What an absolutely stunning day we had for David & Jonny’s same sex wedding at wonderful Sopley Mill, down on the water meadows just outside Chichester. Tears and laughter all the way through, and a proper party crowd; this fantastic couple have got some seriously great friends. The day also had quite a continental feel to it. One of our grooms was Spanish and they had come over from there in force. Needless to say everyone was looking amazing: when the Spanish dress up for a wedding they really dress up for a wedding!
By the time I arrived the Mill was already a hive of activity, with friends and family scattered around and about adding finishing touches to the details and decorations, or preparing for their contribuitions to the proceedings. David and Jonny were also around and about; the dressing room was base camp but you had to be quick to catch anyone in there – a quick tie-straighten in a mirror and the dishing out of rings and favours and they were off again. Meanwhile, outisde guests were gathering in the early Spring sunshine out on the bridge, catching up with old friends or making new ones…
The ceremony room at Sopley Mill always ticks my boxes. The light in there just seems to be perfect at any time of year. That bright, airy feel coupled with windows on three aspects looking out over the water meadows and across the river to the countryside beyond, and then the exposed brickwork giving it all a sense of warmth and intimacy. There’s just something very relaxed and pleasant about a ceremony here.
And then, once all the guests were seated and assorted pages and flower girls were assembled outside the doors, it was ceremony time. If you like real emotion in a marriage this was the ceremony for you – wow! You could absolutely feel the love radiating off the couple, and the (happy) tears which made an appearance left no-one in any doubt just how special and important an occasion this was to our two grooms. A perfect, beautiful ceremony with gorgeous music, wonderful readings and laughter through and through. I just can’t get enough of weddings like this, they’re just such a pleasure to cover.
Rings exchanged and certificates signed, David & Jonny walked back down the aisle as husband and husband, ready to kick off the celebrations. They arrived outside to bubbles instead of confetti (very enthusiatically blown by all the guests – good work everyone!) and oh, that gorgeous early Spring light: photo heaven! Drinks and canapes out on the terrace, music and garden games (check out the little toy aeroplanes for the kids – very cool and they went down a treat) and then on to the group photos. Hot off the press for 2017 (good news for my other couples getting married there this year) – Sopley Mill has treated itself to a new terraced area beside the bridge, hanging out over the water, and it’s excellent! It totally transferms and opens up a little corner of the site which wasn’t hitting its full potential before, and it’s also a very useful group photo location when the grass is a little boggy underfoot and all those high heels are in danger of sinking down into the ground.
Up to the top of the Mill to the beautiful beamed dining room for a wedding breakfast of game terrine and Spring Lamb two ways (both very good ways, it has to be said!) and then, as the daylight softened and we faded into the evening I was able to steal David & Jonny away, across the brige and down to the meadows for some photos of just the two of them before they moved on to the next stage of the celebrations. I really love taking my couple photos down here when I have the chance (it can sometimes require a little tip-toeing around a few puddles and boggy bits if the couple are game for that, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it once you get down there) and if you luck out with the light as we did that day you’re laughing. And just check out that connection between our two grooms; when you’ve got love like that in the eyes the photos just take themselves really!
Wow, what a perfect wedding and what a wonderful couple – it really is such a treat to be able to be there and share in occasions like this. Massive congratulations to you both, David & Jonny, and wishing you many very happy years together.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little selection of images from the day. That’s just part of the finished set, and friends and family can view the full series, and the storytelling slideshow, in David & Jonny’s private online gallery (although you’ll need to ask them for the password first).
If you are currently planning your same-sex wedding or civil partnership and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please do get in touch to check availability and ask me any questions you might have. I’m only too happy to help however I can.
Thanks as ever for reading, and come back again soon for many more photos from many more beautiful weddings!