Yay cake topping

What. A. Wedding. Where even to begin? Perhaps the drive to the venue might be a good place – a good 10 minutes through the nature reserve, stunning, stunning surroundings, all manner of birds (hilariously my predictive text wanted to change this to brides), cows grazing loose, uninterrupted views that stretch for miles and miles and then I spotted the huge barn, the tipi and tented village and shepherd’s huts and knew I was in the right place. 

Aside from its outstanding beauty, Joanne and Phil loved Elmley as it meant they could stay on-site from Thursday, and with family and friends travelling as far from Sydney and the States, naturally they wanted to be able to spend as much time together with them as possible. 

Sixty eight guests in total assembled to celebrate and when I arrived there was a definite sense that everyone was just on one big holiday. Joanne and Phil’s family and friends clearly knew each other very well making for a chilled and happy vibe. I walked around the grounds to get a sense of the venue and familiarise myself and I was instantly blown away by the spectacular traditional Kent barn, where the wedding breakfast took place – a huge rustic dark room lit by candles and fairy lights – absolutely enchanting. 

Joanne and her friends had done all the flowers themselves and my goodness did they do a good job. There was a hanging ladder, a flower arch and flowers at every turn, an incredible effort, that totally eclipsed many professional florist set-ups I have seen. And I’ve seen a few!

I photographed Joanne and her bridesmaids all getting ready at the farmhouse and then went to capture Phil and his groomsmen in the uber-cool Shepherd’s Huts. They were both so relaxed, enjoying every minute in the extraordinary surroundings with their closest family and friends. In fact, it was so relaxing we were a little bit late getting to the ceremony but Joanne didn’t mind. Her easy-going vibe continued throughout the whole day. 

Sadly her father and grandfather has passed away earlier this year so Phil walked her down the aisle, an emotional moment, which gave way to much hilarity when cockerel crowing kept interrupting the ceremony. Cocktails and canapes followed and then everyone sat down for the wedding feast in the magnificent barn. (If I get married again, I would totally get married here. Sorry, Mr B.)

Just when I thought it couldn’t be topped, we were blessed with a beautiful sunset AND a rainbow. And then, when I thought that couldn’t be topped, watching the guests enjoy margaritas on the lawn, in shimmied Jo and Phil to an EIGHT PIECE BRASS BAND and did their first dance outside in front of everyone. Cue much whooping, dancing and singing from all the guests. 

What did I tell you? What. A. Wedding.   

Stunning view across Elmley Nature Reserve
Tipi set up for wedding guests at Elmley Nature Reserve, Kent
wedding seating plan and flowers at Elmley nature reserve
The Kent Barn, wedding breakfast set-up at Elmley Nature reserve
wedding mornign, bridesmaids laughing at Elmley nature Reserve
wedding morning, bridal prep, elmley nature reserve
black and white photograph of the bride gettign ready on her wedding day. Elmley Nature Reserve
bridal prep, wedding photography at Elmley Nature reserve
documentary photo of bridal prep, bride and bridesmaids. wedding morning at Elmley Nature reserve
wedding shoes, wedding day, wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve
groom prep, wedding morning at Elmley Nature reserve
Bride and groom walking into their wedding ceremony, Elmley Nature reserve
bride and groom, wedding ceremony at the barn on Elmley Nature reserve
black and white image of the groom saying his vows at Elmley Nature reserve
couple portraits at Elmley Nature reserve
black and white image of the bride and groom nearly kissing with Elmley Nature reserve in the background
Groom giving his wedding speech, wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve,
groom's speech, wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve
Maid of honours wedding speech, in the barn at Elmley Nature reserve
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, mother of the brides wedding speech
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, sunset portraits, bride and groom photographs
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, sunset couple portraits
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, sunset couple portraits
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, sunset couple portraits
wedding photography at Elmley Nature Reserve, silhouette of couple
brass band, wedding party, Elmley Nature reserve

To see more from their wonderful day please watch their wedding slideshow: