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Its always a privilege to get a recommendation from Philip Small but when its one of his best friends it made it that little bit special. Des called me on Philips personal recommendation to do the bar mitzvah photography his son Arie’s Bar mitzvah party at the Jumeirah Carlton hotel in Knightsbridge.

Getting to the venue several hours prior to start Arie’s bar mitzvah photography and ensure all the details and families were captured perfectly I could see the enourmous amount of planning that had been going on  with the lighting set up by David Graham at Sound Division and the black glitter stage set for the sounds of Totem.

Planning a bar mitzvah

As an event planner they dont come any better than Philip Small with his meticulous attention to detail, his flair for giving you the wow factor and then his specialaty..that amazing food with stunning canapes to start and coktails served by girls wearing the tray as a skirt whilst another dressed as a cowgirl dispensed shotgun shots for the adults.

The tables were adorned with grey cloths complimented with red glass tableware and complimentary napkins, whilst the main bar was a shimmering spectaclecovered in highly polished mirror tiles. The kids had a slightly different set up with high stools and bar height tables and Max Headroom style table decorations. I planed not only to give the family a great set of storytelling images but also deliver to Philip Small some great bar mitzvah photographs of this event.

Arriving in Style

Arie arrived in style in a beautiful black Lamborghini with his brother for a few posed shots with this mean machine before going inside for a few pre selected family photographs before their guests arrived for pre dinner drinks and canapes served by glamorous girls dressed in skirts holding coctails.

The main event

With a call from the top hatted grand toastmaster their guests flooded into the main ballroom at The Jumeirah Carlton to be greeted by the wow factor and the sounds of the eight piece band Totem followed by the grand entrance of the barmitzvah boy Arie and straight onto the dancefloor for a enegetic first set accompanied by a group of performers dressed as traditional jewish rabbis wth both Des and Arie joining in the traditional dancing with matching hats and coats.

Belly dancing from Turkey

As the evening progressed the fun really started to happen firstly with a turkish belly dancer and then a beautiful sony by Arie’s sister and then the shots flowed with a cowgirl dispensing vodka shots from two bottles slung from her waist. Dancing and drinking with all those close to you was kinda a perfect evening and bar mitzvah.

The Bar mitzvah photgraphy slide show

I always provide couples and families a small selection of my favourite images . click here to see Arie’s slide show. https://vimeo.com/manage/251307188/general

Get in touch if you would like your bar mitzvah or wedding photographed

Another recent Jewish Wedding https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/fulham-palace-wedding/

The post Bar mitzvah photography appeared first on Mark Seymour Photography.

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Bar mitzvah  photography

Its always a privilege to get a recommendation from Philip Small but when its one of his best friends it made it that little bit special. Des called me on Philips personal recommendation to do the bar mitzvah photography his son Arie’s Bar mitzvah party at the Jumeirah Carlton hotel in Knightsbridge.

Getting to the venue several hours prior to start Arie’s bar mitzvah photography and ensure all the details and families were captured perfectly I could see the enourmous amount of planning that had been going on  with the lighting set up by David Graham at Sound Division and the black glitter stage set for the sounds of Totem.

Planning a bar mitzvah

As an event planner they dont come any better than Philip Small with his meticulous attention to detail, his flair for giving you the wow factor and then his specialaty..that amazing food with stunning canapes to start and coktails served by girls wearing the tray as a skirt whilst another dressed as a cowgirl dispensed shotgun shots for the adults.

The tables were adorned with grey cloths complimented with red glass tableware and complimentary napkins, whilst the main bar was a shimmering spectaclecovered in highly polished mirror tiles. The kids had a slightly different set up with high stools and bar height tables and Max Headroom style table decorations. I planed not only to give the family a great set of storytelling images but also deliver to Philip Small some great bar mitzvah photographs of this event.

Arriving in Style

Arie arrived in style in a beautiful black Lamborghini with his brother for a few posed shots with this mean machine before going inside for a few pre selected family photographs before their guests arrived for pre dinner drinks and canapes served by glamorous girls dressed in skirts holding coctails.

