James & Katie’s navy & pale pink wedding at Kelmarsh Hall

March 10, 2016

James and Katie shone and oozed joy all day long. Their smiles were relentless and their sense of fun showed in every way it could show. They got married at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire which was the perfect venue for them; graceful, charming and easy-going.

About James & Katie

James and Katie are accountants and met at work. They’d both come out of relationships and Katie saw something new in James but shrugged off encouragement from her friend to date him. It took a few festive drinks at their office Christmas party for them to get together and it turned out to be for keeps. They’re a perfect match with a shared sense of fun and love of Top Gun. They’re always bright and breezy, and leave a little bit of sweetness wherever they go.

Having decided to have a civil ceremony, James and Katie set about finding their perfect venue. They looked all over the Midlands and as soon as they saw Kelmarsh Hall they fell in love with it’s pretty, serene feel and felt confident they’d be just as happy inside if it rained. They thought the staff were really accommodating too, interested in the wedding they wanted to have rather than one a venue puts on everyone, and that sealed the deal.

James and Katie were determined to have a great party. Much as you would expect from detail focused accountants, all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted in their wedding plans and they chose a great team of suppliers, which meant they could totally relax and enjoy everything they’d planned come the day.

James and Katie were more interested in fun than formality so wanted mostly documentary wedding photography with just a few family photos. They were keen to have two photographers so that they could have photos of both of them getting ready and lots of photos of their guests. Their experience of wedding photographers at weddings they’ve been to in the past was a big influence on what they wanted – someone chilled and calm who wouldn’t drag their guests too far away for the group photos was important to them.

James and Katie’s wedding style

James and Katie chose soft, neutral colours – white, blush and pale pink – which felt serene and like they were part of Kelmarsh Hall’s natural surroundings. The details set the tone for the fun they wanted everyone to have – a champagne table plan and ice bucket table centres, pails of confetti, fireworks, a naked cake and flip flops for dancing.

James & Katie’s wedding photography

James & Katie both got ready at Church Farm Lodge, which is just a couple of miles from Kelmarsh Hall. They stayed there the night before with their families, bridesmaids and Groomsmen. James was busy organising the boys in the car park when I arrived and Katie was enjoying a more relaxed morning eating croissants and drinking tea in the garden before having her hair and make-up done.

Although James and Katie got ready in the same place, their timings overlapped, so Abby and I split photographing the preparations between us.

As soon as you drive down the tree-lined avenue towards Kelmarsh Hall the chaos of life disappears. It’s another world to be there but you feel right at home straight away. It’s a wonderful place to work and felt quite magical to wait on the front steps with the bridesmaids looking out for Katie to arrive.

Katie walked down the aisle to the theme tune from her favourite film, Top Gun, with Katie’s Dad wearing aviators! They were in stitches as they walked!

It was a beautifully warm sunny day so everyone headed straight outside for the drinks reception after the ceremony.

Dinner and speeches took place in the Ballroom. The speeches were hilarious and suitably embarrassing. James, in particular, had everyone throwing their heads back with laughter – he couldn’t seem to say anything that didn’t have a double meaning!

There’s one thing I’m always hesitant about as a wedding photographer and that’s anything that could look contrived. A photo of the Groomsmen lifting up the bride can verge on that so I don’t usually suggest it but after a few drinks James and Katie’s bridesmaids wanted to give it a go, but with a twist. They were having so much fun, and trouble! It was totally them and they thoroughly modernised the concept. I make no apology for the number of pictures of this; it really works best as a series!

First attempt…

Let’s try that again. Look carefully ;)

Katie’s turn…

After all the frivolity and time for a quick coffee, it was back inside for the cake cutting and first dance. James and Katie chose a really fun skiffle pop band called Thrill Collins. Listening to them made me want to plan a party just so I could hear them again! If you’ve never heard S Club 7 played on a washboard you should check them out!

Kelmarsh Hall wedding photographer - James Katie - 1073
Kelmarsh Hall wedding photographer - James Katie - 1074
Kelmarsh Hall wedding photographer - James Katie - 1075

Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

  1. When deciding what you want in a wedding photographer, think about photographers you’ve seen at weddings you’ve been to before. What sort of experience did they create? Did they get on well with the guests? How long did they spend taking the formal photos? Were they centre of attention or did they work more quietly? Your feelings about the answers will help you decide what you want.
  2. When the day comes, let go of the planning and enjoy yourself! Happiness will shine through in your photos.
  3. Just wanting your group photos to be quick won’t make them quick. You need to be organised and decide on your list before the day, make sure everyone is happy with it so there are no changes or additions on the day, keep the list short and choose efficient Ushers to help gather your guests.
  4. Think about how you’ll entertain your guests. Things like garden games or a great band will encourage people to have fun and provide great opportunities for photos.
  5. Plan your day your way. If your personalities and the things you love are stamped all over the day, your photos will be meaningful, feel right and bring back the memories you want.

Are you getting married at Kelmarsh Hall?

Congratulations if you are! It’s a fab venue and I know you’ll have the best day ever there.

You can get lots of decor ideas from other Kelmarsh weddings and read more about why I think Kelmarsh Hall is so great for wedding photography here.

And if you like what you see, please message me :) I’d love to hear from you!

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