“I would like to point out what a true gentleman Clive is. He is pleasant, polite and almost unnoticeable to have floating between the wedding party to perfectly capture and document the atmosphere at the wedding. “

Sarah and Chris


HIGH HOUSE, FILLONGLEY

I’d never been to, or even heard of High House, Fillongley CV7 8EH, before Sarah and Chris booked me to shoot their wedding and reception there.

This luxurious Georgian country house is a hidden gem of a wedding venue situated between Birmingham and Coventry in the West Midlands.

Because Sarah and Chris had family and friends travelling from abroad, a lot from Germany because of their German connections, this venue was ideal for them.

This Midlands villa party house sleeps up to 23 in 9 bedrooms. I could see why it’s a popular airbnb venue and luxurious holiday rental in Warwickshire, as it’s also known as Pearl Villa.

The whole place is available for hire and is perfect as an exclusive wedding and reception venue. But I’m sure it must be the perfect venue for anyone looking for a large party house or a stylish weekend away, special hen or stag party, or family celebration venue in the Warwickshire or Midlands area.

Another plus for High House is the option to use it as an outdoor wedding venue. So Sarah and Chris planned their outdoor wedding ceremony on the front lawn surrounded by their closest family and friends. Then later they had their speeches and first dance all outside. Truly an outdoor wedding and reception celebration venue.

I love this venue so much It’s now listed amongst my list of Best Wedding Venues in the West Midlands.

For those eagled-eyed amongst you, you’ll notice a photos of the ceremony in progress, from the balcony above. No, I didn’t have a second photographer with me. For 99% of my weddings, I’m the sole photographer. So to get the extra angle I simply used a remote operated camera attached to the balcony rail.

GERMAN WEDDING TRADITIONS

As mentioned, because of Chris and Sarah’s German connections, there was a lovely mix of German wedding traditions throughout the day, such as “Spalier stehen” and “Hochzeitsherz”

Spalier stehen

The guard of honour after the wedding ceremony is a German Tradition (often from smaller villages) and the name is “Spalier stehen”. It is to honour the couple and also to visualise the couples first tricky (tight) situation and to master it together. If the couple is in a club of something of they have a certain job the guests often hold items representing this (eg golf clubs, tools, tennis racket etc) to form the roof of the arch. Sarah found pictures of the wedding wands and just liked them, and they certainly made for great pictures.

Hochzeitsherz

During the evening, the wedding guests held out a large sheet with a heart drawn on it. Sarah and Chris were given a pair of scissors and they had to start at opposite ends and see who could cut out their side of the heart first. It was fun to watch Chris try, as he was given the worst pair of scissors you could imagine! But fair play, he still gave Sarah a good run for her money. Then Chris had to carry Sarah through the cut-out shape.

Because everyone was laughing and having such a great time, when Chris picked up Sarah, he dropped her!! Of course I got the photos, which you can see below!!

Sarah later said the photo was her favourite of the day, when she said “When Chris drops me before carrying me through the heart. It looks like he slam dunks me. I love it because it is funny and full of joy and real, just the two of us having fun.”

The heart is called “Hochzeitsherz” (wedding heart). Again a German tradition. It is a race to show who will wear the trousers in the marriage. (And team work in the end when one person finishes early and helps the other). The step together through the heart symbolises the beginning of the journey together.

POOL JUMP

The icing on the cake for me at this wedding was at the end of the day. High House has an on-site swimming pool and Chris and Sarah planned a pool jump for the 3 of them. Yes, 3!! Their dog Henry played an important role throughout the day. He was their ring bearer and also walked Sarah down the aisle.

So the plan was for all 3 to jump in the pool at the end. They’d first throw Henry’s ball into the pool for him to fetch it. Then they’d all jump in together. But Henry at chickened out when they first jumped in.

Chris’s favourite image was the pool jump when he said he said he loved the shot of them “Jumping into the pool to end the evening with the dog bailing out.”

THEIR OUTDOOR WEDDING STORY AT HIGH HOUSE FILLONGLEY

Some of the things I personally loved capturing included

  • Chris having his hair gelled by Sarah before the ceremony. The whole time he had to keep his eyes closed, because he was not allowed to see Sarah before the ceremony.
  • The hand-fasting ceremony with a traditional tying of the knot, overseen by their humanist celebrant Laura Gimson.
  • Finally, Henry stealing the show during the ceremony

BEFORE THE WEDDING

How You Met: We met online and our first date was in a nice pub for dinner.
How He Proposed: Chris took me on a surprise trip to Santorini. He booked the honeymoon suite and at sunset in the hot tub overlooking Skagos he got the ring out and asked me to marry him.

WEDDING

The Bride Wore: Classic ivory ball gown with some bling, fancy shoes from irregular choice and, an old inherited gold necklace, some borrowed pearl earrings, and a garter with my name stitched in blue.
The Groom Wore: Grey suit with blue waistcoats and lilac shirt. Vibrant pink tie.
Jewellery/Accessories: Inherited gold necklace with a stone from the Hudson River, borrowed pearl earrings, my engagement ring and my grandmas inherited engagement ring.
Hair/Make-up Done: I did with some help from my maid of honour.
Flowers: Gerberas, my absolute favourite flower.
Invitations: Cute, beautiful with humour.
Ceremony Place: The High House in the beautiful garden .
Wedding Theme/Style: Relaxed, summer garden party.

RECEPTION

Reception Place: The High House garden.
Musicians: The Retrosettes
First Dance Song: Heaven by Bryan Adams and Shut up and dance with me by walk the moon.
Cake: Cupcakes, chocolate, Victoria sponge, Lemon with white chocolate buttercream and top cake was Bakewell.
Colours: Pinks, purple, red and anything summer.
Decor Elements: Balloons, bunting, flowers tied to the chairs.
Unique Details: Fingerprint guest book with us as cartoons and the fingerprints forming our balloon. Our cake topper was personalised including our dog. I brought a barbell for the photos. Our cake stand was specially made.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

Bride’s Answer: Seeing my boo tear up.
Groom’s Answer: Entrance of my beautiful wife.

HONEYMOON

Place Seychelles

WEDDING ADVICE:

Relax and get used to the idea that not everything will go perfectly and yet it will be perfect.


Planning an outdoor wedding celebration?

If you’re planning a High House Fillongley wedding celebration either indoor our outdoors, or a wedding celebration elsewhere, I’d love to talk further! Fill out my contact form and let me know what you’ve planned.

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