Keira and Jake’s sunny, colourful wedding in Sussex. Two Woods Estate wedding photography.
Summer this year has been all kinds of glorious and I’ve been lucky to spend lots of it outside. I have the wedding tan to prove it – like a builder’s tan but following the lines of the dresses I wear to work! It’s been wonderful to photograph outside, in beautiful natural settings.
Keira and Jake had a colourful day at Two Woods Estate, where they married surrounded by Redwood trees, celebrated in the sunshine and ate delicious vegan Mexican food.
What Keira and Jake said about working with me as their wedding photographer
Laura really knows how to find the colourful elements in the world around her and her documentary style was exactly what we were looking for. After a brief chat with Laura at a wedding fair we couldn’t wait to get in touch with her and crossed our fingers that she would be available. She was and we’re so lucky to have had her with us for our big day. Laura absolutely smashed our engagement shoot out of the ball park with an urban Walthamstow street art tour, in stark contrast to our countryside wedding. Which highlights her versatility. We hope that we’ve made a friend in Laura as she’s so easy to get along with and has nothing but positive vibes.
How we met
We met on a social media website before university that allowed you to meet people. After chatting on MySpace(Keira was very emo!) we got to know each other. We met in person for the first time at a pirate boat party on the Solent. Keira spent the night throwing up in the toilets! We became best friends and after nearly a year of knowing each other we got together officially and nothing has wavered since.
We’ve always done everything we ever said that we would do. We wanted to live in Brighton, so we did. Then we moved to London for Jake’s career in VFX. We wanted to travel, so we did. It was on our longest adventure to date, that Jake proposed. He got down on one knee in a forest in the Yosemite valley, California.
We fought through everything, hand in hand
Mixed in with the incredible adventures and good times, there’s been a lot of sadness and difficulty which has only made us stronger. We’ve fought through everything hand in hand.
A few years ago I lost my biggest influence in my life, my grandma, after a hard fought battle against cancer. It devastated me.
Less than one year on from this we found it that I had cancer myself. Luckily I was seen to very quickly and I was in surgery having my whole cervix whipped out within 2 months of diagnosis. Jake was incredible throughout. Once you’ve been through so much together not a lot phases you. Jake also suffered loss in his family but we are so strong and getting married was an obvious next step.
Choosing Two Woods as our wedding venue
We knew that with Jake’s roots we wanted to get married in Sussex. On seeing two woods you don’t need to ask why. It’s just stunning.
We always knew that we had to get married outdoors and all other venues in Sussex just didn’t light a fire inside us. As soon as I clicked on two woods I cried and after Jake proposed to me in the forests of California (which are famous for their redwoods) we had to get married in the only redwood forest in the UK.
Before we sadly lost Jake’s grandad last year, we got a chance to take him to see Two Woods. On the drive up he had so many stories to tell us of his family’s heritage in the surrounding area. Every turn of the road ignited his memory. This absolutely confirmed our decision. Although he couldn’t be with us on the day he was ingrained in the fabric of the place and our hearts.
A Suit from Tailor Made London
We both had a lot of input into the design of our outfits.
Jake’s suit was bespoke by Tailor Made London. He chose every detail from the colour of the stitching to the lining and grain of the fabric. The biggest factor in this is that Jake has quite an unusual body shape and has never had a store bought jacket that fit his shape. It was important to him to have a proper well fitting suit. Thy did a fantastic job and he looked smart as hell.
A dress from Lucy Can’t Dance
I’d been pinning ideas on pinterest for months and always navigated to the ethereal tulle skirt look.
The idea of wearing a crop top was very daunting but I loved the idea of separates. I have scars on my stomach from my operation but I confronted my body confidence demons and went for a two piece. My friends and family were very surprised to see a dress that wasn’t a dress.
I tried a Lucy Can’t Dance skirt on at Rock the Frock and knew that it was the one and was set on having a top to match. Lucy worked with me to research bespoke lace options to match the veil that I would be wearing (inherited from my mum). She came up with a prototype top as part of her new collection. It was exactly what I wanted! I opted for a blush ombré skirt to mirror my ombré pink hair.
Lucy was an absolute dream! Her designs are so much fun and she will dip dye anything you want in any colour. Her studio is a David Bowie themed/tropical/70’s inspired palace that Del Boy Trotter could be proud to live in (if he was a red headed modern day woman)
The Decor and Styling
Everything flowed from our love of California. Our favourite food is Californian style tacos. And Mexican culture flows through the entire state.
We decided to make our day an English county fair (to represent both of our roots) meets Californian Mexican fiesta. Bright colours were important, with an emphasis on orange accents and British quirkiness.
The redwoods themselves needed minimal dressing. But everywhere else we decided to spew colour and glitter and sparkle. Jake had a‘no pink at the wedding’ rule but I snuck some in!
Our flowers, bouquet, button holes and ceremony space hedgerows, were made by Achillea flowers near Hampstead. They source flowers that are mostly British and in season. Keeping elements of the wedding local and sustainable to reduce our carbon footprint was very important to us.
There was a no plastic at the wedding rule and we only brought in paper, fabric and wooden elements where possible. We spent a long time at the local recycling plant the next day sorting everything in to the right bins.
I handmade our favours using Mexican Lotteria cards (which is a game like Bingo) and matched the pictures on the cards to the personalities of our guests. The favours themselves were ringbound recipe cards featuring our favourite easy to follow vegetarian recipes.
I also potted our own succulents and cactuses to use as centre pieces. I spent months sourcing jars and tin cans. We turned old mushy pea tin cans gold and recycled giant glass pickle jars for flowers. I cleaned up a lot of Sipsmith gin bottles to use as water bottles for the table.
A vegan wedding feast
All of our food was Vegan. Jake’s cousin Food by Mark made us a beautiful vegan grazing table for our picnic. It used local ingredients from local suppliers and farms. He couldn’t refill it fast enough!
And Club Mexicana came from London for our main meal and evening tacos. They were phenomenal!!!!! No one could believe how good Vegan food could be. Jake’s aunty made us an orange ombré tiered cake (not vegan but still delicious). It was rhubarb and custard flavoured made with fresh home grown rhubarb from Jake’s parents garden.