Newick Park hotel and St Margaret’s church in Buxted, both under deep blue skies and strong autumn sunshine last Friday and the day that Katy and David got married. David may be from Manchester, but the famous Mancunion drizzle stayed away and the lush Sussex countryside was bathed in golden light by the early evening.* My third visit to Newick in just over twelve months, and all have been blessed with blue skies – actually the two weddings there last year were too hot! The weather last week was the sort of weather you hope for in September, bright sunshine and not cold. What you also hope for are the clouds to stay away long enough to get that ‘golden hour’ light – which isn’t actually an hour – before the sun dips behind the Grade II listed Georgian country house. As you’ll see below, as if Katy had ordered it, the sun played ball!
The coverage begins in Her Ladyship’s room at Newick park, where Katy was getting ready. Then a quick shot with her mum outside – not strictly the documentary approach, but then Katy & David did give me the longest list of group shots I’ve been given in years. 😉 We got through a slightly abridged version later. ( There was also to be the suggestion from the driver for a picture with the wedding car as well as the posed up ‘signing but not actually’ of the register. I declined, however, the suggestion from the Routemaster bus driver for a picture of ‘the bride swinging on the pole’! …)
So then off to the church in the grounds of the nearby Buxted Park estate (itself one of Sussex’s premier wedding venues). If you get invited to a wedding in Buxted church, double check which one it is. St Margaret’s ( dedicated to St Margaret the Queen of Scotland?) was once in the village of Buxted, the ancient settlement of ‘Boc Stede’ (Place of Beeches), but in the early 1800s, Lord Liverpool ( Prime Minister ) bought nearby Buxted Park and decided he didn’t want this village on his land. He offered to build a new village but the villagers declined so he hit back by not doing any repairs. The villagers eventually left and by 1836 he had demolished all the houses – sounds like a great landlord! Just the church was left standing and a new Buxted village was formed a mile away. I wonder if the current PM could do this?
Katy and David hitched, vows said, rings exchanged, wedding candle lit, registry book signed (no pictures!), it was then the short drive back to Newick Park. Drinks, canapes and sausages on the terrace in the sunshine and before the meal, the first speech. Katy’s mother, Jenny, spoke movingly from the terrace. The other speeches, from David and Matt would be later in the evening, after the meal. It was during the meal that I asked – as I ask every couple if the light is good – for the newlyweds to pop out for some portraits in the sunny evening glow. Often the best light at a wedding is when everyone is inside eating. The light softens but you have to grab it if it appears – it waits for no one. ( I once had a groom reply that he was talking to his mother. By the time he had finished, so had the sunlight! ) Luckily the process is smooth at Newick Park, as the bride and groom can swiftly step from their table and out of the bay window, almost straight into the dipping sunshine. A few minutes of pictures, and the sun sank below the treeline.
With both the dining room and the library being used to seat guests, the speeches later were in the hallway. Lit by four table lamps, it has to be one of the darkest locations for speeches I’ve ever seen, but only went to demonstrate what the Nikon D4 can do in low light. So from the brightest of light for one speech to the darkest. Then it was time for Katy & David to lead off the dancing.
Here are few images from the day…
* I use this cliche about the Manchester weather, being Stockport born myself! 😉