Sumptuous wedding at Castor House and Castor Church

26th December 2015
For many years I've walked past Castor House and wondered who on earth lived there. Well, now I know, because this year I had the honour of photographing a wedding reception there. The owner's sister (Catherine Mercer) was married to Anthony Macbride in Castor Church. The church sits proudly on a hill a short walk up Castor high street.

The day started at Castor House. I was in awe of the massive marquee that covered the large pond in the award winning gardens. The gardens are actually opened to the public from time to time as part of the 'National Gardens Scheme'.

In the morning I was also tasked with setting up a little surprise for Catherine. I'd suggested that I create an audio visual presentation of photographs from Catherine and Anthony's childhood. I then projected those photographs onto a large screen at the reception as a fun surprise for everyone.

You can check out the video of their childhood photos here:

Catherine was given away by her elder brother and they were taken to the church by a vintage Rolls Royce... ...something Anthony was giddily excited about going in on the way back.

The church is beautifully lit and wonderfully grand. When I look back through the wedding ceremony photographs Catherine's face looks so relaxed and etched with complete joy throughout the service.

After the ceremony the guests walked back up Castor High street to the reception at Castor House. I'd been tasked with beating everyone back and photographing each group as they arrived. It was a bit like speed photography as I had to quickly organise, amuse and photograph each group quickly so I large queue wouldn't form. The last thing I wanted to was to prevent guests from getting their hands on the welcome champagne that was just in sight behind me!

I quickly charmed and chuckled my way through each group like a cross between Harry Hill, David Bailey and the world's tiniest club bouncer! Pretty soon everyone was done and in the garden enjoying the drink, sunshine, stunning surroundings and live orchestra!

As the sun set the guests made their way into the marquee while I finished the romantic photographs with Catherine and Anthony in the gardens. I was like a puppy in balloon factory because there were so many beautiful locations. I could have happily spent hours photographing the two of them, but we only had 20 minutes or so.

Luckily I always visit wedding venues several weeks before the wedding so I have a plan for what I'm going to do where, which helps speed things along.

After the wedding breakfast the band 'Children Of The Revolution' got everyone working some impressive moves on the dance floor. I've rarely seen such a packed dance floor at a wedding, or such accomplished moves. It certainly helps the photography when the guests get into it like this, so I appreciated their efforts.

I was then given permission to leave since they were all clearly going to be dancing the night away with nothing much changing other than the quality of the dancing as it gradually deteriorated!

Things went so well that Catherine's sister Claire has booked me to photograph her daughter's wedding there in 2016. I can't wait to meet everyone again and get another opportunity to photograph at this stunning private venue again.

Wedding vendors for the wedding:
Florist: Claire (Catherine's sister)
Bridal store? Brides of Winchester
Caterer: Beetroot catering/url]
Music and DJ: [url=]Children of the revolution

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