Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

August 9, 2010  |  Weddings
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I’m not supposed to have favourites but I’m going to come right out and say it. I loved this wedding. And that shot is probably my favourite wedding picture of the year. One shot, one chance. Just like 90% of what I do…..
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I’ve wanted to work at Westenhanger Castle since the day I moved to Kent. It’s such a beautiful venue with a chilled feeling about everything that I was overjoyed when Victoria and Ashley asked me to photograph their wedding there. And what a wedding! There are quite a few pictures to get through and I had a hard job pruning it to this number.
Here’s flower girl Ella very carefully getting Victoria’s veil ready for her.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Which is, to be honest, quite a nice veil.  But wait until you see the dress.  Karen and Rosie have just reached it down from the incredibly high peg it had to hang on and are carefully spreading it on the bed.  It’s a gorgeous gown by Maggie Sottero in Bordeaux taffeta called Hampton.   But most people who saw it just called it “wow”.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Speaking of “wow”……

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Yeah……

And how’s this for a gorgeous idea for flowers?  A beautiful posy of pink and white roses – and one yellow one from Victoria’s grandmother’s garden to remind her of absent friends on her wedding day.  Beautiful.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

And then it was time for a few last minute checks before dashing off to the church almost on time.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

A quick sprint down to Brabourne and I found the ushers outside the church and managed to tick another shot off Tor’s list.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

I’d been briefed on how to find the right church (Brabourne has two!).  Good thing I got the right order of service too…

Inside, Ashley was sitting patiently waiting.  And looking just the tiniest bit nervous.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

And then just a few minutes later he got his first glimpse of his beautiful bride.  For a moment he couldn’t even look any more.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

And he wasn’t the only one.  That’s one proud father looking on as his son gets married.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Let’s fast forward through the wedding (there’s a LOT to get through).  One of the tricky bits of the day for a wedding photographer is the exit from the church.  Not only are you walking backwards with plenty of trip hazards but on a day like Saturday it goes from pitch dark to glorious sunshine in a couple of seconds.  There’s a bigger risk for brides though – that gorgeous veil we started with catches every gust of wind!

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Fortunately Pip was on hand to handle the flowers while everybody threw confetti everywhere.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Now summer appears to have been a little late here in Kent.  Or as some people would have it non existent.  I’ve been waiting all July for a gorgeous photo shoot in a field of corn.  It never happened.  But we made up for it in August.  As we came out of the church, I mentioned that there was a field of wheat just 200 yards away – though of course we’d need to be a little careful in case it got trampled.  “No problem, we know the farmer” said Tor.  And we dashed off to a golden field.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Then we were back in the vintage Rolls to get back to the castle where Victoria wanted a picture with her two “maids of dishonour”.  (Seriously, you should have heard these guys – I reckon the castle walls were blushing….)

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Now the food at Westenhanger is fantastic (seriously among the best I’ve tasted at a wedding) and Victoria and Ashley chose lobster and steak for their guests.  So I’ll probably get in trouble with the chef if I call it fast food.  But the waiting staff don’t hang about either.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

After dinner, there were a few minutes to, you know, run around the castle grounds.  In a gorgeous wedding gown.  With plenty of helpers.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

And then everybody had to take their places for the speeches.  Flower girl Ella May’s place was pretty easy to spot….

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Now, I really can’t tell you what Ian said to me when he realised I’d got a sneak preview of his father of the bride speech…..

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

And then all too soon it was time for Beauty and the Beast on the dance floor.  That was their song by the way.  Sadly not sung by a singing tea pot.

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle

Don’t even ask where Victoria and Ashley have gone on honeymoon.  You will be so jealous.  But they will be back soon and there will be loads more pictures!  (We didn’t even talk about the magical rainbow yet…).  And they will be able to see your comments here wherever they are so please leave your thoughts below.

Oh yes, did you seriously think I’d leave with out one last night portrait?

weddings  Victoria and Ashley wedding at Westenhanger Castle


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  • http://www.tantrumsandtiaras.org Kelly

    That top photograph is absolutely amazing! That should be entered into a competition or something, it says so much in so many different ways, it’s fabulous.

    Cracking work as usual Jonathan :-)

  • http://www.bobtog.tk Bob The Tog

    That top picture is one for the portfolio. Excellent timing and composition.

    The one in the corn fields is a cracker too.
    Good work JR!

    Bob

  • Victoria Vail

    OH MY GOODNESS- didn’t think I wanted my honeymoon to go quickly but now I CANNOT wait to get back and see the rest of the pics. As soon as we got the text that these were online I had to stop last-min honeymoon shopping and get online! Ash and I are totally blown away! You were a pleasure to have as part of our wedding day. Thankyou thankyou thankyou! Tor x

  • Louise Welton

    Absolutely fantastic photos gorgeous x

  • Sheppey Paul

    what amazing photos for an awesome couple. this are definitely the best photos

  • http://www.isisevents.co.uk Toni Davey

    Stunning photograph and what a beautiful bride!

  • Jean A.

    Stunning!!!!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/rkspics/ Bob

    Once again you deliver the goods, well done Jonathan a great album and very inspiring.

  • julie from brabourne

    amazing – just like the bride and groom and the whole day

  • http://www.esc-weddings.co.uk Sian Gray

    What a stunning couple and gorgeous photos of what looks like a truly beautiful wedding. No wonder the bride is so pleased. Well done!

  • Sheppey Paul

    when do the other photos go live

  • admin

    Pictures are live right now!

    You can see all 500 odd here.