Alyce & Ray
A glorious wedding day at a beautiful church called St Marys leading to the perfect reception venue at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa. We commenced our day at the charming home of Alyce’s family where I had the opportunity to photograph her bridal preparations. Many of my brides or groom preparations take place in the comforts of their own homes or family members’ homes. This is exactly what my beautiful bride Alyce decided to do by having her bridal party join her at her mother’s home where she was surrounded by her two best friends and her main family. The Bride looked radiant, her makeup and hair flawlessly finished by one of her best friends as well as her bridesmaid, the very talented Lauren Cohen Hair & Makeup artist.
There were so many sentimental aspects for Alyce during the wedding day, one of them being a portion of her mother & nans wedding dress sewn into the underskirt of her own. Alyce wore a wedding gown by Jessica Coutures, she was an image of pure beauty all ready to head to the church to meet her groom at the end of the aisle.
Before we headed out to the wedding cars Alyce did a fun and emotional reveal to her bridesmaids, parents, and grandparents and gave them beautiful cards with personal messages inside. The bridesmaids also had a surprise for Alyce too, a beautifully handmade album full of messages from her friends and fun pictures from the past.
On arrival at the ceremony venue, which was an exquisite church called St Marys based in Bicester I was greeted by a handsome groom Ray who was all ready to meet Alyce to say their wedding vows. Our bride Alyce arrived, stepping out of a black wedding car (it’s always great to see something different from the traditional white) the sun was shining down on her giving such an angelic touch as she walked up to the church along with her dad.
The inside of St Mary’s church was minimalist and stunningly flawless with colourful stained glass windows and perfect little details which made capturing a wedding in this church a dream. The bridal party began their walk down the aisle followed by the beautiful bride Alyce who couldn’t keep the smile from her face as she walked arm in arm with her dad to meet Ray her soon-to-be husband. They joined each other hand in hand to begin their ceremony where a range of hymns, readings, and of course the legal religious ceremony took place. I do love church ceremonies, they do last longer than a registrar running the ceremony, and getting married in the house of god is great for those who love something considered more traditional.
Something that I love at weddings is the confetti throw, even though I always have to tell each couple not to look terrified as it flies at their face and along with picking confetti out of their hair for hours too. Luckily the confetti really complimented Ray & Alyce and they had so much fun in the process. The time after the confetti allowed us to fit in a selection of family formals along with a beautiful portrait session of the couple as the sun was so beautiful shining down on the grounds of the church. They exited the church grounds in an exquisite black retro wedding car to head to their reception venue which was the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa in Chipping Norton.
Arriving at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa the bride & groom were greeted with a glass of bubbly and a beautiful entrance to their wedding reception. The room was decorated so elegantly, with accents of pink and candelabras on each table to light up the room. The little details really wowed at the reception and I absolutely loved the donut wall, having something yummy at hand to eat is always a plus at a wedding for all the guests whilst they await their wedding breakfast.
During the lead-up to the wedding breakfast, I dedicate this time to capturing a lot of candid shots of the wedding couple and their guests. I love them to have time to just chill and take it all in rather than spending it all dedicated to formal photographs. Usually, the candid shots of the guests don’t usually make it into my portfolio and I like to keep them private for the couple to enjoy rather than showing their entire wedding gallery online but if a few catch my eye and are funny, natural moments they just have to be shown!
My absolute favorite part of the day! When I’m able to take my couple off into the beautiful grounds of their wedding venue and take some romantic pictures of them both! In this case, the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa has huge grounds as it’s also a gold course so we certainly got to explore and make the most out of such an extraordinary wedding venue. The sun was just perfect that afternoon as you can see from the images it created such a romantic, dreamy look which I absolutely love! The portraits are the show-stopper images from a wedding day, the ones you usually see in my main portfolio. They show off the couple’s love and connection with each other as well as giving the wedding dress and suit some spotlight!
When the bride & groom arrived back at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa it was time to make their entrance into the reception to hold their speeches and enjoy their delicious wedding breakfast. I don’t usually photograph the eating however the speeches are so fun to capture, documenting all the laughs and funny facial expressions from the guests truly makes my day especially when someone starts to cry as it can be a really emotional moment. I like to show the bride and groom’s reactions to what their bridal party has to say about them, it often ends with the bride wiping away her tears and the groom giggling his head off at the past stories the best man has shared.
The night commences with the first dance to get the partying on its way! Alyce & Ray went for a non-traditional first dance song which in my eyes is absolutely fantastic! I love different especially if I don’t have to listen to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect once more ( I love Ed Sheeran really). The ballroom was the perfect location to hold the first dance witht he beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling along with the twinkling lights truly made for gorgeous dance images.
After the first dance everyone got on the dance floor to party the night away in celebration of Alyce & Ray’s wedding day! The wedding guest’s dancing is a really fun time for me to capture some funny, crazy moments as people take in more alcohol and start spinning each other around the dance floor. The Cotswolds Hotel & Spa dance floor was huge so this made it perfect for me to capture all the action that took place within the venue from many of the guests dancing to the others having a laugh with their families at the bar.
As the sun was setting so beautifully, I just had to get both the bride and groom out for some off-camera flash portraits to capture the beautiful sky. I love it when my couples are willing to flow with my ideas and trust in me as their wedding photographer to create something truly beautiful. This portrait session was really fun and had a great atmosphere, even if we couldn’t see anything until the flash fired!
The final part of the evening before I gave my hugs to the couple and said my goodbyes was such an amazing sparkler walk-through. Don’t get me wrong it’s hell crazy to set up, especially when there is drink involved but wow it looks incredible in the final images. The photographs are warm and magical and frame the beautiful couple to highlight their perfect wedding day.
If you are interested in booking me for your wedding day at The Cotswolds Hotel & Spa or any other amazing Wedding venue in the United Kingdom please contact me!
The fabulous suppliers from the day:
Wedding dress: Jessica Coutures
Makeup & Hair: Lauren Cohen- Hair & Makeup
Grooms Suit: Dragonfly Groomswear
Videography: AMB Cinematography