A rustic, candlelit Dartmoor wedding at Lustleigh Church & Neadon Barn
Well... that was a special one!! Where do I even start...?!
Alice and Bruno married in Lustleigh Church, surrounded by chocolate box thatched Cottages and bunting and cream teas (a nod to Alice’s first job in the village tea shop as a teenager), kissed atop the May Day rock (engraved with Alice’s name from when she was the May Day Queen), climbed to the very top of a mighty Tor for me on Dartmoor in some serious wind in true ‘adventure wedding’ style, sprayed Prosecco into the sunset, petted a litter of tiny little puppies, dined in a rustic candlelit Hogwarts-esque barn, and danced the night away to live music, with fire pits and candles and more wild flowers than I think I’ve seen at any venue. In fact I think that has to be the most magical little rustic venue I’ve ever set eyes on, and it’s only ten minutes from my house 😍 Love it when I get one close to home hehe!
Alice and Bruno booked my full day package with a second shooter, which meant we could cover every possible angle all day long, including the groom prep (which in this case turned into scone making and beer while everyone waited for Bruno 😂) whilst I covered bridal prep.
Alice was getting ready at her childhood home with her family and 6 bridesmaids, and we arrived at 9am with hair and makeup in full swing.
Shortly before we left for the Church I arranged a “reveal” moment, for Alice’s parents and bridesmaids to see her as a stunning bride for the first time. I genuinely never get bored of these emotional moments - I’m usually there behind my viewfinder holding back tears myself!
The church had some pretty strict rules about photography so I couldn’t get as close as I’d have liked during the ceremony, being banished to the back of the church, but me and my second shooter Lauren did our best.
Then it was out to a picture perfect confetti throw with real flower petals (so many of them that I was still finding them in my clothes, hair and bags days later 😂) and a traditional Devonshire cream tea canape reception outside the church. Lusteligh really is the epitome of the quintessential idyllic English village, with huge towering oak trees and thatched roofs galore.
We then headed over to the village green for some photos by the May Day rock engraved with Alice’s name, and the picturesque Lustleigh Orchard, where it began to rain before setting off in a beautiful blue VW campervan up to Dartmoor (Bone Hill to be precise) for some of the wild and dramatic portraits I’m so frequently sought after for.
It was windy as hell and kept oscillating between sunshine and light rain, but nothing was too much to ask for these guys and when I suggested they climb to the top Alice was only too happy to take off her shoes and make the ascent barefoot. Her veil was EPIC, truly, and the thought did occur to me that it might just parachute her straight off the top but I’m fairly undaunted by the elements and happy to report it was drama-free and TOTALLY worth it!
The whole day completely blew me away, even as a local who’s used to these perfect country villages I was impressed and humbled, and Alice and Bruno’s unbridled ‘up for anything’ fun attitude made for some seriously gorgeous wedding photos!
Once we were done up there they had some champagne and then headed over to nearby Manaton, to the insanely perfect Neadon Barn, where we found ourselves surrounded not only by more candles and wildflowers than I think I’ve ever seen, but by the happiest and most lovely wedding guests I ever could’ve ever hoped for. Everywhere I pointed my lens I found smiles, laughter, and beauty in absolute abundance. Lauren was mingling and getting the candid guest shots meanwhile I was arranging the formal group photos and ensuring we got the details in the barn before the guests sat down for the reception.
After the speeches and banquet meals, cake and dancing...
...I had one last request and that was for some last little bursts of some extra fun photos as the vibe was so high and I really wanted to capture that elation. We popped Prosecco into the sunset and got a shot of them in the golden light beneath the moonrise that I’d envisioned in my mind when we first arrived, and then we got even more crazy and I gathered the groomsmen, laid down on the ground, and quite literally threw Bruno up into the sky 😂 (as you do...)
For anyone interested in how I shot Bruno’s groom photos of him being thrown up above me check out my reels section on my Instagram page (@hannah_wilde_photography)
Congratulations you two! You really did have a perfect day! 🥳😘🥂