Roz & John. Wedding at Sibton Park Wilderness Reserve, Suffolk

The first meeting was via skype

Roz and John are both British but currently living in Singapore. They are one of the few couples who booked me to photograph their wedding without meeting me in person first! We had a Skype meeting, but the first time I personally met them was at their engagement shoot in South London. I’m so glad I encouraged them to have an engagement shoot. I always suggest it to my wedding couples. It gave them time to get used to being photographed by a  professional photographer. That meant when the wedding day came around I would feel more like a friend than a stranger, and they could just relax and enjoy their big day!

The wedding venue, Sibton Park Wilderness Reserve, Suffolk

The wedding venue itself was absolutely beautiful.  Sibton Park Wilderness reserve is a grand old country house situated on acres of wild and lovely countryside, designated as a wilderness reserve. There are also a number of unique little houses of varying sizes situated behind the main house, which can be rented out for holidays. Or, in the case of Roz and John, for all their wedding guests for the entire weekend! I loved this because it made it feel like a destination wedding in the UK! I love the energy of a destination wedding because the bond between the couple and their guests is so much deeper. Everyone had the chance to get to know each other, allowing the big day to be filled with fun and laughs. When I arrived on the morning of the wedding with my second shooter Kat, the guests were having a big family-style breakfast in the courtyard of the venue, while John and his friends went on a cycling race around the reserve (John loves cycling so much that his cufflinks were little bicycles!), and Roz and her girls had a mini-spa morning! Totally marvellous, right?

A non-traditional wedding

I loved that Roz and John did everything their way, and didn’t worry about what people traditionally do at weddings. Their flowers and décor by Emma Soulsby reflected their style: elegant, rustic chic with some gorgeous touches, like naked lightbulbs hanging in copper wire geometric shapes, strung up amongst floating foliage – beautiful! It brought a hint of urban chic to the classic venue. The bespoke stationery and wooden boards were by the lovely Lou from Beyond Vintage. Roz and John hired Lisa of Carmela Weddings to coordinate and run the whole day, which was great, as they didn’t have to worry about setting up and making sure things ran smoothly throughout the day. Lisa did a fantastic job, along with her husband Sam, they are a fantastic duo, coordinating with all the vendors and sorting out everything behind the scenes. Lisa is an absolute babe to work with! One of my favourite things was that Roz and John’s mothers conducted the wedding ceremony, making it so personal and meaningful. There were so many more quirky details on the day, too, which had everyone involved – at sunset they had a ceilidh on the lawn so all the guests could dance and have fun. During the speeches, there was a children’s entertainer to keep the little ones occupied. During the wedding breakfast, one person at each table was appointed as the “head chef”, with a personalised apron, and they had to carve the meat and dish it up – yet another family-style touch to make the wedding feel more like a big family party!

Fish & chips and Ice cream

For anyone who fancied a late-night snack, there was a fish & chip van and an ice cream van; cocktails on the lawn, and garden games galore! Even Roz played some cricket in her wedding gown! One thing that was very important to Roz and John was to have photos of every single friend and family member on the day. The photographs had to be done in a very natural and spontaneous way.

Thank you!

The most treasurable moment was when John at the end of the day give me a big hug. It really means so much to me considering, to begin with, he was very shy. Roz and John, thank you so much for asking me to photograph your wedding!

I am looking forward to seeing you back in London very soon! Paola xxxx

To see more pictures click here

Paola xxx