The main event

With a call from the top hatted grand toastmaster their guests flooded into the main ballroom at The Jumeirah Carlton to be greeted by the wow factor and the sounds of the eight piece band Totem followed by the grand entrance of the barmitzvah boy Arie and straight onto the dancefloor for a enegetic first set accompanied by a group of performers dressed as traditional jewish rabbis wth both Des and Arie joining in the traditional dancing with matching hats and coats.

Belly dancing from Turkey

As the evening progressed the fun really started to happen firstly with a turkish belly dancer and then a beautiful sony by Arie’s sister and then the shots flowed with a cowgirl dispensing vodka shots from two bottles slung from her waist. Dancing and drinking with all those close to you was kinda a perfect evening and bar mitzvah.

The Bar mitzvah photgraphy slide show

I always provide couples and families a small selection of my favourite images . click here to see Arie’s slide show. https://vimeo.com/manage/251307188/general

Get in touch if you would like your bar mitzvah or wedding photographed

Another recent Jewish Wedding https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/fulham-palace-wedding/

The post Bar mitzvah photography appeared first on Mark Seymour Photography.

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Fulham Palace Wedding

Claire and Aaron getting ready

As with most weddings, I started the day photographing the bride and her bridesmaids and family getting ready, Claire chose to get ready in a suite at the sleek and elegant Chelsea Harbour Hotel, the height of modern luxury in the city with incredible views, a perfect start to her wedding day. Claire was helped by her 5 bridesmaids, make-up artist and she had arranged for Zoe Norris to style her hair. Claire wore a stunning Shanna Melville design; a sweetheart neckline gown with button detail down the back and a delicate lace sleeved top. She completed her outfit by wearing a matching veil and pearl jewellery attended by her three best friends as bridesmaids  looking stunning in beautiful powder blue dresses.

Not only did Claire have me documenting this special morning of preparations at Chelsea Harbour her aunty a professional artist  was also there sketching the scenes as they unfolded as well.

The groom got ready at his friends flat overlooking London  Bridge with my second shooter Steve capturing the moments as I followed the bridal preperations at Chelsea Harbour Hotel

Aaron  the groom wore a dark blue suit, grey waistcoat and matching  blue tie, whilst the groomsmen wore three piece grey suits .

.The story of their day

After the short drive from Chelsea Harbour Claire took the short walk on her dads arm and with a solo musician playing she glided across the lawn and up the stunning rose pettaled Isle aisle lined with Indian style umbrellas to her waiting groom, Aaron.

The couple had a combined faith service at Fulham Palace with both a vicar and a Jewish rabbi, with an archway/chuppah to take their vows under. Claire and Aaron symbolised their vows to one another by lighting a candle, and Aaron completed the ceremony with the Jewish tradition of stamping on the glass.

A reception with canapes and prosecco followed for their guests whilst a small number of important formal family groups were taken along with some beautiful portraits of Claire and Aaron together in the Fulham Palace Botanical Gardens

The couple started the wedding breakfast with traditional Jewish dancing to The Jazz Prescription Band, before sitting down to a three course meal with their 250 invited guests.  After the traditional speeches Claire and Aaron took to the dance floor to the sounds of Fitzgerald.

We finished the evening with some night time London wedding photography shots of the bride and groom at London’s Prince Albert Bridge.

60 Fulham Palace Wedding Photographs Fulham Palace wedding venue

The couple had their wedding service in the grounds of  Fulham Palace, London, the historic palace and gardens, once the Bishop of London’s palace, it now draws visitors from around the world to stroll in the beautiful gardens and have lunch in The Drawing Room restaurant, and has become a sought after venue for weddings. Claire and Aaron hired top wedding planner Katie Cressner to help them create their special day and ensure the day ran smoothly.

Fulham Palace has Four beautiful rooms that are licensed for civil ceremonies.It also boasts The Victorian Chapel at Fulham Palace which is an incredibly special place and remains the private chapel of the Bishop of London.

Fulham Palace is one of those perfect wedding venues with two beautiful courtyards, a purpose built marquee and stunning botanical gardens for your wedding photographer to capture some stunning wedding photographs of you both

Would you like to see another Jewish wedding by Mark Seymour https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/london-jewish-wedding-photographer/

If your getting married and would like to find out if your date is free please get in touch

The post Fulham Palace wedding appeared first on Mark Seymour Photography.

