Clevedon Hall Wedding

Zuzanna and James

Zuzanna and James got married at Clevedon Hall, right out in the West Country. I have to say that this venue is particularly special, and not just for it’s stunning terraces, lawns and fountain. First of all, it’s lavish and stately interior exudes Jacobean character. Secondly, wedding parties have exclusive use of the house and grounds. Furthermore, I have to say I was completely blown away by the immaculate renovations. The Chandeliers, furniture and oak panelling all hark back to a different era yet with a contemporary feel.

In addition, I felt that the icing on the venue’s cake is the close proximity of Clevedon Pier. In the words of famous poet Sir John Betjeman it is “The most beautiful pier in England!”. I think Sir John could well be right! Finished in 1869, the pier boasts incredibly ornate wrought ironwork. Above all, it is also functional, able to withstand strong seas and high winds. I was excited to hear that Zuzanna and James had booked the pier for an hour to themsleves, specifically for photography!

My mate Matt

So, my mate Matt Law is an awesome wedding photographer. For this wedding I was to be Matt’s co-pilot. That is to say, he needed someone to be his second pair of eyes. Smooth out the bride’s dress. Tell him to take his lens cap off. Maybe take a couple of thousand extra photos. In other words, be his second shooter for the day.

Myself and Matt work well together, I shoot documentary images and help light the wedding portraits. Consequently, I found myself holding a pole with Matt’s flash lighting on the end high above Zuzanna in Clevedon Hall’s library. This would produce a ‘Hollywood style’ lighting effect inkeeping with Matt’s style of photography. Matt was chatting away to Zuzanna and James as is his usual way, putting them at their ease whilst snapping off a few shots. My arms began to feel like two lead weights and were starting to shake. Howerver, Matt was still chatting and snapping. Luckily it wasn’t too long before we had the shots we wanted. Subsequently, I was happy to see that Zuzanna was over the moon with her images.

70 mph winds!

As mentioned earlier, the happy couple had booked themsleves an hour slot for photography on Clevedon Pier. Unfortunately, what they hadn’t reckoned with was the British weather! During the ceremony, the winds had picked up to gale force meaning the pier would have to be closed. Whilst we could still use the stunning exterior of Clevedon Hall for photography, I could tell Zuzanna was a little crestfallen. Once the wedding breakfast was over however, the wind had eased a little and there appeared to be a sunset…

Matt rushed off to get his van and I grabbed the lighting equipment. I almost bundled the delighted and slightly breathless couple into the back and we were off! The pier was still closed, but that didn’t matter as it was still an awesome backdrop, especially with the dramatic sky and sunset. Matt and added our touches of camera and lighting magic. As a result, the shots we got look like stills from a movie! After that, I broke out my Hasselblad medium format film cameraand grabbed a last couple of images as the sun sunk belwo the horizon.

Wedding cake wobble

On a high from our pier shoot, Zuzanna, James, Matt and I returned to Clevedon Hall. After they had changed and made their big entrance, the first dance ensued. This went without a hitch, with James performing lifts that Torvill and Dean would have been proud of! However, it was during the cutting of the cake that proceedings took a turn for the worse. I snapped away as Zuzanna and James posed with the cake knife placed delicately atop the third tier. Their smiles radiated around the adoring onlookers. Therefore, when the actual incision was made no one expected the cake to wobble violently and almost disintegrate! Thankfully the staff were on hand to help avert disaster and distribute cake to the masses. I kept shooting throughout, capturing some amusing documentary images for the final edit.

Thank you to Zuzanna and James and their families, the awesome team at Clevedon Hall and to Matt for all the laughs along the way!

If you’d like to book me for your wedding photography, please see my investment page.