huntsham court wedding photography
Huntsham Court – a Victorian Gothic mansion near Tiverton in Devon, close to the Somerset border and the location for Sarah and Mark’s wedding weekend. This is not a hotel, it’s a private house, a wedding venue for hire. You can exclusively rent the house for the weekend, install friends and family amongst the 30 bedrooms and spread out the celebrations. It’s an atmospheric canvas, that oozes character, onto which you can stamp your own personality for your wedding. ( See the strings of photographs in the library in the pictures below ). This is harder to achieve with a hotel. As Sarah said on the phone to me, “This is more than just a wedding, it’s a party!”. It was also neutral ground, with their families hailing from Somerset and Norfolk ( they met at Imperial College ) and as with many weddings, guests had flown in from around the world for a weekend in Devon. The only thing that was a slight ‘fly in the ointment’ – the weather. Dark clouds heralded rain for much of the afternoon, but the venue is of a size that guests inside could scatter amongst the rooms and enjoy the afternoon tea.
It was also a wedding that didn’t preclude children, with almost thirty under-8’s, led, as it were, by Sarah and Mark’s 11 month old son, Lucas. Lucas came to the Douglas room in the morning to watch Sarah, her mum and bridesmaids get ready, before the one o’clock wedding ceremony downstairs in the Great Hall. Now it calls itself the Great Hall, it’s not actually that big and it was a bit of a squeeze. In fact, respect to the registrar who let me practically stand on her shoulder to shoot the ceremony. The event manager’s idea that I shot from near the window was a non-starter. I don’t think I have ever shot a ceremony so close up before ( 24mm and 50mm lenses only ) and the lighting ( with the window to the side and dark paneling all around ) was …..challenging!
After the ceremony Sarah and Mark left the Hall and walked up the stairs for a quiet moment together, as the guests went outside to prepare for the confetti ambush. It was then back into the Hall for the cake cutting, as the cake was to form part of the afternoon tea. The plan then was drinks on the lawn. This was successful for a bit until the rain drove everyone inside again. The sun did come back later in the day though. By early evening, the kids fed, the babysitters in place, it was time for the adults to have an evening drinks reception and then onto the wedding breakfast. After that? Dancing back in the Great Hall…
Here are a few images from the day….