NORTH DOWN ORCHARD, CREWKERNE SOMERSET - BATH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Hayley (a district Nurse) and Adam (an Aircraft Engineer in the Royal Navy) first met through online dating. Apparently their relationship almost didn't start as, according to Adam, Hayley was half an hour late for their first date in a country pub, and Adam was starting to wonder if he had been stood up, but then Hayley finally walked in, who insists by the way that she was in fact only 10 minutes late! They obviously got on though! In their spare time they both like the old healthy things of running, crossfit, and generally anything outdoors, and both say that their perfect weekend would be a trip away to do some hiking, while enjoying great food and drink in the evenings.
Hayley & Adam's wedding day started at The Crooked Swan in Crewkerne, just a stone's throw away from the church. Once I'd parked up, I did a quick lap of the church to pick out the best spots and then made my way to the girls. Hair and makeup were in full swing by the time I arrived, and Hayley was calmly sat chatting away to her Mother-in-law while the bridesmaids were being pampered. I could tell straight away that is was going to be a very relaxed morning, so decided to sneak away to get the detail shots of the dress and accessories. A short while after I headed back to the girls, where the final makeup touches were being done, and then the final few moment of hair being perfected. With hair and makeup finished, it was time for the girls to head up to their room and start thinking about getting into the dresses, signalling that it was time for me to step out for a few minutes. As it turned out, and as the church was so close, Adam and several of the guests had decided to meet in the bar downstairs, so that's where I headed.
Down in the bar I met Adam who was just putting on his boutonniere, before I grabbed him for a couple of portraits. Adam was equally as calm as Hayley, and looked relaxed as more guests made their way into the bar. One thing I remember from my time with Adam in the bar is just of Adam's mother, just after I'd taken a picture of them together, where I'd noticed she was becoming overcome with emotion as it was one of the only times she'd seen her boy in his No.1 dress uniform. The absolute pride on display through her joyful tears was truly heart-warming.
Back upstairs, and Hayley was in her dress and ready for the girls to do up the buttons, and this time Dad was in the room too. It was all starting to get a bit real for Hayley, who was starting to feel... a little nervous shall we say?! The girls did their jobs well and calmed her with some laughs and a little group hug, and finished helping her with her veil (albeit with some hesitation from Hayley about even wearing it!). I left the girls to it at this point and headed up to the church to check in with the vicar and capture some of the guests arriving.
As the time came, Adam headed inside the church. I waited outside and soon spotted Hayley with her dad and bridesmaids walking up the steps to the church grounds. As usual, I snapped a few quick shots of the girls and Hayley with her dad, then headed inside. I should point out by the way that Hayley was bang ontime! As I headed on inside, Adam was beginning to feel the nerves, but remained calm and collected. Finally the vicar made his way out of his chambers and once he'd spoken to Hayley, began the Ceremony. During the ceremony there were a couple of classic hymns, and a reading from Hayley's brother.
As the ceremony came to an end, Hayley and Adam walked up the aisle, absolutely beaming with Joy. As they headed outside, they were greeted by a ceremonial sword arch created by three of Adam's close navy pals and son, who looked like he was taking his role very seriously, but also very proudly lifting his father's sword in contribution; another heart-warming moment. As always, it was time to let the couple relax and catch up with all of their guests before lining up for the confetti. Confetti line done and it was time to head over to the venue; North Down Orchard.
North Down Orchard has been around for some time and is a third generation cider farm, with it's own Cider Barn bar that's open most Friday's offering some fantastic food, live entertainment and of course farm produced cider. They have of course now also started to cater for weddings, and this was their very first one! I feel truly privileged to be the photographer to showcase their efforts and hopefully have been able to give you all a little insight into what this fabulous, secluded, and rustic venue can offer future couples. They also offer glamping by the way.... but I suppose I better get back to talking about Hayley & Adam!
As usual I like to stay out of the way for the first twenty minutes or so to let the happy couple greet their guests and spend time with them, after all they are usually people that are important enough to the couple to be invited to celebrate their day with them. I use this time to get some details shots of all the little things that Hayley and Adam decided on to make the space theirs, from flowers to table plans, to simple name place cards, and anything else personalised. They put the effort in to making all of these decisions, so why not capture it forever?! Details done, we moved onto the group shots...
There weren't many group shots required this time (which I loved, so thanks!) so we quickly gathered the people required and headed up to the edge of the orchard where we rattled through them in a good time. As soon as the group shots were done, I left Hayley and Adam to get some nibbles (some delicious nachos with fully handmade tortilla chips from the Mexican chef) and chill for a few minutes before heading back to the orchard with the bridal party. The bridal party were ahipped back to the Cider Barn to start getting guests into their seats, while Hayley, Adam and I meandered through the rest of the orchard for some couples portraits before heading back to the courtyard so that they could be announced into the wedding breakfast.
Speeches were next, and they did no disappoint. The Father of the bride showing full pride for his daughter, and gladly welcoming Adam into the family, Adam's speech was genuine, honourable and full of gratitude, and Best man Dave's speech had everyone in stitches, and I'm glad to say there was only one or two of the old classic google jokes across the board!
Moving onto the evening, the light was fading so armed with a single off camera flash setup, I grabbed Hayley and Adam for some 'golden hour' portraits back in the orchards. As we headed back, just before the cutting of the cake & first dance, Adam changed into his evening dress suit. The cake cutting took place, and we moved onto the first dance, before the fantastic Tom & the Clementynes took to stage. Plenty of dance floor action going on, and just as the evening food was laid out, it was time to call it a night! The end to another long day (minus the drive home, and backing up cards when I get home), spent with another amazingly chilled but awesome couple. I love it and wouldn't change the way I do anything!
SPECIAL NOTE TO HAYLEY & ADAM
Thank you so much for choosing me to capture your day! You guys were super chilled and an awesome to work with. I loved every moment and was honoured to be your photographer, and of course the photographer to capture the first wedding held at North Down Orchard; it truly is a great venue! An awesome day full of heart-warming moments!
FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS
What were your highlights of your wedding day?
Every minute from start to end. We loved going out into the orchard in the evening to get some really personal shots.
How was working with me during your wedding planning stage?
Amazing - communicated throughout.
How was working with me on your wedding day?
Awesome! Wouldn’t change a thing.
Imagine you have traveled back in time and can offer yourselves (or others planning a wedding) a 'top tip' while planning your wedding or even on your wedding day; What would it be?
Despite all the stress leading up and the worry, all will be well on the day. Enjoy every second - it goes so quick!
Wedding Venue: North Down Orchard
Wedding Dress: Sassi Holford
Groom: Royal Navy Attire
Groomsmen: Moss Bros
Flowers: Cottage Flowers
Hair: Hair by Georga May
Makeup: Hannah's Beauty Parlour
Band: Tom & The Clementynes
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