sarah and dean's summer scorcher shustoke wedding
I'm going to start this blog by just discussing how much I absolutely bloody love this pair! They're the kind of people who make you wish you were a 7 year old again just to ask them to be your friends.
I met Sarah and Dean met at a wedding fair last November and then again in January in what holds my record as the longest initial consultation I've ever had (well over 4 hours for those of you who like their facts and figures). I was there so long their notoriously social awkward cat even came over to say "Hello" but it may have been more of a hint to get out of the house.
I knew before I even got them in front of my lens they would be absolute naturals and I wasn't wrong. With their wedding being held at the rural gorgeousness that is Shustoke Farm Barns I thought we'd go the total opposite for their pre-wedding shoot.
In the midst of an actual heatwave in Britain Dean and Sarah's big day arrived. The day started at the Lea Marston Hotel for Sarah and her bridesmaids getting ready. Rarely for the morning preparations it was all very calm and pretty relaxed with the only real drama was caused by me nearly getting caught by a sprinkler.
Once the bride was in her dress with one stunner of a flower crown I jumped in the car and had a lovely country drive to the venue.
Shustoke Farm Barns looked absolutely stunning for their big day. This is the kind of venue which is beautiful just on it's own but the gorgeous floral features suspended from the barn roof, the absolute STUNNER of a cake and the personal touches of decor around the venue just made a beautiful venue look even more incredible
With the guests seated and Dean waiting for his bride the string quartet began to play "At Last" by Etta James as the bridal party entered the room followed by Sarah and her dad.
You could tell from the get go this was going to be an emotional ceremony, and I wasn't wrong. The way these two look at each other would melt even the coldest of hearts and the reading from Dean's dad had everyone in tears (including me) but there were plenty of laughs as well while these two best friends said their vows and promised to spend the rest of their lives together.
"I pledge to you my love and trust. I promise to be ever honest and faithful to you and to share all that I am with you.
You are my best friend and I will always be beside you".
With the bride and groom upstairs with me to take advantage of the gorgeous windows upstairs in the venue the guests were treated to a Pimms and the gorgeous canapés the venue offers.
Even with a slight change to how we did things because of the sun being just too bright for the family portraits I still borrowed Sarah and Dean for their official portraits. Armed with the SPF and two mini fans to help keep them cool we headed out to the front of the venue.
Anyone will tell you how much I love a wheat field so we took FULL advantage of the gorgeous field at the back of this venue and this pair are just such naturals no guidance was needed at all. They just giggled and held each other close as I snapped away.
We then headed to the little avenue of trees to get a bit of shade. One thing I love doing during the portraits is getting the bride and groom to practice their first dance, not only to help the nerves for this happening later, but also it gives some gorgeous shots. Usually this leads to tender moments of there couple being close and intimate, but not with the now Jellicoes. Nope, Dean started busting some funky moves and Sarah couldn't help but giggle as he threw some shapes and spun her round.
Arriving back the room had been set and was ready for the wedding breakfast. Just gorgeous touches on the tables made them so personal and an absolute delight. The perfect blend tea bag and vintage china cups and saucers all inspired by Sarah's Nanna Rose were a wonderfully personal wedding favour for the guests.
As the guests sat for the meal I headed upstairs for my little break and to eat the INCREDIBLE food, the BBQ banquet that Shustoke offer is just out of this world and I need to know where they get their chorizo sausages from! As I heard the corks popping I knew break time was over and it was time to head downstairs ready for the speeches.
Both Dad's spoke first and kept it simple which laid the ground for Dean. Inspired by George Micheal he told everyone the full story of the couple's long relationship from their first meeting at college through to their wedding day. He also included a few embarrassing moments which got some great audience interaction!
The best men both pulled it out of the bag and, lets face it, gave Dean a right roasting in front of all their friends and family. From the second dust was blown off the speech Dean knew what was coming and cringed in preparation. From his inability to keep time well to a rather awkward pronunciation of the word 'dummy' he was in for it and it was all topped off by a life-sized cut out of a foxy air hostess was brought out.
Once the glasses were chinked for the last time the guests departed to gather around the gorgeous Olive trees in the courtyard whilst we did all of the family portraits.
The newlyweds cut their absolute stunner of a cake which, quite frankly, was the most delicious I've eaten. Three gorgeously decorated tiers of lemon drizzle, red velvet and cherry bakewell were lapped up pretty quickly by the guests, and myself! (See details of suppliers below)
We soon then got to one of my favourite moments of a day...the sunset was happening!!!!!!!!
After getting a few shots with the Aston Martins which delivered the groom to the wedding we headed down the little lane to the venue to get some sunset shots and my god they're a dream!
We were soon to the first dance and these two didn't pick a traditional slow dance to do the 'awkward shuffle' to. They were busting some shapes to Luther Vandross being sung live by their brilliant band and the joy of this dance just shows so clearly on their faces while they are dancing.
To finish off the evening they headed outside to toast some marshmallows and Dean was desperate to get a light trail of a sparkler. Whilst it's something I have done before, I'd not done it at 9pm on one of the longest days of the year, ie not dark! So a little creative thinking and we got it. I said my goodbyes and walked off, with a pork bap in hand, leaving all of the guests to enjoy the rest of their evening of this absolute corker of a wedding.
I just simply adored this wedding from start to finish and working with people like Sarah and Dean are the proof, if I needed any, that I've got the absolute best job in the whole world!
"Oh my love, a thousand kisses from you is never too much"