Cheltenham Manor Wedding

Manor venues are pretty popular these days. Well over half of our weddings booked either take place in a barn or manor. With so many historic listed buildings still in existence, it gives couples a great place to mark history together. One of our favourite and continuously visited venues is Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham. We visit this venue around five times each year for different weddings. We know the staff, the back walkways and shortcuts between rooms. Every photo spot is perfect to access, with one of our 2017 weddings here being printed in a magazine.

Laure and Rob met with me many years ago, for a consultation regarding their wedding. The date had to be moved to allow for the birth of a new family addition, but they were back in touch to secure a date. With videography added, Scott and I were in full force to help out on the day. I'll just let you all scroll through the images from the day to see how it unfolded. I just loved the image of the baby looking up at her mum on her wedding day.

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Suppliers:

Photographer: Special Day Photography@specialdayuk

Videographer: Special Day Photography@specialdayuk

Ceremony Venue: St Lawrence Church, Gloucester

Reception Venue: Manor By The Lake@manorbythelake

Wedding Rings: Chapelle, Gloucester@chapelle_jewellery

Engagement Rings: H Samuel@hsamueljeweller

Bridal Dress: Taffeta & Lace@taffetaandlacebridal

Bridal Accessories: Taffeta & Lace, Pandora@taffetaandlacebridal@theofficialpandora

Bridesmaid Dresses: Linda Gray Bridal Wear @lindagraybridal

Groom Suit: House of Fraser@houseoffraser

Groomsmen Suit:

House of Fraser

@houseoffraser

Hairdresser: Julie Sawyer

Makeup Artist: Enhance your Beauty, Selina Taylor

Cake:

Patacake, Gloucester

If you would like to book your own wedding day with Special Day Photography, please contact us. We travel all throughout the UK but are based in Birmingham & Cheltenham. If you have a wedding in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff or Oxford please get in touch. We specialise in lifestyle wedding photography, with nothing too staged or forced. We'd love to catch up with you over a coffee to discuss any plans you may have.

Tudor Manor Wedding

England has so much history to it. Centuries of monarchy and history, changing and sculpting our landscape and buildings. Buildings often get replaced by more contemporary decor, yet precious spots of history still remain. Jack and Amy's wedding in the summer of 2018 was at two of these gloriously old buildings. I was charmed by everything throughout the day, from the table decorations to the flower details dotted everywhere.

Holy Trinity Church, Tibberton

Nestled high on a high down many country paths, it is a sight to behold. This Normandy church still has an archway well on its way to 1000 years old. Glimpsing a perfect frame of the church amongst the trees, the ceremony choice was due to family ties to the village. Guests were shipped in on a double decker bus as the lanes were so thin and parking limited. After the ceremony we had a quick walk through the trees behind the cemetery to an open expanse with views of the surrounding hills. A personal favourite and request of the couple for their couples portraits, private memories just for them.

Hellens Manor, Much Marcle

A drive over the hills to the local town shows me a venue I have never been to. With history dating back to the Tudor era, Hellens is one of the oldest working buildings in the country. With expansive lands and water features, a custom fitted barn for events and open air bar, the venue was perfect for the summer. Holding only a very limited 10 weddings a year, it felt prestigious to photograph here. With books, board games and old paintings on the wall, the main hall of the Manor was rich in dark reds and wood. Beautiful side-lighting filled the room, with no 20th century modifications to take away from the ambience.

Later in the evening when guests had retired to the converted barn, I had a chance to look around some of the decorations Amy and Jack had picked out for the room. With locally sourced flowers and a hand made cake by the mother of the bride, the entire affair was rustic and lovingly brought together for the couple. I had time to sneak away before the first dance with the couple for some emotional couples portraits, where they opened up on camera their feelings for each other after the stresses of the day were over.

I wish Amy and Jack the very best in the future, such a beautiful wedding I will never forget. One day i hope to return to the venue for more images.

