Beautiful Couple + Breathtaking Views = Amazing Wedding!

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The historic Town Walls have taken pride of place in Southampton for hundreds of years. So, with the venue being so near, to make use of them for pictures at the beautiful wedding of Jen and Lee on 1st April, was a no-brainer!

The wedding took place at the Southampton Holiday Inn. It’s in a prime location: with the old walls to one side, and the stunning water front views of the Mayflower Park, to the other.

Some awesome photo opportunities then!

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Quick mention for the fantastic staff at The Holiday Inn, who were exemplary in their desire to make sure everything ran smoothly – as indeed it did!

The beautiful bride, in her stunning gown, walked into the ceremony to the music of the famous Elvis Presley song “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” played by Alison, a very talented violinist.

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At our pre-wedding get together with the lovely couple, we had ambled across to the old walls, which we all agreed would make the perfect setting for some of their pictures. 

On the day itself, we had everything crossed for good weather. As indeed we do for every wedding we photograph of course, but especially so this time! The plan was for the majority of the wedding party to make their way from the hotel to the walls, via a very busy main road (thank goodness for the pedestrian lights!). Torrential rain would have made things very tricky!

Luckily, the sun shone and it all worked even better than anticipated, despite the somewhat gusty wind.  To experience the fascinating Old Town Walk with the bride and groom and their family and friends, was brilliant. The group shots turned into a bit of an adventure!

We took the “all guests” photo at the hotel first – there’s a perfect spot to the side of the hotel with lots of steps, so I could get to a good high vantage point. Everyone in view!

At the walls we could concentrate on the rest of the family and friends’ shots. We stopped at different locations along the walk, to make the most of the variety of fabulous scenic views.

The guests made their way back to the hotel as and when their photographs were done. When everyone had eventually filtered away, it was only the lovely couple with the children, their pageboys and flower girl, remaining. We took a couple of fun shots of them all by the arches, otherwise known as The Arcades.

The walk is also home to the 15th Century Tudor House, one of Southampton’s most haunted buildings, apparently! The outside of the building is perfect for romantic couple shots – no paranormal beings spotted!

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Once everyone else had gone back to the hotel, dark clouds had started to appear.  The impending rain meant a quick change of plan and the proposed evening shots in the Mayflower Park with the newlyweds were brought forward.

It turned out to be the most amazing time of the day to take the shots. The sun was low creating some beautiful light and rays. The water absolutely sparkled! A perfect atmosphere for some very romantic pictures.

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As the happy couple strolled hand in hand back across the park, the hotel could be seen in the distance. Perfect to feature in the pictures to add to the story and set the scene.

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Everything fell into place so very well. We were back at the Holiday Inn in good time for the wedding breakfast!

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Loved the bride’s gorgeous red shoes!!

Sticking with the historic theme … check out this swash-buckler of a sword for cutting the cake!!

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Once the evening guests arrived, the cake was cut by the happy couple wielding the said sword!
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Awesome cake eh! Made by the clever folk at http://www.specialitycakes.biz/  – and chosen by the groom himself!

The happy newlyweds then took to the floor for their first dance.

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A truely special and wonderful day!

Made all the more special by the amazing talents of :

Violinist, Alison Rowley http://www.morrismonday.com/

Flowers by Sarah Grist at Penny Lane Flowers  https://www.pennylaneflowers.com/

Dress by Ann, Sue and Dee of Mayflower Bridal http://www.mayflowerbridal.co.uk

Cake by Speciality Cakes http://www.specialitycakes.biz/

Congrats to the new Mr and Mrs!!

Moments from a Beautiful Wedding Day

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There were so many times where we just went “WOW” at Saturday’s beautiful wedding!

Our first “step back in amazement” moment was when we entered the main marquee. It looked simply stunning! 

As we were a little early arriving to the bride’s home for her getting ready shots, the marquee was our first port of call. As soon as we walked inside, Lee and I were blown away by the vintage style decor and attention to detail.

