Botanical themed wedding day, with an outdoor reception, and two ENORMOUS LIONS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Groom placing wedding ring on bride's finger at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Phil and I love shooting weddings at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, particularly in the summer. For Hannah and Pete’s wedding last year we wore our cool linen trousers, short sleeved shirts, and plenty of sunblock, as we knew there was going to be a lovely sunny day ahead of us.

Hannah loves flowers, son to get married at the Botanical Gardens was a natural choice for her. When Phil arrived at Hannah’s house to photograph the preparations this penchant for botany was evident in her beautiful garden. Phil asked Hannah where he should start taking pictures, and the answer was immediate: the garden, and the two cats! Fortunately, Hannah’s feline friends were happy to pose in the sun amongst Hannah’s stunning flowers.

Meanwhile, I was at the venue, taking some establishing shots, and meeting up with Pete and his son, both looking very cool in their long-tailed suits. The ceremony was deliciously air-conditioned, which the guests appreciated as they arrived.

Then it was Hannah’s turn to arrive at the Gardens. This necessitated Pete and is sun very briefly hiding in a supply cupboard, so he didn’t see his wife-to-be before she walked up the aisle. If Pete seemed surprised that I followed him in there with my camera, he didn’t show it!

The ceremony was ably led by two Birmingham registrars, and had two readings chosen by Hannah, and personal vows as part of it. I was particularly impressed with a rendition of Edward Monkton’s “The Lovely Dinosaur”, complete with funny voices. Now we KNOW how the Fierce Dinosaur, and the Lovely Other Dinosaur actually sounded!

After Pete and Hannah were declared husband and wife, we all headed out into the sun for guests to enjoy drinks and canapés, and lots of soap bubbles in lieu of confetti. We all enjoyed the beautiful plants, the views out over Edgbaston, and the squawking parts in the aviary! There was also an important football match going on (I can’t remember who was playing whom). If those guests thought they could craftily watch it on their tablets without being spotted, they were mistaken!

Lots of fun and surprises were laid on for the reception back inside. There were plenty of games on the tables to keep everyone amused, face painting for the kids, and a lovely meal followed by some great speeches. The wedding cake was, of course, florally-themed, and looked absolutely amazing.

As we got closer to the evening, we discovered that a special surprise had been arranged for the happy couple. Pete is a member of a martial arts group that also does Chinese lion dancing. Two of these fearsome beasts entered the room and took to the dance floor for an absolutely amazing performance. Even though you know there’s two human beings inside, these lions were truly awesome. I was crouched at the edge of the dance floor to get some dramatic low-angle shots, when one of the lions leapt forward at me. I fell back onto my bum with a shriek! Yes, Phil caught it happening with his camera.

Shortly afterwards it was Pete and Hannah turn to take to the floor, for a much more relaxed, and very elegant first dance. They were soon joined by their guests, some carrying inflatable guitars and champagne bottles, for plenty of dancing and fun.

Here’s some of the photographs we took of Hannah and Pete’s special day. Watch out for those lions!

