“Liza these are just brilliant… we felt in very good hands with you. Talk about capturing the feel of the day! We love them; thank you so much xx”
Last minute social distancing wedding
Tunbridge Wells couple Debbie and Dan got in touch with me only about a month before their intimate Black Pig Orchard Wedding. (August 2020). They didn’t even know for sure then, where exactly they were going to get married, they had ideas of a humanist ceremony followed by a boozy picnic with close family and friends! I had already shot 2 social distancing wedding (s) by August so I knew what was involved in keeping safe and also how lovely and special intimate weddings can be. (In fact, Debbie and Dan’s wedding was to be my second for that day! First time I have ever done that, but again due to the pandemic and people choosing much shorter celebrations it meant it was all perfectly doable)!
Debbie originally from Seattle in the US and Dan from the UK love mountain biking, music, food and drink – especially craft beer! They wanted a rustic and informal celebration that was unpretentious and safe. They couldn’t have picked a better venue in the end than Black Pig Orchard. It is my new favourite outdoorsy wedding venue.
Smaller can be awesome!
Debbie and Dan were sure with all the COVID craziness going on in the world that they wanted to get married close to home and in a safe way with all their nearest and dearest. Their original plans for a Copenhagen wedding were scuppered with the pandemic, but they found a way to make a lovely special day truly memorable despite everything.
They are proof in the pudding that in these times of COVID a smaller, social distancing wedding can not only can be organised and pulled together super quick and on a tight budget but they are truly loving and gorgeous celebrations that needn’t cost the earth. Somehow with smaller numbers due to the restrictions, there is a lovely laid back vibe and a really meaningful ceremony and celebration. Less emphasis and stress on timekeeping and more about LOVE and family and why they chose to get married in the first place!
Debbie and Dan had a very simple but important wish list for their wedding ceremony and celebration – to be happy with people they love and music. Dan’s Dad Tom was going to play some folk guitar during the ceremony, guests and the family were going to camp overnight in the orchard amongst the trees and their children were going to have important roles in the ceremony.
Fabulous Black Pig Orchard Wedding Venue
Not only does Black Pig Orchard have the coolest sounding name for a wedding venue, but their homegrown and pressed cider is something else. Delish! With the wedding based outside for the afternoon/evening, it was, of course, COVID safe.
The stunning orchard overlooks a gorgeous lake come pond which made a perfect backdrop for photos. The only definite instruction I had before the wedding was there were to be no photos of Dan on the tree swing!! No worries with that though as the kids were more than happy to oblige me with their acrobatic manoeuvers!
Dan’s mum Gill did a superb job of the flowers a mixture of dried wheat and vibrant summer blooms.
Japanese inspired humanist ceremony
The ceremony took place overlooking the pond and under a beautiful tree, with the 23 guests spaced out on their hay bales. Felicity Harvest the celebrant led a very moving humanist ceremony which was all about Dan and Debbie and their relationship. Debbie, Dan and children entered the hay bales together as one family unit. Debbie’s Mom Diana, Dad Chuck step mum Ingrid and sister Amy all couldn’t attend in person (being in the USA) but they were all able to Zoom in and take an active part in the ceremony. It was so special to hear Diana and Chuck doing the readings along with Dan’s Mum Gill.
There was a Japanese drinking ceremony and the family had an Indian hand binding to finish. Debbie and Dan decided on no rings preferring to get tattoos done after the wedding!
After the lovely ceremony the couple were showered with a confetti of dried rose petals and few informal toasts and thank yous and then onto bubbles, cider and bbq.
Debbie and Dan (unbeknownst to them) were perfect naturals in front of the camera. They were totally connected and in their moment. Their couple portraits were fab fun and we were able to wander around the gorgeous orchard and pond chatting and photographing. They looked absolutely beautiful together and totally in love… and that folks is what it is all about! This was despite them saying beforehand that they felt shy and mildly terrified in front of the camera! Well, guys, you could have fooled me!
What a lovely evening and I was so chuffed to be able to photograph two genuinely fabulous people on their beautiful wedding day.
If you are looking for a Black Pig Orchards and Social Distancing Wedding Photographer please do get in touch!
Like the idea of outdoorsy weddings?…have a look at another lovely wedding.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Black Pig Orchards
Celebrant: Felicity Harvest Humanist Celebrant
Flowers: Gill (Dan’s Mum)