Voting is open for the next round of Your Kent Wedding magazine … for Alex and Sam

I photograph fun and creative couples. Who work hard to ensure that their weddings are enjoyable for everyone … including their photographer!

I am delighted to say that Alex and Sam, whose wedding I photographed in June has been accepted as one of the entrants for this round of the competition for Your Kent Wedding Magazine’s wedding of the year 2017.

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The sneak peek of their great wedding at the Crescent Turner in Whitstable is here on the blog: Alex and Sam at the Crescent Turner.

It was a truly spectacular day and I would love to see their wedding featured in more depth … so get voting!

Click here and vote for Alex and Sam

And then, ask all your friends and families to vote too!

Jess and Johnny … a woodland wedding extravaganza with a Harry Potter theme and much, much more!

Jess and Johnny were married at Longton Wood on Saturday. Please grab yourself a tea/coffee/appropriate beverage because this is the longest ever “sneak peek” that I have written.

Jess is the daughter of a good friend of mine, Amanda, who runs Amanda Jane Wedding Design and who is a Kent based wedding planning specialist. Amanda and I have worked together over the last few years and I was delighted to have the opportunity to consult with, and then be booked by, this wonderful couple.

Coverage started at bridal prep which was incredibly relaxed. Make-up and hair was being completed, braids secured, eyelashes curled and I had the chance to get some great shots of the details of the day …

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Yes, that’s right, Jess’s “blue” was a necklace with a Ravenclaw motif … very apt for the Harry Potter theme!

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Jess and Johnny’s ceremony was planned for noon so it was soon time to speed across country to find Johnny and arriving guests.

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Jess had originally thought that she would be driven by her dad, after all, no-one would see the car anyway … but Grandma and Grandpopsie had other ideas and gifted her this beautiful Rolls Royce for her journey.

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Jess and Johnny are outdoorsy people. Their venue is a so called “dry hire” which means that the couple need to organise everything, from power to marquee … to toilets.

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Marty, who is a rescue dog, must have walked miles and was a real feature of the day!

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The ceremony was led by Katie Keen, from True Blue Ceremonies who I worked with recently at Leeds Castle and it was great to see her deliver a very personalised ceremony, unique to the couple.

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Jess and Johnny’s wedding rings were handed round to each guest, for a prayer or to “warm” them, closely watched by best man, Jason. I found this a very moving part of the ceremony, every single person was involved and the rings must have been singing with the well wishes and love.

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After ring exchange, Katie performed a handfasting ceremony, using climbing rope which was just perfect for this adventurous couple.

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Another unusual feature was the “money log”. Jess and Johnny had come across an example of this on their travels and wanted to incorporate it into their day (you can read an article about the reasons why here).

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As their wedding had a Harry Potter theme, it seemed only right that tables should be decided by the Sorting Hat!

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Each personalised place card had the seal hand stamped by our bride.

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The Famous Potatoes got everyone dancing and, even though there was a light shower, the dancing continued in the marquee!

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Oh Marty …

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As the light was slowly fading, we thought it would be an opportune moment for a stroll out with the bride and groom. Unfortunately Jess was stung by a nettle but quickly attended to by her new husband.

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And then there was more dancing!

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The cake, created by Claire at Delicious Occasions was truly spectacular. Every single flower and leaf was edible, crafted from the most delicate sugarwork. And it tasted amazing too!

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Toasting marshmallows and sneaky mallow pincher!!!

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And great entertainment from Mark, Faversham based caricaturist …

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Finally, the light was fading so fast that, in the romantic light cast by the Portaloos, the new Mr and Mrs Walker’s caricature was completed!

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So many wonderful suppliers:

Venue: Longton Wood

Venue dresser: Amanda Jane Wedding Design

Celebrant: Katie Keen trueblueceremonies.co.uk

Stationer: Designed by Brownings

Florist: www.theflowersmiths.co.uk

Cake artist: Claire www.deliciousoccasions.co.uk

Car: Steve’s Wedding Automobiles

Menswear: Lemmings at The Kent Wedding Centre

Bridal gown: Perfection Bridal Maidstone

Bridal gown designer: Justin Alexander

Caricature artist: Mark Thatcher www.markthatcher-design.com/

Marquee: Bohemia

Caterer: www.azracatering.co.uk

Acoustic guitar: Fred Clark

Barndance leaders: Famous Potatoes

Hair: RKW Hair

Makeup: Elizabeth Joseph-Love

A hidden gem and a sparkly couple … Juliette and Sam’s pre-wedding photoshoot

How the weather can change from one day to the next. As I sit here, writing about Juliette and Sam’s final wedding consult, it’s raining. And dark. And dull. Not so last night, when we met up at this lovely couple’s wedding venue, Elvey Farm, which is a beautiful venue nestled in the Kent countryside surrounded by farmland and amazing views.

I first met Juliette and Sam when I photographed Juliette’s sister Victoria’s wedding to Chris at Boys Hall. And what is great is that I get to see Stella, groovy grandma extraordinaire again!

Here’s a few images from our spontaneous shoot last night:

Juliette and Sam at Elvey Farm by Samantha jones Photography 02Juliette and Sam at Elvey Farm by Samantha jones Photography 03Juliette and Sam at Elvey Farm by Samantha jones Photography 04Juliette and Sam at Elvey Farm by Samantha jones Photography 05Juliette and Sam at Elvey Farm by Samantha jones Photography 06

It was my first time visiting this venue and I am very much looking forward to photographing Juliette and Sam’s September wedding.  And catching up with news from the family too!

