My first wedding of 2019 took place at Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel, wow, how is it 2019 already?!
This venue really was an absolute pleasure to work at, nestled in the stunning North Downs at the foot of Box Hill the hotel has beautiful surroundings coupled with the divine detail of the hotel itself, it’s easy to see why the likes of Lord Nelson and poet John Keats have opted to stay here in the past.
I was first contacted by McCorley back in March 2018, I am always pleasantly surprised when the groom-to-be is the one enquiring but McCorley as it turns out is a true gentleman!
Men, take note….
Whilst on holiday in Corfu back in 2015 McCorley surprised Nicole by picking flowers from around their hotel and using them to spell out “Will you marry me?” on the bed. How romantic is that?!
I arrived at the hotel and found Nicole, her 5 bridesmaids, Mum and son Jacob in their room amidst a hive of activity.
Make-up-artist Fiona Wyatt of Glam Squad was busy getting everyone ready while the girls enjoyed themselves sipping prosecco from mugs and drinking shots of tequilla rose – that’s my kinda bridal prep!!!
In contrast to the relaxed bride to be, I found McCorley down in the bar with his best man and groomsmen in a state of quiet panic.
As I have said before, I love an emotional groom and this wedding didn’t disappoint!
I split my morning between the bridal and grooms parties, it’s always nice when they are at the same venue so both of their mornings can be captured for the other to look back on.
Once Nicole was ready she wanted to do a ‘dress reveal’ to her Dad, step dad and Grandad individually, which I thought was a lovely idea.
Having been to many weddings and privy to hundreds of ‘private’ emotional moments I like to think of myself as a true professional, however, seeing her Grandads face as he saw her for the first time in her dress was just too much for me, and I must confess that a tear or two may have escaped my eyes!
The ceremony took place in the Tithe Barn with its striking wooden beams, and was a perfect combination of laughter and tears of joy.
Nicole’s old music teacher and very talented Paul Morton of MTA Events played the piano as she walked down the aisle, really adding to the intimate atmosphere.
After the ceremony the newly married couple and their guests retired to the bar where I enjoyed taking many candid shots.
These guys were all in great spirits and enjoyed making the most of the prop box that had been left out for them, making for some really fun photos!
After everyone had had a chance to relax, grab a drink and congratulate Mr & Mrs Clewes we made our way in to the garden for some all important group and formal family shots followed by my favourite, the bride and groom portraits.
These are always an absolute joy, I never overly pose my couples, instead I like to take a step back and document their newly married bliss and happiness.
Soon it was time for lunch to be served and the guests made their way back in to the Tithe Barn. After a stunning 3 course meal the speeches began, McCorley kicked them off with a toast to his beautiful new wife and was followed by his best man (and brother) Harrison who had everyone in stitches with a hilarious and ‘google joke’ free speech, for this, I personally applauded him!
Next, was Nicole’s younger sister Natasha who had everyone laughing and then crying as she spoke with real love and admiration about her sister.
Once everyone had dried their eyes it was back to the bar for more drinks and fun.
The evening was kicked off by the extremely talented Phil Morton (who it turns out isn’t just a fantastic pianist but also a DJ) welcoming the new Mr & Mrs Clewes to the dancefloor for their first dance.
By the end of their chosen song the dancefloor was full of guests throwing some amazing shapes with McCorley’s dad paving the way showing them all how it should be done!