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Suppliers (website and Instagram):

Ceremony: Holy Trinity Church, Tibberton

Reception Venue: Hellens Manor@hellensmanor

Wedding Rings: H. Samuel@hsamueljeweller

Flowers: Issy And Bella@issyandbella

Bridal Dress: Debenhams@debenhams

Grooms Suit: Suit Direct@suitdirectuk

Groomsmen Suit: Moss Bros@mossbros

Hairdresser: Lauren Wheeler@laurenwheelerartistry

Room Decorations: Valley Furniture Hire@valleyfurniturehire

Moreton-In-Marsh Summer Wedding

There are just some weddings that stick with you for a long time. We had been big fans of going to wedding fayres a few years ago, doing all the local bi-annual events our closest towns had to offer. This is where Cheryl and Simon found us, at the largest local event of the year in Cheltenham. After a quick chat and brochure handover, we were already in the process of booking and saving the date.

I had always heard good things about Moreton-In-Marsh, a small typically Cotswold looking village with a booming tourism trade. Every building the village has barely changed appearance over the past centuries. When arriving on a hot summers day with the foliage in full bloom, it really looks special. The Manor House Hotel sits in the central green of the village, just a few miles away from the beautiful Batsford Arboretum. With countless corridors leading to bars and secret places for sitting down, its vintage aesthetics appealed to me.

Keeping everything close by.

With bridal prep 10 minutes down the road at the father of the brides house, there was plenty enough space for all guests to get ready with ease. As the warm sun glowed upon the pictures, hints of orange, gold and silk scattered throughout the day. A close up magician entertained guests through the evening, followed by a great first dance with all guests invited.

I wish Cheryl and Simon all the best in the future, and enjoy the new 12x12" wedding albums we have started to produce for 2018.

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Gloucester Barn Wedding

I knew this wedding was coming. Ever since 2008 when I did my degree in Music, me and Josh were in the same groups, mixing with the same people. I saw the relationship between him and Jess bloom throughout the coming few years. They were both part of the central wedding troupe at a wedding I photographed three years prior too. At that wedding they vowed to hire me for their own day, whenever that may be. That time was finally upon us, in the summer of 2018. At one of my favourite Gloucester Barn Wedding venues Cripps Barn, the day was beautiful from start to finish. There's something so special about being trusted to shoot your friends wedding, you're one of the inside team and have a history and connection with so many guests.

Everyone could relax and be themselves, which makes for amazing images throughout the day. Our couples session was so fun, able to spend so much quality time with the couple getting those intimate shots which are so important. The weather held out day, with a beaming sun during the ceremony and group shots, until it finally became overcast for the couples shoot.

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Same Sex Wedding in Nailsworth

Egypt Mills in Nailsworth sits alongside a long hill path, connecting many of the local Cotswold towns together. We used to visit Egypt Mills in the mornings to attend various business networking meetings. When Dan and David gave us a call and asked us to photograph their same sex wedding in Nailsworth, of course we said sure! The view from the hotel is breathtaking, with the surrounding hills dotted with tiny cottages built from Cotswold stone. Egpyt Mills has its own water mill inside the building, still functioning after all these centuries. A little weir sits just outside the entrance, giving the most calming experience.

The couples wedding theme was purple and silver, with a distinctive DC comic book edge. Self confessed comic nerds, the cake was topped with bobbleheaded Deadpool and Joker figurines. It was a great experience to see such an elegant wedding having a comic book twist, throwing something new into the pool of traditions and customs.

A small gathering of family and friends, this intimate same sex wedding in Nailsworth, Stroud really felt like a family get together. The closeness of everyone invited really made for some great conversations and chat. Dan and David prepared for their immediate trip away to a honeymoon, guests sat with tea and cake in the lounge area of the venue.

