Last Saturday I set off on my last wedding of the year, heading through an early misty morning on my way down to the coast – all the while eyeing the overcast sky and hoping the forecasters had got it right with their predictions of a dry day, but wrong that it would stay cloudy.
By the time I arrived at Symondsbury (just outside Bridport) the mist was clearing and though it was cold out, the clouds were clearing and it looked set to be fine for a winter wedding. I started at the Old Post Office Cottage where I met up with Jenna, who was getting ready with her parents and bridesmaids. The cottage was busy, but the atmosphere was very calm and relaxed – and it was nice to catch up with the lovely Elke from Amazing Face who was in charge of all things hair.
Jenna had chosen a rich winter theme for the wedding, with the bridesmaids in softly pleated floor length gowns of deepest purple. Jenna’s dress itself was an elegantly simply A line of gorgeous open cut lace. As a nod to the weather, all the girls had stoles, and the bridesmaid’s featured a diamonte clasp to match the embellished sash on Jenna’s dress.
Sensibly the couple had opted for an early 12pm ceremony, meaning they could make the most of the daylight and enjoy the short late November afternoon.
I left Jenna to walk up the road to Symondsbury Tithe Barn – passing dad in the garden practicing his speech on my way out. I joined Stephen & the groomsmen – in 3-piece grey suits echoing the purple accents through their ties & handkerchiefs) before the guest started to arrive.
The guests were ushered out of the cold to take their seats in barn, and before long the bridesmaids arrived in 1950’s classic Mini, followed shortly by the bride in her own fabulous vintage car; the couple were lucky that both cars were owned (and driven!) by friends of theirs. Another friend had been responsible for all the flowers, and the winter bouquets were amazing; rich deep tones of ruby Chrysanthemums and gold and pink roses set off by the green of succulents and ferns.
It was apparent as dad walked Jenna down the aisle that she was very nervous, but the registrar was lively and fun, keeping everyone entertained and most importantly helping Jenna to relax.
The service followed, including an emotional reading by a friend of the couple, and then once declared husband & wife Jenna & Stephen processed out to the car and took off for a drive through the country lanes by themselves for a while.
Meanwhile the guests all moved into the courtyard room for champagne and canapés whilst the barn was turned around for the evening celebrations – thankfully the sun had come out, and the though the day was cold the thin sunshine lit up the crisp clear day.
Once the Bride & Groom had returned to their guests, they processed through a confetti tunnel into barn, and then we headed straight up onto the lawn for the family photos. The chill drove everyone back inside almost immediately, but Jenna & Stephen held on for a few quiet shots of just the two of them.
Back into the warmth of the drinks reception, I couldn’t resist it an hour or so later as the sun started to go down, and I invited the couple to come out into the golden hour for a short walk in the lanes to make the most of watery liquid golden light that only happens as winter approaches but autumn hasn’t quite yet lost its grip.
We were back in the barn in time for Jenna & Stephen to be announced for the wedding breakfast, which was followed by four speeches – the traditional Father Of the Bride, the Groom, and the Best Man – and the fourth was from Jenna herself, a contemporary trend I like very much.
The barn was beautifully lit with hundreds of fairy lights, tea lights & candles, and looked the essence of a warm and sparkly winter wedding. After the cutting of the cake, everyone moved outside to the front of the barn for a sparkler tunnel, before returning for Jenna & Stephen’s first dance as husband and wife. The band soon began, the dance floor filled and it was time I took my leave.
Congratulations Jenna & Stephen – and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your truly beautiful winter wedding day.
Here are just some of the many….
Credit where due!
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All the very lovely details from Jenna and Stephen’s winter wedding at Symondsbury Tithe Barn near Bridport Dorset.