Will contacted me well over 18 months before the day to see if I would be available to photograph his wedding to fiancé Jess in West Sussex. I am always keen to travel for a wedding. In my opinion, one of the perks of being a wedding photographer is not only meeting new people but to visit new places as well. For both reasons, I was very much looking forward to photographing this wedding.
I met up with Jess and Will at their wedding rehearsal the evening before the wedding day just to say hi and catch up on a few details before the big day. It was great to meet the whole wedding party; everyone was super relaxed and excited ahead of the wedding.
The wedding day was perfect. The sun shone (well for most of the day) and the venues were amazing. There were so many cool moments and stories to capture but to name a few some of my favourites included the confetti throwing at the church (Will in particular got a few extra handfuls thrown at him I think lol), the speeches (which were very funny indeed) and the dance floor mayhem later on (so much fun!)
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Will and Jess for entrusting me to document their day. Thank you so much to you both and all the best for the future guys!
The Wedding of Will & Jess (Selected Stills)
Kind Words From Will & Jess
- Stewart, well, what can we say? The photos are all that we hoped for and more. You perfectly captured our special day and have made us cry and laugh in equal measure. Some of our favourites include Jess and her mum getting ready, Will escorting the grandparents into the church, our couples shoot, the reactions to Danny’s speech and THAT photo of Will, the drunken bridesmaids, Jess dancing with her dad and Will motor boating Laura! You were such a great part of the day – thank you!!
Here is their story……
Tell me a little bit about yourselves, for example, where did you meet?
We met in April 2013 when I joined the company and project that Will was working on as a new graduate. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight, rather more like a modern-day Pride and Prejudice relationship – he thought I was standoffish and I thought he was arrogant, however I do remember thinking that he dressed very well! I think the quote ‘never judge a book by its cover’ is rather apt for us; our first date was an utter disaster ending with Will being sick in Charring Cross tube, but then fast forward nearly 4 years and here we are, happily married!
Can you tell me about the proposal?
Will and I had only been officially together for 9 months when he proposed on the 5th April 2014 and I was utterly gob smacked, as were our friends and families! Will had been headhunted for a job in Dubai in January and we’d spoken about doing long distance which we were both unhappy with but resigned to. He had flown out for the interview and upon landing decided that he wanted to stay in the UK with me and not just that, but to get married.
He called my dad to ask his permission (whom he’s only met maybe 4 times) and once my bewildered dad granted it, he spent his weekend in Dubai jewelers learning all about diamonds! Once he came back from Dubai, we went to Cornwall to visit his parents (this was the second time I’d met them!), and were walking along Marazion beach in the wind and drizzle to St Michael’s Mount, where he asked me to be his wife and after asking ‘are you serious’ several times I said yes.
Can you tell me about your venues and why you chose them?
We choose St Andrew’s Church in Ferring for our ceremony followed by Wiston House, a stately home, for our Reception. Both locations are in West Sussex, where I grew up. We chose St Andrew’s Church mainly because of the lovely Reverend Gary Ingram. Gary pitches his sermons at the perfect level whether you are religious or not and as an example the guests told us they loved it when Gary said, ‘celebrations don’t start just at the reception with the first pop of the champagne cork, rather they begin here in church because our God is a God of celebration and joy.’
Wiston House, the reception venue, has only had 6 families live there since 1066 and has absolutely stunning scenery and grounds which was all ours for exclusive use. We were also highly impressed with the professionalism of the staff in the run up to the big day as well as the wedding day itself, we could totally relax, safe in the knowledge everything was under control!
Were you going for a certain style or theme for your wedding?
Will and I are quite traditional at heart, and this was evident in our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic, sophisticated and full of joy; we stuck with a blush, cream and gold colour palette, minimal decorations other than a scary amount of flowers and kept several wedding traditions such as the church ceremony, a receiving line, bouquet toss and a sit down meal. Alongside this, we added in some special touches personal to us as a couple and our life together in South London. Including a personalised wedding march written by Will’s uncle, giving our guests hot sauce as a wedding favour (with a picture of us on it dancing at Notting Hill Carnival), expresso martinis served alongside tea and coffee and finally ending the night with a final dance to ‘GarageSkank’ by Kano!
What is your most memorable moment from the day?
Too many to say! If I was really pushed, I could narrow it down to 3.
- Will and I having a high five at the altar just after Gary announced that we were now married, our little way of saying ‘yay go us’.
- Best Man Danny’s speech, featuring a blown-up photo of Will in his pants!
- Smashing our first dance to Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’ (as well as all of the drunken dancing that followed)
Why did you choose Stewart Girvan Photography?
Will knows Stewart from Cornwall and suggested him as our wedding photographer. We went to visit him at his studio and I was immediately at ease and comfortable with Stewart; he is extremely personable and professional and I really appreciated how he took the time to sketch out how our day would run and where he could be at each moment. His portfolio was highly impressive and we both loved his style of capturing candid moments throughout the day as well as combining this with stunning landscape photography. It was an easy decision to make!
How did you feel about having your photos taken and were you pleased with the final images?
Stewart became part of the day, he was so warm, friendly and put everyone at ease and his presence was subtle allowing us to get on with creating the memories that he so beautifully captured. We insisted he had a beer with us later on and this resulted in him staying pretty much until the bitter end (or until his camera batteries ran out!), and a whole host of hilarious drunk photos to add to the collection! We were delighted with the final images, they were all we could have asked for and more, thank you Stewart!
Can you tell me about any other suppliers that contributed and played an important part to your wedding? For example, florist, makeup artist, transport, entertainment.
We were so lucky to have a whole host of talented, creative and professional suppliers who all contributed towards a fantastic day. Key suppliers to mention are;
- Jazz band – Sara Oschlag and the SO Quartet
- Florist – Greenfingers Florist
- Hair and Makeup – Beauty Call (Becky was a genius)
- Videographer – Egg Cosy Entertainment
- Wedding Cake – Janey Mac Cakes
Do you have any advice for future couples planning their wedding?
We would advise future couples to not worry about everything being perfect, as difficult as this is! Jess in particularly was very stressed in the run up to the big day but you need to remember that you are surrounded by people that love you and in reality, just so long as you as a couple are loving your day that’s the most important thing, and if you end up actually married, the day has been a success! We also highly recommend having a videographer – you’ll find yourself running all over the place and you will forget moments from throughout the day which can be documented on video forever! We also recommend having a receiving line; some people may think this is staid and old-fashioned but it gave us the opportunity to make sure we’d said hello to every single person so that during dinner we could relax and actually eat!