kathryn & Will Blog-H

It’s not too long now until the wedding season kicks off again.  Not so long ago, when the days were short, cold and dark, I spent the day with Kathryn, Will and their guests in Oxfordshire.

Many moons ago, Will and I were friends at primary school.  We had only seen one another a handful of times in the intervening 30 or so years, so it was a surprise and a pleasure when he contacted me to see whether I would be interested in photographing his wedding.  They only live around the corner, so came round for a quick chat about it all.  Five hours later, we were still chatting.  It was just like old times, but with wine.

The happy couple took a pretty relaxed approach to the whole day.  Kathryn’s a no-nonsense Northerner and Will’s very a man who knows his own mind, so they were always going to do things their way.  I arrived at The Oxfordshire where they had stayed the night before to find Will hanging out with the bridal party, although he didn’t stick around for a make-up session.  Kathryn was however left in the safe hands of Cat, Sarah and her inimitable big sister Julie who entertained me with her chat all day.

I took a few minutes to get my bearings on arrival at Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc’s world renowned Michelin Star-rated Restaurant and Hotel.  It looked even more fabulous when decorated by blooms from Xanthe at Ivory Flowers (another from round these parts!).   I was pleased to find that the room where the ceremony was to take place had a glass ceiling.  Until, that was, I remembered the time of year and we were quickly plunged into darkness apart from a small number of very low lights.  Thank goodness for wide aperture lenses!

It was pretty cold anyway, but factoring in an arctic wind and complete darkness, there was not much danger of getting outside for couple shots.  Thankfully, the venue’s oak panelled dining room provided an interior which complimented Kathryn and Will’s choice of attire perfectly and after a bit of Dutch courage (them, not me!), I managed to coax the newly weds out a little later in the piece.

Le Manoir is not a wedding venue that you just happen upon by accident.  Kathyrn and Will enjoy fine food and after some fine speeches, they treated their guests to no less than seven exquisite courses.  I’m still not sure how they managed a first dance.

At the end of a great day, it was time for me to begin my journey home.  Le Manoir looked a picture as just a little light snow danced around its uplights.  15 minutes later, however, I found myself in blizzard conditions on the motorway, unable to see the road markings and with heavy driving snow relentlessly hitting the windscreen.  I guess you can never have it all…

Many congratulations Kathryn and Will, it was a pleasure being part of your day and I’m so pleased to now be able to spend more time with you both

ps. Julie, you’re not fooling anyone, we all know you’re a big softie really :)

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