Following a Skype chat with Rosie & Matt back in 2017, I was delighted when they booked me to photograph their wedding at The Barrandov Opera in 2018 – a venue I’d not come across before but am so glad I have! Rosie & Matt chose the venue because it’s so unique – it’s tucked away on a hillside near Needham Market and has a stunning barn with a high vaulted, beamed roof and beautiful surrounding gardens overlooking fields where the sun sets in the evening. They wanted to source everything locally as much as possible, with a rustic, English country garden style.
Before their wedding day, I met up with Rosie & Matt at Southwold Beach – it was a really foggy day at various points I lost them in the fog, but it certainly made for moody engagement photos!
Rosie & Matt both got ready at the venue – Rosie with her mum & bridesmaids at one end, Matt with his best man at the other, which worked well as I was able to walk between the two rooms to snap both of them getting ready. They delivered gifts and cards to each other – some cufflinks for Matt and some beautiful earrings for Rosie.
My second shooter, Lizzie, arrived and spent time with the lads taking some photos outside in the gardens, where they all looked really smart in their grey suits and pale blue ties, with a contrasting colour for their buttonholes. Each usher and best man was given a gift box containing some photos, a small bottle of whisky, along with a personalised leather flask to hold it in!
Rosie & her bridesmaids all wore lovely floral dressing gowns in different colours whilst they were getting ready, and were also given personalised gift boxes with photos, and a card from Rosie, along with gifts including a lipstick and bracelet each. Their dresses were a pale green lace which looked fabulous next to the amazing bouquets the girls carried.
Once all the guests were seated in the barn, Rosie and her dad, and her bridesmaids had a quick walk round the garden to access the rear of the barn and make their entrance. The ceremony went as planned, and there were a few emotional tears which were quickly wiped up before the couple made their vows together. After the signing of the register, everyone headed outside for the confetti photos (a huge basket of confetti was handed round so everyone got a good handful!).
The Afternoon Reception
The wedding guests enjoyed canapes and champagne in the gardens, whilst we took some of the formal family group shots, and lots of candids of guests relaxing & enjoying themselves.
Lizzie and I then took the couple off for a wander round the beautiful gardens surrounding The Barrandov Opera for some quiet time and intimate photos with just the two of them. There are so many lovely photo opportunities at the venue – a pretty floral garden and a big pond which overlooks fields – lots of scope!
Back into the barn where tables had been set out for the wedding breakfast. Each table was named after a destination, and had a glass bottle with the beautiful wedding flowers displayed, along with hand written place cards and napkins matching the colour scheme. A stunning cheese “cake” was on display, artfully decorated with fruit – surrounded by flowers, it was a gorgeous sight!
In a separate room, where guests could chill, sit and chat, there were photos decorating the walls, and a basket for cards, along with further floral displays.
The Wedding Breakfast & speeches
The speeches took place before the meal and Rosie’s dad kicked off the proceedings, followed by Rosie herself, watched by her proud new husband! I think all brides should make a little speech at weddings 😉 Matt came next, followed by his best man – this is the part of the evening where most of the photos I take of grooms involves them covering their faces! 😉
The Evening Reception
Once the wedding breakfast was over, we went outside again and although there was too much cloud for a sunset, we still managed to get some nice photos next to the pond, over-looking the fields behind! It was then time for the evening guests to arrive, and for the first dance, which I’m pleased to say involved a bit of twirling – always good for photos and to get people clapping & cheering! The guests then got onto the dance floor to party the night away, and my final photos were a quick “cake” cut from Rosie & Matt before I left them to party.
Advice from the wedding couple
Take time to enjoy the planning process as much as possible, and share tasks as much as you can!
The Wedding Team
As always a fabulous wedding team lineup!
Second Shooter: Liz Bishop
Hair: Elegant Hair & Beauty, Stowmarket
Suits: Jennis & Warmann, London
Dress: The Frock Spot, Norwich
Florist: The Southwold Flower Company, Southwold
Cheese Cake: Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses
DJ: My Big Fat Wedding Disco