Angela and Ali renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary {sneak peek}

Yesterday was truly a celebration, joyful, full of laughter and a little damp … the weather forecast couldn’t make up its mind but it didn’t matter one tiny bit.

I had the pleasure of capturing Angela and Ali’s renewal of vows at the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone. In ten years of being a full time wedding photographer, this was my first and I was delighted to be part of it.

Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 01

Ali and their two sons look incredibly smart, confident and handsome … and the girls looked pretty great too!

Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 02

As we left the ceremony, the heavens opened but we were lucky to find a little bit of cover in the herb garden for a few images … Angela was so relaxed and didn’t mind at all being out in the rain!Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 03

The image pretty much sums this lovely couple up to a tee. They laugh. With each other. All the time. And the love they have is tangible.Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 04Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 05

And when a bride wears personalised, sparkly Converse, what’s not to love!Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 06

And this young lady in red is the wonderful person who put us in touch. Thank you Elaine and it was, as always, a joy to see you and your family. Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 07

Even the cake topper reflected the longevity of their relationship … and the sweetie cart was a huge hit with everyone!Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 08

You danced to your original first dance. And were applauded by family and friends, some of whom were at your original ceremony, twenty-five years ago.Archbishops Palace vow renewal celebration for Angela and Ali by Samantha Jones Photography 09

Thank you for being such an amazing, fun and joyful couple. I felt truly honoured to be part of your special day and it was wonderful too to take a look through your original wedding album … you’ve hardly changed a bit!

Here’s to the next twenty-five years! xxx

“We aren’t made of sugar” – Kelly and John’s wedding at Westenhanger Castle {sneak peek}

My first wedding of the year found me at Westenhanger Castle where I had met bride and groom, Kelly and John, at an open day last year. I was delighted when they decided to go ahead and book my services for full day coverage as it has been a while since my last wedding at the Castle.

I arrived to blue skies and Castle looking resplendent – spring seems to be taking its time to arrive this year and the weather has been somewhat unpredictable. Bride Kelly was determined to be married outside but on checking the weather forecast, it would be touch-and-go …

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography

John and best man, Martyn, arrived in excellent time and so we had a few minutes to get their portrait shots in the grounds. John is quite the joker and he and Kelly, who have been together for over three years, are a perfect match!

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 02

Another delightful little attendee at this wedding was flower girl, and daughter of the bride and groom, gorgeous Lily-Rose … she beamed and posed and was just full of energy all day!

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 03Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 04

Lily-Rose also helped out by handing the wedding bands to her mummy and daddy with the assistance of Martyn. She certainly stole my heart and I’m sure those of many of the guests.

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The weather had stayed fine long enough for the outdoor ceremony of Kelly’s dreams although it was a little windy at times. We took a few minutes whilst their guests were enjoying welcome drinks to get a few candid shots of the newlyweds as the clouds were beginning to gather …

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 08Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 09

The afternoon was spent eating, drinking and enjoying the talents of magician Neil Colley who certainly got some great reactions from his table tricks!

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 10

Now I’ve really had to cut down the amount of images for Kelly and John’s sneak peek otherwise it would have turned into the whole story of the day (which will come after my lovely bride and groom have seen their final edited images).

Westenhanger Castle wedding Kelly and John by Samantha Jones Photography 11

Huge congratulations to you both and thank you for making my year of weddings start in such a joyful and positive way. By the sounds of the disco as I was leaving Westenhanger, I would imagine that you all danced the night away!

Wishing you much love and happiness and I am quite sure that your wonderful sense of humour and fun will make each day wonderful! Love Sam xx

P.S. The reason for the title of this post … a phrase used by one of Kelly’s family when we went back outside for formal shots and it was spitting with rain … thanks to everyone who humoured my idea of venturing back outside – I think it was worth it!

P.P.S. Thanks also to Kelly and John for the white chocolate mice – I’m rather loving this tradition started by Kerry and Andy

Lorna and Nathan …their bright and beautiful wedding at Archbishops Palace {sneak peek}

Such a wonderful day. I was introduced to this lovely couple by one of the members of our local camera club where I used to be a member. And I’m so glad that I was. From start to finish, from an amazing welcome at bridal prep with mum Sheenagh who was just the most incredibly helpful and organised mum, to the girls in dressing gowns and family from New Zealand, to a groom who wasn’t showing the slightest hint of nerves … to the fun bus ride (including pokestops), an emotional ceremony at Archbishops Palace in Maidstone and a wonderful reception venue at The Plough Inn which had been turned into a festival extravaganza … to the ice cream van, the hot food cones, the smiles, the laughter, a few tears and gorgeous Ronnie … oh, it was a great day!!!

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Lorna, you absolutely glowed!

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And our handsome groom … see, no nerves!

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We took a few moments for some portraits after the ceremony in the herb garden right by the Archbishops Palace and the light was amazing!

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And who couldn’t resist this super handsome chap who wanted to be in all the photographs!

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We even got a sunset!

