I have known George and Thom through mutual friends; being in similar worlds but never quite crossing paths. Back in 2021, they decided to book me to help capture their Wedding. This was going to be a little different that conventional weddings, for they had planned to get married *legally* before the day I was booked for. I am sure lots of couples (including myself and my fiancé) are looking at alternative ways we can say I do! On the day, this took away a lot of the pressure of the legal portion and simply meant they could enjoy their day, surrounded by their loved ones.
The theme for their celebrations was “Festival” and all things flamboyant, camp and fabulous! I took this totally in my stride by FINALLY having the confidence to wear my pink trousers! This was my version of festival meets smart!
We had meetings before the big day, both in person and over zoom, to chat about the plan for the day. This always helps both me and my couples to make sure we are always on the same sheet.
We were being hosted by the wonderful Stanford Farm. This was the first time I was ever doing a wedding at a venue twice, and what a venue to go to again! Another bright sunny day, with fun, relaxed people, incredible staff that go above and beyond and beautiful areas to take photos in!
Picture this: 14th of June 2023, the stunning venue all decorated by friend and family of the couple, tents over the grounds and a double decker bus, hosting the guests so they could stay over the night before (this ended not so well for some, as one guest ended up breaking his leg and going to hospital for the actual day, diagnosis was too much death-droppping, must have been partying too hard!)
I arrived to a lot of chilled out people enjoying the sun, no pressure whats-so-ever! I found George helping with the final parts of the set-up, working with the suppliers to help with the sound and making everything look tip-top! Thom was all suited up in a fabulous pearl covered suit (which I spent all day trying to figure out how to steal to have for myself!) They were both in their elements, seeing guests as the arrived and getting all kinds of ready. It was such a relaxing atmosphere; this was my first wedding since my camera had broken- using a different camera for the day, plus it was the first in a couple months, so it was a case of getting back into the swing of it all! But because everything felt in place and fun, the worries flew away.
There were friends getting makeup done, bright clothes and plenty of sun! A fab combo for getting everyone into the spirit! I managed to get some gorge photos of details the couple had considered.
TIP FOR THE DAY:Send a list to your photographer ahead of time, of what details meant the most to you, that you’d love to remember. This way, the photographer can ensure they are on their shot list, and captured for your gallery.
The ceremony itself was nothing short of emotional and memorable: All of their close friends came down the aisle, in a speedy and excited formation. Then, Georges mom (who sadly has passed away since the day) brought him down the aisle, something that I know meant a lot to all the family. An Adele song was playing, one that meant a lot to the couple.
Because the couple were already legally wed, they opted to have their friends run the ceremony, giving beautiful speeches of their own accord, whilst allowing time for both George and Thom to say their own declarations of love. I particularly loved how Thom quoted Paramore lyrics in his speech!
Group photos were so much fun -something I never thought I’d say! I chose a beautiful background of the dark barn wall to make everyones bright outfits pop. A main colour the couple loved everyone to wear in their close circle was mustard, as you’ll see from one of the photos, this looked so fabulous!!
Whilst enjoying my time with the guests, we proposed the idea of a spray bottle shot, something that has always been on my bucket list of shots. With the help of their friends, I managed to convince the couple to using one of their bottles for this shot! The final results were so epic and will be personal favourites in my portfolio, and hopefully in their gallery to share with their loved ones…
The first thing I saw was the iconic black barn walls, which were perfectly lit in the shade, I knew I wanted to get as many photos as I could there, whilst we had nice light. Not only did it perfectly match my style, but most importantly, I knew it would be super flattering for anyone who stood there!
I then got the couple to have a play on the swing, giant tractor that was near where the ceremony was held and, a personal favourite spot of mine, was a lovely patch of sunny grass and wild flowers, that I had my couple sit and relax in. I am so passionate about bringing my fine art background into my weddings; looking for that one beautiful moment where everything comes together.
I adored the soft, hazy light; truly feeling like a summers evening. I am keen to push myself to dedicating more quality time into my portrait sessions, giving myself enough pictures to make my couples happy. This also gives them some more time just to themselves, to take everything in. The day can be super hectic and go by so quick, so having this time away from all the busy-ness definitely helps!
Just when you thought they couldn’t do anymore in terms of epic looks, everyone whipped out a SECOND outfit, thats right! Two looks! It was so interesting seeing everyone go from colourful, but clique wedding looks, to pure part and festival vibes! George and Thom went for match cowboy looks, inspired by the recent Beyonce concert they got to go to *not jealous at all!* I adored the pink cowboy hats and loved how everyone stepped up and perfectly met the brief! Anything for the happy couple!
Food was supplied by K.K Catering, which was a stunning fish & chip supper, which I was fortunate enough to have some of- taste: 10/10! There was also a cocktail van which made unique cocktails, including Margaritas and Martini’s- If I could I would!… There were also around 9 speeches, of friends, family and the couple themselves sharing hilarious stories and moments from their lives. One of which included giant poster print outs of embarrassing moments in their lives; safe to say we both learned more and lost a bit of respect for them both at the same time! 😛
Then we had some interesting times involving bouncy hoppers!
The couple had a fantastic band on that gave a perfect balance of festival and country/nature vibes, like we were at Wilderness festival! It was great fun to see everyone get up, without any real prompts and dance their hearts out! We had such a great time celebrating diversity and pride, whilst not making that the centre of the day! (If that makes sense!)
Some details that I loved during the day.
- Easel’s with different concerts on them, for each table.
- The invites were sent out as virtual concert tickets
- The Mr & Mr sign that was on the grounds
- Homemade aisle decorations (bottles with colourful pompous grass!)
- Personal rings that meant a lot to each of them
- George’s family heirloom tiepin he wore
- The framed record, that had sentimental meaning.
- Danny Devito cardboard cutouts (naturally!)
Check out the reel I made of behind the scenes from George and Thom’s magical day: Click here!
To wrap up on this festival/wedding bonanza, it was an incredibly fun day of working with what we’ve got, to make the most of the time we get together: Using a camera that isn’t usually in my kit (but is now!) And using homemade styling and table decorations, to give a perfectly personal touch to everything! This made the day more memorable and meaningful, for everyone involved!
I loved the time I got to share with this wonderful couple- they totally deserved the magical day I was fortunate enough to capture for them. I was so happy when I got my wonderful review back from them, showing just how much my work meant to them!
“Tom is the perfect photographer. He was so accommodating, patient, fun and professional.He is so friendly, nothing was too much trouble and took requests from guests as well as us. All of our wedding guests were absolutely amazed by Tom and have not spoken highly enough of him. Tom captured our wedding perfectly and we could not be happier with the photo’s. The planning and care that Tom puts in to his work is incredible, he asked so many questions to make sure that everything we wanted was done, and it was. We could not recommend Tom highly enough, the best photographer we could have asked for.“-George and Thom Carter-Groves.