Sopley Mill and the Seaside with Jack & Jo

October 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

A beautiful Summer's day on the south coast with Jack & Jo - a wedding at gorgeous Milford church, a reception at fantastic Sopley Mill, and a little stop-over between the two to hit the beach for some photographs. This beautiful couple's day was about as quintessentially English as you could get (and a total contrast to our central London pre-wedding shoot earlier in the year).

Silhouette of wedding couple at dusk by riversideSopley Mill wedding photography couple silhouetteBride and groom at sunset at Sopley Mill Milford-on-Sea is a lovely little village right on the coast, on the edge of the New Forest. The wedding had largely taken it over for the morning: groom preparations at one end, in the Beach House Hotel; bridal preparation at the other, in Jo's family home, and the very charming All Saints Church right between the two ready to host the ceremony. I do like it when all the preparations are taking place nearby - it's such an advantage when it comes to re-telling the story of the day to have photos from both sides, when you're able to nip between the two. Both the bride and groom were surrounded by various friends and family - absolutely loads going on, plenty of laughter and smiles, and an absolutely gorgeous day outside. Summer sunshine was definitely making an appearance today!

Groom and best man getting ready at Beach House Hotel in Milford-on-SeaNew Forest wedding photography preaparationsGroom getting dressed The Groom adjusts his button holeNew Forest wedding photography preparationsGroom getting ready Groom, best man and usher stop for a photograph in the main reception room of the Beach House HotelNew Forest wedding photography preparationsGroom and Ushers Wedding shoes and dress at Bride's house in the morningNew Forest wedding photography preparationsBridal details Floral details arranged in fireplaceNew Forest wedding photography preaparationsFlowers A few final finishing touches at the family home before the ceremonyNew Forest wedding photography preaparationsGetting ready The bride is helped into her wedding dressNew Forest wedding photography preparationsBride getting dressed Black and white photo of bride with bridesmaids as she gets ready for the weddingNew Forest wedding photography preaparationsAdding the veil With Jack confirmed as being safely at the church greeting the guests, I hot-footed it back around the corner to catch up with Jo ready for the bridal party to begin their walk to the church. Walks to the church are always good fun - the little toots of the horn as drivers shoot by, and also I always get the feeling that it gives the bride just a few extra moments to gather her thoughts and relax into it all. Anyway, this was a lovely little stroll and really, what could be sweeter than walking from your parents' house to the church to get married? And it's a beautiful little church as well. Actually, not so little, now I think about it; in fact just the right size for a wedding with this number of guests - still small enough to feel intimate, but even so with enough space and - my favourite! - side aisles to allow me to stay out of the way and not draw attention to myself.

The groom walks down the central aisle to the front of the churchNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaGroom arriving The best man casts a final eye over the groom to make sure that he's ready and presentable for his brideNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaGroom and best man The bride walks through the grounds of the church with her bridal partyNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaBride arrives Friends and family wait in the church for the arrival of the brideNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaWedding guests The groom is surrounded by family as he awaits the start of the wedding ceremonyNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaFamily at the front of the church The bride walks down the aisle on her father's armNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaBridal entrance The groom takes a final moment with his thoughts before turning to see his brideNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaGroom during bride's arrival The bride joins the groom at the front of the churchNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaStart of the wedding The bride and groom stand together at the front of the church as the marriage ceremony beginsNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaWedding ceremony The couple turn to face each other to exchange vows and ringsNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaThe rings The bride places the traditional ring on the groom's finger, as wedding guests watch onNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaThe ring Wedding guests watch on during the readingsNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaReadings View of the flowers along the central aisle from the back of the churchNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaFloral detail The couple receive the blessing at the altarNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaThe blessing Black and white image of the high vaulted ceilings inside the churchNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaChurch interior The wedding party watches on as the bride and groom sign the marriage registerNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaSigning the register The newly married couple walk together down the aisleNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaHusband and wife The bride and groom are received and congratulated by their guests in the grounds of the churchNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaConfetti Bride and groom meet their guestsNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaHugs and kisses A Routemaster bus was arranged to transport guests between the church and the reception venue at Sopley MillNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaTransport to the reception A classic car provided the transport for the newly married coupleNew Forest Wedding Photography All Saints Church Milford-on-SeaBride and groom transport So Jack & Jo were now husband and wife, greeted by their cheering guests and a barrage of confetti as they stepped out the church. Stunning Sopley Mill was our destination for the celebrations, but - as the guests departed on the Routemaster bus for a little tour of the Forest en route, we had a little planned stop to make first. A couple of stops in fact, as there was no way that we could have a wedding so close to such fab beaches on a day like this, with sweeping vistas across the Solent to the Needles and the Isle of Wight, without catching a few seaside photos ourselves. Jack and Jo already had it all planned and knew exactly where they wanted to go. And just as with the cars tooting as our bride walked to the ceremony, now we were surrounded on every side by holidaymakers cheering and congratulating them both as they made their way down onto the sand. And then, photos taken and sand in my shoes, it was on to Sopley...

