We have been looking forward to Sophie and Jame’s Clock Barn wedding for a long time since their engagement shoot.. We eagerly arrived at Norton Park Hotel near Winchester to find Sophie and her bridesmaids busy with their wedding morning preparations.
At their pre-wedding shoot James and Sophie were talking of an incredibly personal wedding and such a lot of thought and planning had gone into the big day. The girls were all wearing matching wedding morning pyjamas and had even coordinated the bridal shoes with the bridesmaids dresses.
The room at Norton Park Hotel provided a wonderful unidirectional natural light that not only added a little drama to the mornings proceedings but allowed me to work around silhouette and side lit photographs.
Hair was styled and makeup was applied with such relaxed humour, all the time Sophie looking particularly serene. The girls donned their sapphire blue dresses and Sophie’s mother helped her into her stunning wedding dress by Forget me not designs. The bridesmaid’s reactions to seeing Sophie in her dress were fantastic, even bringing a tear to my eye.
We then drove to the nearby Clock Barn wedding venue, which had undergone a transformation since we last visited. The gardens we in full spring bloom, the meadow had been mown to provide a private lawn area surrounded by the beautiful countryside and a game of quoits was being utilised by the early to arrive guests.
It was the interior decoration of the Clock Barn that took my breath away. The ceremony room had been dressed with wicker love hearts, ribbon laced flowers . It was this country chic theme that continued into the main, wedding breakfast room. Here the amount of homemade detail was almost overwhelming. Countryside flowers sat in dressed tins on stacks of old books, bunting hung across the barn as far as the eye could see; a typewriter, retro ornaments and framed pictures from our pre-wedding photo shoot sat next to the customised guest book. The mother of bride had even hand-made a full size, red wedding Royal Mail post-box.
The detail didn’t end there; Perks catering had not only done such a beautiful job of dressing the venue but supplied a huge wedding cake made from cheese that every time I went near made my mouth water.
Each table had been wonderfully dressed and the retro Map-of-the-world table plan named each table after a destination visited by the happy couple. There were individual bottled of homemade damson gin, flowers in tea cups and saucers and fairly lights lined the ancient woodwork. In fact there was far too much unique detail to mention here! The Clock Barn is fairly unique in that it has its own bridal preparation room adorned with retro wall paper and furnishings. This was the perfect setting for final hair and makeup adjustments, whilst the wedding guests arrived. Sophie revealed her bouquet, the like of which I had never seen before – entirely made of brooches, it fit the day’s theme and complimented her dress perfectly.
The wedding guests arrived in a Red London wedding bus, a 1966 AEC Routemaster that drove through the country side driveway like a scene from postman pat!
Once the guests had settled in the The Clock Barn the ceremony progressed with heartfelt speeches, a mass of laughter and possibly the longest first kiss I have ever seen!
At no point did James look nervous, which is pretty unusual for a groom, he appeared to be varying from happy to ecstatic.
After a showering in confetti, the drinks reception was then held in the sunny gardens and gave us a little time for some photographs against the backdrop of the barn, the countryside and of course the red London Bus.
Perks catering then supplied such a tasty wedding breakfast that all of the guests we commenting on the quality of the food. Hilarious wedding speeches ensued with some particularly ‘interesting’ pictures from Sophie and James’s past.
For the evening reception the bar was opened and the guests enjoyed the sugary treats of the sweet table. In the lounge room (yes the clock barn has a chill out area too!) at tablet and laptop displayed old family videos and photographs of the happy couple.
The wedding DJ arrived after a scary near miss in his car, feeling lucky to be alive and happy to be celebrating with the wedding couple he set the tone for the evening with some really uplifting dancy numbers.
I couldn’t write this sneak peek without mentioning the first dance. I had been pre-warned that Sophie and James had been working with James’s mother to choreograph a dance number but I hand’t realised quite how advanced it would be. As they twirled, lifted, slid and shimmied about the dance floor the guests were whooped into a frenzy and as a surprise for Sophie and James all pulled out judges’ score cards rating them as a definite 10.
As the sun set oranges and reds over the garden the DJ honed his skills, filling the dance floor for the rest of the evening. Just when we thought that there couldn’t possibly be any more thought gone into the day we discovered that the guests had been provided with fancy dress and a retro picture frame to compose their own comedy photographs when they weren’t happily dancing away. I have to take my hat off to Sophie and James, their friends and family and all of the Clock Barn and Perks catering teams, the wedding made for such beautiful, uplifting wedding photography and as predicted I really did wish that I was one of the guests.
Photography: onethousandwords wedding photographers
Morning Venue: Norton Park Hotel
wedding Dress: Forget me not designs
Wedding Venue: The Clock Barn, Hampshire
Catering: Perks catering
Routemaster Bus: King Alfred Motor Services