It’s already been a year! On the first anniversary of Francesca & Charlies beautiful wedding (both weddings, in fact…) it seems the perfect time to put together the blog I never quite got round to writing this time last year with some of the many many images to come out of these two days. I met up with them in London a couple of days prior to the main event, when they first made it all legal with an intimate and charming marriage ceremony at Wandsworth Town Hall, before joining them at a beautiful private hire house called The Copse just outside Reading, on an unbelievably hot and sunny Summers Day. It was there that they made their vows in front of family and friends in a gorgeous celebrant-led ceremony, with a backdrop of those fabulous gardens and a frankly incredible floral arch. So much to show you, so let’s crack on…
Wandsworth Town Hall has got some great spots tucked away for wedding photography, especially in and around the internal courtyard and – inside – on the most magnificently ornate staircase I’ve seen in a long time. I must admit I was not expecting that as a location when I first arrived. You’ll notice a few masks in some of the photos across the two days. This was back when we were emerging from one of last years’ lockdowns (I forget which, the second I think?) when the guidance had eased up considerably but understandably still caution in the air.
A short and sweet ceremony, where Charlie was joined remotely by his overseas brother on Zoom (keep an eye out for him in the following photos where he upped his being-present game by appearing in the background as a life-size cardboard cut-out. Think of it as a sort of wedding-y Where’s Wally?) and a few group and couple photos around the Town Hall before the newly married couple headed off to mark the occasion with a small lunch, before the big one two days later.
The Copse, tucked away in the gently rolling Chilterns somewhere between Reading and Henley, is an absolutely gorgeous spot. Sadly at the time of writing it looks like it’s no longer available for hire as a wedding venue, but if you fancy a nine-bedroom house with acres of stunning gardens and party written all over it then this is the place. It certainly ticked all the boxes as far as I could see for this particular occasion. Obviously a huge amount of work went into the planning and delivery (see below for a full suppliers list, every single one of which I would recommend without question) and the whole day had Francesca and Charlie’s stamp all over it. That’s one of the nicest things to see whenever I get to cover a really DIY wedding; it reflects everything about the couple which matters most to them and every little detail is there for a reason.
Apparently food and cocktails are particularly important to these guys. Bravo.
Check out that table set-up, under the canopy in the courtyard. It’s all just perfect. They really couldn’t have asked for any more, but obviously mother nature felt that they deserved it because she threw the most heavenly golden hour our way just as we started the couple photos. Formal (but ‘casually’ formal’ if you know what I mean) gardens on one side, and wild flower meadows to the other – I could have happily strung this part of the day out for another hour if I could but hey, there was a party to get back to. And when we’ve all gone eighteen months without seeing each other or having any fun with our friends there are more important things to do than stand in a field. Spark up that firepit and let’s get the evening celebrations rolling…
I’ll look back very fondly on Francesca & Charlie’s wedding for a long long time. In fact I reckon it’s one which is always going to come back to me in a flash; after a veeeerrrryyyyy long eighteen months, with this stunner of a wedding it really began to feel like we were turning a corner again. After having to postpone before I really hope that they felt that they got the wedding their love deserved. It definitely looked like they did from where I was standing. 🙂
I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do with my blogging. Last year really was so crazy that I just didn’t get the chance all the way through the main season but I really intend to make up for that so I’m going to do my best to slip a few from 2021 in amongst all of this year’s weddings too. I’ve always loved photographing weddings – let’s face it, you couldn’t do this job if you didn’t – but the whole Covid experience has been such a sharp reminder of just how much these huge moments in our lives matter. Not just to the couple, but to everyone around them as well. It’s good to be back.
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Making it happen…
Venue: The Copse – www.thecopsecountryhouse.com
Coordinator: Co-ordinator – Jess Beck (For Keeps Flowers)
Hair & Make-up: Story (Lorna)
Dress: Halfpenny London – www.halfpennylondon.com
Rings : Maya Magal – www.mayamagal.co.uk
Flowers: Willowtree Flower Design
Catering: Rebecca Barrett Cooks
Celebrant: Silver Bee (Stephanie)
Thursday Dress: Rixo
If you are currently planning your Oxfordshire wedding and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please do get in touch to check availability and ask me any questions you might have. I’m only too happy to help however I can.
Thanks as ever for reading, and come back again soon for many more photos from many more beautiful weddings!