When I first met Kirsty and Joel, they explained how they had been a couple for several years, and as they prepared for getting married, they wanted to find somewhere to gather together their friends and family from Australia, England, Ireland and Scotland for a relaxed party. Also high on their list of priorities – as keen foodies, and both working in the whisky industry – was somewhere that would give them all a memorable culinary experience. River Cottage, near Axminster, ticked all the boxes for them. It also gave plenty of options for indoor and outdoor space whatever the weather – as it turned out, they had the most glorious of September days and much of the celebration outdoors, just the way they’d wished for.
I hadn’t been to River Cottage before so I arrived a couple of hours early to scope out all of the areas and to get a really good feel for the place, as well as taking my scene-setting photographs. I’ve included quite a lot of these below as I know there are many people who are likely to enjoy having a virtual look around! On duty as videographers were my good friends Andy & Laura from Eight Wood Studios, always a joy to work alongside. As you know, I strongly believe that weddings are all about the couple and their important people, so there was plenty of opportunity for those photographs too, especially given the added fun of outdoor games, and time for family to catch up with those they hadn’t seen in a while. Dermot, the couple’s pup, was an important part of the celebration and you can see how keenly he watched the ceremony!
After the meal, the fires were lit ready for pizzas later on, and for guests to roast the marshmallow favours that they’d found at their table places. The yurt was decked out with fleece-covered hay bales, and Joel & Kirsty’s whisky bar with recommendations for guests to try out some of their favourite tipples (as well as River Cottage sweet treats, and Tim Tams for the Australian contingent!).
The evening ceilidh had been kept a surprise from the guests and meant that everyone was encouraged to hit the dance floor (I love a ceilidh simply because they’re so sociable without having to worry what you look like, because everyone’s doing the same!!). There were also some disco interludes including an electric slide routine headed up by Kirsty! It was just an utterly fabulous day and I couldn’t have been happier that they were able to celebrate in exactly the way they’d hoped for. All my best wishes to you, Kirsty and Joel, for your first married Christmas together!