Terry & Neil, civil partnership

Terry & Neil, civil partnership

Terry & Neil, civil partnership

When it comes to a same sex wedding, there cannot be anything as much fun as a gay wedding. The civil partnership of Terry & Neil was going to be one of those days I shall never forget, not because it was a same sex partnership, done loads of gay weddings before, it was the guy’s themselves, a great laugh, and really knew how to get the most out of life.

Neil, six foot something and built like a brick….., well you can guess the rest, the sort of guy you would cross the road to avoid, but appearances can be deceptive, Terry the more sensitive of the two, and not afraid to show it, charming guys with a great sense of humor, love to laugh and not afraid to show their feelings for one another.

April can be a funny time weather wise, just out of winter yet, just getting into spring, it’s that limbo time when it can either be freezing wet and cold or like last year, feel like the middle of a summer heat wave. April 11th, 2015 was proving to be wet and cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon.

Holiday Inn, Bexley, for the Mr and Mr prep, onto Bromley civic center for the ceremony. The registry office its self is quite ugly, too modern. What makes the civic center special is Bromley palace, literally within a minute’s walk from the registry office, built in the Victorian era, with a classical Georgian look, lovely grounds and lake, a wedding photographers dream, amongst the modern sprawl of modern 70’s looking drab architecture.

A lot of jokes to break the ice, group shots done in the heavy direct sunlight, it’s times like these that a photographer discovers the limitations of Speedlights and when dedicated powerful standalone lighting is required. Speedlight maxed out and on with the couple shots around the grounds of the palace. Then back to the Holiday Inn for speeches and 1st dance.

An Excellent partnership of two great guys, Terry and Neil, civil partnership.

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory

Hard to believe, but I had never covered a wedding at the old rectory at Dunton before, in between Brentwood and Orsett, even though it’s only four miles from me. A Victorian Rectory as the name suggests, the only building that is missing is a church to go with it.

The wedding of Paul and Jen in November of 2014, lovely sunny day and warm with it. The old rectory isn’t a massive venue, in fact, it has a very homely feel to it, sweeping drive into natural laid to lawn grounds with the ambience of a typical Victorian garden. If you’re looking for a small venue that won’t break the bank yet still has a charm and tranquillity to it, the old rectory may be what you’re looking for.

The couple themselves, really nice, outgoing and full of laughter, no hang ups and so easy to get on with and being Star Wars fans, well lets just say have a look at the group images on the gallery and you can see why.

Quendon Hall

Quendon Hall

Do you want a wedding venue that will fulfill all your desires of a Wedding venue, then Quendon Hall in Essex is the place to go.

Quendon between Bishops Stortford and Saffron Walden, quaint typical English country village, Parklands Quendon Hall, an early Georgian 17th century country mansion and estate set in rolling countryside in the heart of Essex.

Quendon Hall is your dedicated wedding venue. This is the place where you go to have your wedding in a typical English village country estate, the deer park view alone makes it all worthwhile.
The manicured lawns, fish pond, water fountain, the large Georgian rooms all with original fittings and ambience to match. Quendon Hall is no mutton dressed up as lamb wedding venue as so many new wedding venues are. Just like Highclere castle from the tv series Downton abbey, Quendon Hall has that ambient feel of a traditional Edwardian Mansion house.

The wedding of Stephen and Angela in mid march of this year. A couple so full of fun and laughter and not afraid to take the Michael out of themselves, this is what makes weddings such fun and of course if your family and friends can do the same it makes for an electric atmosphere.

Lots of shots around the grounds and with this being a late winter wedding, with dusk at around 6pm, if a little cold, unlike the same day in 2014 when it was over 22 degrees and ironically the same place, but hey, when it’s your wedding you don’t mind all that, able to do some off camera flash shots, which really adds to the quality of the images, better than direct on camera flash which is too flat with no discerning detail. So when booking your wedding photographer make sure they have the experience and know how to do off camera flash, will really make a difference to your images. The only problem being a gust of wind caught one of my light stands, blowing it over and totally wrecking a pocket wizard tt5. Luckily the Nikon Sb-910 wasn’t damaged. I can add this to my list of 2015 equipment failures for this year, even if it was an act of god.

The Barn Tunbridge wells

The Barn Tunbridge wells

wedding photographer The Barn Tunbridge wells

This is one venue I didn’t even know existed in Tunbridge wells. The Barn Tunbridge wells, a small wedding venue tucked away, around the corner from the Pantiles and within a few minutes easy walk of the main high street.

