Old Alresford Place Wedding with Rebecca & Paul

July 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Alresford is an absolutely beautiful little market town nestled in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, just a few miles east of Winchester. I should know, because it just happens to be my home town too. And it was also the scene for a wonderful homecoming for Rebecca, retuning to the family home with fiancee Paul (very soon to be husband Paul) to tie the knot in beautiful St Mary's Church, before heading across the road with friends and family for a reception at equally fantastic Old Alresford Place - a stunning mansion house tucked away at the edge of town. No chance of oversleeping for this one - the biggest electrical storm I can remember for years woke me up bright and early, but for all of this angry weather's enthusiasm it soon gave up the fight, and instead we were treated to blazing sunshine and deep blue skies - dotted with the fluffiest of white clouds - for the rest of the day. This was definitely a hot one!

Bridal prep at Rebecca's parents' beautiful house, deep into rural Hampshire (we'd met up here a few weeks before for the pre-wedding shoot and it was just as lovely as I remembered), comfortably filled with assorted bridesmaids, family members, hairdressers and make-up artists but still managing to keep a sense of calm (I'm always impressed with how relaxed this stage of the day can be for so many brides - it's all in the planning, I guess!). Rebecca looked absolutely beautiful, even before she was made up and dressed, and there was laughter and smiles everywhere I looked - everything had come together perfectly for the big day.

Exterior of family home, with vintage bus to transport the bride and bridesmaidsAlresford wedding photographyBridal preparations at home Shoes and jewellery gift boxesAlresford wedding photographyBridal prep details Shoes and dress detailAlresford wedding photographyMore bridal prep details Black and white photo of bride having make-up appliedAlresford wedding photographyMake-up Family members and bridesmaidsAlresford wedding photographyCandid photos during bridal preparations A huge array of make-up brushes - I wouldn't know where to begin!Alresford wedding photographyMake-up Beautiful floral details are applied to the bride's hairAlresford wedding photographyHair Bridesmaids assist and watch on as the bride gets into her dressAlresford wedding photographyGetting dressed The bride gets into her wedding dressAlresford wedding photographyBride in dress Full prepared, the father of the bride sees his daughter in her dress for the first timeAlresford wedding photographyReady to go A quick spin down the road to the church - I love a country wedding for many reasons, but one in particular is that (tractors permitting) there isn't any traffic to worry about as you race to get to the church far enough ahead of the bride to catch up with the groom and his entourage, the arriving guests, and of course the vicar - or in this case (an unusual one for me) both of the vicars! By now the sun was absolutely blazing. The rural scenery looked at its absolute finest and everything was bursting with early summer colour. As the guests settled themselves inside, and Paul took his position at the front of the aisle, I headed back outside to catch the bridal party as they pulled up en masse in a wonderful vintage bus. As the bridesmaids made a final few adjustments ready for the big moment I nipped back in (the photographer heading back down the aisle is, I believe, now the modern traditional signal that everything is about to happen) and then it was all eyes on the church door as Rebecca made her entrance on her father's arm...

Blue skies and sunshine over the beautiful Hampshire countrysideSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyChurch exterior St Mary's church with wedding guests arriving photographed from the west sideSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyAlresford church in black and white Outdoors in summer sunshine with best man and ushers in backgroundSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyThe Groom Order of service, pew-end decorations and wedding ringsSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyChurch interior details Groom inside the church with ushersSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyGroom waiting for his bride The groom waits at the front of the church for the bride to make her entranceSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyChurch interior Vintage bus with bride and bridesmaids outside churchSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyThe Bride arrives Bride with bridesmaids outside the gate of the churchSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyThe final moments The bride walks to the entrance of the church with her father and flower girlSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyWalking to the church Back inside the church, the groom is about to be signalled that his bride has arrivedSt Mary's Church Alresford wedding photographyStill waiting patiently... The bride walks down the aisle with her fatherOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyBridal entrance The bride sees her groom at the front of the churchOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyBride arrival The start of the wedding ceremony, beginning with the first hymnOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyWedding ceremony Bride reaction and the vicar leading the ceremonyOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyThe service The bride and groom turn to face the congregation before making their vowsOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyBride and groom in church The bridesmaids watch the wedding serviceOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyBridesmaids The groom places the wedding ring on the bride's fingerOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyExchange of rings The bride and groom laugh together during the ceremonyOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyHappy moment The groom symbolically lights a candle as part of the wedding serviceOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyLighting the candle With the ceremony complete, the bride and groom sign the wedding registerOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographySigning the register The newly married bride and groom walk back down the aisle together as husband and wifeOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyWalking down the aisle Many kisses and hugs for the newly married couple outside the church, before everyone crossed the road to Old Alresford place, the scene for the rest of the day's celebrations (stopping by the entrance gate to the church for a barrage of confetti, very enthusiastically thrown!). Old Alresford Place is a lovely old manor house with wonderful gardens - perfect for making the most of on a sunny day like this, with garden games set out, drinks and canapes, and plenty of time for Rebecca & Paul to let it all sink in and spend time with their guests (and a few family and group photos outdoors) before heading into the beautiful dining room for speeches and the wedding breakfast. The speeches are always one of my favourite moments of the day from a photographic point of view, always full of laughter and smiles, sometimes a few happy tears, and lovely candid moments. And as the delicious-looking wedding breakfast was served I discreetly took a step back (I find that people don't generally tend to want too many photos of them eating) and start planning for the time out photos with the couple later in the evening...

