Modern documentary wedding photography with a dash of elegant portraiture from a friendly and unobtrusive photographer.

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Gosh darn it I love weddings and this was a peach of a wedding earlier this year at St Georges’ Theatre Great Yarmouth. I hadn’t seen much St George’s theatre wedding photography on the internet prior to my visit with a superb thespian and singing couple combo but wow, what a location, looking through the photographs below I’ve revisited what a fab place to get married this very old theatre was-great choice guys!

I started the morning with my second photographer Pete, visiting the bridal preparation HQ in a village, I’ve now forgotten the name of, somewhere near Great Yarmouth:-)The groom had got there ever so slightly before we arrived by way of the delivery/production of the lovely photobook pictured below. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere everyone was enjoying themselves and we were introduced to the lovely wedding film maker Mike Savory whose company we were to enjoy throughout the day.

I’d got to know the bride and her family at her cousin’s wedding, and had met up again with father of the bride to give him some photography training, and the happy couple for an engagement shoot in the previous year. It’s always great to know a little about the family and bride and groom you’re photographing prior to a big day, provides extra personal investment and gives you great motivation to strive your hardest for some lovely wedding photographs.

Bridal preparation went without hitch, the lovely Emily from LoveMoiMakeup providing make up in the kitchen whilst hair was being crafted in the lounge. The father of the bride and mother of the bride took in most of the preparations which was lovely as it made for a lovely family and friends environment and allowed me to picture both looking relaxed, sharing the preparations. Meanwhile Pete had made his way to the theatre in the centre of Great Yarmouth to meet the boys, who were at this time getting ready in the theatre’s dressing room a very  apt environment for two very theatrically orientated guys.

As well as the bride’s Irregular Choice shoes, and the wonderful colour combinations chosen for the guys suits and bridesmaids dresses, the wedding party bore paper flowers and button holes decorated in musical notation. This was a nod again to their music and theatre loves and as always with great works of origami, the bouquets, and button holes looked stunning.

On another note, it soon became apparent that the bride was wearing the biggest natural smile I’d seen for quite some time all morning. I nicknamed it the Disney Princess smile simply because it outshone many of the princesses I’ve seen: as a father of two daughters I’ve had my fair share of Moana, Elsa and Anna, Rapunzel etc. It often becomes apparent with a bride and groom that there’s some small similarity between them that almost gives some clue as to how they gel together and without a doubt there’s a commonality between this bride and grooms smiles, both big, both beaming, like a mirror image of each other,  and of course not bad to photograph 😉

After a short camper van ride to the Theatre where everyone was waiting surrounded by a beautiful panoramic room the bride stepped out like the main performer with her dad and made her way to the front of the room short of the stage for the wedding ceremony. Two members of the bridal party, a bridesmaid and the best man sang beautiful songs during the service and register signing before everyone headed outside to the theatre’s cafe for hot chocolate, biscuits and more. As the theatre is in the centre of the town we took some couple’s photographs in the building itself before heading to the North of Great Yarmouth beach for some photographs on the beach. It’s fair to say that the weather took a turn at this point with the wind starting to blow icy cool across the sea just as we arrived at the beach. Not wanting to squander the time or opportunity we rather hurriedly made our way to the beach front for some photographs before beating a retreat back to the warmth of the camper van for the return trip to the theatre.

Great speeches, food and sweet tables followed, with a few photographs around the big Love letters on the theatre’s stage before the evening began with a great first dance and a full dance floor for the evening. A superb day for a superb super couple. I hope you like a small selection of the images as below.
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Great 16th century architecture and historical interiors, wonderful gardens, a conveniently short walk to a wonderful chapel all makes for a great and unique Hengrave Hall Wedding. I’m glad to have photographed weddings at this venue a number of times and it never disappoints though dare I say it this particular wedding was a particularly memorable affair.

Hengrave is a unique venue, it boasts perhaps the most beautiful bridal preparation room in the whole of East Anglia and rightly so as it most probably hosted at least one queen in its time. It’s gardens are a wonderful place for a reception and although on this occasion due to the ferociously hot summer the grass had browned and guests sought a bit of shade from the full sun, they still made a great spot for guests to admire the hall, play games and even take a short walk to take it all in.

This wedding was a coming together of cultures. East meets West, Chinese girl marries English boy, Chinese celebration cakes and traditional British wedding cake: yes, two lots of cakes-the guests were spoiled! It was great fun, there was translation aplenty, lots of smiles, music, lots of laughter a few tears and quite a bit of dancing. It all began with the girls getting ready in the Bridal suite whilst on the other side of the building in the Blue room the boys got themselves together.

With Elizabeth the first’s portrait on the chamber wall above the bridesmaids dresses looking on, make-up and hair was fixed by the very talented Ashley before flowers arrived and dresses were donned. The bride’s father arrived in his traditional Chinese suit and looked on as the veil was fixed in place. With the whole church service translated verbatim in the order of service the bride was practising pronunciation of the English vows, to eventually be reassured that normally even native speakers stumble over their vows.

A lovely procession of the bride, her father and bridesmaids, led onto a touching ceremony with lovely speeches, and eventual emergence into a bright summer day. With the drinks reception in the garden, the Chinese celebration cake table prepared that morning by the bride’s mother and assistants was an instant hit, with everyone gladly seeking a little refuge from the sun for the wedding breakfast.

One of the beautiful things about a multi-cultural wedding where there is a big language barrier is the unspoken communication that comes to the fore. The bride’s father’s speech was brilliantly translated but there was little doubt as to it being a universal speech with tears, joy and most evidently pride being self-evident.

