Thom & Kate’s tree themed wedding at Holdenby House

February 22, 2016

Thom & Kate bucked the usual UK bank holiday weather trend and enjoyed a fabulously sunny day for their wedding.

About Thom & Kate

I met Thom and Kate at one of Holdenby House’s wedding open evenings. They were venue hunting at the time but we had a good chat about wedding photography. We met again the following weekend at another venue’s open day when they went to look around there. Their excitement and big smiles struck me the first time we met, so they were unmistakable the second.

Thom & Kate beamed all day. I don’t think it would have been possible to smile any more! They said their vows loudly and with such conviction that you knew they meant them.

Although the planning was tough at times, Thom and Kate were super excited for their wedding and everything was perfect on the day.  We chatted lots throughout the process about everything from which are the best venues for photography to supplier recommendations and coordinating colours to wedding day timings. Having lots of contact helps me to understand what’s important to a couple and why, which helps me make the photos personal and meaningful. And I love to chat about weddings!

Thom and Kate chose St James The Great church in Hanslope for their ceremony and Holdenby House in Northampton for their reception. Both were fabulous locations and very accommodating for wedding photography. Thom and Kate wanted their photos to be relaxed and in the moment, with just a few portraits and photos with their family & friends. It’s a great approach if you want to spend your day having fun with your guests rather than breaking up the party for lots of formal photos.

Thom & Kate’s wedding style

Thom and Kate’s style was inspired by their love of trees which made the countryside setting of Holdenby House an easy choice for their reception. It’s got acres of ancient trees and amazing views of rolling green hills.

They used soft sage greens for the bridesmaid dresses, flower girls’ sashes and the Groomsmen’s ties. There was lots of foliage in the flowers and a tree featured on all their stationery. The table centres were bay trees which added to the outdoors feeling and the flower girls wore pretty country style flower crowns full of daisies.

The bouquets and flower displays were elegant with lots of beautiful roses but Thom and Kate wanted to keep things relaxed and personal as well, so they added a rustic touch with mini jars of home-made jam for the favours and sprigs of lavender tied to lace embellished luggage tags for the place-settings. They made their own stationery too and a family friend did the church and venue flowers. Being so hands on made it feel really personal.

Thom & Kate’s wedding photography

I arrived on the morning of the wedding to find Kate’s bridesmaids busy making confetti from fresh flowers while taking their turn to have their hair and make-up done. The flower girls and page boy spent the morning running around and eating cupcakes. Kate’s family gradually started to arrive, everyone’s hair and make-up was coming together, the wedding car arrived and the excitement grew more and more as Kate put her dress on and the time to leave for church drew nearer and nearer.

Thom and Kate booked two of us to do their wedding photography so that they could have photos of Thom’s preparations too. They were in two minds about the actual getting ready photos of the boys and wondered about having photos just at the pub. They were in the middle of decorating and were a bit worried that the house might look messy in the photos. In the end we thought it would be a shame to miss that part out so Abby kept the photos fairly close-up to concentrate on the action. Black and white helps disguise the background and decor too. Then it was off to the pub for a cheeky beer where the barman somehow convinced the boys that shots and chasers were a good idea!

I’ve marvelled at the magnificent tall spire of Hanslope church lots of times en route to (many) shopping trips to Milton Keynes so it was nice to finally get to work there and see it up close.

Abby and I had a lot of different lights to deal with as the guests arrived at the church. The sun was behind people as they came through the church gates which quickly turned to a densely shaded path of yew trees and then as they came to the church door the sun was shining straight onto everyone. Abby and I were moving around a lot to get a good variety of the action so it was a fast and furious time for us changing exposure for pretty much every photo. It was challenging technically but a lovely time to photograph; the excitement in the air was palpable.

Hanslope church has an unusual layout which meant that Thom and Kate got married in the middle of the church with their guests all around them. It felt inclusive and personal; like everyone was getting married together.

The drinks reception was a joy to photograph; everyone was full of smiles and clearly having a great time.

After dinner Thom, Kate and I went back outside to the kitchen garden for a few more photos. Thom decided this was a good time to tell Kate where they were going for their honeymoon! I’m inclined to agree. I think she was happy.

Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

  1. You can’t tell your photographer too much about your plans. The more they know, the better position they’ll be in to pick up on subtle details and moments that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  2. If you have concerns about anything to do with your wedding photographs, let your photographer know. It might be something easily resolved or overcome. Being open helps get good results.
  3. If photographs of your ceremony are important to you, check your Vicar’s house-rules before booking. Some churches are very welcoming of photography; others not so much.
  4. If you want to enjoy your day and not feel like you’ve spent most of it having photos taken, keep your list of group photos and portraits short. Spreading them through the day rather than doing them all in one go can help too. For example, you could get photos with your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen before the ceremony.
  5. If you have a surprise planned, let your photographer know about it so that they can make sure they’re in the right place at the right time and have a good angle to photograph it from.

Are you planning a wedding at Holdenby House?

If that’s a yes, then you might enjoy this page all about my wedding photography at Holdenby House. You’ll find links to some other weddings I’ve shot at Holdenby on that page too :)

COMMENTS

4 Comments

  1. Michelle Shulman on February 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    What wonderful images. Thanks for sharing Sarah. It was a pleasure to play just a small part in the day for this wonderful couple x x

    • Sarah Vivienne on February 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      My pleasure Michelle. I’m glad you like them. It was a lovely wedding to part of. Thanks for your comment x

  2. Angela on February 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Well done Sarah. Such a pretty wedding, with lovely photos capturing the memories of the day, to look back on.

    • Sarah Vivienne on February 22, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you so much for saying! I loved photographing this wedding x

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