Sussex country wedding
A Southend Barns wedding reception and little Earnley church wedding ceremony. Blue skies, turf and surf, a glorious sunset, family and close friends, a few drinks, plus a game of rounders – these were some of the ingredients for Dana and Ben’s perfect Sussex wedding on Saturday.
I met Dana and Ben last August, to discuss documenting their wedding. We met in a lovely country pub, at the base of the South Downs, on a stunning summer’s evening. The hope was that the weather would be the same for their wedding. Well, come the evening, the weather delivered! It was a perfect summer’s evening in May. Warm but not too hot. Perfectly still air with blue and golden skies, as a hot air balloon drifted silently over the party.
It was a local wedding for Dana and Ben – both church and reception venue just minutes from their home near the coast, south of Chichester. This would prove handy when the groom and one of his best men, dashed off in a car from the church with just minutes to go before the ceremony was due to start. There were orders of service to collect at the last minute. (They managed to get back just before the bride arrived).
The small grade II listed church, in West Wittering, dates from the 13th century and sits on a boat-shaped island of land, with perhaps one of the shortest churchyard walks for a bride I’ve seen. A simple, intimate church for a wedding ceremony. Once the deed was done, plus the hugs, the handshakes and the confetti, it was a short drive up the road to the Southend Barns wedding reception.
Southend Barns wedding reception
This Sussex wedding venue looked immaculate in the sunshine. The massive Threshing barn and the dairy form a courtyard, with a covered outside area to escape the heat (or any rain). But for pictures, it also has open fields nearby. Too bright and open in the middle of the day but if the sun would just set right and give us some evening glow…….. (it did!) 🙂
Meal eaten, speeches emotional and the “Mr & Mrs” quiz hosted by the two best men, revealing who was the most ‘romantic’ of the couple, there was time to relax in the sunshine before the first dance. But after the first dance, a bat-wielding bride led everyone off the dance floor, across the car park and into the field for a game of rounders. A game backdropped by the sun finally dipping below the horizon. Time to bring out a lens that you don’t usually find at a wedding, a 300mm f2.8 In fact, probably 95% of wedding photographers don’t own one – only those with a background in press or sports photography I’d guess? It’s only the second time I’ve used one at a wedding, normally it’s for football matches. But to capture those home runs…
The sun left, it was time to head back to the dance floor and party!
Here are a few images from this Sussex wedding day, a small country church and a Southend Barns wedding reception…