Jake Peet Photography - Gemma & Jon
When the nice people at Blank Canvas Weddings asked me, many moons ago, to write a guest blog for their site, I was left scratching my head thinking, “what should it be about?” Then I got the booking for Gemma and Jon and I though this would make the ideal article. I had been recommended to the bride and groom by Blank Canvas and after a meeting with them last year, very quickly after our get-together they gave me the job.
Having never been to Littlefield Manor - just outside Guildford in Surrey - I had arranged with Gemma that I’d arrive an hour early to take a good look around and scout out some locations for group photos and also the couple shots of the bride and groom away from the crowds. Upon arrival I was greeted by Blank Canvas’ very own Heidi who thankfully had most of the answers. She recommended where the groups shots could be done and pointed out some key spots around the beautiful grounds for intimate portraits later on.
Littlefield Manor is a gorgeous listed Tudor and Jacobean manor house set upon 400 acres of farmland. John, who owns it with his brother, used to run a dairy farm here but he closed that side of the business in the 1980’s. He now allows the Blank Canvas team to run weddings within his gardens and grounds.
My first job was to find Gemma and start shooting the bridal party getting ready. It’s always funny trying to spot my clients because it’s usually been about a year since I’ve seen them at our initial meeting in a pub or café. And I’ve usually seen dozens of other clients in-between, but recognising the lovely Gemma was easy. She introduced me to her bridesmaid and the maker of her amazing dress – Katie Salmon. As I began taking photos, Gemma’s mum and sister arrived with snacks and a bottle of fizz to ease everyone’s nerves. I got some great photos of the girls and managed to include some of the details inside the house in the shots, adding to the authentic antique chic that the farmhouse exudes.
Then it was time to meet the boys who had just arrived. An enthusiastic, jolly (if not a little cheeky) group of South African gents. Jon and his brother and best man are from Durban and so too were the rest of the groomsmen and I got some really fun shots of the guys tying their ties and toasting the groom with a fine single malt Scotch – drinking from ramekins, as no glasses could be found in the kitchen!
The rest of the day went as smoothly and brilliantly as wedding photographer could expect, the weather was fine, the group shots went without a hitch (thanks again Heidi), the speeches were the perfect blend of emotional, funny and naughty, the food incredible (I always make sure I get fed with what the guests are eating and I can tell you – Keely’s Kitchen make amazing food) and when the band stared up after dinner they looked and sounded great.
Here is Gemma’s list of hand picked suppliers who helped make this incredible day possible:
- Venue - Blank Canvas Weddings (Littlefield Manor)
- Dress by Katie Salmon - bridesmaid
- Bridesmaids dresses - Jjshouse.co.uk
- Hair & Make-up by - Arabella Hewitt - arabellahewitt.co.uk
- Flowers - Longacres
- Grooms and groomsmen's suits - A Suit That Fits
- Catering - Keeley's Kitchen
- Wine – sourced from Calais - Read Gemma’s compelling article here Buying wine for your wedding
- Photos - Jake Peet Photography
- Band - Swamp Cats (via Alive Network)
- Marquee - Tentsnevents
- Cheese - Neal's Yard Dairy
- Celebrant - Jenny Knight
- Guitarist - Dale Harris
I love my job, I love taking photographs of people and I love weddings and as things go, this was a great day. Gemma and Jon were friendly, welcoming, patient and game – I managed to get four separate portrait sessions with them, usually I only manage one! Their friends and family are likewise so it is with great gusto I wish them all the very best for married life, at least they have the wine buying sorted for a long and happy future together!