Grace and Matt’s Swallows Oast wedding took place late last year.
I began the day photographing the bridal preparations in Hildenborough before moving just along the road to St John the Evangelist Church for the ceremony. When I arrived, Matt was greeting the guests and ushers were lighting the candles that lined the central aisle.
Grace arrived looking a little nervous but this is all very normal. I usually find that once the ceremony is over, it’s like a huge weight has been taken off the shoulders of the bride and groom and they are much more relaxed.
The church was good to work at. The vicar was very cool – I wish they were all like that. I was allowed to take up a position where the choir would go (not present today) so Grace’s entrance was shot head on. This position also works well for getting a last minute shot of the nervous groom too. Once the vows were over and a hymn was being sung, I managed to make a discreet exit out of one end of the church to the outside and then re-enter at the other end for a different view. If I hadn’t done so, I wouldn’t have spotted the waiting chauffeur propped up against the wall, refuelling on a can of Red Bull. I love these little moments.
When the ceremony was over, a long tunnel of confetti awaited the couple before getting in the car. This is always preferable to a bit here and a bit there, which always looks a bit sad.
It had been a couple of years since I last photographed a Swallows Oast wedding and it’s always interesting to see the changes that happen in between visits. The marquee on the side of the oast seemed like a new permanent feature and the woodland walk is longer than I last remember. We made use of this fairly quickly as the light was fading fast.
One thing that never fails to amuse me is the waiting staff following you around when you’re trying to get some shots of the couple. I don’t spend long doing these shots but it amazing how often this short time gets interrupted by a tray of canapés. I jokingly warned Grace and Matt that if they got stuck into the grub, I was going to carry on photographing. They were good sports and I really like this shot – I’m sure they do too.
This is the lovely message I had from Grace after the wedding –
“We had a long look at all the photos you took (twice) last night. Thank you, we absolutely LOVE them! You’re so talented. You captured the day so beautifully, exactly how we wanted, all the candid photos are our favourites… Thanks for all your help. I’ll be recommending you to my sister if (hopefully) she gets married!”
Swallows Oast wedding
If you’re planning a Swallows Oast wedding (or somewhere else), please get in touch. Most of my work is in the South East but I’m happy to travel anywhere in the UK.