Military Wedding Photographs in the Countryside
I know a wedding is going to be interesting when our details form comes back with the theme as “Chaos/ 5 year old’s birthday party”! We couldn’t wait to take Beth & Mark’s countryside/ military wedding photographs.
Amid said chaos the day saw; a two piece wedding dress, a gold medal Olympian, a guard of honour. Combine this with a Gurkha bagpiper, tipis, a classic tractor, champagne in tea pots. then add in home-made bunting, a photo booth, a bouncy castle, and a barn dance!
Military Wedding Bridal Preparation Photographs
The morning of the wedding found me at ‘Tudor Cottage’; Beth’s family’s cottage in the gorgeous Midlands countryside. As the early morning sun rose above the treeline, the dew sparkling jewel-like on the grass and flowers. I noticed the huge amount of time and effort Beth’s mother must have put into the garden.
Every flower bed was pristine, the grass had been mowed and mowed again. Potted plants were purposely grown and arranged. Beth’s Mother was to be found arranging the miles of wonderful bunting. She had made these from cloth originally used to create outfits for Beth and her sisters as children!
Further down the garden towered a huge wedding tipi was surrounded by smaller tipis (arranged for the guests to stay in). Inside large tables had been arranged with place names made from ivy and rosemary (taken from the garden). A table had been set up especially for children. Wedding favours in the form of hand chosen seeds hung from a pegged line. The canopy was strung with fairy lights. The countryside part of the countryside/ military wedding photographs was certainly easy to spot!
Beth’s bridesmaids had thoughtfully brought her breakfast in bed. They were now moving at a rapid rate about the house, inflating balloons, organising dresses, drinks, bunting and signposts. In the whirling chaos I thought I had lost the bride and caught her in a dark corner in front of a computer responding to urgent work emails!
As with every family home the kitchen had turned into the hub of activity. The hair stylists were working their magic whilst Katy the bridesmaid expertly applied make up. Family members and guests buzzed around with breakfast, coffees and champagne in-between completing various wedding related tasks. Everyone was involved in some aspect of the wedding and there was a lovely group feel to the morning.
The weather was on our side and the natural sunlight beamed into the Tudor building creating a wonderful contrast in all of the rooms. Such an arrangement of flowers arrived that I had never seen before. Bouquets for the girls, exotic button holes for the chaps and a basket of flowers for the flower girl.
The stunning two piece custom-made dress hung in the window. An ivory satin dress with red band and a lace ‘over dress’. Once her bridesmaids were ready Beth was carefully helped into her dress. With Beth looking incredibly stunning the bridal party left for the local church in the warming summer sun.
Military Wedding Groom Preparation Photographs
Meanwhile Mark, his best men and grooms party were to be found preparing in the garden of the local pub. There were pieces of military uniform everywhere. Swords sat on the bar, stirrups were attached to super shiny boots and medals were mirror polished.
Mark seemed particularly relaxed and in his typically jovial mood led the chaps down the road to the church.
Military Church Wedding Ceremony Photographs
The verger warned me on the way in that there was a ‘new vicar’ taking the ceremony and that I was not to move at all in church. Little did he know that it was actually Mark’s father that was to marry Mark and Beth that morning and the service was to be incredibly personal and moving. I could see where Mark got his sense of humour as the guests were belly laughing in-between hymns and readings.
A couple of years ago I had shot Beth’s sister Pip’s military wedding photographs at the same venue. It was great to see her and her husband with their two little boys thoroughly enjoying another wedding morning.
Outside the guard of honour had arranged an arch of swords. The newly wedded couple exited (with now permanent grins) into the church yard with their guests.
Olympic Gold Medallist Wedding Guest Photographs
Now I should point out that one of the guests that had already been mentioned in the wedding service was Heather Stanning, one of Beth’s closest friends from her university days.
Heather had just won Britain’s first gold medal in the Olympics. After possibly the craziest two weeks of her life. Being catapulted to celebratory status it was lovely to see her still so humble and relaxed. Putting off TV and press invites she had attended her friend’s wedding. She had kindly brought her medal along so that the children (and adults alike) could have their picture taken with it.
As their classic tractor (with customised plates) was being fuelled up Beth and Mark left the church through the floral archway under a curtain of confetti.
Military Wedding Reception Photographs
Back at Tudor Cottage garden a Gurkha piper played to the line-up of guests. They were then treated to champagne and canapés on the lawn.
It would take more than a single blog post to describe all of the detail that had gone into the wedding. Champagne was being served from retro teapots. Beth’s youngest sister had made a table plan and a ‘tree of love’ where guests could write a message to the happy couple. A bouncy castle and crèche tepee had been erected for the children (and quite a few of the adults too!). Oversized classical games such as Jenga and connect 4 were dotted about the garden.
In the bright sunshine the best men and ushers arranged the group photographs (with the precision you would expect for military wedding photographs). It was then time for the guests to take their places for the wedding breakfast.
Military Wedding Breakfast Photographs
Each table was presented with a roast suckling pig. Wedding guests had to allocate a guest to carve for the table. It has to be the first time an Olympic gold medallist has served me food! Without Heather noticing her table had all been given chocolate gold medals. They were surreptitiously putting them on to make her feel more at home!
The father of the bride’s speech can only be described as unique; which eventually saw him whooping with joy. The best men suitably embarrassed Mark and revealed his penchant for eating rose heads!
Military Wedding Photographs of Wedding Evening Reception
As the sun set behind Tudor Cottage the fairy lights gave the tepee an ethereal glow. Mark and Beth cut their two cakes. One, a tiered strawberry sponge and the other a tower of cheeses.
The band started up and Beth removed the outer lace part of her dress ready for dancing. Barrels of ale were opened, the torches, tree lights and fires were lit. The first dance involved pretty much all of the guests as the barn dance was called.
We had set up a photo-booth with a mass of fancy dress. Guests could visit in-between dancing, sitting by the fire, eating the incredibly tasty Gurkha curry and visiting the bar.
By the end of the evening the fire had died down to embers. Under the star lit sky, the guests formed a tunnel of arms. Through which Mark and Beth (still beaming their smiles) exited to start their married life together.
We had an incredible day in the countryside creating Mark and Beth’s military wedding photographs. You can see what they think of our military wedding photography services in their countryside wedding photographer review.
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