Hitchin Priory Autumn Wedding Starring Melanie & Graham

Being a Hitchin resident myself, it's always a treat shoot weddings in my own town, and Hitchin Priory makes for a perfect venue with it's beautiful old building, and grounds. I was thrilled to meet Mel and Graham 14 months ago in a coffee shop just yards away from it to discuss their wedding plans.

Mel and Graham met 9 years ago whilst Mel was studying in Potters Bar to be a veterinary surgeon. Their first holiday together came the following summer - a 3000 mile road trip around France over 10 days with a 2-man tent and an AA road atlas as their means of survival. Needless to say they tolerated each other well enough and haven't looked back since. Apparently, Mel settles for being 5th in the household pecking order after Graham and the 3 cats, as long as Graham remembers who really wears the trousers!

Fast forward to October 2015 and the couple both prepared themselves in different parts of Hitchin Priory with people keeping watch to ensure they wouldn't see each other. Graham's groom party thought it would be amusing to stage a breakdown of his beloved BMW (often bumping Mel into 6th in the house pecking order!). Meanwhile Mel and the girls enjoyed a group shot of each other in their PJ's and pretty soon everyone was ready and the ceremony was under way. 

My 3 man team for the day including Steve Granger (Second Shooting) and my glamorous assistant (Karolina Janiszewska) pulled out all the stops to ensure we got the images we needed, and me managed to close the evening with a beautiful shot of the happy couple silhouetted against the Priory building.


Hitchin Priory Wedding

London Southbank Engagement Shoot - Elizabeth & Craig - Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer

To me, London is the greatest city in the world, and despite it's size, it's surprisingly easy to hoover up several major tourist attractions in one short walk. Perfect for engagement shoots such as this one! 

Elizabeth & Craig both live in Chicago, but with Craig being English they plan to marry next July at the wonderful Luton Hoo Hotel & Spa resort. Their recent wedding planning visit seemed a perfect opportunity to show Elizabeth some of the main tourist sites of London during their Engagement Shoot. Craig also showed his fiancée his old University stomping ground - Kings College London, just off the Strand.

Here are some highlights from our lovely afternoon together. Please leave a comment at the bottom!

Weddings at Rectory Farm Cambridge don't get much better than this!

Weddings at Rectory Farm in Cambridge are always a pleasure to photograph. Nicola and Andy managed to combine their reception party there with a beautiful church service at St Ippolyts church just outside Hitchin. If couples could have their cat as a page boy, then these guys would have, as their pride and joy, Buster sadly had to watch the house instead but still got involved by wearing a bow tie for the occasion and supervising the bridal prep at their house that morning. Instead of the more traditional white Rolls Royce or vintage car, Nicola and Andy were escorted between venues in a fantastic 1970's Citroen DS, real retro classic!

The speeches that followed the wedding breakfast were awash with emotion, before the groom traditionally received a fairly warm roasting from his best man, Martin. After I had taken the newly weds out into the beautiful Rectory Farm grounds for a few posed photos, the dance floor soon filled with bodies as Andy's playlist kept both the lads and the ladies entertained through the evening.

Full of charm, and easily accessible to the M11, I would recommend this Rectory Farm whole heartedly as a fantastic wedding venue.

For even more images from this amazing day, why not view their full Online Gallery!

Grand Staircase Wedding - Renaissance Hotel St Pancras London

Ali and Charlotte enjoyed a low key wedding for very close friends and family only at the spectacular setting provided by the Renaissance Hotel St Pancras London. The ceremony took place on the beautiful Grand Staircase which offered me the chance to take some beautiful images of them. After the ceremony we grabbed a few photos of the couple, while the guests headed off to Searcys Restaurant for the Wedding Breakfast. Charlotte had a quick dress change into something more comfortable and a wonderful meal followed with the traditional speeches.

The party was only halted because the newly weds were due to catch a Eurostar train to France for their honeymoon. Luckily they didn't have far to travel!

