Helena’s wedding bouquet
I left home in Brighton at about 10.00am to get to West Stoke House in West Sussex an hour or so before Helena and Daniel’s wedding on Saturday.
I hadn’t been to West Stoke before, as a motorway pile up earlier in the week had disrupted my plans to do a pre-wedding visit. I like to know the layout of a venue before I start photographing a wedding, so I made sure I had over an hour to familiarize myself with the house, grounds and St Andrew’s Church, where the couple were getting married. The church and house are right next door to each other. I always like this sort of arrangement, it’s a lot easier for the guests and means I don’t waste time travelling between venues when I could be taking photos.
St Andrew’s normally has a no wedding photography policy, always a shame for the couple I think, and worth checking before you book your venue. On the day there was a visiting vicar, who kindly relaxed the rules a bit and allowed me to take a few shots without flash from the back of the church. Taking shots without flash has become more practical in the last few years, as camera technology improves, so I was able to get a good selection of the service and readings.
The weather was terrible, as it has been for the last five or six weekends, so I set up studio lights in the main house for the group photos after the wedding. Studio lights can be a bit of a life saver if it’s raining or your wedding is in the middle of winter. They give a much better light than a flashgun mounted on the camera and can be set up to give lots of different effects. The only drawbacks are that you need a large space to use them and setting up can take a bit longer. In this case the manager at West Stoke House gave me the use of a large unused room and I was able to set my lights up in the morning, ready to go when the ceremony finished. I also had a very efficient helper, thank you Judith, who rounded everyone up and kept things moving.
We had a lucky break in the afternoon when the sun came out for 20 minutes. I took the bride and groom into the gardens for some photos with some trees and a bit of the Sussex countryside in the background. Helena managed to get on and off the grass without her heels sinking into the mud and we returned to the house just in time for the wedding breakfast. I stayed on for the speeches and first dance and left half way through the evening reception.
Wedding photography throughout Sussex by Lucky Dog Photography