Most weddings tend to happen in spring and summer – obviously the weather has a lot to do with that. Longer days and warmer temperatures make it easier to have events outdoors and there are fewer worries about travel. But a winter wedding has a charm of its own, especially when it involves a candlelit church ceremony, as Emma and Ollie’s did. And a gorgeous and happy couple, of course!
A perfect sunny day, a gorgeous bride and bridesmaids, some handsome men in uniform, and the stunning locations of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Farnham Castle to work with – what more could a photographer want for a spectacular wedding?
A summer’s day, a happy and relaxed couple, ceremony in a pretty church in a Surrey town just a few miles from me… sounds like a plan!
Claire and Matthew were married at St. Mary & St. Nicholas Church in Leatherhead, Surrey. The church is the oldest building in Leatherhead. The present building was started in about 1150, and enlarged in later centuries. An earlier church was listed as being worth 20 shillings in Domesday Book. It seems you got more for your money in 1086!
When editor Danielle Harvey of Your Surrey Wedding magazine contacted me to ask me to submit some images for possible use in the magazine I was happy to oblige. I didn’t think much more about it, but was happily surprised when Danielle got in touch and said that she had selected one of my images for the front cover of the magazine’s 60th issue!
Many congratulations to Kim & Austin, who were married at the Church of Christ The King in Wimbledon Park a couple of Saturdays ago. When I met Kim and Austin last September to chat about their wedding plans I could tell that they were a relaxed and fun couple. I had a feeling that their wedding day would be equally unfussy – and so it proved to be.
I started my coverage with the girls getting ready at their house in nearby Southfields. There was just time for a few portraits of Kim (looking fabulous!) before it was time to head off to the church.
Leatherhead & Surrey Downs wedding | Elle & James
You could clearly see the happiness bursting out of Elle and James as they got married at Leatherhead Register Office – with plenty of family and friends to help them celebrate at Surrey Downs Golf Club afterwards.
The 18th century Mansion in Leatherhead is a very elegant place to get married, with its mahogany panelling and classical style. After the ceremony we went outside to do the official family photos in the gardens, then everybody drove the short distance to Surrey Downs Golf Club for the reception.
Guildford Cathedral wedding | Charlotte & Tom
Charlotte & Tom’s wedding was a great mix of the grand and the relaxed. They got married in the splendid surroundings of the Lady Chapel in Guildford Cathedral, then their reception was a chilled-out family affair at The Stag on the River in Eashing.
Guildford wedding photography Manor House Hotel | Tammy & James
This was a nice local wedding for me – Tammy and James were married at St. Luke’s Church in Burpham, and their reception was held at the Manor House Hotel Guildford, Newlands Corner. Tammy got ready at the Manor House as well, so that’s where I started the day with some photos there before heading down the hill to St. Luke’s for the service.
Guildford engagement shoot | Charlotte & Tom
On of the things I like to arrange with my wedding couples is to do a quick pre-wedding practice photo shoot – it gives them a chance to dispel any nerves they might feel about being in front of the camera before the big day, and I get to know them better and find out their likes and dislikes, photographically speaking. It only takes 40 minutes or so, and is usually good fun!
Guildford Castle wedding photos | Ewelina & Spencer
Sometimes I am booked by clients months, even years in advance, sometimes I get a call at the last minute – either way I am happy to help – so when Spencer called me to see if I could photograph his Guildford wedding to Ewelina in a couple of days’ time I said “Sure, no problem!”.
The ceremony took place at Guildford Register Office on Portsmouth Road, with close family and friends in attendance. We took a few photos in the garden at the Register Office then drove back into Guildford and headed for the grounds of Guildford Castle…
Leatherhead register office wedding | Lindsey & Drew
It’s not every day you get chased by dinosaurs in the gardens at The Mansion, Leatherhead Register Office… but that’s what Lindsey and Drew wanted and that’s what they got! 😀 They asked me to recreate a famously Photoshopped wedding image by Louisana photographer Quinn Miller, where the couple and guests all flee in terror from a rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex…
I decided to go one better and include two T-Rexes – one for the bride, one for the groom! I don’t normally do this kind of trick photography but it was fun to put this together in Photoshop, with the help of a couple of stock images from fotolia.com.
