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To the Manor Barn

September 30, 2013

Has it really been half a year since I blogged about that snowy wedding back in March?

Honestly, where’s the summer gone?

I know that I have spent a fair amount of mine photographing happy couples on superbly sunny days and racking up several hard drives’ worth of great images.

Some weddings have the best venues to shoot in, others are blessed with perfect light at the right moments, others absolutely nail the ‘guest to champagne ratio’ and everybody smiles, and sometimes… sometimes I get to shoot a wedding where everything comes together beautifully. A wedding like Nic and Adams.

by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Nic and Adam looking resplendent against the Northamptonshire countryside

I never take any wedding commission for granted and was thrilled when Nic and Adam booked me. They were very chilled about everything as they chatted through their plans for the day, and I admired their laid back approach.

And it turned out the camera simply loved them.

Bridal preparations by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

All set – Nic gets ready to have and to hold

I do like it when I get chance to go over and take a few shots of the bride getting ready. It’s one of my favourite parts of the day and, if I haven’t done an engagement shoot with the couple, it always helps get folks used to me sticking a lens in their face.

Bridal preparations by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

In front of one of the windows at Fawsley Hall

Nic and her bridesmaid set up their bridal prep HQ at Fawlsey Hall, jut down the road from where the ceremony was taking place at Dodford Manor. I have shot at Fawsley a couple of times before, it’s got a lovely feel to it and the big bay windows make for plenty of light in the rooms.

We spent about an hour as Nic busied herself with hair and make-up and then we were on our way to the ceremony.

Dodford manor wedding venue, Northamptonshire

Dodford Manor, Nothamptonshire – straight in to my top ten chart of wedding venues

I was really impressed with Dodford Manor‘s complex of 16th Century barns. They were sympathetically converted and the warm stone and contemporary fittings provided a classy, neutral backdrop to the celebrations.

Warwickshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

A small window that allowed a peep-hole into the main barn proved irresistible

I know that Nic and Adam had searched for a venue with a relaxed rural feel and think Dodford suited their day perfectly. Then, of course, there’s the added bonus that the registrars in Northamptonshire are not bound by the same photography restrictions that their counterparts in Warwickshire insist on.

Making the short hop over the county border always works for me.

Wedding guests arrive in a vintage Midland Red bus by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

This superb vintage bus was laid on to ferry guests to and from Leamington

Bridal swigs champagne in a candid photo by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Calming those last-minute pre-wedding jitters

Brid peeks at guests through small barn window by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Another peek at the guests proves too tempting

Groom and Groomsmen get ready by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

The boys make final adjustments

Waiting for the bride at Dodford Manor by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

One more time – The Father of the Bride checks his watch again

By the time the ceremony began, the low late summer sun was streaming through the large barn windows, bathing the venue in light and resulting in some contrasty shots that suited some timeless black and white conversions.

You’d think I’d be complacent about this stuff now, but the moment the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the day always gets me. I had to work fast to capture both these expressions.

Look at them, weren’t they just made for each other?

Bride arrives for her wedding

Adam and Nic see each other for the first time (well, not counting Nic’s peep through the window!)

Bride and Groom sign the register by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Posing with the register

After the ceremony we headed up into the grounds for some formal portraits before ticking all the group shots off the list and getting back to the barns to catch the guests mingling in the sunshine.

Contemporary bridal portraits by Warwckshire wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Nic with her bouquet by Sarah Horne

Groom and Best Man by wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Preparing for the group photos in front of the old church

Converted barn wedding venue in Northamptonshire

Guests congregating in the Manor courtyard

View from wedding reception window

This photo came pre-captioned

Candid photography of wedding guests

Shiny happy people

The reception itself took place in another of the barns decked out with exposed oak beams and styled with some suitably rustic arrangements by the areas go-to wedding florist Sarah Horne.

Sarah Horne flowers photographed by Leamington photographer Rachel Spivey

Flowers by Leamington’s Chelsea Flower Show Gold award-winning florist – Sarah Horne

Kissing in the bar

An unposed moment before making their entrance

It all made for a relaxed affair with witty and amusing speeches and some nice touches, such as that day’s pools coupon as a wedding favour for everyone.

Wedding speeches

The Father of the Bride makes his speech

Wedding guests listen to speeches

Adam’s sister amused at an anecdote

Wedding guests check pools coupons

For Richer, for poorer – a pools win for one of the guests?

Best Man toasts the bride and grrom

The Best Man toasts the happy couple

Adam and Nic even arranged extra meals for Dan and I, so I can also vouch for the food, which was delicious. The staff at Dodford were great too. They really looked after us and made sure we were OK for soft drinks throughout the day. You wouldn’t believe how much a small thing like that makes such a difference a wedding photographer. It was a full, but enjoyable day and I hope this small selection of shots give you a flavour.

The first dance

The first dance

Wedding guests dance the night away

The very last shot on the roll

The wedding bookings slow down after September, but they certainly don’t stop for me. There’s plenty in the diary between now and Christmas, and I’m sure I’ll be showing off the results either here or on my main weddings site at some point in the future.

Many thanks to Adam and Nic for letting me share their day on here.

Here’s to them!

RS x

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