relaxed wedding

Beth & Simon | A relaxed summer wedding at Captains Wood Barn in Essex

If you’ve seen Beth and Simon’s couple shoot in Richmond Park on the blog then you will know how in love these two are ❤️ Russell and I love to document amazing fun weddings but ultimately what matters most is the love and I have never seen two people look at each other the way these two do. Their wedding day was all about their family and friends but it was like the two of them were literally walking on air and they couldn’t take their eyes off each other. Ladies and gents, that’s true love that is.

I feel like I can’t rave enough about these two. They are just the kindest and most gentle people you could ever meet. It was such a joy to see them get married and be there to capture it all! ✨

Beth started the day getting ready with her bridesmaids and family. I love this part of a wedding day - it can be a bit chaotic and this was no exception. There were so many people bustling in and out of the house but there was so much happiness. Everyone was so excited to get to the wedding.

Beth and Simon were wed at United Reformed Church by their friend and it was such a moving ceremony. Just look at the photographs below, everyone was so happy :)

The couple and their guests headed to Captains Wood Barn for the wedding reception and wow - what a venue. Ever since I first saw this place on instagram I’ve been dreaming about photographing a wedding here, you’ll see why! The barn is just so beautiful and the woodlands that surround the barn are just 👌

The drinks reception was held in the woodland and the bridal party travelled there by tractor which was awesome!

Like us, Beth and Simon love coloured smoke grenades. They just make the most epic portraits and once I saw that the bridesmaids all had matching jackets I insisted we go out for some bridesmaid portraits with them. You can see the results below, how badass do those babes look!

After a delicious meal, hilarious speeches and cake cutting (with an epic sword 😏) there was an awesome ceilidh. A ceilidh is my absolute favourite wedding tradition. Everyone should have them! Simon’s family are Scottish and it isn’t a proper ceilidh without all the men wearing kilts 😉

Such an awesome wedding. Guys, shall we do it again? 😎

If you’re planning a relaxed and fun wedding and you’re looking for a photographer and/or wedding film, let us know!

Venue: Captains Wood Barn - this venue is incredible and it books up years in advance!!

Ceilidh - The Hosepipe Band

Food - Copleys Food

Make up - Joanna Plimmer

Hair - Yvonne Bone

Mother of the Bride smiling at the bride while having make up done by make up artist
Bride having make up applied on the morning of her wedding
Close up of bride after make up is finished on morning of wedding day
Flower crown and flowers on mannequin head
Bride trying on flower crown before having hair styled on morning of wedding
Father of the Bride holds grandson and looks upstairs
Bride, Maid of Honour and Mother of the Bride take a selfie
Boho bride on the morning of her wedding
Bride pushes open door for big reveal to family
Bride first look with family and bridesmaids
Groom greets guests at the church
Groom hugs guests as they arrive for the wedding
Groom waits for bride
Groom and wedding guests smile at flower girl and page boy as they walk down the aisle
Groom sees his bride for the first time as she walks up the aisle with her Father
Bride and Groom about to get married
Bride and Groom holding hands listening before they start exchanging vows
Bride and Groom hold hands during wedding ceremony
Bride and Groom sat down holding hands
Wedding guests laughing during wedding ceremony
Bride and Groom exchange vows in front of friends and family at United reformed Church in Maldon Essex
Bridesmaid and Father of Bride smile as Bride and Groom exchange vows
Bride and Groom exchange vows at United reformed Church Maldon Essex wedding photography
Groom is very happy as bride and groom are announced as husband and wife
Bride and Groom first kiss
Confetti outside United Reformed Church Maldon Essex wedding photography
Guests stood outside Captains Wood Barn wedding
Wedding guests look at rustic table plan
Captains Wood Barn wedding reception wedding photography
Rustic wedding at Captains Wood Barn wedding photography table setting
Rustic wedding table setting
Outside drinks reception at Captains Wood Barn
Drinks reception outside Captains Wood Barn wedding photography
Bridesmaid walking towards tractor at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Captains Wood Barn wedding tractor and cart carrying wedding party
Captains Wood Barn Wedding Photography wedding tractor carrying wedding party
Wedding guests take photographs at Captains Wood Barn outside wedding drinks reception
Bride and Groom and wedding tractor at Captains Wood Barn
Floral Wedding Order of Service resting on tree trunk next to yellow coat and glasses of champagne
Wedding guests drinking champagne during drinks reception at Captains Wood Barn
Wedding guest asks for beer by bar staff during outdoor drinks reception at Captains Wood Barn
Wedding guests eat canapés during outdoor drinks reception at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Wedding guests at outdoor drinks reception at Captains Wood Barn
Groom and Groomsmen wearing sunglasses at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Bride hugging bridesmaids at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Bride dancing with bridesmaids in the woods at Captains Wood Barn wedding
bride and groom woodland portrait at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Bride and groom walk through pine forest at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Bride and Groom wedding portrait in the woodlands at Captains Wood Barn wedding photography
Bride and Groom look at each other stood in the woodland at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Wedding reception at Captains Wood Barn
Badass bridesmaids walking along with the bride holding coloured smoke grenades
Bride and Bridesmaids stood with coloured smoke grenades | Captains Wood Barn wedding photography
Coloured smoke grenades Captains Wood Barn wedding photography
Bride and groom walking along with coloured smoke grenades
Bride and groom with smoke grenades
Captains Wood Barn wedding photography coloured smoke grenades
Bride and groom cut the cake at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Bride and Groom first dance at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Captains Wood Barn wedding photography first dance
Bride and Groom dancing at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Ceilidh Captains Wood Barn wedding
Ceilidh at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Ceilidh wedding dance at Captains Wood Barn
Bride dances to Ceilidh at Captains Wood Barn wedding
Groom dances Ceilidh wedding dance at Captains Wood Barn
Ceilidh wedding dance at Captains Wood Barn

