Hengrave Hall Wedding
The Hengrave Hall Wedding of Amy & Jack
Amy and Jack asked me to shoot their Hengrave Hall Wedding what feels like ages and ages ago but it’s strange the way these things come around so quickly. I am no stranger to Hengrave Hall and have shot there on many occasions over the years. It’s such a pretty venue. I was excited to be back there again and to cover Amy and Jack’s day.
The Wedding Preparations at Hengrave Hall
I like shooting what happens before a wedding. It’s a chance to set the scene, to establish a story. I shoot in a very documentary story-telling way and this part of the day is the start of all that. It also helps me immensely. I still get nervous before every shoot but I find once I start shooting this goes away. I like that it’s a bit of a warm up! The rooms that couples get ready in at Hengrave Hall are great from a photography point of view. Good light, big with interesting details. Plus the room where the guys get ready in is just around the corridor and it’s easy to walk between the two rooms. Coveraging both bride and groom preparations also adds to the story I’m trying to tell.
There’s a pretty impressive driveway to Hengrave Hall and it makes for a good opening picture. It was pretty dull when I arrived but luckily the sun did make an appearance in the afternoon.
My Wedding Tips: Groups prior to the ceremony
If you want a picture of the groom and his ushers, try and get it done before the wedding. The more you can do during this time, the more time you will have to spend with your guests during the drinks reception. At Amy and Jack’s wedding, I slotted in a few portraits before the ceremony at Hengrave Hall.
My Wedding Tips: The Veil
Make sure the hairdresser puts your veil in before they leave. The veil was a tricky one, it took a little while to find the right position for it to sit properly. It did go in eventually and Amy looked totally stunning. Love her bridesmaids reaction in the image below.
Hengrave Hall Wedding Ceremony
Eeek!!! After all the months of planning and excitement the moment had finally arrived. Amy and Jack had planned a civil ceremony followed by a blessing in the church at Hengrave. All the guests had arrived and were waiting for the bridal party to enter.
My Wedding Tips: The entrance of the bridal party
Make sure if your bridesmaids are going down the aisle before you, that there is a nice long gap between you all. It means you will all be seen clearly as you walk in.
Wedding Photos at Hengrave Hall
After the civil ceremony, all the guests made their way over to the church at Hengrave Hall for the couple’s wedding blessing. During this time, we had 5 minutes to spend in the glorious courtyard for some pictures of the two of them. The light was fantastic! I like choose gentle direction during my portrait session. I like the images to look warm and natural.
Wedding Blessing at Hengrave Church
The guests were now all inside the church waiting for Amy and Jack. They made their entrance and a wonderful service was conducted by Jack’s uncle. The perfect mix of celebration, humour and christian promises. I rather enjoyed the rousing rendition of Jerusalem. Everyone was indeed in fine voice for their Hengrave Hall Wedding.
The guests lined the pathway with handfuls of confetti and showered the couple.
My Wedding Tip: Confetti
As you are handing out confetti ask people to throw the petals up into the air and not directly at the couple’s faces – it makes for better images and results in less confetti in the eyes and mouth. I made a brief announcement to the guests to that effect and the guests did a great job!
The Drinks Reception
The champagne flowed, the canapes were served and the sun shined. Pretty much the kind of conditions every couple dreams of. Not too hot, not too cold. I mingled and shot lots of images of guests having a blast. I think it’s really important to blend into the crowd, get in close be part of the event and not just an observer. Standing a long distance away with a long lens doesn’t build trust with people, I do the opposite, get in close to people.
The Group Pictures
When I first shot weddings, I hated taking group pictures. It can be stressful, no one listens, the bride and groom want to get back to the party and they always looked pretty boring, they were people lined up. Then one day I decided that I was going to set myself apart and shoot groups in a different way. A way that I LOVED. I looked at the work of Annie Liebowitz and loved the way she arranged large groups of people. I decided that I could draw upon this editorial style for my wedding work. Create something elegant, timeless and a lot less mediocre than the standard line ups. I now shoot this style at almost every wedding.
I arranged these groups in front of the fountain at Hengrave, mainly because of the great light in that spot. I do love a backlit picture!
Even if you only want a handful of groups, arranging them beautifully means this image will be treasured by the whole family. It’s not often you all get together, make an amazing photograph to keep forever.
My Wedding Tip: Groups
Get three or even four people to gather people and put a girl in the mix – we’re bossier! Make sure they all know their jobs and distribute a list to everyone. I like to start with the biggest group and work down to the smallest.
Bride & Groom Portraits at Hengrave Hall Wedding
We took ten minutes out to get some relaxed portraits of Amy and Jack. Hengrave Hall has some amazing locations to choose from. We stayed near the West terrace and shot these..
My Wedding Tip: Couples pictures
I like my couples to spend the maximum of time with their guests. So I usually grab them for some pictures 15 minutes before the end of the drinks reception. This way, the guests spend ten minutes taking their seats of dinner and we’ve squeezed in 20/25 minutes of pictures, with my couple only missing 15 minutes of mingling time. Works really well.
The Wedding Breakfast
Amy and Jack’s room decor was simple and sweet. They used my absolute favourite florist – Beverly from Jades Flowers. I always adore her florals and her ideas. So pretty. I’ve worked with Bev for some 14 years – she’s the best.
Amy and Jack entered the room to rapturous applause.
The First Dance at Hengrave Hall
My last job of the day was to shoot the couple’s first dance.
What can I say??? Amy and Jack were a joy to be around all day and their friends and family are a credit to them. I wish them all the love and luck in the world as they travel on their new journey together. An epic day, an epic couple. Congratulations Amy & Jack on your stunning Hengrave Hall Wedding.