James and Britt’s wedding at Hales Hall & The Great Barn in Norfolk was my first ever American country wedding. And oh my goodness, was it worth the wait?! Exquisitely styled, effortlessly cool. And with as much sentiment, joy, love and drama as any great country song! I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. Why aren’t there MORE weddings with an American country vibe?!
There’s a special place in my heart for American country music. Raspy voices singing songs of unshakable faith, all-consuming love and crushing heartbreak. Poetry woven through melodies so pretty you can’t help but close your eyes as you listen. But most of all I love the stories. And James and Britt’s wedding at Hales Hall & The Great Barn was one story I was honoured to help tell.
So when the incredibly talented Nataly J asked me to be her second shooter, it was a low-key fangirl moment for me and a dream come true. Throw in a picture-perfect outdoor ceremony, a stunning boho-cowgirl bride, groomsmen on vintage scooters and a venue to die for, and fuck me, had I hit the jackpot?!
“You never know what’s gonna happen. You make your plans and you hear God laughing.” Thomas Rhett
I was so excited to be working with Nataly J. Little did I know that we’d be running around together in the pouring rain picking up seat cushions! So how did we get ourselves into this ridiculous situation, you ask?!
Well James and Britt had planned to have an outdoor ceremony in the grounds of Hales Hall. But even though they were getting married at the height of summer, English rain- as always- was a danger! And sure enough, a few minutes before the ceremony was due to start, the heavens opened and the beautifully styled ceremony area got drenched!
So Nataly and I sacrificed ourselves like the dedicated wedding photographers we are! And we ran into the rain to salvage what we could! And just as quickly as it came, the rain stopped and the sky returned to an innocent sapphire blue like nothing ever happened. So we left the damp seat cushions (nothing worse than sitting on a wet cushion!), wiped the rain off the seats and handed out umbrellas just in case!
“How ‘bout them cowgirls” George Strait
Can we just pause for a second? Didn’t Britt look out of this world?! Boho cowgirl is a difficult look to pull off. But Britt’s spent time living on a ranch, so she isn’t just some ordinary girl. She’s a cowgirl at heart! And holy shit, did she nail this look?!
At first glance she was a classic, beautiful boho bride. With relaxed waves in her hair, a delicate flower crown, a luxurious unstructured bouquet and the flowing lace and gorgeous detailing of her BERTA bridal gown.
But combine all that with the epic wolf tattoo on her back, the truly awesome bejewelled white cowboy boots and the later addition of a bespoke leather jacket. And you’ve got one seriously cool bride!
The styling and floristry by Hall and Co Event Design was phenomenal.
To begin with, the florals were magnificent. White and toffee roses, eucalyptus and pampas grass lined the aisle and formed an arch behind the altar, giving the outdoor ceremony a touch of gentle, elegant style.
And don’t you just love the flower crown of gypsophila for the adorable flower girl? And the vintage scooters for James and his groomsmen? Not to mention James’ astonishingly cool tie! And I loved the American Oak-effect signs as well. So in-sync with the American country theme.
“This is God’s country” Blake Shelton
For me, the crowning glory has to be the styling of the reception area in The Great Barn. The first time I walked in, I had to look up from my camera to check what I was seeing in my viewfinder was actually real! This was my first wedding with Hall and Co Event Design and I’m seriously considering just following these guys around!
The barn has 180 arrow-slit windows, and each flickered with candle light. Long stemmed white and purple candles adorned the tables. And deep green foliage hung from the centuries-old rustic wooden beams of the high-vaulted barn. It was like walking into a Tudor feast. And honestly, my jaw dropped when I saw it.
A lot of people from all over the world couldn’t be there with them on their day. So they had all recorded messages which were played on a screen for everyone to watch during the speeches. This was such a nice touch! There was also a photo slideshow of James and Britt’s relationship playing to one of my all-time favourite songs, God’s Country by Blake Shelton.
Aaaahhh! This wedding was just perfect!
“What’s your guilty pleasure, your old go to? Well if you asked me, mine would be you” Blake Shelton
We disappeared with Britt and James at sunset to get some Golden Hour shots in the grounds of Hales Hall. The long golden grass waved gently in the breeze and they took some time together alone as a newly married couple.
Take a look at the photos. Don’t you just love the way these two look at each other?! Such true happiness, love and unwavering devotion to their soulmate. It’s sincerely wonderful to see. There are so many parts of the wedding day I love to capture. But these precious moments of intimacy together when you’re away from the crowds. These have got to be my favourites.
Because at the end of the day, your wedding gallery isn’t a story about a big party you held for your family. It’s your day, your future. Your love story.
“I’ll keep on turning the pages; oh, what a story to tell. You’ll still be my sweetheart when everything ages, you’ll be the last book on the shelf.” Pistol Annies
As a documentary wedding photographer, I love that I get to tell the story of your wedding day. The happiness, the laughter, and your all-consuming love for each other. A story worthy of an epic country song!
That’s why I don’t like to spend the day directing you, endlessly posing you or bossing you around. I like to tell the story of your day as it happens. After all, my job isn’t to write your song for you. It’s to capture every amazing moment as you write it for yourselves.
I want you to have the best day ever on your wedding day. And you don’t want a glum photographer following you around, do you?! I’m a little crazy, a little different and definitely not normal! But I’m OK with that! I’d love for us to get to know each other before you make any decisions about your photographer. So if you love my work and think I could be the wedding photographer for you, please get in touch today and let’s chat!