The British summer couldn’t
dampen Hannah and Iain’s big day at Bonhams Barn in Hampshire. Their simple, personal, rustic wedding went
ahead with an outdoor ceremony despite the dramatic looking clouds over head. Hannah was walked up the aisle by her father
to the sound of “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry played on our outside PA –
with a precautionary dustbin bag protecting the laptop! Iain was waiting patiently at the front –
Hannah was a little late – resplendent in his tweed suit, matched by the
Father of the Bride. The service was
conducted by an independent celebrant, and she made the wedding itself a
special occasion for all – and staying totally unflappable as the bridesmaid
had to run to the car for the momentarily forgotten rings!
This look was continued inside the converted barn, with hessian on the tables, forming pockets for the cutlery and even covering the mini kegs of cider to keep the guests refreshed. A naked wedding cake and a retro suitcase for cards and gifts completed the theme. Speeches preceded the food – a wonderful offering of burgers, sausages and lamb, with bowls of salad all served “family style” to each of the tables.
This very laid-back approach to the wedding not only kept the whole event personal, it also made it a dream from a practical point of view. With no crowded timetable to keep to, all the suppliers could be relaxed which in turns keeps the happy couple free of stress. I was pleased to provide a wedding butler service; bedecked in tails and just keeping an eye on proceedings – gathering the groups for photos, making an urgently needed cup of tea and liaising between caterers, bar, photographer and our Bride and Groom. The bar itself was outside – and was a converted split screen VW can, especially relevant to a couple who love a camper van!
With the meal completed, group photos finished off and evening guests greeted it was time (after Mum and Dad popped out to feed the dogs) for the last formal elements – cake cutting and first dance. The cake knife matched the theme, and the assembled family and friends enthusiastically joined in with the countdown – although they all balked at starting at 99! Ed Sheeran provided the music for the first dance, and the guests dutifully whooped and hollered at every mention of “The New Mr & Mrs Mitchell”. Joined on the dancefloor by married couples, unmarried couples and then everyone else Iain and Hannah truly had eyes only for each other – always a privilege to witness. A few songs later it was time for the Father-Daughter Dance, a mainly American tradition that is gaining in popularity in the UK. Hannah’s father has battled illness recently, but he was able to not only walk his daughter down the aisle, but also take her to the floor for a special dance to Michael Bolton’s “Fathers and Daughters” If anyone had a dry eye they didn’t after Bridesmaid Becky joined them as we invited all Fathers & Daughters to take to the floor. Both I and Sarah the photographer were unashamedly crying, hidden as we were behind the disco.
On with the evening party – no set playlist so the music covered everything from 60s to right now, lots of party because we don’t need to be too serious at a wedding reception! As always, it is important to finish a wedding on a massive high, so assemble the guests, make a throng around the happy couple and sing, clap, and see them off in style to “Marry You” – no quiet or old fashioned endings thank you!
A simple, rustic, elegant, personal and wonderful bespoke wedding, proving that you don’t ed to have a complicated packed day – its all about celebrating with your family and friends, and celebrate they did!
Congratulations to Hannah and Iain – the new Mr & Mrs Mitchell!
Photography on the Day - Sarah Elvin
Bar by Kombi Keg Surrey