Images by Tony Hart Photo.
We have such a lovely wedding to share with you this morning and it’s a rather special write-up because it’s told through the eyes of the photographer, in this case Tony Hart.
Faye & James chose the truly unique Elmore Court as the backdrop for their day and, in my humble opinion, it’s one of the best wedding venues around!
Come and see why…
Notes from the Photographer
Faye is a stage and screen actor and James works as a television producer and comedy writer. Needless to say they both have extremely compelling personalities and were simply wonderful to photograph. Add to this their friends and family who are equally engaging and full of joie de vivre and a more exciting wedding congregation it’d be hard to find.
The story of how Faye & James got together is simply incredible. They were at school together, and, on the last day, in keeping with tradition, everyone wrote on everyone else’s shirts. Most was simple stuff, name plus a kiss, a few key dates, ‘stay in touch’, etc etc. Faye on the other hand, perhaps harbouring a soft spot for our handsome groom, (or possibly just having a giggle) wrote ‘Miss u hubby, C U on our wedding night!’. It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that, while Faye & James were friends, there was nothing overtly amorous between them at all. Fast forward 7 odd years, and James bumps into Faye at that noted romantic location, the bus stop. After this chance and unexpected meeting, one thing led to another, a date led to another and then another and eventually on the 27th March 2016 the school shirt prophecy was fulfilled! After nearly a decade of shooting weddings this has to be the most astonishingly awesome ‘how we met’ story I’ve encountered. So good! Needless to say the famous school shirt took pride of place as part of Faye & James’ day; it was the background for their table plan.
Elmore Court is a simply tremendous venue. Beautiful, both inside and out, it is also hugely practical. Faye & James’ wedding ceremony was held in the stunning central hall. A room with some of the best light imaginable. They then made use of the house’s gorgeous drawing room for their reception drinks before moving to The Gillyflower for their wedding breakfast.
The Gillyflower is Elmore Court’s very own environmentally friendly, custom-built, earth and timber reception space. It is incredibly beautiful and an ideal place to eat, drink and party. Undoubtedly one of the best setups I’ve seen anywhere in the country. The wedding breakfast area is spacious, light and stunning and the dancefloor, which can be hidden behind an optional reveal curtain, sports an incredible Funktion One sound system a permanent stage and in house lighting. Very cool.
Faye & James brought a huge amount of style to the day. Their wedding was all about effortless elegance and stylish statements. Faye’s wedding dress was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It was the perfect match for Faye; a jaw-dropping sheath gown featuring incredible beadwork that felt like something transported directly from the Golden Age of fashion. James sported a twist on the regular tux – a bold, but entirely winning, velvet smoking jacket in a rich maroon with matching bowtie.
The floristry, by The Bespoke Flower Company was beautifully English in character. Soft white hydrangeas and pale roses combined beautifully. In particular, amongst the darker wood tones of The Gillyflower, these choices looked superb. Faye & James decided to keep things relaxed in terms of bridesmaids and groomsmen and gave their attendants a general brief while allowing them the freedom to choose their own suits and dresses. The results were superb. Everyone looked excellent, yet tied together, while still retaining individuality and character. This is especially hard to achieve I find, but Faye & James managed it with aplomb.
I primarily approach weddings as a storyteller. I am not a director and, although we take group photographs and portraits, I think wedding photography is at its best when it strives to capture the drama indigenous to the day itself rather than trying to manufacture its own. To that end I think of myself as a professional spectator. My job is to observe the authentic story and to capture it in the best possible light. I typically cover the entire day, and sometimes even the rehearsal and the days before and after the wedding. I’m trying to find images that are powerful individually but also which work as part of a larger narrative.
Faye & James’s day were fantastic clients as they signed up wholeheartedly to this approach. With a variety of locations – the day started in Painswick before moving on to Elmore Court – and an absolute smorgasbord of life and emotion on show, the richness of the day made it a real treat to photograph. Early spring is one of my favourite times of year to photograph as well and neither wedding, nor setting disappointed.
My favourite moment was the first dance. I’m always a big fan of speeches and these didn’t disappoint. They were so good that the weight of emotion by the end was desperate for an outlet and, when Faye & James hit the dancefloor, the combination of great setting and big love made for some extremely powerful pictures. The energy in the room was simply electric.
Thank you so much to Faye & James for sharing their day with us and of course a big thanks to Tony for telling their story.
Lots of love…