Milford-on-sea coastal viewpoint to Isle of WightSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyHampshire beach wedding photography Bride and groom walking along promenade by side of beach near Highcliffe Castle in HampshireSopley Mill Wedding PhotographySeafront wedding photo Bride and groom in front of colourful beach huts on Hampshire coast near ChristchurchSeaside wedding photographyBeach huts The Mill seen in colour from various angles on a sunny summer daySopley Mill Wedding PhotographySopley Mill venue exterior Soft like and exposed brick make for an atmospheric venue at any time of year. The Mill's working can be seen on the ground floorSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyVenue interior and details Table and decoration details on the floor reserved for the dining roomSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyDining room set up for wedding breakfast Cake close-up and decorative details in Sopley Mill dining roomSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyWedding favours and details Guests enjoy the sun-filled grounds of Sopley Mill, with rivers running along both sides of the gardensSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyVenue experior and gardens Black and white photo of Mill from gardensSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyVenue exterior Wedding guests chat and stand to receive the newly married coupleSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyGuests at wedding breakfast Duck races are a popular wedding tradition at Sopley Mill. Here each table decorates their own duck in anticipation of the race to followSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyPainting ducks The father of the bride stands to make the opening wedding speechSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyStart of the speeches The best man's speechSopley Mill Wedding PhotographySpeeches and details Black and white photo of both bride and groom making speeches at the end of the wedding breakfastSopley Mill Wedding PhotographyBride and groom speeches

As the speeches ended and the beautifully soft evening light started to roll gently across the Mill, we took the opportunity to nip out and capture a final few photos of just Jack and Jo, before returning to the rest of the wedding party for the evening's celebrations. There are many things I love about Sopley Mill; as a venue it's absolutely charming, it lends itself so well to the flow of a wedding, it has so many interesting little features to explore (absolute gold for a photographer)... but one of the best bits of all for me is the countryside right on the doorstep - a perfect spot to steal away with the bride and groom, just for a moment or two. A little opportunity for them to catch their breath and let the whirlwind of the day sink in, and a great opportunity for me to provide them with perhaps just one or two little gems to remember their day by...

As we returned to the Mill the duck race was very clearly imminent. One duck per table had been prepared (some, it has to be said, rather creatively decorated) and at the end of something approximating a countdown they were all lobbed into the river to float firstly under the bride, pooh-sticks style, and then - if they were lucky - to continue to bob past the swirling eddies and snagging reeds to the finish line. As the evening drew in the bouquet was tossed (and caught, very importantly!), the cake was cut, the first dance was danced... And just to cap it all, the summer sunshine tipped its hat to us as it left for the night in a final little blaze of glory.

Couple together amongst the long grassesSopley Mill wedding photographyBlack and white photo of bride and groom in water meadows Bride and groom stand at the end of a small track leading towards open countryside in rural DorsetSopley Mill wedding photographyBride and groom alone Portrait of wedding coupleSopley Mill wedding photographyBride and groom kiss Bride and groom walk together along a stone track towards the venueSopley Mill wedding photographyWalking together Wedding guests look on as the ducks are prepared at the start of the raceSopley Mill wedding photographyDuck race! Innocent rubber ducklings are dangled precariously over the swirling riverSopley Mill wedding photographyThe start of the race Bride and groom cut the cake at the start of their evening partySopley Mill wedding photographyCutting the cake The couple take to the dancefloor for the first timeSopley Mill wedding photographyFirst dance Bride and groom together as guests watch onSopley Mill wedding photographyFirst dance The evening party starts to swingSopley Mill wedding photographyEveryone on the dancefloor What an absolutely stunning summer wedding. Huge congratulations to you both Jack & Jo, and I hope you're both loving every minute of married life!

Near Highcliffe Castle, with views across Solent to the Isle of WightHampshire beach wedding photographyBlack and white photo of couple on beach The above photos are just a small selection from the day: friends and family can view the full set, plus the slideshow, in Jack & Jo's private gallery... but you'll need to ask them for the password first, of course.

If you are planning your wedding in the New Forest or at Sopley Mill - or, for that matter, fancy some wedding photos on the beack as part of your day - and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your plans and ask me any questions you might have. I'm only too happy to help however I can.


I very much hope that you enjoyed the photos from this fabulous seaside wedding. As ever, thanks for reading,




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