Bilsington Priory Photography


Photographed by Nicholas Hill

Kayleigh & Richard’s Wedding

I like to think that Bilsington Priory Photography is one of the most romantic locations in Kent at which I get to work. The venue is also known as St Augustines Priory and set in the 7 Acres of beautifully maintained grounds. Adjacent to the Priory is an Edwardian Country House at which Brides are able to take advantage of the beautiful Bridal Preparation suites.

Kayleigh and Richard first visited with me having been recommended by a friend. It is always nice to hear about the great job you have been able to deliver for couples and then for them to share that confidence is a lovely feeling.

Kayleigh & Richard’s Thoughts


“Thank you so so much for our fantastic wedding photos! We are thrilled with them. They have completely captured the day for us so as to make it truly unforgettable.

As soon as we met you, you completely put us at ease. Richard is not one to feel comfortable having his photo taken, but within 10 minutes with you, he felt completely comfortable and reassured which ensured we got the best out of our experience with you.”

Getting Ready

Wedding Details

I always start my Bilsington Priory Photography by photographing the beautiful bridal details. I always arrive in plenty of time to ensure that nothing is rushed and I can take my time photographing the dress, shoes, and flowers. I believe these are the images that set the story for any wedding album and deserve taking time over.

Bilsington Priory Photography Bridal Prep

Bridal Preparation

The Bride

Kayleigh was getting ready at Bilsington Priory Photography in the the bridal suite of the main Edwardian House. it is a short walk from the priory and as such a perfect place for the bride to enjoy the grandeur of such a prestigious and beautiful house.

My timing was perfect as by the time I had finished photographing the details the hair and makeup stylist was about to start the final stages of Kayleigh’s makeup. It is at this stage that I like to start photographing the bride.

The atmosphere was extremely calm. Kayleigh had chosen just one bridesmaid and flower girl. With the help of her Bridesmaid and Mother Kayleigh was ready in plenty of good time to ensure that everything would run perfectly to schedule.

It is very rare for there to be enough time for me to take the bride before her wedding and have a portrait session, but Kayleigh was so efficient we did just that!

Bilsington Priory Photography Bridal Prep

Groom Preparation

The Groom

Richard travelled to Bilsington Priory Photography in style by vintage car. He arrived with his groomsmen already dressed. I encourage couples to take advantage of my second photographer in the morning. It is important for us to respect the wishes of the groom and Richard did not want a photographer with him in the morning before arriving at Bilsington Priory.

Matthew was waiting for Richard and his groomsmen at which point he was able to take some great candid pictures with the boys of them attaching their button holes. Richard also wanted some pictures with the vintage car too.

Bilsington Priory Photography Groom Prep

Bilsington Priory

The Ceremony

The ceremony at Bilsington Priory Photography takes places upstairs. Being an old priory it almost has the feel of being church like in appearance. The large period windows allow for a lot of natural light which give a bright and airy feel.

The staircase by which Kayleigh made her entrance is very grand. I postponed Matthew at the top of the stairs. As Kayleigh and her Father started to ascend the stairs Matthew was able get a great picture from above looking down.

Richard was naturally a little nervous, but this soon faded when he saw his beautiful bride arrive at the top of aisle. Kayleigh was so relaxed and composed throughout the ceremony.

I positioned myself at the top of ceremony room. I was able to capture the photography from close up whilst Matthew was able to capture an alternative perspective from the back of the room.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Ceremony

Bilsington Priory

The Reception

Kayleigh and Richard were very lucky with a beautifully warm spring day wedding. The Bilsington Priory Photography is lovely as the guests were able to enjoy being outside for their reception drinks. The champagne flowed, the guests mingled, and Matthew was able to photograph all the guests without them even being aware they were being photographed. Candid reception photography is a great storytelling part of the day.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Reception

Bilsington Priory

The Formals

It would have been ideal to take advantage of the beautiful weather for the formal Bilsington Priory Photography. Unfortunately it was extremely windy outside which never works very well.

It is never a problem finding a good place in which to take the formals. I setup indoor lighting in the ceremony room and we used the wonderful backdrop of the priory.

I always arrive at a wedding with additional copies of the formal photography list. It is great to give a copy to ushers, who can help round up those needed. Alternatively is there is a toast master then part of his duties are to help do this.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Formals

Bilsington Priory

The Portraits

Kayleigh and Richard are a beautiful young couple. I wanted to ensure their Bilsington Priory Photography reflected this beauty. The grounds offer so much opportunity to ensure that I can capture that fairytale look that Kayleigh was looking for.

The couple had taken advantage of visiting with me prior to their wedding for a pre-shoot. This ensured that they were both comfortable in front of the camera. We were able to get around the grounds quickly as I was not needing to teach them as we went along. It really pays dividends.

Because the weather was great we left their portraits until early evening when the sun was softer and warmer in colour. The portraits really benefit from taking advantage of the light provided later in the day. We call this the golden hour and it really does offer wonderfully elevated portraits.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Portraits

Bilsington Priory

The Breakfast Room

The wedding breakfast at Bilsington Priory Photography takes place in a wonderful marquee with a soft translucent roof. The photography is elevated by the use of diffuse daylight and meant we did not need to use and flash photography. The decorations looked great with beautiful Chinese lanterns adorning the ceiling.

It is important to ensure we photograph the details of the breakfast room before the guests are seated. It ensure the bride and groom get a record of the room as it appeared perfectly decorated before being seated.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Breakfast

Bilsington Priory

Wedding Speeches

For me the speeches at Bilsington Priory Photography are the most enjoyable part of the day. I love the opportunity to capture the heartfelt emotions and connections between people.

Great speeches should consist of laughter, tears, and a little embarrassment at the grooms expense. Kayleigh’s father produced a wonderful and elegant opening speech. It is often hard to be the first person to stand up and talk to a group of people. Getting the audience engaged is the job of the Father of the Bride.

Richard kept his speech short and thanked all the guests whilst offer a few words of praise towards his beautiful new wife. It is common for the groom to also give out a few gifts the various members of the bridal party.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Speeches

Bilsington Priory

First Dance & Cake Cutting

The cake cutting was a little different at Bilsington Priory Photography as Kayleigh and Richard preceded the wedding breakfast and cut the cake first. The wedding breakfast was a grand tea party and the wedding cake was to be served to the guests as part of the cake selection. It is a great way to ensure the wedding cake is eaten by the guests.

Despite the dance floor being quite a small area of the Bilsington Priory Photography it was still possible to fit a bank into the corner. Richard and Kayleigh started the evening proceedings with a beautiful first dance before being joined by friends and family.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Cake and Dance

Bilsington Priory


Matthew and I do like to stay later into the evening as we get to spend time with the weddings guests as they relax and enjoy a dance or two. We find that people love to dance for the camera and as the drinks flow people relax and strike some great dance moves.

Bilsington Priory Photography Wedding Disco