I’m glad that you both found the session helpful and I am confident that there will be lots of jaunty banter throughout your wedding day xx

Nikola and Joshua … day of sunshine and showers {sneak peek}

I was recommended to Niki and Joshua by one of my brides, the lovely Heather, and I was so happy to be booked for this lovely couple’s wedding. We consulted, in depth, before the day so that I was clear what was important to them both. In particular, Niki wanted a shot of her and her parents walking her across the pedestrian crossing on their way to the church … obviously this would be weather dependent but Niki was confident. And rightly so. Their ceremony took place at Queens Road Baptist Church in Broadstairs and Niki’s flat is about one minute’s walk away – perfect!

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We met first at Niki’s hairdressers, Jagz, where the girls were having both hair and make-up done … which creative some fun images … and then we returned to Niki’s flat where final touches were made and a bit of crying was done …

Nikola and Joshua married at Queens Street Baptist Church with their reception at The Botany Bay by Samantha Jones Photography 02

And, as you can see, the weather was perfect to stroll across to the church.

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Josh was waiting patiently for his bride along with many members of their church. He did happen to point out to Niki that she may have been a minute or two late … something which he incorporated into his speech later!

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I love this gentle touch from a daughter to a mother … emotions often run high at weddings and Niki needed to take a moment before making her declarations … although at one point Josh quipped “You don’t have to go ahead if you don’t want to” which lightened the  moment hugely!

Nikola and Joshua married at Queens Street Baptist Church with their reception at The Botany Bay by Samantha Jones Photography 06

I love, love LOVE this signing of the registry image which, for me, shows how close this family has become.

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Confetti inside? Well, by this time, the heavens had opened and it was torrential rain! Thanks to Lynne who offered to clear up afterwards – it must have been quite a job!

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The weather forecast apps which we had been frantically checking earlier in the day were absolutely spot on. During the course of their delicious wedding breakfast at The Botany Bay Hotel, the skies cleared and we managed to find a few moments to go down to the beach for a few portraits. And it was totally worth it.

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Time always goes so quickly on a wedding day and all too soon it was time for Niki and Josh’s first dance which was choreographed perfectly and a huge surprise for all the guests (P.S. I knew … but I think I may have been the only one …)

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Thank you to Niki and Josh’s family and friends, including Laura (Niki’s sister and amazing organisational guru) and gorgeous Libby (and flowergirl Leah) who smiled beautifully all the way through and made the day truly wonderful to photograph.

I wish you much love, luck and happiness in your married life together and am delighted to have been a small part of your day.  I’m looking forward to editing and sharing your final images so that you can relive your wonderful wedding day again and again!

Hugs to you all, Sam xx

Sharon and John arrived in style for their Canterbury wedding … on a red London bus called Mabel with a real conductor {sneak peek}

I was delighted to be asked to capture Sharon and John’s Canterbury ceremony at Wellington House in Canterbury. Only short coverage was required but it was great fun from start to finish. The couple made their grand entrance, along with about half of their guests, on a Red London Bus called Mabel from YMS Travel. With a real conductor!

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The bus didn’t really break down …

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Wellington House is a great venue for more intimate weddings and, as a photographer, you feel really involved!

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We moved on to the Millers Arms where drinks and canapes awaited. Just across the road is the entrance to Sollys Orchard and the weir which incorporates the River Stour. It’s a popular cut through for tourists and locals alike but amazingly we had it to ourselves … for about a minute!

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The weather was just perfect and the orchard area provided just the right amount of shade for a few formals that Sharon and John had requested. And I do love this shot through the flowers … an intimate moment captured.

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I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with this lovely couple and their families and friends before they left for their mini-moon … congratulations to you both and I’m looking forward to sharing your final edits with you as soon as possible! Hugs Sam xx

Heather and Phillip – a Texan wedding at Leeds Castle

I was delighted to be booked, one day in advance, for Texas couple Heather and Phillip’s whistle stop wedding blessing at Leeds Castle. This was my first wedding at this iconic venue although, being local, we have visited a few times as a family.  I was recommended by the lovely Katie Keen of True Blue Ceremonies who I will be working with again this coming August.

It was fun and fast from start to finish!

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Heather’s mum, Julie, helped me orchestrate this wedding dress shot …

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And the weather was perfect to capture some guest shots just outside the castle. All of the guests were staying overnight and couldn’t hide their obvious delight at being at such a wonderful venue on such a beautiful evening.

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Flowergirl Kennedy had the most engaging personality and willing smile!

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And Heather looked truly stunning!

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I love this image as they walk down the corridor towards the chapel.

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Where Phillip and their guests patiently waited.

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After the blessing, we were whisked away by David on a golf cart for a tour of the grounds.

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As the couple were walking down the steps, the quality of light was great and this is possibly one of my favourite images from my time with Heather and Phillip. Graceful and gentle.

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We returned to the castle where the banqueting hall was ready to receive … but there was just time for a few more images. Inside the castle, the light was very low but just at the right moment, there was a shaft of light coming in from an adjacent room … and Heather just glowed!

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It was truly an honour to be a small part of creating images for Heather and Phillip and their family and close friends. I am sure that the whole experience will last forever in their memories. Who knows, our paths may cross again in the future … wishing you both a wonderful married life together.

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