The bride and groom greet their guests outside the churchOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyBride and groom after the service The couple are congratulated by their guests outside the churchOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyHugs and kisses Confetti is thrown as the bride and groom exit by the church gate to head to the receptionOld Alresford Church Wedding PhotographyConfetti The bride and groom cross the road to the reception venue, and the groom inspects the vintage bus which was the bridal party's wedding transportOld Alresford Place wedding photographyArriving at the reception venue The magnificent setting for the rest of the day's celebrationsOld Alresford Place wedding photographyThe reception venue Drinks and canapes were served in the shade of the conservatoryOld Alresford Place wedding photographyDrinks in the conservatory The entire wedding party gather in the gardens for a photoOld Alresford Place wedding photographyThe group photo The bride shows off her garterOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBride and bridesmaids Friends pose for a photo in the gardensOld Alresford Place wedding photographyGuests and details in the grounds Details of the dining room before the wedding breakfast commencesOld Alresford Place wedding photographyThe dining room The father of the bride gives the first of the speechesOld Alresford Place wedding photographySpeeches Candid moments during the wedding speechesOld Alresford Place wedding photographySpeeches 2 The bride laughs listening to the groom's speechOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBride reaction The groom takes centre stage for his speechOld Alresford Place wedding photographyGroom's speech Reactions during the speechesOld Alresford Place wedding photographyFriends and family Flower girl and her teddy watch the speechesOld Alresford Place wedding photographyFlower girl Laughter and smiles from guestsOld Alresford Place wedding photographyGuest reactions The bride and groom cut the cake after the speechesOld Alresford Place wedding photographyCutting the cake Time out with the bride and groom aloneOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBride and groom portraits Bride and groom in the grounds of the house for some portraitsOld Alresford Place wedding photographyCouples portrait The newly married couple share a smile during the portrait sessionOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBride and groom alone The bride looks over her shoulder as they head back to the wedding receptionOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBack to the celebrations As we arrived back at the venue ready for the evening celebrations, the band was set up and ready to begin with the first dance. The superb ballroom had been decorated with huge numbers of balloons floating against the ceiling, trailing long strings down to the dancefloor, which I have to say made for a very cool effect - it makes the space feel much less empty during those first few moments, although those moments didn't last very long anyway: Rebecca & Paul's friends are most definitely party people!

A guests writes on the signing frameOld Alresford Place wedding photographyRelaxing in the conservatory The cheese board set out for the evening buffetOld Alresford Place wedding photographySay cheese! Floating against the ceiling above the dancefloorOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBalloons Blog 57Old Alresford Place wedding photographyThe bride checks out the balloons, and the flower girl tries to catch some The bride and groom take to the dancefloorOld Alresford Place wedding photographyFirst dance After the first dance, the floor gets crowded very quicklyOld Alresford Place wedding photographyDancing Friends descend on the dancefloor to kick off the partyOld Alresford Place wedding photographyParty time The bride and groom kissOld Alresford Place wedding photographyBride and groom on dancefloor Many congratulations Rebecca & Paul on an absolutely wonderful wedding - what a treat to be there and capture it all for you - and wishing you many happy years together!

The above photos are, as ever, just a small selection from the day: friends and family can view the full set and slideshow in Rebecca & Paul's private gallery, but you'll need to ask them for the password first.

 

If you are planning your wedding at Old Alresford Place 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; I'm always happy to help however I can.

 

Hope you enjoyed the photos and, as ever, thanks for reading.

 

Stephen


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