Kingston Country Courtyard – Charlotte & Josh
A Day To Remember at Kingston Country Courtyard, Dorset.
As a wedding photographer, it is fair to say that an element of pressure comes with the job! But when you are asked to photograph the wedding of friends it increases 10 fold.
Charlotte and her family have been friends with my wife’s family for more than 20 years and so it was a great honour to be asked to travel from Birmingham to Dorset to photograph the wedding of Charlotte & Josh.
This will always be a wedding that sticks out in my memory, for so many reasons!
The build-up to the event, as it was for many couples with June 2021 wedding dates, was filled with some worry and uncertainty. Will it or won’t go ahead with the ever-changing landscape that was Covid-19.
I remember many conversations with Charlotte over Instagram trying to reassure her that no matter what, their day would be perfect. But the reality was that after 16 months of a wedding industry shutdown, none of us knew whether we would follow the roadmap out of lockdown as scheduled. Needless to say, I desperately hoped that their big day could go ahead without heavy restrictions and thankfully, it did just that!
The night before the big day I travelled from Birmingham and stayed at a nearby B&B, as I do when working far from home. When I say B&B – it was actually more like a 13-year-old boys’ bedroom. I had to laugh and I shared a video on my Instagram story which Charlotte & Josh found amusing! It is fair to say it wasn’t the comfiest sleep I have ever had.
It was an early start the next morning with hair and makeup starting at 8:30 am. Charlotte shared her morning with her mum Karen, mother of the groom, her adult bridesmaids Anna & Emily and adorable Immy, Charlotte’s flower girl. It was a lovely morning, champagne and tears of joy flowed. The bridal suite at Kingston Country courtyard is beautifully lit with plenty of rustic charm. It was perfect for those all-important preparations.
Charlotte’s proud dad Pete arrived to take a first look at his daughter and it was a special moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place! I love capturing the first look between a bride and a proud father. As a father of two girls, I can only imagine how special this moment is between the father of the bride and his little girl!
Outdoor Ceremony at Kingston Country Courtyard
The ceremony was scheduled for 1 pm out in the stunning courtyard. Josh waited nervously in his stylish beige suit & sage green tie, which perfectly matched the bridesmaids. He was accompanied by his best man Harry, who was so full of emotion and happiness for his best friend’s celebration.
The mother of the bride, pageboy, flower girl and bridesmaids made their way down the aisle one by one. And finally Charlotte and her proud dad Pete made those memorable steps toward Josh. Josh was overcome with emotion when he saw his bride. It was so special.
All of those months of worry faded away as they said their ‘i do’s in the company of their nearest and dearest family & friends.
I’m not sure the outdoor setting at Kingston Country Courtyard could be any more perfect. Charlotte and Josh stood on the Purbeck stone steps of a beautiful pergola and exchanged their vows with each other.
After the ceremony, the couple mingled with their guests in the Kingston Country Courtyard. Canapes were served and friends and relatives chatted and enjoyed the surroundings. I remember feeling this sense of normality for the first time in over a year. The outdoor nature of Josh & Charlotte’s wedding meant that covid felt like a distant memory. This celebration was all about bringing families together again and it felt so good to witness this. It was just as it should be!
Family formals were taken in the lovely green area of Kingston Country Courtyard and shortly after this, I whisked the newlyweds off to take some couple portraits. The rolling Dorset countryside made for a great backdrop!
Then it was over to the Kingston Country Courtyard barn for the sit-down wedding breakfast. Charlotte and Josh chose elegant rustic decor and florals to complement the rustic feel of the building. Candles, lanterns and jars filled the room creating a gorgeous ambient atmosphere.
After the speeches, the celebrations moved back to the courtyard where Charlotte and Josh danced their first dance under the golden hour sky, surrounded by their family and friends. It was picture perfect in every way. A true love story.
The party really got going once the newlyweds had christened the dance floor, aka Kingston Country Courtyard! Guests were enjoying playing games and dancing the night away.
My final part of the day was that all-important sparkler shot, as it fell dark we gathered in the courtyard with the 16th-century Purbeck barn in the background.
I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Charlotte, Josh and the wider family for choosing me to photograph this remarkable wedding day. It was an honour and privilege, and the day will stick with me for a long time to come.
Kingston Country Lodge was the perfect location for your wedding day and I would love to work with wedding coordinator Julie and the whole team again someday in the future.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Charlotte and Josh a lifetime of love and happiness as they approach their 1st year anniversary of this special day!
All the best,