If you are planning a wedding in the Basingstoke 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.
Thank you so much for all the wedding photos - we absolutely love them and think they're wonderful! We have had many, many compliments. You did a blinding job. You have really captured the day for us and we are so pleased. And thanks again for all you did on the day. We shall certainly be recommending you to others.
Nicola & Ed
It's like re-living the day all over again - lovely!
The photos are fantastic - thank you for a wonderful job. Everyone who has seen them has commented on the high quality.
Sam & Louise
The photos are all fantastic, thank you for taking such great pictures. We're just looking through them again and again! Thanks also for your great sense of humour throughout the day, and we didn't even realise you were there for most of the time, all signs of a true pro.
Shelley & Mark
Thanks for the videos. Fantastic memories of a wonderful day which you captured fantastically thanks very much.
The Elvetham Hotel Hartley Wintney Hampshire is one of Peter's favourite wedding venues as its such a delight for professional photographers and videographers - stunning interior design, gorgeous well maintained grounds with lots of mature trees and shrubs, a pond, a river, and staff who always work to a very high standard. A real treat. Add to that the great attitude of the registrars responsible for conducting wedding ceremonies at The Elvetham and its a 100% winning combination.
The Elvetham as it is commonly known ("Hotel" is often dropped from its name), is located midway between Farnborough Basingstoke and Reading on the border of North Hampshire and Berkshire; this makes it very easy to reach via the nearby M3 M4 and M25 motorways. Double check your satnav as the main entrance is on the A323 Fleet Road. There is plenty of secure onsite parking.
Peter has worked at the Elvetham Hotel many times and this certainly helps as the whole site is enormous and it can pay to know the "best bits" when time is short or when the weather is against you. There are so many photogenic locations around and about The Elvetham that its all but impossible to try them all at a single wedding - what a great dilemma for any photographer or videographer to be in!
Peter has supplied images to the Elvetham to promote the hotel as a wedding venue, including shots from a low flying light aircraft.
The first image below shows the main building in the foreground and the lovely extra accommodation wing towards the top right. You'll see that the optional marquee has been erected for this event. Part of the Italianate-style pond is visible in the bottom right.
The yew trees - some of which you can see bottom centre in the photo - were used by the late comedian Benny Hill as the location where he was famously filmed being chased by a bevy of scantily clad girls - hard to imagine that would make it onto our TV's now, but he was a national institution back in the day!
The iconic and probably most well-known view of the Elvetham Hotel - the main entrance including the grand Carriage Porch which was added in 1901.
And this is the view which greets you as you approach this splendid wedding venue. The Irish Tricolour flew over the building as there was a strong Irish contingent for our bride Janine's wedding:
The lawned gardens immediately to the rear of the Elvetham are huge! The Conservatory which you can see in the centre of the photo is lovely for bright and airy wedding receptions:
This avenue of Irish yew trees is a must have location for photos for all brides and grooms!
The large Italianate style pond in the foreground is another popular location for wedding photos at the Elvetham. Browse further down this page for examples of photos Peter has shot next to the pond:
St Marys Church in the grounds of the Elvetham Hotel was built in 1840 in the style of a Norman church. It is not in use as a church though there have been thoughts about adding it as an extra location for civil wedding ceremonies at the Elvetham Hotel:
Everything about the interior of the Elvetham Hotel is splendid! The next photo shows the view of a ceiling from the bottom of the main staircase:
And here is the main staircase in all its glory! Its a lovely spot for photos if the weather stops you getting outside. It also serves as the usual location for the cutting of the wedding cake by the bride and groom in the evening. You can see our bride Janine's cake on display earlier in the day:
Always remember to look upwards at the Elvetham Hotel otherwise you may miss some of the many unique artworks:
Wedding ceremonies usually take place in the Oak Room at the front of the Elvetham Hotel. The Oak Room started life as a billiard room in 1913! You'll see it certainly looks the part for gorgeous wedding photos and video. Peter usually starts shooting your ceremony from the rear of the Oak Room and then moves up to the front right corner next to the window. If you have musicians they would normally be located at the front in the left corner:
And here is the view of the Elvetham Hotel's Oak Room ceremony room from the front. Doesn't it look just great!
The fireplace in the Oak Room looks lovely adorned with wedding day flowers:
Flowers on the top table add an extra bit of class and interest:
The Library at the Elvetham Hotel is also licensed for wedding ceremonies. As with the Oak Room it dates back to 1913. It is trickier for professional photographers and videographers to shoot wedding ceremonies in as it is darker than the Oak Room. Photographers would not usually want to use flash during ceremonies as it can be distracting.
Here is the view from the front when the Library is configured to have the bride and groom next to the windows. This can be good to obtain natural light on the couple:
Coverage usually starts with some shots of the dress flowers shoes and so forth and the girls going about their wedding day preparations. Our bride Victoria had a professional dressmaker in the family and so her wedding dress was "properly" stored ready for her as in the next photo:
Detail photos of the dress look great at the start of your wedding photo album. Sometimes Peter uses these as backgrounds for montages - you can see this in action in the sample album designs on the main Albums Page:
Detail photos of the bridesmaids and flowergirls dresses as also very effective in wedding photo albums:
Not forgetting the shoes as well of course - especially if they are Jimmy Choo shoes!
The bouquets are also must have photos for the start of the wedding album:
Other personal touches such as this message from groom Andy to his new bride work great:
A real one-off photo - you're not going to get that at every wedding! Our groom Ian is a huge Star-wars fan hence the "May The Force Be With You" on the plate in the next photo. Ian and Susie even had two Star-wars storm-troopers in their full regalia to accompany their wedding ceremony - looks great on the video that Peter shot on the day!
Most brides choose to get ready at the Elvetham Hotel but there's no reason why you can't get ready elsewhere and make your grand arrival by vintage limo:
Flowergirls make for some charming wedding photos all day long:
The older ones are cute as well ..... of course!
This bride was leaving nothing to chance - just look at the notes for the makeup artist!
There are some great photos to be had whilst the bride finishes getting into her dress:
Mementos such as our bride Nicola's ring which was her nan's engagement ring make for extra-special photos:
A good stiff drink never seems to come amiss whilst the girls are getting ready:
The Elvetham has lots of big well appointed rooms suitable for the girls to get ready in without being short of space:
A few semi-formal photos of the bride once she has finished getting ready can be a nice touch. Here our bride Teela strikes a popular pose beside one of the windows at the Elvetham:
The main bar opens out onto the rear lawns. It is also a popular meeting place for guests to gather before the wedding starts:
Often the fellas as well as the girls get ready at the Elvetham Hotel. So there are some good photos to be had of the groomsmen and not just of all those girls!
There is often something quite racy displayed on the TV in the rooms where the groomsmen get ready ..... funny that!
Peter usually shoots a few semi-formal portraits of the groom and best man - or best men in the case of the next photo - moments before the start of the wedding ceremony. The last photos of the groom as a "free man" you might say!
There can be some great opportunities for character photos of guests just before the ceremony if time allows. Peter shoots all the photos in colour and then converts some to black and white using a variety of special software recipes. You see both the colour and the black and white versions in your own wedding photo galleries:
A professional toastmaster can make a big difference in the smooth running of your day. Eric Gill - seen in the next photo chatting with one of the fathers before the start of the ceremony in the Elvetham's Oak Room - is frequently on duty for weddings at the hotel. Peter has worked with Eric lots of times, he is a lovely fellow:
The registrars will want to interview both the bride and groom before the start of the wedding ceremony to complete a few legal formalities. Usually the groom is scheduled for twenty minutes before the start and the bride ten minutes before the start.
The interviews are not in the least bit formal. The registrars from nearby Aldershot Register Office are great and can be relied upon to keep everything relaxed:
It is as well to check the rings are available before the ceremony starts!