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Ramster Hall wedding photography  The perfect setting for a country wedding

Annabelle and Jason met four and half years ago at a cousin’s party and after proposing in Hong kong they set about finding the perfect setting for a country wedding… Ramster Hall ticked all the boxes being a much loved family home just outside the picture-perfect village of Chiddingfold in Surrey and Mark Seymour ticked all their boxes to take their Ramster Hall wedding photography

The Bride

Annabelle, her parents and bridesmaids all got ready hiring nearby Ryde House ,a beautiful three bedroom house which is perfect with its airy rooms, tranquil bedrooms and antique furnishings. They all had their hair and make up done here before slipping into thierstunning pale green bridesmaid dresses which were hanging on their own individually named hangers. Annabelle the bride had a beautiful fitted lace Pronovias wedding dress  finished of with a pair of cream and gold Valentino bridal shoes.

The wedding Ceremony

Before their Ramster Hall wedding Jason and Annabel took their wedding vows in the historic English village of Petworth at St Mary’s Church.

At the church the flower-girls and page boys walked up the aisle behind the priest first. The service included two readings and three hyms after which they strode down the isle together stealing a kiss at the church door before being covered in confetti by all their excited guests who were then taken to Ramster hall in a special wedding day vintage red bus whilst the couple took the short ride in a classic Rolls Royce all supplied by Christophers Weddin

Ramster Hall wedding photography

Annabelle and Jason booked my wedding package to include a second wedding photographer, along with hiring a videographer to ensure every wonderful moment of their day was recorded . Weddings are about the couple, the friends and family, and making memories, so natural , informal documentary Ramster Hall wedding photography ensures the couple get to be at the centre of their special day, trusting me the photographer, to capture the story including the emotions and all unique details of their day.

The story of their wedding day at Ramster hall.. The perfect setting for a country wedding

Whilst the guests were mingling on the lawn sipping champagne and nibbling beautiful canapes from Jacaranda  I took a short time to capture a couple of key family groups along with a few stunning but classic portraits  of Jason and Annabel in the beautiful Ramster hall gardens.

The wedding breakfast

The wedding breakfast is one of the most important meals you’ll ever host and today the guests were to be treated to beautiful food by award-winning wedding caterers and event planners Jacaranda  

The Long hall at Ramster looked stunning with pink roses and peonies, and romantic gypsophila andt tables with their crisp white linen, green glassware, wooden guest names and candelabras.

A harpist played during the reception as I captured the natural reactions of the guests to the three great speeches. I particulary loved the way Jason moved around the table to face Annabelle his bride and wife as he spoke about her in his speech, and then walked to the bridesmaid and groomsmen table to thank them.

The evening commenced by cutting their wedding cake and then taking to the dance floor to to Norah Jones singing Love Me Tender and then being joined by all their guests to dance the night away.

After such a romantic and exotic proposal, the couple are taking a mini-moon break to Italy and planning an incredible honeymoon to Kenya next year.

RAMSTER HALL WEDDING PHOTOS FROM AN AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER
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Danesfield House Wedding I first met Lucy and Declan at a wedding fair for recommended suppliers held by Danesfield House.

After seeing my beautiful wedding albums filled with documentary images telling the story of a similar couples wedding at the same venue and hearing all about their wedding dreams they decide to book me as their chosen wedding photographer. Over the next couple of months I met them again along with their parents meaning we had formed a great connection not just with Lucy and Declan but their parents as well.

Hanna as part of the wedding and events team at Danesfield provide amazing support and advice regarding the planning your wedding day including some other great suppliers. Their wedding packages include a toastmaster to make your day really special and it is always lovely to work with Graham Dorward. The couple took the wedding coordinator, Hannah’s advice and they booked myself as their photographer, Seventh Heaven as their florist and PW Audios to supply their disco and lighting including their initials and LOVE, for the reception.
Lucy and Declan’s story

Lucy and Declan met as children but got together late and have now been dating for seven years they really are a couple in love. I asked Lucy how Declan had proposed to her and in great detail she told me with the biggest smile on her face that it was on a trip to New York together where he got down on one knee and proposed , back in London they chose her beautiful engagement ring together.

