Andrew & Sarah’s summer garden party wedding at Kelmarsh Hall

October 29, 2013

Here’s a big dose of summer and floral prettiness to brighten up a dull day.

Andrew and Sarah had a relaxed and intimate wedding at Kelmarsh Hall, one of our favourite Northants wedding venues.

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About Andrew & Sarah

Andrew and Sarah are two of the sweetest people you could hope to meet. Kind, gentle and charming. It was utterly lovely to spend time with them.

They’re both teachers, got engaged in Sweden and have a beautiful daughter, Harriet, who is Sarah’s mini-me. Two blonde beauties. Harriet loved being a flower girl; she was full of smiles all day long.

They invited just 30 guests, which included 10 children, to keep their day relaxed and personal, to give them quality time with their most precious family and friends. Their wedding was a time to get everyone together, to slow down and just ‘be’.

They planned their day around that one wish and with the littleys in mind as much as the grown-ups.

They kept the formalities elegant but quick. There were cupcakes, pizzas, balloon modelling, garden games, space to run and places to hide, seats (in the sun or shade) to enjoy a drink, meandering gardens, meadows and woodland to explore and stunning views of the countryside.

Andrew and Sarah did their day their way, only doing those things that were important to them, and it was a pleasure to be a part of it.

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Andrew & Sarah’s wedding style

Andrew & Sarah’s wedding was a very English celebration at Kelmarsh Hall, a country house wedding venue in Northamptonshire.

Sarah grew up close to Kelmarsh Hall so it had always been a part of her life. That and a love for the beautiful gardens there made it the only contender for their wedding venue.

The gardens and flowers were hugely important to them. Luckily they were blessed with beautiful sunshine in which to enjoy them. It was very windy too, but never mind, the sun shone brightly!

The gardens at Kelmarsh are well tended but have a natural informal beauty, not wild but certainly free, where you can feel part of nature. A style which suited their wedding perfectly.

Florist Miss Pickering designed bouquets and mismatched button-holes with a loose, hand-picked feel. Sprigs of lavender and plenty of gypsophilia carried the look on into dinner.

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Andrew & Sarah’s wedding photography

We planned the wedding photography to fit right in with Andrew & Sarah’s wish for a relaxed, intimate day.

The coverage started with Sarah’s arrival at Kelmarsh and ended shortly after lunch since Andrew & Sarah were leaving late afternoon for their honeymoon. This made it a shorter day than normal for me but that time was action packed with plenty to photograph!

A few special portraits in the gardens were important as were a few group photos with the guests but apart from that documentary wedding photography was the order of the day.

Andrew & Sarah chose a civil ceremony, which was led by my favourite Ceremonies Officer (hi, Tracy!) and there was a live pianist (hello, Lincoln!) who both really added to the atmosphere.

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After the ceremony the guests made full use of the lawns and garden games, enjoyed a drink overlooking the lake and generally had a jolly good time.

I had plenty of time to step back and people watch in order to capture lots of spontaneous and genuine moments alongside the ‘formal’ photos. Sarah’s request for lots of ‘detail’ pictures around the venue and gardens kept me busy too.

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Just before dinner everyone gathered in the Great Hall for Andrew’s speech. I loved the informality of it with some standing, some snuggled on the sofas and others cross-legged on the floor. Then it was into the Ballroom for a quick (to minimise the time the children had to sit still!) lunch before going back out onto the lawn for more drinks and afternoon tea.

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Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

  1. Think through your plans from your guests’ point of view. How will they be kept entertained? When will they be hungry? Are there parts of the day that might feel flat? Will it be hot? Will they be cold? How can you make it a great experience for them? Happy guests = happy expressions in your photos!
  2. Point 1 is especially true for your youngest guests. If they’re kept happy and entertained then their parents are more likely to relax and enjoy the day
  3. Choose a wedding venue that fits with how you want your wedding to be styled, or vice versa. Your photos will look better if everything coordinates and works together
  4. Concentrate on doing only the things you want to do. The day will whizz by. You’ll be glad of spending precious time on only the things that are important to you
  5. If you want a relaxed wedding and/or documentary wedding photography that captures the spirit of your day, then keep your ‘formal’ photos to a minimum. Yes, I know I bang on about this! I make no apology. It’s important :)

Are you planning a Kelmarsh Hall wedding?

Yes? Then we should talk!

But first, you might want to check out more of the weddings I’ve photographed at Kelmarsh and find out why I love it so much.

If you like the look of my work, please give me a yell :) It would be lovely to hear from you!

COMMENTS

2 Comments

  1. Mum on October 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Obviously this wedding appeals to me because of all the lovely flowers and gardens. I feel I could float away into the setting, as I Love so many of these photos, but what’s plainly obvious to me, all photos show how relaxing and an enjoyable time everyone is having. Nobody looking bored and going home early here!!!

    • Sarah Vivienne on November 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you Mum! The gardens at Kelmarsh are beautiful and look great all year round. You’d love it there, so much to see. X

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