Lisa + Will | Down Hall Wedding
Lisa and Will’s wedding at Down Hall country house was slap bang in the middle of crazy wedding season, where it was the first half of a double-header of summer weddings. I’ve been to Down Hall several times now, and it’s fast becoming one of my favourite wedding venues in Essex. It’s a lovely country house that affords couples a real sense of grandeur on their special day.
I’d photographed these guys for their engagement shoot several weeks earlier, in the blistering heat and eye-watering sunshine, and although the day started off in much the same way, the weather was actually perfect for photographs as the day went on. I was really pleased when Lisa and Will humoured me with a few more photographs before the sun went down, as that is definitely *the* best time for photos during summer!
Both Lisa and Will got ready at the venue, so I spent the morning with Lisa whilst she had her hair and make up done, whilst Will and some of his family were in a room elsewhere, where they were not likely to bump into the bride! Photographing this pair for their pre-wedding shoot was really fun and they made my job really easy, so I’d been looking forward to their big day for a while.
Once Lisa had navigated her way down the big staircase at Down Hall, the ceremony commenced when she headed up to the top of the aisle to meet Will, who it’s fair to say, was feeling rather emotional. I do love a groom who struggles to contain their emotions – it makes for great photos!! Both he and Lisa had welled up at the top of the aisle and I have a sneaky suspicion Lisa’s dad had too.
Once the serious bit was out of the way, the new Mr & Mrs and their guests had drinks outside in the grounds, before the group shots got underway. There was plenty of things to keep everyone amused, including the famous giant chessboard in the grounds, and some of the younger guest gave us their best poses as they were no doubt mulling over Knight to e5 or a similar move. As we geared up for the final group shot of everyone, we experienced a slight delay as the bride’s brother, who was best man, appeared to have done a bunk and everyone patiently waited until he returned – then gave him some grief.
Once inside, Mark the toastmaster had whipped the guests up into a proper frenzy to welcome the newly-married couple in for their wedding breakfast, and once that had been enjoyed, the speeches got underway, which ranged from touching memories of family members to Will being described as fiercely competitive. And seeing how emotional everyone had been at the ceremony, I wasn’t surprised when the tears began to flow during the speeches too.
Down Hall regulars Lovelight Entertainment provided a spectacular backdrop for the cake cutting and first dance as usual, and the dancefloor soon jammed with those eager to cut some shapes, when they weren’t rifling through the dressing-up box for photobooth props – although they had to beat me to them first!
I was so chuffed Lisa and Will snuck back out with us to get some twilight shots before the sun went down, so we could capture some seriously beautiful pictures in front of the house in all its pomp. Scroll below and enjoy!