All Saints Chapel – Cheska & Dave

Blue skies for the May wedding in Sussex

All Saints Chapel wedding in Eastbourne

A large chunk of Shetland came down to Sussex last week. They brought the weather with them – deep blue skies and hot sunshine. (I’ve never been to Shetland, but it’s how I imagine the weather in a subarctic archipelago, north of the Scottish mainland…..?)

Local boy, Dave, married Shetland lass, Cheska (Francesca), in the town that they met in – performing in pantomime. The venue was All Saints chapel, on the edge of East Sussex seaside town, Eastbourne. Formerly a nunnery, then an NHS hospital, with another well known local being associated with it…Theresa May’s father was the chaplain here in the 1950’s. The NHS hospital closed down a few years back. The main buildings became luxury housing and the chapel – with it’s neo-gothic interior, a wedding and dining venue. Get the architecture, without the religious bit!

Maid Marian, in Eastbourne’s panto that year, was marrying the new drummer that year. Their theatre producer friend had cast them for life.

Coverage here, begins at Wingrove House in the pretty village of Alfriston.  Cheska got ready with her mother and sister, before the big reveal for her father waiting downstairs. A short drive to All Saints (some frantic minutes looking for a parking space…) and guests were gathering in the chapel. Friends playing, singing, reading – the wedding ceremony went smoothly, before a confetti ambush on the way to the lawn. Then a quick trip to the beach – in the wedding car. The idea to get some quick portraits done there. Not the ideal time of day – the sun is high and harsh then – the beach full of semi dressed people, burning. So it may have looked odd to the onlookers (and well wishers in bikinis) but up onto a concrete plinth for pictures with the bride and groom – eliminating the messy background. Some quick pics , even a very cheesy pic in the car and then back to the reception and a magician. A magician, who is one of the cast in the show Dave is drumming for at the moment, in the West End, Girls.

For Dave’s nephew, the magician became an objective, to work out how he did those tricks! Then it was time to head in for the meal, after a Shetland toast. Speeches followed….all good but the best men, Dave’s father and brother, set a new benchmark. Very brave of them to sing in front of many professional performers, but this was comedy, at Dave’s expense, with a Rock Medley. Didn’t need ‘good’ singing, the lyrics were enough. Some drinks/pictures outside, tables cleared, the band setup – time for the ceilidh!! This is the bit they had been waiting for – with Cheska and Dave being part of this band – Licence to Ceilidh. More on this below….

So, here are some images from this sunny Sussex/Shetland wedding at All Saints chapel….

Card from the groom for the bride

Bride getting ready in front oif the hotel window

Bride getting ready

Bride getting ready - concentration

Bride and her mother

handing out the gifts

Wedding dress reflection

Wedding dress reveal for bride's father


Groom meeting the registrars

Bride helped out of the wedding car

Spotting the children

Groom waiting in the chapel

Scattering flowers on the aisle

Bride walks down the aisle with her ftahre at All Saints Chapel 

Bride and her father hug

All Saints Chapel

Friend sings during the ceremony

Getting that wedding ring on

All Saints chapel wedding

All Saints Chapel Eastbourne

Confetti run

Groom gets a hug from his sister in law

Granny and the confetti

Shetland flags

Bride and groom portrait on Eastbourne beach

Congratulations from sunbathers on the beach

Kiss in the wedding car

Women talking

Wedding magician

All Saints Chapel wedding reception

Pulling a nail out of the magician's nose

Laughing bride and groom

walking into the meal

Wedding speeches at All Saints chapel

Best Men rock medley

Cutting the wedding cake

Bride and groom kiss in the park

Bride and groom portrait in the park


First Dance

Have we met before?

As I mentioned earlier…Licence to Ceilidh – the world’s youngest looking ceilidh band!

Most couples who book me, I don’t meet until the wedding day. Occasionally a meetup in person before the actual wedding day but mostly just phone conversations or Skype. It’s a pattern I quite like. It was always struck me that people either get this style of wedding photography or they don’t. Those that aren’t sure, often want a meeting. Those who get it, often book quick – sometimes within hours of first asking if I’m available. Cheska and Dave booked me last April – the day after first enquiring. Just emails, no meeting.

So, roll forward to last August. This wedding in Hertfordshire – on another very sunny day. I’d eaten and went out, wandering the grounds, scouting for locations for portraits at sunset – it was beautiful light. I went back in to grab my cameras and a band was sat eating their meal. We nodded. Only when the blog post went up, did Francesca get in touch to say it was them! I then met Dave at this wedding in London and then Francesca again, just a few weeks ago, in Sussex.

Which got me thinking, as I drove to this wedding. If they don’t like their wedding photos, it’s going to be a bit awkward at some future wedding….??!!  Fingers crossed then!


[…] an expensive trigger, at £4.5K then for the A9. It arrived on the Friday, as I was photographing a sunny Sussex wedding, with the Nikon D5s. A brief play with it on the Saturday, I charged up the batteries and popped it […]

Fantastic photos, you all look beautiful, looks like a lovely memorable day for everyone. Looking forward to the Hamefarin! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Francesca Cottrell (Bride)

Thank you so so much Martin for the incredible photos- these are memories we will treasure forever and the photos reflect the day perfectly. Thank you thank you thank you!!! xxxx

These are just gorgeous. Shame one of them looks like I have no teeth on the dance floor! Lol xxxxx

Gillian Moncrieff

What gorgeous pics Cheska! You all look amazing and so happy! (Especially loving the mature ladies in swimsuits – made me laugh out loud!) See you in July! xx

These photos just made me cry!! So so lovely! Francesca you are so beautiful and so happy! Can’t wait to see you both in Shetland! Xxxxxx

Just beautiful!!! Boanniest peerie bride I’ve ever seen – looked a wonderful day – looking forward to the hamefarin !!! Xx

Well done Martin – beautiful photos of a beautiful wedding! You have caught the spirit of the day perfectly. It was a truly wonderful and memorable day. Thanks Peter Cottrell (David’s Father)

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