March 4th saw the Shanghai-born but now London based pianist Ji Liu play at High Rocks. An impressive solo performance, we were treated to Chopin, Liszt, Bach-Siloti, Ravel, Saint-Saens and Rachmaninoff.
I’ve driven past this church many times on my way through Wisborough Green. It is a classic country church on a hill. A couple of weeks ago I was once again driving past but found myself with enough time to drop by and grap a couple of shots. And, when I’d finished knocking those back, I left the pub and went and took some photographs of the church. 😉
Every wedding I shoot is special in its own unique way, and October 2016 saw me thrilled to attend a heart-warming ceremony and celebration at stunning The Barn at Roundhurst. Considering it was October 15th the weather was wonderful, perfect for showing off the bride’s gorgeous dress and the groom’s stylish outfit without the need for bulky waterproofs and coats!
Mellow fruitfulness on a beautiful autumn day
The happy couple were Hannah and John, and their wedding and reception were both held at one of the venue’s lovely converted barns. Roundhurst is also a working farm, which adds extra charm to an already wonderful place. The barn complex dates back to the 1600s, and it’s set like a mellow old jewel within 250 acres of green, rolling Sussex countryside, a stone’s throw from the pretty, bustling towns of Haslemere and Midhurst.
Featuring six stylish bedrooms, each one different and each packed with personality and character, the barn complex is one of the loveliest venues I’ve shot, a classic Sussex countryside scene clustered around a sheltered courtyard.
A wonderfully quirky Yorkshire theme
The couple are from Yorkshire and there was a quirky Yorkshire theme to the wedding, complete with a sophisticated version of the traditional flat checked and tweed caps for the groom and his ushers, teamed with vivid silky orange bow ties, game bird feather buttonholes, smart collared tweed waistcoats and trousers. And Yorkshire pudding, done to absolute perfection, played a starring role on the wedding menu. And, not to be missed is Roundhurt’s own label wine delightfully named in keeping with the beautiful rural location and the working farm, the Moolot and the Sauvignoink Blanc!
Hannah looked like a dream come true in the most marvellous sleeveless v-neck frock, closely fitted in the bodice and smothered with luscious embroidery. The back of the dress was made from see-through embroidered lace studded with tiny buttons, from where the skirt of the dress flared out into an elegant fishtail complete with yet more embroidery, all in pearly cream. Lovely.
A real working farm adds charm and character
I’m particularly pleased with the images I shot at the working farm part of the venue, which provided the perfect backdrop for the groom’s gentleman farmer-inspired clothing, complete with open sided barns full of fragrant hay, great big machines, hoppers and wooden slatted sheds. Set against the strong, bright autumn sunshine, with friendly cows moseying around in the distance, it was a marvellous setting, a real bucolic haven.
Add the venue’s splendid formal lawned gardens, pretty red brick archways and colourful flowerbeds and it’s easy to see why this is such a popular place to tie the knot. It encloses you with warmth and pleasure, gives you a big hug and sends you away with a big smile on your face – a proper getaway and a genuine feel-good venue if there ever was one.
Sheer luxury in a fabulous bucolic setting
The excellence can be seen in the detail at Roundhurst. They provide a great selection of DVDs to enjoy, the beds in the rooms come with the ultimate in luxurious feather mattress toppers, there’s original artwork everywhere and everything is carefully designed to pamper guests to perfection. Supremely comfortable settees, roaring real fires through the winter, and exceptional catering complete the picture thanks to carefully chosen local produce direct from the farm.
The surrounding countrywide is equally lovely, beyond the venue itself, offering scenic countryside walks, quaint villages and countless historic properties, eye candy at its best. What a place, and what a wedding. As usual I left at the end of a hard but very satisfying day’s work capturing the couple’s celebrations for posterity, feeling uplifted and joyful. That’s why I love much job so much!
If you’d like to find out more about The Barn at Roundhurst, here’s a link to their website.
Wedding photography at Hever Castle – A magical wedding venue
As a Wedding Industry Awards Regional Finalist for 2016, I’ve spent time photographing happy couples at a variety of remarkable wedding venues in Kent, Sussex and Surrey. They’re all special, and Hever Castle is no exception: a stunning historic wedding venue with a fascinating history.
The moated castle is in the quaint village of Hever, near Edenbridge in Kent. Built as a smart country house way back in the 1200s, it was the family seat of the Boleyns between 1462 and 1539 as well as home to Anne of Cleves. King Henry the Eighth stayed at nearby Bolebroke Castle when courting Anne, who was extremely lucky to outlive his five other ill-fated wives.
In 1903 the infamously wealthy and influential William Waldorf Astor decided to restore the castle to its former glory. Part of his master plan involved adding a new wing, the Astor Wing, to accommodate family and guests in great comfort and style. He also created the beautiful lake, and the gorgeous classical Italian-style Garden full of genuine ancient Greek and Roman statuary.
These days Hever castle is owned by Geoffrey Boleyn, transformed into one of the most beautiful Kent wedding venues I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
An incredibly romantic setting for a couple very much in love
Hever Castle has always hosted important events and celebrations. Today there’s a choice of venues within the castle, something to suit every taste. The Astor Wing, the Guthrie Pavilion in the Italian Garden itself, and the other areas of the castle available for events all have their own unique character, look and feel. But each one is equally peaceful, private, secluded and outstandingly beautiful. All of which proved auspicious on the 2nd October, when I arrived at the venue in glorious, crisp, sunny autumn weather to shoot a very special wedding indeed, that of a delightful Chinese couple, Chengyang and Yang.
The ultimate in romance, a pure white horse and carriage conveyed the bride Chenyang to the ceremony, held in the lovely Italian Loggia, and afterwards carried the bride and groom back to the castle itself for a sumptuous candlelit reception.
Serenades bring tears to everyone’s eyes
Every wedding has its stand-out moment, and in this case it was all thanks to the groom Yang, who sang the beautiful Ed Sheeran song “Thinking Out Loud” to his own accompaniment on the guitar. Earlier, at the reception, he had serenaded Chengyang on the piano in the music room, a talented man whose passion for his delightful bride shone through the entire event.
Working with a top team of wedding experts
It was a pleasure to again be working alongside my good friends Carol and Brandon from Cut Above Productions, the videographers for the couple’s big day. And Hever staff members Nicola and Paul were also a great pleasure to work with as they pulled out all the stops behind the scenes to make sure everything ran like clockwork.
A truly unforgettable day
It’s a day I won’t forget in a hurry: the uniquely lovely setting, the love of the happy couple so obviously felt for one another, the vivid blue autumn skies, the warm sunshine, the glorious gardens… if you’re searching for a very special Kent wedding venue, Hever fits the bill perfectly. I’m very much looking forward to shooting at the venue again.