A Real Story of a Real Wedding: Kelly & Ryan at South Lodge Country House Hotel, Near Horsham in West Sussex – a documentary wedding photography approach
Being a wedding photographer the three things you always hope for are a fantastic couple, a picturesque wedding venue and perfect sunny weather. Kelly and Ryan’s Sussex wedding provided all three and ensure I was able to get beautiful wedding photography for them.
As you’d expect of a country house style hotel, set on the edge of the beautiful South Downs in West Sussex, the South Lodge hotel is a gorgeous wedding venue, near Horsham. With glorious sunshine bathing the 93 acres of grounds and woodland that surround the hotel, I knew the wedding day was going to be a very special one indeed. In fact, it’s days like this that makes being a Sussex wedding photographer so enjoyable.
I’d met Kelly when she was a bridesmaid at the Sussex wedding of Nicole and Eugene that I had photographed the year before. There’s no bigger compliment, as a wedding photographer, than to be asked to photograph someone’s special day after they have seen you in action at a wedding. It was the wedding photojournalism approach I undertake that had impressed them, as Kelly said, they weren’t a posy kind of couple and preferred their wedding photography to be natural and candid, documenting the real emotions and genuine moments of the day. Perfect for a documentary wedding photographer, like me, who visually narrates the wedding story in an unobtrusive and candid manner.
Arriving early at the hotel, with my trusted second shooter with me, we set about shooting the beautiful hotel grounds of the South Lodge, complete with an impressive wrought iron tree swing – camera candy for any kind of photographer, let alone a wedding photographer! As is normal when I am booked with a second shooter, I cover the bridal preparations on the wedding morning, whilst my second shooter has the privilege of covering the Groom’s preparations.
The bridal suite at the South Lodge is stunning – a large airy room that’s filled with lots of light and impressive views across the hotel’s grounds. Wedding photography in such a venue is a joy to undertake. The bride and her three bridesmaids were remarkably calm and relaxed, ahead of the wedding day to come. The room was full of laughs and excitement as the hairdresser and beauticians went about their easy job of the making the bridal party beautiful – providing lots of candid moments for a wedding photojournalist like me to document. Kelly looked absolutely gorgeous in her wedding dress – which took a lot of well-planned help to get in.
The civil ceremony at the South Lodge takes place in the Wordsworth Room on the “Poets floor” and takes quite a few twists and turns through the hotel from the bridal suite. Fortunately an official toastmaster – complete in his dashing red jacket and formal wear – was on hand to guide the bridal party down – again giving me plenty of wedding reportage moments to capture.
The Wordsworth room was full of beaming guests for the ceremony and triple aspect windows and patio doors, with a sun-drenched terrace beyond, allowed glorious sunlight to fill the room and lighten the smiles and tears I was able to photography. Once the wedding rings were exchanged, the first kiss enjoyed and the happy couple declared husband and wife the room erupted with cheers and applause – perfect fodder for wedding photojournalism!
The formal wedding portraits of the bride and groom took place in what is known as the South Lodge’s Secret Garden – a beautiful natural garden, rockeries and water features set within the Sussex countryside. This allowed for some beautiful wedding portraits of the happy couple. The formal speeches and toasts followed the wedding breakfast. After a moving speech by the father-of-the-bride we moved on to an emotional Groom’s speech by Ryan and, it would be fair to say, a few tears with it. Then it was laughs for the Best Man’s speech, all of which provided lots of natural moments and emotions for me to capture, as a wedding photojournalist.
After the cutting of the cake and the first dance, it was time for the guests to let their hair down and celebrate the marriage of Kelly and Ryan – a very special day for all concerned. Not least me as their wedding photographer. I’m sure you’ll agree it was a fun and beautiful day all round.
Part of my Wedding Stories series.
Getting married at the South Lodge Hotel near Horsham in West Sussex or elsewhere and are interested in my candid, natural and wedding photojournalism approach to your wedding day? Then lets have an informal chat about your plans. Call me on 07920 422144 or leave me a message here.
Here is a very small selection of photos from Kelly & Ryan’s real wedding story at the South Lodge Country House Hotel near Horsham in West Sussex. I hope you enjoy them as much I did shooting them! Click on an image to view larger version.
Documenting The Real Story Of Your Wedding. Never Dictating it.
My Wedding Stories show you a chronological selection of photos from throughout a REAL wedding day, rather than just images specially selected for a portfolio (us photographers love to do that.) After all, your wedding photography should be about your entire day rather than the very best images from the day. I hope this not only gives you a feel of a whole wedding day but also demonstrates how my wedding photojournalism captures the natural moments, candid emotions and real events of the day – without the need to set up or stage fake moments. If you are getting married and enjoy my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d really love to chat to you about your plans. Drop me a line here.
Or call me on 07920 422144.
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