I was very excited when Jess and James booked me for their wedding at Belmount Hall. I had shot at this gorgeous venue earlier in 2015, for the Horsley clothing range. I couldn't wait to see how the house would look dressed for a winter wedding - and I certainly wasn't disappointed! The happy couple opted for an alpine ski-themed day, with seasonal foliage, a gondola-styled table plan and a gorgeous pair of vintage skis in place of a guest book. Perhaps the only thing that didn't go perfectly to plan was the weather - which was rainy instead of snowy - but then 2015 just hasn't been a great winter for us in the Lakes!
This was my last big wedding of the year, and came at the end of a month of gorgeous but, erm, "light-challenged" weddings! Shooting in winter is a whole different ball game for a photographer - and if you're thinking of booking one for a winter wedding then you should make sure they're up to the challenge. They can definitely be some of the nicest weddings, but a lack of natural light (we had literally 7 minutes after this ceremony!) and often poor, cold weather, can make outdoor shooting very tricky. Once the light is gone and it's back indoors, for me it is all about capturing the atmosphere - warm, cosy, intimate and festive. I tend to use wide apertures and high ISO, only introducing some flash for group shots, speeches and the first dance.
Before you get to the photos I should just say a little more about the venue. Belmount Hall is a stunner of a choice for small to medium sized weddings. The owners, who live in part of the house, couldn't be nicer, more accommodating or more caring. They look after guests and suppliers to the best of their abilities. The house and gardens have so many hidden corners which are perfect for photos. It really does feel like a traditional, warm and lived in stately home, rather than a manicured, soulless wedding venue. I'll definitely be recommending it, especially after tasting the Armenian lamb casserole and chocolate roulade!