There’s something special about having your wedding in the South Downs National Park. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty just south of Horsham (where I’m fortunate enough to be based) and spreads from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex.
I must admit though that when I was first asked to photograph this wedding and the couple gave their reception venue as ‘The village hall in East Dean’ I wasn’t expecting much; I’ve been to quite a few weddings in village halls in my time and although many are lovely there are a few that leave a lot to be desired. So I did a little research on the village and hall, as it’s not a regular venue of mine, and quickly realised that I had been past it many times before (there are many other wedding venues nearby) and I had actually stopped off right near the hall for a picnic with my wife on our way home from our honeymoon years ago.
So that was it, I knew exactly where the hall was and I knew that it was in one of the most picturesque villages in the South Downs, and with this wedding booked for June, the fields were going to be gorgeous and the weather (fingers crossed) was going to be perfect, I was needless to say very excited at what was sure to be a beautiful day.
And it was. The wedding was held in Horsham’s main parish church, St Mary’s Church, which is one of my favourite venues to photograph with it’s large stained glass window and beautiful ceiling. The groom who was the church choir master had a unique and personal relationship with the church which added to the family feel of the whole day, and with (as would be expected) the full choir turning out we also had the opportunity to capture the choir in their own group photo.
The lovely couple, Liam and Hannah, were one of the most relaxed couples I think I’ve ever met and the wedding was full of joy and laughter. The wedding was relatively small, with the village hall handling a maximum of about 70-80 people for an evening reception, and less for the main reception meal, but that didn’t dull the atmosphere of the day which was fantastic, and with clear blue skies and a gorgeous sunset we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful wedding day for this fantastic couple.