James & Sarah’s chic, modern Morden Hall wedding, with Simon Biffen Photography
Hey gorgeous! So I spotted this one image of a butterfly on instagram and fell in love! You know when you fall down a bit of an insta rabbit hole? Well this adorable butterfly led me to Sarah and James’s wedding, captured beautifully by lovely Morden Hall wedding photographer Simon Biffen. These two are the best. Their day is relaxed and full of love and laughter. And they both look absolutely stunning in their wedding attire! (That dress of Sarah’s couldn’t be more perfect… LOVE!!!)
Simon Biffen is a Somerset, South UK and London wedding photographer
How did you choose your photographer?
We had asked our wedding venue for advice about wedding photographers. Sarah didn’t like having her photo taken and disliked the staged shots that she had seen so many people have taken on their wedding day. We asked our wedding planner at Morden Hall for some advice and they instantly told us to take a look at Simon’s work. His natural documentary style wedding photos were natural and showed people having a lot of fun. A true picture of the day. We loved this style. The choice was made.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We were thrilled with Simon and the pictures he took. On the day he made everyone feel at ease. We especially found his style and approach fantastic. He made us laugh and got us to reminisce about our relationship to capture some wonderful moments of us enjoying the day. At times we wouldn’t even have known he was there. He ensured that we got all of the pictures we wanted but didn’t let it become a massive part of the day. He said that he wanted to capture the natural and he certainly did that. We loved his style and approach. He was also such a friendly and genuine person. It felt like a friend had come to take pictures in the way he easily integrated into what was going on during the day.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
We chose Morden Hall because we’d lived in the area for 4 years and considered this part of London our home. Morden Hall is a beautiful modern venue set in the stunning National Trust Parkland. As two people who love the outdoors it encapsulated our love of the outdoors whilst being a place we call home. We loved how easy it was for our friends and family to get to and from the venue (one of my bridesmaids got the night bus back to north London, complete with dress and bouquet). We love that we get to go back often to reflect on the day and appreciate that we can so whenever we want to. It is a gorgeous venue.
We also chose it because our experience of the wedding organisers there was excellent. They were themselves very easy to work with and filled us with confidence.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
James went to SuitSupply to get his and the groomsmens suits. It is a place he has used many times before. He went for a country chic style for the suit.
Sarah used the rather appropriately named ‘The Wedding Dress Shop’ located in Wimbledon Park. The experience was exceptional. The ladies who worked there were incredibly attentive. They knew how to make me feel comfortable during the whole process and their advice was invaluable in choosing a dress which both suited me as a person and that was comfortable to wear. I cannot praise them enough for the experience they gave me. The dress was beautiful and so comfortable to wear.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Choosing the florist was quite a funny story. I’d spent a long time traispsing through Pinterest and Instagram to look for inspiration. I didn’t have a set idea about what I wanted or flowers and so was looking to find someone whose style I liked. I came across FlowersByEve, run by Nicola Eve, by chance. I contacted her to ask for a meeting. In doing so we realised that she was a recommended provider for the venue we had chosen and she had a wealth of experience at dressing the venue we had chosen. She took on board all of our ideas and produced some beautiful flowers for us. We trusted her choices and she really delivered. We are really grateful to Nicola for how beautiful she made the venue look on the day.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
It was quite early on that I decided to make my own cake for the day. I’d become a bit jaded about paying hundreds of pounds for a cake which would be brash or over the top. I also liked the idea of making something myself for the day. Cut to the September and I was making endless trial cakes to make sure I could get it right. James was very supportive (mostly because he got to eat the many cakes in the run up to the wedding). I was really pleased with it in the end. It was small, simple and tasted of my favourite, a bakewell tart.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
As music lovers we wanted something that incorporated this into our day. We made a day long playlist so that we were never without some backing music. We chose to have our wedding breakfast tables named after our favourite albums that we had listened to as a couple over the 10 years we had been together, including using the album artwork on the tables.
As music was such an important factor for us, we wanted to have some live music. The Tricks were exceptional. The band had everyone dancing into the late hours of the evening. We really cannot praise them enough.
We were conscious of the possibility of rain in October and with the days being shorter we wanted to make sure there was plenty of entertainment for all guests if they had to stay inside. We hired a table tennis table and shuffleboard. The table tennis table in particular was very well used.
Our wedding guestbook was a little unconventional. James is a keen surfer (Sarah tries!) and we have spent a lot of time on the beaches of Cornwall over the course of our relationship. James proposed on a sandy Cornish beach and we felt that we would appreciate a signed surfboard adorning our wall at home, rather than a guestbook gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. We love it!
Finally, we chose to have a campervan photobooth. In 2014 we’d hired a 1969 bright yellow VW campervan and travelled round Cornwall. We wanted to try and capture part of this trip on the day.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We chose to keep the vows quite simple. We wanted to spend more time on the dancefloor and celebrating with our loved ones.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
We chose ‘Baby I’m Yours’ a rendition by the Arctic Monkeys. The band are a favourite of ours. We wanted something that would be personal to us. We also liked the tongue in cheek lyrics of the song.
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