“Clive! I can’t stop crying. Just watched the slideshow. Amazing! You are so talented. Thank you so much xx”
When Charlotte was looking for her Stanbrook Abbey wedding photographer she definitely knew what style she wanted. Someone who would blend into the background and allow them to enjoy the day, while capturing completely natural photos. So when she got in touch, I felt we were straight away talking the same language.
The problem she had was the fact they were both working abroad at the time. This meant it was very difficult to arrange a wedding from so far away when you need to check venues, suppliers etc.
But when you look at the results below, you’ll see they did a fabulous job, showing it can be done with a bit of organisation and focus-mindedness. Their advice below too explains what they suggest for anyone else arranging their wedding from abroad.
Their Wedding Day
This was the first time I’d been to Stanbrook Abbey, having heard so much about the venue before, and immediately I could see the appeal to this Grade II listed building that dates back to the 16th Century as a former monastery. The lighting and varied locations, made for a beautiful variety of backdrops for their photos.
Coupled with the fact that this was a winter wedding, made for a very intimate and enjoyable wedding celebration.
Since both Charlotte and Ted got ready at Stanbrook Abbey, it allowed me the opportunity to photograph both morning preparations. Charlotte got ready in the “Brides Manor” lounge, Ted got ready in the appropriately named “Groom’s Room”, which had a suitable armoured sentinel standing outside.
If you’ve never been to Stanbrook Abbey, then you have to see their sumptuous Callow Great Hall, where they held their wedding ceremony. The grandeur is stunning and a great venue for a wedding.
Then their reception was in the beautifully decorated St. Anne’s Hall
I hope this isn’t the last time I get booked as a Stanbrook Abbey wedding photographer, as I’d love the opportunity to come back in the summer months to explore the outside locations more, to add to the variety of the reportage images captured.
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Their Stanbrook Wedding Story in Their Words
BEFORE THE WEDDING
How You Met: We met via an online dating site. According to Ted, I ignored him for a while! After exchanging messages, we had a lengthy and funny telephone conversation and finally first met on a cold January night at an Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Worcester.
How He Proposed: By a beach hut that used to be his Grandfathers in Old Hunstanton – I was blown away ..literally! It was in December and very strong winds.
Charlotte Wore: Ivory satin dress with off white lace overlay. Long veil and train. (Stella York)
Ted Wore: Black dinner suit, burgundy cravat and ivory waistcoat
Jewellery/Accessories: Pearl and rhinestone bracelet, pearl stud earrings and a pearl and rhinestone hair accessory
Hair/Make-up Done: I did my own make up but had a wonderful hairdresser – Kevin from Passion for Hair in Worcester
Flowers: Burgundy roses, black ivy berries, grey brunia berries and eucalyptus – whatever was in season! Sarah Hayes Florist
Invitations: I bought ivory gloves and black gloves and attached a vintage tag with holly and berries for our save the dates. I made simple but hopefully elegant looking invites using typed black font on ivory paper – traditional vintage style.
Ceremony Place: Great Hall in Stanbrook Abbey
Wedding Theme/Style: – A bit of a mix! Christmas mixed with Old Hollywood (we love old black and white movies) and memories of what our departed loved ones loved about Christmas. Ted’s father in particular loved Christmas and we had his favourite Christmas songs played during the ceremony. Rat Pack Christmas songs during the wedding breakfast.
STANBROOK ABBEY WEDDING RECEPTION
First Dance Song: Let Me See Beneath Your Beautiful (Ted’s choice)
Cake: Ivory Pearl 3 tired cake with lots of white sugar flowers and black velvet trim.
Colours: Dark reds and burgundy flowers, black and white
Decor Elements:Candleabras with crystal chains, tea lights, Christmas lights and foliage, Christmas trees with vintage ornaments – silver with velvet burgundy ribbon.
Unique Details: Handmade crackers that had a favour inside containing a personal message (a camel trinket from Dubai as that is where we now live). Framed photographs of our favourite old Hollywood actors and actresses – we used these as table names. Vintage champagne glasses.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Charlotte’s Answer: Ted dancing with me – it was the first time and he was great. He told me he couldn’t dance because he has flat feet. I loved the fact he danced with me not just for the first dance and I didn’t have to ask him. I was very touched.
Ted’s Answer: Tim’s reading. The band were amazing. I loved our first dance (surprisingly given how much I’m not into dancing – not!) Cutting the cake and the group hug and sing song at the end were fun too.
Place: A tiny and cosy cottage in Marazion Cornwall with our dog!
Ted says to lay the law down with the hotel before you start to make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day. Unfortunately, the Bride had no sleep the night before due to so much noise. We also had a number of other issues but most importantly do not let these things ruin your day. Make sure you do a lot of research about the venue and who will be taking care of your day.
Ask people you know to oversee certain things just as a back up and all areas are covered.
I also advise that any family issues are not ignored, but discussed and resolved before your day. Believe it or not, some people can be selfish on your wedding day.
If things don’t go to plan, remember what the day is about and you’ll have great fun together no matter what.
Don’t try and do too many things yourself – don’t make your own wedding cake! By the actual day you will have burnout.
If you are trying to plan a wedding from overseas, ask someone back home for help, don’t be stubborn and think you can do everything by yourself or find a Wedding Coordinator!
MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE CLIVE BLAIR FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.