The Falcon Hotel Uppingham wedding

Kath & Sam’s wedding photography in the market town of Uppingham, Rutland

With Covid leading everyone a merry dance, Kath and Sam decided to ‘marry now, party later’. They grabbed their backpacks, donned their hiking boots, and eloped to the Scottish Highlands. Go them! And when restrictions eased, they made up for lost time and got ‘socially’ married at Uppingham church and The Falcon Hotel in Rutland.

After 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions, Kath and Sam finally got to have their church blessing and wedding party with all their family and friends. The day was a huge reunion for everyone, with a mega party atmosphere.

Everything took place around Uppingham market square in Rutland; close to where Sam grew up. Each of the locations were within a bouquet’s toss of the others – hotel rooms for getting ready, a pub for pre-ceremony drinks, a church for their marriage blessing, and a short walk back across the market square for their wedding reception at The Falcon Hotel.

Being able to walk between locations so quickly made it really easy for me too. And that meant more time for photos and less time worrying about finding parking spaces!

A pre-wedding pint at The Vaults

A great man once said: “A pre-ceremony pint is like apple crumble and cream”. (The great man being Sam, obviously!). So while Kath got ready at The Falcon Hotel, Sam met all their guests at The Vaults for pre-ceremony drinks.

The pre-wedding tradition was made even easier by the fact the church is right next door to the pub! And as more and more guests arrived, it was fun to see everyone spilling out onto the market square.

It really set the tone for the day and meant the only thing their guests needed to do was chat, relax and catch up in the sunshine. So right from the start, I knew I’d get to capture some fun times.

All you need is love – and a piano

Kath and Sam’s wedding blessing took place at Uppingham church. One of the highlights was one of Kath’s bridesmaids playing piano and leading everyone in an ‘All You Need is Love’ sing-a-long session. Such a crowd pleaser! It was a really upbeat celebration of friendship, love, and happiness – and felt especially meaningful after the rough ride they’d had with Covid.

After lapping up a massive round of applause, Kath and Sam paraded triumphantly out of the church under a shower of confetti, and literally stopped traffic as they crossed the square to get to their wedding reception at The Falcon Hotel.

Being part of and capturing moments like this is exactly why I love being a documentary wedding photographer. What better working atmosphere could there be?! And creating the chance for couples to relive those moments over and over through their photos – sooo satisfying.

Uppingham wedding reception at The Falcon Hotel

The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham is an elegant 16th Century coaching inn at the top of the market square. It has a country house feel, but with the benefit of being right in the centre of a quaint little town. Step out of the front door, and the pub and church are right in front of you.

Kath and Sam’s reception started with live acoustic music, canapés and drinks in the courtyard. Since it was such a nice day, everyone took the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air. Which was lovely but made it hard to move outside. I managed to squeeze through some gaps to capture candid photos of the guests … but it was super handy to be able to pop back to Uppingham church to do the group photos and couple portraits in less than 30 seconds!

All of Kath and Sam’s wedding suppliers were completely wonderful. But I want to give a special mention to Jessica Mary Flowers. Jess created the fab florals for the day and I adore the way she incorporated the changing seasons with autumn dahlias and summer roses snuggled together. She also went over and above by pinning on the wedding party’s buttonholes outside the church. Or was it outside the church? Definitely a benefit of having all your wedding locations so close together!

And here’s a top tip: Jess styled the long banquet tables in the Garden Terrace room with low-level foliage and flower-filled vases. Which is good because it allows people to chat over the top – and it doesn’t block people’s faces in the speech photos!

Speeches, garden shears and dancing juice

I can always tell if people are having a good time at a wedding by assessing the noise level during the wedding breakfast … this one was an absolute party! The laughter level was the loudest I’ve heard for a long time. There was clearly a lot of catching up to do after so long apart during the pandemic.

As I photographed the speeches, it was heart-warming to feel the love in the room for Kath and Sam; they have a super supportive and caring group of friends and family. Kath’s parents gave an emotional and really enjoyable joint speech – something I’ve not seen before and absolutely loved. Sam received rapturous applause and a standing ovation, and everyone toasted by downing their individual bottles of ‘Dancing Juice’. And the best man thought of everything and provided Kath with some tools for taming Sam’s famously hairy body (including garden shears, a bucket of veet, and a trowel!), which was met with raucous cheers and throw-your-head-back-laughter from the crowd!

I also squealed in delight. But for a more geeky reason. Kath and Sam sat beneath the skylight in the Garden Room, which created a gorgeous pocket of light on them. Absolutely ideal for capturing documentary photos of them during the speeches.

After their meal, Sam and Kath cut their mouth-watering berry-covered wedding cake, and showed exactly how good the dancing juice was on the dancefloor.

It was a joy to be part of their day. And a pleasure to capture the love and fun at their wedding. Congratulations, and thanks for having me, Kath and Sam!

Planning to get married at The Falcon Hotel?

Fancy taking over Uppingham with a big ol’ celebration? Please get in touch; I’d love to hear from you!

Or, if you’re still venue hunting, check out some of the other Rutland wedding venues I’ve been hanging around at (with a camera at weddings … not in a weird way!)