Emily and Simeon at Barford Park Barn
A joyous, faith-filled ceremony and a ceilidh to remember for Emily and Simeon's special day.
There's an inevitable nervousness in a lot of brides that I meet, but there was a distinct sense that Emily knew what she'd let herself in for when Simeon first introduced us in 2022.
"This is my fiancé," Simeon had said with a smile. "She's agreed to help us out at the Doctor Who signing today..."
As definitions of love go, I could tell Emily understood exactly what marrying Simeon would involve.
It was an early start, as the couple were getting married in Simeon's home church in Southampton City Centre. A week before I'd sent them my Wedding Guide, setting out exactly where I'd be at each part of the day - and line one of the pack meant setting off at 0730 and the drive from London to Hampshire. There's always a bit of apprehension when I cover weddings and events a long way from home, but its never much of a problem if you give yourself some leeway. So, with plenty of time to spare, I was at the church as guests started to arrive.
The families that Emily and Simeon have built in their respective churches mean a lot to the couple - and faith, fellowship and the love of their communities were at the heart of the service and the promises they made. I often laugh that I've a serious flaw as a wedding photographer - the moment someone starts crying I go to pieces myself. True to form, as Emily appeared at the door to the church in her beautiful white dress from Cherished Bridal Wear, there was no hiding what that moment meant to Sim.
It was a lovely moment, with Emily letting her husband-to-be know that everything would be all right, and this was the start of the rest of their lives. The service itself was full of joy and song, officiated by Emily's pastor with a feeling this really was two families being brought together by a couple in love.
That family feeling was evident by the care and attention spent on every aspect of the wedding. Every aspect of the day was crafted with love by those close to the couple. The cake by Sarah, who also arranged the flowers with Katherine. Emily's gorgeous make-up by Arantxa and the hand crafted table decorations. Yes, there was even a TARDIS from Ben.
The reception was a 45 minute drive away and, as the congregation had tea and cake, I travelled to the venue to ensure I could photograph it in all its glory. Barford Park Farm is a beautifully restored 17th century barn with views over Downton church and water meadows with border the River Avon. The barn was decorated with hand-sewn bunting looked glorious but my first thought was it was awfully dark! Can you have light and airy photographs in a dark environment?
Of course you can. I use prime lenses specifically for this type of location. With my trusty 85mm and 35mm 1.4 lenses on each hip, they flooded the camera with light, meaning I caught every moment of the speeches and gorgeous meal, prepared effortlessly by man With A Pan.
When I talk to couples about a wedding, I give each a form which tells me exactly who they'd like photos of, so we can arrange formal photographs efficiently and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Emily and Sim outdid themselves, with a list ordered to ensure people could enjoy the day, and a best man in Tom who ensured everyone knew what they were doing. Gold standard and I'm going to bring Tom to every wedding I have! Thank you!
The night ended with a wonderful ceilidh provided by the Southampton University Folk Society and, with with such a joyous atmosphere, I drove home singing all the way back to London.
Thank you for inviting me to be your photographer, and I can't wait to share the rest of the gallery with you. Enjoy this sneak peak.
For laid-back wedding photography, taken with a smile, get in touch.