Come join me at the wedding of my amazing couple Ingrid and Ian, two of the loveliest people in the whole wide world. It was an absolute honour to photograph their incredible Hampton Court House wedding.
Sunshine, fun, love and laughter filled the day. Giggles in the morning with Ingrid and her ‘Team Bride’ entourage at her parent’s house with a guest appearance from their bow-tie-wearing kitty, Todd. The ceremony, reception and evening celebrations were all held at the super-stunning Hampton Court House in Surrey.
I truly love being a wedding photographer at this fabulous gem of a secluded venue! Its grand entrance, ornately decorated rooms and perfectly manicured grounds complete with palm trees give a fantastic, tropical feel. Inside and out, there are so many superb spots and backdrops for photo-taking that one is really spoilt for choice!
Highlights for me from their day are the fun girlie-time in the morning where it was a dream to photograph in Ingrid’s parents’ retro interior design home; seeing Ian filled with nervous excitement as he waited for his beautiful bride to join him; when Nan Doreen couldn’t contain her delight and she jumped out to hug the bride during her mid-aisle walk; great chat and giggles with the guests; the hilarious speech in the grand hall; amazing dance-floor tunes (some real old-school classics were played) and lots of crazy dance moves from the guests!
WOWIE! It was such a wonderful wedding! Don’t just take my word for it, let me hand you over to the gorgeous newlyweds who sent this over whilst on their honeymoon…
“Ian and I met at work in 2011 – however it was a bit of an awkward encounter and we didn’t start talking properly until 2013. One day in January 2013 I spotted him across the car park and thought he was rather dishy! It was after a friend’s leaving drinks that we had a laugh which really kicked it all off!”
“The proposal was incredible – Ian had been working away in Delft and was supposed to come home at the end of July. The whole day was a surprise… He had booked a hotel in Richmond and kept telling me “It was a celebration for his original return”. He started off with hiring a boat down the Thames from Kingston to Hampton Court with a picnic and a couple of bottles of champers in tow. After we returned from the boat trip we stumbled through Richmond Park, witnessing the deers. Ian had organised a massage for me at the Richmond Hill Hotel. Unaware, whilst having a snooze on the massage table, Ian was beavering away to get luggage to the hotel for an overnight stay. After being in the room for around half an hour we were enjoying more champagne on the balcony when he got down on one knee to the sound of the Maccabees ‘Something like happiness’ which would later be our first dance song at the wedding. Drunk and emotional we went for a cracking dinner at Gaucho. We woke the next day to glorious sunshine and walked back through Ham to our lovely little house in Kingston – it was one of our many highs over the last six years as a couple.”
“Having thought I’d found my dream dress from a photo, my first experience of trying dresses on was at David’s Bridal in Westfield – it was a fun day out with my two best friends and my Mum but wasn’t the calmest of bridal shops. I quickly realised what I had envisaged wearing didn’t particularly suit me but was happy to try anything. As the planning ensued I visited a number of shops around South London and finally saw “The Dress” on Pinterest. Luckily it was being previewed in a Kingston wedding shop! The first time I tried it on my Auntie Ber was over from Ireland and we went along with one of my closest friends Louise (who would later do a reading at the wedding) and my Mum and there were tears! It wasn’t all plain sailing as the shop closed down after I’d placed my order but huge credit to Brides Visited of Ashtead who managed to get hold of the supplier and save the day! Every time I tried it on before the big day I was surprised at just how amazing I felt, and that was replicated on the day itself, the unusual lace and the fit of the dress made me feel incredible – just how a bride should feel!”
“Ian had two jobs for the wedding – sorting the suits and music. Music being his passion was sorted 18 months in advance, however getting his lovely but fairly chilled groomsmen to commit to a day to go shopping didn’t prove easy! It was in February after a little nagging that they arranged to go to Guildford to try suits on and what a success! They turned it into a little mini stag do with a pub crawl for the dads which ended up with Ian and his mates carrying my Dad, Carl, through the streets of Guildford when he wanted to go home! When I saw the suits Ian had chosen I was blown away with how dapper he looked, and even more so on the day with all the finishing touches – perfectly pressed pocket squares (thanks Mum!), ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, and the lovely buttonholes which our florist had tied into all the decorations.”
