Oakley Hall Wedding Photos
Thanks to a recent global event (that shall not be named) we have been talking to Chantelle and Jess about their Oakley Hall wedding photos for over two years. With postponement, delays, and the general uncertainty surrounding restrictions, our hearts went out for their exciting plans.
When traveling up the winding driveway to their chosen wedding venue of Oakley Hall you can see why. This luxury country house hotel wedding venue is situated in some jaw-dropping Hampshire countryside. The manor house, complete with beautiful 18th-century architecture sits proudly in 315 acres of stunning grounds and gardens. It is a wedding photographer’s dream.
Their big day came around at the end of July. Unusually for my birthday, the weather forecast was looking variable. We packed the car early in the morning. Suntan lotion, sunglasses, waterproofs, wellies, and umbrellas making it into the boot.
Bridal Preparation Photos At Oakley Hall
Jess was busy getting ready in one of Oakley Hall’s gorgeous courtyard rooms. Complete with interesting equine artwork. Upon the balcony, one of the team from Beauty Infinity was working her magic with one of the bridesmaids. The others whizzed about preparing drinks, jewellry, and clothing.
We could tell what sort of day it would be from the first knock at the door. Chantelle’s father entered straight into an emotional hug with Jess. Bringing tears to everyone’s eyes.
Dotted about the space were the bridesmaids’ bright blue dresses. Jess’s A-Line detailed white wedding dress hung from the rafters. The girls all wore silk dressing gowns matching these colours.
Documentary Wedding Morning Photos
Jess and the girls were able to ‘watch the world go by’ between light rain showers. Passing family and friends stopped to send their love. They peeked in on the bridal preparation progress.
After some debate, the girls decided the right time to open the prosecco was now. Any nervous feelings soon floated away. With music and bubbles the general mood increased in joviality, laughter was now the order of the day.
Wedding bouquets from Buds Floristry, who impressed even these hardened wedding professionals. The purple, yellow and white flowers arranged within green foliage were beautifully punctuated with bright blue Delphiniums.
It was great to be able to work with the ‘like-minded’ videographer from Ed Southwell videography. We bounced creative ideas, opportunities, and angles between us.
Jess’ bridesmaids took it, in turn, to use the bathroom or disappear. They re-entered the room sporting gorgeous bright blue dresses and huge smiles. Even the cheeky flower girl had transformed and was looking like butter wouldn’t melt!
In an excited group, the bridesmaids and flower girl huddled around the sofa. Jess’ mother helped her into her wedding dress on the balcony above. Descending to gaps of amazement and a round of applause Jess (and her girls) were now ready to go.
More Bridal Preparation Photos
Meanwhile, Chantelle and her girls were readying in a room inside oakley Hall, overlooking the gardens.
With time to kill, Chantelle and her bridesmaids checked Oakley Hall’s Garden Suite ceremony room. They had a keen eye on the developing weather.
Upstairs the Beauty Infinity team were hard at it alternating between hair and makeup styling. They utilised the natural light, beaming in through the huge windows.
From this level, the views over the gardens and grounds were even more incredible. As with the girls in the courtyard, the prosecco flowed. Chantelle sat to have her hair styled the stunning bouquets arrived.
Bridal Preparation Drinks
There was, however, a major problem developing. Chantelle is not a huge fan of prosecco and it was not helping with her headache. The solution, as with so many things in life was a cool pint of beer. Nowadays it’s rare we can say we have seen s first at a wedding. I can’t remember shooting a team of bridesmaids toasting the day with pints of beer. This was much more Chantelle’s style and we loved it.
From the first floor, the girls could spy down over the balcony at guests arriving below. Waving and cheering at those that were fortunate enough to look up. Chantelle’s best man and childhood friend Ben arrived. Providing some reassurance, jokes, and to be generally fussed over by the girls!
Chantelle was next in line for her wedding makeup. So her bridesmaids took the opportunity for selfies in the grandeur of the room. They disappeared to don their bright blue dresses. The sounds of wedding guests chattering and laughing in the bar below drifted into the room.
Now in her dress, Chantelle, looked stunning. She was able to peek down on her wedding day from above and descended the stairs behind her father. The library at Oakley Hall couldn’t have been a more wonderful room to wait in before a wedding ceremony. Surrounded by books and ornately carved wood with views of the gardens.
Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony Photographs
The bar had emptied and happy family and friends now lined the aisle in the Garden Suite ceremony room. Dropped jaws turned to smiles and the sound of clapping filled the air. Chantelle’s bridesmaids led her and her father up the aisle. Jess’ flower girls and bridesmaids then made the same majestic walk, leading jess and her mother.
