I had the great pleasure of photographing Penny & James’ wedding at Hampton Court House back in September. They were recommended to me by Candice & Ed, whose wedding I shot at Hampton Court House back in 2015. Penny works as a town planner and her organisational skills were evident throughout the run-up to the day. James is a neurologist (which I’m told isn’t the same as a brain surgeon) and is, in contrast, very laid back. They are an awesome pair and, between them, this combo of an ordered, methodical bride and a laissez-faire groom pulled together a beauty of a wedding day!
Penny got ready with her bridesmaids at her parents’ house in Walton-on-Thames. She was looked after in the hair and makeup department by the perennially excellent Mel Kinsman and Sharon Roberts. After a few hours spent photographing the girls’ morning, I popped off round the corner to The Oatlands Chaser to catch up with the boys. James and his groomsmen were doing the wise thing by starting the day with a serious pub breakfast. I shoot weddings entirely on my own because one of my aims for the day is to remain fairly ‘low impact’. I don’t want the wedding to feel like a photo shoot with second photographers, assistants and bag carriers left right and centre. One of the compromises inherent in this decision is that I can’t be in two places at once and therefore we always make sure that the morning has some reasonable scheduling. This ensures that I can catch up with both the bridal party and the groom’s party before the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony took place at St Mary Oatlands Church in Weybridge a short drive from both the pub and Penny’s parents. Rev Folli, who officiated, was an absolutely lovely bloke and the sort of priest that photographers are lucky to work with. He was solemn in all the right moments, good humoured throughout and genuinely funny at times (he could definitely moonlight as a comedian) and his pronunciation of Penny’s full name was superb! Penny arrived looking absolutely stunning and James’ first sight of his new wife-to-be sat somewhere between wonder and adulation. Following the service James & Penny made their exit in the Rolls (what other way to depart on your wedding day ?!) while their guests hopped on a private red Routemaster for the short drive to Hampton Court House.
Hampton Court House is amongst my favourite wedding venues and I always enjoy shooting there. It’s a great mix of grandeur and charm that hits the perfect vibe for a wedding. We stepped away for a few photographs at the tail end of the drinks reception, while Penny & James’ guests were being seated – always a good use of otherwise dead time – and arrived back just in time for the new Mr & Mrs to be announced into the wedding breakfast. Regular readers will know that I am a massive fan of good wedding speeches and Penny & James’ really delivered. The best men’s speech was especially hilarious. I loved hearing about James’ early experimentation with gangsta rap! Penny & James’ band, All Covered Up, made sure the dancefloor was heaving all night. All Covered Up are consummate pros and many of their instrumentalists use radio mics to allow them to get amongst the crowd which is seriously fun. The night concluded with a sparkler departure on the front steps of Hampton Court House, Penny & James’ guests waving and cheering them off (with added pyrotechnics) into married life!
My thanks to Penny & James for having me and to all the amazing suppliers that I worked with on the wedding. Full supplier details can be found at the bottom of this post, after the photographs. As always, here are a selection of my favourites.