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Hampton Court House Wedding Photography

An Historic Surrey Wedding Venue

Wedding Photographer at Hampton Court House

 

Hampton Court House - Wedding Portrait in front of Ornate Fireplace

The grand hall at Hampton Court House. Wedding Ceremonies are held here and afterwards it provides a splendid backdrop for some portraits of the newly-weds.


When I first photographed a wedding at Hampton Court House for Bozenka and Greg’s wedding (above), I was blown away.  The venue seemed perfect for wedding photography – the 18th century architecture, the setting but most of all the gorgeous light spilling in through the French windows off Bushy Park.  Light is paramount to all photography and is the first thing I look for.

Hampton Court House is one venue that has beautifully diffused light coming in from all sides – especially in the grand hallway.  This is where the wedding ceremonies are held and it means that photographers can shoot weddings with a minimum of artificial light.

The moment I saw Bo and her father pull up outside in her hired Rolls-Royce and enter the venue through the large front doors, I knew it would be a fantastic day.


The newly-weds walk back up the aisle at their Hampton Court House wedding

Walking back down the aisle is an enjoyable moment that is always savoured but very fleeting. It’s great when couples show their happiness and joy as with Emma and Ben here.


Also, important for any wedding photographer is the ability to move around discretely and unhindered.  Hampton Court House provides this ability in spades and the large space meant I could photograph the couple’s marriage ceremony from all angles and utilise the light well to create very pleasing images indeed.


Shot from back of Hampton Court House wedding as seated bride and groom hold hands

The Main Hall taken from the back: This ceremony photograph shows the amazing view over Bushy Park through the ornate draped windows. Earlier, some park deer had approached the building to see what was going on. The window on the right is the left window on the bride’s side in the top portrait.


The venue is licensed for civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships by the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.  The Richmond Registrars are very relaxed about wedding photography and even allow the signing of the register to be photographed.

Read on as I take you through a wedding day at Hampton Court House…


Black and white portrait of the newly-weds seated in garden of Hampton Court House

Round every corner there’s somewhere new for some lovely portraits of the couple. I try to capture them naturally enjoying each other’s company.  Smiles like this just can’t be staged.


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Hampton Court House - Wedding Gathering Outside with White Rolls Royce

I love overview shots of the goings-on at weddings. This is just before the Rolls-Royce left the wedding.  It gives a great impression of the facade of the house.


The Preparations and Arrivals

 

There are rooms available for the bride and groom to get ready or ‘hide’ in if they arrive early.  When I arrived for the wedding of Neema and Matthew, she had already arrived and was in a room off the Main Hall adding her finishing touches and keeping out of sight.


An Indian bride poses with her parents before ceremony

Before the ceremony, Neema waited with her father and sister secretly in a room just off the main hall. Even though she had already arrived, the illusion was complete when she left by a side door to ‘arrive’ for the ceremony at the front by Rolls-Royce.


Whilst the groom greets guests and at times looks rather nervous yet excited about the day ahead, the photographer will spend their time taking candid shots of all areas.   They’ll photograph arriving guests outside, take natural shots of family and friends greeting each other and taking their seats inside, and check on the bride if she’s arrived and is preparing.


Bride's Indian mother holding the decorated coconut at Indian wedding

Their wedding had elements of Indian ritual to it. The bride’s mother holds a decorated coconut which was at the centre of a ritual with the groom outside before the civil marriage ceremony began.  Details like this are very important for your photographer to capture.


Two older male family members greeting each other at a Hampton Court House wedding

Just inside the Main Hall, two family members greeting each other. I stay back and discrete to take unnoticed shots like this.


Mother and sister of bride in posed wedding portrait

This portrait of the groom’s mum and sister cried out to be edited in vibrant colour. I took this just as they were arriving.


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Father carrying young daughter greeted by older family member

It’s the little moments that mean the most. Young children are always so naturally photogenic.


Bridal Arrival at Hampton Court House (& Goings On Inside)

 

There is rarely a more splendid doorway for the bridal entrance than that into the Main Hall of Hampton Court House.

