Rutland Hall wedding – Ben & Toria

Ben and Toria … one of the sweetest couples a wedding photographer could hope to work with … laid-back, totally in love, completely smitten with each other (enough to run a business together!), full of kindness and always ready to have fun! Their openness and welcoming nature made my job a breeze.

Their wedding was a particularly lovely one for me to shoot because I already knew lots of Toria’s family and other wedding suppliers from photographing her sister Anna’s wedding. It makes things feel much more relaxed right from the start when people already know you and are at ease having you around taking pictures. A recommendation is a great way to choose a wedding photographer that you know will fit in with your family and friends as well as you.

Toria got ready at her Mum’s house and Ben got ready at home. They wanted photos of both of them getting ready so two of us covered the preparations. A two-photographer team is great if you want photos of both of you getting ready and it adds so much more variety for other parts of the day too.

The ceremony took place at St Mary’s church in Woodnewton near Peterborough. It was a lovely nod to family tradition as Toria grew up in the house across the road so the family has a close connection with the church. And then it was off to Rutland Hall on the banks of Rutland Water for the reception. Ben and Toria love the outdoors so it was the perfect choice for them. Even in the pouring rain, it was beautiful and the wet didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. If anything, it lifted them!

Here are some my faves and if you need a bigger dose scroll to the bottom where you’ll find more :)

This is why a list of photos is no help for documentary wedding photography!

Who could predict that Ben and Toria’s house cat, Belle, would escape through a window and have to be rescued by the Best Man?! Not really something you want to happen but I bet this story gets recounted time and time again over the coming years. This is what I love to capture the most at weddings – the unique things that make your day yours.

Bride & Groom's house cat escapes from a window
Best Man climbs onto roof to rescue a cat that's stuck
Best Man rescues the couple's cat that was stuck on the roof
Best Man & Usher on the roof rescuing house cat that had escaped through a window

All was well in the end :)

Cat looking at the camera with Groom's wedding suit in the background

There’s always room for something a bit quirky

Most of my work is simple and classic to let the wedding and people shine. But a good dose of humour can work well too! I often smile wryly when looking through photos of the Groomsmen trying to tie cravats! They’re not the easiest things to get right if you’re not used to them. And I do love it when the guys just have fun with the process rather than sweating it out! I’m usually the least quirky photographer out there but I just can’t resist this one!

Usher trying to put his cravat on

The simplest things can be loaded with meaning

A bridesmaid putting her sister’s earrings in might not seem all that significant on the face of it. But as Anna was helping Toria with her pearls, they were giggling about the time that Anna pierced Toria’s ears when they were teenagers! A very fitting moment to photograph! I love that wedding photos can be a reminder of relationships as well as the wedding itself.

Bridesmaid helping the Bride with her earrings

Church light can be soooo bad!

But, there’s not much (actually, nothing) I can do about it without using flash and being massively distracting, so this is one of those times when you just have to go with what you’ve got. And the moments in front of me more than carried the bad lighting!

Toria and her brother really relished the moment and took their time walking down the aisle. It was adorable to see them keep glancing at each other…

And Anna looked on with just as much pride to see her sister get married…

That moment when the Vicar asks if anyone has any objections. If raised eyebrows could kill…!

Vicar asking if anyone has any objections to the marriage at Woodnewton church near Peterborough

I can’t recall seeing a couple so excited to be pronounced husband and wife! The light makes me wince as a wedding photographer but their energy and emotion totally win me over!

Bride looking excited to be married at Woodnewton church in Peterborough
Bride & groom pumping their fists at Woodnewton church in Peterborough
Bride & groom celebrating at Woodnewton church in Peterborough
Bride smiling at the Groom at Woodnewton church in Peterborough
Bride & groom hugging at Woodnewton church in Peterborough

And Toria’s Mum was so happy for them … awwwww!

Mother of the bride crying during wedding ceremony at Woodnewton church, Peterborough

Very often there’s a strict ‘no photography’ rule for the signing of the register

But the Vicar at St Mary’s church in Woodnewton was very accommodating and allowed me to capture this as it happened for Ben and Toria…

Double hugs for the win!

If you’re game, then I’m right behind you!

The rain had been torrential all day long. But Ben and Toria really wanted their group photos and portraits outside. Luckily, Barnsdale Hall had recently installed a wrought iron gazebo in the gardens overlooking Rutland Water, so we sheltered under that (well, they sheltered … I had a brolly!) during the drinks reception for their family photos and some pictures of the two of them. The Ushers did a grand job of protecting everyone with umbrellas as they walked between the Hall and gardens!

But Ben and Toria were really keen to get some photos by the water. We had a quick chat and decided to wait and see what happened with the weather after dinner. Even if it didn’t stop raining, getting wet later on in the day doesn’t show nearly so much when all of the formalities are out of the way.

It didn’t stop raining but we commandeered a golf buggy and bombed down to the reservoir regardless. When it’s raining heavily I’m completely guided by the Bride and Groom as to what they want to do, where they want to go, umbrellas or no umbrellas … Toria was over that stile before I could even pick my bag up! But not wanting to send them back to the party completely soaked through, I got them into place and then we tossed the umbrellas off to the side, a few quick pictures and we were back over the stile and into the golf buggy! Such great sports. If you want to do it, I’m right there getting wet with you. But if you’d prefer to stay in the dry, then that’s totally fine too :)

I know Ben and Toria had the most amazing day despite the bad weather. They certainly made the best of it.

Are you planning a wedding at Barnsdale Hall?

Or anywhere around Rutland? I’d love to hear from you if you are! You can get in touch here if you’d like to know more.