Alex & Billy – Lythe Hill Hotel
September 12, 2017
Alex and Billy , what can I say about these two. If there were ever a couple that I wanted to be super best friends with, these guys would be it. Alex and Billy got married at Lythe Hill Hotel and Spa in Surrey and I was there to photograph their big day.
Now I live in Kent, and I was shooting a wedding the night before their wedding so I decided to stay overnight at a hotel nearby. I booked myself a hotel way in advance to make sure I had one. The wedding the day before ran late due to horrific rain, closed motorways and half the guests getting lost, so I didn’t get out of their until quite late. Off I trot onto the M25 only to find that the junction I need is closed and I had to follow some long diversion to get onto the A3. Finally get onto the A3 to find….that too is closed! By this point I’m debating just going to sleep in my car. I eventually got to my hotel, only to find that because I had arrived so late, they thought I wasn’t going to show up and they sold my room! Long story short I eventually found some dodgy looking hotel to get some sleep, but Ill make sure I confirm my reservation from now on
Lythe Hill Hotel is a historic Tudor building set in the surrey hills. The grounds are stunning and its surrounded by plenty of woodland. Alex got ready in one of the outbuildings which was absolutely huge inside and overlooked the ceremony location and lake. Dotted around the grounds are some old cottages, one of which was covered in Ivy so naturally I took Alex and Billy to it for some photos in the evening.
The morning started off bright and sunny, but out of nowhere we had some real heavy rain! Luckily it soon cleared and we were left with gloriously blue skies and a spattering of white cloud. Once Alex had got her dress on, I headed down to the lake to meet up with the groom and the ushers. I think it’s safe to say Billy was a tiny bit nervous and emotional. As Alex started her walk down the aisle, Billy took one look and the tears started rolling. It was a very sweet moment.
After the ceremony, the string quartet started playing and Alex’ friend Julia started singing some Opera…I can’t for the life of me remember what it was she sang but it was very good. We all headed up to the marquee for drinks and canapés afterwards. I made a little friend at the wedding too. This little lass was taking photos all day, I suggested to her that she should charge people for the photos. The next thing I know, she wandering round telling people it’s £5 for a photo, what a legend.
The marque was decorated beautifully. Lovely pastel colours with touches from Game of Thrones which all went together so so well. The speeches were hilarious and emotional in equal measure.
I wanted to wait for the sun to start setting before we went out for portraits and as it did we had the most beautiful golden sunlight. I’m not one to go for the obvious shots when it comes to portrait time and so we headed into the woodlands to try and catch some of that golden light before it completely disappeared. I’m a sucker for a darker set of portraits and Lythe Hill served us well. We even had time to shoot at the dirty old collapsed barn before heading back up for the evenings entertainment.
The dance floor was rammed pretty much all night, and even grandma got up to bust some moves. Now, I do like to a star shot, so whilst everyone was drinking and dancing I wandered out into the night to try and find somewhere we could shoot a portrait under the night sky. I eventually found my way onto what I think was the helicopter landing pad. It still had a bit of light hitting it from the main house, but it was dark enough that I knew I could get it to work. So I wandered back up to the marquee, had a word with a very merry Alex and Billy and explained what I wanted to do. They were totally up for it. We wandered back out into the night, across a pitch black field to the spot I wanted to shoot at. It worked like a charm.
Anyway, Alex & Billy. Thanks for having me at your wedding, I had an absolute blast! Here are my highlight from your big day.