It’s so lovely to be able to work with such a good humoured registrar. He seemed just as upbeat as the girls at their same sex wedding ceremony. “Laughter and tears” should have been the theme of this ceremony. Guests made readings and the girls exchanged their vows. Even Ben made everyone laugh. He checked the wrong pocket (panic on face) for the wedding rings.
The ceremony would not have been complete without granny. Positioned in her wheelchair, she could keep a watchful eye on everyone. Including ourselves!
Jess and Chantelle left hand in hand with celebratory arms in the air to a standing ovation.
Oakley Hall Wedding Photos Of The Drinks Reception
In the main bar, everyone enjoyed a drinks reception. Entertainment was in the guise of the amazing skills of Alex Clifton, AKA the steel pan man. We took the opportunity to photograph the proceedings from two different angles.
With enough time to greet their guests and have a drink or two, we organised confetti exit photos for the newlyweds. The weather was now playing ball and they exited the hall into showers of white petals.
After some hilarious group photographs, we stole Jess and Chantelle away for 10 minutes. A quick walk around the grounds allowed for some couple photos.
Back at the hall guests enjoyed drinks out on the terrace. They were merrily playing with confetti and the nearby tree swing.
This was the first time in the day that the girls had spoken to each other (outside of the ceremony) and spent alone time together. We let them meander back to their drinks reception hand in hand merrily chatting all the while.
Wedding Breakfast In Oakley Hall’s Garden Pavilion
The call went out for wedding breakfast and the guests filtered into the garden pavilion.
Now to call the Garden Pavilion at Oakley Hall a marque would be an injustice. The stunning space has its own high-tech lighting, sound system, bar, and terrace. It has also been wonderfully decorated. It now included impressive sprays of flowers and white trees on each table. This setup made for some particularly spectacular Oakley Hall wedding photos.
Jess and Chantelle were announced in, hand in hand with beaming smiles. They received yet another standing ovation from their guests.
We tend to concentrate on the visual and emotional aspects of a wedding day. In Oakley Hall’s Garden Pavilion, the multi-coloured lighting seemed to reflect the mood of the guests. Especially the feeling evoked by over 100 people having a bloody good time. We didn’t realise how much we had missed the assault on the senses that is a large room of people chatting, laughter, whooping, and clapping.
Oakley Hall served a mouth-watering wedding breakfast, which led into the wedding speeches.
Photographs Of Wedding Speeches
From behind the top table, both brides led the proceedings with the microphone. Jess’ mother then took the mantle, which passed to Ben. We’re still not quite sure how he did what he did. Somehow he managed to relay Chantelle’s slightly criminal childhood in a hilarious, light-hearted manner. If the guests weren’t crying with emotion from the first two speeches they were now wiping away tears from laughing so much.
Talking of tears, next was Jess’ best man’s speech. The bets were on for him crying. Not that he s a stranger to public speaking He did have a reputation for letting his emotions get the better of him. To be fair he didn’t do himself any favours with a rather fun, loving, and emotional speech. There was barely a dry eye in the room.
Chantelle’s father made certain that everyone was laughing by the end of his speech. The clincher was one of Ronnie Barker’s spoonerism stories. “This is the story of Rindercella and her sugly isters”. This he delivered with such comic timing that we had trouble keeping our cameras steady.
Oakley Hall Wedding Photos In The Evening
With a little time to recover the wedding guests then explored the grounds. They visited the bar and moved about the Pavilion and its outdoor terrace. The photo booth from Absolute Entertainment opened. The DJ from Moonraker Disco was set up and ready to party. Iain Bailey, wedding magician extraordinaire moved between tables and the bar. Wowing groups of guests as he went.
The First Dance With Two Brides
Chantelle and Jess had little time to relax before greeting their wedding guests. Next, it was straight into cutting the cake and their first dance. As they both swirled about the dancefloor in their white dresses time seemed to slow down. They looked like they would explode with happiness. Their guests looked like they might pop too.
From then on in it was like someone had flicked a switch. Anyone on the dancefloor exhibited relentless energetic dancing. They also (much to the DJ’s delight) seemed to be taking it in shifts. Very rarely was the dancefloor unoccupied.
Sat on the terrace, outside in the warm evening air guests enjoyed the evening. Iain’s magic, cocktails, and an evening barbeque. Oakley Hall’s Garden Pavilion glowed with multi-coloured lights under the stars. The sounds of dancing and the disco echoed about. We snuck Jess and Chantelle away for one last photo together before we departed.
This was truly a spectacular wedding day for a spectacular couple and their lovely wedding guests
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