Jess + Billy | A sunny Saffron Walden garden wedding
Sometimes it’s only once you can sit back, take stock, and look at certain wedding days again to truly appreciate what an epic occasion it actually was. That’s certainly the case here, with Jessica and Billy’s outdoor wedding in Newport, near Saffron Walden, back on the late August bank holiday. It was an emotional rollercoaster, with a Haka, sparklers, and the most sweltering freaking day I’ve ever experienced!
It was the third of three weddings I shot that weekend, and it was probably the second hottest day of the year (you’ll remember the hottest in July, thankfully I wasn’t shooting that day). Jess and Billy had kindly been offered the use of one of the properties on Newport’s Shortgrove estate in north Essex, and I’m not understating things when I say this gaff was absolutely jaw-dropping. I did their pre-wedding shoot in the same place a few weeks prior, and you can see exactly how incredible it looks here too: Jess + Billy’s engagement shoot at Golden Hour
These guys have an incredible story to tell. Jess is originally from New Zealand, and it was only by chance a couple of years ago she was visiting Europe one summer when she met Billy, both on holiday. Jess was on a girls’ holiday, and Billy with the lads. After a little while together, Jess returned to her native NZ, but decided to move all the way over to England to be with Billy – and the rest is history. Already the stuff of dreams!!
When I got to Shortgrove to capture the girls in the morning, thankfully one of the bedrooms had an air conditioning unit because I kid you not, the heat was already unbearable. Kudos to the couple and all guests to survive the outdoor wedding ceremony just after lunch in what was probably around 33 degrees.
When I look back at their day in Newport, it dawns on me what a complete banger of a wedding this really was. Not only was it coordinated and dressed impeccably, all thanks to the incredible direction of wedding planner Matthew Dawson, everyone was just the absolute friendliest and fun folk you could ever meet! It was so lovely seeing some of Jess’ family and friends who’d made the trip over from NZ be able to share in the experience of the day.
Honestly I could’ve uploaded another 200 images from their day, and it still wouldn’t be enough to illustrate how incredible their day was. It really was the best of times and made this photographer very happy…. scroll below to read a little more about their day, and to see a selection of images from this garden wedding:
There’ll never be a time when I don’t enjoy seeing photos from couples’ pre-wedding shoots printed out in their home 🙂
Billy and the boys are massive cricket fans, and not only was this his wedding day, it was also the final day of an Ashes test with all to play for…. <more on this later>
“Oh hi there”
I’ll always remember their ceremony – not just because it was like being in a furnace – but Jess and Billy’s emotional vows to each other. Jess just about got through hers, just before telling Billy she was head over heels in love with him. I mean jeez what are you trying to do to us Jessica
Did someone say Bridesmaids?
The speeches were kicked off by Jess’ dad, who reminded Billy he’d have no trouble travelling over from NZ in a heartbeat if he ever needed to… which was somewhat passive aggressive but what are you gonna do eh? Fathers and daughters.
Two of Jess’ bridesmaids gave speeches too which were really well received, before Billy gave his groom’s speech, mentioning his ‘rascal’ stag do and thanking his new wife for giving him renewed purpose.
When you see England have just won the Ashes test by one wicket. 🎶”And did those feet, in ancient time…”
A traditional New Zealand Haka was performed by some of the kiwis, and it really was actually quite intimidating!!
Thank you guys, this really was the best of times. I never wanted it to end!
See Jess and Billy’s wedding, courtesy of Tim Spatz Films here: