If you are planning a wedding in the Bishops Stortford area do take a look at the Prices, the Photo Galleries, the Videos, and the Albums. This gallery illustrates just one of many venues for you to browse.
Our bride and groom chose the spectacular wedding venue Down Hall near Hatfield Heath and Bishops Stortford on the Hertfordshire Essex border for their wedding ceremony and reception.
Down Hall is a large handsome mansion in the Italianate style. A house has stood on the site for 700 years - though in its current form it was completed in the 1870s. The function rooms are fitted to a high standard giving a most plush and opulent country house feel to the whole wedding experience. There are extensive grounds and plenty of parking. It is easy to travel to being just a few miles north of London and a short distance from the M11 motorway. Stansted Airport is within easy reach.
The registrars who work at Down Hall Bishops Stortford are relaxed and straightforward to work with for wedding photographers and videographers. Peter was able to shoot both stills and video throughout the ceremony with just the one common restriction of no coverage during the signing of the civil register.
The weather on the day was dreadful! Heavy rain, strong gusty wind and no sign of the sun. There was even some minor flooding on the country lane approaches to Down Hall. Most of Peter's wedding bookings are for all day coverage and this enables the important posed photos of friends and relations to be shot outside in the early evening should the weather be unsuitable earlier in the day. And this is what we did, making use of a short break in the conditions after the wedding breakfast.
The first photo below shows Down Hall Hatfield Heath in the mid-afternoon. Just look at that sky! This is the rear of the main building and is the area that would be used for photos weather permitting. The front of the building is also very photogenic but sadly - as with many wedding venues - there are always a few selfish people who ignore the No Parking signs and ruin the view for everyone else. Oh well!
Some images can look striking in black and white as in this version of the same view of Down Hall. Peter shoots everything in full colour and then uses various software techniques to display some of the images in both colour and black and white versions. You can se this in action in the main galleries.
Peter's day started with coverage of the latter stages of our brides getting ready. Its nice to get some detail shots showing the flowers in particular as they are one of those things which cannot be preserved in their wedding day form afterwards:
Our bride is very much a shoe person and had attached appropriate wedding day decor to the bottom of her shoes! Just look at the rain on those windows though!
Tamsin and Martin chose the Harley Room at Down Hall for their wedding ceremony. Here we can see the cute little page boy and flower girl as they make their entrance at the start of the ceremony:
And the marriage ceremony in full swing. Photos like this are difficult to execute because of the big difference in lighting between the bright windows and the much darker interior, but with some magic tweaking in the edit are well worth it as they capture the atmosphere of being there so well:
And the all-important ring exchange:
Celebratory drinks were at the ready by Down Hall's efficient and attentive staff. This hard to get photo is one of Peter's wedding favourites. It utilises a professional grade lens which is capable of capturing sharp foreground images in low light and at the same time throwing the background out of focus. It is an archtypal "decisive moment" on the wedding day when everything needs to come together for it to work:
Trying to coax guests outside in the wind and the rain for some post-ceremony photos was a lost cause and so we postponed that until after the wedding breakfast in the hope of an improvement in conditions. We completed a few posed photos in Down Hall's luxurious main lounge. This involved moving some heavy furniture but the staff didn't seem to mind!
The room prepared for the wedding breakfast looked fantastic in its James Bond Diamonds Are Forever theme:
And another view:
Closeups of the various decor such as these table decorations can look great in the wedding album:
Its often said that lots of people meet their future partners at weddings. Wonder if that is happening here!
Expressive effervescent and extrovert are three words that come to mind to describe our bride Tamsin. That positively fizzing personality on display here:
The wedding breakfast speeches are a good opportunity to capture natural character shots of many of the guests:
And another one:
We could have shot all the posed group photos inside Down Hall but the technical quality and interest value can be greater when shot under natural light outside. We still had to shelter from the wind but at least the rain had stopped after the wedding breakfast. We made our way to a suitable area protected by mature trees. Even then Tamsin managed a Marilyn Monroe moment shortly before this photo when the wind lifted her dress far too high for modesty to be preserved!
We were even treated to a little sunshine - well worth waiting for:
And its that couple again!
The boys requested a Reservoir Dogs themed photo:
Another request, this time the "dipping" theme inside Down Hall's gorgeous main lounge:
The James Bond theme continued into the evening:
And the cake cutting complete with a Diamonds Are Forever backdrop:
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