We dodged the rain

We dodged the rain…

Matthew & Rhian’s February wedding day at Southdowns Manor.

I always check the weather forecast to be as prepared as possible prior to each wedding. And a wedding day at Southdowns Manor is no different. This particular forecast gave us wind and rain for most of the day, which always adds a certain element of the unknown to a wedding day. Heck, we’re pros though and deal with whatever is thrown at us!

Southdowns Manor has a few indoor spots we can use and some hard-standing outside with decent backdrops if it stops raining and dries a bit, and with some creative angles and thinking, our couple’s still have wonderful memories to look back on. So I wasn’t too worried about the forecast… I guess that’s why we get commissioned eh?

That’s two paragraphs about the weather, how about a few words about their day?

Southdowns Manor is nestled into the Hampshire South Downs (the name makes sense now doesn’t it) away from the main roads, down a narrow lane (or a muddy track if you choose the ‘quickest’ route!) and is an awesome, intimate venue with a great team at the helm. So Matthew and Rhian were in good hands and it’s a wonderful venue to shoot a wedding at, so I was also.

They both arrived (separately) in the morning and I spent the morning flitting between their rooms shooting details; hair & makeup, beer & bacon sandwiches, dresses & cufflinks, veils & cravats. All the usual stuff that happens on a wedding day morning with rooms full of people and bags scattered everywhere. And no wedding day morning would be complete without that one individual who looks scruffy no matter how smart an outfit is placed upon [his] shoulders. Matthew & Rhian did not disappoint and supplied one such individual. And not only did [he] start the day like this, [he] managed to keep this look up all day. Skills. No names mentioned of course, I’m professional y’know!

And just like that, it was nearly 1pm and a ceremony was just about to happen.

Time for Matthew to stand in front of all their guests and Rhian to make the walk on her Dad’s arm. Ceremonies fly by and before y’know it, you’ve signed your name, had a smooch and strolled back up the aisle together and have a glass of something to drink finally. Guests descend upon you, shaking hands, kissing cheeks, scoffing canapés, catching up with family and friends, swapping stories. And then a photographer drags you outside as it’s not raining. Bonus. Yeah okay it was a touch windy, but the wind dried out the damp patches so the groups were easy to shoot. I did have to position for the wind but I’ll take that over rain any day!

The wind even dried up the grass…

…so I could use the grassy areas, albeit it with limited movement for Matthew and Rhian. Double-bonus. Luck with the weather was definitely on our side, so we took advantage and banged out the groups (not that there were many requests) and some of M&B, again positioning to use the wind. Heck, we were lucky to get anything outside based on the forecast earlier that morning.

During the wedding breakfast the heavens opened.

Damn, we were lucky! The dark clouds rolled in and emptied their contents whilst everyone was busy scoffing. Then after dessert, whilst the tables were being cleared, guess what?

All of a sudden rain stopped, wind blew the clouds away and an orange sunset illuminated the now clear sky. You couldn’t time it better. I’m not one to usually drag a couple outside just before the speeches start, but tables were being cleared and champagne was being poured for the toasts, so I had a 10 minute window. I didn’t risk grabbing additional gear or lights as we were racing a rapidly setting sun and the speeches were about to take place. So, the executive decision to go with a hazy mood and natural light was made and I quickly gave them some inspiration and nailed some awesome bonus memories for them. A rather wet and muddy road meant we couldn’t do the more natural stuff but, hey, the were lucky to have the small window and we made use of it.

The rest of their day rolled by in the usual blur of cake cutting, first dance, alcohol consumption, and yet more food scoffing. The rain even kept itself away so I stole them for another 10minutes later on just before I left to score a couple more memories.

What a great day, tiring as always, but that’s to be expected and I’m used to it by now. Well, not sure ‘used to it’ is the correct term, they never get easier! If it was easy, everyone would be doing it right?

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Check out a few memories from their wedding day at Southdowns Manor.


sunset couple with writing
sunset silhouette
wedding gown hanging on 4 poster bed
Rhian’s Bridal gown
bride's flower bouquet leant on a chair indoors
Rhian’s Bouquet
smiling female having hair styled
close up of bridal gown being buttoned up at the back
gotta have details
bride putting on lipstick in mirror
Finishing touches
Dad seeing bride for first time
Dad’s first glimpse
groomsman wedding details
Matthew’s stuff
groomsman wedding details
more of Matthew’s stuff
bacon baguettes on a plate
beer bottles
… and beer
groomsmen getting ready
groomsmen getting ready
groomsmen getting ready
groomsmen getting ready still
groom and best man waiting for bride
Deep breath
Dad walking bride down aisle
Dust in the air
exchange of wedding rings
Let’s make this official
bride and groom walk back up the aisle
we did it
glasses of champagne on a tray
Drink time
canapés on a plate
black and white picture of wedding guests chatting together
swapping stories
black and white picture of wedding guests chatting together
saying hello
black and white picture of wedding guests chatting together
I’m wearing a wedding ring
black and white picture of wedding guests chatting together
catching up with guests
group photograph of wedding guests
bride and groom standing together outside
Quiet moment together
bride and groom standing together outside
guests throwing confetti over bride and groom
Confetti time
bottles of wine on the head table at wedding
wedding details
close up of wedding cake
silhouette couple standing in the middle of a quiet wet road
silhouette couple standing in the middle of a quiet wet road
Rain and clouds quickly disappeared
wedding speeches in black and white
Dad talking
wedding speeches in black and white
Groom talking
wedding speeches in black and white
Best Man telling stories
groomsman with novelty socks
Elevated sock game
bride and groom cutting wedding cake
Cut that cake
black and white first dance photograph
The first dance
dancing at a wedding
It’s gettin’ hot in here
bride and groom at night with fairy lights on pagoda
Night time stuff outdoors
bride and groom at night in the window
Night time stuff indoors

If this all looks groovy to you, then drop me a line here 🙂