Highfield Park Wedding with Hannah & James

July 07, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Up to the North of Hampshire a couple of weeks ago for Hannah & James's wonderful wedding; a ceremony at St Michael's Church in Basingstoke, with secluded Highfield Park near Hook - right up towards the border - the scene for activities either side: bridal prep in the morning, and the rest of the afternoon and evening's celebrations later in the day. Highfield was a new venue to me for wedding coverage, so I'd arranged to meet here with the bride and groom a few weeks previously for our pre-wedding shoot (a few images from that day available to view here as well if you're interested). We'd taken the opportunity to have a really good look around and mark out some favourite locations for the day, although to be honest you're spoilt for choice both inside and out - definitely no shortage of excellent photo opportunities here!

Bride applying make-up and dress hangingHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyBridal preparations Colour photo of bride applying make-up before wedding ceremonyHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyBridal make-up Bridal party in dressing room getting ready before weddingHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyBride and bridesmaids getting ready Floral decorations are added to the hair of one of the flower girlsHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyFlower girls The bride hands gifts to bridesmaids and flower girlsHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyGifts for bridal party Black and white image of bridesmaids helping bride get into wedding dressHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyBride getting dressed The last few moments before bridal party heads to the church for the weddingHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyFinishing touches A flower girl looks into a mirror as bride and bridesmaids get readyHighfield Park Hampshire wedding photographyFlower girls in mirror As a change from the usual experience of squeezing into a hotel bedroom with any number of bridesmaids, hair and make-up artists, flower deliveries and so on, the bridal preparations were taking place in one of the larger function rooms down on the ground floor. They still managed to completely take over the room however, so it's probably just as well Hannah had taken that opportunity when it was presented! It was actually Hannah's mother in charge of hair and make-up, and she was just wrapping up after what must have been an immense job as I started to photograph. Everyone was looking absolutely stunning - some real talent there for sure!

The ceremony was to take place in Basingstoke, specifically St Michael's church, right in the centre. I'd only ever seen this church from the outside (it's the one near the Anvil Theatre) and how no idea how absolutely gorgeous it is inside. And huge too! What a hidden gem this church is - definitely an absolutely wonderful choice if you are considering a church wedding in the area. James was there and keeping himself occupied when I arrived, with guests milling around outside and starting to come in and take their seats. A quick couple of photos of him with his groomsmen, and then he was delivered safely to his place at the end of the aisle, ready to receive his bride as she made her entrance...

The outside of St Michael's church in central BasingstokeBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchWedding cars and church exterior The groom is attended at the front of the church by his two best menBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchGroom and best men Family members arrive and take their seats before the start of the ceremonyBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchFamily arriving Wide view of St Michael's Church looking down the aisle towards the altar from the West doorBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchChurch interior The groom waits with his groomsmen at the front of the churchBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchGroom waiting Best man checks his pockets for the rings before the ceremony beginsBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchChecking the rings The bride enters the church on her father's armBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchBride arrives Bride and her father walk down the aisle together at the start of the cermonyBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchWalking down the aisle Wedding party candid photographs during hymnsBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchGuests during ceremony Guests giving readings during marriage serviceBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchReadings The view down the aisle at St Michael's church during wedding ceremonyBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchMarriage service Bride and groom turn to face each other to make their vowsBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchMaking vows Bride and groom exchanging vowsBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchTying the knot Black and white images of bride and groom exchanging rings and receiving blessingBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchExchanging rings Bride and groom receive the blessing following the wedding ceremonyBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchThe blessing Colour photo of bridesmaids and flower girls during weddingBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchBridesmaids watching on The bride and groom step into a side-chapel to sign the marriage registerBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchSigning the register Black and white photograph of bride signing register of marriageBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchBride signs the register Candid photographs of signing of registerBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchRegister The bride and groom emerge from the chapel at the end of the marriage serviceBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchThe end of the service Bride and groom walk back down the aisle as husband and wifeBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchWalking down the aisle Black and white image showing back of bride's dress as she leaves the churchBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchExiting the church Wedding guests greet the bride and groom with confetti as they leave the churchBasingstoke wedding photography at St Michael's ChurchConfetti outside church Immediately after the ceremony (well, once the bride and groom had emerged from the church to a barrage of confetti) we returned to the hotel as we had a pretty tight turnaround between wedding and wedding breakfast. We still managed to squeeze in drinks and canapes, as well as a large group photos of all of the guests, though before everyone was ushered into the main dining room, which was to remain the focus for the rest of the day's events. Happily however, and despite looking clouds and reports of thunderstorms further along the close, we were able to make good use of the extensive and beautifully-kept grounds front and back, not least the gentle hill on which the hotel sits with its views back across what must be most of Hampshire. Amongst these beautiful corners around the venue one space in particular stands out head and shoulders above the rest; the Folly. I already knew that this was high on Hannah & James' list of priorities for the couple photos, and they had gone to a whole load of extra trouble decorating it up for the occasion. It looked absolutely fantastic, and I understand that it's also licensed for outdoor marriages which is a bit of a rarity in the UK, so well worth keeping that one up your sleeve if that's on your wedding wish-list!

