I always like photographing weddings at The Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. There is so much to the grounds there that most people have no idea about (14 acres in total!). Some people may only see the front gardens which are nice, and offer various opportunities for wedding photography portraits. Then at the back of the hotel, there is the top area, dominated by a variety of huge trees, and now with a wooden gazebo for outside ceremonies. From here you view the largest of the 3 spring fed lakes at the venue. However, it's only when you explore down towards the lake, that you discover lots more to this venue.
Laura and Samuel had their ceremony just a short drive (or walk) down the road towards Langton Green, at St. Paul's church. I've been the wedding photographer a few times now at St. Paul's in Tunbridge Wells, and always find the ceremony beautifully done and Rev. Ronnie friendly and accommodating for photos. Laura arrived in a Beauford Tourer (one of my favourite classic wedding cars), and looked amazing.
After the ceremony, everyone headed to The Spa Hotel to enjoy some summer sun with drinks and canapes in the beautiful grounds. There was a real garden party feel to the celebrations with the mood being very relaxed. I took the bride and groom for a few portraits around grounds at this point, and then it was time to head inside for the wedding breakfast and speeches. Laura's mum started the speeches off, and did a brilliant job. She admitted afterwards that she was very nervous (and understandably so), but I didn't feel it showed. In fact, all of the speakers did a top job. Perhaps the groom, was used to giving presentations, but if not, he handled this part with easy calm and confidence, whilst mixing thanks to various people with anecdotes of his history with Laura. And as mentioned, the best man also did a sterling job, clearly demonstrating the strong friendship between himself and the groom.
As the venue prepared the room for the first dance and ensuing party, I took the bride and groom off again for some more portraits, but this time in the gorgeous evening light. As you'd expect, the first dance was a beautiful start of the evening party and with an amazing band playing the music, the guests needed little persuasion to fill the dance floor.
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