Ali and Roz Client Wedding Photography Galleries, Wedding and Wedding Reception at the Woodlands Park Hotel Stoke D'Abernon Cobham Surrey, © Ashton Lamont Professional Wedding and Civil Partnership Photographers and Videographers

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Background Information:

Ali and Roz chose the elegant Victorian Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham Surrey for their wedding day.

The Woodlands Park Hotel is located close to the M25 and M23 motorways - but not too close for that to cause any nuisance - and of course within easy reach of Gatwick and Heathrow airports, so it is ideally situated for any couples who have guests travelling from afar. Parking onsite is plentiful.

The hotel is very much in the style of the English country house hotel with for example extensive and gorgeous oak panelling. This belies its history as a centre of innovation, having for example been one of the first houses in the UK to have installed that new fangled electric lighting. Having been built in 1885 the extensive exterior has had plenty of time to mature and the grounds contain a number of lovely full grown trees.

Our couples coverage started with Ali's arrival and then some semi-posed photos of Roz in her room with her immediate family before her descent to join the throng gathered below.

Ali and Rozs' Civil Partnership Ceremony then went full steam ahead.

We were very lucky with the weather - from our couple and our guests point of view at any rate - as we had sunny and mild conditions for the drinks outside during the cocktail hour. Not so great from any professional wedding photographers point of view - as you'll be aware if you read a number of Peter's reports - as bright sunshine does make special demands on the photographer in order to avoid contrasty and unflattering results. But we were able to find some decent shade under the mature trees just a short walk from the terrace.

The wedding breakfast followed and the speeches were terrific. Roz's aunt kicked off the proceedings with a fine poem she had written. Then her dad related a fascinating and heart warming story about her early life. Peter was able to capture these on video and that was what was really needed to do the speeches justice - photos alone just cannot compete with video for this part of the day.

Ali and Roz performed their own choreographed first dance, done to a medley of "floor filler" hits and then the balloons which had formed an important part of the dance floor decor for their first dance were released into the night sky by the guests.

The first photo shows the Woodlands Park Hotel as you see it as you approach from the main road. Very elegant!

Wedding venue the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham Surrey as seen from the front

The room in which our couple had their civil partnership ceremony was brightly lit by early season sunshine streaming in through the large bay windows. This does make photography quite problematic particularly where couples choose light clothing as its difficult for cameras to meter accurately and for the full range of shades to be recorded. But the results can look great. One of Peter's favourite photos, not just from this wedding but from any going back quite a few years is this one of Ali and Roz holding hands during their ceremony. It just seems to sum up how life can be and ought to be:

Couple hold hands during their civil partnership ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham Surrey

The room's bright conditions changed very rapidly to low light once further away from the windows. This can make for some lovely black and white photographs where high contrast can be a virtue rather than an issue, as seem in the next two images:

Guests during civil partnership ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Professional grade photographic equipment can be eye-wateringly expensive but it can achieve results which are simply not possible with lesser equipment. In this photo we see how the subject has been isolated from her foreground and background; for the technically minded using a Canon 70-200 f2.8 Image Stabilised lens, and for the less technically minded - one of those long white things you see at sports events!

Bridesmaid during wedding ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel near Leatherhead Surrey

Here one of our readers has a little extra help during Ali and Rozs' ceremony. It really is a privilege to do what Peter does for his living:

A reading during a civil partnership ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Our registrar was very easy to work with and also had a good knowledge of what professional photographers needs are during ceremonies. In the next photo we see our couples rings being brought forward by a great friend of Roz:

Rings about to be exchanged during civil ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Next we have an alternative view from the back of the room as Ali and Roz complete their legal paperwork after their ceremony:

Couple complete legal paperwork for their civil partnership at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Registrars almost always invite the guests to shoot their own photos at this point, time allowing. Whether our guests were able to achieve decent results in such harsh lighting time will tell, but content always trumps technical perfection so what does it matter!

Guests take photos of couple after civil partnership ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

And finally comes the big moment when Ali and Roz are presented with their Certificate of Civil Partnership:

Certificate of Civil Partnership presented to couple at the Woodlands Park Hotel

Then a celebratory drink and a few private words in the Woodlands Park Hotel's lovely Oak Room:

Couple after their civil partnership ceremony at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

How about an alternative view of the Woodlands Park Hotel as seen from the rear and with an extreme wide angle lens, showing the guests as the cocktail hour gets underway. Obvious distortion but it has its own charm and is a great lens for capturing wide vistas and action. Peter also often uses it on the dance floor to help capture the atmosphere.

Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham as seen from the rear grounds

A spread of mature trees provides some welcome cover from the bright sunshine for the important family and group photos. Most of the trees are desiduous and at this time of year we did not have leaf cover but the branches did a pretty decent job of shielding us. Ali and her sisters enjoy a giggle during shooting:

Group wedding photo outside the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Ali and Roz chose one of the hotels modern function rooms for their wedding breakfast. The next photo shows it prepared ready for the guests arrival:

Room prepared for wedding breakfast at the Woodlands Park Hotel

Lots of couples make an extra special effort to have a one of a kind table plan and Ali and Roz were no exception. Famous TV chefs featured in their design:

Table plan for wedding breakfast at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Peter aims to shoot some exterior photos of the wedding venue at some stage. This can be trickier than it appears to be because not only is the weather and the lighting important, the activities of staff and guests can compromise the look. The next photo shows the imposing main entrance to the Woodlands Park Hotel. The holly in the foreground has been used to exclude some cars which were inconveniently parked just to the right!

Main entrance to the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham Surrey

A regular visitor to the hotel is Tiger the cat. He is not the hotel's cat as such but he is regarded as a member of staff by some of the regulars. Tiger followed Peter around quite a bit whilst he was shooting in the hotel grounds:

Tiger the cat at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

Where outside conditions are very bright Peter sometimes recommends that some photos are shot later in the day when the sun is more forgiving, especially photos of the couple. Ali and Roz popped outside for a few minutes towards the end of the wedding breakfast for just this purpose:

Wedding couple in the grounds of the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

The first dance was a mixture of favourites and certainly appealed to the younger guests in particular:

First dance after wedding at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham

The photographic coverage ended with a balloon release into the sky. The next photo shows guests with Ali and Roz watching the balloons ascend into the night:

Balloon release at wedding at the Woodlands Park Hotel Cobham Surrey


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