Oakley Hall proved to be an absolutely stunning venue for Sarah-Leann and Chris’s summer wedding. Set in the rolling countryside of North Hampshire, it’s a historic country house hotel set in spacious grounds.
I first met Sarah-Leann and Chris last October when we met for an engagement portrait session, full of warm autumn colours, at Old Basing. I was struck then by how happy they were in each other’s company.
Sarah-Leann and her bridesmaids got ready in one of the well-appointed bedrooms at Oakley Hall. Her pretty little flower girl certainly kept everyone entertained!
Once guests were gathered in the elegant oak-panelled library, where the wedding was to take place, Sarah-Leann made her way down the grand central staircase – a great place to show off her wedding gown covered in delicate floral lace. Accompanied into the ceremony by her mother, Sarah-Leann greeted Chris with a beaming smile. Like his groomsmen, he looked very dapper in his grey morning suit.
Two of their bridesmaid read poems during the ceremony and, on being declared husband and wife, Chris and Sarah-Leann sealed their marriage with a tender kiss. Confetti greeted the happy couple when they emerged onto the terrace at the hotel, after which I assembled everyone for a photo on the lawn, with the hotel and its large fountain making a stunning backdrop. Trees to one side of the hotel afforded welcome shade for formal photos of family and friends.
The wedding breakfast and speeches followed. Each one was announced by veteran toastmaster Peter York, who was present throughout the day. They included poignant tributes to much-missed family members as well as gentle ribaldry from Chris’s best man.
After Sarah-Leann and Chris cut their cake and danced to their favourite ballad, I took Sarah-Leann out to the garden for golden-hour romantic portraits. The secluded spots I found included an ancient tree whose outer branches splay out across the earth before reaching for the sky. What better metaphor can there be for love, marriage and family?
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Venue: Oakley Hall Hotel
Get the look
Bridal boutique: Wed2Be
Florist: Nicola Florist
Cake-maker: Sarah Carr (Facebook)
MC: Peter York
Décor: Events for you
Photo booth: The Fancy Mirror Booth Co.
If you're planning your wedding, or you know someone who is, find out about what I offer as a photographer.