We first met Holly & James in January of last year when they came to us via a referral from a wedding we photographed in 2010. It seems like a long time ago and it certainly was rather atypical for us at that time to be booking a wedding 18 months in advance, but we’re glad they did because they’re awesome.

As you’re probably aware, this Summer has been somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of weather in the UK, but the forecast for the day promised to be showery at worst and of course, when your glass is half full, you kind of hope for the best, don’t you?

The day started off relatively sunny. We arrived at their venue, the delightful Rowhill Grange Spa Hotel near Dartford in Kent with literally hours to spare as we had built in contingency for the traffic uproar being caused by the Olympic Cycling.

With 4 hours to fill before the ceremony, we captured everything we possibly could to record ‘Bride @ Home’. Lots of getting ready PJ style ( later to be turned into ‘News’ Black and White ) and even more details of the reception room, table settings, lovely floral arrangements by Muscari Whites and of course the absolutely amazing Wedding Cake from Choccywoccydoodah.

After a brief encounter with James and his wingmen, we headed back to Holly for some shots in her dress and with her bridesmaids during the run up to the magical hour. It was during this time that luck, at least as far as the weather was concerned, appeared to take a nosedive.

Of course, we completely forgot to mention that Holly & James’s Wedding Ceremony was to be an *Outdoor* affair. You know, like you see on those amazing destination weddings with a little gazebo and lots of little white chairs?, but even though everything had been done to mitigate misfortune by booking their big day in the middle of Summer, the peculiar UK weather, it would appear had completely different ideas, and as the sky got darker and the rain started pouring, anxieties started to creep in but strangely enough, not from the bride.

Holly somehow knew that her outdoor wedding *was* going to happen, and even though the staff at Rowhill and most everyone else was starting to resign themselves to cramming everyone into the reception area, Holly just wasn’t having any of it.

And in the event, she totally made the right decision.

As the guests waited underneath umbrellas and as the distant rolling of thunder taunted us and both myself and Mary quickly taught ourselves how to shoot with an umbrella in the crook of one’s arm, everyone appeared to have resigned themselves to the idea that once you’re soaked, you’re not getting any wetter, so you may as well just have fun.

So spirits were high, everyone was making the most of it, the registrars arrived, James appeared to be sharing the mood and thankfully Holly’s determination and resolve appeared to be stronger than the rain’s, and at 10 minutes past the hour, the weather broke, the sun came out and Holly arrived with her dad in her vintage car and looked as gorgeous and as relaxed as if she’d planned it that way.

After a brief ceremony with some readings and incidental music by a classical trio the new Mr. & Mrs. Banks headed back to their car. Once safely inside, as if by magic, the rain started again and they were pursued by ‘yours truly’ while holding a camera *and* umbrella while simultaneously attempting the sign language for ‘Stop looking out of the back of the car at me and kiss each other!”, which thankfully was understood.

The guests hurried into the reception area of the hotel and were greeted with an interesting looking red drink containing Hibiscus flowers. We took a selection of ‘Guest Candids’ during this time and after Holly & James returned in their car, we set up some umbrellas in a small corner of the room and took our first few formal shots as the rain poured down outside.

Pretty soon everyone was called outside for a butterfly release, which was a lot of fun and then ushered back into the Wedding Breakfast. Holly and James had arranged for us to have a meal close at hand, so we popped in between courses for more ‘Guest Candids’ because they look awesome.

Soon came the speeches, starting with Holly’s Dad (who was justly proud of his daughter and new son-in-law), James himself and then James’s Brother and Best Man – a hilarious string of anecdotes delivered in such an entertaining fashion, one of the best we’ve heard.

At the end of the meal the happy couple were announced as leaving by our Toastmaster and we then took advantage of a break in the weather to capture some Bride & Goom portraits, after first stopping off at the bridal suite for a few (clothed) photographs in the bathtub.:)

Upon returning (10 minutes later than promised, much to the Toastmasters’s chagrin) we headed back inside for the cutting of that incredible cake which was followed immediately by the first dance, in which Holly, having started with her dad, was handed over to James for the continuation which we thought was a nice touch.

