I was SOOO excited to be shooting a wedding here. Living not far from the venue I pass it most days and was watching curiously and waiting very patiently for it to be lovingly restored, and for it to be opened. When Sarah and Craig got in touch with me to shoot their wedding there I was thrilled!
Hatfield Place is an historic Georgian Country House set in 15 acres of land, just outside of Chelmsford, Essex. The owners have also extended the original house to include a walled garden and orangery. It really is the most beautiful venue. By far my favourite place to shoot. The light in the house is spectacular and it has been restored immaculately and filled with the most fabulous furniture and antiquities. If I ever win the lottery you'll know where to find me....
My day here started off early as I was keen to get to know the venue and all the possible places to shoot from. I joined Sarah and her girls in the apartment part of the house, where they were popping corks and busy getting ready. The flowers were arriving and there was a real buzz of excitement in the air. I got to work photographing the events as they unfolded and then capturing all the details and accessories and trinkets that just help fill the day with love and personality.
Wedding dress from Wed2B.
Floristry by Sophie at Florin Flowers.
Sarah was so cool, calm and collected and I loved photographing her. She looked like a star and she was ready to meet her groom! Not before I managed to get a few portrait shots of her and her bridal party in the house. The light was so soft, flooding in from the Georgian windows it made for some wonderful photographs.
Craig was busy trying to keep cool in the walled gardens with his groom's men. It was a HOT day! Yet, they still managed to look cool and collected.
As Sarah made her way to the orangery I made my way up to the balcony placed above where the service would be carried out - what a fantastic view I had from up there, it really gave me the chance to capture Sarah's dress in all it's glory as she made her way down the aisle. My second shooter was up front capturing the ceremony as it unfolded (a great benefit of having a second shooter - we can really cover all aspects).
Their ceremony was lovely, and yet again I'm reminded what a privileged job I have. Not many people get to spend their entire working day surrounded by so much love and so many smiles. Shortly after this we made our way back up to the House to let the guests throw their confetti, another moment I love - its just so spontaneous and you never quite know what you're going to get out of this - but there is always at least one shot that knocks my socks off and makes me proud to be a photographer.
At our wedding planning meeting Sarah and Craig had already told me that they were keen to not spend too long away from their guests being photographed, so I had to make the most of every moment I had with them, and given the heat I had to be mindful not to drag them around the entire venue! I had planned a short route which allowed me to shoot in the main spots I'd planned to, and had them back sipping Champagne in no time at all.
The wedding breakfast was held in the orangery and it was so new the paint was almost damp! But WOW what a space, it was airy, light and yet still felt intimate. There was plenty of room for me to zip around catching the best bits of the speeches and some great shots of the guests. It was soon time for the cake cutting and first dance, and the arrival of the evening guests signalled for me to get ready. Sarah and Craigs cake was an elegant 2 tiered cake, and it suited their day perfectly. For their first dance the DJ invited me to stand on his lights to get a better angle - always one for a challenge I accepted and found myself hanging off of a speaker stand - but he was right it was a good angle!
By the time I left them all partying the night away, I really felt like I'd done an honest day's work - but that's what I love about wedding photography; every wedding is different despite the obvious repetition, every couple is unique and every venue holds good and bad surprises at every corner. It would be easy to sit back and relax and shoot the standard repertoire, but I love to find the new, push myself and think outside the box.