Adrienne & James | An awesome laidback outdoor wedding in Lincolnshire

This summer has been incredible so far and I've been SO lucky to travel (all over the world, Australia counts right?!) to photograph some absolutely wonderful relaxed and happy weddings! 

I knew from the moment that I started speaking to Adrienne about her and James' wedding that it would be a dream wedding to photograph. Adrienne and James just wanted to have a bloody good time with all the people they love. 

I could talk for hours about wedding traditions. I love it when my couples pick and choose the traditions that actually mean something to them (or abandon them altogether, that's my absolute favourite!) and these guys did just that. They didn't want any posed photographs (but just look below at how BEAUTIFUL they are when I managed to persuade them ;) !), no group photos and definitely no speeches or forced "fun" for their guests. 

These guys did everything in a really simple and straightforward way. They hired self-catering barn accommodation for a week (best decision ever), made lots themselves (the seating,  all the signs, the wedding arch, a gladiators game - yes like the TV show - and the bar...James is a genius), brought in food (picnic food and a PIZZA TRUCK), stocked their bar with their favourite ale, played a massive game of Beer Pong and even threw one of their wedding guests in the swimming pool fully clothed! 

All of the above made this such an amazing wedding but Adrienne and James know who the star of the show was for me (and my husband Russell who joined me to shoot video, more coming soon!)...their Italian Greyhound Sunny. Oh my days, I love dogs at weddings and Sunny might just be my favourite dog in the world. Have a look below and I'm sure you will agree ♡ Sunny loves these guys a ridiculous amount, it's so cute! 

As this wedding was so bloody awesome I asked Adrienne to compile a list of tips for any other couples who would like to plan a relaxed and non-traditional wedding and here they are (thank you Adrienne!): 

1- Support small local businesses rather than using well known chains for things. I found that they show more attention to detail and it's an all round more personalised experience. That being said we bought our table flowers from our local Morrisons and arranged them ourselves. Just suss out when and where to be savvy. Do as much as you can yourself (within reason and without stressing yourself out too much).

2- Charity shops! These places are amazing for picking up little things you may need for added decoration. such as cushions or throws. We bought a handful of cut glass bowls for nuts for the bar etc. I also found Etsy was great for finding one off cute little extras such as the macrame and my belt. 

3- We decided to have a free bar...all day...if we could change this now we probably would. By the time the hired bar man had gone home it became a free for all, at which point I had to step in a be a party pooper and limit people's drinks to beer only. However the other side to this is that the guests REALLY appreciated it! - "this is the best wedding ever"

4- Help is all around you. Try not to stress too much as friends and family will step in to help. Call upon the expertise of those you know. If you know someone crafty - USE THEM! Our favours were made by the mother of the groom, the cake was made by the sister in-law! Fortune saved.

