Silchester Farm Summer Wedding

We can call this a summer wedding, but it rained. It rained a lot. Thanks England, for once again delivering on the weather! In between the torrential rain there were some sunny bits. Thankfully Silchester Farm is an incredible wedding venue, with fabulous locations both inside and out. Elizabeth and Ollie’s wedding didn’t start there of course, so I will begin with bridal prep.

Bridal Prep

Bridal prep is one of my favourite bits of a wedding. Elizabeth was getting ready at her parents house. There was plenty of space, a pleasing lack of clutter and a fab garden to work with. These shots ended up being a mix of documentary wedding photography and more editorial shots. The editorial shots were done with a studio strobe in the garden in between rain showers! The reason for this was to get shots in a part of the garden the family wanted to showcase. The only issue was, the light there was terrible at this time of day, so I whipped out the strobe and sorted it out. This type of scenario is where knowing how to use professional lighting equipment is essential.

Let the bridal makeup begin!
Bridesmaids – shot with a studio strobe in between rain showers
Bride and bridesmaids - Berkshire wedding prep
Elizabeth and her bridesmaids

The Church

The church in Basingstoke was absolutely huge. Oliver and Elizabeth had order some trees from https://www.whitestem.co.uk/ to line the processional, which looked fabulous. There was still a mask mandate in force for the Church ceremony, but in some ways it creates a unique look. Hopefully in years to come we will be able to look back at Covid era weddings as a thing of the past.

Ollie and his best man waiting at the Church
Elizabeth arriving at her wedding
Adjusting the veil before the processional begins…
The blessings part of the wedding ceremony
Ollie’s parents were well prepared for the British weather

Silchester Farm Wedding Venue

I absolutely loved this wedding venue, once I found it. My satnav went a bit nuts on the way and for the first time in years, I got totally lost. When I found it the car was about to leave, but I managed to grab a few nice shots of the couple with their car.

Check those skies out..guess what happened next

Confetti line up

The original plan was to do this at the Church, but the weather put paid to that plan! Silchester Farm turned out to be a much nicer place to do this. The place just has a bunch of great areas, both indoors and out. We will come to the indoor bit shortly! For now, here are some shots of the confetti run!

Confetti at Silchester Farm wedding
Ollie and Elizabeth begin their confetti run…2 minutes until it rains
Confetti Run at a Silchester Farm wedding
Confetti run in colour
Black and white confetti shot at Silchester Farm
I love a monochrome confetti shot, I must confess

Here Comes The Rain Again

About 2 minutes after we did the confetti, not only did it rain, but it did so at a biblical level. Everyone scattered indoors and I view the long list of formal shots Elizabeth had given me with some concern. However, the inside areas of Silchester Farm are packed with rustic charm and, more importantly, big windows. A wedding is full of challenges for the photographer but experience helps a lot. I was able to quickly figure out a perfect spot for the group shots, using the huge window at the end of the barn to light the guests. I also wanted to get the fantastic ceiling lights in the shots as much as possible. Here is the first one I took, of Ollie and Elizabeth.

Wedding portrait of Ollie and Elizabeth at Silchester Farm
Wedding portrait of Ollie and Elizabeth at Silchester Farm
The Cowshed - wedding reception at Silchester Farm
The Cowshed – wedding reception at Silchester Farm

The Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm

Once everyone dried out and did some socialising, we headed for the other barn to start the speeches and wedding breakfast. This place was beautifully decorated and it was clear Ollie and Elizabeth had a big hand in how things looked. The speeches were great, and the food was fabulous. My favourite moment was when Elizabeth’s dad showed off the long list of instructions he’d been given by his daughter. Elizabeth is famously well organised and her family love her for it. On a day like today, this was invaluable.

Silchester Farm – one of the main dining areas
 Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm - one of the starters
Silchester Farm – one of the starters
Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm - the starter
Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm – the starter
Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm - the puddings
Wedding Breakfast at Silchester Farm – the puddings
Grooms speech at Silchester Farm wedding
Ollie’s speech – I’m sure he was telling a funny story about Elizabeth at this point
Father of the Bride speech at Silchester Farm wedding
The List – Elizabeth’s Dad shows everyone his instructions for the day

Couple photos

I picked my moment between the showers to grab some time with Ollie and Elizabeth and take some shots of the two of them. I’d already shot an engagement session with them, so they knew what to do! Silchester Farm has many beautiful spots for these type of photos and we managed to get round only a few of them. This is one of my favourites.

Couple shot at the lower barn at Silchester Farm
Couple shot at the back of the lower barn at Silchester Farm

Dancing in the Barn

Silchester Farm has a few barns to choose from. We ended up back in the Cow Shed for the dancing. Once again I used the beautiful lights in the background to get some great dance shots. A live band was playing and it was just a great atmosphere, I really wished I was a guest.

Ollie leads Elizabeth onto the dancefloor at Silchester Farm
First Dance at Silchester Farm

Sparklers to end the evening

For the final act of the evening we headed out to another great location down by the lake at Silchester Farm. Ollie and Elizabeth had arranged for a bucketful of sparklers. Everyone had great fun with these, especially the grown ups.

Sparkler Time at Silchester Farm!
Adults having more fun than the kids….

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this far! The weather was not with us for this wedding, but it wasn’t totally against us either! I made sure we took advantage of the gaps in the weather we did get. It helps when you are at a beautiful venue like Silchester Farm, with loads of indoor and outdoor spots to choose from. I could shoot a dozen weddings there and come out with different images each time. I would recommend it as one of the nicest venues I’ve worked at as a wedding photographer in Berkshire.

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