Written by Bethany, PA to Luke Granger

If there was a prize for the couple who had the most complicated wedding planning journey, Bethany & Jamie would be strong contenders. Being faced with lockdown cancellations once is bad enough but if you add in losing suppliers along the way, we were all delighted that the pair had finally made it to date number three.

And what a fantastic day to be part of...

At lunchtime on a bright September Day, we met with our Bride Bethany at her parents home in Chislehurst. The house was a perfect buzz of excitement; the bridal party were all getting made up, their hair placed in soft curls and proud parents Suzanne & Paul welcomed an endless stream of joy into their home as suppliers and friends prepared for the day.

Our Luke Granger Photography team were a group of four today: Luke as lead wedding photographer, Alex as second photographer, Theo as Wedding Videographer and Beth (That's me) assisting wherever needed. I often get asked what my role is as a photographers assistant and the short answer is, that I will do anything to make anyone's life easier.

If you're crying - I'll have a tissue

Spill something on your dress, let me fix it,

Need a drink, I'll fetch you one

I push wheelchairs, carry bags and bouquets, entertain children and zip up dresses and... I absolutely love every minute.

With detail shots taken and a ceremony booked for 3:30pm, it wasn't long after we arrived before it was time for Bethany get into her stunning wedding gown and what a gown it was. With exquisite detailing and shaped perfectly, the reaction Bethany received from her dad Paul got everyone tearing up, If there was ever a moment I could bottle for a father and daughter, it's the big reveal; Daddy's Princess.

After a reveal with her girls which naturally lead to more tears and touch ups needed, it was time for everyone to head to Hall Place & Gardens and find our Groom Jamie.

After a short drive, we arrived at Hall Place & Gardens in Bexley with plenty of time to photograph our Groom and his Groomsman. We are often asked how as wedding photographers we capture both bridal and groom preparations when they happen at the same time in different places; so let me explain how we capture the two.

Naturally, most women don't want their face photographed when its half finished so we don't need to spend the whole morning with our brides as they get ready. Instead, we tend to photograph hair and make up artists as they complete touch ups to our brides, alongside setting up detail shots of jewellery, perfume and flowers.

There is often an awful lot of thought or sentiment put into these choices so we always aim to capture them and on average we tend to spend around 90 minutes with our bride at the location she is getting ready.

Our preferred way to complete Groom preparations is for the Groom to arrive at the wedding venue 30 minutes earlier than he needs to be (this is also a fantastic trick to stop Groom's being late but shh don't give our secrets away). We find that Groom's are a little more at ease knowing they have got to the right place at the right time, there may still be nerves but it's one job they can say they did perfectly. Fixing buttonholes, adjusting cufflinks, shoes and ties are all elements that can be photographed anywhere so we tend to use a quiet area of the venue to take some solo photos.

With lovely weather today we used the historic external details of The North Courtyard at Hall Place to capture our handsome Groom Jamie awaiting the arrival of his bride and alongside his father Jim and his Groomsmen. Excited guests soon began to arrive and It was time for Jamie to make his way to the Tudor Room out of sight, where the ceremony would be taking place shortly.

Arriving across two wedding cars, Bethany accompanied by her parents, 4 bridesmaids and flower girl Gracie had arrived as the afternoon sun shined over Hall Place & Gardens, the perfect setting for a Kentish wedding.

Bethany beamed; her make up was flawless, her flowers were beautiful and the dress, stunning.

With the guests in place inside the rustic Tudor Room, and Jamie awaiting her arrival, the time had finally come for Paul to walk Bethany to the end of the aisle as the proud father he is.

The Harpist played Canon in D (one of my favourites) as the bridesmaids entered one by one. Jamie was a bundle of emotion but before long he saw Bethany walking towards him and you could tell he was overjoyed to be finally marrying the love of his life. They both looked amazing and the nerves soon melted away.

