Hampton Manor is a lovely venue, just on the outskirts of Birmingham, and I have always enjoyed photographing weddings there. Chrissie and Guy had decided to get married in Hampton Church, which is a five minute stroll from Hampton Manor itself, and makes it such an enjoyable place for the couple and the guests to celebrate the wedding. I had arrived, as I normally do, for the bridal preparations. Chrissie and her bridesmaids were in the lodge area – a self contained suite which is perfect for a bride and her entourage to get ready.
As a venue, Hampton Manor is a joy to photograph at – it has interesting and quirky features all over, and has a really nice feel to it. The staff always look after everything perfectly – everything is just as it should be, but they make sure it is all really relaxed, and it all goes to create a lovely atmosphere.
Chrissie and Guy’s wedding was one of secrets for me. In the run up to any wedding I spend time getting to know the set up of the day, the timings, what is important to the couple etc, and I am often let in on any particular surprises, so that I am in the right place to capture them. At this wedding both Chrissie and Guy had mentioned particular things that were important, and Guy had really put a lot of thought and effort into some gifts for Chrissie, including a photograph of their dogs and a few other gifts in the morning, but also in the evening had surprised her with something she had always wanted – an old Land Rover, which he had restored and hidden for her until the wedding. It took her about ten minutes of asking ‘is it for me? is it mine??’ before it really sunk in. It is these moments that make weddings really special for me – the times when the bride, the groom, or sometimes both of them together, are given a gift, or someone says something special, that has really really been thought about; these are the most personal and treasured moments, and these are the ones that I love to photograph.
Here are some wedding photographs from Chrissie and Guy’s lovely wedding.