A beautiful wedding cake prepared by the groom’s mother, ribaldry during the best man’s speech, chinese firewater and the evening progressed to the main hall: after a brief walk out with the bride and groom into the evening sunlight for some more portraits.

A great band were in attendance and everyone packed the ancient hall to both listen and dance the night away: it’s hard to imagine how many types of music the hall has heard during it’s lifetime of royal visits and weddings. Later in the evening the best man, an accomplished musician took to the stage both to wow the bride and groom and to sing them a song he’d composed for the occasion.

To say that the wedding must have taken some serious planning would be an understatement, but the expressions on the face of the bride and groom at the end of the evening proved that they’d pulled it off, happy in their new marriage. I hope you enjoy some images of the day below.View full post »

I’m a big fan of single location weddings and a Hockering House wedding provides a one stop shot. A wonderfully located venue just off the A47 Hockering has a lovely room for indoor ceremonies, a lovely garden in which outdoor services can take place and a lovely field which not only serves as a home for a large marquee on such occasions but also parking for guests.

The bride and groom on this occasion got themselves ready at a friend’s home and salon, and home address respectively. With lots of bridesmaids, a great bouyant mood and the wonderful salon facilities the benchmark for the rest of the day was set. Meanwhile back with the boys the groom and his sons were dressing the groom with some personal gifts from the bride and in return the bride was presented with a surprise hamper full of gifts and photographs from the groom. Interestingly, they’d both bought each other the same card!

The bride and six bridesmaids were soon ready and in the most wonderful room in her friends’ home we photographed them all decked out in their dresses. Thanks have got to go out to the friend and her husband in question. Often one of the most difficult photographs to take on a wedding day is that of the bride’s dress. On this occasion the dress was already hung in a wonderful position and as a bonus so were all of the six bridesmaid’s dresses.

With the hour growing closer and the weather looking undecided as to whether the bride would get an outdoor or indoor ceremony we headed to Hockering for a safe indoor ceremony in the marquee. The bride arrived and was seen first by the registrars in the main house at Hockering, in the same room which would be later used for the official signing of the register as the ceremony was a duo ceremony.

There followed a lovely ceremony in the marquee and then a procession over to the signing room in the main house. The main house is in the top flight of signing rooms for official purposes and made for great photographs lots of lovely light and even more emotions on show from the close family and friends witnessing the second part of the ceremony.

It was then canapés and drinks time with the guests on Hockering’s lovely lawn, with group shots and entertainment from Magician Ed Crafer before some couple photographs with this stunning couple and then a great wedding breakfast complete with a toast of Rum for the guests in honour of the groom’s former career. After speeches and breakfast there were more garden games next to the marquee before evening guests arrived and the fire pit and the dance floor came alive.

The rest of the night was spent being entertained by a great local wedding singer and the dance floor was heaving particularly given the inspiration of the bride and groom taking to the floor for their first dance.

I had a great day photographing the wedding with my second photographer Pete. Big congratulations to a great couple, their family and friends on making it such a memorable day.
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Park Farm Hotel sits in the village of Hethersett between Dereham and Norwich. It’s a great secluded hotel, professionally run and makes a great wedding venue. Last year I had the pleasure of producing some Park Farm Hotel Wedding Photography for a lovely couple, their friends and family.

I arrived just before the guests for this wedding. I often cover the whole day of a wedding up to 12 hours coverage so it’s nice on occasion to cater for a more modest amount of time required from the wedding couple. On arrival I went to see the bride to check on her progress in getting ready and then checked in with the guys to photograph some portraits of them and the important wedding rings prior to the ceremony.

Back to the bride I took a few portraits of the girls getting ready and then headed out to a beautiful part of the hotel’s back garden for a few photographs of the bride and her nephew who was to give her away. The ceremony followed with some lovely readings and a lovely air of anticipation for the couple to be married.

After the ceremony the guests were invited into another area for drinks before we headed to the old entrance of the hotel to photograph all the guests and some formal group photographs both in front of the old entrance and on a lovely adjacent lawn. There’s a lovely front driveway to the hotel which runs through an avenue of trees and on what was quite a sunny day this made for a great cool covered walkway which we could use for some photographs, add to this the hotel’s area of woodland beside the drive and the vegetable garden area and we managed to get some lovely portraits of the happy couple with some lovely backdrops.

We then headed back to the shade of the hotel where the couple greeted the guests as they went to their wedding breakfast. Speeches followed before the couple gave us a great display of dancing before I signed off for the evening to allow them to go on enjoying the company of their families and guests. A great day for a great couple. View full post »

Weddings at a family home are becoming particularly popular and have been so for a number of years. With a field or large garden spare a marquee is erected, often the local church is used, and then caterers and a bar are hired in, in addition to a DJ and band for the evening’s entertainment. It’s a great way to go, wonderful to have a wedding on your home turf where you have the option particularly when you have childhood memories wound up in your home and want to embark on the next stage in your life with a little trip down memory lane with a familiar place and often familiar faces.

This wedding was no exception to the above, held at the bride’s family home the whole day was very relaxed with the church a short stones throw down some country lanes and the home with a marquee erected in a field and car parking provided in another field acting as the reception venue. Bridal preparations were laid back as were the groom preparations. The florist used an open timber framed garage as her base of operations producing beautiful flowers for the church, bouquets, table decorations and button holes. When your father collects classic cars the wedding car isn’t a problem and neither is the ride home from the church with the Austin Healy Sprite making great time under the Groom’s command.

A relaxed reception followed with drinks in the garden of the house before guests made their way to the marquee for more drinks and the wedding breakfast. We stole the bride and groom away for a little while at this point for some portraits before rejoining the fun for some great speeches, a superb first dance and an evening of fun. I hope you like a small selection of images from the day.

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