DIY Farm Wedding
John & Vicky first got in touch with me in April this year and when I saw their DIY Farm Wedding date was July 2017 I very much doubted that I would be free. However, as luck would have it, they were enquiring about my only free Saturday in July and I jumped at the chance to be their wedding photographer. I have been to many of the stunning venues that Staffordshire, Derbyshire and beyond offer but there’s always something special about weddings that people have decided to hold somewhere that holds a particularly special place in their heart. Drenewydd Farm, John’s family farm and the bride and groom’s house, is absolutely stunning and I can certainly see why they chose to hold their wedding celebrations there. The sweeping drive, the impeccably kept gardens and the beautiful house served as a wonderful backdrop to a really touching and heartfelt ceremony.
It’s always a good sign when the guests are greeted before the ceremony with pink bubbly, it certainly meant that they didn’t appear too worried about the looming grey clouds! The grounds of John & Vicky’s farm lent itself so well to guests mingling and greeting each other the celebratory atmosphere was in full swing even before the ceremony got going. Their guests all seemed to have chosen the brightest outfits which made everywhere look so vibrant and full of life – one happy photographer! When Vicky walked down the ‘aisle’ in her daring yet elegant wedding dress she really did have all eyes on her. John couldn’t hide his delight and the smiles that were on both of their faces didn’t leave the whole day.
Following on from the ceremony guests were treated to delicious canapes and summery drinks allowing the newlyweds to mingle and enjoy their first few moments as Mr & Mrs. I managed to steal them away for a few moments to make the most of the many different backdrops farms can offer for photographs. Barns, open brickwork, enormous doors, cows…. there really is a plethora of options for a photographer! Inside the marquee there was an outdoorsy and fresh produce theme running through, from the Alpine ski resorts map doubling as the table plan to the exotic fruit table centrepieces. Much like the guests’ dresses, the food was just the most amazingly vibrant array of colours all adding to the feel of freshness.
With the cake cutting starting procedures (probably best to cut the cake BEFORE too much alcohol was consumed considering the ‘knife’ that they were using!) the champagne glasses were charged and it was time for the speeches. Looking through the photographs that I take during the speeches is one of my favourite parts of any wedding and this one didn’t disappoint. There is such a range of emotions and feelings that are displayed throughout them and I love capturing people in their most natural reactions. The look that Vicky gives John at the end of his speech could melt even the most frozen of hearts (gosh that sounds a bit Disney doesn’t it! But it’s true!!!)
With one eye on the increasingly darkening skies, John & Vicky were easily persuaded to leave their guests to their puddings for another quick photo shoot in the adjacent field. I know I’ve said it a million times but I really love the couple photos during a wedding. Obviously, it’s nice to try to be creative with the knowledge that quite possibly something I capture at that moment is going to end up on a canvas on the couples’ wall for a very long time but also because it’s a chance for the newlyweds to talk to one another and really be themselves. Sometimes it’s the first time couples stop and take a breather from saying “I do” and it’s nice to be able to give them the excuse to do that really! Admittedly, I don’t always get to witness a full-on dance rehearsal for the first dance but John & Vicky definitely didn’t need much encouragement to get down and boogie – love the photos from that 5 minutes of madness guys!
Needless to say, when the time came to open the dance-floor John & Vicky absolutely nailed their first dance (I like to take some credit allowing them that last-minute rehearsal haha) and then the party really got started. Dance offs, tequila shots, photo bombing, arm synchronisation, ties round the head…you name it, it happened that night!!!
John & Vicky’s decision to have their celebrations at their home should have made it obvious from the beginning what their DIY wedding was all about but it didn’t truly hit home until one of the last outdoor photo-shoot of the night which was the newlyweds and their families. For John & Vicky it was all about family. The amount of laughter, smiles, good-natured teasing, hugs and kisses that were exchanged between John & Vicky’s families and friends during those photos really made me realise that this DIY wedding was always about celebrating what they already had altogether. And where better to do that, then their family home! You guys nailed it – John & Vicky it was a pleasure to be a part of it.