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You can see why I was smiling all the way home – what an amazing job I have, spending time with such wonderful people, capturing the love and laughter and creating memories for them to share.  I’m working hard to finalise your images but in the meantime, much love to you both xxx

Rachel and Michael married at All Saints on a gale force windy day {sneak peek}

You know sometimes how you look at the weather report and can’t quite believe what you are seeing?  Here in the UK we have had a glorious spell of weather leading up to Rachel and Michael’s celebrations at All Saints in Whitstable. But then it changed. Forecasts were for heavy rain, extremely strong winds and pretty rotten all round.

But the rain gods smiled on this fabulous couple. A mere sprinkle of rain after their exit from church … although, I must say, on arrival at Brogdale, their reception venue, it was a touch windy … but this detracted in no way from the smiles and joy that I saw throughout their day from them both and their families and friends.

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 01Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 02

One of the best “dad reactions” that I’ve seen this year!

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 03

Then off to church …

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Vicar Simon Tillotson has requested this shot in the past when I photographed Lydia and Peter’s wedding four years ago …

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 08

Grandpa was definitely on the list of “must get” shots and, at 99 years of old, was incredibly dashing!

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 09

And then off to Brogdale Collections near Faversham for Rachel and Michael’s reception … just look at the sky!!

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 10

We took a few minutes for some shots in the orchards, accompanied by venue co-ordinator Sara …

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And yes, you are Just Married!
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Tears flowed freely during the emotional speeches and all too soon it was time for the first dance … which Rachel and Michael excelled as and had obviously put in loads of practice!

Rachel and Michael wedding at Brogdale by Samantha Jones Photography 15

Thanks to everyone who made my day so enjoyable, to the bridesmaids for being amazing, to everyone for smiling, to the ushers and best man, Russell, who helped during portraits and for light holding.

And to the newlyweds, for having me along for an amazing day and for being such a lovely couple who are obviously so right for each other and who I wish much love and many adventures in their married life to come xxx

Sara and Ben – a fabulous short coverage wedding in Canterbury

I met Sara and Ben a few months ago at a wedding fair and they asked if I was available to cover their ceremony … I was already booked to photograph a wedding from 1pm on the same day … but they were getting married in the morning … and local to me and so we agreed that we could make it work … and we did!

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 01

I love this littlie shot … photography isn’t for everyone, you know!!! But I love that Sara joined in with the little ones too!

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 02

The registry office in Canterbury, in Wellington House, is an intimate venue and so I had the chance to capture the entire ceremony from very close in …

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 03

Such a cute little helper who handed the bride and groom their rings!

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 04

The weather, which had been beautiful on arrival, was starting to threaten rain so we got all the “formal” shots that we needed and then had a few minutes to get some bride and groom portraits.

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 05

Sara, you looked amazing!

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And all too soon, my bride and groom were being whisked off to their reception and I had to pack up my equipment and speed off to photograph my second wedding in one day!

Sara and Ben at Wellington House by Samantha Jones Photography 07

Congratulations to Sara and Ben and it was great to see you again and meet your families and friends. And I’m so glad to have been a tiny part of your day! xxx

First anniversary (plus a couple of months)

I can’t believe it’s been a year since Judy and Dave’s wedding at Pines Calyx. But when we met up again, it was far, far warmer, we were by the seaside (again) and Poppy came too.  Of course, she had lots of time to give love to Judy and Dave during the shoot …

Judy and Dave by Samantha Jones Photography 01

The meadows are in full bloom and Judy and Dave are working hard to create a wonderful environment for local wildlife to thrive.

Judy and Dave by Samantha Jones Photography 02

Judy also blogs about her experiences and I have found it quite fascinating to read more about their work:

https://walmermeadows.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/walmermeadows-tree-sparrow-project/

It was so lovely to spend time with you both again, and to meet Poppy, who is an incredibly agile Collie and certainly showed off her skills whilst I was there!

Poppy in action 01

I look forward to sharing the rest of your first anniversary photoshoot and hope to join you all many times in the years to come!

Working with toastmasters – are they just bossy?

As a wedding photographer, I have worked with a variety of toastmasters throughout the years.  I met Nikki and Jonathan Curran of Your Toast Masters a few years ago at a networking event and had a photoshoot with them at Solton Manor where you can see them in action.

But I hadn’t worked with them until Helen and Andy’s wedding at East Quay in December … and oh, they are really, really good at what they do. We liaised in advance with regards timings and Nikki sent me through an exceptionally detailed list for the schedule of the day.

Your Kent Toast Masters by Samantha Jones Photography 01

Both Nikki and Jonathan were professional throughout the day, looked incredibly smart and really helped me ensure that we captured everything on the bride and groom’s list without interfering with the smooth running of the day and importantly, kept us all to time.

Your Kent Toast Masters by Samantha Jones Photography 02

They were continually on hand during the day, helping guests with queries and guiding them in the right direction, whether it was parking cars, finding lost items or just generally helping out.

Your Kent Toast Masters by Samantha Jones Photography 03

They announced the running order, introduced speeches and cake cutting and got everyone in the right place for the first dance.

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I would have no hesitation in recommending this fabulous team to assist at any event, whether a formal evening or wedding.  You can find out more about them and what they offer here and you might even like to wow your guests with sabrage Sabrage Champagne …

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