Houchins is one of my favourite venues in Essex, it somehow manages to seamlessly mix a 15th century, Grade II listed farmhouse, with industrial barns and a marquee. They describe themselves as a 'traditional venue with a modern twist', and I'd say this describes them perfectly. The team behind Houchins are super organised and friendly too and I love to photograph here.
Melissa and her bridal party were getting ready in the main house when I arrived, just in time to see the Bride receive a gift from her husband to be - it came in the form of a little blue Tiffany's bag - always a good sign! After spending some time with the bridal party I cracked on with photographing some of the bridal accessories and flowers. I just love, love, love the lighting at this venue it's so soft and beautiful in the main house that I was spoilt for choice where to take these photographs.
Meanwhile (the beauty of having a second shooter with me) Kim was busy recording events with the Groom and his Groom's men, who were getting ready over the other side of the farmhouse. It seemed none of them were conversant in how to tie a tie! YouTube to the rescue...
Melissa & Tom had chosen to get married outside under the marquee, and it looked fabulous in the warm September sunshine.
After some portrait shots, the bridal party made their way down to the marquee. One of my favourite moments is when the Father of the Bride sees his daughter for the first time, it's such a memorable moment and one I love to capture. This one was no exception.
Despite the hot weather, a cool breeze was flowing through the marquee, Tom was waiting anxiously for his Bride and the guests were sat with anticipation. Melissa's Bridesmaids and Page Boy paved the way for Melissa and her father. The ceremony was beautiful and the couple were radiant. Congrats to the new Mr & Mrs Gelder!
After the confetti I whisked Melissa & Tom off for their photographs. They were both up for exploring the grounds, and were happy for me to take them off to the different parts of the varied venue. I always try to look for the natural lines of the trees, or gardens, the pockets of light or shadows to play with. I'm also keen to use the architecture that is around to bring interest to the photographs. Houchins has so many different aspects to play with, I never tire of shooting here.
Houchins has a great roof top on which I could scramble out onto to take an up-high shot of all the guests (checking her insurance policy as she went...). It is always worth trying to get up high to take this shot, to really get the best effect.
The Wedding breakfast room looked stunning, and with Melissa & Tom's keen eye for details the overall effect of the room was perfect. The soft pinks and greys complimented perfectly the fairy lights and iron roof top.
Decor hire from Anthology Vintage Hire.
The speeches, were closely followed by the arrival of the evening guests, which signalled it was time for the cake cutting and first dance traditions. Melissa & Tom had a beautiful cake (and I may of just tried a tiny bit, and it was delicious!) which was made by Amy Steele from Indulgence. Their first dance was played courtesy of the band The Tricks, who I had the pleasure of listening to whilst they set up. They were fab! Nothing beats a live band.
As the rain began to fall, I left the newly weds and their nearest and dearest dancing the night away. It had been such a wonderful day, and again I reminded myself what a privilege my job actually is.
Thanks for having me Melissa & Tom!