What an amazing way to start this year’s blog than with a spring wedding at the Knowle Country House! Jessica and Lee got in touch about a year before the date of the wedding and we arranged to meet for coffee in Maidstone to discuss their wedding photography in more detail. Jessica’s bridal preparation as well as the wedding ceremony and reception would all be held at the Knowle and I always feel like this works really well for couples to reduce the stress of any logistics between venues.
The Knowle is full of character, offering 14 acres of beautiful gardens and orchards to explore and always has a great range of colors and angles to work as a wedding photographer depending on the season. This year has seen the inside of the house redecorated and I have to say has made the restaurant for your wedding breakfast a very polished setting to celebrate with guests.
I arrived at The Knowle a little earlier than planned so made a start photographing the grounds and venue being dressed before the wedding guests started to arrive. After an introduction to Jessica and the bridesmaids with a coffee in hand it was time to make a start. The girls were very chilled out and played some background music while sipping Prosecco in the bridal suite and enjoying the pampering, as they got ready with the hair and makeup. I always aim to photograph the day as unobtrusively as possible to capture the day for what I was, so as Jessica and the bridesmaids had their hair and makeup done I found some nice angles to shoot from as the morning passed. Everything ran like clockwork and in no time at all the girls were soon putting their dresses on and making some final adjustments to hair and jewelry.
It was soon time for dad to see Jess in her wedding dress and before we headed out for some bridal shots dad walked into the room doing his best to hold back the tears they hugged and exchanged a few words.
Lee had now arrived at the venue and had already done the official bits with the registrar so we took the opportunity to take a few shots of Lee and the ushers before they had to head to the gardens for the wedding ceremony. Lee was enjoying catching up with wedding guests before the ceremony began which made this a great time for taking some photos using a documentary approach.
The Registrar made the announcement for the ceremony to begin and as the guests where upstanding the bridal party made the walk through the gardens and down the isle towards Lee, closely followed by a stunning Jessica accompanied by her dad.
Lee was smiling like a Cheshire cat when he made eye contact with Jess, you could sense the excitement as they held hands and exchanged a few words at the end of the isle. The ceremony was just perfect and even the weather blessed us with some blue skies and a warm spring breeze.
After exchanging vows and the rings Lee sealed the deal with a kiss under the applause of their close friends and family. The New Mr & Mrs Winchester signed the register and walked the isle one last time leading guests to the lawn for drinks and the group photos. I think its nice to include all the guests at this point of the day so my first group photo included everyone and have some fun while we make our way through the list of group photos.
The wedding breakfast wasn’t until 3.30pm so I took the guys off for some photos amongst the orchards in some of the less trodden parts of the venue. I love to do this because if the lights right you can sometime capture some really unique photos for my clients.
Guests were soon ushered inside the house for the wedding breakfast and speeches and asked to be upstanding for the new Mr & Mrs Winchester. A huge roar and applause greeted them as they made their way to the top table. Toast drinks and the long awaited speeches started proceedings, first up was Jessica’s Dad who made a heartfelt speech about his daughter before handing over to Lee who poured his heart out and brought tears to most although I’m sure some of these tears where from laughter as his mates gave him plenty of stick! A hard act to follow but the Best man stepped up, followed suite and delivered a brilliant belly laughing speech to close formalities. Dinner was now underway and finished off with the cutting of the cake inside the large bay window in the restaurant. I really like the light this window provides for photos and todays spring weather didn’t disappoint.
Evening guests started to arrive and where soon mingling with the day guests at the bar ready to celebrate with the guys at the 1st dance.
Damien the DJ gathered guests around the dance floor and announced the Bride and Groom to the center of the conservatory to Amazed by Lonestar, sharing a slow dance together before friends joined them on the dance floor to get the party underway. As the night progressed, guests enjoyed the great music, photo booth and atmosphere at the Knowle.
I had a great day looking after Jess and Lee and so to finish our day’s photography we snuck out to the lake while the sun dropped to nail amazing photos by the lake and orchards. Thank you Mr & Mrs Winchester.
Here are some of my favorite photos from another great summer wedding at the Knowle Country House. Please feel free to get in touch if you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your own wedding day.
Photography coverage – Bridal Preparation – 1st dance + Twilight flash photography
Hour’s coverage – Approximately 10 hrs
Number of photos – Approximately 650
Book a consultation with Steve
Photographer location – Rochester, Kent
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Sarah & James booked me last year and I have to say these guys had me buzzing with excitement after our consultation. Not only are they a lovely couple having chosen to tie the knot at the amazing Knowle Country House in Higham but they intended to keep this as an intimate affair with their very closest family and friends. After lots of wedding photography chit chat Sarah mentioned that they would be bringing Roxy their 5 year old Labrador along on the big day, with the responsibilities of best man or best dog in this case! Carrying the rings to the alter. Now with me having a massive place in my heart for dogs I could hardly contain my excitement 🙂
I absolutely love shooting weddings at the Knowle, the venue is stunning and it’s so well run by its staff. If there are any engaged couples out there reading this blog you definitely need to stick this venue on your list of places to consider.
Sarah decided she would be getting ready at home so that’s where their story begins. Upon arrival to Sarah’s parents house I couldn’t have asked for better weather, blue sky and a slight breeze in the air to take the edge off the beating sun. Sarah had already had her hair done and was now half way through having her makeup done by Lisa from Blushed Beauty. Lisa is a very talented artist with years of experience, which was clear to see as she worked her magic. Sarah looked amazing and it wasn’t long before mum was helping her put on that special dress.
Some of the family waited in the garden to see Sarah make her grand entrance. Dads face was priceless and a privilege to see the father/daughter relationship on such a magical day. The morning had ran like clockwork which gave us plenty of time for some relaxed shots in the garden.
When I arrived at the Knowle guests were already enjoying the weather with a glass of Pimms in hand and Roxy was certainly enjoying the freedom of the grounds. Roxy looked great with her buttonhole collar designed by the very talented Katie Mackintosh. After a catch up with James it wasn’t long before Sarah arrived by classic car at the front of house and guests where being ushered to their seats.
The ceremony was perfect with Roxy doing her bit when asked to present the rings J With the vows exchanged and the confetti thrown the guys enjoyed the surroundings with a few drinks before I intervened for some photos. I make every effort to produce amazing unique photos for my Clients and make sure we have fun while we do it. Every photographer has a unique style and I just love to create an edgy feel to my photos. As you will see from the gallery we made great use of the grounds for some awesome shots.
While the guys enjoyed their wedding breakfast it gave me time not only to stop and grab a well needed drink and bite to eat but also to plan some more photos for later, the weather was kind and gave us the most striking sunset. It would have been rude to waste such a perfect setting so I made sure we grabbed 10 minutes to shoot some belters around the lake and orchards that surround this fantastic venue.
I had a total blast at this one and can’t thank Sarah & James enough for choosing me to be part of their special day. Here are a handful of my favorite shots that tell Sarah and James story at The Knowle Country House.