Steph and Andy’s beautiful Autumnal Wedding at the Tithe Barn, Petersfield, Hampshire
As I write this, we are in Lockdown 2.0. Only one of the weddings I was due to capture this year was able to go ahead (albeit 5 month late) and my thoughts are with those of you that have had to rearrange your special day. We don’t know how soon things will start to return to normal, and as I write I hope that i'm being mindful of feelings. But return to memories of celebrations gone by we can, so I would like to take you behind the scenes of one of my favourite weddings of the last few years, and a glimpse into their beautiful Deluxe Storybook Album.
When it comes to choosing a time of year for your wedding, it’s personal. Whether it is the first signs of spring, with daffodils and blossoms in bloom, summer with the luscious greenery and summer floral scents, autumn with its beautiful rustic colours or the wonder of a frosty winters day with the scents of mulled wine and spices, the flexibility of venues to be host both outdoor and indoor celebrations gives us so many options.
This time a year ago, it was Steph and Andy’s turn to say I do, at the beautiful Tithe Barn in Petersfield, Hampshire. With Steph’s eye for style and colour, together with Andy’s experience in the events industry meant their day was as unique as it could be, and they have agreed to let me share with you the story of their wedding, exactly a year ago today. A truly magical day, celebrating with their family and friends in a way I really hope we can return to very soon.
So I started the day with Steph and her bridal party at the Village Inn in Petersfield. The room was the perfect place to capture some portraits of Steph getting ready, and the little details such as the decorations and her pre-wedding gifts didn’t go unnoticed! Steph’s dress was from Bridal Indulgence, with a stunning headpiece from Seana’s Flowers to match her bouquet. There were so many lovely little touches, such as the date embroidered on her beautiful cream cowboy boots, and of course, one of the boots was branded with Andy, just like Woody was in Toy Story, a little nod to the couple’s playful love for Disney!
I continued the story with the Groomsmen, who were topping up on coffee and discussing the best way of attaching button holes (pin vertically down the stem by the way 😉) and keeping an eye on Eddie, the couple’s playful cockapoo. I wanted to include him in the story of the preparations, so he gave the rings a quick check before Best Man and brother of the groom Jonathan tucked them safely away. Then Eddie heads off for a groom before his portraits a little later on!
Then we headed over to Tithe Barn, where I wanted to capture the beautiful red colour of the building in the background on they driveway leading to the door. And this is the reaction I got when I asked them to stop and head back to me… the camaraderie of great friends simply shining through.
Inside, the venue was adorned with candles, and the wooden archway at the end of the aisle was handmade by one of the groomsmen. Seana once again added some magic to create a stunning archway to frame the couple, so very different from traditional pedestals and arrangements. And it suited the venue and ceremony to a tee.
There are key moments during a wedding service that I love to capture. The kiss the bride gives her father (or in this case her mother) just before she walks down the aisle. The Groom’s first look at his wife to be in the dress of her dreams. Their parents and Grandparents reactions to their wedding vows, and of course, the first kiss, before the reactions to seeing their loved ones as they walk back down the aisle. Having grown up in a family who worship in church regularly, I know that I must be almost invisible as I capture these moments, this is their special time affirming their love to one another in front of their families and friends.
The story continues outside with a huge group portrait of all of the guests, and guest of honour Eddie! I always try and keep a close eye on the VIPs, grandparents and relatives who are extra special to the proceedings and perhaps need a little extra time to move in to place. Seeing their grandchildren or godchildren get married must be a wonderful time, and their reactions to the celebrations are always lovely to capture.
We were fortunate to be granted permission to capture some portraits in this beautiful archway in the grounds, the stunning red leaves on the cottage behind were what caught Steph and Andy’s eye when they first visited the Tithe Barn. With Eddie in tow, we took a short walk down the lane and back, which lead to this gentle and timeless portrait of the three of them. Incidentally, this portrait has been awarded both Finalist in the Master Photographers Association South East Regional Awards and a merit in the National awards this year!
So back to the celebrations, champagne and canapés before the wedding breakfast. Steph and Andy chose to have the speeches first, and first to stand was the Mother of the Bride. Capturing Steph’s reaction as her mother played a recording that she had made of Steph singing Hakuna Matata from the Lion King (pitch perfectly I might add) was fantastic! Followed by Andy (who was so mesmerised by his beautiful bride that his speech paper caught fire!) and Jonathan, the thought the speakers put into their speeches was truly wonderful.
Then as coffee was served (along with home made Welsh Cakes), the band started to assemble, and before long it was time to cut the cake. Something different again, this cake was a Cheese Cake, assembled by Steph with cheeses carefully curated. And after the tossing of the bouquet from the balcony onto the dance floor, it was time for the first dance.
As evening fell, the evening caterers, Dough and Deer arrived to make individual traditional stonebaked pizzas for the guests. And after a sparkling group portrait, I said my goodbyes to the new Mr and Mrs Corbett and their families, leaving them to dance the night away as I and headed off with a piping hot pizza of my own. The best authentic Italian pizza I’ve had in a long time!
I want to finish by sharing with you some words that Steph and Andy sent me in their Thank You card, that really make my soul sing. This is why I do what I do. Have I told you recently that I love my job?!
"We just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you have done for us and our wedding! The amount of time, love and session that goes into your work is second to none. The memories that you have captured in your photos mean the world to us and thanks to you, we can enjoy them for the rest of our lives!"
So wishing Steph and Andy a very happy 1st Wedding Anniversary, and may we be back to celebrating weddings like this again one day soon.
With love, Rachel xx
Some of Steph and Andy's suppliers:
Steph's Dress https://www.bridalindulgence.co.uk
Dough & Deer https://www.doughanddeer.co.uk