From then onwards, it was party all the way.

A marvellous buffet had been laid on for evening guests as will as an ice-cream cart and a sweetie wagon as well and of course the bar staff were on hand to make sure that everyone was kept in the party mood. The DJ was pretty proactive at getting people to boogie and arranged a dance-off with a few of the guys.

Who knows what happened after that because after 11 hours on our feet, capturing a lorryload of amazing photographs, we figured we just about had enough energy to make it home and we bid our farewells.

In summary – A fantastic wedding at a really lovely venue with a really amazing couple and to be honest, we’ve already forgotten about the weather. A big shout out must of course go to the staff at Rowhill including Marina and her team who kept their heads and made sure that everything ticked along nicely througout the day.

And of course to the new Mr. & Mrs. Banks, to whom we wish the very best of good fortune in their future together.

We hope to return to Rowhill again in the not-too-distant future, so if you’re planning a wedding there for yourself and you like what we’ve posted here, we should definitely have a coffee and a chat. 😀

  • Anne Laymond - August 22, 2012 - 1:18 am

    Holly was right to insist on staying outside in spite of the rain, the pictures are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Katy Louise Palmer - August 22, 2012 - 9:13 am

    Wow holly these are amazing. The pictures look like something out of OK mag there brilliant.ReplyCancel

  • Channing Sarah Kenzie Cottington - August 22, 2012 - 10:48 am

    You both look absolutely stuning <3 just sayin :) xx.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Goalby - August 28, 2012 - 8:54 pm

    Fab wedding, the brides dress is stunning. I want some of the red drink, looks tasty!ReplyCancel

  • Jim Fear - August 30, 2012 - 9:28 pm

    So, so, so good!ReplyCancel

  • Anthony Stone - February 2, 2013 - 3:32 pm

    World class wedding photography! I’m sure they loved it!ReplyCancel

As you may remember, we featured Caroline and Kevin’s Engagement Shoot a few posts ago in which we told the tale of our visit to Oxford to photograph the couple around the town in which they were to be married.

Well, married they were and what an amazing day it was.

Everyone was so friendly, and luckily the weather was on our side pretty much throughout, so we were able to get all the photographs we could wish for, although it has to be said that we were unusally inactive during the ceremony as photography during this time is prohibited at Worcester College Chapel.

The day started at The Cotswold Lodge Hotel, just a five minute drive from Worcester College. This was the location for Bride and Groom prep and also the reception later in the day.

After photographing some PJ style groom preparation, we all headed into town to The Eagle & Child public house for Kevin’s last drink as a single man.

After jogging back to the Hotel, we located Caroline’s room and photographed her in her dress, captured a few details and then zoomed off the The Chapel to await her arrival, during which time we captured the goings on with the guest arrivals.

Pretty soon Caroline arrived in her lovely old Bentley and hurried into meet her husband-to-be.

After covering the Bridal procession and the first hymn from the back of the chapel we put down our cameras and enjoyed the ceremony. It has to be said that it felt quite strange not having a camera in my hand during what I would consider to be the most important parts of the ceremony but having been on the receiving end of an irate vicar during a ceremony before, I knew better than to take any chances.

We were allowed to cover the signing of the register and so I made sure I got plenty of images of this.

In any case, after the Bride and Groom ‘Recessional’, we all gathered outside and plenty of amazing PJ shots of well-wishers were captured for posterity.

Some fun groups followed and after spending a litte while around the grounds with husband and wife, we all headed back to the Hotel for the reception.

Some of you might have noticed that our style has changed a little recently to include more Black and White images for the more Photo-Journalistic style images while we retain our colour process for most anything else which falls outside of this genre, in particular portraits both candid and directed and of course fashion. We believe that not only does Black and White work better as a story-telling medium but when capture is open to more unknown variables it helps the observer to concentrate more on what’s important.

We intend to write a blog post on the virtues of Black & White in Wedding Photography soon so watch this space.

In the meantime, we’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Caroline and Kevin and their respective families and friends for making this wedding such a wonderfully enjoyable experience for both of us.