Winter light wedding at Sopley Mill. While a fair number of couples still like to book a date in the traditional high wedding season – Spring and Summer – I’ve noticed over recent years that increasing numbers are looking beyond these months and to the other seasons for their big day. And it’s a great thing too, as late Autumn, Winter and early Spring bring a whole host of advantages and attractions with them. Not least the absolutely beautiful light that you can get for your photographs.
It’s not guaranteed of course, but then it’s not guaranteed in the Summer either. But when it does shine the Sun is typically much lower in the sky, bringing that beautiful soft and directional light which carries an air of romance in with it, rather than blazing down directly from above. Hannah & James tied the knot at Sopley Mill right before the New Year. That was the time at the end of 2019 when it felt like it was never going to stop raining, and being situated in the middle of a huge expense of water meadows the river level made for an exciting watch. Still I guess they knew what they were doing when they built a water mill – floods all around except for the little island is sits on. And wow, was the surrounding countryside beautiful like that. I’ve seen it at every time of year and in pretty much every condition but this was a first. Happily we could definitely make the most of it when it came to photo time.
Bridal prep at the family home out in the New Forest and then on to Sopley Mill to catch up with James and the boys. Now a quick word about the suits. James, you see, is one extremely talented tailor. Of course he was going to make his own suit, and it’s a real beauty. But why leave it there? Why not tailor a matching jacket for the little puppy ring bearer?! I absolutely loved this, what a superb touch. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, dogs at weddings are always a good idea (and in fact now I think about it I might just have to pull together a little dogs-at-weddings blog post to celebrate our hairy, barky little friends).
The ceremony is always a lovely thing at Sopley Mill; it’s such a charming and romantic room with the red brick walls, the airy feel and the soft light flowing in from windows on three sides. Loads of smiles and laughter, one seriously beautiful couple, and our little ring bearer performed hos role without a hitch (he didn’t have to do too much to be honest, just sit there and look cute which I think he’d been in training for all his life anyway). And then, rings exchanged and registers signed, it was back out and into the world for Hannah and James as a newly minted husband and wife.
Drinks and nibbles in the boatroom and out on the terrace, group photos and some couple portraits on the fab decking area which hangs right out over the river, and then as that magical Winter sun grew ever more golden, sinking low towards the horizon, it was weddings shoes off and boots on for a quick tiptoe across the lawn for a few more portraits with the flood plains as a backdrop. Gorgeous.
And then back inside to the cosiness of the log fire and up the stairs to the dining room for speeches and the wedding breakfast, before finally heading back down into the darkness to play with some sparklers and kick off the evening celebrations.
It’s the couple, their family and their friends who make a wedding, not the time of year that it happens. And anyway, I really do love a Winter wedding – hopefully this little selection (and believe me, there were many many more photos then this) shows you why. Thank you to Hannah & James for putting on the most incredible day, and for having me there to capture it all.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this snapshot of Hannah & James’ stunning day. Friends and family can view the rest of the photos and an extended slideshow in their private viewing gallery, but you’ll need to ask them for the password first.
If you are currently planning your Sopley Mill wedding 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!