The full gallery of images can be viewed here

Hitchin Priory, Hertfordshire Wedding Photography - Hayley & Steve

Hitchin Priory in Hertfordshire is one of my favourite  local venues, thanks to the beautiful building, bridal prep area and excellent staff on hand throughout the day. I love it when there is emotion at a wedding. Thankfully Steve provided me with an emotion overload on the day, be it tears of joy or a bellyful of laughter. Hayley and Steve's entourages ensured it was a fun day from start to finish and the beautiful house at Hitchin Priory provided me with a stunning backdrop to finish the evening with a silhouette of the happy couple with all of the pressures of a wedding day lifted! Hi res versions of these images are available to purchase at this Online Gallery

Jessica & Richard Engagement Shoot - London Southbank

The weather for our Engagement Shoot in London was very much indicative of our summer so far, but we weren't put off and the rain passed over and the brolly could be put away. We undertook a short lap from Westminster across to Southbank, and down to Hungerford Bridge during which there are numerable great tourist spots. The rush hour foot traffic gave me the oppotunity to isolate Jessica and Richard in the crowds and use passers by in the composition of my images. With their Surrey wedding coming up in a just over a month, we're all getting rather excited now, so stay tuned for the wedding shots in due course!

Noke at Thistle Hotel Wedding St Albans - Shannon & Andrew

Shannon & Andrew enjoyed a lively upbeat wedding ceremony at St Marks Church in Colney Heath where the vicar 'Gaz' provided his own brand of humour with something not far removed from a best mans speech! The congregation sang along to the church band despite the heat of a warm July day, and once done the party moved along the A414 to the Noke at Thistle Hotel south of St Albans. After some reception drinks the guests enjoyed a wonderful meal and some entertaining speeches before the couples first dance. Bridesmaids and sisters Karene and Kayleigh did their best to steal the show with their dancing, but they couldn't take the shine away from the happy couple who danced long into the evening with all their loved ones around them.

Want to see more? Well you can by clicking the link here to the full gallery

Hilary & Jeff - Trash The Dress Shoot, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Hilary & Jeff wanted to celebrate their 6 year wedding anniversary week in style, so Hilary adopted the 'no carbs til Marbs' philosophy and managed to get into her original wedding dress for the day. We wanted to do a seaside shoot, and for us - Southend was closest and would give us lots of traditional seaside backdrops to work with. Despite a light shower the day went well with stares aplenty and lots of lovely people congratulating the couple on what they presumed to be a recent wedding, despite Jeff wearing a black t shirt and shorts!

A stroll along the beach, fish & chips and ice creams were all ticked off the list, along with a run through the fountains with some random kiddies. The dress survived Southend intact, which is just as well as Hilary's Mum wouldn't have been happy had we REALLY trashed it!

Find out more about details of my Trash The Dress photoshoots here

Megan & Karl Wedding - Knebworth Barns, Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire

The day began with Megan getting ready with her daughter Violet, sister Emily, and sister-in-law (to be) Makela at Megan's house in Pirton. BM Beauty Studio provided the hair and make up for the day while meanwhile Karl was getting ready with his boys Jacob & Elijah at his parents house in Hitchin. The ceremony was held at St Faiths Church in Walsgrave, Hitchin which was conveniently located halfway between both sets of parents houses! 
The bridal party made a quick detour to Megan's parents house to put the wedding dress and final touches together, where a classic white Roller was ready to run them the short journey to church.
During a beautiful ceremony there were a couple of readings from family friends, and Megan's Mum even joined the choir for the final song of the ceremony. Unfortunately during the ceremony the heavens decided to open and guests were unable to leave the church immediately. While cake was being served to guests, we still managed to get a couple of shots of the newly wed couple in the church doorway courtesy of a well placed umbrella!
The party then moved on to Knebworth Barns for the reception, by which time the weather had brightened up, and late in the evening we were treated to a beautiful golden haze which capped off a wonderful day beautifully. Much dancing was done, including a group effort to Cameo - Candy and I made sure I stuck around to capture it all unfold.
Many thanks to Gemma Chase Photography for her excellent eye, wedding guest handling, and all round support once again!

The full gallery of all images can be viewed here, with hi res downloads available: http://rafeabrookphotography.pixieset.com/meganandkarl/