Queens Hotel wedding photos

4 06 2010

The Queens Hotel in Cheltenham is located near the top end of town and next to one of the towns parks, The Hotel is a 4 star hotel with 79 en suite rooms with easy access via M5.

The Venue has a sunroom located on the left of the picture above and offers a bright  and modern location for a medium sized wedding. To follow up on our post  we would like to link to the full picture show on our wedding photography website.

To look at more pictures from  the wedding we photographed at the Queens Hotel in Cheltenham, click this link to visit the National photographer wedding elegance website: http://wedding.nationalphotographer.co.uk/2010/02/18/wedding-at-the-queens-hotel-cheltenham/


Clearwell Castle weddings and more

26 02 2010

Clearwell is a great wedding venue and have won best wedding venue award 2010. Our website shows you the reviews and also the websites is geared toward Clearwell castle wedding photography only.

We have slide shows and galleries just for Clearwell castle clients and the complete site is designed just for those clients that are looking for more information just for Clearwell castle.. We even have a facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=245687527964

Check out the Clearwell update on the wedding elegance website or just go straight over to the  Clearwell castle wedding photography website: http://wedding.nationalphotographer.co.uk/Clearwell_castle/

Clearwell Castle

Of course the wedding elegance website also has a large number of images and slide shows videos on the website. Click this link to view all wedding elegance clearwell posts

Egypt Mill wedding photos

18 01 2010

Egypt mill wedding photography is one of the latest posts on our wedding photography website.

Egypt mill Nailsworth wedding photography

We have posted up the wedding photos from our recent photo shoot at Egypt mill in Nailsworth Gloucestershire, It was the First actual wedding  we have been asked to do the wedding photography for at Egypt mill as normally it has been the place of choice for the wedding receptions, and we have done a few of those.

There are 34 wedding photos posted and one of these we  had to make up.
The groom commented on how he felt like the mafia so we asked him to open hand pose so that we could put a tommy gun in his hand for the post production of their wedding photos.

here is a link to the wedding elegance website for the post: http://wedding.nationalphotographer.co.uk/2010/01/12/egypt-mill-wedding-photography/

Clearwell castle on Facebook

12 01 2010

Following this link will lead you to  the Clearwell Castle wedding Photography Group on Facebook.


If you are looking for information and photographers at Clearwell Castle  why not visit the link to the group and see if you can find what you are looking for.

Site updates

11 01 2010

We have been working on the wedding photography website  and still have a long way to go in getting all the information on the wedding venues and the photos that we have done at these venues.

There has been an update for the wedding venues:

Tortworth Court is the most recent wedding venue post that we have made.

We have updated the wedding photography gallery to 86 pictures and also added a slide show to the pages function. If you click any of the images, a slide show will open and will preview all the wedding photos for you.

Also posted was a sampled mixed album preview, this shows some of the designs that we do. Of course some of these previews made it to the album design page of the website.

We have also  started writing through the wedding photography packages so that they now have price information and some more detail on the packages. We still have the luxury packages to deal with as these are a little more complex due to the amount of items with the packages and also deciding what will be offered to best suit the clients.

At the moment the Luxury packages are set as:
Wedding rehearsal/ engagement photo shoot with an album of its own.
All day photography on the wedding day (with a main album for the bride and groom,  2 parent albums,  and 8 pocket books for friends and family). And an Album with selected images and designed by your photographer.
Total of 12 wedding albums!! PLUS..Short listed selection of prints in a proof book for you to keep.

 6 Small canvas prints and 2 large canvas prints. ( ideal for bridesmaid and grooms men gifts with the smaller canvases and the larger two for the bride and grooms pictures)

Online gallery ( for image selection and album previews)

A DVD Slide show of your Images mixed with any video that we take. This can be mixed with the guests video, but it is not meant for a replacement for professional video packages, just as  a little perk that you cannot get from one man band photographers.
A Digital Negatives disc with fully edited images and copyright licence. This would mean a copy of the unedited photos, and edited photographs that have been retouched. Also there would be the album previews on these discs.

As you can see there is good reason why this wedding photography package has been called luxury as it seems to have all areas covered and has greatly considered the family with this package.

Wedding Planning for photography

6 01 2010

Often its a little impossible to work out what brides want and them to know how we photographers work.
Venues have their agenda which is normally get up in get you out and smile and you (the bride and groom) have to meet their dead lines or they through the toys out of the pram!

For sometime it has been a pet hate of mine and thankfully some of the dictators have been fired from their rolls as a wedding planner/organiser. Let me put you in my shoes for just one minute…

I am a photographer and I have been shooting weddings for plenty of years. When I am hired by brides and grooms they normally hire me for my laid back none fussing photography and the pictures I produce for them. I think its safe to say I know what Im doing.

