A stunning Summer’s day for some Milton Abbey wedding photography, a gorgeous couple and so many wonderful little touches to complete the story. This was to be a particularly special homecoming, with Millie’s grandfather coming out of retirement to perform the marriage, returning to the magnificent Abbey where he had served as Chaplain for almost twenty years!
Oh, I love a Milton Abbey wedding – I can’t get enough of this stunning school as a wedding venue. It’s quite simply one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing a wedding, and I was over the moon to be heading back there for Millie & William’s late summer wedding. It’s special enough a place anyway; absolutely gorgeous buildings (how many schools come with their own Abbey?!), grounds landscaped by Capability Brown (who knew a thing or two about gardening) and heavenly views out across the rolling Dorset countryside.
This occasion was to be doubly special though. Our bride’s grandfather had served as Chaplain at the Abbey for many years, so it was s special homecoming for he and Millie’s Mum. Imagine having all this as your playground growing up! And so Reverend Salmon was coming out of retirement to marry his granddaughter to the man of her dreams. Now that’s a wedding story!
With Millie getting ready off-site I caught up with Will and best man as they occupied themselves applying finishing touches around the venue. Millie’s family weren’t the only ones with a starring role: check out the flowers, courtesy of Will’s mother in her professional capacity. Absolutely incredible; I don’t think there can have been a rose left in Southern England that weekend! We started off in the dining hall as family finished dressing the room, and the groom, before heading next door to the Abbey as the first of the guests started to arrive.
It was a perfect summer’s day; deep blue skies and fluffy white clouds. This is the sort of weather which really shows the school and Abbey off to their best I think, with the hills surrounding the grounds a deep, rich green. It’s difficult to describe just how beautiful this little corner of England is but if you get the change I’d highly recommend a visit. But anyway, back to the wedding and we find our groom inside and chatting with guests, and page boys being straightened and smartened up before their grand entrance, as Rev. Salmon waited by the front entrance for his granddaughter to make her appearance…
How about that confetti? A shout-out to Anne, the wonderful Milton Abbey wedding coordinator, for those and the presumably countless hours she spent preparing all of those petals. I got showered in them too, and it felt like walking through a heavy silk rainstorm or something like that. In a good way. Newly married, our bride and groom took to the wedding car (beautiful car by the way and definitely something a little different if you’re looking for something special for your own wedding day) for a spin around the grounds before returning to their guests who were now engaged with drinks and nibbles out on the lawn, and soaking up those superb views.
Just before the wedding breakfast we moved through the school into the quadrant for some family photos, building up to the big group photo which counts as my exercise for the day as I bomb along school corridors and up staircases to get into position on the other side of the building, shooting through a window a couple of floors up. Well worth it though, it’s quite some backdrop I think you’ll agree.
And then into the main building: the wedding breakfast is served in the main dining hall. By now you’ll be spotting a theme emerge; this room too is just as beautiful as every other part of the venue, if not more so. The food itself at this Milton Abbey wedding was, as ever, absolutely superb – what an operation they put on here…
It’s all about the light when it comes to the couple portraits, and at this time of year perfect light presented itself right before the speeches. We were able to slip out for a little while as tables were cleared and champagne was poured to make the most of those beautiful grounds. Happily you really don’t have to travel far; as soon as you step out of the door beauty abounds in every direction.
There are however a few special spots which it would be a shame not to take advantage of, not least the famous grass steps behind the Abbey which work their way up towards a little chapel higher up the hill. Those rolling Dorset hills in the other direction of course, and anything to do with the golden stonework which comes to life in the summer sun. And yet this doesn’t even scratch the surface… you’re never going to run out of inspiration here, that’s for certain!
As the evening drew in we returned to the hall for speeches (great job, best man – just the right level of squirm-inducing embarrassment for our groom), cake-cutting and first dance. I’ve said it before on many occasions: I do enjoy a proper band at a wedding. These guys were excellent (enhanced only by Will taking to the mic for an impressively enthusiastic and tuneful rendition of Mr Brightside) and the party was properly kicking off in no time. Oh, and just in case the day hadn’t been perfect enough, we got to enjoy a bit of a sunset too.
As the night drew to a close Millie & Will had one last little trick up their sleeves; a sparkler exit to send them on their way, off on honeymoon. What can I say, it was quite simply the perfect exclamation mark to finish off an absolutely superb story!
What a wedding, what a couple, what a story. Huge congratulations to you both, Mr & Mrs Bonaddio, and wishing you many extremely happy years together.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little selection of images from the day. That’s just part of the finished set, and friends and family can view the full series, and the storytelling slideshow, in Millie & William’s private online gallery (although you’ll need to ask them for the password first).
If you are currently planning your Milton Abbey 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!