What an absolutely perfect day for an Avington wedding – one of my all-time favourite Hampshire venues. I know I can go on a bit about how much I enjoy photographing here but it really does have the lot, and that’s precisely what a couple as lovely as Rachel & Gary deserved for their big day. It was one of those occasions where everything just came together perfectly.
I’m always extra happy when it’s a full day Avington wedding and everything’s happening on the estate, including the prep, as it means we get to make use of the dressing room and some of the other less-seen parts of the house too. The dressing room / bridal suite is a real stunner; huge four poster bed, high ceilings, big old mirrors and windows which gaze out over the formal gardens to the rear of the house (so you can discretely keep an eye on arriving guests as they have a little nosey round before the ceremony).
Meanwhile Gary and his entourage were tucked away downstairs in the flat which lies to the side of that magnificent hall, keeping themselves occupied and out of trouble until it was time to start greeting the guests. Outside it was all blue skies and fluffy white clouds, and the grounds and surrounding countryside bursting into life in the May sunshine. Heaven.
There’s always something different with an Avington wedding, but at Rachel & Gary’s I had a couple of particularly notable new photo opportunities. First, the steel band – surely the steel drum (when played well) must be the most underappreciated of instruments? It’s such a gorgeous, warm sound. I’ve had steel drums at weddings before, but this was the first time I’d seen one set up in the ceremony room to accompany the bride’s walk down the aisle. Trust me, it works!
And then – finally, hurrah!!! – one of the house’s resident peacocks decided to play ball and put on a bit of a display for us. Often you’ll get lovely little glimpses and a flash of colour as a peacock struts past a window during the wedding breakfast, but I’ve never yet had the full fan of feathers for a couple portrait. Well that’s now been ticked off the list! I think he was getting quite a taste for it by the end; after around ten minutes showing off he disappeared somewhere for a while, before returning later in the evening to photobomb some group photos too. Show off.
When it comes to couple portraits, I could photograph around Avington Park all day. I don’t, of course – for more important that the bride and groom get to spend as much time as possible with friends and family – but I don’t think I could ever run out of options here. Some have become very firm favourites, especially the wonderful wrought iron bridge, the tree-lined driveway (I do like a nice avenue of trees!), the stone beck in the gardens around the back of the house, and the view across the lake to the gentle hills beyond. And an Avington wedding is usually one of those ones where, because of the direction the house faces, the light just gets better and better as you progress through the day.
Back into the house for the evening celebrations and another one of my favourite things at a wedding, a ceilidh. Rachel & Gary, you really did spoil me with this one! And as the light dropped, back outdoors very quickly with the big flash for one of the loveliest sights this magical wedding venue has to offer; the front of the house lit up at dusk. Perfect day, perfect venue, perfect couple. I love my job!
Making it possible…
Venue: Avington Park (ceremony & reception)
Dress: Brides of Winchester
Suits: Suitors of Buckinham
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Rings: Daniel Christopher Jewellery
Flowers: Blooming Workshop
Hair & Makeup: Nisha J
Cake: Final Touch Cakes
Music 1: Big Sand Steel Band
Music 2: Ceilidh Factor
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little taster of Rachel & Gary’s gorgeous Avington wedding. Friends and family can view the rest of the photos (and believe me, there are a lot of photos!) and the slideshow in their private viewing gallery, but you’ll need to ask them for the password first.
If you are currently planning your Avington Park 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!