Lauren and Ashley’s wedding took place on a gorgeous September day at a stunning Hampshire countryside venue The Elvetham. The day was fantastic from start to end with so much love, laughter, dancing and fireworks.
The Elvetham is a beautiful venue with a unique backdrop for a wedding, and the 19th century architecture is stunning. It is rich with Victorian history and sits within 35 acres of immaculate landscaped gardens which are just perfect for wedding photos.
I arrived with bride Lauren as she got ready with her bridesmaids, mum and aunty at her parents’ house. The conservatory at the back of the house had been turned into bridal prep central with all the ladies being swapped between hair and make-up like a well-oiled machine.
I took some time to take some photos of Lauren’s pretty bouquet, beautiful wedding dress and her stunning cathedral length veil. Lauren’s Christian Louboutin wedding shoes were up next and wow, they were amazing. I get to photograph so many beautiful wedding shoes and these have to be some of my favourites to date.
Before the bride got into her dress, we took some time out in the garden for some photos of the bridal party in their robes. Then it was time for the bridesmaids to get into their dresses before they helped Lauren into her dress.
During the morning my second photographer for the day Paul met up with groom Ashley and his groomsmen. They then travelled over to The Elvetham, where they greeted guests and added button-holes to their wedding suits.
Wedding guests arrived at the venue and made their way into The Oak Room where the ceremony was being held. The original stone fireplace is a beautiful backdrop for a bride and groom to make their vows to each other in front of their family and friends. I also really liked the oak panels and large windows, which flooded the room with natural light, great for wedding photos. I really loved the room décor and in particular the dusky pink chair covers.
Lauren arrived in a gorgeous white Bentley and looked stunning as she got out of the car. Lauren was escorted down the aisle by her stepdad, who looked so proud as he handed her over to Ashley.
The ceremony had so much laughter. I had got to know Lauren and Ashely well during their engagement photoshoot prior to the wedding, and all three of us had such a laugh at that shoot it did not surprise me that this day would be just the same.
After the ceremony guests lined up outside for the confetti throw. I love this moment of the wedding day for photos. Everyone looks so happy and it is such a lovely wedding tradition.
During the drinks reception we did some group family photos. After this it was time for photos of the bride and groom together. The gardens at The Elvetham are the perfect backdrop for wedding photos with some wonderful spots and lovely features. There was a couple of spots of rain in the air, but it did not ruin the moment and the newlyweds beaming smiles.
The wedding breakfast was to take place in The Library. So, while the bride and groom had a glass of champagne and chatted with guests, I took some time in The Library to take some photos of the lovely details including the centrepieces and wedding favours. The room looked extremely grand as well as elegant.
Guests made their way into The Library before the newlyweds were announced into the room to cheers and applause. The speeches took place before the wedding breakfast and they did not disappoint. The best men’s speech was hilarious and groom Ashley looked extremely embarrassed when they produced a slideshow of photos. Lauren’s stepdad did a wonderful father of the bride speech that was so touching. The mother of the bride was in tears and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
As the wedding breakfast was served Paul and I took ourselves off to the bar for a sit down and a bite to eat ourselves. Before our food came out, I took some time in the garden to photograph the wedding rings. Lauren’s ring set was so unique in that her engagement ring slotted into the middle of her wedding ring, so it looked like a three-ring stack. I had not seen this before, and I loved it.
After the wedding breakfast had finished it was time for the cutting of the cake. The couple had mentioned to me before the wedding that they would love this photo to take place by the staircase, with all their guests surrounding them on the stairs. It worked really well, and the photo came out great.
The wedding cake was then whisked away by The Elvetham staff and I took this opportunity to do a night-time creative photo of Lauren and Ashley by the stairs. I loved the shape of the wood panels and back lighting them to create a silhouette worked well.
The evening reception was to take place in The Conservatory which is a lovely space and the paper lanterns hanging above gave it an extra pretty touch. The band had set up and it was soon time for their first dance as man and wife.
The dance floor filled up and everyone was having a wonderful time. I love taking photos at this time of a wedding day. Everyone is so happy and after a few drinks they really let their hair down.
Later in the evening it was time for some wedding fireworks. Paul and I took some time outside to set up my lighting, so I was fully prepared. I really wanted to have Lauren and Ashley in front of me and my camera, with their guests behind me. This way the photo would be of the newlyweds looking into the night sky towards the fireworks, just the two of them. This worked really well, and the fireworks were a huge success. Straight after the fireworks there was also some sparklers which I also really love at a wedding. A member of The Elvetham staff was very prepared and had a blow torch ready, which meant the sparklers could be lit very quickly and all burn down at the same time. Nothing worse than lighting sparklers with just one lighter and the first ones are finished before they are all lit. No danger of that here!
Later on, there was just a little bit more time to do a couple more night-time photos outside The Elvetham, as it was all lit up and looks stunning. Lauren and Ashley were more than happy for us to take them away from their guests for a couple of minutes to get these photos done. Then before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye.
Lauren and Ashley’s Elvetham wedding was wonderful from start to end and such a pleasure to photograph. The day had it all and was the perfect wedding in a beautiful location. Please see below for some of my favourite photos from this special day.
If you would like to see some more photos of wedding fireworks and how I approach them, please see my blog here.
If you like what you see and would like to chat about your wedding photography please get in touch here.