“Thank you is not enough. The sneak peek pictures are fantastic and we are excited to see the rest. We loved having you there and you felt more like a guest than a wedding photographer. Our guests loved how professional you were and how you had a knack of just blending in and allowing them to feel comfortable when photos were being taken. We loved sharing our day with you and know that we made the right choice choosing you.
Thank you again (and again)”
….”We are so pleased with our photo album and have loved sharing it with family over Christmas. Thank you so much for all of your time and hard work from our first contact with you to the finished product”.
Secret Barn Wedding in Steyning
International teachers, based in Brussels – Katie and Shelly got in touch with me about a year before their wedding. They were friends of Ali & Nikki who’s fabulous woodland wedding I had photographed a couple of years prior in the Wilderness Wood. Katie and Shelly had some amazing plans for their big Secret Barn Wedding and it was great to get the chance to meet them (and Jasper their pooch) for a coffee in Brighton to find out more.
Katie and Shelly wanted a very laid back day, that didn’t necessarily follow the “traditional order” of a wedding day! (Excellent – music to my ears)! They also wanted Jasper included in the photos. (another big tick for me!) Jasper was going to be present for the day with a couple of outfit changes and an important dog role involving the safe delivery of the rings! Amongst loads of other fab details, there was also going to be a live choir singing (from Belgium), Shelly had upcycled some beautiful old chairs that had belonged to Katie’s late grandparents – with handwriting, these they wanted to be captured in their photos and they were doing bubble confetti!
The Secret Barn Wedding
Weddings at this amazing rustic venue set in the beautiful Sussex countryside are co-ordinated, catered and flowered by the amazing team from Petal & Feast. The Secret Barn only takes a limited number of wedding bookings a year. “we have no intention of turning this little slice of Sussex into a wedding factory”. I love that! The barn is old and rambling with original flooring and beams and loads of gorgeous countryside, and an orchard surrounding it. Oh and did I forget to mention, it is only a 5-minute drive from home!
The day started with weather warnings of severe wind in place so plans for the ceremony in the orchard were scuppered and everything took place within the Secret Barn itself, which worked out fine.
The girls and their merry team of helpers had been busy the previous day decorating the barn and surroundings with gorgeous handmade bunting, handmade signage and table settings. It all looked lovely and the flowers from Petal & Feast were breathtaking.
The wedding day started kinda back to front with the reception drinks followed by lunch then the ceremony. This all worked perfectly.
After the lovely drinks reception, scrumptious buffet lunch laid on by Petal & Feast it was finally time for Katie and Shelly to make their vows in front of their friends and family. ? After an outfit change in the field where the cars were parked, they were all set to go!
They entered together with glasses in hand! The marriage celebrant was Kate from Kate & Kate Celebrants and wow what an absolutely beautiful ceremony it was. Just about everyone’s eyes were leaking at some stage or other. It was heartfelt, humorous and real. Lovely. ???
Bubble confetti and choirs singing…
Shelly’s choir from Belgium along with her Dad on keyboard performed brilliantly before, during and after the ceremony. I was super impressed with them being a passionate choir member of The Rainbow Chorus in Brighton I loved the chance to see and photograph a choir!
The bubble confetti went down a treat and was such a lovely way to complete such a beautiful ceremony. Some of the pix from the bubbles were my absolute favourites from the whole day. For me, they captured the joy, excitement, love and buzz of the whole day.
Then it was on to a large group photo outside the Secret Barn. The rain and windy weather let up long enough for everyone to be able to spill out of the barn and enjoy some outside time. I then whisked Katie and Shelly and Jasper away for some lovely couple portraits in the orchard and fields next to the barn.
Then another choir performance and it was time to ramp up the sound system and get the party started! The girls decide to forgo a traditional first dance instead it was a mass first dance for everyone, which was great and then the dance floor was rammed for the rest of the night!
This wedding really was one of my faves (I know I say this about all of my wedding!!) but this one the setting was gorgeous, the windy storm behaved itself, Jasper the dog was lovely, the choir sang amazingly, it was a full-on emotional ceremony and two lovely, lovely brides celebrated in style with all their nearest and dearest.
Katie and Shelly’s tips for other couples planning a Secret Barn Wedding
“Don’t let others influence your choices – stick to what you both want. Remember what you want from the day so that you are able to look back on a day that you remember and enjoyed”
Well, girls, I think you hit the nail on the head. ?
If you are thinking of having a Secret Barn Wedding, in Steyning – please get in touch I would love to be your photographer!
Venue: The Secret Barn
Catering and Flowers: Petal & Feast
Celebrant: Kate Tym from Kate & Kate
DJ: Martyn Everitt