A wedding in England. I must be dreaming.
At the beginning of this year, I made a business goal of shooting an international wedding. I love love love to travel, especially if it’s with my sweet husband by my side. It has been on the bucket list for some time now, but it had become a strong desire in my heart. I didn’t know where to start, so I began to pray. In my head, I had envisioned something in Mexico with people I didn’t know. But God gifted me with something even closer to my heart: family. Sarah and I had been dreaming together the previous summer in New Hampshire, sitting on the rock outside the big house. She had brought Phil out to spend a week with our crazy fun family. With the way they looked at each other, we knew we would be seeing him again.
Phil and Sarah have many friends and family scattered all over both sides of the pond, so they decided they would put on TWO full weddings! The first in Lynchburg, VA (blog post coming soon) and the second in Hertford, England. My prayers were blown out of the water when she asked if I would consider shooting both weddings. Honestly, I can not explain to you the joy and satisfaction of this request. A wedding in VA seeing all my family and spending time together was beyond exciting. And then a trip to England a few weeks later to spend more time together and getting to see their lives out in Hertford! A dream. I’m actually wondering if perhaps it really was a dream and I’ll wake up soon! I was so thankful to have my husband, Nik, along second shooting as well so we could share the experience together. We got to be in a whirlwind of adventure and fun with our cameras in hand! We also took a day trip into London with our happy couple who let us use them as our models to shoot all day at various landmarks. Those photos are coming soon as well (I’m using them as my motivation to hurry and get some other edits finished before starting on those gems). I’m relishing in each of the processing bits so I can take it all in again. It feels like such a blur which is why I will not be limiting what I share today. :) This is a long one… no apologies!
Hertford, England. Sarah said she was so thankful to stay with the lovely, Jane and Harold, during her first years in England. Some of her most challenging and comforting times of growth in her life, she says, were spent here. And to have gotten to share it with the people she loves to celebrate her marriage to Philip was the perfect setting for this English Wedding. Sarah works with YoungLife and was sent there to do life with the youth of Hertford. She is an amazing director and it showed with all the love and support she and Phil have in this town. They came out to help and serve. The set up crew lined the tables and set the places under the marquee. They served the meal and cleared the plates. They worked all day long! I was blown away. And all the details were lovely!
Little Emily was such a darling. Granddaughter to Jane and Harold, she is nothing but smiles. Imagine, in her little British accent, telling anyone passing by about how her pinky toe popped out of her shoe. “Daddy, look!! (giggle, giggle) My li’l toe! It popped right out! Do you see it? Isn’t that funny? (giggle, giggle) Do you see my li’l toe? It popped out!” Her smile says it all. Joy lives all over her little face.
I was in such awe of Sarah’s lovely dress and especially her beautiful accent circlet made by the talented Kelly Spence. This piece she named Prudence after Sarah’s mum. :) I did a blog post just for the piece itself. See here. The flowers were gorgeous as well! The color pop against the dresses was perfect! A woman Sarah knew did them for her and they lasted for days! We ended up using one of the bouquets in London during our shoot a few days later! It hadn’t even wilted! Lovely!
The ladies made their way to the church which was literally a stone’s throw away from Jane and Harold’s home. Down the driveway, across the street and into the church we went!
The music was underway, the guests were seated and the ceremony began promptly. There was joy everywhere! Such laughter and happiness! The music was so perfect and I wish I had the ability to replay that piece they walked down the aisle in my mind again. The violinist was extremely talented and Harold, an amazing musician, was at the keys. Philip was all smiles as Sarah and Allen came prancing down the aisle. :)
There was so much beautiful emotion as we celebrated the marriage of Phil and Sarah! The songs of worship were lovely and it was so perfect to have everyone singing together.
Could they be any cuter?! Goodness gracious! Outside the church having a moment and then I got caught with a look of Blue Steel. :)
Such a lovely church!
I just want to take a moment to give some much deserved praise to my most amazing husband. After the ceremony, there was a reception where people greeted Sarah and Phil and got to celebrate with them. Then, it was back to Jane and Harold’s place for the dinner and reception there. The day was full and he left the church reception to go get Starbucks for those who needed a bit of a pick me up. I’m amazed at his kindness and thoughtfulness of others. Anyway, thought people should know.
These bench photos are sort of a “thing” between Sarah and her Daddy, Allen. Just before Allen and Prue came over to England to visit Sarah, people would ask Allen what he was excited to do while visiting. His response was to sit on a bench and look at Sarah. He didn’t really care about anything else. So they have a whole album of them sitting on benches all around England looking at each other. So it seemed only fitting to get a few good bench shots on her wedding day. :) Second wedding day. Hee hee!
We explored the gardens and brought the immediate family around with us. And of course, sweet little Emily was leading us about the grounds as she had been here many times before. :)
These gardens were simply stunning. I could have played all the live long day in them, exploring and photographing each new corner. But we needed to get on to the party!
This may seem like an odd thing to do, photographing the toilets? But in the states, our “port-o-potties” are typically a one stall toilet seat. I was particularly impressed with this traveling “port-a-loo” which arrived towed on a vehicle which read “Service to her Majesty” which we all thought meant the queen had used this potty! :) HAHAHA! It was the running joke that we needed to use each stall so we could say we used the same toilet as the Queen! Ladies and Gentleman were connected which had framed photos, carpeted floors and hand towels. I was quite impressed. :)
Harold is a classic English gentleman and I LOVED his witty expressions along with his fantastic apparel. Jane is lovely as ever. She is an amazing hostess and keeper of the grounds. She makes the most delicious meals, fixes the tea, tends all the gardens, and is there to help with anything anyone needs at a moment’s notice. She is stunning!
During our little gathering out on the lawn, someone yelled to me and Nik, “Take a selfie!” I got so excited I took it on my phone so I could send it home over FB to all our family. What a fun part of the day for me and Nik. :)
Phil had some really close mates from college and they just love each other. :) Phil is trying to carry all of them just like they all carried him.
While we were in England, I was always hearing new ways to say certain things. I love the differences in language and was fascinated by it all. I overheard him telling his friend goodbye and I thought I heard, “Take care of my bike.” In reality, he says super fast, “Take care, mate. Bye!” I still would like to part ways on the phone with my friends the first way.
The lovely Kelly Spence with Sarah and Prue, and the headpiece “Prudence.”
Also, we got a pic of all of us Americans. :)
The “first dances” were lovely as well, a bit more relaxed this round. I think the parents were having a VERY fun time. :) Allen was lip syncing his heart out with Sarah as they spun circles around the dance floor. Dawn and Phil put on a very fun surprise dance rather than the traditional slow dance. They really busted out all the moves.
We had the honour of listening to Jazzbomb with Sam Chaplin, who also happens to be Harold’s very talented son! If you’re hoping for an AMAZING musical atmosphere, get on the waiting list to have Jazzbomb come to your wedding! I thought these dance light colors were fun, harnessing my inner Andy Warhol. :)
Nik and I had such a fun filled day. I can’t even believe we got to be a part of it all. What a true gift! If you made it this far, thanks for enjoying these photos with me! :)
Accessories and Veil Design: Kelly Spence
Shoes: Freya Rose
Dress: Sassi Holford purchased at The Bride in St. Albans
Flowers: Elaine Youngman (bouquet and church display)
Catering and servers: David Maidment and Younglife Crew
Ceremony: Hertford Baptist Church
Live Band: Jazzbomb
Chairs and Tables: The Scouts