Well a very Happy New Year as 2013 is now officially here and I’ll start the Blog posts this year with a recent Winter Wedding shot at Ashridge.

Ashridge House is a stunning setting for a wedding nestled deep in the Ashridge forest just outside of Berkhamsted in Bucks. I had actually attended a few management course there back in the 1990’s when I used to work in publishing/advertising in London so I knew the setting but I had never photographed a wedding at Ashridge and particularly a winter wedding. I had visited the venue several months before when I did the pre-wedding shoot for the couple on a very rainy autumn day so I was prepared to shoot inside if the December weather was not kind. Well what an amazing day the couple had with the most beautiful soft winter light on a crisp, cold but bright day. The setting for the ceremony is pretty unique in my experience and Fay and her bridesmaids had the most amazing entrance down the grand staircase on the main hall whilst the guests sit and watch. The couple then got married at the apex of the steps up the the main double staircase which gave everyone a brilliant view. I was able to move around and shoot from the top of the landing down as well as up close to the couple. It was quite tricky lighting as there was not too much natural light but as usual the high ISO settings on the Canon 5D MK3 and a fast f1.2 prime lens ~(my staple weapon of choice for winter weddings indoors) was brilliant.

The history of Ashridge dates back over seven hundred years, to the time when the monastic order of the College of Bonhommes was founded at Assherugge, as it was then known, by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall (and nephew of King Henry III), in honour of a holy relic he had acquired while campaigning in Europe. The College was later re-endowed by Edward the Black Prince and flourished as a seat of learning and debate until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539. Ashridge also became a finishing school for young women in 1949 (the House of Citizenship, offering four-term courses for 17 year-olds), continuing until 1958.

During the werdding breakfast there was a very important rugby game on the TV but due to the miracles of modern technology the game was pausewd on live TV and restarted once the wedding breakfast had finished and everyone could enjoy it properly glass in hand. Some strong emotions and England beat New Zealand!

I know Liam and Fay had the perfect winter wedding, a stunning historic venue, wondefully decorated for Xmas, weak winter sun and a party crowd not afraid to let their hair down and celebrate with the couple.

I can’t wait to photograph another Ashridge House wedding in the future what a venue!

Here are some of my fave images from their special day.

 

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