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Chantal and Matt chose the lovely old Kings Arms Hotel Westerham Kent for both their marriage ceremony and their wedding reception. Westerham is a picturesque small town just a few miles from Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Kent. It is very easily reached from Junctions 5 and 6 of the M25 and so it is a good choice for a central easy to get to wedding location.
The town itself can get very busy and although the Kings Arms Hotel has a car park to the rear, this is shared with other businesses and it can fill up very quickly. The nearby onstreet parking is limited to two hours and so couples and guests should budget for the possibility of a fifteen minute walk from the longstay carpark on the edge of Westerham. It is a pleasant walk though, taking you through the churchyard of St Marys Church Westerham and past the old village green!
The hotel interior is split into several bars and restaurants and some of the adjacent rooms join each other making it possible to cater for larger wedding parties than might be imagined, and that was what was done for Chantal and Matts' day.
The Kings Arms Hotel has a large secluded garden to the rear suitable for the various posed family and group photos which most couples like to have.
The Kent registrars responsible for weddings and civil partnerships in the county were as always a joy to work with. No Awkward restrictions for the guests or for professional photographers. Are you listening Dorset? The sky doesn't fall in if someone takes a photo!
We were lucky with the weather on the day and had bright overcast conditions in the afternoon. These are the conditions that every professional wedding photographer hopes for as its then possible to use lots of different locations for a variety of photos which might otherwise be inadvisable in sunny contrasty scenarios.
The nice weather also meant that it was possible to do the speeches in the gardens. Chantal and Matt had lots of guests and it would have been a very tight fit to try and complete the speeches inside. It often works really well if you do these outside - and it can be easier to shoot a good selection of photos of this important part of the day as well!
The Kings Arms Hotel has been a feature of the High Street Westerham for hundreds of years - as you can see from the photo below:
Our couple had lots of guests and it was a tight fit for the ceremony. Normally Peter shoots both photos and video from more than one position but that is not always possible. Never the less there is a comprehensive collection of ceremony photos in the galleries.
Some guests were even on the terrace outside, immediately behind the camera position:
The Kent registrars are extremely easy to work with and so its possible to shoot throughout the wedding ceremony, including photos of the ring exchange:
The hotel has a large private terrace at the rear and this is a great location for the after ceremony drinks and mingling:
The gardens of the hotel present lots of opportunities for photos. The raised terrace is particularly suitable for posing large groups such as in the photo below which includes all the guests:
Inside the Kings Arms Hotel Westerham the adjacent function rooms can be combined for larger numbers of guests. This photograph shows the main room. In the background behind the room divide is a further area which looks out onto the High Street. Behind the camera position is the room in which Chantal and Matts' wedding ceremony took place:
Having the speeches outside can work really well, and be popular with the guests. The speeches were made from the garden's raised terrace:
Speeches in the gardens can be very welcome with the guests as they have plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the moment:
Yes, gardens are a great choice especially in the height of Summer when function rooms can get very warm and humid:
Chantal and Matt chose a short duration photography package but it was still possible to fit in a heck of a lot! Peter started with the latter stages of the girls getting ready and finished with the couples grand entrance into the wedding breakfast. Many couples now have their speeches before the wedding breakfast rather than afterwards - to spare the nerves of the speakers - and this means that its possible to fit this great photo opportunity into quite a short length of coverage:
See lots more photos in the complete click-through gallery
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