The Venue, Danesfield House

Whilst looking at several venues as soon as they saw Danesfield House and its magnificent grounds the fell in love with the place and just knew it was the perfect wedding venue for them to hold their wedding reception as they would be saying their vows in nearby Cookham at The Holy Trinity Church in a traditional marriage service.
Lucy found her dress in Pure Couture, in Beaconsfield, a beautiful fitted white gown with a full skirt, worn with cream Rainbow wedding shoes – she looked every inch the perfect bride. Helen Andrews did her hair and make-up on the morning. Lucy had her hair styled with long soft waves and wore a crystal hairband.

Whilst getting ready a gift arrived for the Bride, Declan had arranged a special present for the bride of a framed a picture of hearts made out of maps to show where they had met, got engaged and then married, incredibly thoughtful and romantic it brought tears of emotion to her face.
We took some very special photographs of Lucy with her mum and dad before leaving for the church. Lucy and Declan had explained how important their family were so recording their day and those special moments shared with mum and dad were important to photograph to record the emotion of the day. Lucy had her sister as bridesmaid and Declan had his brothers as his groomsmen.

After the ceremony the couple and guests enjoyed champagne and canapes on the terrace overlooking Danesfield’s stunning gardens, we took lots of wonderful informal photographs of the couple with their family and friends along with some more group photographs of the bride and groom with their bridesmaids, groomsmen and families.

As the sun went down and golden hour passed I took Lucy and Declan back outside for some dramatic dusky wow portraits of them both with Danesfield House as the backdrop.

Are you planning your wedding day?

There is so much to consider when planning your special day. Once you have your venue book your key suppliers, you can start finding your photographer by searching for a wedding photographer near me, ask the venue they may even have a wedding fair of their recommended suppliers like Danesfield House offer; getting to meet and talk with the photographer is really helpful to establish a connection before your wedding day.

I asked the couple what advice they would give other’s planning their wedding and they told me it was all about being with friends and family and not to stress the small things and trust the people youve chosen to deliver their best

.

Further Danesfield House Weddings.
https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/danesfield-house-wedding-photography-russ-and-sarah/
https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/weddings-at-danesfield-house/

Call me on 07786 377197 or send an e.mail to talk about your wedding photography
Pleale leave a comment and follow me on FB and Instagram

The post Wedding Photography at Danesfield House appeared first on Mark Seymour Photography.

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Wedding photographer near me, Danesfield House

Are you planning your wedding day and looking for a ‘wedding photographer near me’? Your wedding venue will recommend some of their suppliers, as a Berkshire wedding photographer I am recommended by several of the country’s most beautiful wedding venues in the surrounding areas, including Danesfield House in Buckinghamshire.

Wedding venue and recommended suppliers

I met Lucy and Declan at a wedding fair held by Danesfield House and was lucky enough to meet the couple and Lucy’s parents a few times before their special day. I was able to establish a real connection and they are such a lovely couple and family I was so excited about capturing their wedding day for them.

The wedding and events team at Danesfield provide amazing support and advice regarding planning your wedding day including suppliers. Their wedding packages include a toastmaster to make your day really special and it is always lovely to work with Graham Dorward. The couple took the wedding coordinator, Hannah’s advice and they booked myself as their photographer, Seventh Heaven as their florist and PW Audios to supply their disco and lighting including their initials and LOVE, for the reception.

Lucy and Declan’s story

The couple, Lucy and Declan, met in their childhood and have been dating for seven years, they really are a couple in love. Declan proposed on a trip to New York and chose the engagement ring.

They fell in love with Danesfield and its grounds and knew it was the perfect wedding venue for them. The couple had a traditional church service which was an important part of their day and they were married in nearby Cookham at Holy Trinity Church.

Lucy found her dress in Pure Couture, in Beaconsfield, a beautiful fitted white gown with a full skirt, worn with Rainbow wedding shoes – she looked every inch the perfect bride. Helen Andrews did her hair and make-up on the morning. Lucy had her hair styled with long soft waves and wore a crystal hairband.

