Wedding | Wise Wedding Venue – Tunbridge Wells | Jem & Chris
“They look AMAZING! I’ve sent the link to a few friends and everyone has said how stunning they are. So many people have told us how wonderful you were on the big day (as if we didn’t know already!) and everyone has been ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ at those sneak peeks on Facebook. You have taken some truly beautiful shots and we couldn’t have imagined the end result would be, well, as beyond perfect as they are.
We couldn’t have asked for a more fitting photographer for our magical day. We can’t thank you enough, Kate – you’ve been absolutely wonderful throughout this whole process!”
Where do I start? This was definitely one funky wedding! With its outdoor woodland ceremony with life-size sculptures of horses, a cake made of cheese, a genuine vintage wedding dress, the groom in a kilt and the men in jeans… this was an eclectic mash-up of traditions reaching between England, Scotland and America! I had to throw out the wedding guidebook and go with the flow on this one, there was always something different around every corner!
After getting ready, cool and casual Jem & Chris started their day with some photos together! We made use of the scenery close to their hotel and had fun staging some couple shots whilst marvelling at Jem’s amazing dress, a family heirloom from 1936 and which, of course, she teamed perfectly with Irregular Choice shoes to bring it up-to-date.
Their humanist-style ceremony took place in a pretty clearing at the end of a woodland path strung with paper lanterns at Wise Wedding Venue near Tonbridge, Kent. The guests were encouraged to actively participate by offering words of wisdom to the bride and groom. Their American guests were a little more forthcoming but I can totally imagine this idea catching on in the UK in the efforts that couples go to to really personalise their wedding. Indeed, it was a lovely touch and a very memorable idea.
There was a huge marquee for the meal and bales of hay set around the clearing and on the edge of the lake. Very romantic and picturesque, we were definitely at one with nature. I was relieved that it didn’t rain though as we would have missed out on fully appreciating this gorgeous location, though I doubt very much that it would have fazed Jem and Chris anyway, so chilled were they. We used the hay for the group shots as it’s always really helpful to make use of levels in photographing those ‘formal’ shots, though this wedding just goes to show that those post-ceremony shots of your family and friends need not be formal and traditional at all. In fact, we had great fun thinking of silly ways to pose! Photography can be much more than just about the final images.
Another amazing aspect of the venue is that there are a number of interesting additions to the woodland, notably, adult-sized tree houses with scatter cushions and armchairs and sofas hung as swings in the trees! I know, I know, I literally loved this whole idea! People enjoyed these mostly in the evening and some of my favourite images of Jem and Chris were in the shadows of the wood as they relaxed into their evening in a suspended sofa, which added a homely feel to this wacky but absolutely wonderful celebration. I was very honoured that they invited me to capture their day and I have no doubt they will be together for the long haul…
Jem and Chris have since had their legal ceremony in America. On a llama farm.
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