Kentish Ceremony Registrars, Sarah & Barbara, performed our wedding ceremony today using the choices made by Bethany & Jamie. Many couples aren't aware but when booking a registrar for your wedding there is a handful of wording and vow choices you are asked to select from. From experience most Kentish Ceremony wedding performed ceremonies last around 15 minutes in total, with a pause to sign the register and to be presented with a commemorative certificate.

Jamie and Bethany said their vows and sealed their marriage with a kiss as the whole room beamed with pride before the newlyweds were kindly given their first drink to celebrate from Toastmaster, Alistair McDonald.

Soon joined outside by guests, the drinks reception in The North Courtyard was filled with laughter. It was fantastic to see everyone having such a great time celebrating in the sunshine; The magician, Matty Evans, was performing mind boggling magic tricks, the younger guests were playing happily and the drinks were flowing. What more could you want from a wedding?

After a little time mingling, we took the first opportunity of the day to whisk our happy couple off for some photographs together with the intention to capture some of the historic features of their wedding venue.

When we first met Bethany & Jamie, they told us they had chosen Hall Place & Gardens because they loved the rustic history of the venue, its leaded windows, classic brickwork and unique features bring so much charm and it was important that we showcased this within their wedding photographs. I think we achieved our brief don't you?

We explored the sweeping driveway, angular facade and English rose gardens for around 15 minutes, pausing for photographs along the way and allowing the couple some quality time together.

Returning to The North Courtyard, traditional group shots were taken in a series of different combinations to ensure everyone was included and so the Groomsmen could show off their matching socks. With a guest list of over 80, group shots can sometimes become a little hectic but Toastmaster Alistair soon had everyone in place and as always, Luke was in charge of snapping away. Rule number 1, next time you go to a wedding, if you can't see the camera, the camera can't see you.

After handing out bubbles to everyone, all the guests joined in to create a bubble tunnel for our happy couple to welcome Bethany & Jamie into their wedding breakfast. There is something about bubbles that bring the child out in you, there was plenty of giggling and smiling faces amongst the crowd.

A fantastic feature of Hall Place & Gardens, the Great Hall had been laid out with a traditional top table and a series of round tables, each with a grand candelabra centrepiece featuring pink roses, vine leaves and pearls. A stunning blend of rustic charm and modern beauty, the room looked fantastic and guests took their places before being served the 3 course wedding breakfast.

As a photography team, accompanied by Toastmaster Alistair, we were shown to a room next door where we took time to have a short break and a meal ourselves whilst the guests ate, after all no one wants their photo taken during dinner do they?

A question that we are often asked by couples when enquiring about booking wedding photography is, 'Do you want to be fed?' Yes please.

Typically, on the day suppliers (such as photographers, wedding planners and toastmasters) work for a minimum of 10 hours on a couples wedding day (sometimes longer if you factor in travel and ceremony times). Naturally, that is quite a long time to go without food and drink, so it is written into our contracts that a meal is to be provided. Occasionally, couples choose to have us dine alongside guests but most prefer we take a break elsewhere within the venue.

If you are planning a wedding, check with your venue or caterers what options are available for your wedding photographers. Some Kent wedding venues offer the same menu available for guests, whereas others have a specific bar menu for us to select from. We personally prefer to opt for just one or two courses.

At Hall Place & Gardens, we were served a delicious Beef dish in a rich Guiness Gravy, accompanied by potato gratin and vegetables. During our break, Luke took the opportunity to back up the photographs for the day so far and create a small collection of sneak peek photographs for Bethany & Jamie to enjoy. This one of their wedding rings resting on the rustic beams is one of my favourites.

Noticing the fantastic sky outside, Luke spent a few moments flying the drone and capturing the beauty of Hall Place & Gardens from above. What a sky! If a couple are interested in drone photography, then we do try to capture some establishing shots of their wedding venue at some point during the day but it does depend on weather and if the venue allow us to do so.

