The weather has started to turn, it’s colder, its darker in the mornings and the evenings, so I thought I’d share a gorgeous summer wedding at Helmingham Hall Gardens this week. It was at the start of the hot weather – when the grass was still green and lush and the flowers were looking incredibly pretty!
Laura and Steve wanted a wedding that was relaxed, carefree and amongst the gardens of Helmingham Hall. Having worked here before, I knew that it was going to be really beautiful – especially when Laura said that photography was especially important to them and they wanted to use as much of the grounds as possible for portraits!
I started at the brides house, where all the carefully planned details were laid out ready for me – including this incredible perfume bottle. How pretty!?!? I’ve never seen this and Laura told me that it’s not available in the UK, so naturally I wanted to smell the scent – which is as pretty as the bottle.
Laura’s Mum helped her into her dress which which a beautiful strapless gown accentuated with beading and a hint of sparkle to shine in the summer sun.
Laura’s hair is completely straight – so naturally she wanted a curl for her day (as a curly girl I wish for straight hair!) Her style was a loose curl that gave movement and bounce and reflected the carefree vibe of the day.
Her Dad who had been a little poorly beforehand, was absolutely thrilled to see her looking so happy and radiant.
The sun had really started to come out for the day which made the bridesmaids dresses and bouquets from Kaye Souter flowers look really vibrant. The flowers were handtied bouquets with lots of texture and a colour scheme of red, white and blue.
Laura’s Nan was unable to make the wedding due to illness, and when I first met Laura, one of her requests was that we stopped by her Nan’s house on the way to Helmingham Hall Gardens for a few moments. Her Nan was absolutely delighted and I thought it was such a kind thing for Laura to do – even on her special day, she was thinking about her loved ones and getting them involved in the day.
While I was capturing Laura and her girls getting ready, Steve the groom and his groomsmen were also preparing several miles away. As I’ve already mentioned, photography is so important to this couple and they wanted their whole story told, so I brought in the skills of Donna Reid to be my second shooter for the day. She’s based in Ipswich, so also knows the venue and is great fun to be with.
She captured the men having fun, practising ties and how to place buttonholes correctly.
Helmingham Hall Gardens is absolutely stunning, and on this warm day it looked glorious with the moat around the house really still and peaceful. Laura and Steve’s ceremony was to be in the coach house and they’d spent ages entwining ivy trails up the trellis inside to bring the whimsical garden inside too. Along with the colourful red chair sashes and lots of natural flower arrangements, this made the room look like an extension of the gardens.
Their ceremony was short and sweet and both looked relaxed as soon as they saw each other.
The ceremony room also becomes the reception area, so while the staff were transforming the room, all the guests went to enjoy the formal gardens where the guest could enjoy drinks, and the group portraits would take place.
Laura and Steve took this opportunity to have a little time on their own and enjoy a quick spin in the vintage Siddeley car that had taken Laura to the venue. I was on hand to capture their arrival down the great drive as Donna mingled with the guests and captured them having a great time.
With all the groups and guests photographed, it was time for us to take Laura and Steve away from it again and go for a nice quiet walk around the grounds stopping at their favourite spots along the way. As the grounds are so large we didn’t make it into all the areas in this session, but that meant we could make the most of a different area later in the day.
We left the formal walled gardens and headed to the natural wildflower meadows which I think were my favourite spot of the day – I love the whimsical and slightly wild feel!
The gardens also have the most ornate tennis court enclosure too, so of course we went in there too!
Soon time was running out and we headed back to the celebrations that were waiting to happen.
The room was now set up with the red, white and dash of blue ready for us all. With minimal and rustic flower arrangements, it looked like people had picked the flowers straight from the garden and placed them inside – it was exactly how Laura and Steve had planned.
Their cake – and cake stand – was made by a family member and look great. It was a labour of love and took centre position in the room that was to become the evening party space. Between the speeches and start of the evening, was a great opportunity for Donna and I to head outside again with the bridal party to get some more evening portraits. By now all the nerves from the ceremony and speeches were out of the way and everyone was a lot more relaxed.
It was lovely to see this couple both so content.
So, you may be thinking after such a pretty and whimsical wedding feel, they would’ve gone for a ‘safe’ choice of song for their first dance. However I know that they love punk and ska music and had said that they would be dancing to a punk first dance. I wasn’t really sure what to expect – whether they would be jumping up and down to a loud beat. But i was surprised – they selected a punk love song – who knew?!?! It was an individual choice and one that I don’t think I’ll ever hear again at a wedding – but it suited them and their personalities so well, I can’t imagine them having anything else!
As the party get started and the evening skies took over, I couldn’t resist taking one more image of the hall with the late sunset behind it. The clouds were starting to form, but it was still so still and peaceful. It made the perfect ending to a perfect day!