Ettington Park hotel is a stunning venue for wedding photos anyway, but you know you're at a very special wedding when…
...the bride laughs her @@$$ off when she falls backwards onto the wet grass
...the groomsmen carry each other on their shoulders
...a week of torrential rain pauses just long enough for us to get a romantic shot under a rainbow
...when grandparents are hitting the dance floor
...and when the venue staff prepare the room in the morning while listening to banging trance music. My kind of music by the way!
Although the wedding reception was at Ettington Park Hotel the ceremony was at the Catholic Church in Shipston on Stour, where Natalie’s parents had got married years before.
After the ceremony the heavens opened just as we were going to start the group photos. Oliver and Natalie were fantastically relaxed about everything and we decided to do some small groups inside and wait to see if the weather cleared for the larger groups.
That’s one of the great things about a June wedding - it’s light until late so you don’t have to rush.
Plus, Ettington Park hotel is beautiful inside and out so you’re guaranteed beautiful wedding photos whatever the weather.
For example, there’s the stunning ‘Long Gallery’ upstairs with it’s wood panelling…
…and ‘The Great Drawing Room’ with gorgeous works of art the size of garage doors! And it was this room that Natalie’s dad used to visit as a youth when it was used as a high class night club.
…and then there’s the library, or the Norman chapel. The list goes on.
That said, it would have been a shame if the clouds hadn’t parted so that we could use the outdoor delights of Ettington Park.
For example, the groomsmen held each other on their shoulders by the stone arches of the orangerie.
Then I gave the bridesmaids and groomsmen a bottle of Prosecco to spray around Formula 1 style but ‘someone’ took off the cork cage before we were ready and the bottle exploded out of his hands and shot 10 metres across the tarmac.
Luckily I had a spare bottle so we got a spectacular shot of the Prosecco spraying dramatically in front of Ettington Park Hotel’s grand entrance.
Moments later clumsiness struck again. In Natalie’s excitement of getting a shot in front of a beautiful rainbow that arced over the Bell Tower she went ‘A over T’ staggering backwards with her legs flying into the air as she fell flat on her back on the wet grass.
This is the sort of moment when you see what someone’s made of. She could have cried, or got angry, or painfully shy…. …but no, Natalie laughed aloud with a beaming smile… and we all loved her even more for doing so.
The day ended with a storming DJ set and a packed dance floor under the disconcertingly disapproving gaze of a very serious looking woman on a magnificently large painting, right by the dance floor.
The same painting Natalie’s dad would have danced under all those years ago.
But frankly there was nothing anyone could disapprove of at this wedding. It was a cracker and here are a few of my favourite moments…
The supporting cast of suppliers