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.
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.
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!
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...
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,
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