The Wedding of James and Stacey at the Barn Tunbridge wells. This was going to be or so I thought a small, intimate wedding, how wrong I was going to be. From the outside The barn appears to be quite small, inside it, opens up into a large courtyard garden with overhanging plants and walkways to little hidden seated area’s. The Tardis, small on the outside, big on the inside. It’s not just the size that belays its presence, but also the atmosphere inside. The Bar is full of warmth and charm just like a Kentish country pub. Opening up into the wedding area, plenty of natural light (excellent from a wedding photographer’s point of view).

The wedding it’s self was great, the weather superb, sunny and lovely and warm. The Groom, James looked a little stressed and nervous, expected on your wedding day, in fact with most weddings I photograph the Groom’s tend to be a little nervous. Then the bride makes her entrance. A little tear from James on seeing his bride for the first time on their wedding day. The wedding was lovely and the stress of the occasion soon evaporated into beaming smiles from the new Mr and Mrs, What really added to the ceremony was James Mum and Dad, don’t think I have ever seen the parents of the Groom so overjoyed in Happiness, Dad is beaming like a Cheshire cat. I know reading this blog you’re thinking he’s made this up, it really happened just as I have described.

As the day wore on, it actually seemed to be getting hotter and the courtyard was more like a mini Kew gardens. If you’re looking to get married in Kent and want a venue that has charm and intimacy without being over the top and is good value for money, then you can’t go far wrong with the The Barn Tunbridge wells.

Leez priory wedding

Leez priory wedding

Leez priory wedding

Leez priory wedding venue. Normally I wouldn’t blog on a wedding venue that I had previously covered in the same year, let alone just a few weeks apart. The wedding of Matt and Kate was one of those weddings that I could chat about all day. It’s not the venue that makes the wedding, yes, it does help if the surroundings and the backgrounds are picturesque, but that’s not the be all or end all of a wedding. I’ve filmed weddings in some really awful places, football clubs, falling down working Mens clubs and from a wedding photographer’s point of view, I sometimes cringe at the unsightly backgrounds which I can’t avoid, yes, I can change position, I can move the couple around into better positions to avoid a pipe sticking out of their heads or an ugly brick wall. Even with the right lens I can create a bokeh that will blur the background out. It’s the couple getting married and the atmosphere they create that makes a wedding, not the venue.

Matt and Kate where a laugh and didn’t stop laughing all day long, that sets up everyone else up for the day. If the couple are happy and enjoying themselves, everyone else will as well, even better when the groom can laugh at himself when his best man is embarrassing him with stories of his teenage antics. Even better when the bride joins in as well.

There’s lots of wedding venues in Essex and you can’t go far wrong with leez Priory, staff are helpful and wonderful, grounds are stunning, with a summer wedding you can even have your first dance on the lawns, while friends and guests drink champagne and toast your wedding day and a firework display to finish it all off.

Leez priory wedding, Matt and Kate

Bridge end gardens

Bridge end gardens

Bridge end gardens

The setting for Angela and Eddie’s wedding last August.

The Wedding started at St Johns Church. Stansted Mountfitchet. A lovely Victorian Church, filled with lots of natural light, unlike many Norman Church’s in the area. Angela, beautiful in her wedding dress and dad looking very much the proud father of the bride. Eddie, looking ever so slightly nervous, and as soon as they see each other the nerves fall away and out come the beaming smiles. With most wedding blogs the emphasis is always on how nice the couple looked, how pretty the venue is, what pretty beautiful weather. Yes, we want to read those things. Really what you want to see from a potential couple who may book me for their wedding is good clean quality images. You want consistency from the bridal shots to the 1st dance, not just 20 to 30 hand picked cherry shots. With most summer weddings, strong, bright, harsh sunlight is a killer from a Wedding photographer’s point of view. In a perfect world, a photographer would prefer a slightly overcast day that hides the direct sunlight or even shade to take the best shots. Sadly, we cannot always do this, some churches and venues having limited or no shadow covered area’s. Direct straight on flash is needed to overpower those shadows, forming under the eye’s, chin and nose. This is where you look for experience in your wedding photographer. He or she must know how to use flash in manual mode to overpower the sun and take out those ugly shadows, forget auto modes, unless you want to see silhouettes in your wedding pictures.

Back to the Wedding.

Bridge end gardens Saffron Walden, a relatively new wedding venue in the wedding market and recently restored to its former glory. Bridge end gardens is the venue of choice if you want an intimate venue within a Victorian walled garden. Complete with maze and sunken garden. Superb for wedding images.

The Wedding of Eddie and Angela at St john’s Church, Stansted Mountfitchet and Bridge end gardens, Saffron Walden.