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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

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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