Classical musicians will add a touch of class and add to the sense of occasion:
The stairs at the Elvetham cry out to be utilised for some classic wedding photos such as the bride descending with her dad before the ceremony gets underway:
Photos using wide-angle lenses work well from the grand staircase:
Lots of emotion as our bride Laura enters the Oak Room arm in arm with her dad:
Peter usually shoots a few scene-setting photos from the rear of the Oak Room before discreetly moving to one of the front corners:
Guests eagerly await the arrival of the wedding party. Often this scene is a forest of smartphones and ipads as guests endeavour to shoot their own photos:
Once the ceremony is underway Peter usually shoots most of the photos from the front corner nearest the window. This ensures that there are plenty of opportunities to photography both the bride and groom and lots of guests as they look on. It can be a tight fit in that corner as it is also occupied by the second registrar at her desk whose job it is to complete the paperwork. But the Aldershot staff are a great bunch and we are all used to playing at sardines! Christmas weddings are even more of a challenge as this spot is usually occupied by an enormous tree.
There are some lovely mid-ceremony portraits just begging to be shot:
A key moment at the start of the wedding ceremony is where the brides father gives his daughters hand to her groom:
Lets see that a bit closer:
The exchange of rings is another key moment in the ceremony. Whether is can be photographed depends on the bride and grooms positions at that moment, but the registrars often make a point of ensuring that their hands are visible to the cameras just for a moment:
The vows are another great moment to capture on stills as well as on video. Peter shot the next photo from the back of the Oak Room using a special long lens - you can read our bride Nicola's notes even from that distance:
The little people can be great subjects for candid photos during the ceremony:
Sometimes black and white works really well to enhance the sense of character of the subject such as this young guest in the next photo:
Wedding ceremonies often have one or more readings. This young chap overcame any nerves and did a great job:
He did have the cavalry on his shoulder just in case!
The first kiss is a great moment to capture - but is one of the hardest to shoot of the day. It tends to be very short and not necessarily very flattering, but when it works its lovely to have:
At the end of the ceremony its time for the bride and groom and the witnesses to sign the marriage register. Photography and video is not permitted at this point - or at least not of the readable document itself. Most registrars including the Aldershot posse impose a blanket ban on photography whilst the signing is in progress:
Some live music whilst the signing is in progress is a nice touch. Our bridesmaids were up for the job:
A "sneaky" photo of the signing can look great in the wedding album:
Once the official document signing is completed its normal for the bride and groom to pose for a few photos pretending to sign:
Then the witnesses are invited to join the bride and groom:
Then it becomes a free for all as the guests are invited to shoot their own photos:
The marriage certificate is then presented to the newly-weds:
And the "recessional" is announced:
At the Elvetham the bride and groom are presented with their celebratory drinks immediately on exiting the ceremony room. The Elvetham staff gather in the main hall to proffer drinks to the guests:
The newly-weds may like a quick photo in the sumptuous front hall:
Some couples opt to go for a short drive around the country lanes for a few minutes of peace and quiet before returning to the melee:
A genuine ex-Scots Guards piper adds something special to the day:
The period after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast is known as the cocktail hour and its a time for candid photos as well as the must-have posed photos with family and friends:
Confetti is allowed at the Elvetham so long as its used outside and its biodegradable. Our little pageboy has rather taken over in the next photo!
The "formal" photos usually start with a big group shot of all the guests attending. If there are lots of guests this may be best shot from a first floor vantage point. The Elvetham staff can let professional photographers into the appropriate rooms. The next photo was shot by Peter from a balcony at the front of the hotel:
And this one from one of the bedrooms to the rear:
Family groups tend to be smaller and therefore quicker and easier to set up:
There are lots of photogenic positions around the Elvetham both inside and outside. Another popular photo is the bride and groom with all the parents:
And with the various dads and mums:
Of course bridesmaids and flowergirls make great subjects:
If the afternoon sunshine is very bright it can be a good idea to hunt out some shade as this is more flattering in portraiture:
The fellas have their own way of being photogenic!
