My routine normally evolves around weddings at the weekends, but this week saw me photograph a Civil Partnership at Ellenborough Park in Gloucestershire instead. I’ve photographed a couple of Civil Partnerships over the past few years, each very different. On this occasion it was an intimate ceremony with only 13 guests, followed by reception drinks and fine dining throughout the day. With only a small number of guests I’d got to know everyone by name within a coupe of hours and already knowing Steve (having been on TV together once….but that’s another story *) I was invited to join them for lunch at Ellenborough Park too.
The day was really relaxed, both Graham & Steve were laid back, although I’m sure some nerves were running wild under the surface. As for the weather (as that’s always discussed on a wedding day, and effectively a civil partnership isn’t all that different!), well, I was treated to yet another dose of the worst weather March can throw at me. With BBC news reporting serious snowfall ‘up North’ I was grateful that it stayed there and didn’t reach Gloucestershire and the zero degree temperature and sideways sleet/snow was no match for my wooly hat, gloves & outdoor jacket. I was however thankful to soon be inside, where we pretty much remained for the rest of the day.
My arrival at Ellenborough Park in sleet & snow.
With this being a small event (only 13 guests) the ‘Minstrel gallery’ (I think that’s what it was called – seen above here), was where Steve & Graham enjoyed reception drinks after the ceremony.
The ‘drama’ of a wedding, whereby the bride doesn’t see the groom, doesn’t appear to apply to Civil Partnerships (from my experience). Instead, both Steve and Graham joined their guests for drinks in the bar prior to the civil partnership at Ellenborough Park starting.
Actually, maybe it was 12 adults and one flower girl :-)
The harpist played during the ceremony and also throughout the drinks reception and lunch. Thankfully there was more than one harp at hand so moving it perpetually around Ellenborough Park, chasing down the wedding party, wasn’t necessary!
The small but ‘bisou’ room which the ceremony was held.
…happily entertaining herself……
…..then she spotted me taking a photo……
….and back to not noticing me again :-)
I love the look on the guests faces in this photo. Mum & dad both smiling at each other on the left, another guests on the right looking back smiling, the flower girl peeping round her dad to see – it’s great.
Steve’s mum looking on proudly.
Rarely is there a serious moment when Steve’s around.
Pleased about something eh!
Onto the drinks reception.
I love seeing flopsy (the bunny) and the posey of flowers in this photo too – they were very much part of the day.
All very straight faced waiting for Steve’s punchline, then…….BOOM
More jokes, more hand gestures.
Matt “get closer, come on, give me something here”
Steve “we don’t do affection in public”
Graham “what about this?”
Inside Ellenbotough Park is great to take photos. Who needs sunshine and outdoor space when you have a staircase and wallpaper like this?
Fine dining ‘Ellenborough Park’ style, set for lunch…..nice!
Graham & Steve both have a small veggie patch and also keep bee’s so it was fitting to have a cake designed around this interest of theirs. Each guests had an individual honey pot for their desert.
Graham (seen here) is a quiet individual, yet very funny. The moments that create a photo to capture his personality are very slight, but this for me was one of them.
It’s only acceptable if you’re gay I’m sure! Apparently it tasted of ‘Cherry Chapstick’ too :-)
There’s often a hard moment during speeches, in this instance talking about the loss of Grahams dad a few years earlier. For once, Steve was almost lost for words.
Why do I like this photo? Well, it’s a brief moment as Steve makes a joke, and nudges Graham with his hand, but what makes it for me is the link along the table formed by the arms of guests. If only Graham had held his mothers hand, it would have been perfect.
After lunch there was a break in the sleet & snow, so we headed out for a very brief (as it was zero degrees) photo session outdoors at Ellenborough Park, before I headed off home.
If you are having a wedding or civil partnership at Ellenborough Park and would like to speak with me about your day, then please drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.
I live in Cheltenham and photograph weddings throughout Gloucestershire. I’ve worked at many local venues from Boutique Hotels to fairy tale Castles and everything in between. You can see all the Cotswold wedding venues I’ve photographed on my website, or read posts from the wedding days themselves on my blog.