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Nicola & Tom - Hook House Hotel

Nikki was a bridesmaids at one of my early weddings, back in 2009. Thankfully I must have made a good impression as I was delighted to hear from her again late last year when she got in touch to enquire about the possibility of me photographing her marriage to Tom in July.

Nicola & Tom were married in the peaceful and secluded Dogmersfield Church nr Hook in Hampshire with a reception just round the corner at Hook House Hotel. It never ceases to amaze me just how many wedding venues there are in this neck of the woods. I’m familiar with many of the local venues, but Hook House was a new one for me. It’s a real gem, a classic Georgian building with extremely well manicured gardens.

The day had a couple of unusual and notable moments. Firstly, shortly after I’d arrived at the church, as the first guests were arriving, the RAF Red Arrows could be seen flying in the distance. Hook’s not far from RAF Odiham so my guess was that they were practicing their display in the vicinity of the airfield. A short while later, just as Nikki’s Bridesmaids were arriving we were treated to unusual occurrence number two. The church is situated next to a field which surrounds the driveway of the adjacent Dower House. The field had been recently mowed and there was a fair bit of dry cut grass sitting loose. Nikki and Tom were blessed with great weather, and the combination of warm, still air combined to form a brief, but rather impressive dust devil. It was genuinely one of the weirdest sights I’ve ever seen - like something out of The Wizard of Oz. At first my eyes couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing, but with Bridesmaids arriving in the opposite direction I didn’t have long to gawp. Nonetheless, amazing!

Finally, shortly after our arrival at Hook House Hotel, as if timed to the minute, the Red Arrows flew directly over the assembled wedding party and their guests. I went to school with one of the pilots, Red 5 Flt. Lt. Zane Sennett and I can vouch for the fact that a flypast like this, when arranged, costs a pretty penny. It was a superb sight, and lent a real buzz to what was already an amazing day.

My thanks to Nicola & Tom for being such a lovely couple to work with. Nikki had expressed some concern to me prior to the day that she was quite seriously camera shy. I assured her that she wouldn’t spend the whole day feeling like she was being photographed, and I hope that shows in the images. To my eye she was a natural in front of the camera and like most Brides spent the whole day smiling broadly! As ever, here are a selection of my favourites.


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