The Bay Tree Hotel is a fabulous wedding venue located in the beautiful town of Burford. Although it’s not actually in Berkshire, but it’s only a 45 minute drive for me to get there on a good day, 2 hours on a bad day ( #ukroadworkssuck )! Here is the slideshow I did for Richard and Ali of their wedding day if you prefer videos with music when looking at wedding pictures.
Ali and Richard
I’ve known Ali and Richard for years. Richard is a photographer and Ali is a model, so I met them through my connections with the fashion industry. I used to organise the Reading Photography Social meet ups and Rich and Ali would often attend.
They were getting ready in the Lamb Inn next door to the Bay Tree so I began bridal prep there, while my second shooter Mark covered Richard and the guys getting ready. This was the longest bridal prep I think I’ve ever covered, but it was full of great moments and I loved being part of it.
One of the current trends I see with makeup at weddings is these masks the bride wears. They are apparently awesome but they look hilarious and when Ali donned hers there were lots of Zorro jokes and some fun reactions.
There were of course the details to photograph, a lot of thought and time had gone into this wedding day and I needed to capture all of it on the day.
The beautiful flowers are from http://www.witneyflorist.co.uk/.
Something I’ve seen a lot more of at weddings this year is letters from various people close to the bride being read out before the wedding. This can lead to some great moments for me as the photographer so I love this sort of thing. In the case of Ali, things did get a little emotional when we got to this part of bridal prep, so much so that there was concern about having to re-do the makeup! It just showed how much all of this meant to Ali though, so I think it’s a lovely moment. Having a completely silent camera like the A9 really helps in this sort of scenario, as I didn’t disturb the moment at all, some DSLRs sound like machine guns going off and can really disturb the atmosphere.
At this point the whole group moved over to the Bay tree for part 2 of bridal prep. This was when Ali finally got to try on her beautiful dress from https://www.pronovias.com.
After bridal prep was done it was time to head to the ceremony. I loved these shots on the stairs, we got really lucky with the light. It was a lovely venue though, there are plenty of great spots for photos.
Once I’d got these shots I scurried off down to the outside room where the ceremony was being held and got into position. My second shooter Mark had already been getting shots of the guests but I got a few as well. Then it was time for Ali to make her entrance. It was a very bright, sunny day, which is actually quite challenging for wedding photographers, we prefer a nice cloudy day!
I was very pleased to capture the image above in particular. It was only a split second but Ali and her son have the sun on them while the rest of their guests are in shadow, so they are framed perfectly. This one didn’t even make it into the album though, so I guess its a wedding photographer thing! The ceremony itself was full of laughs, Richard is a very funny guy, he’s been making me laugh with his facebook feed for years! It was a fun ceremony, but also very moving and there were some tears!
After the ceremony it was time for some formals.
I’m not as big fan of doing formals right after the ceremony, the light is usually at it’s worst then and everyone needs a bit of a breather and some refreshment, the last thing they want at that point is to be lined up by the photographer for the formal shots, so I always wait a bit.
Because of the links both Richard and Alison have with the photography community there were about thirty photographers at this wedding, this meant it was very easy for me to find some willing assistants to hold my lights for the group shots in the gardens. The Bay Tree has some lovely gardens at the back that are just perfect for these types of shots. I don’t normally use flash for formals but the strong sunlight didn’t really leave me much choice. I’m not a huge fan of formal images but these turned out rather nicely.
Once we’d completed the formal shots it was time for everyone to relax a bit and have a few glasses of bubbly. This is one of my favourite times at a wedding as it’s prime time for good documentary wedding photography.
Some lovely snacks preceded the main speeches. Richard and Ali are regular diners out in London and know their food, so the Bay Tree must have impressed them in this regard.
I know the above shot of Richard is a bit silly, but knowing his sense of humour I knew he’d like this one. I do like to capture a few silly, fun images on the day if I can, it captures the sense of fun on the day. There are lots of slightly silly things that happen at weddings, if I can get just a few shots of them, it makes for a more fun set of images that truly captures the day. After a bit of mingling it was time to head inside for food and speeches. The meal was excellent and the speeches were very funny ( as I would expect with Richard ). There were some very cool table decorations and although one of them did lead to an impromptu paper aeroplane fight. Here are some images.
After the speeches everyone had a bit of a break and went off to get changed for the evening session. For me, that was a chance to have a short rest, back up some photos and then get ready for the dancing. This is always a bit of a challenge, but as it was a summer wedding there was plenty of evening light so I didn’t even need to use flash. As always, Richard made Ali laugh during the dance…
It really as a fabulous day, a bit warm, but everyone had a great time. It was a perfect wedding for documentary wedding photography, I had a blast! Thanks for reading!
Venue: Bay Tree Hotel
Table Decorations:Table Decorations
Wedding Dress: Wedding Dress