more little treat of a photo the groom performed along side his friends band for his guests and new wife. It was then time for me to leave them to the rest of their night. It was such a great day and full to the brim of beautiful moments between everybody that went.