Kayleigh and James were my final wedding of this decade. And it really couldn’t have been better. Knowing Kayleigh’s dad, Andy (who is a great friend of my partner), I felt almost part of the family. And when I met Kayleigh and James and they chatted through their plans and how there would be family coming from far flung corners of the globe, I knew it would be a fabulous day of celebration. They celebrated at Eastwell Manor which is a venue I know well and it was great to be back. Bathed in glorious sunshine (although the morning had dawned foggy, Helen the lovely co-ordinator at Eastwell was confident the fog would lift … and it did).

December wedding at Eastwell Manor

Once I started capturing the details of the wedding day team that Kayleigh and James had put together, I knew it would be fabulous. Kayleigh had mentioned that flowers were extremely important and, as they had chosen Emily & Me as their bridal specialists and Mama Feel Goods for their three (yes, three) wedding cakes and that Kayleigh had chosen a beautiful bridal gown from the talent that is The Bridal Boutique of Jules, I was onto a winner. The combination of these wedding professionals and the glorious setting of Eastwell Manor could only mean one thing …

Stunning, amazing, breathtaking …

bridal portrait black and white

Kayleigh and James had also mentioned that Kayleigh’s ring had some inscriptions on the inside … and it certainly did. Full of memories of happy days gone by … and absolutely tiny! But I managed to capture the words and dates …

wedding ring with inscription

And when I first saw James, he was ironing … in the past, I’ve taken on this job for a best man at one of my weddings but luckily the boys were extremely competent and fast …

Not a trace of nerves … and soon it was onto the ceremony which was held in one of the beautiful oak panelled rooms, bathed in low December sun. Kayleigh and James had a “first look” and this was the first time in ten years of weddings that I’ve had a bride and groom meet up before the ceremony and then enter the room together. I love a first!

The happiness that this lovely couple was feeling was palpable. Smiles, laughter, giggles and Kayleigh was in a hurry to get the vows made and to be married. Which made for some fabulous images. In fact, Kayleigh smiled all day. You’ll see evidence of that later!

The newly weds were blessed with the most amazing weather. Blue skies, and around 10 degrees. Which meant that their guests were happy to mingle outside on the terrace with welcome drinks and canapés whilst we worked through the list of formal images. It was great to have Jim Cattermole, toastmaster alongside, keeping everyone in check and orchestrating who needed to be in the photographs. We sped through them!

I was asked specifically to capture the image below. James and his best man Peter have known each other for a long time … and we wanted to recreate this iconic shot!

Winter weddings mean that I don’t usually get much time to spend with my couple outdoors … but we snuck away for a few moments and took advantage of the entrance courtyard at Eastwell (which was complete with ice skating rink …)

See what I mean about my lovely smiley bride! All day … ALL DAY!! But this post is supposed to be a sneak peek … so I’m going to finish up with an image from Kayleigh and James’s first dance. Their 11 piece band was Party Up who I had seen in action before at Jess and Chris’s wedding so I knew that the dance floor at Eastwell Manor would be full. No smoochy first dance for my couple, oh no, Kayleigh had her dancing shoes on and was ready to PAARTY!!!

What an amazing day. From start to finish, this wedding didn’t feel like working, it felt as though I was photographing true friends. To see so many guests come from so far afield, to listen to two beautiful poems read by a life long friend of the bride nearly had me in tears. The best man’s speech was epic. Trial by jury. Funny, endearing and beautifully put together. A true friend of the groom spoke from the heart.

Kayleigh and James, thank you for allowing me to share your day. The way that you look at each is electric. I wish you so many happy years together making memories and having adventures xx