Rejoining the wedding party, Theo set the microphones and cameras up in preparation to film the speeches, whilst Alex and I enjoyed the entertainment as Matty Evan's performed some fantastic magic. I have absolutely know idea how to explain what or how he did it but the whole room were in awe of him. So many gasps and surprised faces, 100% the reaction every magician wants.

Traditional speeches came from the top table and each met their goals of providing laughter, funny twists and emotion.

Father of the Bride Paul, proudly spoke about how he and Mother of the Bride Suzanne, raised Bethany & her older brother Aaron. Paul told us how when he first met Jamie he had never seen such bright white trainers before and how he didn't make it easy for Jamie to ask for Bethany's hand in marriage.

The room also filled the room with unanswered questions as he presented the newlyweds with a rather unusual gift as a reminder from a past trip to Prague... a fake pigeon! I must remember to find out this story

Our Groom Jamie took the mic next, offering sincere thanks to Bethany's parents for accepting him into their family and his own Dad, who is a true Gentleman, for raising him and his brother alone after Jamie's Mum passed away. Jamie spoke beautifully of Bethany, telling the room how proud he was to call her his wife and how happy he was to spending the rest of his life with her.

Best man Matt was our final speech of the day and did a fantastic job of the usual thank you's, alongside a moving tribute to his best friend and of course giving Jamie a little roasting too. By all accounts, Jamie is a keen golfer despite his mishaps of splitting his trousers on the green and falling in the lake.

With speeches complete, and tears a plenty, our couple lead their guests back out to the North Courtyard as the Great Hall was to be turned around for the evening wedding reception.

Bethany & Jamie's guests were in great spirits, the couple mingled with their loved ones and enjoyed drinks and laughter as their evening guests began to join the party. With the summer sun fading, our bride chose to complete a traditional bouquet toss before everyone headed back inside for the cutting of the wedding cake.

Underneath the ornate chandeliers, our Husband and Wife took to the dance floor for the first time as a married couple. Dancing to Bruno Mars, Versace on the Floor (Fantastic choice for a first dance, I recommend a listen) the pair swirled and smiled the whole way through as the guests soon joined in.

Jamie then graciously stepped aside to allow Paul to dance with his daughter, Paul was singing with so much joy you could tell he was having a fantastic time. Suzanne, who had taken to her role as Mother of the Bride like a pro, joined in and the bond between the three of them shined across the dance floor.

To end the evening, we headed out into the grounds away from the hustle and bustle of guests one last time. An ideal opportunity for our Bride and Groom to enjoy a breath of fresh air away from the dance floor whilst getting some twilight photographs in front of the wedding venue they fell in love with all those months ago.

They may have waited a little longer for their wedding day but what a beautiful day it was.

Cinematic Wedding Video of Bethany & Jamie Barrett's Hall Place Wedding

Bethany & Jamie have given us permission to share their wedding video with you all. As you can see, this highlight video shows elements from throughout their day, capturing the true essence of their wedding and the love they have for each other. Additional footage of their wedding ceremony and their speeches has also been created, the perfect way to ensure the memories of their wedding day stays alive.

Bethany & Jamie, we wish you both a marriage filled with laughter.

Kent Wedding Suppliers at Hall Place & Gardens

Once again we would like to pass a huge thank you to all of Bethany & Jamie's friends and family for making their wedding day so amazing, not just for our couple but to us as a photography team too. The four of us had a fantastic day and it was lovely to see everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves, clearly the Claydon/Barretts know how to throw a good party!

Additional thanks to the following wedding suppliers who contributed to making the day a success.

Photography & Video - Luke Granger Photography (Luke, Alex, Bethany & Theo)

Bridal Gown - Mori Lee (Style 5216) purchased from Bell'amore Bromley

Hair - Holly's Hair

Make Up - Make up by Beth

Wedding Rings - Robert James Jewellers, Petts Wood

Floristry - Twisted Tulip Designs

Venue - Hall Place & Gardens, Bexley Kent

Catering - Relish Catering

Toastmaster - Alistair McDonald

Magician - Matty Evans Magic

Harpist - Carys Hughes