This is an in depth article on a summer wedding at Antsy Hall that I was the principal photographer for. I already met with Sam and Craig nearly a year ago for their engagement shoot. From that shoot I’d learned that they were a lovely couple, but, like most of us, a bit camera shy. The engagement shoot worked really well in this situation and it was almost a training exercise for the big day!
Craig was getting ready at his house so I went there after popping in to see Sam and the girls getting ready. They were still some way off wanting any photos taken so I went off to shoot some very casual groom prep with Craig and the lads. Sam had arranged a surprise car for Craig, but unfortunately he’d found out about it, so we had to pretend that he was surprised. Here are a few shots from the groom prep. The suits were provided by Suit the Occasion (https://www.suittheoccasion.com/), the guys looked very smart.
Who doesn’t love custom best man socks? I need to get some custom Wedding Photographer socks I think! Here are the guys pretending to be surprised by the wedding car!
I then headed back to Antsy Hall to get going on bridal preparations for Sam and her bridesmaids. My second shooter Helen had already been photographing a lot of the details, we tend to do this early as on a wedding day it starts off calm and peaceful and then steadily gathers pace as the day goes on, so you really want to make the most of the quiet time!
Sam had stayed the night at Antsy Hall, so she had a fantastic room to get ready in, which made life easy for me. I used another guest room to hang the dresses in, as even in a big room, bridal prep gets messy ( especially once the bubbly gets opened ). Sam and her two bridesmaids were joined by her mum and later by her mum’s boyfriend. They were all a real laugh and the time seemed to fly by. The makeup artist, who did a fantastic job, was Sofia Sharif, (https://instagram.com/sofi.sharif?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=4n3e1cdv94s2 )
, I’d thoroughly recommend her.
What was really nice was that I’d met one of the bridesmaids at Caroline and John’s wedding at Coombe Abbey the week before, she remembered me and we had a nice chat about the wedding. Normally I wouldn’t discuss another wedding in this kind of situation, but everyone knew each other and Sam and Craig had booked me as a result of seeing Gareth and Natalie’s wedding pictures from the previous years wedding at Dunchurch Park Hotel.
After the makeup it was time to put the dress on. I hung it in the window to frame it nicely but it looked much better on Sam ( radiators, why are they always in the way for dress photos?! ).
There were then a few more shots to get before going down to the ceremony, the amazing bouquet is by Annita’s Floral Design.
Then it was off to the ceremony. One of the great things about a venue like this is that everything is in one place, it certainly makes a wedding photographer’s life easier and its a lot more relaxing for the couple as well I think.
The light was beautiful in the ceremony room. I remember waving frantically at my second shooter, Helen, as Sam was about to come in. She was in a great spot but I knew that in about 10 seconds everybody would stand up and she wouldn’t be able to see a thing. Luckily she figured out what I was waving about and moved to a different spot. It’s these small things that make a difference and it all comes down to experience.
The ceremony was short but sweet, as civil ceremonies tend to be, but there was plenty of laughter and some tears! They were both a bit nervous about it, but everything went really well and then we had a lovely sunny reception to go out to.
Of course one of the first things to do was arrange a confetti shower. I love confetti runs!
The (dreaded) Formals!
We then did a few group shots, which were very easy to do here as there is a lot of space to work with. I also shot a few bride and groom portrait type shots, which was easier than usual, as I’d already done an engagement shoot with Sam and Craig so they knew what to expect. I love the grounds at Antsy Hall, there is plenty of space and shade. Grounds like these really make my job a lot easier so I really enjoyed this part of the day.
Drinks reception and wedding breakfast
There was a nice relaxed hour or so at the drinks reception while I did these and my second shooter Helen was busy shooting candid shots, which is why it’s always handy to have a second shooter, they will get a different angle on things and capture more of the day than the couple actually see themselves. It was soon time for the wedding breakfast, and Sam and Craig went inside to greet their guests. These moments are quite tricky to capture as space is sometimes tight but at Antsy Hall there was plenty of room and we got some nice shots of them in the line up.
The wedding breakfast was superb and the speeches were really good. Here are a few of the images.
Because Antsy Hall has a separate room for the evening reception, it was already set up the night before and just a few finishing touches needed applying. Craig and Sam had put a lot of thought into the details of this wedding, as you can see from the chocolates ( see the first photo in this article ). When people put so much effort into the little details, it’s my duty as their wedding photographer to capture as many of them as possible!
The room itself looked spectacular and we had plenty of time to get a few photos of it before the evening guests arrived. Here is one with the cake taking centre stage.
This photo wall was a great talking point for the evening guests and really worked well. It helped having a separate room for the evening reception which is a great feature of Antsy Hall. It meant they could set all this stuff up in advance. Of course once they did arrive then there was plenty of drinking, talking and eventually dancing! Craig and Sam had also provided a photo booth which resulted in some really fun shots. Here are the last of the images I’m going to post from this awesome wedding. I love some of the emotion captured here, as well as some of the more quirky shots, I’m always going for these as well as the more standard ones that everyone expects, as I think it captures some of the sense of fun on the wedding day. There are always funny things happening at weddings, it’s my job to capture as many of them as I can.
This was a fabulous wedding, one of the most fun I’ve worked on. The venue itself was awesome, plenty of space and lovely surroundings. The staff were super helpful to me and I can imagine this being a great venue whatever the weather, even though we were lucky with the sunshine.