Blake Hall Ongar was the stunning setting for Becci and Sam’s wedding in the summer. Totally unbeknownst to me I have lived just 200 metres away from Sam and his lovely family, for the last 25 years. I would have seen him pass my door most days on the way to school, or no doubt tear up and down our unmade road on his bike as a kid. But I met him for the first time, when he and Becci came to see me about their wedding photography. It was the first time that I had photographed a wedding at Blake Hall, in the heart of the Essex countryside and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I asked Becci if she would tell us more about her plans for the wedding and about the day itself.
Where did your wedding take place and what made the venue special?
Blake Hall Ongar, Essex.
We loved it straight away mainly for the amazing gardens and the fact we could marry outside and also the informal and chilled out atmosphere it created. The barn was simple yet such a stunning venue that matched our personalities and wedding theme completely.
Did you have a theme for your wedding? What was your colour scheme?
We wanted a very informal shabby chic wedding with a country garden atmosphere. We made a lot of the invites and stationary ourselves and had wild country flowers and bunting. The bridesmaids were in a rose pink but we had ivory and pale blue and green colours in the flowers and certain accessories to give it a mismatched feel.
Tell us a little about your dress, where did you finally find it?
My dress was a strapless dropped ball gown Justin Alexander design from Precious Moments in Rayleigh.
I had tried on so many dresses that I thought I would like but didn’t quite meet my ideas. The dress I went with was actually everything I said I didn’t want in a wedding dress but as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one I wanted to get married in. The simplicity and lace really matched the feel of the wedding.
What did the men opt for, and who supplied it?
The men wore Debenhams hired Grey slim fit suit with matching grey waistcoats and ivory cravats. They all looked very handsome!
Can you tell me about your flowers?
Flowers were by Karen at the Flower Mill in Wickford. I had David Austin Roses in pale pink with ivory roses and pale blue hydrangeas we also had a lot of gyp and foliage to create a wild country look.
What are your wedding rings like? Did you have any other special jewellery?
We had our wedding rings designed. Sam went for a plain white gold band with a matte finish. My ring was a platinum thin band with tiny diamonds around it.
On the day of the wedding I wore my nans wedding ring, although she wasn’t there with us I felt that by wearing the ring I was including her in a day she would have loved to been part of. Sam also wore my granddads pocket watch.
What was your most useful source of wedding ideas and information?
I really loved Pinterest for the little extra details that make a wedding unique. Creating boards and getting ideas you wouldn’t necessarily think of.
Each supplier also provided their own knowledge and experience which I feel helped us when we weren’t quite sure what to go for or if something would work better etc.
Tell us about a supplier who provided a first-class service.
All the suppliers we used were amazing. Karen at the Flower Mill and Georgie who did my makeup were so lovely, friendly and professional. They really listened to my ideas and captured the theme of the wedding perfectly. They also suggested ideas which I wouldn’t perhaps have thought of myself.
Do you have any advice for future brides?
Enjoy every minute as it goes so fast and don’t worry about pleasing other people.
What was your favourite photograph and why did you like it?
I think it has to be the photo of us kissing where my veil is blowing in the wind; we have the beautiful grounds around us and creates a very beautiful picture. I do also like all the natural photos of people laughing and enjoying themselves. They are pictures you can always look at and remember what a great time we had.
Was Studio Rochford the right photographer for you?
Studio Rochford was the best supplier service we received. Jo is so friendly and made us feel comfortable from the very first meeting. We had met with a few different photographers and had some odd experiences where we felt that the photographer just did not “get” us. We knew straight away that Jo would capture the feel of the wedding and we were right the pictures were amazing.
We had so many compliments not only on the beautiful story book album and the photos she captured but also how Jo handled the whole day. Some people were saying she was so discreet they didn’t even notice her and others were praising how organised the group and family photos were handled. From tiny details like remembering individual family names and capturing unique action photos, we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. We have and will recommend Jo to all that ask. She has allowed us to relive our wedding day in the most beautiful way.
Becci & Sam’s suppliers for their Blake Hall wedding were:
Wedding Dress ~ Precious Moments
Men’s suits ~ Debenhams suit Hire
Florist ~ The Flower Mill
Cake ~ Cakes by Celia
Make-up ~ Georgie Harris bridal
Video ~ John Turner Wedding DVD
Icecream ~ Cole and Son