Rudding Park Harrogate Wedding Photography – Sarah and Adam

After having a heavy bias towards Suffolk weddings last year, this year the balance appears to have shifted to Yorkshire. Sarah & Adam’s wedding was the first of five Yorkshire weddings currently in the diary and my first (but hopefully not last) time at Rudding Park Hotel. They had a brief legal ceremony in the morning as the church on site at Rudding Park is only good for blessings, but this blessing was the focus of their plans and to all intents and purposes was their ‘ceremony’.

It was another unseasonably sunny day, although rather chilly, so everyone hurried inside for the rest of the day once the ceremony was over. We had a FaceTiming bride, a very emotional father of the bride, rapping best men and a smoke machine (YAY!). But not many people dancing (BOO!). Too soon after Christmas maybe?

Woburn Sculpture Gallery Wedding Photography – Cherise & Jeannie

2014’s weddings began with a return trip to a venue I’ve visited twice before, the Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey. Cherise and Jeannie had returned from some time living in Jeannie’s homeland of Australia, and were hoping for some snow or extreme British weather to give contrast for their Aussie guests, but weirdly for January it was mild and sunny!

Getting ready together, the couple only went their separate ways when it was time to get in their dresses, before being transported up the road to the venue in one of the oldest wedding cars I’ve ever seen, provided (and driven) by a friend. Despite my previous visits, it’s the first time I’ve photographed a ceremony at the Sculpture Gallery, which has one of the longest ‘run-ups’ outside of a cathedral!

Post-ceremony fun and games consisted of a few groups, some dress rejigging, and a trip out in the old car as a couple. Meanwhile the guests enjoyed the drinks reception whilst I got a sneaky look at all THREE wedding cakes. Lots of emotional speeches and the cutting of all three cakes preceded the meal, which was followed by an enthusiastic performance by one of the guests who is a professional singer.

Stock Manchester Wedding Photography – Lucy and Matt

My last wedding of 2013 was just after Christmas, and it was good to get out and get some fresh air after a few days of loafing around stuffing my face and watching rubbish television! Lucy and Matt were married at their local church in Prestwich to the north of Manchester, and then headed into the city centre to Stock, a restaurant in the old stock exchange building. A meal in the very grand main hall of the building was interspersed with speeches, before the tables made way for a dance floor and as you might expect, dancing. I’ll leave the final words to Lucy:

“Thank you so much for taking such fantastic photos of our wedding and capturing the day perfectly! Both Matt and I are so pleased with them and they are exactly what we wanted – thank you too for your help and advice when getting ready! MANY THANKS!”

Hintlesham Hall Wedding Photography – Emily and James

I had a quiet November, so it was good to get back in the saddle for the first of three Christmassy weddings. In Suffolk once again, I got to spend the whole day at Hintlesham Hall, home to more Christmas trees than I’ve seen in one place for a while!

Emily seemed very relaxed and composed, right up until the time came to head downstairs for the ceremony, at which point the emotion got the better of her. However, as usual all the nerves and stress lifted once she had James by her side and the ceremony was underway. Like most winter weddings, the light was very low and as darkness fell the atmosphere built, helped by lots of sparkling fairy lights.

HAC Wedding Photography – Lucy & Sam

2013 got off to a quick start with Lucy & Sam’s wedding in the first week of January. After getting ready at Lucy’s parents’ house in Hampstead a convoy of cabs full of family, and Lucy & Sam’s six month old daughter, headed down to the Honourable Artillery Company on City Road.

The ceremony (and the rest of the day) was being broadcast live via iPad to family abroad that couldn’t make it, hence the iPad suddenly making an appearance as Lucy came down the aisle! With the formalities complete it was time for a big group shot outside (a rare thing in mid-winter) featuring a few well-known faces, and once back into the warmth the guests enjoyed music conducted by Lucy’s brother.

After dinner and speeches the family music continued into the evening with Sam’s father and brothers getting everyone warmed up for the dancing with some tinkled ivories and accordion.

Keythorpe Manor Wedding Photography – Claire and Ross

So, to my last wedding of 2012 and appropriate that it should have a link to the Olympics and the events in London this year. As I previously mentioned, Ross Davenport became a third-time Olympian this summer and many of his colleagues in the British swimming team were present to celebrate his wedding to Claire.

It was my only real Christmas wedding this year, although the weather didn’t provide a winter wonderland. Just a lot of rain!

Mercers’ Hall London Wedding Photography – Laura and Richard

Yet more familiar faces at Laura and Richard’s wedding in the heart of the City of London, with Clare (of Clare & Francis fame) in a role reversal from her own wedding in 2011. We started at The Goring Hotel, famous recently as the location for a certain Kate Middleton’s preparations before the Royal Wedding.