Declan had arranged a special gift for the bride including a pair of pants, words to their first dance and earrings for Lucy to wear. He had framed a picture of hearts made out of maps to show where they had met, got engaged and then married, incredibly thoughtful and romantic. I photographed Lucy and her bridesmaids as they got ready and she told me how excited she was to see Declan at the church.

We took some very special photographs of Lucy with her mum and dad before leaving for the church. Lucy and Declan had explained how important their family were so recording their day and those special moments shared with mum and dad were important to photograph to record the emotion of the day. Lucy had her sister as bridesmaid and Declan had his brothers as his groomsmen.

Lucy and Declan had asked for a second photographer so that there were also photographs of Declan and the groomsmen before the wedding. Lucy sent him a love heart cookie with a card.

Lucy arrived at church in a vintage car and the doorway was decorated with an arch of flowers. We captured the moment of the confetti as Declan kissed his bride outside the church.

The couple and guests enjoyed champagne and canapes on the terrace overlooking Danesfield’s stunning gardens, and took lots of wonderful informal photographs of the couple with their family and friends. We also took some more group photographs of the bride and groom with their bridesmaids, groomsmen and families.

Lucy and Declan had planned lots of special details for their wedding from the flowers to the order of service tied with tiny pink butterflies, they had a pink wedding post box and the tables looked stunning with flowers arranged by the team at Seventh Heaven. I always make sure I capture the little unique details, the tables and room before the guests arrive to record the memory for the bride and groom. The couple decided to have scratch cards as fun favours for the guests.

We captured the special moments of the day including cutting the cake, a stunning cake each tier a different design in gold, pink and white, and their first dance, to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Mum read the speech for dad and everyone shared the emotion of that moment. During the evening I took a photo of Lucy sharing a dance with her mum and dad, the happiness really shows on all their faces – absolutely beautiful.

As the sun set and the skyline is painted with the beautiful light of dusk we took Lucy and Declan back outside for some dramatic portraits of the two of them. If you are looking for a stunning wedding venue, Danesfield has a beautiful secret garden with cupid statue and a tree lined drive that is lit by fairy-lights – so there are many romantic locations for your wedding photography.

Paul at PW ensured everyone spent the evening dancing and transformed the Versailles Room with wonderful ambient lighting. The guests enjoyed taking silly selfies with the Magic Mirror photo booth.

Are you planning your wedding day?

There is so much to consider when planning your special day. Once you have your venue book your key suppliers, you can start finding your photographer by searching for a wedding photographer near me, ask the venue they may even have a wedding fair of their recommended suppliers like Danesfield House offer; getting to meet and talk with the photographer is really helpful to establish a connection before your wedding day.

I asked the couple what advice they would give other’s planning their wedding and they told me it was all about being with friends and family and not to stress the small things.

It was an emotional and magical day and I would really like to thank Lucy and Declan and their family for choosing me to photograph the story of their day, I will remember I as one of the most wonderful weddings, and wish you all the love in the world for your future together.

Another Danesfield House Wedding.

https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/danesfield-house-wedding-photography-russ-and-sarah/

https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/weddings-at-danesfield-house/

Call me on 07786 377197 or send an e.mail to talk about your wedding photography 

Pleale leave a comment and follow me on FB and Instagram

The post wedding photographer near me appeared first on Mark Seymour Photography.

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Cliveden House recommended photographer

I have been Cliveden House recommended photographer for over twenty years, and its stunning historical venue is somewhere I never grow tired of photographing. From grand elaborate weddings to a more intimate affair, this venue provides a very special setting for your wedding day.

 

Since we celebrated the change in law, I am very proud to have photographed several gay weddings at Cliveden House, and Andy and Garfield were a fabulous couple, we had a great day photographing their wedding and they were kind enough to spend some time telling me a bit more about them and their wedding day – thank you guys and many congratulations to you both…

Introducing the couple, Andy and Garfield

First of all, how did the two of you meet, tell me about the journey of you as a couple so far? It was all very modern – internet dating. We’d actually chatted online for two years before we met! Garfield wasn’t sure about meeting Andy at first, because at the time Andy looked too thin in his photos having been dieting and hitting the gym. Eventually, we did meet for the first time and then it was Andy who wasn’t sure – Garfield seemed like too much of a handful! Thankfully after meeting a few times, it started to click and they discovered a shared love of laughter, travel and food…. Which is why Andy doesn’t look thin anymore. Since meeting 5 years ago we’ve travelled the world together and shared some amazing experiences – we hope to have many more years of exploring ahead of us.