On a wedding, I went to the house and arrived early as usual so I got chatting to the bridal party, took some shots and got the feel of the people to know what they were like in front of the camera, it was all going well and then I went to this unnamed venue.
On arriving (we werent late (me or the bride)) so I went in had a look where I was met by the organiser, who took it on him self to start every sentence, well normally a wedding photographer… or well the professionals take photos from here..
You take it in your stride most of the time and bite your toung as to not upset anyone and be professional, but after the 15th or so time of his remarks, the bridal party were far enough away for me to make a comment back.. I was nice.. ish.. when I said well normally as I shoot a few thousand wedding photos each year and have done wedding photography for quite a few years I’m sure I can manage.
After that I think he got the point.

I dont blame him totally, as I do look younger than I am and a lot of people are shocked when they find out how old I am, its not always a good thing though…

Anyway, back to the point of timing the wedding, its important that YOU allow the time for the wedding photography. One of the problems that you cannot avoid is when the wedding can take place… But you would work with your wedding photographer before setting the times for the wedding and its agenda.
Many times I have been left 20 minutes to shoot photos, simply because of a run over in the times and the transfer between the venues and of course the unpredictable guests.

I have written a Wedding Timing Plan that should help you understand the timing of the wedding and its photography, But its ran to my times and I have been told that I can do the wedding photography very quickly compared to some photographers.

Of course the wedding Photography plan is only available on our new wedding photography website.

So do please tell the venue that you are paying for, to accomodate you and your guests.

Clearwell Castle Wedding

5 01 2010

National Photographers premium wedding service From National Photographer

Clearwell Castle wedding photography service & review 

Clearwell castle is situated just outside the village of Clearwell near Coleford in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

Clearwell castle - view from the gardens and croquet lawnClearwell castle - view from the entry gate house

Clearwell castle view from the driveway upper level facing the main enterance

The castle offer exclusive use of the castle from midday to midnight and all its splendor  just for you and your wedding guest’s to enjoy on your wedding day.

Clearwell castle Photography

Clearwell Castle’s main area for the wedding is situated in the main hall, this is where the wedding takes place and the wedding breakfast.
The lighting in the room can be  difficult to master as you will see that many photographers in the preview albums have converted the pictures to black and white to hide this mistake ( look in the library for albums).

clearwell castle wedding photography

Getting ready and locations

There are two main areas where people get ready for their wedding at Clearwell Castle and indeed Clearwell Village itself.

There is the Gate Keepers Cottage, situated to the left as you drive into the car park. There are also other rooms available at Clearwell Castle itself and within the out buildings. (upper images)

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsGroom and farther as well as ushers and best man  toasting in the gate keepers cottage before the wedding at Clearwell castle

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwell

Some clients and guests of Clearwell Castle weddings stay at the Tudor Farm House hotel that is just a short walk to the castle. Though in all the wedding attire on a hot summers day you may not want to walk that far but it takes around 10 minutes at a slow pace.

The wedding day at Clearwell Castle

The day runs smoothly as the staff at Clearwell Castle offer a good service. They have been helpful to me and to the  guests during the day and you have your own wedding planner/organiser throughout your planning and on the day itself.

Collage of photographs from a wedding At clearwell castle in the forest of dean Gloucestershire - Cotswolds

We arrive at Clearwell and have a check to find out where everyone is, there is a local public house situated near the village centre, which is less than a stones throw from the Tudor Farm House Hotel and sometimes people get lost in there..

We work between the Pub, the Tudor farm house and the Castle to deliver the preparation photos, and try to keep track of everyone and make sure that the groom and the bride get to their wedding on time. Oh as well as get all the details of the wedding such as the flowers and rings, guest arrivals, pinning on the flowers and the fun that happens which of course we photograph..

Groom in the car park of clearwell castle checking his watch with the guests Ushers, Groom and best man standing in the lobby of clearwell castle waiting for the guests

The guests are normally ushered into the hall and seated, while the Groom goes into the library room to speak to the registrar’s as does the bride once she has arrived, but not before the groom is seated in the hall and the doors are shut.

Manor hotel in clearwell Manor hotel in clearwell

The wedding ceremony is held in a long hall with read and gold seats down either side, there is a lead-lined window at the bottom and a table where you sign the register. Often the sun comes in from the side windows (right hand side) as you can see in the picture below (left)

Clearwell castle wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

The weddings don’t take very long due to them being a civil service, you can have readings by your dearest of friends if you want to extend the service time, being that most couples find that the service is over in a flash. (pardon the pun) The registrars for Clearwell castle is Gloucester’s registration office

After the wedding there is a short break for the bride and groom in the library for some alone time, ( Picture below right), before meeting with the guests that have been moved outside to the double fronted steps.

