As a busy Milton Keynes wedding photographer, I get to work at the very best wedding venues in the area, and this is certainly the case when I return to capture wedding photography at Chicheley Hall. Laura and Chris chose the perfect venue for their summer wedding in Newport Pagnell.
Grade I listed Chicheley Hall is a Georgian mansion filled with charming original features sitting in 80 acres of stunning grounds and parkland. It’s described as one of the finest examples of early 18th-century architecture in England and is considered one of the top historic wedding venues in the country. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ll get back to all the reasons why I love capturing wedding photography at Chicheley Hall later. Let’s start at the beginning of Laura and Chris’s day.
It was a sunny summer’s day and I headed to Chicheley Hall early so I could capture those all-important morning of the wedding images. I’ve been to Chicheley many times, but that impressive drive-way always builds suspense and my first sight of the house takes my breath away every time.
Both Laura and Chris were getting ready at Chicheley, and I found Laura in the capable hands of the make-up artist and hair stylist, a brilliant Auntie and Niece team from Karela.
Laura looked stunning in a halter neck dress with a low back and beautiful layers of skirt in an A-line shape, that gave her an amazing silhouette in all of my images. Laura bought her stunning gown at bridal boutique Lucy Hart Bridal, though it suited her so perfectly that it looked like it had been created with her in mind.
Laura’s dress was complemented with a gorgeous bouquet of white, pastel yellow and pink flowers with green foliage. It was made by Adrienne’s Flowers who did all the flowers on the day.
Before heading for the ceremony, I got some great bridal images of Laura as well as a lovely father seeing the bride moment.
I also caught up with Chris and his groom’s party who were getting ready in one of Chicheley Hall’s rooms. They all looked very smart in petrol blue three-piece suits hired from Fogarty Formal Hire, though Chris’s waistcoat was grey blue check. They all completed the look with smart brown brogues and pink ties. I took some great images of the boys all dressed and ready to go.
Wedding Ceremony at Chicheley Hall
The wedding ceremony was held in The Grand Hall. This iconic space features marble floors and majestic arches creating a grand atmosphere perfect for a wedding ceremony. Chairs had been elegantly dressed in white sashes and there were two white trees at the front. The Venue Dressers did a fantastic job of creating the perfect space for the ceremony – it looked amazing!
Laura and her dad made a dramatic entrance down the feature staircase of the main house and into the Grand Hall. Laura and Chris said their vows between the two trees that stood under feature windows, that flooded the hall with tons of natural light. This was brilliant for me as I was able to use this lighting to create even more beautiful images of Laura and Chris’s ceremony.
Storytelling wedding photography in Milton Keynes
After a beautiful ceremony that included a reading given by one of Chris’s groomsmen, Laura and Chris headed back down the aisle as a married couple to the applause of their guests. Everybody then went outside into the sunshine for a fun confetti moment out the front of Chicheley Hall which always makes for some great, natural photos full of smiling faces!
Everybody then enjoyed an elegant drinks reception in the garden and were entertained by Accolade, an acoustic duo who surprised and delighted Laura and Chris’s guests with their original takes on well-known songs.
With everyone happily chatting, enjoying refreshments and entertainment, and partaking in lawn games, it was the perfect chance for me to get some candid images. I also took some group images of the wedding party.
With guests happily catered for, I quickly whisked Laura and Chris away for a few minutes for a mini photoshoot around the grounds of Chicheley Hall. Which brings me neatly to another reason why I love capturing wedding photography at Chicheley Hall, and that’s because of the gardens and grounds. Enchanting walled gardens, a beautiful lake, tree-lined paths and expansive lawns all make amazing backdrops in wedding photos. I got some amazing images of Laura and Chris – the one of the two of them standing front and centre in front of Chicheley Hall was one of my favourite images of the day. Here, take a look!
The wedding breakfast was held back in The Grand Hall that had now been dressed beautifully ready for the meal. Laura and Chris got to make a dramatic entrance down the feature staircase and were rapturously welcomed into their reception by the guests. There followed a sumptuous three-course meal prepared by Chicheley Hall’s in-house chefs followed by some lovely, heartfelt speeches featuring some great childhood stories. The speech givers were Laura’s dad, Chris and his two best men Alex (Chris’s brother) and Richard.
Natural and Creative wedding photography in Newport Pagnell
After the wedding breakfast, many guests then spilled outside to soak up the last of the sunshine. This is one of the things I love the most about country house weddings – guests really get to relax and explore enjoying exclusive use. Some guests chose to sit on the terrace with a drink, others played lawn games, others had a space hopper race and I unobtrusively captured it all. We also had some fun taking images with some smoke bombs.
Evening celebrations started with the cutting of a pretty white three-tiered wedding cake. This was followed by a romantic first dance for Laura and Chris, who were quickly joined on the dancefloor by many of their guests.
Now, Laura and Chris weren’t taking any chances with the evening celebrations, and booked a fun photobooth (who doesn’t love a photobooth!) and DJ from Go-DJ. The sight of Laura changing into her dancing shoes (and when I say shoes, I mean trainers) signified a change in tempo – the party had started!
This time of day at a summer wedding is known by us wedding photographers as ‘the golden hour’. It’s the time when the sun is about to set so is low in the sky creating a soft haze that is perfect for wedding photos. I took Laura and Chris outside for a few minutes to get some gorgeous images of them. The ones with the sun setting over the house were so beautiful.
Whilst outside, guests enjoyed a fun sparkler serenade before everybody headed back in to have it large on the dancefloor.
A gorgeous wedding that ran so smoothly with help from Chicheley Hall’s charming General Manager Gonzalo Retamal, for who nothing was too much trouble.
Congratulations to Laura and Chris for getting married and creating such a memorable day for yourselves and your family and friends to remember. And thank you for allowing me to tell the story of it. I hope my images will enable you to relive it again and again for many years to come.
I’ll leave the last words to Laura and Chris. Here’s what they had to say about me.
“Brad made us feel at ease right away once we spoke with him on a video call, and met us at a later date at our venue open day to meet in person and see what photos we’d like and where would work best for them. He was really friendly and helpful in all the build up to our special day! He checked in with us several times in the weeks before just to make sure that everything was ok and if we needed anything from him. He replied to all our emails and phone calls straight away.
On the day, Brad had lots of great photo ideas, which worked amazingly well, and we’re so happy now we’ve received them. Brad worked tirelessly on the day which really shows in the quality of the photos.
The photos taken are wonderful and we enjoyed reliving the day all over again when going through them. They came sooner than expected, and were presented really nicely in a lovely keepsake box. We’d highly recommend Brad for any wedding photography!”