Benenden Summer Garden Wedding

I’ve been lucky enough over the years to photograph a lot of country garden weddings. They are incredibly beautiful and often so very personal. They offer an authentic way to personalise your wedding day. They can be soft and romantic and have lots of involvement from close family.

A Country Garden Wedding

Kate and Henry had booked me over a year in advance of their August wedding date, and by the time we caught up before the wedding, Kate was seven months pregnant. The timing wasn’t exactly to their plan but a blessing nevertheless. Their ceremony was at St Georges Church in Benenden, followed by a relaxed reception in Henry’s fathers garden close by.

Finchcocks

The couple got ready at Finchcocks near Goudhurst in Kent. The bride was in The Coach House, and the groom was in The Old Dairy next door getting prepared for the big event.

I was familiar with the main house at Finchcocks and had photographed a wedding there in 2015, which was the last time I had been there. The venue had since changed hands and no longer hosted weddings, so this was the first time I’d seen the newly refurbished Coach House. The Coach House is a spacious and welcoming, self-contained suite and the perfect spot for the bride to stay with her bridal party the night before the wedding.

It was such a relaxed atmosphere as the girls got ready and helped Kate into her beautiful gown. The gown Kate wore for her wedding wasn’t her original wedding dress, for obvious reasons! She did, however, look both stunning and radiant. 

Jim assisted me with Kate and Henry’s wedding, and he was in the Old Dairy having some fun with the boys, walking and having some laughs. The boys soon departed for the church in a gorgeous 1926 vintage Phantom Rolls Royce 1 from Distinctly Vintage, also due to come back for the bridesmaids.

After some photos of the family and the bride with the bridesmaids who wore simple pale pink satin dresses, the group headed off to the church. 

The bride and her dad travelled in another slightly younger Rolls Royce from Distinctly Vintage.

After a lovely traditional ceremony, the couple exited the church through some enthusiastic confetti throwing! It was such a beautiful warm day, and the couple were able to catch up with their guests at the front of the church before heading to their reception.

Garden Reception

The reception venue was a sight to see and looked magnificent! The pastel pink and white rose adorned marquee sat majestically on the beautiful grounds. Tall candlesticks rose from each table with gorgeous rose and hyacinth floral arrangements by Samantha Reynolds of Emily and Me. Each table name was a flower. It was stunning and every bit a summertime country garden setting.

The guests arrived to drinks and music and enjoyed the beautiful summer afternoon beside the large garden pond.

I took some relaxed time with the couple to wander through the garden for some bride and groom portrait shots in the lead up to their wedding breakfast. It was nice for them to take a few minutes to chill out together. Portrait time is, I firmly believe, is an important time for a couple on a wedding day. The day can disappear in such a flash and be very full-on, so it’s nice for them to have some quiet time to catch up with each other. Event management was by Johanna of Cuisine Studio.

Oompah!

It’s always lovely to work with other wedding suppliers that I know well, and it was great to find Tim from Mint DJ’s hosting the evening for Kate and Henry. I’ve worked with Tim many times, especially at The Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, where we are both recommended suppliers. Before Tim got underway, the groom had arranged for a rather unusual entertainment, an Oompah Band!

The groom had spotted the band while on his stag do and hired them on the spot! The bride initially wasn’t sure, but it turned out to be such a fun element of the evening, and the guests really threw themselves into it and enjoyed every second. The Oompah was a first for me and made for some very fun photos!

Wedding Sunset

After the fun of the Oompah, I took the couple away for a few minutes to capture some lovely sunset portraits. As the sun had just dipped down beyond the trees by the time we headed out, I decided to add some extra light to the scene myself so that we could enhance that gorgeous warm sunlight.

Kate and Henry’s wedding was such a fun, relaxed day, and I enjoyed every minute of capturing it for them!

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Hairdresser – Lisa Miller of Perfect Wedding Hair

Venue – The Old Dairy & The Coach House at Finchcocks

Wedding Car – Distinctly Vintage

Florist – Emily and Me

Event Management – Johanna of Cuisine Studio

DJ – Tim Cullen of Mint DJs

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