Ladywood Estate Weddings: Donna and Steve
Autumn weddings are often a joy to photograph – a combination of low sunlight, light cloud cover and warm seasonal colours can make for great conditions to work in – so earlier this month I was delighted when the weather held out for my first wedding at The Ladywood Estate, a stunning venue set in some delightful countryside near Oakham in Rutland. Before their big day, Donna and Steve mentioned that their main focus was on making sure all their family and friends had an fantastic time, and as you’ll see in the photos, they certainly delivered on this.
I started my day at the fabulous William Cecil Hotel in Stamford (a happy place for me as back in its Lady Ann days, this is where my wife and I had our wedding reception) where Donna was getting ready with her bridesmaids and mum. Donna seemed as relaxed as can be and was clearly enjoying the all attention from her make up artist. I then headed over to Ladywood, where Steve was doing a fine job meeting and chatting with the guests as they arrived. After a lovely ceremony, punctuated by laughter as Steve struggled to get the ring on Donna’s finger, all the guests spilled out onto the patio that overlooks a gorgeous view of the Ladywood Estate and surrounding Rutland countryside. The couple soon followed, walking out into a shower of dried autumn leaf confetti, a lovely touch that Donna had spent hours preparing in the build up to their day.
As the drinks began to flow, so did the conversation, and by the time everyone was called in for the wedding breakfast, a lively buzz filled the room. The couple had opted to have a Venetian Ball theme and Steve had spent hours spray painting various bottles and masks gold to decorate the room. Looking back it’s clear that this opulent and slightly decadent look helped set the scene for one hell of a party.
After some cracking speeches, with Steve’s brother proving to be a hilarious best man, the couple’s guests started to don their Venetian-style masks and which only added to the already lively vibe. On the mask front, Steve stole the show with an extraordinary full face golden mask, but it was the couples first dance that really lit up the evening, a tongue-in cheek yet perfectly timed routine that ensured a packed dance floor as soon as their superb band took to the stage.
When I left, a merry group of guests was queuing up for the fish and chips van the couple had thoughtfully arranged and the party was still in full flow – it had been a blast of a day and from what I saw, I’m sure the party went on into the small hours.
I’d like to thank Donna and Steve for the chance to photograph such a joyous day and wish them a long, and no doubt very happy life together.
Images from Donna and Steve’s Ladywood Estate wedding: