Di and Wayne’s Mill House Hotel wedding took place on a beautiful day in April. I had got to know them as a couple really well since they booked me around 18 months before their wedding. The previous summer we had met down in Bournemouth for their engagement shoot which was such a great day and we had met up again just before their wedding to go over the details of the day itself. Now it came to the big day I honestly felt like I was about to watch two friends getting married, and I was fortunate enough to be taking the photos of such a wonderful day at The Mill House Hotel.
I arrived at Di and Wayne’s home where bride Di was getting ready with her bridesmaids and parents. Right away I was offered a cup of tea and some breakfast. My first job (after the tea and a chat!) was to take some time upstairs photographing Di’s gorgeous wedding dress, shoes and accessories. I like doing these types of photos and I can get a little creative with how I place them and the composition.
Back downstairs the mood was fun and relaxed. Between make-up by SJ Hair and Make Up being done in the living room and hair by John from Ruby Reds in the dining room it was like a well-oiled wedding prep machine with the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride moving between them. One emotional moment came when the wedding flowers arrived from VFB The Florist. Di got a little tearful but nothing that a bit of fanning of her eyes wouldn’t fix as to not ruin her make up.
The morning seemed to fly by and soon it was time for Di to get into her wedding dress. Her dress from Viva Bride at Wed2be was the perfect style and design for Di. The tea length skirt showed off her gorgeous pearl decorated shoes perfectly. Di had mentioned previously she was undecided on the length of her veil, but she decided to go for a birdcage style, and it was just perfection.
Once Di was ready, she headed down the stairs to where her Dad was waiting in the hall way. His face when seeing his daughter was so full of love and pride, there was not a dry eye in the house, including me. These moments are so special, I feel so fortunate that I am present to take photos of that exact moment in time that can be looked back on forever.
The couple had told me they were unsure of how Di would be getting from their home to The Mill House Hotel on the wedding day as it was to be a surprise organised by their friends. As I stepped outside into the sunshine, I set eyes upon the surprise which was a beautiful VW camper van. Di’s face when she saw her transport was brilliant, she had no idea what to expect.
As the bride, her bridesmaids and her Dad got ready to pile into the camper van I shot off ahead to The Mill House Hotel. My second photographer for the day Becky had spent some time with Wayne in the morning as he got ready at a local hotel with his groomsmen, and they were now all at The Mill House Hotel greeting guests.
The ceremony room at The Mill House Hotel is lovely and personal with beautiful light from the large windows looking out over the beautiful gardens. Di made her way down the aisle on the arm of her Dad, her smile lit up the room. The ceremony was full of love and so many laughs. Di’s brother did a lovely reading which was a surprise to their parents, such a lovely touch.
After the bride and groom were announced man and wife, we all headed outside into the gardens for the confetti throw. The gardens at The Mill House Hotel are a stunning backdrop for photos. Overlooking the River Loddon the colours and surroundings are such a perfect wedding location.
I like to let the bride and groom have a bit of time with their guests at this point, if time allows. I don’t want to be dragging them around for photos right away when they have friends and family wanting to congratulate them. There were a few spots of rain in the air so lots of the guests headed into The Mill House Hotel to save getting wet. It soon cleared and we did the group photos under a lovely large tree just in case any more rain came along.
Becky and I then took some time in The Marquee at The Mill House Hotel which is where the wedding breakfast and evening party would take place. It is so pretty in The Marquee and the bifold doors fill the room with lovely light. I was told these doors can also be fully opened in good weather. It is important to me to photograph all the details in the wedding breakfast room. So much time and effort go into even the smallest details on a wedding day, I feel these need to be captured just as much as the big moments as they are also part of the wedding day story. Their wedding cake from The Berkshire Bake Smith was gorgeous and perfectly fitted in with the style and decoration of the wedding. Room decorations were provided by Events For U, and as always they had done a wonderful job.
Now it was time for one of my favourite parts of a wedding day, taking the bride and groom away for their photos. Wayne had told be prior to the wedding there was an area close to The Mill House Hotel, where they wanted to go for a few photos as it had personal importance to them. Di and Wayne were driven in the camper van and Becky and I jumped in my car following behind.
When we arrived at the spot the rain had started but that was no problem. I whipped out the trusty clear umbrellas I always keep in car for scenarios just like this on a wedding day. The bride and groom cuddled up close together under the umbrella and it made for one of my favourite photos of the day.
The rain soon stopped, and we did some more photos at this location before heading back to The Mill House Hotel and making the most of the pretty gardens for a few more photos of the newlyweds together.
Before the wedding breakfast the bride and groom decided on a receiving line as their guests made their way into The Marquee. This can be a great opportunity for photos as the guests get to congratulate the newlyweds one at a time. The bride and groom were then announced in to the Marquee at The Mill House Hotel to rapturous applause and cheers.
The speeches took place before the wedding breakfast for Di and Wayne’s wedding which is becoming very popular in my experience. If any of the speakers are understandably nervous about making their speeches, they can get the done before they sit down for their meal and then relax. I have seen best men be so nervous about making their speech they don’t touch their food!
In the morning one of the bridesmaids had informed me that they were sneaking Wayne’s replica Thor hammer out of the house and into The Mill House hotel to be used in the best man’s speech. From getting to know Wayne and how much he loved his Thor hammer I was interested to see his reaction to it being away from home and wanted to get a photo of his reaction!
Di’s dad’s speech was so touching and there was not a dry eye in the marquee at The Mill House Hotel. You could clearly see how Di and her dad have such a close and special relationship. As well as the emotional tears there was also the odd embarrassing story which is surely essential on a wedding day!
When it came to the best man’s speech and the time came for Thor’s hammer to make an appearance the look on Wayne’s face when he was handed a bag was rather puzzled. He then opened it and held it aloft in true Thor style. I love capturing photos like this.
A little while later evening wedding guests started to arrive, and it was then time for cake cutting and first dance. With Di being a huge Ed Sheeran fan, I had an inkling it would be one of his songs and I was right. In this moment everyone could clearly see how in love these two are.
As well as the gardens at The Mill House Hotel being beautiful in the day they are just as pretty at night. The festoon lighting is so pretty I knew I wanted to do a photo with these incorporated. Becky and I did some investigating and practicing before asking the bride and groom to come outside with us for a few minutes to get a couple of photos. Big thanks to my second photographer Becky who got a lot of arm ache holding the flash up in the air directed at the couple while I got the perfect shot.
The rest of the evening was full of so much dancing and fun. I love sticking around until late to get dance floor photos and the dance floor was full for most of the evening.
Di and Wayne’s wedding at The Mill House Hotel was such a fantastic day and I was so honoured to be a part of it and to be able to capture their memories. Getting to know Di and Wayne has been truly wonderful and I really feel now I have made friends in them as well as being their wedding photographer.
To see some of Di and Wayne’s engagement shoot photos as well as some others please see my gallery here.