Michele and Leon Client Wedding Photography Galleries, Wedding at Bennetts Water Gardens and Wedding Reception at the Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth Dorset, © Ashton Lamont Professional Wedding Photographers and Videographers

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Background Information:

Michele and Leon chose a most unusual venue for their wedding ceremony - the charming Bennetts Water Gardens in Weymouth Dorset.

Bennetts Water Gardens feature extensive well-maintained mature landscaped grounds, and as the name implies a number of lakes as well. Marriage ceremonies in England must by law take place under permanent structures and Bennetts Water Gardens provides for this requirement in the form of a wooden gazebo which has a suggestion of Japanese influence in its design in keeping with the nearby bridge and water lilies.

The registrars responsible for weddings and civil partnerships in this area are easy going and responsive to the needs of professional photographers and videographers - in stark contrast to their near neighbours!

The weather on the day kept us guessing throughout having started with some rain. The Water Gardens does have the facility to transfer the ceremony from the outside gazebo to an indoor space (which doubles as the cafe) or to a smaller indoor subtropical display area in the event of inclement conditions. The sun did make an appearance just in time and by the end of the ceremony was very strong. There is little if any natural shade in the grounds and professional wedding photographers should take this into account when planning for the important posed groups of friends and relations. The wind was gusty throughout and this plays havoc with the video sound recording - thats why you see TV reporters using big furry microphone covers - but hey we must be thankful for small mercies in this the most extreme and variable of seasons we have had in many a year!

Gazebos are one of the most demanding scenarios in which to photograph weddings and professionals and budding amateurs should be under no illusions that they will be tested. The challenges arise because the main participants are crowded into a small area, all facing each other and looking inwards rather than outwards, plus typically the natural light level is much lower inside the gazebo than outside, plus movement is restricted by the position of guests immediately outside the structure, plus ..... dare we mention the activities of renegade guests wandering into view as they doggedly shoot their own photos and videos (which usually is not allowed by the celebrants during indoor ceremonies because of the distraction it causes). But the results can be gorgeous!

Bennetts Water Gardens is not an easy venue at which to work for wedding vendors. This is because it does not open until shortly before the start of ceremonies even for photographers and videographers so there is very little time to set up and prepare. After ceremonies the time allowed to remain in the gardens is short. Come on Bennetts, relax your policy and see your popularity improve!!!

After the ceremony and after almost overstaying our welcome in the gardens to try and complete Michele's extensive list of photos we made the short journey the the Hotel Rembrandt near the seafront in Weymouth for Michele and Leons' wedding breakfast.

The Hotel Rembrandt sounds very posh and la-di-da but it is actually one of many hotels now focusing on good service and value for money. These are becoming popular in current times when everyone is paying special attention to such things. Peter stayed overnight on the day of the wedding and can confirm all was great!

Coverage started with some of the "getting ready" and in addition to the usual photos of the dress, flowers, shoes etc Peter captured some images of our animal loving bride and grooms' four legged friends. The cat in particular was in high demand as you'll see in the first photo. Fortunately it was very cooperative unlike most cats!

Bridal getting ready before wedding in Weymouth Dorset

The next photo illustrates the wedding gazebo in the grounds at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth just before the arrival of the guests. Peter was able to hide microphones in the rafters of the building but even so the gusty wind blowing through the structure makes for a challenging video edit.

Wedding gazebo in the grounds of Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth Dorset

Soon the wedding ceremony was underway:

Wedding ceremony in progress at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth

Professional wedding photographers should pack their long telephoto lenses and ensure they are fluent with manual controls and exposure compensation to ensure they can capture the all important closeups as the ceremony progresses:

Groom looks at bride during marriage ceremony at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth Dorset

The ring exchange is demanding at the best of times but when in a gazebo - phew!

Bride and groom exchange rings during their wedding at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth

All too soon the ceremony is over and its time to complete the legal paperwork. Photography is not permitted during this stage (a common restriction and no big deal) but Bennetts Water Gardens lends itself well to long distance scene establishing shots such as the next photograph:

Guests gather around the gazebo during a wedding at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth

The lakes are one of the features that make Bennetts Water Gardens so beautiful but they also limit the availability of open space suitable for shooting large groups. However some careful positioning can give gorgeous results quite unlike anything available at other wedding venues:

Wedding guests gather for a group photograph at Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth Dorset

By this time of the afternoon the sun was brutally bright and the lack of any natural shade in which to shoot portraits is guaranteed to give professional photographers palpitations. So it was out with the flashguns for massive bursts of fill flash just like for Florida beach weddings. Fortunately we did have just a little cloud diffusion at the very end and so Peter was able to shoot a few evenly balanced photos of our couple:

Bride and groom pose for wedding photo in Bennetts Water Gardens Weymouth

The staff at the Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth made an excellent job of preparing the main function room ready for the wedding breakfast:

Room ready for wedding breakfast at the Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth Dorset

Its nice to fill the wedding album with objects and scenes as well as with people shots. Michele and Leon had two styles of wedding cake, the main one in the foreground which of course was the one cut in the ritual "cake cutting". And the one in the background comprising multiple cup cakes which doubled as the desert:

Wedding cakes on display at the Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth

Lets take a closer look at those scrummy cup cakes!

Cup cakes at wedding reception at Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth

The speeches may be nerve-racking for the speechmakers but they are always a great photo and video opportunity. Here our groom does his duty:

Groom makes his speech during wedding breakfast at the Hotel Rembrandt Weymouth Dorset


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Whatever your wedding related search be sure to visit the Ashton Lamont Professional Photography Galleries where you can view thousands of great images in all styles including reportage documentary candid photojournalist modern classic formal informal relaxed natural artistic traditional fashion and contemporary.