Highfield Park Hotel photographed from rearHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyWedding venue extrerior The bride and bridesmaids walk along a gravel path talking togetherHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyBride with bridesmaids The dining room set up ready for the wedding breakfastHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyReception room interior Guests smiling and laughing as they listen to the wedding speechesHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyGuests watching speeches The bride watches on as her father gives the opening speechHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyFather of the bride's speech The groom stands to make his speechHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyWedding speeches Wedding guests watch on as the groom laughs during the speechesHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyGuests during speeches Glasses are raised to the bride and groom at the end of the speechesHighfield Park Hook wedding photographyToasting the couple So whilst the other guests were still seated in the dining room we nipped off to make the most of the quiet grounds - Folly included. A good measure of the photographic variety available at a venue is if you can cover both the pre-wedding shoot and the day itself there, and still come up with different couple portraits each time, and Highfield Park ticks that box, I'm happy to say. As we rolled on into the evening we took the opportunity to capture some family and group photos (pro tip; don't feel that you always have to try and fit these in to the time between ceremony and wedding breakfast, just because it's how things are usually done. Doing it slightly later in the day, as Hannah & James did, can relieve a lot of time pressure if things are a bit squeezed earlier on). And then before we knew it we were throwing bouquets, cutting cakes, and - erm, dancing firsts. A heaving dancefloor soon after the first couple of dances is always a good indicator of a fun party crowd, and it looked like Hannah & James' celebrations were set to continue long into the night...

Portrait of bride and groom in hotel groundsHighfield Park wedding photographyBlack and white couple portrait in gardens Posed images of bride and groom togetherHighfield Park wedding photographyBride and groom photography Portraits of bride and groom at the Folly in the hotel groundsHighfield Park wedding photographyBride and groom soft focus images The folly was decorated by the couple with floral detailsHighfield Park wedding photographyCouple portrait at the Folly Family members gather outside the front of the hotel for group photographsHighfield Park wedding photographyFamily portraits The bridal party outside the front entrance of the hotelHighfield Park wedding photographyBride with bridesmaids The groom and groomsmen take out their hip flasksHighfield Park wedding photographyGroom with groomsmen Bride and groom posed with view of hotelHighfield Park wedding photographyCouple portrait with dramatic skies Colour photos of bride aloneHighfield Park wedding photographyBride colour portraits The bride prepares to throw the bouquet to female guestsHighfield Park wedding photographyThrowing the bouquet Drinks on the terrace after the wedding breakfastHighfield Park wedding photographyIn the grounds of the hotel Bride and groom cut the wedding cake at the start of the evening's celebrationsHighfield Park wedding photographyCutting the cake The bride and groom take to the dancefloorHighfield Park wedding photographyFirst dance Photos of first danceHighfield Park wedding photographyDanding photographs The bride and groom invite other guests to join them on the dancefloorHighfield Park wedding photographyGroom on dancefloor Black and white photographs of guests dancingHighfield Park wedding photographyDancefloor action Bride and groom stand by the ornate staircase in the middle of the hotelHighfield Park wedding photographyCouple by staircase Highfield Park wedding photography Many congratulations Hannah & James on an absolutely wonderful day - wishing you many happy years together - and huge thanks to the couple and all their family and friends for being such fantastic, willing and natural photographic subjects!

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

If you are currently planning your Highfield Park wedding and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please do drop me a line to discuss your plans and ask me any questions you might have. I'm only too happy to help however I can.

Hope you enjoyed the photos from this gorgeous Summer wedding, and thanks as ever for reading,

Stephen 


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