St Cross Hospital in Winchester Wedding with Chloe & Simon (& Zac)

July 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This isn't really about getting married in a hospital as you would probably imagine it: the Hospital of St Cross in Winchester is actually a beautiful almshouse, still in use today, and an absolutely stunning Norman church, nestled on the banks of the river Itchen and on the edge of the famous water meadows on the outskirts of Winchester. It's been on the list of places I want to shoot for quite some time, and so it was with great pleasure that I found myself there to cover Chloe & Simon's wonderfully sunny Summer wedding recently.

Ominous clouds looming above the chapel as the wedding guests assemble for a group photoSt Cross Hospital Winchester WeddingChurch exterior with group photo The connection with St Cross is very straightforward - Chloe grew up just around the corner, and indeed her parents' house was to play host to the rest of the day's activity and festivities; starting with the bridal prep in the morning and finishing with the wedding breakfast and party in a marquee in their superb garden. I've covered quite a few home-based wedding receptions now and they're always a lot of fun - very relaxed, and of course they're all your own rules so you can run the day exactly as you please. It also made things much easier when it came to young Zac - Chloe & Simon's ridiculously cute baby - who spent much of the day boogying, absolutely lapping up all the female attention from assorted bridesmaids and family members, and generally trying to steal the show.

Dress hanging in the hallway of the parents' house and detail of buttonhole flowerWinchester marquee home weddingPre-wedding details Bridesmaids and family at home before getting readyWinchester marquee home weddingRelaxed moments The bride and groom's son powers himself up for the rest of the dayWinchester marquee home weddingBreakfast for Zac Flowers and other arrangements in place ready for the celebrations laterWinchester marquee home weddingMarquee details The bride casts her eye over the decoration of the marqueeWinchester marquee home weddingSetting up the marquee Bride getting readyWinchester marquee home weddingHair and make-up Bride has some make-up appliedWinchester marquee home weddingBridal preparation The mother of the bride watches on as the bride gets laced into her wedding dressWinchester marquee home weddingIn the dress Bridesmaids fan the bride on an extremely hot summers day to keep her cool as the final touches are applied to the dressWinchester marquee home weddingBride and bridesmaids The veil is fixed in place and the bride is ready to leave for the ceremonyWinchester marquee home weddingThe veil And so with the bridal preparations successfully completed it was into the car for the short journey down the hill to St Cross, to catch up with Simon and his best man as the guests started to arrive. It really is a lovely setting there - the church sits at one corner of a quadrangle, with accommodation for the residents - the brothers - making up other sides. The buildings are absolutely beautiful and wonderfully maintained; it's really worth a visit if you're in the area. The church is a real thing of beauty, somehow managing to be both imposing and intimate at the same time - what a scene to pull up to in your Rolls Royce! 

The church in the summer sunshine, photographed from the water meadowsHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographySt Cross Hospital and chapel Flowers and order of serviceHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyInterior details Interior of the church as the guests arrive and take their seatsHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyGroom waiting The best man mankes sure that the groom is looking presentable for his brideHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyA final check Groom and best man stood at the front of the church waiting for the bride to arriveHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyFinal moments The Rolls Royce pulls up inside the quadrangeleHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyThe car arrives Stood inside the arched doorway to the church and ready to make their entranceHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyBride and father The central aisle with groom waiting at the end just before the bride walks to the front on her father's armHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyDown the aisle The procession begins, led by the priestHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyBride enters the church Best man singing and family of the groom watch on Hospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyThe ceremony Readings during the wedding ceremonyHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyReadings The beautiful stonework inside the churchHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyChurch interior Sat together at the front of the church for the wedding serviceHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyBride and groom Bride and groom watched on by guests as they make their vowsHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyMaking the vows With the rings exchanged the bride and groom kiss and seal the marriageHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyExchange of rings and the kiss The wedding party retires to an ante-room to complete the necessary documentationHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographySigning the register The groom signs the marriage registerHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographySmiles and congratulations The bride and groom carry their young son down the aisle together upon completion of the marriageHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyDown the aisle Bride and groom prepare to leave the beautiful setting of the church and almshouseHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyOutside the church The wedding car leaves the church to return to the reception venueHospital of St Cross Winchester wedding photographyThe wedding car After a few group photos outside the church (despite the slightly brooding clouds rolling in from the east to add some atmosphere to the photos it was absolutely roasting by this point!) everyone decamped back to the house to start the celebrations. Champagne and nibbles on the terraced lawn and in front of the massive marquee (oh, what I'd give to have a garden like this, although I suspect I wouldn't keep it quite as immaculate!) and lots of natural, candid photography of everyone enjoying themselves, with kisses and hugs all round. The wedding breakfast led into the speeches, and then as everyone relaxed into the evening I nipped off with Chloe and Simon to capture a few portraits of just the two of them before further guests started to arrive. The band was set up and ready to go (I love a live band at a wedding - there seem to have been loads of them this year!), the cake was cut, and the traditional first dance set off the evening's proceedings...

The bride with her baby son at the wedding receptionWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyChloe and Zac Black and white photo of bride and groom with wedding guestsWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyWedding guests Guests enjoying themselves in the garden with the marquee in the backgroundWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyIn the garden The bride and groom's son charms various wedding guestsWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyZac Baby enjoys rolling around on the lawnWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyAnother young guest The marquee comes to life as guests enter for the wedding breakfastWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyThe wedding breakfast Candid photos of the bride and groom during the receptionWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyCandids Father of the bride gives the opening speechWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographySpeeches Guests watch on as the groom gives his speechWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyThe groom's speech Candid photography during the wedding receptionWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyBest man and bridesmaids The bride's son plays football in the gardensWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyEntertaining the children... Photographs of the newly married coupleWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyBride and groom portraits The couple together and portrait of the groom sat on steps in the gardenWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyBride and groom Walking down the driveway to the house, surrounded by woodlandWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyBride and groom alone Groom, best man and ushers enjoy a well-earned cigar on the terraceWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyCigars Bride and groom take to the floor for the first danceWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyFirst dance Live music for the wedding receptionWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyThe band Together on the dancefloorWinchester garden marquee wedding reception photographyThe bride and groom A truly wonderful wedding - a homecoming in every sense of the word and, with little Zac in tow, an absolutely delightful young family; what a fantastic day. Many congratulations to you both Chloe & Simon, and wishing you many happy years together!

 

The photos above are just a small selection from the day. Friends and family can view the full set in Chloe & Simon's gallery, but you'll need to ask them for the password first.

 

If you are planning your wedding at St Cross in Winchester 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 ask me 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,

 

Stephen


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