Kim + Russ | Elmley Nature Reserve Wedding

Updated: Jul 5

Elmley Nature Reserve is one of the best wedding venues I have visited. It has a huge barn for ceremonies and receptions, they have a catering kitchen, lots of outdoor space and various types of accommodation including tents, Shepards huts and cottages. The views of the nature reserve are stunning and make amazing backdrops for photos. It's the perfect rustic venue for adventurous couples who love the outdoors.


elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

Kim and Russell's wedding day started off with them getting ready in the cottage. The bridal party had their hair and make up done downstairs in the beautiful open dining area, then they headed upstairs to The Elmley Room to get dressed. The groom got dressed with his groomsmen downstairs in the room below the bride, we all had to make sure they wouldn't see each other when moving throughout the cottage. The groom and groomsmen headed over to the barn where the guests and the band where getting ready for the ceremony. The bridal party helped Kim into her stunning wedding dress, she looked incredible!


elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer
brides dress at elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

I headed over to the barn to get ready for the bride to enter. The staff at Elmley were amazing at coordinating the whole day and making sure it ran smoothly despite the ceremony running a bit late. The groom got emotional during the vows which set off the bride's parents too. It was a lovely ceremony followed by a long shower of confetti from all of the guests outside the barn.


ceremony at elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer
ceremony at elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer
elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

They had their drinks reception outside the barn in a closed off grassy area with an outdoor bar and hay bales to sit on. After everyone had the chance to congratulate the new Mr and Mrs we headed over behind the house for some group photos. For the larger groups we stayed in the area outside the barn as it was easier to get everyone together, we ended it with a big group shot of all of the wedding guests.


elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

Soon after everyone headed back inside for the wedding breakfast. They gave a few people chefs hats who were given the job of carving the meat for the roast dinner. They had a lovely three course meal served by the catering staff at Elmley and then moved onto the speeches. The father of the bride, the groom and the groom's brother gave speeches, the bride had her head in her hands for a lot of it as they all tried their best to embarrass her.


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Whilst they were having dinner a white bouncy castle and a photo booth were set up outside ready to entertain the guests whilst they waited for the barn to be transformed into the dance floor for the first dance. The kids and few tipsy adults enjoyed the bouncy castle. The photo booth was lots of fun too with various blow up props. The evening guests arrived and they gathered everyone inside to witness the cutting of the wedding cake and the first dance. Their first dance was beautiful and intimate, after their song had finished they were joined on the dance floor by friends and family.


elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer
elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

After a few songs we headed out onto the nature reserve to get some couple shots after sunset. The area surrounding the Elmley wedding venue is so picturesque. We walked about 10 minutes down a path to the river, it's nice for the bride and groom to have some time away from the guests to relax and be with each other. These are some of my favourite photos I've taken, the moon in the sky was just perfect.


elmley nature reserve wedding venue Kent wedding photographer

We walked back to the barn where the evening food was being served and I left them to party the night away. What a wonderful day it was.