Did one of you propose or did the two of you decide that it was time to get married? We’d spoken about it once or twice and it seemed like we’d marry when the time was right. As Garfield had a significant birthday approaching with a party and bbq at the house and all their friends invited, Andy secretly hatched a plan to propose as a surprise. It worked brilliantly – birthday cake, candles and then down on one knee. Garfield hadn’t suspected a thing! It was lovely to have our friends and family around us and to see Garfield smiling from ear to ear.

Did you have engagement rings or did you just chose your wedding bands together? After the surprise proposal with a “stunt ring” – in case Andy got the size wrong – we selected specialist jewellers Paul & Brian of Woolton & Hewitt. They specialise in rings for couples of the same gender which makes it far easier to find matching rings of the right style. The engagement rings have a diamond and are engraved with our names and the date of the engagement. We thought ahead and had the engagement rings made in a shape which allows the wedding rings to sit perfectly alongside them on our fingers. Woolton & Hewitt then made the wedding rings to match the engagement rings – narrower and without the diamond but still with our names and wedding date engraved so they are unique and personal. Brian and Paul were so lovely and easy to work with – and send lovely cards and gifts with the rings!

Cliveden House is such an incredible venue with all its history, how did you chose it for your wedding? Andy’s introduction to Cliveden House was some 12 years before the wedding when he was taken there for dinner by friends. It was such a great night, that he went back for a birthday and stayed over for the first time. He was hooked on the friendly, informal excellent service in such stunning surroundings and with all the history. For Andy and Garfield’s first Valentine ’s Day, Cliveden was the obvious choice and Garfield fell in love with the warm welcome and beautiful place, enjoying the spa and National Trust gardens. Having got engaged, Cliveden was our first choice for the wedding, but we thought it would be too expensive and being out of London presented challenges for guests, so we looked at hundreds of other places before realising that Cliveden was where our hearts told us to go. The solution was partly working with Lydia at Cliveden who is amazing and so helpful in tailoring the arrangements to suit every couple, and partly following a friend’s idea to have a smaller group at Cliveden then a bigger party in London the next day. We got to relax for a day in the spa and stay overnight before the wedding, then welcome our guests on the day and have them all stay over. It was a stretch but worth every penny as we’ll remember our day for the rest of our lives.

The two of you got ready together in The Astor Suite in beautifully tailored blue suits, where did you go to get your suits for the wedding and what is the story behind the suit linings? Ah – the suits are quite a story. Due to family illness and a bereavement in the months before the wedding, we got behind on our arrangements and hadn’t found the suits as we’d planned. We were then short of time and despite knowing roughly what we wanted in terms of colour and design, getting matching suits from the high street which ticked all the boxes and were available in both our sizes was impossible. The solution was to take a risk and order online! We chose The Drop and were able to choose fabrics for each element of the suits, waistcoats and shirts from a huge range of fabrics, and selected from a shortlist of fabric sent as a swatch. From there we went to see Jonathan in their offices near Old Street for measurements and to show him photos of the design (a mash up of several we’d seen on the high street, and one on The Drop website). As the suits were being made to measure, we could bespoke every element – buttons, monograms and yes, the lining. There was a tense moment when the suits arrived and needed some adjustment, but that is normal for tailored suits and The Drop include an allowance for alterations. We finished the outfits with ties and cufflinks from Thomas Pink and pocket squares from John Lewis. Given the shortness of time and reasonable cost, I think we look the part!

