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”! Therefore 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. Next add in home-made bunting, a photo booth, a bouncy castle, and a barn dance!

Documentary Bridal Preparation Photographs

The morning of the wedding found me at ‘Tudor Cottage’; Beth’s family’s cottage was in the gorgeous Warwickshire 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. Meanwhile 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 therefore easy to spot!

wedding bunting hanging on wedding tipis in countryside rustic tea pot at countryside wedding wedding tipi interior at countryside wedding Personalised wedding gifts for groomsmen love heart wedding sign Wedding favour seed packets at countryside wedding wedding love tree message board Seeds as wedding favours Flowergirl caged handbag wedding photograph White Rose Wedding Button Hole

A Wedding Morning at the Family Home

First Beth’s bridesmaids had thoughtfully brought her breakfast in bed. Secondly they were now moving at a rapid rate about the house, inflating balloons, organising dresses, drinks, bunting and signposts. Finally 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. Next the hair stylists were working their magic whilst Katy the bridesmaid expertly applied make up. At the same time 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. Next 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.

Meanwhile 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.

bridesmaids and mother of the bride prepare lace wedding dress Portrait of bride haveing makeup applied on wedding morning bridal party drinking champagne on wedding morning Flowergirl portrait from wedding photographs Mother of the bride with multi colour feathered fascinator Bride has flowers added to her hair on wedding morning

Documentary wedding photography of Bride reaching for two piece wedding dress Floral bridesmaid dress adjusted on wedding morning Father of the bride in wedding bow tie Bride has wedding dress adjusted on her wedding morningBlack and White Portrait Photograph of Bride Black and white photograph of bridesmaid on wedding morning

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. Therefore 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.

Groom on morning of military wedding photographs Ceremonial sword from military wedding photographs Groomsman in reflective shades at military wedding

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.

military wedding photographs of groom and best man

Bride about to enter countryside church wedding ceremony child wedding guest portrait at church wedding service Bride and father of bride walk down church aisle

military wedding photographs of bride and groom kissing in church Military wedding photographs of bride and groom walking down church aisle

A couple of years ago I had shot Beth’s sister Pip’s military wedding photographs at the same venue. Therefore, 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.

Guard of honour at church from military wedding photographs

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 therefore 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.

Olympic Gold Medal at military wedding photographs wedding guest in large navy blue feathered wedding hat Military wedding photographs of wedding confetti and floral archway

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.

Bridesmaid with ivory wedding parasol and countryside wedding bouquet Orange wedding tractor and bag piper from military wedding photographs Military wedding photographs of wedding tractor number plate Gurkha bag piper at Military wedding photographs Father of the bride from military wedding photographs child wedding guest in front of countryside wedding tipi wedding guests on bouncy castle at wedding Bride and her mother at tipi wedding military wedding photographs of vicar and military officer

In the bright sunshine the best men and ushers arranged the group photographs (with the precision you would expect for military wedding photographs). After that it was 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. Next the 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!

Heather Stanning Gold Olympian with bride on wedding day military wedding photographs of wedding breakfast in wedding tipi wedding guest carves a roast suckling piglet for wedding breakfast

The father of the bride’s speech can only be described as unique; which eventually saw him whooping with joy. The best men then suitably embarrassed Mark and revealed his penchant for eating rose heads!

military wedding photographs of wedding guests in wedding tipi

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.

After that, 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. Next, the first dance involved pretty much all of the guests as the barn dance was called.

There is a memory from that day that will stay with me forever. Amidst the swirling chaos of the dancing I stood still with a camera, surrounded by truly happy and excited guests. All of whom were smiling or laughing and they danced. The two with the biggest smiles (and the craziest dancing) looking into each other’s eyes were the bride and groom.

military wedding photographs of bride and groom barn dancing

We then set up a photo-booth with a mass of fancy dress. Guests could visit in-between dancing, in addition to 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. Next, 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.

Bride and groom outside wedding tipis at night

To conclude, 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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