So for my second wedding of the bank holiday, I drove over to Portishead to Sarah’s parents’ house in the morning to spend some time with the girls getting ready. It is the most beautiful drive there from where I live across the valley and up through Leigh Woods and down towards the sea. It was a fabulous blue sky day and everything looked really colourful and springlike. Sarah’s parents live in an amazing spot right above the water and you can sea boats passing from their conservatory – an amazingly relaxing view. When I got there the girls were pretty much ready and were actually having tea, croissants and chocolate biscuits in the conservatory. I said I thought it was good going (and pretty unusual!) to be ready early and chilled out enough to have a nice sit down together before the day got going.
Their local church, St Peters, is only up the road so I headed off to see Ryan and the boys greeting guests in the churchyard. The path up to the church is lined with lovely old trees which made a really nice approach as you walked up from the gate and also provided some welcome shade. Ryan and his best men were greeting guests and chatting so I wandered around in the churchyard and inside capturing some of the build up and also found my way up to a little gallery above the back of the church – a great vantage spot for a few pictures during the service. The rules on photography were pretty strict so I had to stay at the back but managed to get some lovely shots including some up on the gallery and then as the bells were ringing we all went outside and I did some lovely family pictures in the church garden before we left for Coombe Lodge.
Coombe Lodge is one of the closest wedding venues to me as it is only about 2 villages away from me in Blagdon. The house’s setting above Blagdon Lake is really beautiful and especially on a warm sunny day when the lake looks really blue and you can enjoy the view from the gardens. I have photographed weddings there for years but it has recently been completely redone by the new owners (who also own Priston Mill near Bath) and now has a gorgeous suite of bedrooms upstairs as well as a much larger and brighter room downstairs for the wedding breakfast. Sarah’s friend and former Royal Florist, Sarah Tynan, had decorated the house ( as well as having done all the flowers for the church) and it looked amazing.
Sarah and Ryan had organised a very cool looking Champagne table for drinks in the garden and also a brilliant duo of pianist and saxophonist to play during the drinks reception. I always think music really makes a good atmosphere while guests are having drinks as it makes the reception feel like a garden party and everyone certainly seemed to be having a great time enjoying listening to them with their drinks and canapés in the sunshine.
Later on Sarah and Ryan had a wander by themselves for their couple shots and I took them up into the bluebell meadow behind the house – a gorgeous and very natural background for photographs, which is my favourite kind of look, before it was time to sit down for dinner. Afterwards, the evening was still warm as dusk fell and I saw some lovely light just by the gate into the field so asked Sarah and Ryan if we could quickly nip over for a couple of shots as the sun went down. Meanwhile the rest of the band had arrived and were warming up for the first dance and Sarah and Ryan cut the cake before everyone hit the floor for a good old boogie. Here are some of my favourite images: