I think we can all mostly agree that Christmas Eve Eve is perhaps one of the most romantic times of the year for a wedding. Last December I had the pleasure of doing wedding photography at Manor Hill House, Upton Warren, Bromsgrove – an exclusive wedding venue nestled in the north Warwickshire countryside. It always stuns me how many fantastic wedding venues can be found at the end of a winding country lane or hidden away behind ancient hedgerows.
I joined the bride-to-be on a crisp winter’s morning as she prepared for the big day with her family and bridesmaids. It’s always a pleasure to capture the excitement and anticipation in the pre-wedding hours, and the surrounding red and white roses, luscious green pine and sprigs of gypsophila provided the perfect Christmas-themed aesthetic. Manor Hill House has a very contemporary feel in that it’s both modern and homely. As the guests arrived, sharing greetings and smiles, I found myself spotting all the distinctive accessories and themes Emily and Benjamin (the bride and groom) had chosen for their wedding day: the pine and white rose buttonholes, a lovely 4-tier iced cake adorned with baubles and snowflakes, and even ‘Let it Snow’ confetti.
The chosen room for the ceremony, overlooking the gardens below, provided a wonderfully bright scope for the wedding procession – it soon became clear why wedding photography at Manor Hill House is so popular. As Emily joined Benjamin at the altar, I happily captured the smiles, tears and joy surrounding the couple as their friends and families witnessed the special occasion. The winter sunlight streaming through the windows cast a gorgeous golden glow over the bride and groom as they exchanged rings and made their vows.
The balcony proved to be the best place to take a large group photo, and as everyone gathered around the newlyweds I made my way outside and photographed the group in the lowering rays of the sun. The weather itself was perfect for doing outdoor wedding photography at Manor Hill House. One of my favourite shots is of Emily and Benjamin walking along the balcony hand in hand. It was a great opportunity to experiment with natural light, allowing for long shadows and gentle lens flares. After the group photos I whisked Emily and Benjamin away for a personal photography session, exploring the variety of backdrops the grounds offered: frosty green meadows, bare hedgerows and the woodlands beyond, and a beautifully hazy blue-grey sky. The wedding reception took place in a large marquee, and I immediately took the opportunity to photograph all the festive accessories: white tree centrepieces adorned with fairy lights, pine cone name holders, and the names of the tables from Dasher to Blitzen. I find it’s always a delight capturing the small, personalised elements of a wedding, and it made my time doing wedding photography at Manor Hill House very special. After the speeches and toasts, the evening progressed into cake-cutting, card games, poker, and of course a photobooth with lots of Christmassy props. One of my favourite moments doing wedding photography at Manor Hill House was photographing the guests dancing with sparklers out on the balcony. It was a wonderful chance to play with long exposure and create some magical wedding photos. Thank you to Emily and Benjamin for inviting me to do your wedding photography at Manor Hill House and share in your special day. I wish you both a very happy future together and raise my proverbial glass!