Horsley Towers – it’s as if someone dropped a fairytale French chateau from the Loire valley into the Surrey countryside. This was the venue for Liz and James’s wedding last week. The only thing that wasn’t fairytale was the weather, but then it was Friday the 13th!
September is meant to be an extension of the summer but so far this year it’s as if someone flipped a switch and autumn started up – wet. All day there was a steady drizzle, it was even a bit humid for a time, but the forecast proved right and the heavy rainfall rolled in. By evening it looked and felt like winter. But that was outside. Inside Liz and James got married and celebrated with family and friends in the cosy surroundings. ( There were a lot of guests from New Zealand ( James is a New Zealander ) and Ireland, so the drizzle may have been familiar? )
But if you want to know what a wedding is all about, just look at Liz’s face during the ceremony in the images below. The way she looks at James!
The coverage begins with James attempting to tie his bow tie, but then the whole point of black tie is to undo them later in the evening. 😉 Upstairs, Liz was getting ready with her sister and had done all her hair and makeup early, which was handy as getting into wedding dresses can surprise many brides in how long it can actually take. The ceremony itself was to be in the large gothic Great Hall. Held by a friendly registrar who was keen that photography got a chance ( this is rare ).
The building is Victorian, built from flint and brickwork by the Earl of Lovelace and there is a pseudo medieval feel to parts of the venue. The cloisters ( looking in need of a renovation these days) still make a great backdrop for the bride and groom portrait – although I’ve never seen them as dark as they were on Friday. The ornate chapel, decorated with blue and white tiling, polychrome brick vaulting ribs and various coats of arms, was atmospheric thanks to the many lit candles around but dark too. Don’t be fooled by what the Nikon D4 can do. But also Liz was a prepared bride. Not only did she take the make up artist’s advice to have some cotton buds handy for any tears but she also had some wellington boots, so we could get some shots by the lake, sheltering under the trees in the drizzle.
With drinks and canapes done it was time for the meal, back in the Great Hall, with speeches between courses. All choreographed by one of the best toastmasters I’ve worked with, Peter Tautz. No fuss, no centre-staging, no standing behind the speakers and taking over with cheesy photography setups. Frankly some toastmasters are shocking but not this one. I reckon James appreciated Peter’s pep talk before he gave the groom’s speech. But anyhow, enough words, let the pictures tell the story.
Here are a few images from the day…