Reportage wedding photography in East Sussex
An East Sussex wedding for two childhood sweethearts – Zoë and Josh. A DIY wedding, with friends and family pitching in, that had an intended ‘festival’ feel to it. An individual wedding with a very relaxed vibe – despite the less than perfect weather.
Zoë has, to date, been the only bride who has contacted me first, via twitter. To be honest, I don’t use twitter that much, but we then spoke on the phone, last September. As I mentioned in my email to Zoë after the call, with more details about my work, ‘…my daughter will go mental when she gets back from school – Cosette called!’ 😉
Only a few weeks before, we had all been to see Les Miserables in London, where Zoë plays Cosette. A birthday treat for my daughter. All summer, my house had had my son and daughter belting out tunes for the show, as they rehearsed for a production in our town. My daughter then had another Les Mis production with her school earlier this year (My son went on to play Oliver Twist at his school). So this was a wedding day, widely anticipated in this house. My daughters would give me updates on the wedding decoration creating, via Zoë’s instagram. Sorry Josh, it was all about Zoë! 😉 Or was that Cosette and Marius?
No, it was all about Zoë and Josh – who met very young a school, split up in their late teens but got back together. Childhood sweethearts. An East Sussex wedding, for an East Sussex couple.
So the day kicks off in Hastings. That is, when I could find the place Zoë was getting ready in…. (Wrong postcode…not just me, the wedding cars got lost too) So after being stuck in Hastings traffic (bank holiday weekend) and then finally finding a parking space, (over the hill and far away…) it was down to The Old Rectory, in Hastings Old Town. Zoë was already in her dress but makeup was to come – is this a theatre thing? Usually the other way around?
Goodsoal Oast wedding ceremony – an East Sussex wedding venue
Then it was up the A21 (surprisingly clear), to Burwash and Goodsoal Oast. The rain came. It was heavy, it stopped, it drizzled, it stopped, it drizzled again. It held off as Zoë walked across from the main house and into the ceremony.
There is that bit where the registrar asks, “Does anyone here have good reason….” – usually there is silence, a sigh of relief and a laugh. Zoë’s Dad broke this, spurting out she had been married over 400 times before! Les Mis reference…. Luckily this registrar had a sense of humour, they aren’t known for it! Tears, hugs, laughter and a song from the mezzanine by friends. They would also serenade Zoë and Josh as they prepared to walk back down the aisle – which was great timing, as it was tipping down outside at this point!
The plan was for the couple to walk around to the back of the house and admire the view across the Sussex Weald, as the guests prepared for the confetti bombardment. Not only was it drizzling, there was little view – with very low cloud cover. But as the rain started to get heavier, it was down the road, to The Soul House, in Burwash. An open-sided tent, a pie van and lots of drinks. A very, very relaxed wedding reception – and we even managed to grab the few minutes of sunshine for a couple portrait. The briefest of rainbows even. By evening the tent was lit up and glowing ( apart from the constant power outages…)
Dancing was to be in the ‘ballroom’, with music by the jazz and swing band, Hullabaloo. Calling it a ballroom might be stretching it a bit – not a big room at all. I was shooting on a 20mm lens, dodging the elbows. (Camera in the face a couple of times) But as you see below, it went down well.
A great wedding. Done they way they wanted, rather than to some venue’s routine agenda….here are a few images from Zoë and Josh’s East Sussex wedding….
Something that meant a lot!
I mentioned earlier, my daughter was in a school production of Les Mis, earlier this year. I asked Zoë if she could send a note of support, as something from the real cast would mean a lot to the kids? She went one better.
— 𝔃𝓸ë 𝓭𝓸𝓪𝓷𝓸 (@zoedoano) February 8, 2016
When I called upstairs to my daughter, telling her to go on her twitter (“What? Why?”) – there was then a small yelp. The internet in the town went mad, as the cast shared it amongst themselves. One of the teachers called it a big ‘morale boost’ after a difficult day of rehearsals. And their performance? It was great!
Many people think all a wedding photographer does, is on the day – but there are hours of processing afterwards, sat in front of a computer. I usually sit there with headphones on and of course, for this wedding, I had Les Miserables on shuffle! (but not Russell Crowe…)