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Grove House wedding – Shannel & Bernard

Grove House in Roehampton, south-west London was to be the venue for Shannel and Bernard’s wedding reception but the day begins north of the Thames, in West London. Coverage begins at The Clayton hotel in Chiswick, where Shannel got ready with her family and bridesmaids. Her dressmaker had even come down from Derbyshire to help her with her dress.

The wedding ceremony was a few miles up the A406, at St Barnabas church in Ealing. This is not a small church. I got there in time to photograph Bernard arrive. Now the trick here, as a wedding photographer, when you have never actually met the couple before their wedding day and I’ve only met three of this year’s couples ahead of their weddings, is to work out who they are? If you cover the bridal preps it’s easy, there’s the bride. But the groom…. A group of guys, suited and booted, were greeting  each other by the bus stop, outside the church – which one was Bernard? I saw two candidates – one would prove to be Bernard, the other his brother. Both have the sort of big smiles that you have to smile with, but Bernard’s, as he did up his jacket and looked towards the church…..that’s him!

The ceremony done, the legal bit done, the confetti thrown in abundance, everyone set off back down the A406 and across the river (slowly, this being London on a Saturday) and to Grove House, home to Froebel College and part of the University of Roehampton. Now mostly university offices, this grand James Wyatt designed mansion sits on the site of what was, in the 17th century, the second largest house in all of Surrey. This was the countryside then.

The weather didn’t quite get as sunny as predicted but there was plenty of Pimms on hand. During the meal in the large hall, there was a quiz for the tables of wedding guests to answer – all questions about S & B. After the speeches themselves, Bernard had a surprise for Shannel, as he sang, accompanied by his ushers. It was then cut the cake, throw the flowers and hit the dance floor…

A day of many smiles in west London and Grove House…here are a few images from the day…

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