Weddings at Down Hall in Hertfordshire are truly spectacular. so when Jocelyn and Stuart asked me to be their Down Hall wedding photographer, I immediately jumped at the chance. Hertfordshire isn’t exactly far from London, but I love the excitement and adrenaline of visiting new venues and new places for the first time, wondering what sort of photo opportunities will await me.
This grand, almost palatial mansion dates right back to the 16th century, with much of the original façade still in place. Once home to London’s elite, this Italian-style property is now a luxurious country house hotel, open for overnight stays, mouth-watering meals, and celebratory events including wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Jocelyn and Stuart were keen for an intimate ceremony, and opted for one of Down Hall Hotel’s smaller wedding venues. However, there are rooms that can accommodate almost 200 guests for brides and grooms with larger wedding parties. In terms of photography, these rooms are laid out perfectly. With plenty of space to manoeuvre, and with large windows allowing natural light to flood the room, I was able to take some stunning pictures of the bride and groom. The room itself was decorated quite traditionally with neutral colours, but Jocelyn and Stuart showed how versatile the venue is, adding their own touch of colour to bring a more modern twist to their big day.
On a sunny day such as this, the 110 acres of landscaped gardens surrounding the hotel provided the perfect backdrop for some relaxed outdoor photos. This was also a chance for the wedding party to really show off their personality. While it was great to get pictures of the bride and groom amongst the lush green foliage, it was even better to capture the guys having fun with the gigantic outdoor chessboard. It was the perfect way to combine the tradition of the wedding with a little bit crazy flair.
The evening reception followed, and this is where brides and grooms can really put their own spin on a classic. Jocelyn and Stuart opted for mood lighting in pinks and blues which added contemporary charm to this otherwise historic building. Down Hall is located amongst some spectacular natural scenery, but there really wasn’t any reason to venture off the property – there was everything we needed to document this occasion right at our fingertips.