14th century Scotney Castle engagement session: summer, open field, tall grass…Ilona and James | London Wedding Photographer

Imagine. A hot and humid summer’s day. A couple of hours drive to the country. We’ve been looking forward to this day for a couple of months. We arrive at Scotney Castle, grab one of the last parking spaces. We enter the estate only to be told the Castle is closed for a wedding. Our hearts sink a little but we cheer up. It is a beautiful place, plenty of romantic spots with stunning views and breathtaking scenery. We head to the 14th century castle hoping to sneak in some shots by the moat. Ah, thankfully for us the bride was a little late; we were able to get close enough for some hoped for dreamy shots in the long summer grass. So here they are, Ilona and James. Two very lovely people. Great friends. Great examples. And I cannot be more proud of them.

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Ilona speaks of her blossoming love story with James which started off as a great friendship… “James and I were introduced through a mutual friend, Joe. I was planning a weekend break in Ireland and invited Joe to bring someone with him, and he brought James. We met for the first time at London City Airport and were seated next to each other on the plane. We got on immediately as friends and kept in touch over the next few years. After James moved to London (and into my flat share with friends!) things accelerated and we quickly fell for each other!”

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James and Ilona share a love for the countryside. “We love being out together in the countryside, having picnics and going for walks, so we wanted to reflect our mutual love of the outdoors in our engagement shoot. James had originally planned to propose to me at Scotney Castle, but each time we drove in that direction it poured with rain (instead he proposed in the Lake District whilst away with friends)! It was James’ idea to have our shoot at Scotney as it is a very special place for us and has the romantic, dreamy atmosphere that we wanted for our pictures. The best accessory was the Kent countryside!”

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Soon the estate was closing and we head to the quintessentially English Walled Garden for a few minutes to make the most of our time in the beautiful wooded estate.

scotney castle engagement photoshoot love session summer golden hour farm open field country london destination wedding photographer lily sawyer photo

But we felt we were missing something. So we walked on…and lo and behold, there it was, glorious golden open field. Perfect.

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One sticky day in summer. A romantic medieval castle. Tall golden grass on a vast open field. Mesmerising golden light. My favourite images of two of the best people I know. Precious memories of a summer’s day to cherish for years to come. Congratulations Ilona and James! I cannot wait for your Bampton wedding a la Downton Abbey. P.S. James and Ilona are getting married in St. Mary’s Church in Bampton, one of the notable locations used in Downton Abbey. For Downton fans, you can visit their website to see extra footage of Downton weddings filmed inside the church! If you like this post, please share it. Thank you.


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