Manor House Hotel wedding photography| Donna & Darren’s wedding
Many congratulations to Donna and Darren who tied the knot in a civil ceremony at one of my favourite local venues, the Manor House Hotel at Newlands Corner, Guildford.
Donna planned an outdoor ceremony, but on the morning of the wedding the clouds were looming, so it seemed as if the ceremony would have to be moved back indoors. But Donna’s intuition prevailed and she was proved right. When 3pm came around the sun was shining and the wedding was able to go ahead as planned under the gazebo in the gardens.
I arrived an hour or so before the ceremony to photograph Donna and the girls getting ready. Darren like most grooms was a bit more camera-shy but I managed to get a few photos of him and the guests before the ceremony got under way.
Manor House Hotel wedding Maria & Chris
Chris and Maria’s wedding at the Manor House Hotel, Newlands Corner, Guildford was a relaxed and intimate occasion – just close family and friends, a civil wedding, and drinks and a meal afterwards. I’m just as happy photographing a low-key celebration like Maria & Chris’s as a big “do” in a London hotel with hundreds of guests. It’s usually easier to get to know everybody as well which always helps when taking pictures.
Gate Street Barn wedding photos – Caroline & James
I don’t mind travelling to photograph weddings – but it is nice to cover one that’s local to me – and Gate Street Barn is just ten minutes drive away, in the Surrey countryside between Cranleigh and Godalming. So I was pleased to be asked to photograph Caroline and James’ Gate Street Barn wedding, especially as it’s a lovely venue, perfect for a relaxed event with everything in one location.
Caroline and James are huge Doctor Who fans, so there was definitely a Whovian theme to the wedding (check out the table name cards – and the cake) and the “guest of honour” was a life-size Tardis!
St John’s Wonersh & Barnett Hill wedding – Wendy & John
Although I’ve been lucky enough to photograph weddings in many far-flung places from Mexico to the Middle East, the Channel Islands to Inverness, it’s really nice to photograph a very local wedding – and it doesn’t get any more local than the church of St John the Baptist in my home village of Wonersh, Surrey!
Wendy and John are stalwarts of the congregation at St. John’s (the groom John is a former churchwarden) so it was a full house in the church for their wedding ceremony, with many friends from the village filling every available pew alongside Wendy and John’s respective family members.
Here are some more shots from Kate & Izzy’s civil partnership at Langshott Manor… as you’ll see there were lots of happy faces – and some fun details for me to photograph – each guest was given a “world in a jar” (a Sempervivum plant) as a memento. And check out that Dr. Who Tardis ring box! How cool is that? 🙂
Although it wasn’t a sunny day, that was quite useful when it came to doing the family group photos – an overcast day means soft natural light with no hard shadows. For the photos of Izzy and Kate in the gardens I used my flash off-camera, as the daylight was beginning to fade by that time and it was quite dark under the trees and in the yew walk. Having some “portable sunshine” is very useful sometimes!
Until Izzy and Kate asked me to help with their special day, I hadn’t photographed a Langshott Manor wedding, but I hope I get the opportunity to do so again – it’s a historic and elegant venue tucked away in the countryside near Crawley, not far from Gatwick Airport.
The main building is Elizabethan, so you have to watch your head sometimes and not rush round corners, but the atmosphere is very traditional and welcoming, and the elegant gardens provide some good spots for photographs!
Much as I enjoy shooting weddings in far-flung locations overseas, I’m also very fond of covering an intimate and traditional Surrey village wedding like Kate and Stephen’s.
They were married at St. James’s Church in Shere, a quiet and picture-perfect village in the Surrey Hills between Guildford and Dorking.
Kate’s family have lived in Shere for generations – in fact her parents and grandparents were also married in St James’ Church, which made the event extra special.
After the ceremony we did some family group photos in the churchyard, then everyone walked the short distance to Kinghams Restaurant at the other end of the village for the reception.
A Surrey church wedding is always a pleasure to photograph. Although I don’t mind travelling to shoot weddings, this one was very close to home, being in Shalford and Cranleigh which are only a few miles away.
I could tell when I first met Lydia & Ian that they were the kind of people who pretty much take everything in their stride and enjoy life to the full – which was just as well as their wedding day was one of the wettest we’ve had this summer.