As the car pulls up, I photograph the arrival of the bridal party outside, then as they prepare on the front steps for their entrance.  There’s often a good chance for some portraits of father and daughter at this time too as well as any bridesmaids or other friends and relatives present.  Then shortly before they enter the building, I nip inside for any last-minute shots such as the one of Greg below.


Groom looking serious with guests in background in Grand Hall of Hampton Court House

A nervous looking groom stands waiting for his bride to enter…  Note the closed doors, meaning that she’s arrived and is readying herself to enter.


At the decisive moment, I train my lens solely on the door and wait for it to open and the bridal procession to begin…


Bridesmaid and pageboy entering doors at Hampton Court House wedding

Children often feature prominently before the bride enters. Here a little bridesmaid and pageboy present the perfect picture to the start of the day.


Bridesmaid walking into wedding ceremony in black and white

Next a bigger bridesmaid (in this case the bride’s sister) enters and I’m careful to take a few photos of her as she approaches the waiting groom.


 

The bride arrives through the front doors of Hampton Court House with her father

Light can be tricky in an old wedding venue such as Hampton Court House. Photographers’ have to be at the top of their game to balance the outside daylight with the dim interior.


The bride walks down the aisle of the Main Hall in Hampton Court House with her father

I take a full sequence as the bride and father process down the aisle. This gives me options in the edit as well as the chance to use black and white to good effect.


The Wedding Ceremony & Richmond Registrars

 

I always make a point of introducing myself to the presiding registrars before the ceremony starts.  I like to reassure them that I shall be discrete and find out any house-rules they have before proceedings get underway.

Happily, I am very familiar with the Richmond registrars and can tell you that they are amongst the most relaxed in the London area.  They are very keen that the photographer is able to move around unhindered and have no rules regarding use of bounce flash.  The only restriction they imposed is that the register signing is not photographed.  This is common.


The happy couple hold each other in main hall of Hampton Court House at the beginning of the ceremony

It’s always a magical moment when the couple see and greet each other for the first time.


Couple holding hands seated whilst registrar reads at Hampton Court House wedding

Thanks to the relaxed nature of the registrars, I’m able to move about and take some stunning shots from different angles of the couple throughout their ceremony.


The front of the Main Hall at Hampton Court House is decked out in amazing floral arrangements and the ceremony takes place around a period table and almost throne-like chairs. These are placed just infront of the central ceiling full-height window which offers pleasing natural light.

Your photographer won’t need to use much (if any) artificial light when shooting at the front of the room.


The bride laughing with groom at Hampton Court House wedding ceremony

Bride Emma looks pretty as a picture in this photo that shows her joy and delight at marrying Ben.


Wedding Bookings at Hampton Court House

 

Useful to Know When Booking Your Wedding:

 

    • The house is just 11 miles (18 km) from Central London.
    • Head of Events is Emily Fryer.  You can contact her by calling 0208 614 0860 or emailing emily@hamptoncourthouse.co.uk.
    • Your legal wedding ceremony must be booked through Richmond Borough Council.  Contact them before booking the venue to ensure there is availability on your preferred date.
    • The venue has a list of approved caterers.  There is a hefty fee if you wish to arrange a different company.
    • The venue is exclusively yours for the day.
    • For larger weddings, a marquee with a capacity of 500 can be erected in the gardens.

The bride places a ring on her groom's finger at Hampton Court House

During the vows and exchange of rings, the couple only have eyes for each other and seem oblivious to their photographers’ presence. Many say they’re worried about this beforehand, but I’ve never received a complaint that I was distracting. It just doesn’t happen.


The Register Signing and ‘Dummy’ Setup

 

As noted above, photography of the signing is not allowed, but there is a blank dummy register provided for some posed shots.  I always find this a point of some amusement and self-consciousness and couples’ often ‘ham it up’.  I feel this rule is slightly silly as the register is a public document but one has to abide by the rules laid out.


Bride smiling whilst pretending to sign her wedding register with groom at Hampton Court House

Bo and Greg go through the pretend signing with enthusiasm and a little humour.


Wedding Kiss at Hampton Court House Ceremony

The wedding ceremony table and guests all face the large hall windows which lets through beautiful light for portraits like this kiss.


Registrar hands the marriage certificate to the couple after their vows at Hampton Court House

Presentation of their wedding certificate: Another moment that can be quick and needs to be captured with care.