I loved the pop of orange in your button holes and wedding flowers, who was your florist? Did you have a big input to the flowers and colours on the day and who supplied them? Cliveden’s wedding brochure and recommendations from Lydia the coordinator, were invaluable. We chose Blomster Designs Flowers as we didn’t really have a clear idea of what we wanted beyond ‘classy and traditional with a splash of tropical colour to reflect us’. Russell New came to meet us at Cliveden and was able to show us lots of photos of different types of flowers and designs to help tease out what we like. Afterwards, Russell emailed his proposed designs – again using pictures to illustrate what he meant – and after a couple of emails back and to, it was all set. In truth, we had very little input and Russell picked up on our personalities and one-line brief to create arrangements and matching button holes which really worked in the rooms of Cliveden and suited us. He even moved some of the arrangements from one room to another during the day to save cost and provided cellophane and helped dismantle them the next day so our guests could take bunches of the beautiful blooms away with them.

Tell me about the importance of the two ceremonies, you had a ‘hand binding’ ceremony on the lawn? Andy sadly lost his Mum in the months leading up to the wedding, and we really wanted to find a way to bring her into the day. We were able to tailor our vows in the Registrar-led ceremony in The Boudoir, but to be able to really do something personal and special, we decided to follow the example from friends’ wedding a few years ago and find an independent celebrant. Once again, Lydia at Cliveden not only worked out how we could weave this into the day but also recommended the right person, Elspeth Thomson celebrant, who she knew would work well with us and convey what we wanted to say. Elspeth suggested the hand fasting (tying) as a symbolic act, using one of Mum’s favourite scarves and wrote some lovely words about both of us and Andy’s Mum. It was a really moving moment when Andy’s Dad tied the scarf around our hands.

Your wedding cake as really stylish with your initials and silhouettes, who designed your wedding cake? We spotted Abigail Bloom’s Cake Company in the Cliveden wedding brochure, and looking at her website we could see the range of possibilities. One of her gallery of cakes sparked an idea, and we got in touch with Abigail to see if she would be able to help. The cake for Cliveden was white and gold to match the French Dining Room and flowers, the initials an ideal borrowed from another of Abigail’s cake but the silhouette of us was our idea – based on a skyline silhouette Abigail had done for someone else. We got Andy’s Dad to take a photo of us wearing suits, which Andy then turned into black figures on a white background for Abigail to use as a template. The result was amazing, personal and fun! The silhouette came out so well and the spicy fruit cake was delicious.

I loved the way everyone said a few words about the two of you for the speeches – how did you plan that? We didn’t plan that at all… after a few glasses of champagne, Andy decided to spring it on our guests  – probably giving the Cliveden kitchens a nightmare of a 30 minute delay on the main courses! The idea had come from Andy’s boss, Ian, who had talked about seeing this done at an event recently, so Andy just asked Ian to kick it off, and everyone took part and did a fabulous job. There was so much love in the room with people saying how they had met us, what we meant to them and there was much raucous laughter and a few tears. Sometimes it’s the things you don’t plan that just work.

Your friend played the piano in the evening – did you all continue to dance and party into the night? We’re lucky to count Norman Levene as a close friend – he is an amazing musician who plays piano bars all over the world. He is also incredibly funny and irreverent (changing lyrics and rattling off the one-liners). We are getting old and knackered these days, so danced and laughed until gone midnight, before returning to the Great Hall for nightcaps. There were sore heads the next day!

Documentary wedding photography

What special moment of your wedding day are you looking forward to seeing a photograph of? That’s hard – the whole day was such fun. Garfield loves the Registrar ceremony pics as we stood in front of friends taking our legal vows. Andy loves the picture of his Dad tying their hands in the ceremony outside – a poignant moment. But then there were so many moments and great pics – it’s impossible to choose!

As your photographer, and Cliveden House recommended photographer, I am always really interested in finding out how you found out about me, and what were you looking for in the wedding photography that made you chose me? Initially we saw your name in the Cliveden wedding brochure, but honestly having seen your work and the emotion and movement you capture in the documentary style, we were sold. Then we saw the wedding of two other guys you had photographed at Cliveden a year before and couldn’t believe our luck finding a photographer who could shoot a wedding in that way. What we loved was that it isn’t boring “say cheese” it is candid, unposed, informal, and really documents how it felt to be there on the day so that it jumps out at you. Having seen the photos of our wedding, we were smiling ear to ear every time we’ve looked through them, and our guests are commenting that it’s like being back there enjoying the day again. Thank you!

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