Every wedding is as amazing and unique as the couple but what really set Jess and Carl’s apart was the people!
I first met Carl and Jess back in 2018 and we hit it off straight away and it was agreed all round that we were a perfect fit and that I would be the photographer for them, we met again a few weeks before their big day to go through any last minute changes and the smaller details.
On the morning of their wedding I arrived at The Birch Hotel in Haywards Heath , this venue has the right blend of elegance and charm, with its original Victorian features including wood-panelled walls and a very grand staircase, a newly refurbished bar area, a grand ceremony room and a beautiful reception room with a light and airy conservatory area and the cherry on top is a wealth of friendly staff that can’t do enough for you!
I found Jess getting ready with her bridesmaids, the lovely Stacey and Lindsey of MakerOver worked tirelessly as always to get everyone ready and looking beautiful. They also helped to keep everyone calm and happy, their talents really know no ends.
Carl, was in the bar area with all of his friends. I heard them before I saw them – their laughter reverberated down the hallway and I wasn’t disappointed when I got to photograph them all having a ball whilst one of the best men tried his hardest to keep a straight face whilst wolfing down his much needed breakfast.
Guests started arriving and it was clear by midday that I was in for an afternoon and evening of fun and lots of photo opportunities, although I soon learnt that I’d have to fight Carl’s overly enthusiastic selfie taking brother for the best spots – all in good jest, obviously.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful and full of smiles and laughter.
Carl and his best men waited patiently, albeit with lots of nervous smiles for the stunning bride and bridal party to make their entrance.
After the guests all took the opportunity to congratulate the newly married couple and to enjoy a drink before we started any of the formal photos.
Jess and Carl had decided to play the formal shots by ear and weren’t wanting a long list of them, neither were they wanting many bride and groom portraits taken so the majority of my afternoon was spent capturing the fun and telling the story of their day through my images.
After their carvery style meal the guests settled down to enjoy the speeches; Jess’s dad gave a beautiful heartfelt speech, Carl gave a short speech and thanked those the had helped to make their day special, the best men then took to the floor to deliver an incredibly short but sweet speech. That was the end of the speeches, or so we thought…….
Carl’s eldest son took to the floor and delivered a speech that didn’t leave a single eye dry or a single cheer not shouted.
He was then followed by Carls brother who had everyone laughing and finished by toasting the happy couple.
The guests made their way out of the reception area and split themselves between the small outdoor area, large lobby and bar.
All of the single ladies came together for the throwing of the bouquet, which actually took place 3 times due to takes 1 and 2 being unsuccessful haha.
Once the Courtyard Room had been turned around ready for the evening the guests made their way back inside for the cutting of the cake and the first dances.
Jess and her Father took to the dancefloor first for a beautifully sentimental ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ Father Daughter Dance and were then joined by Carl, who gave them both a big cuddle before taking his wife’s hand for their first dance.
The first dance was full of love and emotion and then surprised us all when it was quickly followed by Superstylin’ by Groove Armada which immediately filled the dancefloor!
I left the happy couple and their exuberant guests tearing up the dancefloor and I have it on good authority that their evening was as awesome as the whole day had been!