On a Saturday in May, on the outskirts of Coventry, the stage was set for Alex and Tom’s wedding at the grand Ansty Hall. Despite the classic British weather doing its best to remind us we were indeed in the heart of England, with gentle rain patterning the historic stonework, the day was poised to be unforgettable.
Ansty Hall, a venue that strikes a wonderful balance between stately charm and homely warmth, stood as a beacon of celebration, undeterred by the whims of the weather. A bit of rain, after all, was never going to dampen this special occasion.
As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen the truth of the saying – ‘a little rain couldn’t cloud the joy of the day.’ And this was indeed the case for Alex and Tom’s big day. Let’s begin at the start of this delightful day, rain and all.
The Early Morning Wedding Atmosphere at Ansty Hall
Despite the rain adding a touch of drama to the day, the scene inside Ansty Hall was a flurry of calm, albeit high-spirited, preparations. The bustling energy was infectious, peppered with anticipatory smiles and light-hearted banter.
Alex was calm and feeling pampered in the hands of hair stylist Nicola and makeup artist Gemma Clarke, who were working their magic on her. Alex wanted a beautiful, natural look to her makeup which perfectly complemented her traditional yet stylish wedding dress from Elegance Bridalwear.
Meanwhile, Tom, not to be outdone, was looking dapper after he’d stepped into his sharp blue suit from Next. As the final touches were being made, his eyes were on two things – the clock and the TV airing King Charles’ coronation. It was an interesting moment, as the newly crowned king and a soon-to-be-wed groom shared the same background score of anticipation and grandeur. Charles wasn’t the only VIP on this day!
The Wedding Ceremony at St James’ Church
The short walk from Ansty Hall to St James’ Church was somewhat more exciting than usual, thanks to the British weather deciding to celebrate with us by providing a light drizzle. Umbrellas popped open, offering a colourful contrast to the grey skies.
St James’ Church, located on the grounds of Ansty Hall, is a quintessentially English setting, steeped in history and imbued with a sense of reverence and tranquillity. It was here, amidst family and friends, that Alex and Tom would take the step from being engaged to married.
Tom later confessed he hadn’t turned around as Alex was walking down the aisle – a mixture of nerves, tradition, and perhaps, a touch of superstition. Yet, when he did turn to see his bride, he was “floored by how stunning she looked.” I think everyone agreed with him!
The service was led by Richard, who brought a sense of grandeur to the occasion, whilst also adding a dash of eccentric humour. It was pointed out to me that he bore an uncanny resemblance to Ted Danson, and for anyone who has seen Three Men and a Little Lady, his approach to proceedings wasn’t dissimilar to the character in that film either! He was brilliant.
Post-ceremony, confetti filled the air, laughter rang out, and hugs were exchanged. The rain eased off and allowed Alex and Tom to leave for the reception in their friend’s restored classic white BMW convertible, with the top down. This car had been brought all the way over from the Isle of Mann, where Tom and his family hail from and where many of the guests had also travelled from to celebrate. As Alex and Tom later said, the day was about “having the absolute best time with the best people,” and that they did, come rain or shine.
A Grand Wedding Reception at Ansty Hall
Following the wedding ceremony, the party moved to Ansty Hall for the reception. This was no ordinary reception venue. Ansty Hall is the kind of stately home that exudes character and opulence, where every room tells a story, and every corner is an Instagram-worthy spot. It was a venue choice that clearly embodied Alex and Tom’s desire for a “traditional, elegant and grand” wedding theme.
The day moved seamlessly into a flurry of welcome drinks, canapés, laughter, and countless group selfies, all underscored by an air of celebration. From behind my camera, I captured candid moments of love, joy, and a good dose of fun that reflected the essence of the day.
Afterwards, guests were ushered into the dining hall for the wedding breakfast. The table settings, coordinated by the couple and the in-house team at Ansty Hall, were a testament to their attention to detail.
Whilst people were finding their seats, Alex, Tom and I took the opportunity to capture a few portraits by the beautiful main door to the hall. As always, we kept things relaxed and natural, and I love the shots we ended up with.
Speeches, Cake Cutting, and Dancing into the Night
After a delicious meal, the speeches were an emotional rollercoaster, striking a fine balance between heartfelt sentiments, shared memories, and a sprinkle of good-humoured roasting. Each speaker succeeded in painting a vivid picture of the couple’s journey together, sometimes leaving the room in stitches of laughter and at other times reaching for tissues. One notable moment was when Roger, presumably overcome by the emotional gravity of the day, began his speech with his glasses still perched atop his head. It was these little quirks and unplanned moments that added a personal touch to the day.
Following the meal, we made our way to another part of the hotel for the evening reception. We also took some time to explore the grounds for some evening portraits. I love this time of day for photography when the light is softer and the sun is lower in the sky.
Then came the cake cutting – an event that held special significance as Alex herself had taken up the task of baking and decorating the wedding cake!
After the cake-cutting, Alex and Tom had their first dance. It was a beautiful sight as they swirled around the dance floor, completely lost in each other. It was the perfect ending to an incredible day and the start of their lifelong dance together.
With a DJ from Vibe Entertainment playing into the early hours of the morning, the evening rounded off perfectly. Guests showed off their dance moves, and laughter echoed throughout the halls. As for me, capturing the day’s events as they unfolded was an absolute pleasure. From the preparations in the morning to the festivities at night, it was a day filled with love, joy, and a sprinkling of rain.
The Magic Behind the Scenes
In a wedding as grand as this, it takes a village to turn dreams into reality. Alex and Tom entrusted the realisation of their vision to a team of dedicated professionals who went above and beyond to ensure every detail was perfect. From Gemma Clarke, the talented makeup artist, to Beauty and the Rose, the florist that transformed the venue with their stunning arrangements, each played a crucial role in the day’s success. The delicious fare served throughout the day was the result of Ansty Hall’s in-house caterers, who left no taste bud unimpressed.
The Newlyweds’ Reflections
Alex and Tom reflected on their day as the “most perfect and unforgettable day celebrating with all those closest to us.” They expressed their delight at seeing the wedding photos for the first time, exclaiming that they were even more amazing than they had hoped for, so much so that they moved Tom to tears!
In giving advice to future couples, they emphasised the importance of early planning and not sweating the small stuff. “Everyone is there to celebrate you and have fun, they won’t notice if minute details aren’t perfect,” they advised. Moreover, they encouraged couples to be present and soak in as much of the day as possible, reminding them that “it will fly by and you don’t want to regret not just being in the moment.”
Signing Off As Mr. and Mrs.
As the day came to a close and the couple bid farewell to their guests, the newlyweds left with cherished memories, anticipation for the journey ahead, and the excitement of signing off with the same surname. “It feels as though our journey together has officially started now that we are married and have passed that milestone,” they shared. With the wedding behind them, they looked forward to creating future memories together, without the burden of saving for the wedding!
So there you have it, a snapshot of Alex and Tom’s spectacular wedding day at Ansty Hall. From morning preparations to an evening of dancing, their day was filled with love, joy, and a dash of British rain. It was a privilege to be their photographer, capturing the moments that made their day unique. If their wedding is anything to go by, the road ahead for the couple is bound to be nothing short of extraordinary.
Inspired By Their Love Story?
If you’ve been swept up in the romance of Alex and Tom’s wedding day and are dreaming of your own magical ceremony, I’d love to help you capture it. As a wedding photographer, I strive to preserve every precious moment; I can make sure your special day is forever etched in stunning photos for you to look back on for years to come. Reach out to me through my contact page and let’s start planning how we can make your wedding memories as vibrant and unforgettable as Alex and Tom’s.