I met Kelsey and Joel at Ettington Park Hotel, near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, towards the end of last year to discuss their wedding photography. Right from the start they knew they didn’t want your standard traditional wedding photography where they would have to stand around posing for photos all day. They wanted their day covered naturally as it happened. So my documentary wedding photography approach suited them perfectly.
As a Midlands wedding photographer, I have the privilege of stunning venues like Ettington Park Hotel pretty much on my doorstep. As well as being local, Kelsey and Joel’s whole wedding day was held there. I always enjoy a wedding day all in one place as there’s no lost travel time and more time for photos! It was also very handy for Kelsey and Joel’s families as there were a lot of guests who had flown over from Canada and they could all stay together at the hotel and enjoy a relaxing few days.
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
On the morning of the wedding, I arrived to beautiful sunshine! It lasted for a few hours before the clouds came over but remained warm and dry throughout the day – which is handy as Kelsey and Joel’s wedding ceremony was being held outdoors within the ruins of The Bell Tower. An absolutely stunning setting for a ceremony!
The drinks reception was in the gardens around The Orangery and along the hotel terrace, with two of Joel’s musician friends playing music on the double bass and piano throughout. One of the great things about Ettington Park Hotel is the range of different locations available for each part of the day. Their wedding breakfast was upstairs in The Long Gallery, an incredible room with both sides lined with beautiful wood panelling and bookcases.
After the wedding breakfast, Joel did a speech before everyone headed back downstairs for coffee and truffles in The Library before being the doors were opened to The Great Drawing Room for the cutting of the cake. It was almost time for the evening celebrations to start but first family and friends headed outside onto the terrace for a Jewish blessing. This ended with the tradition of the groom stamping on a glass which signalled the start of the party.
Wedding guests began to circle dance and sing before lifting Kelsey and Joel up in the air on chairs! The dancing then continued inside before it was time for the bride and groom to have their first dance. Then their band, The Right Track, started to keep the dance floor busy.
It was one of those wedding where so much was going on that you don’t realise how late it has got. We still made time for a couple of evening photos with Kelsey and Joel before leaving them to continue the party.