As 2017 comes to a close and I am editing a beautiful winter wedding at Essendon Country Club, I realise I haven’t written a blog this year! I am so busy taking photos, meeting great people and visiting beautiful places but don’t have the time to tell you about them! New Year resolution, write more blogs!
Claire contacted me after seeing my page on a wedding website and we arranged to meet up. Unfortunately on the night her partner Chris had to visit a sick relative. So it was just the two of us. We had a chat about their wedding plans and Claire viewed some of my wedding albums. I talked about my style, my equipment, how I work on the day and pre-wedding meetings and photoshoots. As Chris hadn’t met me Claire asked if a second meeting could be arranged. Of course I agreed. The following day Claire contacted me to say that Chris said ‘If she was happy, he was happy’. A good start to married life!
A pre-wedding meeting to discuss timings, family dynamic and photoshoot followed so that Claire and Chris felt perfectly comfortable with me and the camera and I got to know a little of their personalities. At planning meetings I always suggest we talk about alternative indoor locations for group and bride and groom photos. The British weather is something you cannot book. As this was going to be a winter wedding we knew at the very least it was going to be cold.
And so to the big day. Claire is an events co-ordinator and so knows what she is looking for in a venue. She couldn’t go wrong with Essendon Country Club. Lovely venue, beautiful grounds and impeccably co-ordinated by Jo and the events team.
Claire and her Bridesmaids got ready in the Maple Suite. Due to the layout at Essendon Country Club the wedding breakfast tables can be fully prepared in the morning as the ceremony takes place on the upper floor of the barn. No need for a turnaround during the drinks reception. Great for a winter wedding as guests can stay in the barn. I arrived early so that I could take some detail shots of the table settings and the beautiful barn itself as well as the ceremony area before the guests arrived. I then visited Claire in the Maple Suite. Claire didn’t want lots of photos in the morning before makeup and hair were complete.
The decorations were foliage with deep red and some orange and white flowers giving the barn a lovely warm feel alongside lanterns and candles. The guests sat at tables named after pubs that Claire and Chris visit. Bubbles were used instead of confetti and a wooden puzzle was used as the guest book. The cream and gold cake included a Lego Bride and Groom. As a lovely personal touch Chris had their names and the date embroidered into the lining of his jacket.
The ceremony was beautiful. The guests were happy to then venture outside very quickly for a large group photo as this was something that Claire and Chris really wanted. Whilst the guests returned to the barn for the rest of the drinks reception we got into golf buggies. Chelsea, one of the Essendon team drove me whilst Chris drove the second buggy. Unfortunately Chris had not passed his golf buggy driving test and crashed it immediately! Buggy number three was fetched and we were off! Claire and Chris chose to visit locations near to the barn as it was so cold, but at Essendon this isn’t a problem as there are many lovely locations for bride and groom photos. Essendon has some beautiful sunsets but unfortunately today was grey and getting dark. Photos were taken very quickly before Claire turned into her ‘something blue’.
When looking at venues for winter weddings, consider where the reception will be if your ceremony room needs to become your wedding breakfast room. Even if it is a lovely sunny day, it is going to be cold. Consider bringing shawls or fur wraps for yourself and the bridemaids. Remember that photos may not be possible outside if it is raining heavily or just too cold. Some of your guests may be happy to go outside but others such as elderly relatives or guests who have special needs may need to stay inside. Your photographer will be able to advise on the best inside locations for group and bride and groom photographs. Your photographer will probably have a suitable umbrella for your to use or you may want to bring your own.
It may be dark during the wedding breakfast and even the ceremony. Candles look stunning in photographs but check with the venue as they may not be permitted.
When choosing your wedding photographer for a winter wedding ask them how they cope with low light and severe weather conditions. Talk about how they approach bride and groom portraits especially if the location does not have many suitable places inside.
Essendon is a great location for winter weddings as there are lots of lovely locations nearby for photos and options inside if it is raining heavily or just too cold. The staircase is also perfect for group photos.
As darkness quickly fell, the speeches began followed by a gorgeous meal and an evening full of fun. A wonderful day.
Flowers by Elegant Stems. http://www.elegantstems.co.uk
Cake by Marks and Spencer.
DJ. Just Smile www.justsmile.co.uk
With special thanks to Jo and the team at Essendon Country Club. http://www.essendonweddings.co.uk/
To view more weddings go to my website. www.parkwinphotography.co.uk
Parkwin Photography is celebrating ten years and during January and February I will be looking back at some of my favourite weddings. I will also have some great offers on Wedding and Portrait photography.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018.
Some images from Claire and Chris’s day.