Kat & Tom’s wedding at Preston Priory Barn, set it idyllic Suffolk countryside a few minutes from the village of Lavenham, was every inch the perfect country barn wedding. It was a joy to photograph! After photographing a little of the bride’s preparations at The Swan Hotel in Lavenham < drove the few miles to Preston and as I approached I could see the amazing hand-made signs letting the wedding guests know where to go.
The barn itself already has a great look, and it was only enhanced by Kat & Tom’s choice of wedding flowers, hessian-wrapped jars and other details. You could tell they’d put a lot of effort in, and I have to say they’d done it just right!Alternating bridesmaids dress colours were a great touch, and a beautiful classic Rolls Royce delivering the bride and her father.
A huge element of my work is being invisible and photographing the real atmosphere of each wedding, but after over fifteen years as a wedding photographer. I know the essential photographs to take, and the photos different family members will find important. No matter how arty I may try and be, or how discrete, or invisible I may be at many points in a wedding, I’ll always see the importance of certain photos. A father escorting his daughter to her wedding for example. The first kiss at the end of the wedding ceremony. And although it’s not the most trendy thing, the importance of including all the important people in the formal group photographs.
I love to get the formal photographs out of the way without much delay, as I’m sure everyone does, but I never want to miss anyone who’s important to the bride and groom. Some weddings three or four formal groups will do the job, other times The lists of combinations of people are more lengthy, but it’s entirely up to the bride and groom.
Preston Priory Barn has a gorgeous garden area, so, once I’d let the bride and groom spend a while with their wedding guests I stole away the wedding party and closest family, where I could arrange the smaller, more complex group photographs in minimal time, before returning to the barn’s courtyard to gather everyone else together for a large group of the wedding all together, and any friends’ groups they may require. This worked well, and very efficiently.
After another break with their guests I took Kat & Tom off for a walk around the grounds, to the garden and to the the fields adjacent, returning them in time for their wedding breakfast in the barn.
My photography continued throughout the meal with the speeches, then more of the casual, atmospheric wedding photography as the guests enjoyed their evening, up until the first dance in the evening. Just as I was about to leave I noticed the sun was setting, so I managed to capture a little colour in the sky.