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Dumbleton Hall Hotel Summer Wedding

How else do you meet couples nowadays than online? I was contacted by the couple in winter 2016 and we immediately went down the local pub in Cheltenham for a drink to discuss the finer details. We chatted for an hour or so about the wedding. How they met and what interesting stories they could tell me about themselves. It's always so interesting to find how people get together. It could be through friends, online dating apps or just by a happy accident. We kept in touch over the coming months, discussing ideas for the wedding such as cars and colour schemes.

Dumbleton Village Church

Dumbleton sits a couple of miles away from Cheltenham, a place where I went to uni (twice!) for, yet I had never been. A tiny little village in the most picturesque countryside, Kirsten and Tom had chosen the local church to get married in. The sunflower theme of the day reflected the great weather, where normally we see nothing but rain. The church was fully packed to capacity, with friends and relatives lining all the alcoves and church pews. A traditional affair included blessings, an organist and signing of the registry book.

Dumbleton Hall Hotel

After the ceremony and confetti, we went just round the corner of the church to the huge batcave/manor that is Dumbleton Hall Hotel. A huge spectacle with acres of land for grazing sheep and rare black swans. A long drive up to the hotel itself afforded beautiful scenic views, the likes which I miss living in a city like Birmingham. The fondest memory I have of this wedding was the first dance - they opted for a ceilidh, or folk style barn dance. A trained barn dance instructor was there to guide all the guests in to long looping rows of couples. Couples then had to perform and memorise specific dance sequences to a lovely local fiddle and banjo folk band.

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Suppliers:

Venue: Dumbleton Hall Hotel @dumbletonhall

Photographer: Special Day Photography @specialdayuk

Bride’s Hair & Makeup Natalie Ricciardi @nataliericciardimakeup

Groom’s Suit: Regency Groom https://www.groomswear.co.uk/Cake: Confetti Cakes @confetticakes.cotswolds

DJ/entertainment: Bees Knees Band http://www.beeskneesband.com/

Mini Golf: BBC Inflatables @bbcinflatables

Car: Drive Southwest @drivesouthwest

Winter Wedding At Elmore Court

On the tail end of 2017 I was the photographer for a bride called Angela. A sister of four, third of the sisters to get married, and a friend since University days. We mentioned back then that we'd be returning to the family to shoot the wedding for her younger sister Claire. The last of the family to get married, this was scheduled to be a fantastic and fresh March day wedding.

Unfortunately, the weather in the UK is not as predictable as we'd like. It snowed for days before the wedding, giving all the promise of an even more fantastic white winter wedding. The snow however, made many roads impassable, including the one to my own house here in Birmingham the day before. It took over an hour to slip and slide my way up the one mile road to my house, which I then managed to wedge the car in 7 inches of fresh snow outside my house.

Considering this snowfall, I prepared to leave my house at 6am the next day. I had to dig my own car out of the drive before sliding back down that road and on to the motorway to Cheltenham. The snow had pretty much disappeared further down south, however their wedding venue at Elmore Court is secluded and up in the hills. We were all wondering on if it was even accessible at all on the wedding day.

Christ Church - Cheltenham

We returned once again to Christ Church in Cheltenham, a church in the town's regency building area. All of Claire's sisters have been married in this church, and by the same vicar called Tim. Beautiful winter themed flower decorations by Charlotte Elizabeth festooned the aisle. All the bridesmaids wore a light peach colour on all the dresses. It was great to see so many familiar faces again from the previous wedding, I felt like one of the family. I managed to get a few minutes to get all of the guests together for a group photo from the balcony of the church before we left to the next venue.

Elmore Court - Gloucester

Elmore Court was fortunately open, part in thanks to the local farmers who cleared the countryside roads. If you could image a huge manor like on Downton Abbey, you'd be in a similar place to Elmore Court. Grand staircases, room after room and roaring fireplaces in each. The good staff there have recently added a huge reception hall to the rear, which can comfortably seat 200 people plus an area for dancing.  I need to give a special thanks to the wedding band The Soul Department, for being so tight musically and singing some brilliant soul songs. It was a magical night and they topped it all off with their smooth classics.

