Emily & Chris

A serendipitous date and souls on sleeves

“Sarah is a wizard with the camera – she captured stunning shots of our wedding, the venue and, most importantly, the emotion. She was an organised yet calming presence who put everyone at ease on the day. We are SO glad we had her as our wedding photographer.” Emily and Chris

Emily and Chris did the best thing any couple could do for their wedding photos. 

Want to know what it was?

They were wholeheartedly themselves. They let their souls shine. They let their guard down. They let go. And the love and joy on their faces was a picture – literally. Their willingness to show and share their love with everyone was the greatest gift to witness and capture.

Equally remarkable was the love radiating from their friends and family. There was such an outpouring of love, support, and affection from every direction. 

And the best bit for me was not only being able to capture a true reflection of Emily, Chris, and their magnetic bond … but also how loved they are by their family and friends. 

So, before I share some photos, one piece of advice: Be genuine, be bold, be you. Maybe that’s only inviting people you feel safe to be yourself around, saying no to traditions that aren’t your cuppa, making unusual but truly personal plans… Because that’s where meaningful and authentic photos start.

Now, want to see how being yourselves translates into photos? Get ready to have your heartstrings tugged!

A date with destiny

Get this: Emily and Chris unknowingly picked the same wedding date as Emily’s granny. They were merrily planning away and it only came to light when telling Granny about their plans. How special is that?! So their day was layered with extra meaning and seemingly meant to be right from the start.

And they chose the beautiful Courteenhall in Northamptonshire as their venue. This was my first wedding there and I hope there’ll be many more! Want to know why? Find out what’s so great about wedding photography at Courteenhall.

A room with a view 

Emily got ready with her bridesmaids in The Pytchley Room which overlooks the pond garden, marquee setting, and church. She had a whale of a time looking out of the window to see Chris arrive, their guests walking across the field to the church, and suppliers busily adding finishing touches to the marquee. What a vantage point! 

The staircase and entrance hall made brilliant backdrops for photos of the final moments before she left for the ceremony. And the light throughout the house was divine.

Bride's dress hanging on a door in a country house bedroom corridor
Bride's shoes on a vintage wooden chest
Bridesmaids steaming the bride's dress
Bridesmaids in dusky pink dresses helping the bride into her dress
One bridesmaid doing up buttons on bride's sleeve while two other bridesmaids do up the buttons on the back of her dress
Close up picture of bridesmaid's hands doing up strap on the bride's shoes
Bride ready in her dress and veil looking in a tri-fold mirror with multiple reflections
Bridesmaids carrying the bride's train as they all walk down the stairs at Courteenhall house
Bride and her bridesmaids about to walk out the door at Courteenhall to head to the church

A village adventure

The church was a joy to work at with amazing architecture, lovely light and fabulous flowers. But none of that was a patch on the emotion oozing out of Emily and Chris. Just look at their expressions! Did you ever see a couple so happy and excited to be married?

After their ceremony, Emily and Chris came out of one door where we took some ‘just married’ photos, while the guests left by another door and lined the path ready for a big confetti exit. Efficient use of a 5-minute window to get some lovely couple shots! And then they led everyone across the field to the reception. This joyous walk was an unusual sight and fun to photograph, with everyone soaking up the scenery and enjoying the view of Courteenhall house (and the smell of delicious canapes) growing ever closer.

Courteenhall church with a blue sky behind it
Bright country style wedding flowers at Courteenhall
Photo of the back of the groom's granny's hat as she walks towards the church in front of her
Groomsmen outside Courteenhall church framed by the church door
Bride and her bridesmaids walking up the church path at Courteenhall church
The groom waiting at the front of church for the bride to arrive
Bride and groom making their marriage vows at Courteenhall church
Bride and groom smiling broadly as they make their wedding vows
Bride and groom hugging each other as they're pronounced husband and wife
Close up pictures of the bride and groom's facial reactions as they're pronounced husband and wife
Bride and groom looking back at the wedding guests with big smiles as the vicar makes his address
Bride and groom signing the marriage register at Courteenhall church
Bride and groom standing in front of a large stained glass window as they prepare to walk down the aisle
Bride and groom walking down the aisle at Courteenhall church
Bride and groom coming out of Courteenhall church door after their ceremony
Bride and groom laughing together by the church door
Detail photo of two flower-filled milk churns, the bride's bouquet in her hand, and the groom fiddling with his wedding ring
Bride and groom walking through a confetti line at Courteenhall church
Bride and groom walking through a wooden gate heading towards Courteenhall house for their drinks reception
Photo of the back of the bride and groom with Courteenhall House ahead of them
Bride and groom leading their wedding guests from the church through a field of long grass

An entire wedding in one gorgeous view

Emily and Chris organised champagne, canapes, and live music around the pond for their drinks reception. A real highlight was the view – the house on one side, the arboretum on another, a glimpse of the church across the field, and the marquee close by ready for dinner. 

