There's no denying that Winchester is a wonderful place to get married - it's an absolutely beautiful city with something for everyone. And when you've a couple as beautiful and loved-up as Jai & Simon at your disposal, and they're up for taking a good amount of time wandering around the gorgeous town centre in their wedding gear to capture photos in all sorts of places (sometimes the classic 'big ticket' locations, and sometimes those just a little bit different) you know you're in for a great day!
With Winchester as my home town, I'm pretty confident that over the years I've photographed weddings at pretty much every venue going. And then Jai & Simon manage to present me with not one, but two which I haven't shot at before. The first - the Basing Room at the County Council's Castle complex at the top end of town - is an easy one to understand, as it has only just become available for use by the registry service as a wedding ceremony venue. And I have to say that it's a lovely spot - the room is gorgeous and interesting, the building itself is fantastic, it's perfectly located (just up by the Great Hall and walking distance from everywhere) - and I can see it becoming a very popular choice indeed for smaller and more intimate civil ceremonies.
The other spot I hadn't photographed at before was the Corner House, down on North Walls. I've certainly eaten plenty of pork belly there in the past, and now I can tick it off the list as another Winchester wedding reception venue covered. I like it - lots of colour and quirk; a great party place if you're after a more relaxed and informal celebration. But anyway, that's enough waffle from me for the moment - on with the photos from Jai & Simon's beautiful, intimate ceremony and celebration in the heart of this fantastic city...
The Basing Room is an extremely pleasant room in one of Hampshire County Council's administrative buildings up in what's known as the Castle Complex. If you're from Winchester it may well be one of those buildings which you instantly recognise, although you might not necessarily know what it is. It's one of the two beautiful stone buildings which stand either side of the cobbled roadway which stretches up to the Great Hall, and it's served in various guises in the past; hosting Council chamber meetings, receptions and functions... How do I know all this? Well funnily enough, in a previous incarnation I worked for the County Council and have been in there plenty of times before when we used it as a boardroom for meetings. I must admit, I prefer seeing it like this! A really lovely room with wood panelling, deep rich wallpaper and a beautiful stone fireplace in the corner - just recently opened as a ceremony room it's a wonderful addition to the Registry Service's options and if you're considering an intimate wedding at the Registry Office down the road, I would highly recommend checking it out.
Simon was there, ready and waiting, with his father by his side as best man - a very nice touch. This was a very small and intimate ceremony - essentially close family - and I'm always conscious on occasions like this that I want to be as discreet as I can. The ceremony itself was absolutely charming - full of smiles, a few (happy) tears and plenty of laughs. Perfect. I really do enjoy my job - what a pleasure to be able to see so many happy couples making such a great commitment to each other and knowing that I'm capturing moments which will stay with them forever.
One of things that I absolutely loved about Jai & Simon's wedding was that they were really up for putting aside a good amount of time for a tour of Winchester for time-out photos with just the two of them. There are so many brilliant spots and beautiful features to take advantage of, and while quite often couples want to find somewhere tucked away and discreet for this part of the day, on this occasion they were perfectly happy to wander right through the town, starting up at the top by the Great Hall and the Law Courts, and then winding our way down the high street and around the back of the Cathedral. It took a little while longer than a normal stroll along the same route might take with members of the public stopping to congratulate them and offer kind words, and the occasional toot of a car horn - possibly not an option for couples who don't like being the centre of attention - but time was happily on our side and they took it totally in their stride. And it meant that I was able to finally capture a few slightly different and alternative Winchester wedding photos which I had had in my mind for quite a while. As we wrapped things up and started to head to the Corner House for the reception the temperate dropped and a few little spots of rain started to come down. Simon, being the gentleman that he is, whipped off his jacket and offered it to his wife, which made for a couple of really cute shots at the end of the session.
And so on to the Corner House, at the far end of Parchment Street. Their faqmily had already arrived, and were joined by further friends as the evening progressed. Lots of hugs, laughter and smiles, delicious-looking canapes, the speeches and the cutting of the cake, before i finally put down my camera as the evening party got into full swing. This was a seriously wonderful wedding, and it was a huge pleasure to be there and photograph it for such a lovely couple, who couldn't have looked more in love if they tried!
If you are planning your Winchester wedding and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your plans and to ask any questions you might have - I'm always happy to help however I can.
Hope you enjoyed the photos, and as ever, thanks for reading.
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