The guests take photos of the couple after their ceremony at Hampton Court House

After the photographer has photographed the ‘dummy’ signing, the guests are invited to, so I turn the camera round on them. This one also shows a great view of the Great Hall.


Couple excited as they have been pronounced husband and wife at Hampton Court House

A moment of pure joy. After the many months of preparation, anticipation and excitement, they are finally husband and wife.


Presenting Mr & Mrs: Exiting Hampton Court House as Husband and Wife

 

After the ceremony, and they are wed with their certificate safely tucked into a pocket (or given to a friend or relative for safe keeping), the couple walk back down the aisle and exit into the (hopefully) sunshine to enjoy the rest of the day.

I back away towards the door with my camera firmly trained on them as they walk towards me.  I always ask couples to take their time at this moment to enable me to take a great sequence as they enjoy their first moments of marriage.

Sometimes I ask them to pause just before exiting to allow me to change the camera settings for the outside light.


Bride and Groom Leaving Hampton Court House at End of Wedding Ceremony

The hall gives an ornate backdrop as the newly-weds walk back down the aisle after their ceremony.


Smiling couple walking back down the aisle arm in arm at Hampton Court House

A moment later and the couple arrive at the entrance doors. Some parts of a wedding need the photographer to take a sequence of photos and this was one of eight.


Confetti & Congratulations

Sadly, confetti is not allowed at Hampton Court House,but I can understand why.  It would be so difficult to clear up from between the gravel on the drive.

Bubbles can make for a stunning visual alternative and are used to good effect in the photos below.


Groom with arm in air after leaving Hampton Court House wedding

An exuberant groom enjoys their bubbles confetti moment after they exit their Hampton Court House wedding.


Setting up for the bubbles shots isn’t as seamless as it appears:

The couple exit after their ceremony, then go back inside via a side door.  Next the guests slowly exit whilst I try to arrange them into an ‘aisle’ for the couple to pass through.  I then ask everyone to blow bubbles and keep blowing until the air is filled enough to look striking in the photos.

Finally, the couple exit into a shower of… BUBBLES!  Cue some great wedding photography…


Bride and Groom laughing as bubbles are blown as they leave Hampton Court House

One of the last of the sequence in this sunny wedding photo.


Posed Group Portraits

It’s easiest to photograph any group set-ups as soon after the couple’s exit as possible.  Everyone is still pretty much in the same place and the photographer can announce how they’re going to work it.

I ask the couple to provide a list before the day to work from.  At Hampton Court House, I usually start at the front of the building, then move to the gardens if they’d like a change of scene.


Hampton Court House Wedding Photography - Group Photo Outside with House in Background

A big group shot of everyone present is a good start as everyone is still together.  It also means I can ask for people that I need for the other group shots to remain.  I was kindly provided with a ladder to take this one.


Group wedding photo outside the front of Hampton Court House

This smaller group is the groom’s side of the family. It shows off the beautifully ornate front of the house and entrance.


Groom with family members outside the front doors of Hampton Court House

A smaller group again and more facade detail.


Large group shot of family at wedding in Hampton Court House

Neema and Matthew wanted the majority of their posed photos taken in the gardens. There are countless spots to do this.


The Gardens

The Hampton Court House gardens are extensive, and central is a heart-shaped lake – although you probably won’t realise it is heart-shaped.  There is also a ‘shell grotto‘, a garden patio, and all sorts of other unique elements that help make the venue so special.


Young bridesmaid leaps into air during the group wedding photos at Hampton Court House

I love this: I sometimes ask everyone to do something silly such as jump. I didn’t anticipate the enthusiasm of everyone, not least the bridesmaid.  She really dominates this shot.


Family group portrait outside Hampton Court House

As well as portraits featuring the couple, I’m very open to anyone else asking me to take their photograph. This was taken to the right of the house at the front.


Newly-Weds Portrait Shoot

After the group shots, I steal the couple away for about 10-15 minutes to take some photos around the grounds.  This shouldn’t be for too long as there’s guests to chat to and drinks and canapes to be had!