5- Don't get hung up on tiny details like, is that glass vase central on that tiny table in the corner - no one will notice on the day and it's time you're wasting that you could be spending on other things...like drinking! (this is one of my fave tips!) 

6- The venue is obviously super important. Again this is about thinking outside of the box. We found a lovely converted barn, self catering holiday let literally 20 mins from our front door. As this wasn't a registered wedding venue it was super cheap in comparison and this meant we had the entire venue for a whole week, guests didn't have the stress of travelling long distances AND it slept 16 people at NO additional costs. We found a humanist celebrant who gave us a blessing which meant we had total control over everything - the wording, the location and live music!

7 - This is your day and you can plan it exactly how you want. We were legally married in the local registry office a few weeks prior to our 'ceremony'. This was just James, myself and 2 witnesses. We turned up in jeans and it cost £40. It's a little nontraditional but it suited us down to the ground!

In addition - we knew our day was going to be super relaxed and for that reason we decided not to have bridesmaids and groomsmen. All our close friends and family helped out and we didn't have to give them a title or a suit/dress for them to volunteer. 

8 - Our day started at 10.30am and guests stayed until midnight in the end. Despite this being a super long day, it still felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. My advice is stand back for 30 mins just to adsorb, take some time with your new husband (or wife) to reflect, this really helped us. 

9- Don't over plan, or worry if you're behind on schedule or if you forget about things - we didn't schedule in a cake cutting moment but it ended up happening, simply because the cake was too beautiful to not be the star for 15 mins!

10- Last but not least, DO choose your photographer carefully, after all the photos they take will help you remember your day for the rest of your life. I would recommend Tash and Russell to anyone! Their work is amazing and they're literally the nicest people you'll ever meet. I think Tash should add wedding organiser/planner/project manager to her CV! 

 

I really love the approach that Adrienne and James took to planning their wedding and I hope the tips above are helpful for anyone else who is planning their wedding! I think it is so important to have a wedding that reflects you both as a couple, to not worry too much about traditions or what others may expect from you. Just plan the day the way you want it ♡

Lovely suppliers:

Venue: Thorganby Hall

Acoustic Musician: Sam Dawson

Stone baked pizza van: Pizza Mamma Hull

 

