August saw me photograph the wedding of Hannah & Tim at the Archbishops Palace, Maidstone, followed by a reception at the wonderfully wacky Whetsted Farm (funnily enough in Whetsted), run by Wise Wedding Venues.
Whetsted Farm is a funky venue – a traditional marquee, but in a clearing in the woods. The woodland surrounding the marquee has swings made from old sofas and chairs, a tree house (a rather precarious climb with 2 cameras swinging from your body) plus a special tree house that the bride and groom sleep in (not sure if it has an en-suite!). The woods come alive at dusk, with lights in the trees, candles, fairy lights etc – it really is magical!
I knew straight from the off that this was not going to be your traditional wedding when Hannah & Tim told me of the venue – and once I’d heard their ‘WedFest’ plans (a wedding/festival combo) I couldn’t wait! It was going to have it all, right from the off – invites printed as festival tickets, lanyards for VIP guests, DJ’s from Ibiza, lasers, smoke, fire juggling all with a really relaxed laid back atmosphere – a wedding photographer’s dream!
The day started off quite traditionally at The Archbishops Palace in Maidstone, although I knew that Hannah wasn’t going to go for your traditional white/off white dress. I had a bet with Dan, my assistant that it was going to be red – I was half right !
After the ceremony, it was onto the bus for the guests and then the usual photographer’s dash – see the bus off, but then try to beat it to Whetsted. We luckily caught it up on the dual carriage way, allowing Dan to grab a shot as we went past!
The advanced party of guest helpers were waiting at Whetsted farm, ready to hand out the lanyards for entry to Wedfest (not sure if they were checking ID though)…
Once the guest bus arrived, the party started! Tea and cake were served whilst the first of the days musical acts started off (at a much gentler pace than by the end of the evening!) in Whetsted’s amazing marquee and the guests explored the woods.
Marquee’s can sometimes be a challenge for photographers when it comes to pictures of the couple. I had a good scout round prior to the wedding and knew I would do some stuff in the woods, but I also found a few great backgrounds on the day – sometimes you need to trust your photographer that the side of the Portaloo will, in fact, make a great background!!
The speeches as usual were a great mix of emotion and laughter….the weather had been a bit ominous and sure enough, the best men had to speak up as the heavens opened! Luckily it was a short, sharp shower so the rain beating down on the marquee at Whetsted wasn’t too much of a problem (unlike at Selina and David’s wedding – coming soon on the blog!)
And then onto the cake cutting and first dance! The fancy dress box had been well and truly raided by then, hence the surreal audience for the dance!
The first dance kicked off the evening party – a huge log fire outside, fire juggling (including some by the bride!) and some serious hardcore raving!
As I left, the party was just getting into full swing – there isn’t a ‘finish by’ time at Whetsted Farm, and with a number of guests camping on-site, a late, late night was had – apparently the party was still going at 5am!
Congratulations once again to Hanna & Tim!
If you’re getting married at Whetsted Farm and want amazing images, please contact me today!
All images copyright David Burke Photography 2011