Sussex wedding photography
Rotherfield is in East Sussex & was the beautiful setting for Claire & Ben’s summer marquee wedding. I started at her parent’s house with the bridesmaids, before heading up to the Kings Arms pub to be with Ben. Having a drink at a local pub before going on to the church is a great setting for me to photograph as a Sussex wedding photographer. It can be technically challenging particularly because of the light, sometimes pubs can be brightly lit with daylight balanced bulbs, or very dark with only tungsten bulbs for light. Whichever way it is there’s almost always a great atmosphere & plenty of scope for great shots. People tend to laugh a lot in pubs so it makes for a much better setting to photograph the groom & groomsmen than when they are getting ready. I talk a bit about this in my blog post Getting Ready – Why I love this Wedding Photograph, if you fancy a read. I also get my first proper chance to photograph guests with lots of hugs & kissing as people turn up that haven’t seen each other for a while.
Rotherfield church was literally round the corner from the pub, so I grabbed my cameras & equipment & used quite a wide angle lens to photograph Ben & some of his groomsmen as they headed over. There’s something particularly natural photographing people as they walk. In a way, I suspect it’s quite hard to feel self conscious when you are moving, so getting shots of the guys as they walked together was excellent & really lent itself to the natural & relaxed kind of shots I particularly love shooting. Once over at the church I had plenty of time to get shots of Ben & his ushers as they made sure everything was ready & greeted friends & family. Claire arrived on foot having walked from around the corner, it was particularly good being able to get some shots of her in this way, most brides arrive by car & I have a very small window to photograph them as they get ready to go in to the ceremony.
Photos in a tree
After the ceremony we did some group photos & then Claire & Ben headed off in a vintage Rolls owned by Ben’s dad. When we arrived at the marquee for continued celebrations, in a field on Ben’s dad’s land, I was able to take Claire & Ben away for some shots along with their bridal party. When we had met up a month or so before their wedding to go through timings & look at all the locations, I’d mentioned how much fun it would be to get them both up in the tree in the field neighbouring the one with the marquee in. Without any hesitation they both said that would be great & we talked through what we would need to make the shot happen. A big ladder of course was top of the list, but what most concerned me was making sure Claire’s dress, from Fross wedding collections didn’t get snagged on the bark on the branch as she got up the tree. I suggested I bring along some canvas for them to sit on, but Ben said he had a sheepskin rug that would be perfect! Ben very kindly also agreed to clip some of the branches away from the particular branch I wanted them sitting on so that it would get more light to it for the shot. The shots were great fun, with not only Claire & Ben getting up the tree but also all the groomsmen too. It gave the bridesmaids a chance to have a good laugh at them as they climbed up!
Heading back to the marquee, we did a huge group shot with the wonderful landscape of East Sussex in the background. The location lent a lovely Sussex feel to the day with views out across The South Downs. After some confetti, everyone sat for the wedding breakfast with cattle tags as place names, particularly apt with Claire & Ben’s farming background. I headed off as the rain came in, though very few people noticed once they were in the marquee & about to start dancing with License to Ceilidh providing the music. The sun had shone for the part of the day that was most important. Claire & Ben were such a lovely couple to photograph, gracious & helpful throughout the time I was with them. I also have to say a thank you to Claire’s bridesmaids Alexandra, Hannah & Harriet, who made the day particularly fun.