Thorganby Hall, Lincolnshire Wedding
Welcome to Marris Barn sign, Thorganby, Lincolnshire
Order of the day, relaxed back garden wedding
Bride and her Italian greyhound
Bridal bouquet
Wedding bar
Guests arriving for wedding
Italian greyhound sat on the back of the sofa
Family and friends seeing bride for the first time
alternative bride with tattoo and lace wedding dress
Bride hugging her mother on wedding day
Bride walking to her wedding with her Grandfather and dog
Macrame wedding arch surrounded by Lincolnshire countryside
Groom waits for bride stood with his brother by macrame wedding arch
Outdoor wedding ceremony with macrame wedding arch
Outdoor wedding ceremony with macrame wedding arch
Bride and groom getting married in outdoor wedding ceremony with Italian greyhound and macrame wedding arch
Bride and groom getting married in outdoor wedding ceremony in Lincolnshire countryside
Couple laughing through outdoor wedding ceremony
Bride and groom showing emotion while mother of the groom does a reading
Bride and groom smiling through outdoor wedding ceremony reading
Bride crying during reading
Couple's dog joins in during the wedding ceremony
Bride reading vows
Groom reading vows and bride crying
Bride and groom exchanging vows during outdoor wedding ceremony with macrame wedding arch and countryside views
Couple's first kiss as husband and wife | outdoor wedding ceremony in Lincolnshire with macrame wedding arch
Just married!
Confetti shot!
Bride and groom get confetti thrown at them
Groom spinning bride around at the end of the aisle
Flower girl throws confetti over bride
Toddler throwing confetti over the bride
Bride cuddling her Italian greyhound on her wedding day
Acoustic musician Sam Dawson playing at relaxed outdoor wedding
Wedding guests and groom stood at the handmade bar
Italian greyhound "Iggy" staring up at bride and groom
Bride pulling herself a pint of Doombar ale
Bride proudly holds her pint of ale
Bride and groom cheers with their ales
Beautiful Lincolnshire countryside wedding | Thorganby, Lincolnshire
Bride relaxing with her wedding guests
Guests enjoying outdoor wedding
Bride and groom throw guest into swimming pool
Bride and groom throw guest into pool
Wedding guest gets thrown into the swimming pool by bride and groom
Groom eating while dog begs for food
Dog begs for food from bride and groom
Beautiful Lincolnshire countryside
Young boy riding children's tractor wearing sunglasses
Bride and groom portrait at outdoor wedding in Lincolnshire
Groom kissing bride on the head | Black and white photograph
Italian greyhound with bride and groom
Bride and groom with VW camper van on wedding day
Bride and groom walking through car park looking cool
Bride and groom living the van life on their wedding day
Bride and groom portrait at relaxed wedding in Lincolnshire
Beautiful alternative wedding couple portrait
Bride and groom and their Italian greyhound
Bride and groom drinking ale instead of cake cutting
Bride smashing cake on groom's face during cake cutting
Bride and groom laughing during cake cutting
Handmade heart wedding favours
Children playing around at outdoor wedding
Child strutting around at outdoor wedding
Wedding guests drinking in the sunshine
Children playing outside at wedding
Bride laughing with wedding guests
Barefoot bohemian bride with alternative lace wedding dress
Wedding guests playing gladiator outdoor games
Adrienne and James-66.jpg
Pizza Mamma Hull making pizza at relaxed outdoor wedding
Wedding guests eating pizza
Wedding guests devouring pizza
Wedding guests eating pizza
Bride and groom doing selfie with wedding guests
Bride and groom eating their wedding pizza
Groom shoving pizza in the bride's face
Bride reacts to having pizza smashed in her face during wedding reception
Beer pong at a relaxed wedding
Bride and groom playing beer pong
Groom drinks in beer pong at wedding
Bride drinks in wedding beer pong
Bride plays beer pong during wedding
Wedding guests celebrate during beer pong
Team celebrate during wedding beer pong
Wedding guest falling off podium while playing gladiator
Wedding guests laughing while playing gladiator
Bride and groom with coloured smoke grenades on wedding day
Bride and groom drawing heart with smoke grenades on wedding day
Bride and groom cuddling with smoke grenade to the side
Bride and groom cuddling at sunset

Becky & Shane | A super relaxed and fun wedding held at the Budgie Smuggler in Melbourne, Australia

Becky and Shane are two of my favourite people in the entire world. As soon as they got engaged I just knew they would plan a super relaxed and fun wedding for all their friends and family and I couldn't wait!

These guys know how to plan one hell of a wedding. They chose to forego tradition and get married in an awesome venue called The Budgie Smuggler - a really relaxed bar/warehouse event space which is decorated in stylish and industrial touches. 

In Becky's own words "I felt like an imposter at the traditional wedding venues, so I went with a place that made me feel happy and at home...oh and it had beer on tap, that was Shane's prerequisite!" 

These guys were so relaxed that when I suggested they have a first look and take portraits and group shots before the ceremony in the daylight (they got married in the evening) they didn't hesitate. I've not photographed a first look before and I would definitely recommend them to anyone getting married later in the day (or during winter!) or even if you feel a little anxious about the ceremony! 

I really loved the whole approach that Becky and Shane took to planning their wedding, Becky told me "I tried to forget about what people expected you to do on the day and just went with what we really wanted. I have got through most of my life with a relaxed 'wing it' attitude and thought I've made it this far and nothing bad has happened!". Other examples of ways in which they broke tradition included getting an Uber to and from the ceremony (such a good idea!) and abandoning the idea of 'favours' and just making sure everyone had plenty to eat and drink. 

One of my favourite things about this wedding (apart from their carefree approach the whole day and in the run up!) was how much love was felt throughout the entire day. Becky and Shane love each other so much, you only have to be with them for 5 minutes to notice it. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room during the ceremony (mine definitely weren't!)!

