Reena & Phil’s wedding had the most wonderful Festival feeling! From the morning when I arrived to photograph bridal preparations, I saw the marquee, garden games and even Huge inflatable slide, along with wonderful home made signage, and I knew this was going to be one of those wonderfully personal weddings!

Reena & Phil had chosen Suffolk Retreats for their reception venue (along with staying there the night before their wedding) as it not only had space for their marquee and garden games, but great accommodation for the previous night, rooms for themselves and close family, yurts for others, a Jacuzzi and even a large games room! All this, and even on location to set up the marquee in preparation for the big day!

I photographed a little of both Reena & Phil’s wedding preparations, before heading to Hedingham Castle ready for the wedding ceremony.

Taking my usual trademark style of photography, I mixed photos of the overviews, the details, and candid photos, as well as arranging what I know, with over fifteen year’s experience, to be the important photos, whist letting everyone get on with enjoying the wedding day, with as little disruption from the photography as possible! I know what I need to get arranged, and do so quickly so everyone 

I knew the wedding rings during the ceremony would be delivered by an owl, Dusk, from Coda Falconry, so to make sure I captured the ceremony from all angles, I set up remote camera in Hedingham Castle’s upper gallery. This meant I managed to photograph a variety of angles from my position at the front of the aisle during the wedding ceremony.

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There’s not a great deal of light during weddings at Hedingham Castle, so I used a good balance of bounce flash, to obtain natural-looking well lit photos – much better than the grainy darkness ‘natural-light’ shooters would have had to make do with in these tricky conditions!

Straight after the ceremony I knew the wedding guests were heading outside to watch Coda Falconry’s Bird’s of Prey display, so I asked the wedding party and close family to wait in the lower room at the Castle, to save time in having to fetch them, and quickly took the bride and groom up to the upper gallery for a few photographs before I planned on getting the closest of family group photos arranged. These gallery photographs I took using a mixture of natural light from the gallery windows, and my remote, off-camera flashes, that I’d already set up waiting before the ceremony, At this time of the day, fresh from tying the knot, I really don’t want to keep the bride and groom from their guests for too long, however I also don’t want to skimp on photos that I know would look amazing, so I strike a balance and work as swiftly as I can! After a few photos in Hedingham Castle’s gallery I knew the ornate stone fireplaces looked amazing for photos, so took photos with parents, siblings, bridesmaids and groomsmen here. Knowing I had the most vital photographs complete I thanked Reena & Phil and they went out into the grounds to meet and greet guests and watch the Bird of Prey display.

It’s one of my jobs as a wedding photographer to make sure we keep to the timing of the schedule of the day, and we knew we had to move on to the reception venue by 1:30, so while the bride and groom feel relaxed and in no hurry, It’s my job to keep an eye on the time and move  the wedding along when the time comes! At the appropriate time I got the attention of the wedding guests and arranged a large overhead group photo of them all, before asking if they’d all take a handful of confetti and line both sides of the bridge. This was a handy way of  moving everyone off the grounds together, and left no stragglers! Once confetti was thrown I made use of the remaining few minutes with the Reena & Phil in the grounds, taking photographs with the wonderful VW camper from Classic Cool Campers in front of Hedingham Castle’s manor house, under the bridge and strolling by the lake. Then off we headed to Suffolk Retreats, safe in the knowledge that so many of the important photographs had been taken, and the rest of the wedding day could be a far more relaxed affair.

Indeed, once we were at Suffolk Retreats I could almost be invisible, not needing to as much of Reena & Phil, letting them enjoy their day, only stepping in when I saw a photo opportunity arise.

I hope this set of 200-odd photos show the lovely relaxed atmosphere of the wedding and reception, a beautiful day with glorious weather in a stunning Castle Keep, with a fun-filled festival atmosphere for the reception! Enjoy!