Bickley Mill Wedding
Sam and Phil’s Devon Wedding
I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be Sam and Phil’s Bickley Mill wedding photographer. Sam and I had met years before she booked me, at a wedding fair, but then her wedding was sadly delayed due to the pandemic and so by the time the wedding finally came around, she felt a bit like an old friend!
I was super excited to shoot at Bickley Mill which is a beautiful 13th century former flour mill. The Mill sits within the secluded Stoneycombe valley, in the heart of the Devonshire countryside. Just a short drive from the English Riviera of Torquay, the cool, hippy town of Totnes and a stone’s throw from beautiful Dartmoor – one of my favourite places to shoot (and where Sam and Phil and their gorgeous dog Kaiser had their engagement shoot!)
The Clients Said…
“Becky and Richard they are absolutely incredible 🤩 we have loved looking through them this evening.
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The Big Day
I met up with Sam, her daughter, Mum and bridesmaids for bridal preparations in the Riviera room at Bickley on the chilly November morning. The fog was still lifting from the valley base, making the outside of the mill feel a little eery as I pulled up in the car. The Riviera room was light and airy, a stark contrast from outside! There was a buzz in the air as bride and bridesmaids had hair and make-up applied and the excitement for the day ahead built. Meanwhile my second photographer, Richard, met up with groom Phil, best man and son Charlie at the couple’s home in Newton Abbot.
One of the highlights of the day was seeing Sam’s Dad, Terry get emotional at just about every step of the day. From seeing his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress to delivering his speech – he was absolutely the definition of one proud dad!
Another highlight was capturing son Charlie run, gleefully, up and down the aisle at the church whilst the couple received their blessing and formally signed the register.
After the couple had formally tied the knot at the pretty church in Kingsteignton and guests had showered them with confetti and congratulations after, we all headed back to Bickley Mill for live music, champagne, and celebrations.
The Swing Kings performed an acoustic act outside on the patio during the drinks reception and later performed for wedding guests on the dancefloor – they were awesome! So full of charisma and fun and they really got the party going. I can highly recommend them!
After the wedding breakfast the speeches were delivered. The speeches were particularly poignant as Sam’s young cousin Emily had sadly died a few years before and there were numerous tributes made to her throughout the day, but particularly in the speeches. It was incredibly moving hearing the tributes and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, even mine.
Later, the guests hit the dancefloor while the Swing Kings performed – after months coming in and out of lockdowns it was certainly a party to remember!
Before our departure, Richard and I set up a night portrait for Sam and Phil using the light from the festoon lights, an off-camera flash with a grid and MagSphere attached. I reduced my exposure to shut out as much ambient as possible, leaving only the festoon lights glowing. Then fired my flash to light the couple.
The venue itself has capacity for 86 seated guests or 150 standing. The miller’s room is a white-washed stone room with a snug, cosy feel and is used for civil ceremonies, sit-down meals and the evening party. The Panel room is also available to be used for smaller weddings of up to 24 guests.
There is a big, rustic bar area with roaring fires, cosy seating areas and big comfy sofas which has a real country-pub vibe.
Outside is a large decking area, perfect for reception drinks and with patio heaters at the ready, its even suitable for winter weddings. Sam and Phil got married in November and were still able to have their reception drinks outside for this reason!
Beyond the decking is a pretty, landscaped garden area lit by festoon lights – a wonderful space for guests to stretch their legs and children to burn off some energy.
The venue has several rooms to stay too, making it super easy for wedding guests, but being Devon there are a plethora of hotels and B&B’s nearby too!
Bickley Mill Wedding Photographer – Becky Weir
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