Secret Garden Marquee at Burwash Manor August Wedding – Sarah and Ed

Sarah and Ed were referred to me via another wedding photographer, and after the initial contact we chatted over Facebook about what they wanted from their wedding photographer. We talked about details about the day which was to be held at Barton church for the ceremony and then The Secret Garden Marquee at Burwash Manor for the reception, as well as general questions you would expect a bride and groom to be to have.

The bride and groom in monochrome, enjoying their reception

The bride and groom, caught smiling in a candid moment

We met up in person in Ely shortly after and immediately hit it off. Ed and Sarah are so lovely and within minutes of meeting them I knew that not only were they ideal for each other, but I was also ideally suited to be their wedding photographer – Partly because five minutes into the conversation we were all chatting like old friends, and partly because we shared several views on not only wedding photography, but numerous aspect of life; such as work, art and hobbies. Ed and Sarah go diving and told me about their plans to go diving on their honeymoon. I’ve only ever been diving once, but it was one the best and most amazing experiences of my life. Ed and Sarah value art, including photography, and like to display it around their home, as do my wife and I.

The bride and groom hold hands across an old church doorway

The bride holds her new husband’s hand across a church doorway.

We chatted some more by phone and Facebook during the lead up to the big day and then suddenly, it was here! I arrived at Sarah’s parents’ house to take some getting ready shots and details and managed to get some great shots of Sarah both getting ready and sitting on a swing that was on a tree directly across from their house. Sarah was to arrive at the church in a vintage VW camper van, (another bonding point – all the cool people drive VWs!) and we had that in the background as she sat on the swing – the colour of the van acting almost like a blue sky behind her, with the white top looking like clouds and echoing her beautiful dress.

Bridesmaid putting on her makeup

Bridesmaid carefully applying makeup.

The bride's mother helping her get into her dress.

The bride’s mother helps her into her beautiful dress.

Bride sitting on a rope swing in front of a VW camper van

The bride sits happily on a swing near her parents’ home.

Bride sitting on a rope swing in front of a VW camper van, smiles shyly

The bride gives us a shy, blushing smile.

Before long it was time to head off to the church to snag some pre-ceremony shots – both formal ones of the guys and some candid ones of people interacting. I love mixing up formal and reportage styles in my shooting, as I feel the couple then get the best of both worlds; the posed shots that get everyone they love in, plus genuine emotions from the day with the candid shots.

The groom with his groomsmen in front of the church

The Groom and groomsmen

Bridesmaids laughing outside the church

The bridesmaids sharing a laugh before the bride arrives.

The ceremony was fantastic. Dignified but not without moments of laughter, (including from the presiding priest, Mike,) and with heartfelt readings that rang the walls with love for the couple, who barely took their eyes off each other, which is as it should be. Heads were bowed, hymns were sung and first (married,) kisses were applauded with aplomb.

Wedding ceremony reading with bride and groom

The mother of the bride performs a reading during the ceremony.

The happy couple have their first married kiss as the priest smiles.

The bride and groom’s first kiss as husband and wife

We stopped outside for a few photos next to the church, before getting some more formal line-ups in front of the VW van, which by this point, was a feature of the wedding!

The bride and groom hold hands across an old church doorway

The bride holds her new husband’s hand across a church doorway.

The groom and groomsmen laughing

The boys laughing

Then it was a short walk to The Secret Garden Marquee, which as always, looked amazing. Sarah and Ed had decided on a beach theme, which was quite subtle – pinwheels made from maps, tables named after UK beaches, shell motifs – and very effective. The work Sarah had put in was evident and had paid off, judging by the faces of their guests.

A corkboard and map used for a wedding seating plan

The creative seating plan

Handmade pinwheels made from maps.

The lovely handcrafted pinwheels made from maps.

The reception table setup.

The tables setup, each named after a beach

I managed to sneak the couple away for some shots of just the two of them in a couple of locations by the pond near the main house and got some of my favourite shots of the day. The owners are always so accommodating for us photographers – even allowing me into one of their own upstairs bedrooms to shoot a group shot of everyone!

The bride and groom glance back over their shoulders sat on a bench next to a pond

Taking a break before heading back you-know-where!

A group shot of all the guests at the wedding

The bride and groom surrounded by their guests at the Secret Garden Marquee

Bride and groom sitting in the garden with champagne

The bride and groom sit for a shot in the garden

The speeches were excellent and funny, (I had to change my camera’s settings at one point to counteract the slight motion blur that my chuckling along was causing!) cakes were cut and much merry was made by all attending.

The father of the bride gets a laugh during his speech at the head table

The father of the bride raises a laugh during his speech

The bride, groom and parents on the head table laugh during the best man's speech

The best man causes hilarity during his speech

A photo from behind the head table shows the bride standing to make a speech

The bride stands to make an impromptu speech at the reception

The bride and groom cut the cake at the reception

The bride and groom cut the cake

As the day started to turn into evening, Sarah and Ed came over to thank me and my wife, who was assisting me, which again shows just how lovely they both are. What they didn’t know was that we weren’t quite done yet! I had another, special shot planned for them, involving sparklers! It was still a little too bright in the sky to capture the sparklers well, so I moved them into shade under an arch of branches, got them to hold a sparkler each and trace half a heart …
It took a few goes, in part due to trying out a new technique with the lighting for me and general merriment on their behalf, but we got the shot and it’s one of my absolute favourites from the day:

The bride and groom making a heart in the air with sparklers

The bride and groom make a heart in the air with sparklers

So congratulations Sarah and Ed. I know you’re in for a long and happy life together and I wish you all the joy that love can bring!

A detail shot of the groom's hand resting tenderly on his new wife's waist

The groom puts his arm around his bride at the reception

The bride and groom being showered with confetti

The bride and groom grin through the confetti

The bride and groom being showered with confetti by guests

1, 2, 3 … Throw!

Bridal dress hanging in the window

Sarah’s lovely dress, hanging in the window.

Glamourous bridal shoes with lucky sixpence

The Bride’s dazzling shoes, complete with lucky sixpence.

Bride in monochrome glancing over her shoulder out of frame.

The bride glances over her shoulder as she sits on a swing.

The bride takes a moment to prepare

The bride takes a moment to prepare for the day ahead.


Filled Under : Wedding Photography

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