I have photographed many Surrey weddings but this was my first time at High Billinghurst Farm. What a beautiful wedding venue, from the pretty cottages to the spacious main barn and a fantastic outdoor area! It is like a blank canvas that you can dress up any way you want.
And this is exactly why Gemma and James thought it would be the perfect venue for them and fell in love with it as soon as they visited. Being very creative and with the help of their families and friends, they turned it into a stunning bohemian setting, full of foliage, lights and eclectic mix of cosy furniture, hired from Anthology Vintage Hire.
Gemma and James are both such warm and genuine people, I loved getting to know them. They were introduced through a mutual friend just before they headed off to separate universities.
Over the years their relationship grew stronger, partly thanks to a shared love of music and a group of mutual friends. James proposed on their 8th anniversary after being encouraged by one of his music heroes that he happened to meet on a train earlier that year.
The couple’s love of festival culture and Gemma’s obsession with bohemian, nature and minimalist-inspired design led their wedding planning.
Gemma found the search for the perfect dress more difficult than expected. She finally found this Rime Arodaky showstopper and loved the chich french design, the playful and quirky details and most of all the fact that it was so comfortable to wear.
The florist Mad Lilies added to the natural and bohemian look by creating beautiful wild bouquets full of greenery for the bride and bridesmaids. They decorated the tables with a runway of foliage, which complemented the modern menus and botanical name tags.
Gemma and her bridesmaids not only looked stunning but they are all a very talented bunch. Gemma created all the stationary and signs herself, while one of her friends made the beautiful flower crown – on the morning of the wedding!
The Wedding day
Everything came together so perfectly for their wedding – everything except the weather that is. I was looking forward to taking some photos outside in the countryside but it was not to be.
It rained heavily all afternoon and aside from the quick walk from the cottage where the girls were getting ready to the main barn, no one set one foot outside.
This, however, did not dampen the mood one bit. The celebrant Miranda Ash conducted a beautifully personal ceremony and Gemma and James were just so relaxed and happy all day.
The spacious barn, so beautifully decorated with foliage and twinkly lights, offered plenty of space and made for a very cosy setting. It also provided a great backdrop for photos.
Being such big music fans, Gemma and James hired a live band Festival sons to entertain the guests throughout the day and when I left the party was only just starting.
I am thrilled they asked me to capture this beautiful day for them and I count myself lucky that I got to be a part of it.
Venue: High Billinghurst Farm
Bride’s dress: Rime Arodaky from Mews Bridal in London
Bride’s veil: Mews Bridal
Bride’s shoes: Marks & Spencers
Bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes: Asos
Groom’s and groomsmen’s suits: Moss Bros
Hair: Bridal hair by Olivia
Floral arrangements: Mad Lilies
Furniture hire: Anthology Vintage Hire
Celebrant: Miranda Ash
Catering: Urban Pantry
Photography: Maja Tsolo