Like me, Alex & Paul live in Winchester – Best City on Earth™. Just when I thought I knew of (and had mostly photographed at) all the venues in the city, Boom – they show me a new one. And then they showed me the most amazing wedding at it. Because they are pretty amazing too.
Alex got ready with bridesmaids Jo & Debs at Lainston House Hotel in Winchester. They had my go to hair & make up gals Farida Ghwedar & Jesse Doel transform them into rock’n’roll godesses – Alex looked like Rita Hayworth reincarnate.
Then they jumped in the gorgeous red split screen Volkswagen camper to whizz them to St Cross Hospital Church which was decorated with stunning floral arrangements around the doors. Its possibly the most attractive church in the city (and that is really saying something) and has the added bonus of some really friendly clergy & wardens. After a fantastic service full of laughter and no small amount of mischief from best man Matt, we headed to West Stoke Farm and its amazing barn. West Stoke Barn is spacious & really authentic – it has been managed enough to make it a comfortable & flexible space, but hasn’t been remodeled in any way, leaving a beautiful blank canvas for couples to make their mark on. Alex, Paul & their family & friends worked hard to create a really stunning space, full of rustic charm and a bit of rock’n’roll. Hanging lanterns, beautiful table centres, candles and a fabulous light-up sign which was nearly stolen & bundled into a car about 9pm (all me).
On our arrival, Dottie the vintage caravan was there to keep everyone supplied with drinks & just generally look gorgeous.
After a sumptuous-looking meal from the always fab Vanilla Catering, we were entertained by the speeches. As Alex’s dad pointed out, he had a hard act starting it off – both Paul & best man Matt are performers – Paul a very funny stand up comic, see his website here, and details of his BBc3 show here) and Matt is a comedian, writer, tv panellist and all round good egg, see here – but he needn’t have worried – his speech was great and brought a tear to many eyes.
After that it was rocking out to the Beatles tribute band Beatles With An A – although rumour is after I left Paul, Matt, Rob Beckett, Wayne Bridge & Seann Walsh took over the stage – a supergroup I think the entire world has been waiting for. Or possibly not.
Alex & Paul – you were amazing, your wedding was beautiful, and I was made to feel so welcome. Thank you xx
Click more to see the pictures!