Here’s a few taken at different locations around the house before the couple joined their guests and I concentrated on more natural moments…


Black and white portrait of the newly-weds in front-door doorway at Hampton Court House

An obvious place is the front doorway. I edit some in colour and some in black and white. This worked well in the latter.


Bride kissing seated groom in garden seating area at Hampton Court House

The garden patio provides some stunning light through the foliage.


The couple walk across the lawn at Hampton Court House followed by their guests

Walking across the lawns for their portraits. This gives a better impression of the scale of the grounds behind the house.


Couple kissing in gardens of Hampton Court House

Autumnal and emotive: As the couple kissed, they seemed oblivious to me photographing it. Not a common situation outside a wedding day admittedly!


Married couple in silhouette at wedding in window of Hampton Court House

The interior provides many potential locations too… In the large windows, silhouettes work extremely well.


Newly-weds pose with piano in main hall of Hampton Court House

This piano is in the Great Hall and is available for booked pianists to use before and after the ceremony.


Couple portrait on lawn of Hampton Court House with wedding guests in background

Photos like this give good context as the couple stand on the front lawn with their wedding guests in the background.


Large group of guests posing at wedding on patio of Hampton Court House

This Impromptu shot happened later in the day and was quickly cobbled together on the patio by those in close-proximity.


Bride hugging friend at wedding

At larger weddings, there’re moments throughout the day when the couple greet friends they haven’t had a chance to say hello to yet. I’m always on the lookout for this.


Bride laughing at drinks reception outside Hampton Court House

A lovely natural moment of Emma laughing with her new husband and a friend.


Couple laughing in huddle with grandparents at wedding

Another magic moment as the couple share a joke with the groom’s grandparents.


Your Hampton Court House Wedding Breakfast

 

Wedding breakfasts are held in the Great Dining Room, which has the capacity for up to 150 guests seated around round tables.  The dining room has a glass skylight ceiling – a photographer’s dream.  It meant I could shoot far later into the summer evening without the use of bounce flash.  This is off the Conservatory with its bar and which leads out to the patio and gardens.

Your photographer will probably have their meal at the same time as you and it’s helpful if the venue provides one for them.  They should ask you if you need any meals for your suppliers but if not, do make sure they are catered for.


The bride and groom enter the Victorian Painted Gallery for wedding breakfast

The newly-weds are announced into the Great Dining Room. Notice the ornate marble doorway – just one of the houses amazing features.


The Great Dining room set for a wedding at Hampton Court House

The Great Dining Room set at half-capacity for a smallish wedding. Notice the skylight which provides pleasing light for photography


Tables of the Great Dining Room set out for an Indian wedding at Hampton Court House

The dining room set more elaborately for an Indian wedding.


Bride laughing with groom at top table in ballroom of Hampton Court House

After the couple and their guests take their seats and before they start eating, I go round the room looking for the best natural moments to photograph.


Young bridesmaid smiling between bride and groom in ballroom at Hampton Court House

Their niece: family moments like this are priceless and mean so much for couples to be able to look back on for years to come.


Bridesmaid takes selfie with bride and father at Hampton Court House wedding

Selfie shot: A proud father enjoys being with both of his daughters.


Groom taking photo of the photographer whilst other guests talk at top table at wedding reception

Turning the tables on the photographer – it does happen!


Bride kisses serious groom on the nose at wedding reception

A kiss on the nose – I think Greg’s deadpan expression makes this natural wedding photo.


The newly-weds sitting at long table posing for photo

A wider shot of the couple posing also gives a reminder of who was sitting with them on the Top Table.


Bride with parents at wedding reception in Hampton Court House

Happy family portrait.


Bride lifting baby and pulling faces at wedding in Hampton Court House

Photos like this not only please the couple, but parents of the toddler love them too!


Grandfather lifting grandson at wedding reception

As dinner is served, I snapped this of Grandfather with Grandson.


Couple laughing whilst two male guests give speech at wedding in Kingston

The speeches are a great time for some laughter and priceless moments – usually at the groom’s expense.


After Dinner Speeches at Hampton Court House

 

After the main course, the wedding speeches are normally held.  This is always a fun time where the unexpected can happen, so your photographer should be on the lookout for this.  Sometimes the speeches can be long, but from a photographic point of view, that is good to enable them to capture the speakers and reaction of you and your guests from all angles.


