Sopley Mill Wedding Photographs of Alex and James
Sopley Mill wedding venue is a beautiful 18th century watermill. It is surrounded on both sides by the river Avon. We were sad to see it close as a wedding venue back in 2011 shortly after we shot Tammy & John’s wedding photographs. After a vast amount of hard work the owners of Sopley Mill wedding venue have just re-opened it. It is now a stunning dedicated wedding venue with incredible views over the Avon water-meadows. You can see more of our Sopley Mill wedding photographs here.
So it was with great anticipation that I arrived early on the morning of Alex and James’s Christmas Sopley Mill wedding to see the transformation in all of its glory. The owners have beautifully accomplished the task of creating a ‘blank canvas’ for brides and grooms to create their dream weddings. It provides stunning views, beautiful historic buildings and the privacy that is sometimes difficult to find in other local wedding venues. Jasmine, Sopley Mill wedding organiser played such a crucial role in the day’s happenings.
I had talked to Alex in length about her choice of venue and plans for her big day but never expected the story at Sopley Mill wedding venue to be quite so wonderful.
Sopley Mill Wedding Bridal Preparation Photographs
I met the ever huggable Alex and her lovely bridesmaids in the Avon suite. This had been designed and furnished as the perfect bridal preparation room. Light colours and soft furnishings complimented the decorative mirrors and natural lighting.
Amazing wedding hair stylist Kelly Gill (one of our recommended wedding suppliers) and wedding make-up designer Tara Sanger worked their magic. The girls merrily whirled about the room in a frenetic blur of wedding preparation.
A Face Time call from Australia to her bridesmaid’s parents added to the emotion. I took some time to capture the details in the rest of the venue. I found wedding florist extraordinaire Maria from Simply Flower in the ceremony room. She adorned Sopley Mill wedding venue’s beautiful light space with white roses and green foliage.
Alex’s mother although busy helping was constantly looking elegant in front of camera. With a little time for happily dancing about the room the girls were ready.
Her stunning dress now on, Alex and her bridesmaids exchanged surprise gifts and added the finishing touch of a veil.
Sopley Mill Wedding Groom Preparation Photographs
Meanwhile James and the chaps were to be found downstairs at Sopley Mill wedding venue. They looked rather dapper. They performed their jobs of pinning button holes, checking on room setups and greeting the guests almost as well as the wine and beer testing ‘tasks’.
Once all of the wedding guests were seated in Sopley Mill’s ceremony room James and his best man relieved the tension with a couple of jokes. Set against naked brick and white plaster, with light French furniture and a couple of seasonal Christmas trees the image of the expectant chaps was timeless.
Sopley Mill Wedding Ceremony Photographs
The Alani String quartet struck up as Alex’s father waited patiently at the rear of the room for her to arrive. She was elegantly led in by her beautiful bridesmaids. Alex walked down the aisle happily tearful to the open mouths of her wedding guests.
Sopley Mill Wedding Reception Photographs
In the wild weather outside I quickly took the assigned group photographs. Maintaining concentration and distracting from the cold with a pinch of humour. The wind did however help with getting a little movement into Alex’s veil. Combined with the textured red brick of the mill it was the perfect location for couple shots. Alex and James even ventured into the landscaped garden for a couple of pictures next to the river.
Sopley Mill Wedding Breakfast Photographs
The wedding breakfast was announced. The wedding party moved up to the Riverview room on the top floor overlooking the beautiful countryside. Under the strings of fairy lights the wedding tables displayed wine bottles customised with childhood photographs. Disposable cameras and Maria’s gorgeous wedding flowers added to the decor.
In keeping with the festive time of year crackers were pulled. Merlin’s catering supplied what can only be described as amazing food, it’s not often we are treated to a chocolate fondue!
Sopley Mill Wedding Speeches Photographs
The traditional speeches involved many tears and laughs. The timing bets were exceptionally well organised. As the drinks flowed the log fire was lit in the bar area and the evening guests arrived.
Bournemouth Photobooth set up in the garden lounge. The incredibly tasty pork pie tower and cheese stack were set up from Crow Farm. Alex and James ‘cut the cake’, which actually involved cutting one of the sumptuous cupcakes supplied by Carol from Cakeexstacy.
Sopley Mill Wedding Evening Photographs
I took the opportunity to capture some night-time long exposures, helped by the gorgeous fairy-lights around garden. Back inside Alex and the girls had gathered in the Avon suite. They practiced the salsa dancing they had learned on the hen do. My jaw now ached from laughing.
Upstairs the ever helpful staff had turned the ceremony room around. OJ’s soul band had set up under disco lighting. Alex and James took to the dance floor to ‘Aint Nobody’ for their first dance. Shorty after James’s surprise ring of salsa-dancing girls encircled him! Upstairs wedding guests danced the night away to the funky tunes. Downstairs they huddled into the warmth of the bar area and enjoyed the sensory explosion of paella from Idelica.
Whilst saying my goodbyes I had the opportunity to capture the happy couple together on the staircase.I left in awe not only of Sopley Mill’s transformation and staff but of the light, warmth and love created by Alex, James and their guests on a cold, dark winter’s day.