Alana & Paul’s Christmas Wedding | Ringwood Hall | December 2009
I’m really excited to be posting the full story in pictures of Alana and Paul’s white winter wedding. Alana and Paul had an intimate ceremony and reception a week before Christmas at Ringwood Hall in Chesterfield, with close family and friends travelling from far and wide to help them celebrate their special day. As you will see there was a smattering of snow on the ground, which only added to the beauty of it all.
Alana and her bridesmaid Sara got ready in the gorgeous Renishaw Room, which made a lovely backdrop for some of my favourite every bridal preparation shots. If you are getting married at a hotel and can afford to splash out on a room to stay in the night before and get ready in on the morning, I’d really recommend it. There’s something calming about being away from your usual environment and you’ll feel pampered while you get ready. It was lovely to see the enduring friendship between Alana and Sara, which they’ve maintained even though Alana now lives in Holland.
There was no shortage of pretty places to take photos of the all important details. Alana chose some fabulous sparkly jewellery and the flowers were absolutely perfect. Not to mention the simply gorgeous dress and shoes. There was some lovely light too…
Every wedding photographer hopes to find a beautiful window like this to take some gorgeous natural light portraits…and while I was taking these, Chris was downstairs capturing the groom’s preparations and the guests arriving…
Paul and best man Mike were real pros when it came to braving the cold for a few informal portraits. I absolutely love the winter colours in these shots of Chris’s – just gorgeous…
The ceremony was really lovely, with a reading from Paul’s sister to set proceedings off…Chris’s shots are the ones from behind (he was at the back of the room during the ceremony) and mine are the ones from the front. I think I have to admit my two favourites are probably the last two black and white ones, which are Chris’s! But they’re all lovely and we hope capture the emotion of these special moments for Alana and Paul.
Alana and Paul got married in the mid-afternoon. It was nearly quarter to four by the time the ceremony finished so on a December day that meant there was hardly any light left. So we all rushed out for confetti and the big group shot of everyone, before heading back indoors – to get warm and take the rest of their lovely informal group shots. Now I’ve mentioned before how much I love Chris’s confetti shots…but these ones I just love SO much – I feel happy every time I see them! I think it’s the combination of the happy expressions, the gorgeous winter colours that everyone’s wearing and the beautiful last light of the day peeping over the silhouettes of the trees – oh and the snow of course! And how cute does everyone look on the big group shot?!
We took nearly all of Alana and Paul’s couple shots indoors, due to the lack of outdoor light and the freezing temperatures. It was a chance for us to get creative with our off-camera lighting to capture these dramatic shots. Alana and Paul were great to work with – they’re real naturals and of course that comes from the fact that they’re relaxed and happy in each other’s company.
These shots are also all good examples of what can be done with quite a small, dark indoor space with the right equipment and technique. Most of these shots were taken in quite a narrow bit of corridor but it really lent itself to the relaxed intimate atmosphere we try to create with our couple shots.
Ah, these are two of my absolute favourites…like I said, these two are absolute naturals!!
Whilst we do like to have a few minutes of dedicated time to get some relaxed portraits of the bride and groom if the couple want them, it’s also our job to photograph the important moments of the day as they arise. I thought I’d share plenty of these great speeches shots of Chris’s with you because I think they really capture the relaxed, happy feeling of Alana and Paul’s day. They were kind enough to invite us to share their delicious meal with them, so we were right there on hand to get to work again when the speeches begun. Best man Mike gets special mention here for attempting his speech in English (he’s Dutch) and he did a great job! You’ve got to love a bride who gives a speech too, as Alana did.
My favourite photo in this selection is the lovely shot of Paul’s wonderful mum Pauline – she was just so welcoming to us both.
And here I love the sequence of Alana’s reactions…
The photos of the day wouldn’t be complete without a few Christmas details! One of the many lovely features of Ringwood Hall
at Christmas is the talented choir, who really helped to create a wonderful holiday atmosphere.
Since we had our off-camera lighting with us we asked Alana and Paul if they’d like to brave the cold after dinner to make the most of the gorgeous clear night and grab a few more couple shots. We were so pleased that they wanted to!
Thank you Alana and Paul for being such wonderful clients and for allowing us to be part of your special day. It was a true pleasure to spend time with you and your family and friends and we wish you every happiness for the future.
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