Habiba & Callum - The Crown Inn, Chiddingfold
This informal, relaxed, party wedding from just before Christmas was emotional, fun and felt so very cosy to boot. Calum & Habiba have written a lovely review of us which you can find towards the end of the photos below. In that they describe how they had considered not having a photographer at all for their wedding day. Something which I have heard before. It may be that you have a family member or friend who is good with a camera, or you may be considering leaving it up to your guests with their phones, but they will want to be first and foremost, guests! With having a photographer there for your day you have someone dedicated solely, to documenting your day and that shines through here. Calum and Habiba mention how they get to see all these moments that they didn't even know were happening. The hugs, the laughter and the emotions they may have otherwise missed.
Despite Surrey not being my normal catchment area, I had been to Guildford Registry Office before a couple of years ago and knew it to be a really lovely one as they go. It was just me for this wedding and no getting ready photos so it was straight to the ceremony venue. I made sure to catch Calum and his best men (brothers) for a couple of shots as soon as they arrived, before the registrars would have whisked them away.
Habiba arrived not long after and as you can see on a couple of occasions in these photos, seems to have perfected the glamorous, exiting of a car photo opportunity. I am sure they wont mind me saying but both Bride and Groom are so naturally photogenic as you will see!
It was getting dark by the time the ceremony started so the only light was that of the bulbs in the room (we never use flashes in the ceremony). I always find this looks lovely though in winter wedding photos, it adds a warmth that really fits well with the time of year. As you can see for the ceremony, emotions were high, from tears of joy to howls of laughter. This was a couple very much in love and room full of people who loved them too.
As I said before we had lost the light, and it was now raining as the ceremony ended. Thankfully Habiba and Calum were the last wedding that day and the staff very kindly let us use the ceremony room for a few group photos.
The brief I had received from these two had been lots of natural shots as apposed to lots of couple shots. This is never an issue as we always tailor our coverage to each couple. However we do always make sure they have at least a few together, even if we have to force them haha. I LOVE the images I managed to snap outside the front of the pub. The rain was teaming down so we had to be quick, which can be difficult when you are using off camera flashes. By placing a flash behind the couple, in the pub doorway, it lights up not only them, but also the rain and the umbrella. It came out exactly how I was hoping!
The speeches or as they should have been titled "The Roast of Calum" were fantastic. I see a lot of speeches and the main advice I always give is just be original. It's very tempting to look to the internet for jokes but just tell stories. It comes across so much better and this wedding had that just right.
I left the wedding as the party was kicking off. I was tempted to stay on for a while longer but knew it was a fair drive to get home. The last wedding of 2018 was a beaut! Hope you enjoy looking through it as much as I did being there!
Ceremony Venue: Guildford Register Office
Reception Venue: The Crown Inn, Chiddingfold
Brides Dress: Caroline Couture
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS
Groom and Best Mens Suits: ASOS
Flowergirls Outfits: Monsoon Kids
Cake: Cinnamon & Apple Flavour made by Callum's Aunties ( A Family Tradition)
One of my favourite shots of the day. When the emotion gets too much you just have laugh. Also Habiba's Dad clearly knows this shots going to be a good'n
I do absolutely love Habiba's dress! So elegant and simple and Caroline Couture did a fantastic job. According to Habiba, Carolines claim to fame is designing and making Ali G's tracksuit! This dress could have looked very different!
Here are Habiba & Callum's wedding planning story.
"Calum and I got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2016 and immediately knew we wanted an informal, small venue wedding at Christmas. We had been to a few informal weddings that year of close friends and they were the ones we'd had the most fun at- just a good party and not stuffy at all.
We originally planned to have our wedding at The Crown and had even pencilled in a date for the end of 2017. But I got completely swept up in wedding-mania and within 2 months our wedding was July 2018 in 3 huge tipis, with us doing everything from scratch. Fields don't tend to come with electricity supplies haha!
A year on and at the end of 2017 it suddenly dawned on us that this wasn't what we wanted at all. We had spent some money on deposits but made the decision it was more important to enjoy the day and have the wedding we felt comfortable with. So we made the decision to cancel that wedding, send out "unsave" the dates and start again. Which we did and went back to our gut and booked The Crown the next month.
What this did mean was that some details had already been planned, namely my wedding dress. Despite having filmed and appeared on Say Yes to the Dress UK and said "yes" to a gown (in reality it was a no!) I had purchased a beautiful summery gown with Grace Loves Lace as soon as their London showroom opened in Shoreditch, but I just didn't feel it fitted anymore. I had a view of what I wanted but couldn't find one example of what I wanted and that's when a friend recommended her dressmaker. I made the decision (and financial hit) to have my dress made even though I had one. The dress was incredible value for the quality, service, custom and fantastic service and experience I had with Caroline. I now just have an unworn gown to sell!
In terms of details, I am very crafty and really enjoyed the process of creating everything myself, all my stationary, favours, table decor etc. I don't think you can call yourself a real bride unless you've been to Hobbycraft! I have great memories of the time I spent doing that and I got a lot of compliments on the night. It felt magical, cosy, wintery and I loved preparing it all.
Having your wedding at a pub is such a good idea- you can go whenever you want to view it, plan and speak to them! We can also go back on anniversaries. The staff on the night absolutely made it, they went over and above and even though we ran into the early AM which was unplanned, they did everything with a smile and really engaged with the event and felt like they were part of it.
In the main everything went to plan- we were largely to time and things like that but I honestly did not care on the evening. As soon as we were married absolutely everything else was a bonus. There is no feeling to match having all your loved ones in one room, there to celebrate you and love. The band absolutely nailed it and it just felt like a party which was what we wanted. The dancefloor was never empty and the snugness of the pub really gave the intimate, celebratory vibe we were going for."
How to look glamorous whilst exiting a car, in the rain, in December.
This is what Habiba & Callum had to say about us.
"I have always been very skeptical of photographers, I explained this to Darren when we first spoke and he was very understanding even though he probably thought I was being rude! I had heard many horror stories of bad photos, not receiving photos, photographers disappearing and in an age where everyone is a social media photographer I felt we would get enough coverage from our guests. But the whole 2 years I spent planning I had this niggly feeling I would regret it and it was the one decision people who had got married would raise an eyebrow at. We decided to listen to them, and so I reached out on a Facebook wedding group for recommendations and Darren commented. I got in touch with him after looking at his website where I was pleasently surprised by how much I loved his style. I wanted "reportage" style photography as we are just not posers and his style seemed so effortless and captivating. Darren was professional throughout which built my trust in him and on the night, I honestly didn't even notice him! I couldn't believe the photos he captured! He made us do a few posey ones which I am so pleased he did, but completely respected our decision not to have an entire photoshoot and what he did capture was incredible. Darren honestly captured the energy, love, atmosphere and emotion of the day, the secret shots of people's smiles and conversations which we have to treasure forever. The real essence of it all. I cannot recommend Darren enough.... I now follow him on social media and continue to love his work and we will definitely back when we have something else to shoot! Thank you Darren x"
15th Dec 2018