The Elvetham Hotel Wedding Photographer

3rd September // HAMPSHIRE

Carrie and Ben are based in sunny California. After marrying in the US, they were determined to have a beautiful Hampshire wedding for their nearest and dearest in the UK. Of course what a great excuse to get everyone together at The Elvetham Hotel this side of the pond? The beautiful gardens were a little scorched after a heat wave but the September Saturday was perfectly cool and mercifully dry for their outdoor ceremony and reception. After dinner they burned off the wedding calories with some energetic Ceilidh dancing!

Mention this story and I’ll waive my travel expenses to The Elvetham on your Wedding Day.

mother of the bride during bridal preparations at the elvetham hotel
bride hugs sister in floral dressing gown during bridal preparations at the elvetham hotel
usher wearing rings tightens tie
groom puts on pre tied tie
groom puts on striped socks in the elvetham hotel
mum and bride inspect wedding dress during bridal preparations at the elvetham hotel
sister of the groom during bridal preparations at the elvetham hotel
bride puts on her shoes at the elvetham hotel
laughing bride looks out at the gardens from her suite window
wedding vows outside in the garden at the elvetham hotel

The Elvetham Hotel Gay Wedding Photography

21st September // HAMPSHIRE

David and Ben are some of my more discerning friends. Needless to say everyone was very impressed with their choice of The Elvetham Hotel near Hook. A quintessentially British epic fairytale wedding venue in Hampshire. It was a real treat to photograph their lavish dream wedding there.

Gay weddings shake up the traditions in the best ways and I love photographing two grooms getting ready with their wedding team! Rosie Blush spruced everyone up beautifully with hair and makeup.

Guests gathered in the Drawing Room overlooking the quaint formal gardens until they were called through the ceremony. David and Ben decided on tying their knot in the intimate space of the Oak room. They exchanged their vows surrounded by woodland flowers. David is a keen Botanist and gardener so the floral displays were personal and exquisite.

The Library was the setting for their wedding breakfast. Their scrumptious wedding cake served as the ideal centrepiece to the Grand Staircase, framed by stained glass windows.

Mention this blog and I’ll waive my travel expenses to The Elvetham on your Wedding Day.

church of st Mary see from the elvetham gardens
sunken secret garden at the elvetham
sundial at the elvetham hotel
wedding preparations in a suite at the elvetham hotel
groom kisses groom in a suit at the elvetham hotel
groom has eye makeup at the elvetham hotel
groom poses for bridesmaid selfie
two grooms walk the perimeter of the walled garden at the elvetham
two grooms in the sunken garden
two grooms in the shaded secret garden

Photo Opportunities

Depending on the time of day and strength of the sun, picturesque backdrops fill three aspects of the landscaped formal gardens. This lends grandeur to your formal group shots and conveniently located to the garden terrace for your reception. If wet, it possible to photograph large groups of guests from the top of the Spiral Stairs.

I always aim to arrive early and explore the grounds to see what the light is doing. Because David and Ben weren’t hiding from each other before their wedding, we snuck off to take some relaxed photos before the guests arrived. Whether calming pre-wedding nerves or post-wedding exhilaration, losing yourself with a walk around the grounds at Elvetham is wonderful to centre yourself. So often it’s easy to miss your wedding day unless you stop to take it all in.

Often people love to be photographed in bright sunlight. Contrasty light isn’t actually that great for portraiture and I tend to seek out cool pools of shade where you’ll feel more at ease without the sun in your eyes. The dynamic range of my Sony sensors is incredible for pulling details out of the extreme shadows and bright highlights of your photos but the softer the light, the more flattering the results. After all, you don’t want strong crows shadows cast under your eyes from the midday sun!

David was particularly keen to get some pictures in front of the Larch trees. With the sun now lower in the sky, we used the old gates to frame the avenue before we joined the guests for the meal.

The Elvetham Hotel

The Elvetham is a 19th-century country house. The immaculate grounds spread over 35 acres of landscaped gardens in a secluded 8000 acres estate. You’ll quickly lose yourself amongst the inspiring surroundings. Graham Cleator has been a gardener at The Elvetham for over 40 years. 80 ornamental Irish Yew trees lead the eye down to secluded water feature and gorgeous sundial. Play croquet on the lawn as rare Egyptian geese roam free. An oak tree planted by Queen Elizabeth the 1 over 400 years ago. During her visit to Elvetham, William Shakespeare wrote poems for the Queen. Legend has it that her visit inspired him to write A Midsummer Nights Dream. The carvings on the Drawing room fireplace illustrate the visit and celebrations in detail.

The Hamlet of Elvetham is a stone’s throw away from Reading, Basingstoke, and Farnborough. The architecture is Grade II listed. The original manor building was formerly the seat of the Barons Calthorpe.

With the run of the place, your wedding can spread across multiple spaces. There’s no time like the present to arrange a meeting with the events experts – your in house wedding planning team! If you’re considering holding your wedding at The Elvetham Hotel, perhaps consider taking Champagne afternoon tea. Stop and savour finger sandwiches,  dainty cakes, and homemade pastries while you contemplate the stunning backdrop to your big day.

The Garden Summer House is perfect for open-air ceremonies. For your Christmas wonderland, the Winter Conservatory is licensed for your ceremony during the colder months if you’re looking to immerse yourself in light.

The redundant church of St Mary the Virgin is located on the grounds of Elvetham Hall. Now it is a banqueting and conference venue. St John the Evangelist in Hartley Wintney is the sole Anglican place of worship in the parish.

The Drawing Room Bar has a late licence. With 72 bedrooms including the honeymoon suite, you and your guests will have an easy journey to their rooms at bedtime!