The Moonraker Hotel Wedding
Lisa and Chris
Lisa and Chris got married at The Moonraker Hotel, perched near the idyllic Somerset town of Trowbridge. I have shot at some really amazing locations in the past, but few have the charm of the Moonraker Hotel. For instance, the hotel was built in classic Queen Anne style before being upgraded in the 17th century to Bath stone. In addition, I felt that it’s small yet discreet gardens involved some kind of magic. The sweet summer breeze blew across lush lawns whilst ruffling brightly coloured blooms. Moreover, The Moonraker Hotel’s interior includes many features that lend themselves to the making of great wedding images. In other words it has everything from oak panelling to bay windows to beautiful features like ornate ceiling coves. You would be forgiven for feeling like you were in a BBC period drama!
So, you know how you meet some people and they just look like they should be called a certain name? Well what can I say, Lisa looked like a Tracey. I couldn’t put my finger on how or why, she just suited the name. Consequently, this led me to calling her Tracey all day! I do shoot a lot of weddings and meet a lot of brides, but pride myself in remembering (almost) everyone’s name. For some reason though, Lisa kept morphing into Tracey. So we went with it. Lisa didn’t seem to mind her new identity, in fact it quickly became her pseudonym when in front of the camera! Strangely, Chris liked the idea of marrying a Tracey too*.
Whilst Tracey (I mean Lisa) was getting ready, the people on her street were congregating outside. Once Lisa came out of the house to wait for her bespoke VW campervan transport, they crowded round. There were some tears and plenty of neighbourly advice to be had. I love photographing the contrast between the normality of a street scene versus the pomp and circumstance of a family wedding. Lisa, her bridesmaids and the shiny campervan looked as though they’d been beamed straight from another part of history.
Once at the venue, it was showtime. I could feel The Moonraker Hotel’s amazing relaxed vibes extending amongst the two sides of the family. Tracey (Lisa) walked down the aisle to meet Chris and everything about the ceremony went smoothly (except perhaps the tying of rope knots which might have taken longer than planned!). After that, the newlyweds emerged into the Somerset sunshine to receive many emotional congratulations.
Tra.. Lisa and Chris had put on some fairground games for their guests to enjoy. I enjoyed photographing many attempts at the coconut shy, tincan alley and traditional skittles. In addition, the ‘Test Your Strength’ machine is always fun once a few Gin and Tonics have been consumed! The happy couple both managed to ring the bell before it was time to eat. Post meal, as the shadows lengthened, I whispered in Lisa’s (and possibly Tracey’s) ear that it might be an idea to head to The Moonraker hotel’s meadow. Once omongst the tall grass we were blessed with a soft evening light that caressed our couple’s rosy features. After taking portraits outside we retired to the cosy orange glow of the hotel interior. It turned out that Lisa’s dress fitted perfectly into the bay window seats. I think she’s still there now!
Thank you to Lisa and Chris and their families, the awesome team at The Moonraker Hotel and to Tracey for becoming Lisa’s alter-ego!
*He was getting two wives for the price of one!
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