When superstar wedding planners R and F Weddings contacted us to see if we were available to provide their client with Preston Court wedding photography, we were so excited. This fantastic family owned wedding venue in Kent has always looked stunning, with it’s unique touches from fairground memorabilia and a wedding glamping area on site, you know any couple who choses it must be a Lina and Tom raver up for a great time.
The perfect wedding venue
As Vanessa and her team know us so well, she knew that Natalie and Chris were an ideal couple for us and vice versa. Entrusting their planning to Vanessa as they live over in New Zealand, we immediately warmed to them when they came over to meet up and see the venue. These two are very special souls, grounded to the earth and mother nature, so they wanted an outdoor barefoot wedding amongst the bluebells. Preston Court also has bluebell woodland as well as the beautiful barns, so it was the perfect wedding venue for them.
Our coverage for Natalie and Chris’ wedding actually began the afternoon before their big day, as they had chosen a celebrant led wedding, which we are always on board for. After their civil marriage the day before, we headed into the Preston Court bluebells to capture the obvious aura of love these two were enjoying, and what a shoot it was. We’ll bring more of this to you in another post.
The next morning we had a heart breakfast at our pretty little AirBnb before heading off separately to photograph the guys and girls in neighbouring villages.
We had a great team with Natalie in the form of Kate Atalay on hair and Lydia Rae on make-up, both great talents who are easy to work with and lovely ladies! Natalie’s boho look was created with a stunning Jenny Packham dress, foliage crown and super comfy All Birds shoes. She sourced lovely knitted shrugs for her and her bridesmaids from Etsy which helped keep the April breeze at bay. Chris was equally handsome in a tweed three piece suit which added a flash of red from the lining. Chris was a very invested Groom, even creating the absolutely stunning wooden ring box for their wedding rings.
The barn at Preston Court was looking absolutely stunning on the day of the wedding. Natalie and Chris had originally hoped to be married outside amongst the bluebells but there was a bitter wind, the remnants of Storm Hannah, and so the decision was taken that morning to head inside. What a decision that was, how glorious does the barn look? With beautiful florals from Blubelle Creative, the barn felt cosy and perfectly brought the outside in to reflect our couple’s love of nature. Vanessa from R and F Weddings also provided some fantastic additional styling and a pretty circular ribbon sign to enhance the decor.
The couple decided that although they would not be barefoot on the earth, they still wanted to be centred to the ground and therefore shoes were kicked off as Natalie walked in. Their ceremony was conducted by humanist celebrant Karina O’Donnell, and allowed Natalie and Chris to take part in a series of rituals to celebrate their love, include their mothers presenting pictures of them as children. Our favourite wandering band Fiddlin’ About had serenaded everyone for the entrance, and then accompanied Chris’ father in a rendition of Elvis’ I Can’t Help Falling in Love, and left not a dry eye in the house, us included. It was a magical moment we will not forget in a long time.
An emotional wedding ceremony
Roll up, roll up
Our Preston Court wedding photography then continued with with all the fun of the fair! Guests were entertained with traditional fairground games as well as riding on Preston Court’s own carousel. We took the opportunity to join the couple on the carousel to get some natural yet intimate shots of them enjoying themselves. The wandering musicians played and the sunshine came out – it was perfect! The bluebells continued to give us a beautiful backdrop for the family group shots before we captured Natalie and Chris enjoying some quiet time together before the meal. These two radiate so much love and passion together, it truly was a privilege to be their wedding photographers.
A twinkling barn
Naughty details and choccy treats
As guests re-entered the barn for a super meal from Tayberry Foods, they were also treated to homemade truffles as favours and who knew that Mills and Boon books made great confetti? It certainly kept everyone giggling throughout the meal, until the sun broke through again, bathing the carousel in a gorgeous evening light more reminiscent of a midsummer wedding rather than April. There was such a super atmosphere it was a wonderful period of the day to capture.
Naturally we had to take our couple to see the sunset, and despite returning through the bluebell wood for the third time, the change in light allowed us to shoot some different portraits, with a more intimate feel. Natalie and Chris are totally loved up, and by this point feeling more in love than ever. How do we know? Because they couldn’t stop kissing and touching each other, and it was wonderful. No, not in that way… But in the way that it had complete trust in us as their wedding photographers. There was no awkwardness, and they were completely comfortable with our presence. Trust in your wedding photographer is such an important part of your wedding photographer choice, and we are delighted when couples display this trust to us in different ways.
We absolutely love shooting a ceilidh at a wedding. There is something truly wonderful about people throwing each other around the room, limbs in all directions, and adding in that people have usually had a few drinks it there too. The way to shoot a ceilidh though is not from the sidelines. You have to get right in there and dance around, through and in between everyone, occasionally copping a slap in the head but it’s totally worth it!
As their guests headed to the glamping tents onsite we took a few final moments to capture our amorous couple having a quiet moment at the end of it all. Thank you so much Nat and Chris , and of course to Vanessa Harness, for choosing us to be your Preston Court wedding photographer – it was magical!