Sam & Sophie's wedding day in November was a perfect combination of a rustic autumnal barn and cosy winter fire pit area complete with blankets and pillows. This was my first time at the Southend Barns in Chichester and I have to say.... wow! This has gone straight to the top of my ideal wedding venues and if you are stuck on where to have your big day this is definitely one to have a look at. (They even have resident Alpacas...!)
As soon as I arrived I could hear the sound of Beyoncé playing from the other side of the venue and it led me straight to the bridal party! They were having their hair and make up done in the stunning bridal suite, which is tucked away at the back of the venue behind a beautiful steal gate. Inside the suite the amazing pure white high ceilings with bare wooden beams across them run throughout the room and there is just so much space! The décor is amazing in this place! The bedroom and bathroom are separate but also look like they’re from a home décor magazine! I was in love with the amount of space I had to move around in and photograph all the little details from the fresh flowers hand delivered in the morning that smelt incredible to the intricate design of the fitted lace dress. The girls were so fun to photograph and the brides daughter absolutely loved posing as soon as the camera was near her. Just outside the door their was a stream like water feature which I just had to use as a backdrop for some photos of the bridesmaids in their 'Bride Squad' dressing gowns that matched their navy bridesmaids dresses they would be changing into later.
Back in the bridal suite it was time to get dressed and add the finishing touches, the father of the bride had arrived and was ready to see his daughter all ready for their walk down the aisle together. His reaction was so beautiful when she stepped out of the bedroom, it made the whole room get emotional. She looked stunning. Back outside there was just time to take some more photos of the girls with the bride before I walked back through the iron gate and to the ceremony.
This place is just breath taking, every room you go in has its own unique qualities. The ceremony room is nothing like any other venue I've seen before. It’s a long narrow room which is completely white except for more beautiful exposed beams all the way down the length of the room. The guests were seated on bespoke white wooden benches which really fitted in with the look of the room without making it look too cluttered or small. The beams were wrapped with foliage and the vintage desk at the top of the aisle was decorated with a long flower arrangement to match the bridal bouquets.
The nerves of the groom were growing as he stood at the top of the aisle for the moment they had both been waiting for. Finally it was time and the sliding doors at the back of the room opened to reveal Sophie and her Dad as they started their walk down the aisle. The ceremony was lovely, with some laughter and a lovely speech as well. This room was bright to light and I captured lots of intimate moments between the bride and groom to remember forever.
Outside we went straight into a confetti tunnel and everyone was organised to line the pathway outside the ceremony room. Everybody had a cone of real petals and thoroughly covered the newly weds in petals, it was a great laugh and got everybody relaxed for their group shots.
It was now after 4pm and the sun was slowly setting so I got all the group shots done before the sun had set and left us with a colourful sky full of purples and reds for some couple shots under the metal gazebo covered in climber plants. Whilst in the field it was so nice to have some time away from the guests to capture shots of the new Mr & Mrs Burrow.
Before we re-joined the guests I had been waiting for it to get dark to shoot a particular shot. When I see a particular part of a venue and get a vision of a photo I want to create there I just have to do it! Otherwise I just don't feel like I've completed the day. Remember the stream water feature I mentioned at the start of this blog? As soon as I saw it I imagined this shot and it worked out exactly as I wanted...
It was then time for the Bride and Groom to be announced into their rustic barn reception room for afternoon tea. The room had lovely lights wound around the pillars and the tables were simple but tied the theme in brilliantly with blush pink sashes to match the flowers and foliage on each setting. The minimalistic feel really emphasised how incredible this barn is without the need to fully decorate every wall and ceiling. In the corner the huge cake table was covered in personalised cupcakes with the main wedding cake towering over it. The main cake was a pale 'drip' cake that looked delicious, it was literally the icing on the cake when it came to the styling of this wedding.
The speeches were lovely and relaxed with, of course, lots of humour from the best men as well as a few nerves but they did amazingly at delivering a speech that would make the Groom proud and slightly embarrassed! The barn was cleared away to become the dance floor as the afternoon turned into the evening and the cake was moved to the centre so everyone could crowd round and watch them cut it. Once the cake was moved it was time for the first dance, they had a duo that sung their first dance song for them which was a really romantic touch.
It wasn't long before the guests joined them on the dance floor and the DJ took over.
The great thing about this venue is the different areas all close together. I was able to walk around and capture so many natural moments of people by the fire pits and on the sofas outside, in the barn dancing and over in the ceremony room with their young children. As the evening guests arrived everyone really let their hair down, it was a great party. After I had a good few shots of everyone's dance moves it was time for me to leave the wedding party to it, and I have no doubt in my mind that they were in for a great night!
This wedding was stunning. That's the only way I can describe it. Every detail was so beautiful and all together along with this venue it was like a real life wedding magazine.
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Thanks for reading!