So...my little Sister got married, a big day for my family and it was fan-tastic! (Dad in joke).
When Jo and Tom got engaged last year I was super excited to photograph their day, I just knew it was going to be amazing and also how difficult it would be for me to completely sit back and not take any photos. My Sister asked me to be a Bridesmaid along with Tom's sister, Emily and six of her best friends, it was so nice to be involved leading up to the wedding and getting dressed up to party with the girls. The festival themed hen do was epic, 'Crouchella' had it all; festival wrist bands, games, activities and Butlers in the Buff ;) the girls had thought of everything and even the weather was perfect.
I've photographed friends weddings as a guest / Photographer and even a best friends as Bridesmaid / Photographer before so I'm no stranger to multi tasking however, this time it was lovely to sparkle a little myself. I enjoyed a few Bridesmaid luxuries, the wonderful Nic Courtney did my make up and fellow Bridesmaid Naomi did my hair along with Jo's and all 7 Bridesmaids in just a few hours.
With tin cans up-cycled as vases, beautifully hand written signs by Jo, plenty of colourful paper bunting and wild flowers, family and friends helped Tom, Jo and owners Rich and Elaine create Sturtlebury Barn's first ever wedding. Dad stocked the bar, Mum made the cake, decorating her many cupcakes with help from lovely friend Sue and a bottle of gin until the early hours the night before the big day. The cute barn with it's beautiful Devon Countryside backdrop not far from our family home, made for the perfect relaxed and original wedding, just what Jo and Tom wanted.
Guests arrived via a vintage double decker bus which only just made it up the steep and winding country lanes with help from friend and legend for the day, Liam. Despite weather worries, outside on the bank of the barn, the early September sunshine shone and Tom's Dad Nigel lead an emotional ceremony under his homemade arch.
This year has been an exciting year for my family with the arrival of my adorable niece Phoebe and Bridesmaid Jess walked her down the aisle. I watched my sister hold back her tears behind Phoebe's beaming face during the speeches and I hid a few tears of my own behind my camera.
We all know Tom loves his food so we tucked into scrummy Pulled Pork rolls from the local Rose Farm before the speeches began. Dad did not disappoint with his humble and accidentally funny speech and Tom, (in my Sister's words) 'a soppy bugger' just about got through his emotional speech. Everyone was spoilt with thoughtful gifts, including beautiful bespoke necklaces for the Bridesmaids made from coloured glass from Wembury Beach by talented friend Amanda Fowler. Bridesmaids Rachel and Liz stepped up to surprise everyone with a poem telling Jo and Tom's story with plenty of giggles and best men Fuller and Max's speech had the barn roaring with laughter and our glasses raised.
Jo and Tom seriously know how to throw a party! With so much going on it was hard to put my camera down, but believe it or not I did fight the urge to document every single detail and emerged now and again to join the party and to be in some photos myself (hesitantly). Highlights included the impromptu "Hey Jude" sing along sparkler exit, James Booker's moves on the dance floor, wood fire pizza from World Pizza (thanks for mine Amy xx) and the icing on the cake or should I say cream, had to be seeing my Sister's face splatted with cake, raising £200 for St Luke's hospital. Such a fun and thoughtful idea, I'm hoping it's inspired couples and would love to see lots more wedding 'cake smashes' next year.
A special big shout out thank you to Nigel, Liam, Max and Fuller for their help and to the wonderful Stacey for assisting me, with extra duties including stepping in to get some shots and taking on her biggest responsibility yet...getting the bride to the wedding!
'Jom's wedding' was perfect. Congratulations Jo and Tom and thank you for always supporting my work and allowing me to photograph your big day. Oh and congratulations to Sturtlebury Barn owners Elaine and Rich
on smashing their first ever wedding, they worked so hard and I hope to return to the barn for many weddings to come.
Emily and James, you're next and I can't wait!
Anyroad, enough writing, here's some pics. Love and happiness and happy birthday little Sister xxx
Venue: Sturtlebury Barn, Loddiswell
Flowers: Shelley Hutcheon at Oakenham
Bus hire: Carmel Coaches
Hog Roast: Rose Farm
Pizza oven: World Pizza's (Plymouth)