Weddings at Stationers' Hall, London
Wedding photographers all have their favourite wedding venues, and one of mine has to be Stationers' Hall in London. There are some wedding venues that just ... get it. Hosting a wedding is a particular skill - keeping things running smoothly and on time; whilst never hurrying the guests; making sure the catering is fantastic; the band are kept happy; the photographer has time to do his or her thing and that the bride and groom are having the best day of the lives. And all of this has to seem completely effortless.Stationers' Hall manages to do all of these things and do them with a smile. Every couple I've spoken to who have had their happy day there have always had nothing but good things to say about it. And from a photography point of view, it is one stunning venue to shoot. There is a different room for each part of the wedding, and for a documentary wedding photographer, it's great to have new rooms and environments to capture throughout the day.I'd been looking forward to Eric and Nicola's wedding at Stationers' Hall from the moment they booked me. They were so excited about their big day, it was infectious. Nicola and the girls got ready at her flat in St John's Wood. While Nicola got into her beautiful wedding dress, her dad was in the study giving his speech a final polish - this turned out to be one of my favourite shots of the day.Eric and Nicola got married in St Mark's Church at the end of their road. St Mark's is the most beautiful church, so I was keen to get some wide angle shots to really show it off.I then piled onto a big Routemaster Bus (what better way to travel to a London wedding reception?) with the rest of the guests and set off for Stationers' Hall. Eric is American and lots of friends and family had flown over for the wedding. On the way, one of his ushers gave the most hysterical American's guide to London as we passed many famous London landmarks. It turns out that trying to take photos on a moving bus whilst shaking with laughter is no easy feat ...It was gloriously sunny on the day, so the drinks reception took place in the beautiful courtyard garden at Stationers' Hall. Certainly a very picturesque setting for photographs, so I had a fantastic time getting some reportage shots in the sun of the guests laughing, chatting, and giving the happy couple many a congratulatory hug.Stationers' Hall offers a lovely backdrop for photographs of the newlyweds. We spent ten minutes making the most of the hall and nearby St Pauls, then it was straight inside for the wedding breakfast. I just love the interior of Stationers' Hall - it is all rich dark oak, polished floors, high ceilings and gorgeous stain-glass windows cascading a rainbow of colours across the guests.As a photographer, this is one of my favourite parts of a wedding day. The guests are busy drinking and chatting, and I can drift around unobtrusively capturing the mood in the beautiful setting of the great hall.Some heartfelt speeches followed, made more poignant by the fact so many of Eric's family had made it over from the States. Then it was time for the first dance. Sweetly, the band had learnt the couple's favourite Jack Johnson song. Tired but happy, I found myself humming it all the way home.