Its the group photo that refuses to die! The reservoir dogs shot. Fellas you're supposed to look serious, scary even. But somehow that seldom happens at weddings:
Everyone wants photos in "Yew Tree Avenue" and its easy to see why:
The oak tree in the background in the next photo was planted by Queen Elizabeth 1st on her visit to the Elvetham in 1591:
The riverside on the opposite side of the Elvetham Hotel is another great photo location:
The manicured garden surrounding the pond at the Elvetham is yet another great photo location. Here is Susie with her Star-wars fan mentioned earlier:
The Italianate Pond looks wonderful featured in your wedding album:
Reflections in the pond can work well:
Being England the weather cannot be relied upon to behave itself. But the Elvetham has a plentiful supply of brollies and Peter always carries a few as well:
There is always the inside of the Elvetham for photos on rainy days anyway. Peter carries a large amount of lighting equipment and all the photos can be made inside if necessary or preferred:
Many couples have a "receiving line" before the start of their wedding breakfast. The bride and groom - and usually all the parents - line up at the entrance to the reception room and greet each guest individually. This ensures that you have exchanged a few words with every guest at your wedding even if there are lots of them. The receiving line can have terrific photo opportunities:
Peter receives lots of recommendations from brides and guests. The couple in the photo above were married at Wokefield Park and Peter shot their wedding day. Here is that bride, Natalie, dancing with Elvetham bride Victoria:
Once the receiving line is finished the bride and groom are announced into the wedding breakfast:
Perhaps you'll get piped in!
The Conservatory at the Elvetham Hotel has great natural light and is ideal for professional photography and video of your wedding breakfast:
Peter shoots lots of photos of the details in the wedding breakfast room. These look great in your wedding photo album:
The optional marquee is a great choice to accommodate large numbers of guests and as with the Conservatory is bright and therefore good for photography and video:
The Library at the Elvetham Hotel is the usual choice for the wedding breakfast. The next photo shows it all ready for battle to commence!
Believe it or not these wedding favours were home-made. Marvellous:
Carrot top for a Top Table name? Whats that all about? Well it refers to our bride Julie's red hair!
Here is our Elvetham toastmaster Eric Gill again, performing his intro at the start of the wedding breakfast:
The speeches can be crammed full of marvellous photo opportunities, not only of the speakers but of the many guests laughing and enjoying themselves. To really make it count get Peter to shoot video of the speeches as well as make lots of photos. You can view lots of sample videos including the Elvetham, via the main Video Page:
This little chap grabbed the best mans speech and then proceeded to mimic him!
Traditionally speeches are made by the father of the bride followed by the groom and then by the best man. But this need not be so and plenty of mothers, brides, and other guests step up to the plate. Here we see the proud mother of the bride making a very entertaining speech:
Lots of brides and guests recommend Peter. The next photo below is Lisa:
And here she is on her own wedding day at the Swan at Streatley:
There was a strong Irish connection with this groom. Who would have guessed!
The next photo is the very definition of reportage style wedding photography. A totally natural, unposed, unscripted, decisive moment as our groom is embarrassed by his best man's speech:
At last - we find out what exactly it is that Scotsmen wear under their kilts!
The wedding cake is usually cut in the evening shortly before the first dance:
The bouquet toss is usually best performed outside otherwise it can get entangled with fixtures inside. Look carefully in the next photo and you can see the bouquet in mid-flight in front of the leaves top right:
There may be some "downtime" between the end of the wedding breakfast and the start of the evenings entertainment. Guests congregate in the sumptuous main hall:
Yes there is a bouquet toss going on in the next photo as well! Look just above the figures head in the painting in the centre:
And look who has caught it!
As the evening draws in there are some atmospheric photos to be shot such as the barbecue getting underway in the next photo:
A firework display can really make the evening special:
Our bride Louise hired a belly dancer to entertain the guests in the evening. Now that is different!
And of course the first dance is a must-have for photos and video:
A live band can really get things going:
Yes that really is a full moon rising over the Elvetham Hotel. No photoshopping going on! A photo of the venue at night can make a terrific closing spread in your wedding album:
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