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

I do find that just after the wedding, that  is not a time for photography, but for the guest to congratulate the bride and the groom, so I tend to wait a little before getting on with my job, though waiting is actually part of the job as well when you are a wedding photographer.

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Guest awaiting the bride and groom outside the  front of Clearwell castle.

Manor hotel in clearwell Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

With the well-managed gardens at Clearwell castle your wedding photography has a great back drop whether it’s a summer wedding or a winter wedding at the castle.

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsManor hotel in clearwellClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Of course at some weddings, the photography is not the same without the guys and their ‘catalogue pose’ and it makes the photography a little bit of fun during the day from the contemporary and traditional styles of wedding photography.

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwell

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsManor hotel in clearwellClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Once the group photo’s are took, which would normally involve all the guests, we take the bride and groom for a walk around the grounds for a personal shoot, this gives you the  images that most people actually want for their wedding album.

You will find that the photography we do (Rory) tells the story of the day. The Photography is a mix of casual (reportage photography) which shoots around the wedding and its guests. Then a portion of traditional images, which are the group shots of the family and the bridal party and then some contemporary images mixed in with those to give a lot of variation for possible wedding albums.

We finish off with a relaxed contemporary style of photography for the bride and groom and their solo photo shoot before we have a short break and the guests sit for the wedding breakfast.

The Wedding breakfast (the reception)

The wedding breakfast at Clearwell castle are in the same hall as the wedding is held. This means that the room is changed around giving time for the photography to take place .

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwell

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwell

The room layout normally follows the same layout with the head table running down the room and the guest seated on round tables. However as you can see in this image below, the head table is placed in the bay window areas at the end of the hall(below left).

Manor hotel in clearwellClearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

The food at the castle.

Well while I’m just about to ruin the credibility of being a professional wedding photographer, I think that’s its worth it; I used to be a chef and front of house for quite a few restaurants in the UK and when I say good food I mean good food (or very good). It is one of the places where I have gone to where the food is consistently good.

The service is good as well as there are plenty of staff on hand to serve the guests, normally the sit down meal takes around 2.5 hours.

For the photography of the speeches, we take photos of the actual speeches and not people eating.

Manor hotel in clearwellClearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsManor hotel in clearwell

The cake cutting is held in the bay window, which seems to be the theme of the day, I have known of a wedding held at Clearwell castle where a marquee was placed on the croquet lawn and a bulk of the wedding held outside. But it is worth remembering that doing this may spoil the backdrop of your photos.

The evening reception

Clearwell is a multi level venue; it has a ground level floor, which is raised so it’s a first floor, the lower floor is the basement of the building and there is an upper floor where the rooms and some of the castles toilets are, though there is toilets on the basement level.

In the evening the service door is open adjacent to the car park level as first come up to the building. This has the kitchens to the right and a laundry room to the left, then the ground level toilets (lower level).
The evening reception room is the next room on the left, and a number of smaller rooms, such as the games room and a chill-out room which is ideal if there are parents with children.

The evening receptions food is laid out in the hall opposite the door for the ‘disco’, and many guests switch from the many rooms or are outside the service door if they smoke.

Clearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperationsClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwellClearwell castle bridal wedding preperations

Manor hotel in clearwellManor hotel in clearwell

As you can see, the dance floor area splits the room in two and there is not a great deal of seating which is why many people spread out into the lower floors rooms during the evening.

Apart from the upper floors not being available (fire risk etc) the DJ is a bit of a let down in my opinion.
While at weddings at Clearwell castle I have heard the same song played 5 times in the space of less than 80 minutes. This is down to the DJ being old fashioned and limited in the purchasing of new music.
He’s the  “in house DJ” as well. There is a  midnight finish , you can purchase an extra hour for the night, the DJ doesn’t see the money and with some of the out dated equipment used and installed, it could certainly do with a revamp.. BUT, if you like old cheese, some of last years top tracks (maybe) then the DJ is fine..

I hope you enjoyed my little show and tell on the wedding photography held at Clearwell castle, and if you feel like contacting me for your wedding photography, please do so;  if not have a great day there!

Click here to view some of our Clearwell wedding photo video gallery

Click here to go to our wedding photography packages on our website.

View our Clearwell castle wedding photography website (just about Clearwell weddings)