Laurel & Lewis

What a long day coming this day has been.

October saw the lovely Laurel and Lewis make their vows to one another, after what I am sure feels like a lifetime of waiting. After five years of togetherness, the couple had originally booked their wedding at The Old Parish Rooms in Rayleigh for April 2020, but when coronavirus struck, they had to push it back a year. However, the realisation that getting married was more important than anything, meant that 100 guests or 10 guests, they decided they would bring it right forward and get married in the middle of a pandemic. I’d say it was well worth it!

I can’t express to you how beautiful this wedding was, and they pulled everything off on such an ample budget too. Laurel actually tailored her high street waterfall length dress into a two-piece, stuck with as many flowers as she was having originally (which meant the venue was bursting with foliage!) and still had me do all of their preparation photos and stay right up until their first dance. It might’ve been a smaller wedding, but in no way was it less important or less incredible than it would’ve been had it been bigger. If anything, it was possibly more intimate and beautiful than you could’ve ever imagined.

I began my day photographing a very nervous Lewis at a local hotel, before hopping over to photograph Laurel’s prep in what felt like her very own spa in her mum’s garden. We were regularly checked in on by her deaf dog, Dotty, who was the sweetest soul and is equally mad as a box of frogs! As with any bridal prep, we had all the time in the world, before suddenly we had no time at all and were running late. I hopped in my car, the heavens opened and I dashed to The Old Parish rooms, where I was met with such a warm welcome.

Now, I love so many of the venues I’ve visited in my years as a photographer, but with my idea of eloping in mind, never have I found a venue that I’ve thought ‘I could see myself getting married here.’ Until I saw this place. It was sublime. The room, the light, the ambience. It ticked every box.

What followed was the most emotional ceremony I’ve ever seen - both the registrars and I were crying. In fact, if anyone said they weren’t crying, they are probably lying! Having got to know the couple over this last year, and becoming friends with them in the process, I knew how much this day meant and I think that’s what made it so special to photograph.

The rest of the day was equally wonderful. During their food, I sat upstairs on the balcony, backing photos up and listening. The sound of laughter and happiness resonated throughout the building, and I just sat and took it all in. Micro weddings might be smaller. They might not be what we imagined. But my goodness are they glorious.

For anyone thinking of having a small ceremony, or wondering about postponing, I highly encourage you to consider a tiny ceremony with your nearest or dearest. There is nothing quite as special as a tiny wedding day with a handful of those you love. It makes my heart burst.

Thank you so much Laurel and Lewis for having me be a part of your day, and a special shoutout too to your families and suppliers who were all incredible. Weddings take a team, and yesterday you proved exactly that.

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Love always,

Grace x

Suppliers: Venue: The Old Parish Rooms, Rayleigh | Dress: ChiChi | Suit: Eco Suit from Moss Bros | Bridal Hair and Makeup: Gemma Peace | Florist: C Taylor’s Floristry | Cake: Bride Herself | Catering: Gather and Feast Events | Decor: CMA Hire

Grace shot our wedding in October and from what we have seen so far we are so happy. The photography has beyond exceeded our wildest expectations and we are thrilled. We enquired with Grace in late 2019 for our original April wedding. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we had to shuffle it around. During the entire process from the rearrangement to the wedding day, Grace has been positive, professional, beyond helpful. We've had so many compliments from everyone on how lovely our photos are, and we can't wait to get them on the wall! Thank you Grace.
Laurel & Lewis