Just a few short weeks before all of the chaos we're currently experiencing, I photographed one of the most calm and serene brides I ever have. Effortlessly graceful and naturally beautiful, Ellie was completely at ease.
Seeing Ellie and Kane together, I couldn't help but smile. Such a sweet, romantic, tactile couple, the day was filled with loving looks, shared giggles and sweet kisses.
I've known Kane for about 10 years now, but life happened and we hadn't kept in touch as much as we probably should have. So I was ecstatic to learn he's proposed, when he messaged me asking me to photograph his wedding! I was super excited to meet his fiancee and she didn't disappoint! We arranged most of the photography via messages and emails and not long before the Big Day, I got to meet Ellie in person, to run through all the details. Such a positive, bubbly presence - I'm not at all surprised Kane got down on one knee and popped the question! The day was held at the beautiful Southdowns Manor, in the heart of the Southdowns National Park. Ellie perfectly matched the surroundings, choosing a very natural look for the day - soft, but glamorous makeup, complemented by gentle curls that would make anyone a little envious - Just look at that hair 😍 Talented makeup artist and hairstylist Olga made this already stunning Bride look and feel just as beautiful as she is on the inside!
The morning was very relaxed, with just Ellie, Olga, myself and Ellie's gorgeous bridesmaid and sister Jess. We spent the morning in the dedicated 'Changing Room' at the Manor, chatting about Kane and their relationship. It was lovely getting to know Ellie more, whilst capturing genuinely happy and excited moments, as she spoke about their love for each other. Jess chose to do her own makeup, so the two of them were able to get ready at the same time and Olga could really focus on pampering Ellie. This also meant she was ready well ahead of time, so could spend some time with mum and dad, before walking down the aisle.
Ellie looked absolutely stunning in her strapless gown, dainty tiara and lace veil, finishing it all off with a gift from her aunt - a lovely heart pendant. Mum and dad both had a tear in their eyes as they saw their daughter in her dress, ready to marry the man of her dreams. As she saw herself in the mirror for the first time all dressed up, I said exactly what I was thinking,
- "Kane's a lucky man!" -
Ellie smiled as if to say she felt like the lucky one, but it was obvious from the rest of the day how blessed they both feel to have each other. She was clearly over-the-moon to be marrying Kane and if anything, her dad was more nervous to walk down the aisle than she was!
Ellie's parents are probably some of the loveliest parents I've met - They were both clearly so proud and just wanted everything to be perfect for their little girl. Her dad was worried about how to correctly link arms with his daughter as they walked down the aisle, looking to Kate, their brilliant Wedding Planner, for guidance. There are a few photos of his attempts in my gallery, that they'll be able to chuckle about together for years to come. Sweet little moments like that, which are easily forgotten without a photographer there, are why I love what I do. When I say I love my job, I mean I LOVE my job. It's always amazing witnessing some of the happiest days of my couples' lives, but there's something extra special about it when it's an old friend and I get to be a part of it. I've honestly never seen Kane as happy as when Ellie entered the room and I must admit, seeing both their faces light up brought a tear (or ten) to my eye.
Although Kane hadn't heard what I'd said to Ellie, after seeing her he looked over at me, beaming, as if to say
- "You were right, I'm the luckiest man alive!" -
which you can see in the Instagram post above. The ceremony was wonderfully informal, with a few laughs thrown in, so it all felt very relaxed and natural. But then, so did the whole day!
I've always preferred natural, candid photography - it's what I'm known for - because to me it feels more honest and authentic. However, I do tend to give a few small prompts during the portraits, to help get rid of any awkwardness my couples might be feeling - I'm sure we've all experienced that moment in front of a camera, where we just have no idea what to do. It's like when you're taking a selfie and someone offers to take the photo for you. You're grateful they offered, but then you stand there awkwardly smiling for what feels like forever, unsure whether they're taking a photo of you, or 100 prank selfies! 🤣 Well, that's exactly why I have a few little prompts, to put you at ease!
Saying that, these two didn't need any! They were just so easy to photograph, throughout the day. So clearly head-over-heels in love; always by each other's side, catching each other's eye and smiling constantly. Capturing those emotions is what I love most about what I do, so I was a little bit in heaven!
Despite England's rainy reputation, I've had a streak of good luck when it comes to Weddings and this one was no exception! I always take the larger Group Portraits first and whittle down to just the Bridal Party, so most of the guests were already indoors, but as I took the last photo and was ready to send everyone back inside for the Wedding Breakfast, I felt the first drop of rain hit my wrist. It poured throughout the meal, then the sun came out again and the guests were able to go back outside. Like everything else that day, it was fate! I took it as a sign the universe is definitely on Ellie and Kane's side.
After a cake cutting and first dance that made me forget there was anyone else in the room, we decided to sneak outside for some gorgeous night photos in the garden and under the pagoda, before I left them to enjoy their night together. Ellie and Kane's love is magnetic, seeing them together makes you forget how cold you are and lose track of time - I definitely stayed a little longer than I was meant to! It really was a wonderful wedding to be a part of - from the gorgeous bouquets of roses and purple daisies and the elegant lace detail on Ellie's dress, to the intricately crafted profiterole swans for dessert - the whole event was beautiful. A perfect fit for such a wonderful couple, both inside and out. You can see the video I created of the day below, with some of my favourite photographs. You can also join me on Instagram or my Facebook Page through the posts above, for daily photos and positivity!
Take care and stay safe everyone 💛
Wedding Cake: Teresa Prichard (www.partycakesalton.co.uk)