Normanton Church Museum and Normanton Park Hotel Wedding
I always love capturing weddings at new venues and Jennifer & DM’s Normanton Park Hotel wedding gave me an opportunity to photograph not one but two venues in the beautiful Rutland Water area. With bridal prep and wedding reception taking place at Normanton Park Hotel and the ceremony taking place at the Normanton Church Museum my photographer’s brain was slightly overloaded by the opportunity for amazing settings for photographs! I began to get excited before I even arrived on the morning of the wedding after reading the following on the Normanton Church Museum website:
Professional wedding photographers and their customers should be grateful for the public outcry of 1970 that saved Normanton Church from destruction when plans to flood the area around it were being set in motion.
When I arrived at the venue I can certainly testify that they had not overstated how grateful we should be. Normanton Church Museum truly is absolutely stunning – sitting on Europe’s largest reservoir the surrounding scenery was absolutely beautiful and inside didn’t disappoint either (don’t be alarmed at the historic artefacts behind the registrar – I have been reassured they are definitely NOT instruments of torture!!) But I have jumped ahead – back to wedding party prep! When I asked Jennifer & DM how the wedding planning had been they had one word “Stressful”! So I was pleased in the morning when it wasn’t stress that I could sense, but excitement and plenty of smiles. With the bridesmaids in a summery yellow and Jennifer looking stunning in her gorgeous dress they were all set – they even had time for an impromptu practice of walking down the aisle….or maybe it was practising the walk from Normanton Park Hotel wedding venue to the Normanton Church Museum. There aren’t many weddings that I’ve been to where the bride has arrived by foot (…when my then wife-to-be suggested she would walk to the church, my mother looked so horrified we changed our minds and booked a car!) but I always really love it when brides do (providing the weather plays ball, obviously!) It was so lovely though (albeit a bit windy!), walking with the bridal party with lovely comments and good luck wishes by passersby. Normanton Church Museum looked simply majestic sitting on Rutland Water – proper goosebump moment (and not just because of the temperature!)
The room where DM & Jennifer tied the know was very intimate, providing a lovely atmosphere for the whole service. It was emotional and full of love and warmth. Following the service, Normanton Church Museum really played its part in providing a stunning backdrop for me to capture informal shots of the new Mr & Mrs greeting their guests as they spilled out from the ceremony room. Again, DM & Jennifer were blessed with good weather and so were able to make the short journey from their ceremony to Normanton Park Hotel by foot during which they were again showered with good wishes from ramblers, cyclists and the like.
Arriving at Normanton Park Hotel the newlyweds were greeted by a lot of confetti and then the guests and the happy couple were able to enjoy the view over Rutland Water during the drinks reception. During this time I wa able to capture lots of group photos. These can sometimes be hard to co-ordinate with guests coming and going but DM, Jennifer and their friends and family were very amenable, and we got some awesome alternative group shots. Wayne Colby and the rest of the Normanton Park Hotel wedding team had styled the venue beautifully, with yellow chair backs and table decorations to match. The tall floral centrepieces gave the added feeling of grandeaur that fit perfectly in this Normanton Park Hotel wedding.
Jennifer & DM had made the (in my opinion, sensible!) decision to have the speeches before the food, allowing the groom, bride’s father and best men to ‘perform’ and then enjoy their meal! The speeches were a beautiful mix of humour and emotion with lots of laughter from everyone wherever I was pointing my camera. Employing two best men always seems to backfire on the groom – two heads means two lots of stories, two people eager to stitch up the groom! And DM’s best men were no exception, they not only ripped DM on the mic but via an amusing slideshow of photographs throughout DM’s life…and of course, they were less of the cute baby photos, more of the embarrassing drunken fancy dress variety!!
Following the food the evening had turned into an absolute beauty so we were able to make the most of the amazing sunset over Rutland Water for a mini portrait session. Jennifer & DM were both more comfortable in front of the camera by this stage and we got some amazing shots, and some amusing ones too ….. DM, shall I let you tell people the story of the garter??!!?!!! Hope you have continued to be as successful with your magic touch!!! 😉
Returning back to Normanton Park Hotell wedding venue it seemed obvious (to Jennifer and her friends, at least) that a photo shoot at the children’s play area was necessary – got some fab shots of them all just having the most fun!! After that it was time for the cake cutting (this always seems to come round so quickly in a wedding!) and then the first dance which the couple completely rocked. The dance floor was officially opened and I was busy from then on catching moments of an absolutely awesome party. Jennifer & DM you absolutely nailed your Normanton Park Hotel Wedding – the stressful planning was all absolutely worth it, I really hope you feel that it was too!!! Congratulations to you, you are an awesome couple completely made for each other. Thank you for letting me a part of your amazing day!