Wedding at Norman church in West Chiltington, Sussex

When Jenny contacted me in late June to ask if I was available for a small and impromptu* DIY wedding just a month later, I wasn’t surprised at the short notice and I was definitely honoured. In the time that I’ve known Jenny & Charlie, I’ve never seen them do anything by halves. From their work in conservation and climate change to their building a home on the Nile. They’re good friends of mine from our time spent in Uganda and like me, their families are spread across three continents. I can very much understand that when an opportunity arose to hold their wedding, where the majority of their families could be there, they seized the moment. 

Driving from North Wales to Sussex in the middle of the summer heatwave was completely worth it for this personal, intimate celebration. Their ceremony was held at one of the oldest churches in Sussex, St Mary in West Chiltington, that’s thought to have been built between 1100 and 1150. After we headed to Kinsbrook Vineyard, a new venue with a sustainable ethos and earthy vibe, for canapes and wine. It was then back to the family home in the rural countryside for a relaxed afternoon of games, Pimm’s and cake. Perfect.

I really enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere and spending time photographing the fun and the multiple generations there. Being able to focus on capturing the day as it unfolds, rather than feeling like I’m working to a prescribed set of Pinterest ideals is when I get the most joy from my work and when I feel like I’m really able to create images that are honest, emotive and meaningful.

*Their wedding, like most this past couple of years, was long-awaited. After a decade together, followed by a short engagement, it was the date that was impromptu!

When numbers are limited at weddings, it feels all the more special to be included in the day. Here’s a selection of my favourites:

kids playing during wedding preparations
child hiding behind wedding dress
page boys before a church wedding
groom waiting for the bride
wedding at St Mary church, West Chiltington, Sussex
bride crying at wedding
page boy yawning at wedding
a bride and a groom exchanging rings at St Mary's Church, West Chiltington, Sussex
just before they kiss at a wedding
signing the register at a wedding
confetti throwing at a wedding with Emily Ward Photography
Wedding reception at Kinsbrook Vineyard, Sussex
wedding at a English vineyard
kids staying cool at a summer wedding
wedding at Kinsbrook Vineyard, Sussex
A bride and groom smiling in a vineyard
a bride and a groom walking in an English vineyard
A baby in a kilt at a wedding
DIY festival style home wedding bar
relaxing guests at a DIY wedding at home
grandmother and granddaughter hug at a wedding
listening to speeches at an english countryside wedding
kids having drinks at a DIY garden wedding
a baby on a trampoline at a garden wedding
lawn games at a DIY countryside wedding in Sussex
viking chess at a DIY countryside wedding in Sussex
a kid having a canapé at a DIY wedding
two kids jumping on a trampoline
corn hole at a DIY English wedding
a guest at a wedding
a kid jumping on a trampoline at a wedding at home in Sussex
game at a wedding in the countryside
celebrations at a DIY garden wedding
the groom serving drinks at a DIY wedding in the English countryside
a bride and a groom in a field in the summer sun
bride and groom portrait by Emily Ward Photography
Dinner at a DIY wedding at home in Sussex
laughing guests at a wedding
buffet food at a DIY wedding
guests having cake at a DIY wedding
best man's speech at a DIY countryside wedding
cellist at a garden wedding
Father-of-the-groom filming the best man's speech
documentary style wedding photography
Scottish whisky and a quaich at a wedding
a bride and a groom and a quaich ceremony at a DIY garden wedding