Gemma and Rob got married on a beautiful Spring Friday in April. The date was Friday 13th, but there was nothing unlucky about this day which was fantastic from start to finish.
The Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor is owned by De Vere and it is a stunning wedding venue. The 18th century Georgian White House is picturesque and striking. Surrounded by 40 acres of parkland I was spoilt for choice when it came to beautiful locations for photos. Being just 3 miles from Windsor the hotel is set in a beautiful part of the country.
I had not photographed a wedding at the Beaumont Estate before so went for a little visit the week before to scope it out. The hotel had undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment a few years before and I was so impressed by the décor and style. They can cater for small and large weddings, with up to 550 people.
Bride Gemma was getting ready at the hotel in the morning along with her bridesmaids. I arrived nice and early to photograph the bridal prep. My second photographer Joel spent some time in the morning with groom Rob as he got ready at home with his best men and his Dad.
The suite at the Beaumont Estate where the ladies were getting ready was a very big room and it was fantastic that they could spread out. One room was for make-up and one was for hair. There were lots of laughs during the morning and a lovely moment came when Gemma was presented with a gift from her bridesmaids.
During the morning I took some time to photograph Gemma’s beautiful wedding dress, accessories and bouquet. I also took a little walk along to The Chapel, which is where the wedding breakfast would take place. The Romanesque style 19th century Chapel is breath-taking. Built in 1870 the high ceilings and stained-glass windows are stunning.
I headed back up to bridal prep and soon it was time for Gemma to get into her wedding dress. She was assisted by her bridesmaids and there was a lot of smiles and giggles. A really lovely moment came next when the father of the bride came in to see his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress. I feel so honoured to be present for these moments and be able to capture them.
The wedding ceremony at the Beaumont Estate would be taking place in the Hanover Suite which is in the main house. This room is just gorgeous and filled with natural light from large windows. Wedding guests made their way into the room and took their seats as they awaited the arrival of the bride. Groom Rob looked happy and relaxed as he laughed and joked with family and friends at the front of the room.
Gemma and her dad made their way down the beautiful staircase at The Beaumont Estate, then along the corridor to the ceremony room. The bridesmaids looked beautiful as the lead the way, then Gemma and her dad made their way down the aisle.
Rob looked so happy and proud as he saw his bride walk toward him. He shook hands with Gemma’s dad and the father of the bride gave his daughter a kiss on the cheek.
The ceremony was full of so much love, laughter and lovely wedding vows. Everyone looked so happy for the newlyweds, it was such a beautiful wedding ceremony to photograph.
Now it was time for the drinks reception and as wedding guests shipped champagne, we got started on some group photos. The front of the White House was a great backdrop for these, and the toast master on the day was a huge help organising the groups. A funny moment came when the grooms phone rang in the middle of photos and it was a guest asking for directions to the venue. When things like this happen, I continue to take photos. I feel these funny moments are important to capture and remember in the future, and to make you laugh all over again.
After this it was time for one of my favourite photos on a wedding day, the confetti throw. Wedding guests lined up and Gemma and Rob were covered, and so was I.
While the drinks reception continued, we then headed off to do some photos of the newlyweds together. The Beaumont Estate grounds are so pretty and with the Spring daffodils out if was a beautiful spot for photos.
The pond and fountain in the centre of the lawns was also a great spot with a nice reflection in the water. The art on the tree trunks that looked like comical faces also made for a funny photo. I really like different and funny things like this.
After the newlywed photos were finished, we all headed inside to The Chapel. Gemma and Rob had not seen the room yet on the wedding day, so it was lovely to see their reaction to how stunning the room looked. Everything looked perfect from the centrepieces, table numbers and personalised M&M wedding favours.
This was also the first time Gemma and Rob had seen their wedding cake. The mother of the groom made it and they had no idea what it would turn out like. Their reaction was priceless as they looked at the spectacular cake which had a hollow section in one of the layers. It was so professional I was really impressed.
The bride and groom then left the room and wedding guests made their way in and took their seats. Gemma and Rob were announced into the room by the toast master and the wedding breakfast began. At this point on a wedding day I ask the couple if they are happy for me to take their weddings rings for a quick close up photo. Gemma and Rob were fine with this, so I headed outside to find a great spot. There is a great sculpture on the lawns at the Beaumont Estate of hares, which is really cool. So, I used this as the spot for the wedding ring pictures and I think it turned out really well with the rings balancing on the hare’s nose.
Joel and I then took some time to get something to eat, before we headed back for the wedding speeches. These speeches are among the funniest I have heard. My favourite parts included a booklet of photos from the best men, as well as a life size cardboard cut out of the bride and groom covered in mud. Everyone was in fits of laughter and there were tears rolling down guests faces. Moments like this are fantastic to photograph.
The room was cleared after the wedding breakfast and the DJ set up ready for the party. Then it was time for the cutting of the cake. It was placed in the middle of the dance floor and wedding guests surrounded the happy couple as there was a countdown to the big moment.
Next up was their first dance which looked fantastic under the stunning up-lighters in the beautiful ceiling of the Chapel at The Beaumont Estate. Gemma and Rob looked so happy and smiled and laughed throughout. Gemma then had a dance with her dad, before wedding guests filled the dance floor to join them.
During the evening I wanted to do a night-time photo of the bride and groom together, so I went for a little look for the perfect location. I settled on the beautiful staircase in the White House, including the chandelier at the top. Gemma and Rob were happy to step away from the party for a few minutes to get the photo done. I was really happy how it came out and I know Gemma and Rob love it too.
The rest of the night was full of dancing, singing, whisky, cigars and photos with the cardboard cut outs of Gemma and Rob. The whole day was so fantastic from start to end and full of so much laughter and love, surrounded by fantastic people.
Here is what Gemma and Rob had to say about having me as their wedding photographer:
Of all the planning that was undertaken for our wedding, the photography part was by far the easiest element to organise. Fiona was quite simply fantastic. From our engagement shoot to the wedding day itself, Fiona captured the essence of those days beautifully and we are very thankful to have had her with us to capture our special day. 'Thank You' does not quite seem to do it justice.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite photos from Gemma and Rob’s Beaumont Estate wedding. To see some more testimonials from happy couples please see here.