Pet cat being stroked during wedding brial preparationsFamily pet cat sleeping during bridal wedding preperationsthe-dignFamily pet cat watching bridal wedding preperations Sunny back garden bridal wedding preperationsSunny back garden bridal wedding preperationsIrregular choice wedding shoes in sunny back garden Sunny back garden during bridal wedding preperationsWedding dress hanging in a tree in sunny back garden bridal wedding preperationsWedding dress in sunny back garden bridal wedding preperationsBride holding Irregular Choice wedding shoes in her kitchen during bridal wedding preperationsGuests getting ready during bridal wedding preperationsBride preparing breakfast during bridal wedding preperationsBirmingham Botanical Gardens signBirmingham Botanical Gardens conservatories Wedding day direction sign at Birmingham Botanical GardensFloral wedding arrangment at Birmingham Botanical GardensGroom and his sun waiting before a wedding ceremony at Birmingham Botanical GardensPlease leave this cupbaord tidy signGroom hiding from his bride in a cupboard at Birmingham Botanical GardensBridal party before the ceremonyBride waiting for her wedding ceremony at Birmingham Botanical GardensGrandma at a wedding at Birmingham Botanical GardensFather of the bride on the wedding day wearing a hat at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding guest putting his tie on just before the ceremony startsBlack and white image of a young wedding guest at Birmingham Botanical GardensFloral wedding button hole at Birmingham Botanical GardensChild playing before a wedding day ceremony at Birmingham Botanical GardensChild looking bored waiting for the wedding ceremony to startLast miniute attire alternations before the ceremonyWedding guests ready to play the ceremony music at Birmingham Botanical GardensBeautiful floral bouquet at Birmingham Botanical GardensClose up of floral bouquet at Birmingham Botanical GardensBridal party awaiting for the ceremony to start at Birmingham Botanical GardensBlack and white photos of bride and her father walking up the aisle at Birmingham Botanical GardensFather of the bride escorting his daughter up the asile on her wedding day at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride sitting at the head of the wedding ailse at Birmingham Botanical GardensMother of the bride performing a wedding reading at Birmingham Botanical GardensBashful bride during her wedding ceremony at Birmingham Botanical GardensCOuple exhanging wedding vows at Birmingham Botanical GardensBlack and white photo of groom during his wedding ceremonyBride reading personal vows during her wedding at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride smiling at her groomWedding guests applauding at Birmingham Botanical GardensLittle bou tugging on his mother's dress during a wedding at Birmingham Botanical GardensGrandmother and grand daughter chatting during the wedding ceremonyBest man performing a wedding ceremony readingBride and groom newly married at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride laughing about to walk back down the ailse on her wedding day at Birmingham Botanical GardensHusband and wife walking back down the ailseYoung boy looking at the camera whilst being held by his dad at Birmingham Botanical GardensLittle girl playing her her wedding day hat at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding party heading out to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens terraceSon of the groom holding drinks on a bench at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding guest admiring plants at Birmingham Botanical Gardens Wedding canapes at Birmingham Botanical GardensYoung wedding guest playing garden dominos at Birmingham Botanical GardensFather of the bride and grandma laughing together Three gentlemen wedding guests sitting on a bench at Birmingham Botanical GardensYoung girl trying to blow wedding bubbles at Birmingham Botanical GardensGuest watching footbal on a wedding dayBubble wedding confetti at Birmingham Botanical GardensBubble wedding confetti at Birmingham Botanical GardensToddlers blowing wedding day bubbles at Birmingham Botanical GardensIrregular choice wedding shoes on brides feetBridal party relaxing in the gazebo at Birmingham Botanical GardensBridemaid climbing rocksYoung groomsman sitting on a benchYoung wedding guest playing lawn gamesBride putting comedy glassed on her brother's faceYounger brother photobombing his sisters on their parents wedding day at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding couple kissing under the willow tree at Birmingham Botanical GardensBotanical wedding cakeClose up of a botanical themed wedding cakeWedding guests listening to speeches Wedding day table games at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding guest playing table at Birmingham Botanical GardensYoung wedding guest playing a gameFather of the bride performing his speechYoung girl taking a wedding day photo at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride performing a wedding speechYoung boy playing a game during wedding speechesGuests listening to speechesYoung girl having her face cleaned during wedding speeches at Birmingham Botanical GardensYoung boy playing on the wedding dancefloor Small boy being lifted up by his motherYoung girl with purple wig and inflatable gituar on the wedding dance floor at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding day Chinese lion dance at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding day Chinese lion dance at Birmingham Botanical GardensLion dance coming close to wedding photographerWedding day Chinese lion dance at Birmingham Botanical GardensChinese lion's legWedding day Chinese lion dance at Birmingham Botanical GardensBirde and groom with Chinese lionWedding guests with Chinese lionChinese lion dancers Couple during their first dance on their wedding day Wedding day at Birmingham Botanical GardensFather of the bride taking a photo of the first danceBride and grrom's first wedding dance  at Birmingham Botanical GardensBlack and white photo of bride dnacingWedding guests on the dancefloor  at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride with comedy glasses on the dancefloor at Birmingham Botanical GardensWedding guests on the dancefloor  at Birmingham Botanical GardensBride's dancing shoes on her wedding dayBridesmaid kicking inflatable champagne bottle on the wedding dancefloorFace paitning signFace painting paint paletteChild with tiger wedding day face paint at Birmingham Botanical GardensChild with blue wedding day face paint at Birmingham Botanical GardensChild wearing comedy glasses at Birmingham Botanical Gardens wedding Child wearing comedy glasses at Birmingham Botanical Gardens wedding Child wearing comedy mustache and facepaint at Birmingham Botanical Gardens wedding Deflated blow up parrot on a bench

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Credits

Hair stylist: The Works, Atherstone
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Florist: Flower House, Atherstone
Dress: Hagley Bridal Studio
Bridesmaids’ dresses: The Wedding Centre, Atherstone
Groom/Groomsmens’ suits: Peter Posh
Caterer: Ampersand
Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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