It was my first time at The Gardens in Yalding and it was also my first outside wedding of 2019! Louise and Matt’s wedding was right in the middle of the beautiful weather we had towards the end of February and it was so good to finally be outside again!
The Gardens is a recently refurbished venue with a tipi connected to the main building. The tipi was one of the biggest ones I have been in and surprisingly, considering it is still winter, at night when the temperature dipped, the heating in there is so efficient that most people didn’t realise it was only 4 degrees outside!
As you can imagine with the venue being called The Gardens, they were beautiful even though there wasn’t a huge amount of colour around - we are still in winter!
The outside ceremony was under the circular gazebo about 50m away from the venue. The distance really gave Louise a good run up to get to Matt but I know that she wanted to long walk so the her entrance music could be played in full.
The location of the ceremony was great from my point of view because I could walk around very freely allowing me to get photos from all different angles. Sometimes in smaller venues, I am really restricted in what I can do just because of the tight space I have to fit into without getting in the way!
About 20 minutes after the ceremony we started working through their formal group photos that Louise and Matt emailed to me. I really like it when I can stand reasonably far away from the group so that I can use my favourite lens - 70-200mm Nikon f/2.8g. For most people, me naming that lens doesn’t mean much but that is in fact my long zoom lens. It’s capable of photographing subjects from quite a distance but for me, when set at the lowest end, 70mm, it produces a really good photo.
After a little break, Louise, Matt and I headed into the gardens for their portraits. The light was really good at this time of day and I think we managed to get some really good photos of them in different locations.
The wedding breakfast soon followed and into speeches. Apart from getting heckled by their little one, Matt did really well and it allowed me to get some great natural shots of Louise’s and their guests' reactions. Those ones are some of my favourite.
As expected, there was a great sunset that night so we quickly jumped outside to capture the last of the evening sun.
And then the night rolled in along with the evening guests and the first dance. They had a band, and I love a good band not just for me, but for the photos. I think you always get more people dancing with a live band but I have been to weddings with Djs who really know how to get a party started!
Weddings always go so fast, and even faster when it’s your own, so it was great to see Louise and Matt take a few minutes out to soak it all in - something I did on my wedding day and I would thoroughly recommend it!
And that’s their day! It was so relaxed and nice to be around friendly people, who I ended up chatting with quite a bit in the end.
If you want to see more of their wedding, head over to my photos and search for Louise and Matt.
Christopher Bell Photography is a wedding photographer based in Kent - serving Kent and surrounding Canterbury and Ashford. Find out more about his wedding photography packages and pricing. Kent Wedding Photography Awards Finalist 2019.