I absolutely love meeting new couples via recommendations. It means a great deal when a happy client is kind enough to pass my name along; frankly, it is the ultimate endorsement. I met Nicole & Rich via to a referral from Candice & Ed, whose wedding I shot at Hampton Court House in 2015. Many thanks guys! Nicole & Rich’s winter wedding at Loseley Park was my penultimate wedding of 2017 and it was fantastic.
Nicole got ready at her Dad’s house in Guildford along with her two Bridesmaids. Nicole’s niece Maia was also around during the bridal prep and she was the cutest bundle of smiles imaginable. Maia was the flower girl on the day and she was an absolute pro. Good as gold and utterly adorable. The morning was relaxed and lots of fun with Lottie & Mary’s demonstration of the first dance in the kitchen a notable highlight!
Once Nicole was in her beautiful Pronovias dress, I hopped in the car and made my way over to The Withies Inn to catch up with Rich and the Groomsmen. Incidentally it is worth mentioning that The Withies is an exceptionally good pub, Rich clearly has good taste in watering holes! It was a cold day and the fire was roaring. Rich works as an actuary and, in the organised fashion you’d imagine, he and the gents were bang on schedule. I found them ordering drinks, everyone looking dapper and seemingly very calm. The low ceilings and dim lighting made for a lovely cosy feel to the images from the pub. This marked a distinct change from the bright, airy feel of Nicole’s Dad’s house. I love it when settings contrast because it lends the photographs a really strong sense of place.
After a quick pint, the boys made the short drive down the A3 to the village of Peper Harow. I’ve lived most of my life in and around the Guildford area, however Peper Harow was entirely new to me. It’s a hidden gem, a tiny and beautiful spot with a rich history. Nicole’s family hails from Scotland and in a nod to their heritage they had commissioned a Piper to accompany some of the key elements of the day. Awaiting Nicole & Rich’s arrival at Church he looked to be the only person sufficiently well dressed for the cold! St Nicholas’ dates from approximately 1301 but, after a fire in 2007, required restoration. As such, for a Norman-era church, it’s rather light and bright – ideal for a December wedding! Nicole & Rich had also decided that a winter wedding called for coffee outside church. They had hired the wonderful Clara’s, fresh craft coffee served from the back of a 2CV! I love the images of everyone catching up with a cup of something piping-hot.
Nicole arrived for the ceremony accompanied by her Dad and after making their way down the church path, and a quick chat with Rev Jenny, it was showtime. St Nicholas’ has a small side chapel which opens onto both the chancel and the side aisle of the church. This always makes life easier as it facilitates stealthy movement. I like to stay as discrete as possible during the service. When you’re photographing a wedding time seems to travel incredibly fast. Despite three hymns and two lovely readings, it seemed like only a few minutes later that Nicole & Rich were emerging as newlyweds!
Confetti was thrown, coffee was consumed, and then we set course for the reception. It’s been a few years since I last shot a winter wedding at Loseley Park, Hollie & Peter’s back in 2014, so it was lovely to return. Loseley Park suits winter very well. The Great Hall is a large space, but nevertheless cosy, and the stunning drawing room, with its large open fire, is a genuinely regal setting that’s perfect for group photos. After completing the formal shots with family and the wedding party, Nicole & Rich gamely braved the chilly air for a few portraits in the walled garden. If you’re getting married in the winter it’s always a good idea to have something to keep you warm. Nicole had opted for a gorgeous furry shawl, a great choice that looked amazing.
Following drinks in the Great Hall, which included a gigantic Christmas Tree, everyone made their way across to the Barn for the Wedding Breakfast. Nicole’s Dad worked for JCB and he had organised for two huge diggers to form an archway leading into the Barn. Unusual, but cool! From this point onwards, Scottish whisky played a key role in proceedings. Always a good sign of a fun wedding! Alongside a whisky bar, there was the traditional passing of The Quaich. This wasn’t a custom I’d seen before, but it’s a goodie. Basically, a good single-malt Scotch is poured into The Quaich, which is a two handled bowl/cup. This is then passed around the room for every guest to take a sip. It was fascinating viewing as the whisky fans were loving it while those who didn’t have a taste for it did their best to hide the fact!
The speeches were hilarious. They included the tale of how, during the stag, Rich got into hot water with phoney Eastern European law enforcement. The less said about that the better! Once dinner was done and The Quaich drunk dry, All Covered Up Band got the party started and the dancefloor bouncing. Bestman Andy discussed in his speech the two ‘modes of Rich’: ‘tie-on Rich’ and ‘tie-off Rich’. We definitely saw more tie-off Rich as the evening progressed! He wasn’t alone. By the end of the night, Nicole and her mates were synchro-swimming as part of an esoteric dance routine! I wish I could remember the song that prompted this! I like to think about the dancing in sporting terms and Rich & Nicole were undoubtedly the dancefloor MVPs. The evening concluded with a sparkler send-off beneath the awesome sight of fairylight-garlanded JCBs before Nicole & Rich hopped into the waiting taxi and disappeared into the night.
A winter wedding at Loseley Park is invariably a treat, and Nicole & Rich’s day continued that tradition. Thanks for having me guys! My thanks also go to Jenny at St Nicholas’ for being so accommodating and Catherine from Caper & Berry for keeping me well fed. As usual, here are a selection of my favourites.
*If you’re looking for supplier details, you’ll find them after the photographs at the bottom of this post.
A winter wedding at Loseley Park photographed by Tony Hart Photo.