I have known Michelle and Pete for quite a while now and have photographed a few of their family events, including Pete's surprise fancy dress 30th birthday party. So I was so excited when Michelle got in touch to ask me to photograph their small and intimate Rayleigh Windmill Wedding, especially when she told me that nobody knew about the wedding and I was sworn to secrecy! All their close family and friends thought they were coming together for a meal before the Christmas rush began.
In the end Michelle and Pete told everyone the day before the wedding, which was still a big surprise to them all, but did give everyone a chance to get their outfits sorted for the day, and help Michelle and Pete with their travel and last minute wedding details.
When we arrived at Rayleigh Windmill it was raining and guests that had already arrived were sheltering from the rain inside the windmill. Pete was inside putting the final touches to the decorations, looking very dapper in his tweed suit and tartan bow tie. His buttonhole together with Michelle's bouquet, and the flowers to decorate the windmill were all picked from their families gardens and hand tied with twine. They had also created two natural and very unusual decorative pieces using bamboo canes, with plants and leaves tied on to them.
Michelle looked stunning as she arrived for the ceremony, with a beautiful headpiece from Jodi at McFayden Millinery. During the service one of their friends played guitar and sant to Michelle and Pete, which had everyone smilling. It was a very intimate ceremony with Rayleigh Windmil only seating 18 guests. It was lovely to see Michelle and Pete saying their vows in front of their very close family and friends, with all the little wedding details and decor that complemented their personalities and style perfectly.
After the ceremony all the guests gathered outside to shower Michelle and Pete with confetti and it was lovely to find that the rain had stopped. Family portraits outside the windmill followed, and then Michelle and Pete took a walk around the sensory gardens for a few moments alone and then some couple portraits, before heading for a meal with their family and friends to continue the celebrations.
Here are a few photos from their beautiful Rayleigh Windmill Wedding.