“A lot of effort went into the final touches – luckily the venue was so beautiful it didn’t need much decoration, but our collection of corks over the last four years made for some very good little details. Whilst counting up the bottles of champagne (over 200!). And there was a mad rush from the groomsmen to get the table-plan displays together on the morning of the wedding, but the floppy cards sticking out of the bottles only added to the humour and overall charm of the best day of our lives.”
“The dream was exactly what we ended up with! I’m writing this whilst on cloud nine from our honeymoon in Italy and can’t have imagined the day being any more perfect!
The whole day was full of amazing moments and a lovely high for me had to be greeting everyone coming out of the ceremony. I didn’t mind that it was holding everyone up, I knew I wanted to thank every one of our 129 day guests personally for being there and sharing it with us. It was also so nice to be told by numerous guests that I was the happiest bride they had ever seen – I’m glad it showed because I felt on top of the world! Having some time with Ian in the afternoon to walk around the grounds before dinner was a high, allowing us to take in the day. I also do not think the atmosphere of the main room when we were announced in can ever be replicated – who knew our friends and family were so rowdy!”
“We had a number of options for venues to visit in the local area but as soon as we walked into HCH we knew it was the one. We went for a walk-around on a Saturday but they told us they would be in touch with the price. The next day as we were painting our kitchen they emailed confirming it was within budget. We danced around our whole house ecstatic that our special day could be in such a stunning venue! We went to a few open days in the build- up and every time we were totally won over by its charm.”
“A huge part of our day was the food choices – Celia from ‘Delightful Dining’ was amazing from start to finish, building our menu just from conversations around our favourite foods and our vision of the day. I am so glad she suggested more canapés instead of formal starters as it allowed our most loved to relax and mingle to take it the amazing surroundings.”
“Ian did an incredible job with the music – it took him a long time to find a DJ who was right for our vibe (and who would agree not to play any ABBA or Bee Gees!) and he got it so right. I must thank MY HUSBAND for all his hard work in putting so much effort into building the playlist for the rest of the day. A big thank you to the groomsmen for all their help with the music technicalities and of course for finishing off the evening by DJ-ing for the last hour – the music was absolutely pumping and the dance floor packed all night!”
“Plan it up until one month before – then after that relax and enjoy the build-up! Don’t overthink anything and keep in your mind why you chose your venue. A little note to the brides – don’t take photos in your dress before the big day – you want to forget how amazing you feel in it and only be reminded on your big day! Take time out together on the day just to take it all in, and have confidence in your suppliers – whatever hiccups they may have WILL be overcome without you even noticing!
Juliet has been amazing from the very beginning – she was the first supplier we selected after getting engaged and after witnessing her amazing work at a friend’s wedding. She kept in contact during the run-up, answered any questions promptly and also tailored the service to what worked for us. On the day she was amazing, made us both feel very relaxed and truly captured the vibe of the best day of our lives. Many of our friends and family commented on how present she was in taking photos yet also being able to capture moments without people being aware – we have already recommended her to a number of people and cannot wait to see all the final shots!”
A BIG shout out to all the fantastic wedding suppliers that worked so hard to make Ingrid and Ian’s wedding day absolutely perfect!
Make Up: @rachelwmua
Hair: Laura Quinsey
Wedding Dress Shop: Brides Visited
Flowers: Phyllis Rooney
Wedding Cake: Sweet Passion Cakes
DJ: Polar Bears Can Dance
Wedding Venue: Hampton Court House
Caterers: Delightful Dining
And finally, their Hampton Court House Wedding Photographer: Me, Juliet Lemon!