I felt incredible lucky when I was asked by Ellie & Ben to be their Cannon Hall wedding photographer. A grade II listed building, Cannon Hall is a Georgian Country House set in picturesque parkland and gorgeous landscaped gardens, 70 acres in total! This wedding venue has some amazing photographical opportunities both inside the hall itself and outside in the grounds.
The highly experienced and friendly staff offer a bespoke service, catering for all kinds of wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships, no matter the scale: epic and bodacious or small and intimate. They are always available to help with your wedding planning and you can expect a personal and friendly service from start to finish, making your wedding truly memorable.
There are several locations at Cannon hall where couples can get married: the Ballroom, the Library and the Deer Shelter. Ellie and Ben opted for the Deer Shelter: a very unique and historic, semi-outdoor location recently licensed and particularly attractive for the slightly more alternative / boho bride, providing a great rustic vibe.
Our bride and groom asked for a very natural, relaxed style of photography, and as that’s what I’m all about, I was more than happy to oblige. When I arrived at Ellie’s house for bridal preparation, everyone was in high spirits, but I think people were also perhaps a little nervous of the day ahead. Not for long though, the father of the bride had the perfect solution: alcohol! Within seconds he was popping open the bubbly and I’m not sure if anyone got much of a choice as to whether they should drink it or not!
In a spare moment Ellie gave presents to her family and bridesmaids. Lots of hugging ensued! A moment definitely worth capturing was when Ellie gave a present to her dad in his office-shed. She had asked me to photograph it beforehand, however, feeling emotional, Ellie’s dad asked me to give them a moment, so I went outside and shot from an unobtrusive distance. It was a great moment I’m glad I was able to record. With Ellie’s beautiful wedding dress on and another heartfelt hug from dad, it was now time for me to catch up with Ben at Cannon Hall.
The impressive tipi had been set up in the grounds, by experienced professionals and super nice guys Garden Weddings. Many of the guests had already arrived and were enjoying themselves playing outdoor games on the lawn in front of the tipi. This was great fun for me as a photographer. Activities like this make for some awesome dynamic photographs. One male wedding guest was overjoyed to have made a catch in the duck fishing game.
As the ceremony start time drew closer everyone headed over to the deer shelter, queuing in an impromptu greeting line to get a hug and handshake from our groom, Ben. Ben didn’t seem nervous at all, laughing and joking with his brother, best man and groomsmen. The ceremony was lovely, and Ellie managed to hold back the tears of happiness, sealing it all with a first kiss. It was clear they were both very happy to be married, even laughing through the signing of the register. We soon moved outside where everyone showered Ellie and Ben with flowers and confetti.
Just before we headed off for a few relaxed couple portraits and group photos, there was some time for more party games. Throwing a hoop over the bottles proved popular and one little lad successfully toppled the tin can tower with a bean bag….but it came at price: his trousers! We took a short walk into the stunning grounds of Cannon Hall so Ellie and Ben could spend a little time together in front of the camera. I don’t need newlyweds to do anything special while I’m taking photos: simply relax and enjoy each other’s company. As a few spits of rain began to fall, Ben’s brother ran over with an umbrella. Ben wasn’t too worried of course, preferring to make the short journey back to the tipi by piggyback!
When we returned for the reception, we found the father of the bride and the mother of the groom having a little jig together on the dance floor. With everyone seated Ellie and Ben entered to energetic applause from the crowd. The wedding speeches were great with lots of emotion. Ellie’s dad took first prize for most emotional dad while Ellie and her new mother-in-law shared a handkerchief during mutual tears. Ben, rather than give a long speech himself, had recorded a hilarious radio broadcast with, seemingly, a little help from Morgan Freeman.
The speeches over, there was still enough daylight for more party games. Beer Pong was proved especially popular, and even Ben’s grandmother had a go. Hula hoop was another highlight with several guests having a go before helping push the OffPiste ice cream van up the hill. I must say, outdoor party games are a great way to pass the time in that down time between the wedding breakfast and the first dance.
The first dance was lovely and it wasn’t long before all the bride and groom’s friends and family hit the dance floor, throwing some moves. Plenty of dancing ensued and some guests entertained themselves on the retro arcade machines. The Beer Pong tournament also continued. Some of the wedding party enjoyed some downtime round the campfire and then Ellie and one of her bridesmaids decided to have some fun trying on some skis. With the sun finally setting I left Ellie and Ben to enjoy the rest of their day. Massive congratulations to this awesome couple!