Jenna and Ben’s wedding at Hilltop Country House
The day after Stella and Chris’s wedding at Eastnor Castle, we were up bright and early and on the road again – this time to Hilltop Country House near Macclesfield for the wedding of Jenna and Ben. The morning started a little damp and overcast but improved as the day went on. In the evening were were treated to a beautiful sunset, and we were able to take advantage of the warm light and the lovely views and scenery from the top of the hill.
A Hilltop Country House Wedding
Jenna and Ben really wanted to get married outside and hoped the weather would remain good enough. In these situations it is usually left up to the Registrar to make the final descision. Fingers were crossed the rain would stay away.
Hilltop Country House is a private residence run by owners Martin and Clare who double as hosts and organisers. Many of the rooms in the house are made available for the wedding party’s use, and it this gives the venue a uniquely charming and welcoming feel.
The pressure was on for time, but I just managed to grab this quick shot of “team Jenna” before we were all marshalled off to the wedding ceremony!
This is the precise moment when Ben’s best man managed to pierce his finger with the pin from Ben’s button hole.
The weather held fine and the decision was taken for the wedding to take place outside. Jenna was “led down the aisle” and given away by her brother. Most of their approach to the patio and the awaiting guests is away from view, then there is a big reveal as the wedding party make a dramatic entrance acroos the lawns. Cue music!
The perfect place for a civil ceremony.
Under English law, certain parts of the wedding ceremony have to conducted in what is technically classed as a building. So Jenna and Ben had to move inside the house and repeat the legal parts of the ceremony, and then sign the register.
Straight after the ceremony we took a short walk around the grounds. The gardens at Hilltop Country House are laid out in a series of interlinked areas, each with it’s own charm, and there really are endless possibilities here for wedding photography. In fact on arriving at Hilltop, Martin presented us with a “wedding photographers guide”.
Big group, a few family photographs, then time to find the marquee.
Great speeches from Ben’s two best men, largely recounting Ben’s exploits on and off the tennis courts as I recall.
After dinner, the sun had come out and we were treated to soft late evening sunshine. Later there would be a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, but first, just enough time for a few more photographs with the bride and groom.
This is my absolute favourite image from the day. It reminds me of a Constable painting. It has won us a Silver award in a recent photography competition.
And this is my second favourite!
This is the Chinese tea ceremony. The bride and groom serve tea to their parents and other family members and receive gifts in return. It is about respect and welcoming into the family.
After the ceremony, Ben’s father asked for this impromptu group shot. It was a bit of a squeeze, but it came out OK!
Why stop at cutting the cake when you can eat it too!
Hats off to Ben and Genna. They performed a brilliantly choreographed dance routine, earning them the title of “best first dance of 2014 so far”.
All images by Dave and Lois of Golding Photography in Conwy, North Wales.