Once ready it was a short cab ride into the city to Mercers’ Hall, the home of the Worshipful Company of Mercers – the premier livery company of the City of London, for the ceremony and reception. Richard’s family have a longstanding connection with the Mercers, and a portrait of his great-grandfather, Sir Cecil Clementi, has pride of place on the grand staircase.

With the formalities out of the way we were treated to a very impressive first dance, the result of a lot of dance lessons!

Bodleian Library Wedding Photography – Helen and Oliver

My first ever wedding in the centre of Oxford (and first experience of the Park & Ride system there!) found me at the ancient and historic Bodleian Library. One of the darkest venues I’ve worked at, made trickier by the late afternoon ceremony in mid-November. Camera’s set to ‘high-ISO’.

Helen got ready with her mum and sister across the road at the Old Bank hotel, then the ceremony took place in Convocation House at the rear of the complex. Afterwards everyone headed through to the Divinity School, and many of the guests enjoyed a tour of the library. I followed Helen and Oliver on a little wander around the nearby streets, before making a quick exit as they sat down to eat.

Town Hall Hotel and L’Anima Wedding Photography – Emma and Paul

Last wedding of the year, and my third trip to one of my favourite venues, Town Hall Hotel in East London. Emma and Paul were hoping for snow to complete the Christmas card scene started by their horse and carriage, but it wasn’t to be. Emma took a ride around the block with her dad anyway!

An army of young bridesmaids preceded the bride into the council chamber for the ceremony, then everyone jumped in taxis over to City restaurant L’Anima. Having first met Emma and Paul a month earlier at their tasting, I knew the southern Italian delights that were in store from chef Francesco Mazzei. The best risotto I have ever tasted, and a Sicilian lemon sponge wedding cake to name but two.

So two Christmas weddings, in venues as different as can be, to end the year. More great 2012 weddings coming shortly!

Carlton Towers Wedding Photography – Alison and David

A welcome return to the fantastic Carlton Towers for my first Christmassy wedding of the season. This venue looks great all the time, but with some of the biggest Christmas trees I’ve ever seen inside a house it’s something else.

Frosty conditions made for a nice wintry start, then mulled wine all round following Alison and David’s ceremony. After the wedding breakfast the guests were treated to a pub quiz about the happy couple, along with some wedding general knowledge. I’ll confess to helping here and there, but I don’t think I affected the outcome!

Browsholme Hall Wedding Photography – Emma and Jon

Winter was starting to rear its head as I ventured north to Lancashire for Emma and Jon’s wedding in the Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall. An industrious scene greeted me with all hands on deck producing table signs, all for tables named after different cheeses.

One of a growing number of brides being ready early, Emma had a bit of a wait outside in the car whilst everyone took their seats for the ceremony. A ceremony filled with both tears and laughter, followed by drinks, canapés and soup in test tubes. Oh yes.

Sparklers, speeches and inflatable guitars all observed and enjoyed.

Prestwold Hall Wedding Photography – Vanessa and Tom

My first time at a great local venue in Leicestershire, Prestwold Hall. Unfortunately the unseasonable sunshine of the previous week was replaced by very seasonable gloom and cold, so this ended up being the first of my winter weddings.

I’ll avoid the usual blurb, but instead post the contents of a recent Thank You card I received from Vanessa and Tom:

“We’re not really sure where all of the time has gone but we are still meeting up with friends now who are talking about the amazing photos that you took for our wedding in October last year. You really captured the feeling of the day perfectly. We had such an amazing time and when we look back at the photos it brings it all back straight away.

I don’t think either of us expected you to capture so many perfect moments from the day whilst also being the on-hand ‘wedding expert’! Some are personal, some are beautiful photos in their own right, but all of them exceeded our expectations. You have given us an amazing photo journal of our day that we will keep forever.

Thanks so much again.”

Town Hall Hotel Wedding Photography – Heidi and Steve

Heidi and Steve had a very personal and low-key wedding, which featured my first wedding breakfast before the wedding itself! After getting ready together with their young son they headed down the road to trendy east London venue Bistrotheque for a meal with their close family and friends. They then headed back to Town Hall Hotel for their ceremony, which took place in the amazing council chamber that has been preserved in the middle of the hotel.

Afternoon tea followed, as more and more guests began to arrive, before the couple took to the dance floor and got the evening party started.

The Lanesborough Wedding Photography – Kate and Mark

Kate and Mark had a very simple and low-key (but still very glamourous) wedding at The Lanesborough hotel on Hyde Park Corner. It was the day following the shortest day of the year, at 5pm, by candle light. So dark that I couldn’t really see a great deal through the viewfinder!

After their short civil ceremony they had a drinks reception before heading into the dining room, to be seated at my second ‘one table fits all’ table of the year, and enjoyed their wedding breakfast, followed by a couple of speeches and then quiet drinks at the bar to end the evening.