It's time to share some of the images from Clare & Gareth's beautiful wedding day earlier this year - a wonderful celebration down in the New Forest. It was my first time photographing at St John the Baptist Church in Boldre - it turned out to be an absolutely delightful little hidden gem - with the rest of the day spent at the Clare's family home right on the sea wall in Lymington, the views stretching out across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. A fabulously sunny day for a country wedding and a marquee reception, idyllic locations, and an absolutely gorgeous couple - this one had it all!
The house was very much base camp for the day, and I caught up with Clare and the bridal party there early in the afternoon to cover the final stages of the preparations (by this time I had already bumped into our groom down by the quayside, when we had both had the idea of grabbing a quick fish and chip lunch to power ourselves up before everything began in earnest). It was in an absolutely wonderful secluded spot, with a garden which backed down onto the waterfront (the vast majority of said garden being taken up by the mini tented village) and was most definitely a hive of activity by the time I arrived. Somewhere in the middle of it all I found Clare, grinning from ear to ear and clearly loving every moment of her wedding day so far! There's always something really charming about home wedding receptions, and it always seems like such a sweet touch when the bride can get ready in the very house she grew up in, surrounded by friends and family, in before heading off to the local church. And that church was to be the next stop, after a quick trip down the garden path to take family photos with the Island in the background. One of the hardest things here was to not get too carried away and use up all the spots, as I knew we'd be coming back here again later for some time-out photos with just Clare and Gareth. Easier said than done, though, when it's such a beautiful spot and the soft light was just perfect!
St John the Baptist Church in Boldre really is out in the sticks - down long winding country lanes a distance from the village, which is pretty small and tucked away in it its right. And it's absolutely gorgeous - really, the quintessential rural parish church. Gareth, his best man and ushers had safely arrived by the time I got there and were keeping themselves occupied while they waited for the first of the guests to arrive. We were able to take a few moments to set up some shots before the Ushers were called upon to start performing their duties, at which point I was able to slip into stealth mode and focus on candids as the church began to fill.
An advantage of the long approach to the church is that there was plenty of time to make sure that everyone was safely inside before the wedding car pulled up to the gates. Clare arrived and stepped out of the gleaming Rolls on her father's arm looking absolutely radiant, and as she and her bridesmaids took a final moment to catch their breath I headed down to the front of the church to position myself ready for her to make her entrance...
And so, back in convoy to the house and marquee for the wedding reception, with drinks and nibbles around the pool and some time-out photos with our bride and groom down on the waterfront. It was a beautiful summer's afternoon and evening, with soft warm gentle light. The mid-afternoon ceremony meant that the light was already starting to fade as guests seated themselves in anticipation of the speeches which were to start the wedding breakfast, and as the dark encroached the log fires were lit to add an extra dimension to the beautiful, intimate sense of occasion...
As the wedding breakfast drew to a close and the cake was cut, guests were directed across the gardens and (carefully) around the pool to the next marquee, complete with band, for the start of the evening's partying. This was definitely a party crowd - the dancefloor was absolutely heaving right from the start, and it certainly looked as though Clare, Gareth and all their guests had a long night ahead of them. And most deservedly so - what an absolute belter of a wedding! Fabulous bride and groom, wonderful friends and family, stunning food, gorgeous locations... this is a couple who really know how to do things with style!
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The photos above are of course just a small selection from the day: friends and family can view and purchase the complete set, along with a slideshow of edited highlights, in Clare & Gareth's wedding gallery... but you'll need to ask them for the password first.
If you are planning a New Forest wedding 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.
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I hope you enjoyed the photos from this magnificent celebration. As ever, thanks for reading!
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