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The bride and groom pose at the door to Elmore Court in Gloucester. The dress is by Milla Nova and the grooms suit by Horace Barton & Sons.

The bride and groom pose at the door to Elmore Court in Gloucester. The dress is by Milla Nova and the grooms suit by Horace Barton & Sons.

A newly married couple kiss under the lights at Elmore Court in Gloucester.

A newly married couple kiss under the lights at Elmore Court in Gloucester.

Suppliers:

Venue: Elmore Court

Photography & Videography: Special Day Photography

Flowers: Flowers By Charlotte Harrison

Bridal Dress: Milla Nova

Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS

Grooms Suit: Horace Barton & Sons

Entertainment: Soul Department

Christ Church Cheltenham Wedding

The couple that we photographed were very special to both Scott and I. I met Angela in 2008 at one very drunk and hazy party night at University. At a now defunct club called Dakota in Cheltenham, we bonded over both being born on the same date and year. Angela's sister, Claire, was a club rep at the time and I got chatting to them both and kept in touch throughout my degree period.

On the other side of University I picked up a camera and started working in a printing lab, and still kept seeing Angela go by the shop window and we'd wave at each other. Suddenly, many years later and out of the blue Angela sees one of our promos in a local magazine and asks us to meet for a wedding chat for photography and videography. Turns out Scott knew Angela and Claire all along, even going to school with them 20 years ago. What a small world this really is.

Christ Church - Cheltenham

Angela tied the knot with James, they both met each other when working in hospitality and catering events together. Our pre-wedding chat was great, I was doing my best to help them have an easy day and they were in turn trying to out do us with kindness and see how comfortable they could make us! Angela is number three in a line of four girls in the family, and is tradition to get married by the same vicar in the same church at Christ Church, Cheltenham.

We were welcomed in to the parents lovely home for the bridal prep as well as hair and makeup taking place at the local hairdressers Martin & Phelps.  The vicar Tim entertained the packed church with stories about grapes and brandished car battery jumper cables. One of Angela's older sisters surprised the congregation with a flash mob rendition of "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, which came as a total surprise to Angela.

Manor By The Lake - Cheltenham

After the brilliant service, we headed off to the amazing local venue Manor By The Lake. The fifth time shooting there this year, the staff knew us by name and even poured us all a well earned drink during the meal down-time. A beautifully decorated reception hall greeted us, with copper and dark blue tones. As the leaves of the trees had started to fall by now, this reception hall gave us autumnal vibes.

The speeches included a long fathers speech, with many anecdotes throughout the years, James and even Angela giving a little thank you in turn. The tables made way for dancing and we also managed to take the couple out for just a few minutes to take some couples shots in the fairy light illuminated pathways of the grounds.

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Cotswolds Hotel Wedding

Nothing can stop the great British weather, not even a great wedding day. Fortunately us ingenious Brits have the weather under control, and giant tents are constructed to protect us from the elements. Shot at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa, this venue miles from anywhere gives a rolling landscape with acres of shooting locations, beautiful decorations and enough space to set up your own Gin Palace. The tones for the day were mid-green and cream, with an emphasis on a party atmosphere. I loved the wedding cake - festooned with dozens of macaroons thats just looked too good.  After the ceremony was done we hopped on some spare golf buggys (note - don't let me drive as I almost tipped one going round a corner) and scurried off to one of the far golf holes for some shots through the long grass.

Katy and the bridal party were a great laugh throughout the day, especially in the bridal prep section. They made me even laugh, and that's a rarity as it's usually me cracking the poor dad jokes. We all bonded over a communal love of gin, finding out each others favourites let us keep in touch afterwards. I hope you enjoy these Cotswolds Hotel Wedding images as much as I did taking them.