But it wasn't just the two of them, everyone loves these two so much - from family who travelled across the world to be with them, to friends who helped organise and prep for the big day (a huge shout out to Becky's Maid of Honour Thea who is actually superhuman!) and Shane's parents who have continually supported the two of them in everything they do. It was such an incredible honour to be a part of this amazing occasion and I am so bloody happy to say (for the millionth time!) congratulations Mr and Mrs Young ♡ 

Supplier info:

Venue (plus food, drink and DJ): The Budgie Smuggler

Flowers: TBC Event Styling, Floristry & Design

Make-up: Emily Tong

Hair: Cropped Hair and Beauty - Ash Jende

Bridal shoes: Bared Footwear

Dress: Pollardi

Shane's suit: Joe Black 

Enjoy the photos! I will be blogging my travel photos from Australia soon too, yay! :) 

Melbourne Australia postcard 'Melbourne because you can never have too much weather!'
'happy wedding day' card
Shane do not enter - sign on the door
Red and white roses
Preparing rose petal confetti
Champagne and croissants on the morning of the wedding
Sister of the groom holding Rosie the dog
Baskets of rose petal confetti
Bridal flowers
Bride on the morning of her wedding
Bride having make up finished
Bride having lipstick applied by make up artist
Grandpa cuddles his granddaughter at wedding
Bridesmaids help the bride get ready
Bridesmaids and family react to seeing bride for the first time
Bride arrives at venue in an uber
Father of the bride and maid of honour help the bride out of an uber outside wedding venue
Beautiful bride waiting to go into wedding venue
Bride walking across bridge for first look
Groom waits for bride at first look
Bride and groom first look in Melbourne Australia
Groom sees bride for first time at first look
Family walking across bridge see bride and groom for the first time
Bride and groom first look
Bridal party laughing at Ringwood Lake Park, VIC
Bride and groom walking through Ringwood Lake Park, VIC
Bride trying to make groom smile
Bride and groom cuddling with cheesy grins
Bride and groom portraits in Ringwood Lake Park, VIC. The Budgie Smuggler wedding. Melbourne Australia
wedding portraits in Ringwood Lake Park, Ringwood, VIC The Budgie Smuggler wedding photography
Bride and groom laughing during portraits at Ringwood Lake Park, Ringwood, VIC
Bride and groom laughing during portraits The Budgie Smuggler wedding
Bride and groom laughing in black and white
Welcome to the Budgie Smuggler sign - The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Handwritten wedding sign reading 'welcome to the wedding of Shane and Becky'
Groom and groomsmen waiting for the bride at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Groom, groomsmen and officiant awaiting the bride
Bride and her father walking down the aisle
Bride hugging her father during wedding ceremony
Wedding ceremony at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Bride and groom laughing during wedding ceremony
Groom crying during wedding ceremony
Bride and groom smiling during wedding ceremony
Bride wiping tears from groom's face during wedding ceremony
Bride watching groom during wedding ceremony at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Father and mother of the groom crying during the wedding ceremony
Groom wiping his eyes during the wedding ceremony
Bride and groom exchange vows
Bride smiling while groom reads his vows at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Bride laughing while exchanging rings
Bride and groom kiss at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Rose petal confetti shot
Groom drinking a pint of beer
Groomsman eating a burger
Bride chatting to friends after wedding ceremony at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Guest dancing at wedding
Bride and friends pulling silly faces
Bride and mother of the groom smiling
Donut wall at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Bride drinking beer after wedding ceremony at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Bride and groom eating donuts
Groom shoving a donut in bride's face
Bride and groom eating donuts after wedding ceremony
Bride and groom drinking beer after wedding ceremony
Wedding guests pose for picture at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Bride and groom first dance at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC
Dancing bride
Dancing wedding guests
Wedding guests dancing
Happy dancing wedding guests
Wedding dance floor conga
Maid of honour and father of the bride dancing
Wedding guests dancing the Macarena
Singing wedding guests
Bride dancing with the mother of the groom
Wedding guests dancing
Bride and groom dancing
Couple dancing at wedding
Donut wall
Bride dance off
Wedding guest dance off

We ended the night with shots at the bar! 

Thank you so much to my amazing second shooter Jess for this photo! :) 

Wedding guests take shots at the bar at The Budgie Smuggler, Ringwood, VIC