A very impressive marquee!

A very impressive marquee!

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Two other marquees were set up adjacent to the main one; one which would later be home to the hog roast and food, and t’other (“wow” moment number 2!) was set up as a photobooth with a difference, which we thought was an excellent idea … a mockup room setting with its false wall and open picture frames, complete with a chair, table and old-fashioned style phone. It was so cleverly done and naturally the perfect place to leave our fun props ready for the party – and later to be the source of much merriment!!

Great idea for the photobooth!

Great idea for the photobooth!

The cake was amazing – number 3 “wow” moment – and made by the mum of the bride, who did a wonderful job, I’m sure you’ll agree!

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The other end of the garden was set up in readiness for the guests’ arrival and welcome drinks. Two brilliant vintage style vans finished setting the scene, in readiness for later in the evening where one would be serving burgers and the other was the bar. So many great ideas and special touches.

Loved the picture frames hanging from the tree.

Loved the picture frames hanging from the tree.

So with loads of shots already in the bag, it was time to head into the house for the bridal party getting ready shots. Things were already underway with the hair and makeup and the usual hustle bustle and pre-wedding excitement were in full swing. hair-makeup-blogboard-12-copy

We left the girls to it for a while whilst we went to photograph the dress, shoes and flowers back in one of the chalets in the large grounds.

Ah … our next “wow” moment … The dress!! Ok, of course, all wedding dresses are out of this world, and we have photographed our fair share of stunners … this one though was just that little bit extra special, as it had been made by the extremely talented mum-of-the-groom! When we walked into the chalet, it wasn’t hanging up on the back of a door as we had expected, but it was displayed in its full glory on a Taylor’s dummy in the middle of the room. It was a definite gasp from me when I first saw it, so magnificent, and when we were later told it was the handiwork of the groom’s mum, we were even more awestruck.

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We headed back upstairs for more photos of the bridesmaids’ dresses, and one of those special little touches … the bride’s garter with the wedding ring of her nan attached.

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Time suddenly starts to disappear quickly on the morning of a wedding; one minute it seems like there is still ages to go, and suddenly there’s not! Before we knew, it was time for the beautiful bride to put on her dress! Another “wow” moment of course!

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Then it was off to the church! Lockerley St John’s Church is very lovely…you can read more about the history here http://www.lockerley.org.uk/index.php/history/80-the-church-of-lockerley.  Rain had been forecast for later in the afternoon but unfortunately a shower decided to fall just as we arrived at the church and continued as the guests started to arrive. We made use of the church doorway in the downpours, but were luckily able to dodge some showers to get at least some shots in the front of the church. And thankfully the rain held off for the arrival of the bride!

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We breathed a sigh of relief to find it wasn’t raining when we went back outside after the service so were able to get the few planned guest shots in the church grounds.

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Nearby the church is a little bridge over the River Dun where we stopped off with the newlyweds en route back to the reception – always great to get some water reflections shots. And the rain was still holding back luckily!

A little gem of a spot for photos just round the corner form the church

A little gem of a spot for photos just round the corner from the church

When we arrived back at the house,  the guests were enjoying their welcome drinks, accompanied by some great music from a very talented guitarist.

The family goat wondered what on earth was going on!

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We knew the heavens were about to open so we worked quickly to get the outdoor shots that had been planned for this part of the day, and thankfully we just about about got these pictures taken before the rain started falling very heavily. Fortunately there were plenty of sheltered areas, and it was soon time for the wedding breakfast.

A delicious meal, speeches and into the evening celebrations!

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It was a wonderful day for sure 🙂

Congrats to the happy couple!!

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Farnham Castle Wedding

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Wow!! As wedding venues go, Farnham Castle is definitely up there with the best!

