Documentary wedding photography at Hever Castle
Hever Castle in Kent. A tiny castle, begun in the thirteenth century but famous for being the family home of one of the most tragic characters in English history. Anne Boleyn. The girl who seduced a king, which changed a country’s religion and then lost her head to a French swordsman, at the Tower of London. Kind of romantic I guess? But for two lovers of history, from Australia, a perfect setting for their wedding. Julia and Nicholas (Not Anne and Henry!)
A small wedding, of close family and friends – many who had come across the globe for Julia and Nicholas. On a Monday too.
Coverage begins in the Astor wing. A Tudor style wing built in the early twentieth century – it’s old but not as old as it looks. But here Julia and Nicholas got ready in neighbouring bedrooms. The humanist ceremony took place in a classic wood-panelled room with Tudor portraits overlooking the event. As a humanist ceremony, it’s more personalized than a church ceremony. As part of this, Julia and Nicholas sealed their marriage (the legal bit is separate but this is the wedding) using a quaich. A shallow two-handled drinking cup or bowl, with some malt whisky in it. It made Julia cough…
Reception on the lawn at Hever Castle
It was then outside for drinks, Hever Castle as the backdrop, across the moat. Sunshine and showers. Brooding dark clouds and rainbows. Umbrellas or a dash back into the Astor wing. Not quite normal July weather still.
The rain came but it was now time to cross into the main castle for the meal and speeches in the dining room. A classic castle room – if not that grandiose. Dark wood panelling, old tapestry across a wall, paintings of famous English monarchs (Nell Gwyn and even Margaret Thatcher (?) in the corridors) and of course, a suit of armour. Boy was it dark!!
But before I went, Julia had had a request, when she first enquired about my work. A portrait in front of the lit-up castle. My style of photography isn’t about setting up OCF lights, backlighting couples holding umbrellas in the rain, etc – instead, I went for a simple silhouette at dusk, using the colours of the backdrop. (The rain held off).
Here of a few images from this Hever castle wedding…