Carly and Nick at Notley Tythe Barn, Long Crendon

In the heart of Buckinghamshire lies a tiny little village called Long Crendon. Nestled in the rolling hills is the picturesque Notley Tythe Barn, my wedding photography destination for Carly and Nick’s wedding. Having grown-up in Bucks you’d think I would have had an inkling as to where on earth this village was, alas it is such a hidden gem that I did resort to TomTom to direct me through the winding lanes of deepest rural England to photograph their Buckinghamshire wedding.

To set the scene: an ecstatic Carly who woke up to the sound of dad starting the rustic engine of Carly’s wedding surprise – her wedding carriage – a resplendent baby-blue VW Camper Van. A seriously talented mum who made not one but three impressive wedding cakes.

Baby Blue Wedding Camper Van - Mat Smith Photography

 

I’m such a sucker for the sunset portrait, I cannot resist…

Classic Autumn Sunset Wedding Portrait - Nick and Carly - Notley Tythe Barn Long Crendon - Mat Smith Photography

Mat Smith Photography - Country Lane Wedding Portrait - Nick and Carly - Notley Tythe Barn Long Crendon  Exchanging Of Vows at Notley Tythe Barn Buckinghamshire Wedding Photography - Mat Smith Photography

Within the Sound of the Bow Bells

The wedding of Kathryn and Phil last week was truly within the sound of the Bow Bells. In fact it was deafening, and most certainly a challenge for a photographer trying to gather everyone for the all-important confetti shot outside the church. I’ve never heard bells like them!

Hydrangea Flower Bouquets for Bridesmaids - A City of London Wedding

Ushers at St Mary Le Bow - Mat Smith Photography

I was apparently born within the sound of the Bow Bells which technically makes me cockney. I’ve done my best to lose the accent… #homecountiesupbringing

Mat Smith Photography - Bow Churchyard - Wedding

A Wedding in St Mary Le Bow, London - Bride and Groom - Mat Smith

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Rebecca and Edwin, Wonersh, Surrey

Last weekend took me to the lovely Home Counties village of Wonersh in Surrey. I’m a real barn-watcher-geek; the barns in this part of the country are amongst the best and most photogenic barns you could imagine. I wish they published more histories of barns. Nurscombe Barn dates back to the 16th Century and I bet there are some very interesting stories behind some of them.

It was one of those days where you wondered if the weather might be a bit soggy (in true British fashion, there was rain then there was no rain, rinse and repeat…) however as soon as the church formalities were out of the way, so were the rain clouds. In fact, I’m always excited when there are a few clouds because it adds the potential for a dramatic sky.

And a dramatic sky there was. And some of Surrey’s finest fields.

A quick behind-the-scenes shot first. Rebecca literally grabbed the camera from my hands and insisted on taking shots of the crew, her groom securing the light stand…

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Luckily Rebecca and Ed allowed me behind the camera again, and because we timed our shoot for sunset, this is the final portrait we got:

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Cut to earlier in the day, there were some gorgeous moments by the blossoms:

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The groom taking a moment to clear his head before his speech:

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Skip forward a few hours. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I spotted an annexe to the barn, and saw an outdoor light flooding through the slats from the side. A few other photographers happened to be at the wedding, and we decided to make a makeshift studio and photograph guests. (One of the photographers even happened to have an orange gel for my light to balance the halogen colour from the light coming in from the side. Wedding guests with lighting gels… nice.)

So after shooting guests for a while in the barn, we tore the newly married couple away from the celebrations for one last late-night portrait:

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Then – the fireworks at the end of the evening…

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My first White Winter Wedding!

Ahh, white winters in the UK.

This year we have been blessed with closing airports, roads that have ground to a halt, political blame being hurled around; why can’t we just accept that we humans are a slave to our surrounding environment, that it’s impossible to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, and enjoy the ride?

Or maybe it’s because it simply doesn’t inconvenience me that much – either way I absolutely LOVE the snowy weather.

We were in two minds as to whether or not to venture out from the warmth of the 12th Century Tithe Barn (part of Ye Olde Bell, Hurley) into the fluffy snow for the formal photos, and I did worry about asking freezing bridesmaids with high heels to wait around, but I’m so glad we did.

Nikki and Tom were married on Saturday 18th December in the picturesque village of Hurley.

Mat Smith Photography - Nikki and Tom walking in Shepherd's Lane, Hurley

Mat Smith Photography - Nikki and Tom kiss in the snow outside Ye Olde Bell, Hurley Village

Mat Smith Photography - Nikki, Mirror, Anglepoise in the bridal suite

Mat Smith Photography - Christmas Mistletoe, front door in Hurley Village

Mat Smith Photography photographs the van of Postman Pat in snow, Hurley Village

Mat Smith Photography - Nikki and Tom kiss in Tithe Barn, Ye Olde Bell, Hurley

Mat Smith Photography - Bridal Preparations, Roses and Mauve Dressing Gown

Mat Smith Photography - Nikki and Tiara in Bridal Suite of Ye Olde Bell, Hurley

Mat Smith Wedding Photography - Bride with Bridesmaid outside Tithe Barn