We love being inspired by gorgeous weddings here at weddingvenues.com, and so it is a great pleasure to share with you these wonderful photos of Laura and David’s special day at Southdowns Manor, captured by photographer Adam de-Ste-Croix of Sainte Croix Photography.
When it comes to photographing weddings, Adam de-Ste-Croix’s motto is, Your wedding day, not my photo shoot, and as such he works hard to ensure that the couple have the best day ever. As we can see with this fabulous record of the day, his commitment really pays off!
Adam was with the bridal party from the very start of the day, to capture the magic as it unfolded. Our beautiful bride, Laura, prepared for the wedding day celebrations at her parents’ house with her family.
The happy buzz of excitement is clear; the make-up artist and hairdresser each carried out their work, and the bridal party made the most of these private moments relaxing and enjoying the time together.
With his keen professional eye, Adam noticed that the flower girls were a little camera shy, and so thinking ahead to the rest of the day, he made sure that they relaxed in front of the camera and saw there was nothing to be nervous about. It looks like they quickly got the idea!
David and Laura tied the knot in St. Luke’s Church, Milland, West Sussex, a lovely Grade II listed church built in the Victorian Gothic style and dating back to 1878.
In the traditional fashion, David was ready and waiting for the altar for his bride-to-be. Thankfully he had his two best men; his son and his closest friend, to keep him calm and focused. It must have taken a huge effort of will not to turn around as he heard Laura entering the church, but he managed it, and his face when she arrived by his side says it all! As it happened, Laura had made the journey through rain, hail and snow to get to the waiting groom and guests; what an eventful way to start the proceedings!
Also known as the ‘Church in the Woods’, the setting is absolutely delightful, and the graveyard is known for its horticultural interest. In Spring, the time of David and Laura’s wedding, the ground is covered with a carpet of pretty spring flowers.
Following on from their ceremony, the newlyweds led their guests the 15 minute journey through the Southdowns National Park to Southdowns Manor, Trotton, to continue the celebrations.
Southdowns Manor, in the heart of the beautiful national park, started life at the end of the 19th century and in the last few years has been sensitively refurbished into an exclusive-use wedding venue. Southdowns Manor now offers the best of both worlds, combining the elegance of the original Victorian building, matched with modern, purpose-built facilities and luxurious accommodation.
Every season has its charms, and Spring was ready to show off this weekend! Laura and David’s wedding celebrations were held against a background of every possible weather, including snow, hail, rain, wind and glorious sunshine! In such a gorgeous location, the weather can only add to the character and beauty of the setting, with dramatic skies and bright sun bursts.
The joyous photos of the new husband and wife greeting their family and friends are just wonderful; the happiness shining out in their smiles.
Soon it was time to treat the guests to the wedding breakfast. The dining room looked stunning, each chair tied with a wide bow of cream organza, and the tables decorated with a sparkling centrepiece of light and crystal.
This was the moment that the guests first caught sight of the wedding cake, and what a remarkable cake it was too! It had been David’s job to organise this part of the day, and he had brought true style, humour and individuality to it. I love the way he has kept the three tiers of wedding cake, but thrown tradition out of the window with the macabre sugar skulls, dark green ivy, blood red roses and dripping chocolate!
Southdowns Manor takes great pride in the quality of its cuisine, and the guests enjoyed the beautifully presented wedding breakfast, including these marvelous meringue nests served with a decadent dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit and a drizzle of coulis.
These fabulous photos of the younger members of the party show how Adam’s foresight earlier in the day paid off: no longer camera shy, the children carried on having the time of their lives, oblivious to the lens, which meant that Adam was able to capture these fun, natural images. The spacious venue and exclusive-use guarantee means that the children were free to run around and let out some of their energy and excitement.
The speeches were next, and provided a huge amount of entertainment all round. We can only wonder what on earth had been said that prompted the bride to cover her new husband’s ears!
When it came to the first dance, Laura and David surprised their guests with a rehearsed routine, showing off the moves learned in behind-the-scenes dance lessons. The photo captured here of David lifting Laura is like none we have ever seen here at WeddingVenues.com – what a fairy-tale ending to a magical day!
Looking back through their wedding photo album, David and Laura are thrilled with the record of their day. In their own words, ‘the photos are a masterpiece and we absolutely love them’. They go on with further thanks and praise, ‘our outstanding photographer who worked tirelessly all day capturing memories that we shall treasure forever’.
Adam’s approach to wedding photography shines through: ‘the photos I create are of moments, using the available light and great compositions to save them as timeless memories to tell the story of the wedding day. What you see are un-staged natural moments, so everything is real, just as the couple remember it’.
If you are inspired by Laura and David’s wonderful wedding day at Southdowns Manor, do get in touch to find out more. The hotel has 16 luxuriously appointed bedrooms, as well as a romantic honeymoon suite complete with four-poster bed. With three licensed settings, the venue is perfect for weddings of all sizes, from 5 to 150 guests.
Church: St Luke’s Church, ‘Church in the Woods’, Milland
Reception: SouthDowns Manor, Trotton, near Petersfield, West Sussex.
Wedding dress: Suzanne Neville
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Suits for the groom and best men: Room Ten
Florist: Findlay’s of Liphook
Dance Teacher: Heather Frewer
Car: 7 series BMW from Vines of Guildford
Photographer: Adam de-Ste-Croix, Sainte Croix Photography