Where to start….. Elmore Court in Gloucestershire is the full package.  What incredible venue.  It is like someone has gone round the house and sat down and thought “how can I make this venue the best place for every suppliers work to look amazing in, while making it the most comfortable and enjoyable place for guests to stay and have the best time of their lives”

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When I have a wedding at Elmore I never notice the time.  The opportunities for photos come quick, fast, and numerous. The bridal suite is a stunning stately room with a huge super king bed, large full length windows which light floods through.  The ensuite enables numerous bridesmaids to get ready and the standing mirror and light give me so many great angles for photos of the dress being done up.  The grooms room is just the same although wooden panelling covers the room creating a warm and masculine feel.  Just down the corridor and up a flight of stairs makes it the perfect location for the grooms party to get ready before they head down for a sneaky drink before the guests start to arrive.

For this wedding we headed off to the church down the road, but for most weddings they take place if the beautiful entrance hall.  Wooden floors which have withstood hundreds of years of pounding, full length windows and elegant statues create the perfect room to be decorated as much or little as desired.  After the ceremony guest are ushered into the garden where they were treated to flowing champagne, a multitude of mouth size canap├ęs that look like mini tropical islands.  Meanwhile Hector, Ellie and I are grabed 10 mins or so to make use of the stunning Elmore grounds to capture some picture of just the two of them.  It is always a breeze to photograph couples when they are totally at ease with each other and embrace to joy of the day.  Embracing the joy gives way to fantastic images that glow with sincerity and passion.

The joy of Elmore is that it lends itself fantastically to out door speeches, which, by the way are a photographers dream.  No difficult light, no horrible speakers peeking out behind the couple, or deserted band set ups, no fire exit signs, and no wine bottles or bald heads getting in the way.  There is loads of space to walk around and capture everyones reactions and those doing speeches are in a great location with only the beautiful building of Elmore behind.

From the reception guests walk down a walkway of tall cedar trees to the purpose built reception venue.  This is a beautiful contemporary but stylish and beautifully warm building. Again the clever designer obviously thought to themselves “how do I get loads of light in this room but still make it feel cosy in the evening ?” Well they designed the room with the most gigantic roof lantern that floods the room with daylight but avoids the feeling of being in a green house once it is dark by the use of stunning raindrop lanterns filling the space of the the lantern resulting in a floor to ceiling aesthetic experience.  Not a swirly carpet or mass reproduced picture in sight.  The odd fire exit sign to be fair, but these thankfully are so simple to remove in post production due to the fact they are on wooden panels and not a white bare wall.  Yet another massive thank you to the architect.  Ellie and Hector chose long tresses tables of up to about 50 people on each.  The florist and table wear had classically balancing each other with a mixture of bowls of dahlias in autumn colours and cosmos to bring some movement to the arrangements.  Laid out in front of each place was a shot of tequila complete with a slice of lime balancing on top ready and waiting for the mass ‘down in one’ ceremony when the signal is given.   After a full 3 course meal the guests started to mingle while grabbing a chilled cocktail from the bar. Mojitos, espresso Martinis and prosecco cocktails were just the ones I can remember.  Feeling rather flushed, well fed and in need of a breath of fresh air the guests were ushered outside for a surprise display of fireworks.  After a chorus of OOHHs and AAHHs the guest feeling the the slight nip in the air of the early autumn night heading back in and straight onto the dance floor where Hector and Ellie were ready to amaze everyone with their energetic and fancy first dance.  If there is one thing a photographer would encourage all couples to do is to move lots on the dance floor.  Movement brings variation, vibrance, energy and fun, and thankfully Ellie and Hector took the first dance to a new level.  We had swirls, boogying, groovy moves, and to top it off a lift and a swirl at the end – SERIOUSLY GUYS THANK YOU !!  Please don’t just sway it is a sure way to kill your photographer off, and make them go home early. It makes me want to cry!  Make sure you scroll to the end to see how great Ellie and Hectors first dance shots turned out.  They showed us all how to do it and how to do it well.

The whole day was an absolute blast and one which will go down in my memories as one of the most fun weddings to photograph, but to be totally honest it wasn’t all about Elmore being a great venue, it came down to what an amazing and charismatic couple Ellie and Hector were and this made my job so easy.  They clearly absolutely loved their wedding day, each other, and totally embraced their wedding day to the max, and this is what makes amazing photos!

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