The groom gives his speech at round table in Hampton Court House

The groom give his speech in front of the stage in the Great Dining Hall. The round table meant that I could get their very close family in the photo as well.


Top table all clink glasses at Hampton Court House wedding

Cheers! A toast to the happy couple.


Wedding guests toasting couple in black and white

It’s good to get in-close for the toasts, especially when it’s a round table. There’re all sorts going on here.


Evening Party in the Conservatory

 

After dinner, the couple and their guests can go through to the Conservatory for the cake cutting and first dance.  The dining hall is still available for people to sit and talk if they like.

During dinner, the DJ or band will set up and should be ready for you to take to the dancefloor and dance the night away…

What a wonderful end to your perfect wedding day at Hampton Court House!


Newly-weds cutting the cake and smiling at wedding

After dinner, it’s the cake cutting, followed quickly by…


The couple dancing with guests in background mirror ball at Hampton Court House

…the first dance. The disco lights make the dancing shots extra striking.


Groom dancing whilst hold drink in the sun at Hampton Court House

Groom Greg enjoying a dance in the late-evening summer sunshine. The Conservatory is perfect for your evening party, particularly at this time of year.


Female wedding guest dances with smoke above her

A guest dancing in the conservatory. The dry ice gives some good atmosphere through the DJ’s lights.


Groom having selfie with some wedding guests

There are moments to capture all through the wedding day, and your Hampton Court House wedding photographer should try to capture them all.


Hampton Court House Wedding FAQs

 

Q. WHY GET MARRIED AT HAMPTON COURT HOUSE?

A.  This is one wedding venue that is truly something very special.  Round every corner there’s something new and of interest with loads of beautiful backdrops for your wedding portraits.

From your ceremony in the Victorian peace of the Main Hall to your reception in the Conservatory and Patio Garden, a wedding at Hampton Court House will be very a stunning occasion.  Look through my page on the venue to see many photos of every space being used on a wedding day.

 

Q. HOW LONG BEFORE OUR WEDDING CEREMONY CAN WE GAIN ACCESS TO THE HOUSE TO PREPARE?

A.  Guests are allowed an hour or more to arrive and there are rooms for the bride and groom to get ready in.  Time is never a problem at this venue, but do communicate any wishes and requests to Venue Manager, Dee.

 

Q. IS PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED OF OUR WEDDING CEREMONY AND VOWS?

A. The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames registrars are really very relaxed and ‘photographer friendly’ – believe me, some are not!  They are happy for your official photographer to move around during the ceremony to take the best shots.  They even allow photography of the marriage register signing.  Obviously there has to be a balance, and your photographer should also be discrete and unobtrusive.  I always try to balance this with getting ‘the shot’ in my approach.

 

Q. IS CONFETTI ALLOWED AFTERWARDS FOR A NICE SEQUENCE OF PHOTOS?

A.  Unfortunately, confetti is not allowed at Hampton Court House, but that’s fine.  Bubbles have become a popular substitute and can look quite stunning when there’s lots in the air.  Just beware small soap spots on your wedding best!

 

Q. WHAT IS THE LIGHT LIKE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY INSIDE THE VENUE?

A.  As with most wedding venues, the light varies throughout.  But the areas where it counts, (the Main Hall, Great Dining Hall and Conservatory) all have excellent light during daylight hours.  Summer weddings will have no problem for the photographer to utilise the natural light.  But whatever the time of day or year, a good wedding photographer is adept at working with natural and artificial light to produce a set of wedding photos that you will be proud to show off to your family and friends.


Bride and groom dancing with guests at Hampton Court House

The dancing can go on late. I normally stay until about half an hour after your first dance but can stay later.


Hampton Court House,
Hampton Court Road,
Surrey.
KT8 9BS.

 

https://hchevents.com/

 

Hampton Court House Wedding Photography Venue Near Kingston-upon-Thames.

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Wedding Photographer in Cardiff & London

Guy Milnes Photography is based between London and Caerphilly covering South Wales, Bristol, London and the home counties.
He has been a professional photographer since 2008 and loves to capture the true atmosphere of the wedding day as it unfolds naturally.

 

Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070

https://www.guymilnes.com/

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