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Emma & Richard - Gorcott Hall, Warwickshire

Richard & Emma were married at Holy Trinity R.C. in Sutton Coldfield with their reception at Gorcott Hall, a charming (and rather hard to find) Tudor Country House. I really liked Emma and Richard, they are thoroughly kind, well-read/travelled, thoughtful people - very much my cup of tea - and being with them on their wedding day felt a lot like being with people I knew far better.

The day started at Gorcott Hall where Emma, her bridesmaids and much of the family (from both sides) were staying. Gorcott is an interesting venue. It’s a family home which once a month is vacated for the purposes of weddings. With a large kitchen and an excellent staff busily preparing breakfasts, the calibre of which cannot be truly appreciated on the nervous morning of a wedding, the sense of home away from home was disarming and delightful in equal measure. Once Emma was made up, hair-doed and into her gorgeous dress it was time for me to dash off to church. With Gorcott Hall to the south of Birmingham and the church to the North, I was somewhat concerned with the possibility of temperemental traffic causing a nuisance. Thankfully the roads played ball throughout the day.

Emma & Richard’s priest, Father Michael, wins the Tony Hart award for best character of 2011. Father Michael is of Vietnamese origin and his marriage service a sight to behold. He is a gifted public speaker and though he struggled with the pronunciation of Richard’s middle name I have rarely see a congregation so attentive and engaged. He’s also a genuinely lovely chap and it was a pleasure to photograph a wedding in his church.

Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches present uniquely different challenges. R.C. Churches tend to be larger, more recent and more structurally-open inside. Anglican Churches sometimes have more picturesque settings, but the R.C. Churches tend to be infinitely lighter and tend to allow for much better lines of sight. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy photographing weddings in Anglican Churches because I really do, but it’s a welcome change to have access to the more sympathetic angles that are so common in R.C. buildings. On arriving at the church, my first port of call was rigging a remote camera to get an elevated angle of the aisle from a location that I wouldn’t be able to access personally (and quietly) during the service itself. I place a lot of emphasis on discretion in church - the day is about the couple and not the photographer - and so being able to move noiselessly and reducing movement to a minimum is important.

Following Church it was back to Gorcott Hall for the wedding reception. As I mentioned before, Gorcott Hall is an easy place to miss. On my first recce earlier in the year it took me two sat-nav’s, a Google Map and about 20mins to find the place. It’s elusiveness lies in the placement of it’s entrance - directly off the latter stages of a slip road onto a fast dual-carriageway. While everyone else is busy speeding up, you’re trying to swing in Gorcott. Tucked away it may be, but the time you invested in finding the place is rewarded upon arrival. It’s a gorgeous house that feels roomy and large, but not excessively so. It has grandeur and homeliness in fine balance.

Emma & Richard’s reception had some great touches. Garden games in the form of croquet, giant jenga and giant connect four, a hog roast buffet for the evening and a very distinctive band who sported a singer with a truly amazing voice. I particularly enjoyed shooting the dancing at Emma & Richard’s wedding. The arrangement of band, dancefloor and the geometry of the room seemed to work well from a photographic point of view.

Anyway, enough chat, it’s time for some pictures. As usual a selection of my favourites from the day. Emma & Richard were particularly keen on having a larger percentage of colour images than I normally deliver. I believe I achieved this in the full edit, but the selection below seems to be about half and half. This, I think, says a lot about what I am personally drawn to! Many thanks to Emma & Richard for choosing me as their wedding photographer, I hope you enjoy the selection.


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