Layer Marney Tower wedding photography
Layer Marney Tower in Essex was the venue for Susanna and Nick’s wedding on Halloween. A sunny day, a freaky weather day. An Indian summer had finally arrived – for just that day! At points in the day, in the sunshine, it almost felt like summer. The warmest Halloween on record – how’s that for timing your wedding?
But the clocks had changed, this was still a winter wedding. What was perfect was that the sun decided to come along. But it doesn’t hang around long at this time of year. By the time everyone was having drinks on the lawn after the ceremony, the sun was already well below the treeline and flirting with the horizon. While it lasts, the light you get from the sun that is about to slip away can be beautiful. It’s the sort of golden light that the Tudor architects of Layer Marney Tower would have been thinking of, to show off the rich red brickwork of the palace.
(The tower is the largest Tudor gatehouse in Britain. Begun in the reign of Henry VIII, around 1520, by the first Lord Marney and never finished. It was slighted in the English Earthquake of 1888. Rebuilding by subsequent owners included the Long Gallery where the wedding meal and speeches took place, which was converted from the old stables in the Edwardian era. Now a family home, it was bought by a couple, who like Susanna and Nick, got married in Layer Marney church, which adjoins the gardens.)
So, back to the day. This was a wedding with some familiar faces. Susanna was one of Annie’s bridesmaids just over a month ago. Now the roles had reversed and they shared some of the wedding guests too. Susanna got ready at her parent’s home, just down the road towards Colchester. She arrived at the church with her father in bright sunshine. Maybe that was what was affecting his eyes, or was it the emotions, as they stood ready to enter the church? 😉
(I believe Susanna kept her composure by humming S Club 7 songs in her head!)
A ceremony conducted the right way – so no draconian rules and the stated belief that ‘it is their day’ – if only more CofE clergy could have this attitude! The register signed atop Lord Marney’s tomb and some seriously moving music played by a friend, it was back out into the fading sunshine. Drinks on the lawn, a few portraits in the churchyard as the sunset slipped through the branches and then onto the Long Gallery – where the doors were shut! First off, a Chinese tea ceremony. Cups of tea served to the ‘elders’ by the bride and groom and then into the meal.
Speeches followed – lit by candlelight – which is fine until the top table blows out some of the said candles… 😉
Then as the room was turned around for the chaos of the ceilidh – sparklers in the courtyard. ( Top marks to the venue for getting a tray of candles sorted for this. Sparkler runs need all the sparklers to be lit at the same time – not always easy as it is often at the point in the day when many of the guests have been enjoying the wine! )
A top wedding – a mix of summer and winter – and not a pumpkin in sight.
Here are a few images from this Layer Marney Tower wedding day…