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The Barn At Upcote Wedding

There's always that one day a year where the sun really comes out and blasts the UK with heat. This year that day happened to be on Henry and Emily's wedding out in the countryside of the Cotswolds. At The Barn at Upcote, home to the local festival 2000 Trees, a long drive through fields of flowers gets you to this remote wedding location miles away from anywhere. The sun was reaching a blistering 30c with no cloud cover, so I was glad to get into the cooling barn. On an aside, my water bottle left in the car all day still had an ice cube in it when I drove home. Now thats modern technology for you.

We braved the sun for a quick photoshoot out in the woods and fields, before hopping back inside to cool down. The reception was filled with wondrous antique china and scones were served all the way through to the first dance. To finish the night, a local burrito van (my favourite) was happy to serve a roll of joy to everyone. The first dance was done in sandals and open shirts. The grooms party were itching to get out of the hot formal attire.

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Manor By The Lake Summer Wedding

Each time I return to Cheltenham I always find somewhere new to shoot. Nestled in between some very interesting buildings (a supermarket and an industrial estate), Manor By The Lake is a large regal building with huge grounds, a lake and surrounded by trees. It's like you've wondered too far into the woodlands. You would have no idea the venue is slap bang in the heart of Cheltenham.

This year I returned to Manor By The Lake to shoot a friends wedding. Someone who I've known for as long as I've been living in this part of the country for, about 9 years. I've watched her grow closer together with Matthew, attending cosy house music shows for a couple of years together with them. When they both asked me to shoot their wedding I was honoured. Knowing Selina I knew that the decorations, music and theme would be fantastical. With the longest wedding veil I've ever seen, coupled with traditional grey suits for the gents, this was more of a classic wedding than a bohemian one. The night was finished by a live jazz band led by Kim Cypher on saxophone, giving upbeat swing renditions of some of our favourite songs.

I felt truly at home with this wedding, being around friends from back in my University. I even sat with Selina and Matthew when they opened the wedding pictures for the first time. I'm so honoured they've let me use the images for my 2018 wedding album.

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Hatherley Manor in the Summer Wedding

Every few months we get a request to shoot at Hatherley Manor, near Cheltenham. We're great friends with the wedding planners there (even shooting their wedding!) in the past year or so, so are happy to be called their recommended suppliers. This wedding had a little twist to in with regards to planning however. Six days before the wedding the couple contacted us. Their prebooked photographer had injured their leg and were no longer able to work. I cringed in empathy at this, I'd hate to have such an accident so close to a couples big day! We checked the diary and found we had a rare weekend day free so took on their wedding for the couple.

Alex is a full time photographer so I knew that our work had to stand on its own against a super critical eye. Personally I would be the same when choosing a photographer for my own day too. Gladly Alex was super happy with our work and chuffed to bits with the results. I love having a quick browse on Facebook and seeing one of my wedding pics pop up as not only a brides profile pic but also their cover image. To think that my images made someones day/week/month/year fills me with pride and helps me know that I'm on the right path and working towards helping even more couples in the future.

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The Bringewood Hillside Wedding

Imagine a tiny country road. Now imagine another country road connecting to that, leading up a hill surrounded by forests. The Bringewood Hotel sits atop a private hill in forestland in Ludlow. The Bringewood hillside wedding I photographed was for a welsh couple called Osian and Deryn. The sun was baking down on us on this beautiful day. When taking the pre-ceremony photographs, the decor and ambience was incredible. Lavender theme ran throughout the day, with jam jars rustically made sat on each table. With a great outdoor seated area for the ceremony, glorious views of the countryside were visible all day long.

Osian sported an amazing deep orange and mid-blue colour combo for his suit, whilst Deryn had kept with a cream patterned wedding dress. This was one of the first weddings I photographed to start featuring a Fujifilm Instax camera for guests to use. The reinvented Polaroid style camera, guests could take a snap of themselves or others and attach them into a guest book. Guests played lawn games after the ceremony. This included very competitive badminton and ping-pong. Unfortunately on a windy hillside a light ping pong ball will go in any different direction.

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