Our last wedding of 2019 was an absolute cracker, with a stylish new venue, simple but stunning decoration, but best of all: lots of fun with a bunch of really great people.
Top of that list of great people must go Ben and Holly themselves. Phil and mine’s first meeting with them was via a Skype video chat, and we were over the moon when they said at the end: “yeah, we wanna book!”.
The wedding day itself dawned misty and grey, but this had already evaporated and turned to crisp blue skies as Phil dropped me off at the venue: the Edgbaston Park Hotel. This is a relatively new venue that’s only been open for just over a year. It’s fab, with an amazing ceremony room flooded with light, even in winter, and lots of spaces for guests to mingle and have fun.
It’s on the grounds of Birmingham University the alma mater of both Ben and myself. I took a quick stroll onto the campus to scope out possible portrait locations for later, and paused at the North Gate to take a picture of the iconic clock tower, Old Joe, rising out of the mist.
Phil had driven over to Ben and Holly’s house nearby to get pictures of Holly getting ready. Presided over by hair stylist Helena Sinclair and MUA Rachael Claire. Holly being the self confessed driver in most of life’s organising and activities meant that bridal prep stopped for the occasional extra duty; such as baby feeding and also for the bridal party to all have Hula-Hoops and champagne brunch - possibly the start of an annual tradition.
I got pictures of the final decorations from Event Styling by Amy Victoria, and Pollen Floral Joy being put in place at the Edgbaston Park Hotel, as well as Ben greeting all his guests too.
Once the registrars had arrived it was time for Ben to have his pre-ceremony interview with them, and a few moments of breath being held as we played the game of Hide The Bride, making sure Ben and Holly didn’t cross paths before it was time for Holly to walk up the aisle with her dad.
It was a great ceremony led by a very charismatic Birmingham registrar, and with two lovely readings: He Never Leaves The Seat Up, and an extract from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. The room was decorated in an understated but really beautiful way, with warm white fairy lights, and clever clear balloons that reflected the room lights to make amazing patterns. Sprays of ivy and eucalyptus added colour, and a lovely festive smell, to the room.
After Ben and Holly had walked back down the aisle together as husband and wife, we quickly got everyone outside for a big group shot in front of the grand hotel. We didn’t take long over it, because it was quite cold! Back inside, the guests warmed themselves with mulled wine, which smelled gorgeous. I’ve been craving it ever since, and will be making some as soon as I’ve been to the shops to buy some red wine and spices.
The ceremony room had been turned around and laid out beautifully for the wedding breakfast. Of COURSE there were “Ben and Holly” wedding favours! There were great speeches from Ben, Holly, her dad, and best man James, and a quiz that showed a certain degree of friendly competitiveness between some of the tables.
Clearly at this time of the year you have to make the best of the light that’s available, but Ben and Holly had thought this through, and allowed time for some portraits before the sun had set. We also took them outside later on for some unusual off-camera flash portraits in the dark! They were great sports, and didn’t mind about it being freezing.
Indoors, the party was in full swing. There were some clever ideas to keep guests entertained: a large cardboard castle that had to be assembled and coloured in. This kept both some of the youngest, and oldest guests present happy! There was also a version of the classic Guess Who game, with pictures of a selection of the guests, and a Connect Four with more guests’ names on the yellow and red discs.
When it came to cake cutting time, we had a newly wed bride and groom, a gorgeous cake by Amae - The Cake Boutique, but we were lacking a knife! Phil helpfully suggested karate chopping it instead; but before this could happen a considerate guest went to the kitchen to collect a knife, and so it was time to cut into the cake!
There was also a fantastic DJ in attendance for the evening, who played a 90’s-flavoured playlist that absolutely knocked it out of the park. When you’ve been on your feet shooting a wedding for nine hours, your legs can start to get a little tired, but that music selection had Phil and me bouncing up and down with all the guests on the dance floor as we got some great shots of all the fun.
What an amazing way to end our 2019 wedding year! We’re really grateful to Ben and Holly for making us part of their magical, fun day. I’m sure some of the shots from this wedding will end up in our Best Of selection for 2019, coming soon, but in the meantime just enjoy this sneak peek selection from Ben and Holly’s day.
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Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel - https://www.edgbastonparkhotel.com
Dress: The Cotswold Frock Shop- https://www.thecotswoldfrockshop.co.uk
Hair Stylist: Helena Sinclair - https://bridalhairbyhelenasinclair.co.uk
MUA: Rachael Claire Bridal - https://www.rachaelclairebridal.co.uk
Cake: Amae - The Cake Boutique - https://www.amae-tcb.com
Flowers: Pollen Floral Joy - https://www.pollenfloraljoy.co.uk
Venue Styling: Event Styling by Amy Victoria - https://www.eventstylingbyamyvictoria.co.uk
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