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Annika & Luke – Southend Barns Wedding

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Wedding Suppliers at Southend Barns

The Wedding Day

Wedding Prep for the Girls

I met Annika and Luke at the Southend Barns Wedding Fair in the summer of 2017. They wanted natural wedding photography in Chichester. I will never forget her mum; she had a big blue streak in the front of

her hair and was effervescent and vibrant to match. We had a quick chat at my stand and then met for a longer chat at my house a few weeks later. Immediately, I realised that these two were a relaxed and chilled out couple. This is so much easier with natural wedding photography as the people need to be natural and relaxed as well.

Some brides like lots of photos and are big on the image they are going project in their photos. Annika was just interested in the day and letting me do what I do, which is document, creatively using natural light.

Annika had an astoundingly beautiful fishtail, cream lace wedding gown

with two bridesmaids in mint green long dresses, from Mia London,

the morning was easy and fuss-free at the Southend Barns apartment.

Mint Green Bridesmaids Dresses

This space allows the bride and her maids to move freely, with lots of space for make-up and hair. Annika had her hair in elegant, yet modern plaits and tendrils by Gemma Phillips. Natural wedding photography works with natural make-up and hair. Gemma did a great job in making her hair look like it was effortlessly put up, but still being natural and elegant.

Being incredibly fair, her make-up was light and rosey. The apartment is set in a little courtyard so that you can come and go with a large rust branded door that closes them off privately from the arriving crowds in the lawn area. Their tiny flowergirl and boy (in black tie!) were photographed by the water feature.

Ian met Luke and his groomsen, who arrived in a stretch limo.

Grooms’ Transport in Stretch Limo West Sussex

After a few fun photos (it has to be done with a car that long!), they came in for a quick beer and to meet and greet their guests. You will see most of these shots are very active, that is because I shoot mostly natural wedding photography where the parties are on the go and unposed.

The Wedding Ceremony at Southend Barns

The guests filled the lawns and with a slight chill in the air, the couple were married inside the barn. With the bride’s mum crying and the dad laughing, they were married with massive smiles on their faces.

Southend Barns are lucky in that they have a long, walk for the couple to be confettied. They take the couple off for a quick drink behind the rusty branded gate and then after the guests are efficiently lined up, the couple are walked back through to a glorious, confetti shower.

Confetti Shower!

For dinner by Field and Fork was a bbq of butterfly chicken, lamb and salmon with salad complements.

Who can pick up the Marvel Anvil?

So, when it came to the Groomsmen, they did this weird thing! Apparently, there is a myth that only the rightful marrying groom can pick up this heavy anvil. We gave it a go and see the results! The things my couples get up to – madness but great fun.

DJ Eclipse kicked off the entertainment. We ended with the most spectacular natural sunset wedding shots in Southend Barns back field, which had red shrubs, which turned the most gorgeous colour in the sunset.

The sunset wedding shoot at Southend Barns


How did you meet?

We met and became friends at college, both studying animal management where we grew closer. On the last day of college we became an item and our love soon grew stronger. We took our first holiday/ mini break was in Bristol within a year of being together. This helped us get away from usual commitments and got us to focus on just being together.

After this short time away we grew very fond of the city and in 2012 we returned; of which time Luke proposed to me as the sun began to set by the river. I had found the man of my dreams and once we’d announced our engagement to the world our next step was to save up for our own place. This took many years of saving and time away from one another but was so worth it in the end. Once we were settled into our new home the wedding planner came out and it was time to start saving again.

Choosing Southend Barns as a venue?

When looking for wedding venues I found it maybe too easy as had visited many wedding fayres to scope out exactly what we wanted for our special day. So when I came across Southend Barns mentioned at one of the fayres I had to go and see it. The moment we had a walk around the venue for the first time I really fell in love with it. We explored the venue a second time and after this we booked a date. I knew if I had gone to lots of other venues they wouldn’t have compared and Luke agreed with this decision.

Was your wedding day stressful?

The wedding day couldn’t have gone any more smoothly with the perfect weather and venue. All of the staff were so attentive which kept us at ease to enjoy the day, and all the guests said how much they enjoyed it too.  If there were any hiccups with the running of the day it didn’t show on the surface and so couldn’t have been happier with how our wedding day went. It really was the best day of our lives with such a beautiful setting.

A tip for future brides? What would you do differently on your wedding day?

My main tip for future brides is to take occasional steps
back from the day just to take it all in. That’s probably one thing I’d wish
I’d done more of during the day as it does go by so quickly; so just taking a
few minutes to take in the day would just make anyone appreciate it all that
little bit more. The amount of brides that told me it will go by so quickly
were not wrong.

Did your photographer help on the wedding day?

We knew we definitely wanted natural wedding photography. The day wouldn’t have been the same without Ali being a part of it. She kept everything under control so we didn’t have to. From the morning prep and nervous jitters to the first dance and two left feet we knew we’d have the photos we wanted of which she did not disappoint. We’re so happy with the final photos and the quality of them. I am one happy bride and have one very pleased husband.

Cruise for your honeymoon?

For our honeymoon we thought we’d go on a cruise as were recommended to do so by our DJ. The cruise set sail from Southampton and headed to the south of Spain, Gibraltar and Lisbon with so much to do on board. The cruise supplied us with late night entertainment and restaurants to try out including Sindu a Michelin star Indian restaurant. This was along with afternoon tea in the epicurean created by Eric Lanlard where the tea had never tasted so good. Was so nice to go to sleep in one city and wake up in another and was definitely the best holiday we’ve ever had full of so many memories. 

Thanks Annika and Luke for letting me photograph your wedding. You were lovely and fun and sweet!

If you would like to get in touch or receive a quote for your wedding in West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Chichester or local areas, please email [email protected] or phone 07747773880 – thanks – website is www.gaudions.co.uk

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