And they wisely allowed enough time to spend with their guests and to have relaxed group photos. With a very intentional list of group photos and plenty of time, we took it slow. With time to chat as we went, so much love was exchanged. These weren’t just group photos. It was a wonderful chance to connect and make heartfelt memories with their most treasured people.

A wedding marquee outside Courteenhall house
Chickens strutting down a mown grass path with long grass either side of them
Bride and groom walking out of a sliding sash window door at Courteenhall with their marquee and church in the background
Bridesmaid arranging the bride's dress as she walks out of a sliding sash window door at a period country house
The bride and groom looking happy as they walk with their country house wedding venue behind them
Bride and groom toasting each other during their drinks reception
A view through a period sash window of a wedding drinks reception on a lawn
Violist playing for a drinks reception
View of a wedding drinks reception across the lily pond at Courteenhall
Close up picture of a flowering lily pad
Guests chatting outside a wedding marquee with the church in the background
Bride standing with her arms outstretched with Courteenhall House behind her - as if to welcome everyone
Brdeismaids arranging the bride's train for the group photos
Bride cuddling her bridesmaids
Relaxed group photo of the bride and groom with their bridesmaids and groomsmen
The groomsmen larking about as they get ready for a group photo
Bride and groom walking through the hallway at Courteenhall house
Bride and groom posing for a photo with Courteenhall house behind them
Bride and groom posing for a photo with Courteenhall house behind them

A night to remember

Emily and Chris had a marquee for the wedding breakfast and evening party. And it was a good job they did – because they would have brought the house down!

Whilst Emily and Chris followed some traditions, their day was also a delightful departure from convention.

They stood together to make a joint speech with heart and humour, followed by separate heartfelt words to each other which laid bare their profound connection and dreams for the future. They had everyone enchanted and in complete silence. It was like the rest of us were just part of the furniture.

And they showed their fun sides with a fast-paced first dance that ignited the dancefloor and had everyone on their feet.

I left that day feeling hugely fulfilled and reminded in no uncertain terms of why I’m a wedding photographer.

Bride and groom walking into their marquee for the wedding breakfast with their arms outstretched
Wedding table plan displayed on an artist's wooden painting easel
Country style flower table centrepieces for a marquee wedding
Black and white framed photo of the bride's grandparents and a sign that says they married on the same date
A basket full of miniature bottles of liquer wedding favours
Groom kissing the bride's shoulder as she throws her head back laughing during their joint speech
Groom holding the bride's hand as he speaks directly to her during their joint speech
Bride laughing as the groom speaks about her during their joint speech
Bride and groom doing eskimo kisses during their joint wedding speech
Bride and groom taste testing their wedding cake and giving a 'perfect' hand gesture in approval
Bride and groom doing a fast first dance
Bride and groom with their arms in the air doing a fast first dance
Groom kissing the bride's hands as they stand on a little wooden jetty over a lake at Courteenhall
Bride and groom standing on a wooden jetty with their hands clasped and arms stretched to the side at Courteenhall lake
Bride and groom standing on a wooden jetty on the lake at Courteenhall with a little rowing boat in the foreground
Bride and groom walking hand in hand framed by a gap between the trees in the aboretum at Courteenhall

Feeling the love?

If you’re planning a wedding at Courteenhall and would like heartfelt photos like these – and a relaxed photographer to take them – I’d dance at the chance to be there!

Credit where credit’s due

Photography: Sarah Vivienne (hey, hi, hello!) | Venue: Courteenhall | Church: St Peter & St Paul Courteenhall | Emily’s dress: Elyan by Rosa Clara | MakeUp Artist: Gabby Caswell | Church flowers & bouquets: Fieldgate Flowers | Marquee: T&L Marquees | Stationery: Papier | Catering: Lemon Zest