When Jason contacted me about his March wedding at the Guildhall in Faversham, I was keen to hear more. After an initial email and then a telephone call, I was booked and hooked by their story.
Graciela is Argentinian. They fell in love during lockdown. They’ve moved mountains to get to this point and it was the most wonderful celebration.
As a Faversham based wedding photographer, I love working in my town. Not only is it a stone’s throw from my house (I can walk it in 15 minutes so no worries about traffic jams), I also know the area extremely well. It’s a lovely market town with a Royal Charter (you should visit if you can).
Back to Jason and Graciela … bridal preparations were at the Sun Inn (we used to live two doors away) and the room is large and has natural light. Being such an old building, there’s lots of beams and centuries of history.
And Jason and Graciela were starting to write their own story. Jade and Layla were with the bride for her preparations and were keen for Graciela to get into her gown before they could make their way to the Guildhall.
Downstairs, the groomsmen and best man were patiently waiting for Jason to arrive. As someone who likes everything to be in its place, he had said to Dave, “I’ll be 15 minutes” and Dave told me confidently that this meant Jason would be a minimum of 40 minutes! We had time for some photographs in the shade of the Sun Inn. The weather forecast had consistently been for rain and Jason had even bought wet weather ponchos for the girls.
You know when you have the feeling that you’re being watched …
Upstairs, it was calm and serene. Graciela was in her gown and ready for portraits. It’s rare that I have time for many before portraits but, oh my! Graciela is a natural. Jason did mention that she is always photographing them together, making memories of their lives.
The gentle light from the window created a beautiful pool of photographic gorgeousness!
And then we were off. It’s under five minutes from the Sun Inn to the Guildhall and there was still no rain. And congratulations and rounds of applause from the locals.
Guests had arrived and made their way up the stairs to the Guildhall. Jason was sorting out the music and also the video. So very organised.
The entrance of the bride is always emotional and you can really see the emotion on Jade’s face here.
Graciela was accompanied by her brother, Carlos, and the groom’s son, Jamie.
This lovely couple have surmounted so many hurdles and there are so more waiting for them in the wings but this moment, celebrating here at the Guildhall, was timeless. They’ve added to the history of this iconic Faversham landmark.
Vow exchange proved to be an extremely emotional moment for Jason. Graciela smiled all the time, whilst wiping away a gentle tear.
Behind the couple, you can see the details of the mayors of Faversham. So much history.
After the reading of a poem, the presentation of the commemorative certificate and announcement of the couple, they danced and danced and danced down the aisle. And, when they got to the bottom, they carried on dancing!
Time for a few photos outside the Guildhall and a petal confetti shower … the sun was super bright by this time (still no rain).
The guests had been sent ahead to make themselves comfortable at Posillipo, which is an Italian restaurant situated right on Faversham Creek. The wedding breakfast would held be in the conservatory area at the front of the restaurant. You can see that it was market day in Faversham. In 1546 King Henry VIII granted Faversham a Charter of Incorporation, which included the privilege of a market three times per week. As Jason and Graciela were married on a Friday, the market was in full swing. You can see the Guildhall behind them, a stilted building right in the centre of town.
With the Shepherd Neame Brewery established in 1698, we have the oldest brewery in the UK.
Jason had a call from one of the guests. They had left their mobile phone at the Guildhall. Luckily the Town Hall was still open and he could get access. Jason, being Jason, sped back through town so I had time photograph Graciela even more! Jason can be seen in the distance, running back to the Guildhall.
I mentioned that it had been supposed to rain. What I didn’t mention was the wind. It was whipping through town and created a couple of “Marilyn Monroe” moments, especially for Graciela!
When we arrived at Posillipo, the guests were seated but we took a little bit of time to make some more portraits by the Creek.
Their love for each other is so tangible. Graciela has such a zest for life and her natural enthusiasm draws you in. I can understand why Jason is so captivated.
Graciela’s family were unable to travel but her brother, Carlos, had arrived a few days before and, despite not being a drinker of alcohol, had been introduced to the delights of gin …
It was soon time for speeches which took place after starters. My coverage was four hours and this fitted perfectly with the timings. Dave, the best man, presented a hilarious speech, filled with Jason’s misdemeanours over the years and a couple of interesting gifts for the groom too … and then it was time for Jason’s bride to be presented, formally to their guests and time for me to make my way back home.
Whilst it was tough to whittle down images to share in this blog post. Jason and Graciela have their online gallery already which they can share with family and friends and their set of fully edited images will be out to them on USB very soon.
Thank you both for having me along. It was the most joyful celebration and I was truly honoured to be a part of it. Working locally is wonderful too! The sun gods really shone on this lovely couple and I left to the sounds of laughter and love.
Wishing you both many, many years of happiness together. You truly deserve it xx
Graciela and Jason’s little black book:
Photographer: Samantha Jones https://www.samanthajonesphotography.co.uk/
Florist: Orchard Blooms Florist https://www.orchardblooms.co.uk/
Venue: The Guildhall, Faversham https://www.akentishceremony.com/venues/the-guildhall/
Bridal preparations: The Sun Inn, Faversham https://www.sunfaversham.co.uk/
Reception venue: Posillipo, Faversham https://www.posillipo.co.uk/