Orchardleigh, in Frome, Somerset, is perhaps the most spectacular and romantic wedding venue I've had the pleasure of photographing. Set in 550 acres of parkland and lakes, Tammy and Craig clearly thought the same; driving all the way from their home in Buckinghamshire every week to have their bands read.
It was on such a day that we agreed to meet up at a small village just south of the M4, conveniently located for the three of us to reach easily. It was great to meet them and listen to their ideas and tell them more about how I work.
A few days later I got the email I'd hoped, Tammy and Craig would like me as their wedding photographer. Tammy and I were soon exchanging emails and chatting on the phone, swapping ideas and organising the photography for the wedding.
Soon enough the big day was upon us. I left my home in Cheltenham at the crack of dawn. I arrived at the venue two hours early, but wanted plenty of time to explore its extensive grounds, not to mention the beautiful island Church, which I caught just as the sun was coming up behind it.
When I met up with Tammy, she was a bundle of excitement and nervous energy. It didn't take me long to her room, the giggling and laughter gave it away! I spent a lot of time with Tammy and the girls getting ready, capturing all the girly chat, the bubbles and the cuddles. It was a delight.
I caught up with the boys in the billiard room, where I got some great shots. We then moved outside to the porsches, which looked right at home parked outside the front of Orchardleigh House.
I made the short drive down to the island Church ahead of Craig and his best man and ushers in order to get photographs of the cars arriving. Shortly after guests started to arrive by coaches and finally, Tammy. She looked absolutely breathtaking as she glided down the aisle towards her husband to be, Craig.
The ceremony was beautiful and very tender. With no power and only candles for light, the atmosphere in the tiny church was incredible. I made frequent dashes through a secret door at the back, leading me outside, so I could get back to the front entrance and take some photos looking back up the aisle.
After forming a guard of honour, guests made their way back to Orcahrdleigh House, while Tammy, Craig and I spent a little time quietly shooting some intimate photos around the Church and its grounds. A beautiful and idyllic setting.
When we joined bak up with the guests, the party was in full swing. Tammy, Craig and I spent more time walking around the grounds of the estate, making the most of the many picturesque spots that I found earlier in the morning. I also took some time out to photograph the wedding breakfast room, which looked very ornate. The wedding cake, hand made by Tammy, was the centre piece.
As usual, the speeches left me chuckling aloud and as day turned into night, the first dance was soon under way and rounded off the magical day just perfectly.
"Thank you for sending the photographs, there really are some very nice shots in there. Thank you again for all your hard work on the day."
For the full story, click on 'Cattle on the Common' wedding under Wedding Stories.