I've mentioned many times before that I don't usually get to meet my couples before a wedding, and quite often that's the same with venues (although I'm slowly making my way through as many as possible!). So my preparation usually involves venue websites and Google Earth. What made me incredibly excited about working at Elmore Court in Glouestershire, was the fact that Lizzie & David's would be only the second wedding to take place there. An old, family home (still lived in by the new generation of owners), with an purpose built, completely modern and unique eco room out the back (complete with a Funktion One sound system - if you're an audio geek like me, this is heaven).
I've also mentioned (many times) how much I LOVE winter weddings, and with this one being so close to Christmas in such a great location, I knew it was going to be a memorable day. I'd had some phone calls and lots of emails with Lizzie & David, so I also had a sense how much fun and how much personality their wedding would have.
The day didn't start too well due to the weather I drove through to get there: torrential rain and the worst driving conditions I've ever known. But after that the weather changed immeasurably for the better. Just perfect for that time of year: sunny, a bit of warmth, some clouds for character, and gorgeous golden light.
I met first with David who showed me around Elmore Court. I was instantly blown away. This is easily one of my favourite venues; so much character, and all of the staff and management have a brilliant approach to what they are doing with weddings (they have a background in organising music festivals, and that vibe is apparent). After seeing the venue, I then spent some time with Lizzie and her bridesmaids who were getting ready upstairs. We had such a laugh from the minute I met them all, feeling very welcome. They're all bonkers though (I think some champagne may have been consumed).
After the ceremony, we made the most of the available light and good weather for a few shots outside, before heading back into the main hall where drinks and the amazing canapé selection were being served. Elmore does food very well. Next on to speeches in a tightly packe lounge room. The light here was almost non-existent (as was the space for me to move around in!) but it was a great atmosphere for all the speeches, including Best Man Mike's epic turn.
The Gillyflower is Elmore Court's showpiece: the venue created at the rear of the property for the sole purpose of staging events. With eco-friendly construction (the walls are compacted earth) and modern design, it manages to compliment the old style of the main house as the perfect setting for dinner and partying. And what a party. With great music in a space designed exactly for that, you have the setting for a brilliant end to a wedding party. I loved every minute, but knew it was time to go when the jaeger-bombs started flowing.
A brilliant day and my huge congratulations to Lizzie & David.
NOTE: click the full screen icon above the right-corner of the gallery, and use your cursor keys or touchscreen to navigate the gallery.
Anyone that follows my twitter may have read that I have been using the Olympus E-M1 for a few months now alongside my usual Canon 5D Mk3s. I will be writing more about it specifically, but safe to say I'm extremely pleased by what that little camera is capable of. It is a much more subtle, quiet and unobtrusive device to use, whilst still producing fantastic quality images. Almost half of this selection is from the Olympus and it's handling on the day was superb given the tricky light conditions. I'm looking forward to having a lighter camera bag this year!