Picturesque Farnham Castle

Picturesque Farnham Castle

You may remember, at the beginning of our holiday we had a wedding to go to; that of Maddie (the daughter of some close friends of ours) and James.  We were over the moon to take their photographs at this stunning venue. ‘Twas a busy day for sure, but such a joy to photograph a lovely couple in this amazing setting!

The castle is about 900 years old. Here’s a little history http://www.farnhamcastle.com/history/

The Old Gatehouse is where the bridal party get ready for the day ahead.
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The Gatehouse is designed perfectly for the purpose.  It has a comfy downstairs area; refreshments had been laid out here to keep everyone going throughout the morning. The hair and makeup ladies were hard at work in one of the upstairs rooms, with the dresses and shoes set out in another, which had glorious light streaming in, so great for photos to be taken.

Downstairs in The Gatehouse

Downstairs in The Gatehouse

Fantastic hair and makeup by the lovely ladies at Amore Makeup http://www.amoremakeup.co.uk/

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Proud mum looking on

Proud mum looking on

Whilst the girls were getting ready, we took some shots of the preparations going on in The Great Hall.

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Just had to take a picture of this tame little cat. He must live somewhere nearby – he was very friendly and amusing 🙂 As you can see was doing his best to trip up the videographer, Andrew, who it was great to meet and work alongside http://andrewcollin.co.uk/

Cat doing his best to trip up the videographer

James and his groomsmen arrived along with some guests and we took some shots as they chatted on the Great Lawn in front of the castle.

Great views of Farnham from the castle walls

Superb views of Farnham from the wall of the great lawn

It was back to the Gatehouse then – the beautiful bride was almost ready to go!

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Maddie’s mum and our good friend, Trudy, is a registrar and she had been granted permission to take the ceremony which made it particularly special.

Special moment for mum and daughter

Special moment for mum and her newly married daughter at the close of the ceremony

The ceremony took place in the Lantern Hall, which is a beautiful light and airy room http://www.farnhamcastle-weddings.co.uk/venue/the-lantern-hall/

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Beautiful flowers by Eden Blooms http://www.edenblooms.co.uk/

Everything certainly runs like clockwork at Farnham Castle – extremely well organised, and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

After the ceremony, the guests are asked to line up along the main staircase, with a glass of Pimms in one hand, and a handful of confetti in t’other, and the bride and groom then mosey on down the steps being showered by confetti. A magical site to behold – and of course great to photograph!! We were told an amusing story of one occasion when a guest inadvertently threw their Pimms instead of the confetti at the bride and groom – oops!  I suspect wasn’t very funny for the bride and groom at the time!!! 

Luckily only the confetti got thrown on this occasion …

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Then it was a quick run upstairs for me to take the main group shot of the newlyweds and their guests in front of the castle from a top floor window – a perfect vantage point to get both the guests and the fantastic view across Farnham.

The gardens are beautiful, and lend themselves perfectly to the romantic bride and groom shots, and there is the added bonus of photographing the happy couple in the castle ruins too, with its wonderful ancient walls and amazing views.

A photographer’s dream!!

The wedding breakfast takes place in the 12th century Great Hall http://www.farnhamcastle-weddings.co.uk/venue/the-great-hall/  The meal is exquisitely presented – and delicious too! The balcony overlooking the Hall gives a splendid vantage point to take some pictures of the speeches, tables and later the dancing.

BIrd's eye view of the speeches!

A bird’s eye view of the speeches!

So it was into the early evening and there was a beautiful relaxed atmosphere as the bride and groom mingled with their guests in the castle grounds before cutting their cake and having their First Dance.

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Then it was dancing till midnight, and a hog roast feast just in case anyone was still peckish! Our photo props seemed to go down a storm and a good time was had by all.

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We stayed in the Castle overnight, and we were all treated to a generous continental breakfast the next morning in the brightly decorated library which was a super relaxing way to finish the celebrations.

For anyone out there researching wedding venues at the moment, Farnham Castle might be well worth a look!

Congratulations, Maddie and James! It sure was a fantastic day 🙂