Tash & Bob’s Wedding, The Gatwick Cambridge Hotel, Horley, Surrey

I initially met Tash and Bob at a wedding fair at the Gatwick Cambridge Hotel (Horley, Surrey) last year, of which consequently they then secured my services for their wedding which took place on Saturday 7th May 2011.

Both Tash and Bob had been previously married before, and not being huge fans of having their pictures taken informed me that they weren’t overly fussed about too many ‘posed’ images to be taken on their big day.

If anyone has ever been to the Cambridge Hotel, they will know that it unfortunately isn’t blessed with natural surrounds or an incredible amount of choice and variation for photographs within it’s grounds.

I’ve photographed there on many occasions, and I generally rely on securing images at the ceremony venue before the couple arrive at the Cambridge for their reception for this exact reason.

This sadly wasn’t possible on this occasion as Tash & Bob were having their ceremony conducted at the Cambridge itself as well as staging their reception there too – this naturally gave me a dilemma, and after much thought and conversation with Tash & Bob we agreed that we would literally pop down the road to an open natural site nearby in order to capture some nice bride and groom portraits within natural surrounds rather than be limited to the constraints that we were facing within the Cambridge.

All was arranged that after the ceremony, we would sneak off for approximately 30 minutes at the designated site for a handful of images, before then returning back to the reception to resume their celebrations.

However, things didn’t run to plan, and the wedding ceremony itself ran 30-40 minutes late due to a couple of hitches.  Being on a reasonably tight timeline this then in effect thwarted our opportunity to leave the hotel grounds, and as a result we then had no choice but to work within the restraints available to us.

Whilst I was disappointed for Tash & Bob that we weren’t going to be able to capture as beautiful pictures as I had intended, in all honesty they were not too upset and were happy to work within the limited resources.

There was a rather large collection of formal group shots requested, and this further ate into our Itinerary, and before we knew it we only were able to capture a handful of intimate bride & groom portraits.

Despite my disappointment of the restrictions on behalf of the couple, it still was an enjoyable wedding to photograph, and there were many characters who kept me amused throughout – including a calculated group ‘bundle’ on the bride and groom when they were sat on the floor posing for one of their portraits – I did manage to get a shot of this as it happened, and you’ll find it below amongst the other handful of images from the day!


wedding dress

wedding shoes

bride getting ready

wedding guests

groom patiently awaiting bride's arrival

bride gazing at groom during wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands

bridesmaid looking on
Bride during wedding ceremony at Gatwick Cambridge Hotel
Bride and groom kissing during wedding ceremony at Gatwick Cambridge Hotel
Outside the Gatwick Cambridge Hotel
bride and groom portrait on the lawn outside Gatwick Cambridge Hotel, Horley, Crawley
bride and groom portrait on the lawn outside Gatwick Cambridge Hotel, Horley, Crawley
bride and groom portrait on the lawn outside Gatwick Cambridge Hotel, Horley, Crawley
Portrait of a groom and his brother

Vanessa & Peter Carson-Frost’s Wedding, St Mark’s Church, Staplefield

Exactly one week prior to Christmas, and a tonne of snowfall ensured that this was to be a festive wedding!

I have to admit that I was incredibly nervous come the Saturday morning, with forecasts of snow on the cards and a journey to Staplefield (just past Horsham) from Carshalton, I was keeping my fingers crossed that hopefully the snow wouldn’t arrive until I had at least successfully made it to the venue.

With reservations regarding the weather, I decided to leave at 10am to allow myself a healthy 2hrs 30mins to make it to St Mark’s Church.  It indeed proved to be a very wise decision, as the snow began to fall heavily no sooner than having left my home!

The weather was treacherous, and as a result traffic grounded to a stand still on many occasions.  The worst part of the journey was traveling on the M23, the visibility at that point was only what I can describe as a “white-out”, and many cars were struggling to cope with amount of snow that was then steadily building up on the roads.  Fortunately I had borrowed the mother-in-law’s 4×4, which was a God-send given the conditions that I had embarked upon.

After all the stop-starting, and the slow crawling pace throughout, I ended up just making it with 10 minutes to spare; having taken me 2 hours 20mins to travel all of 23 miles!

I was due to meet Peter, the groom at 12.30pm in preparation to take some portraits of him and the best man prior to the start of the service at 1pm – unfortunately the snow impacted Peter’s timings, and for the first time in my experience, I witnessed the groom keep the bride waiting (sorry Peter!)!  In the end, poor Peter was in fact a whole 1 hour and 30mins late!!!

Once he finally arrived, the show went on, and I have to say that Vanessa had remained incredibly calm and understanding throughout, which given the fact that she had initially arrived at 12.30pm meant that she had been predominantly sitting in the car for just shy of 2 hours (aside of coming out for some pictures with the bridesmaids). She was a model of patience without offering a whimper of frustration.

Due to the overrunning schedule, upon completing the wedding service we had to change the plans for the bride and groom portraits – originally we had penciled in a specific location just down the road, but there was not going to be sufficient time nor quality of light to continue with that agenda.  As a result we had to improvise with what was available to us within the Church grounds, and to be fair it wasn’t the end of the world as there were a couple of surrounding elements that offered some nice features for pictures.

It was disappointing that we didn’t have the opportunity to have visit the original location for additional shots, but I think we still achieved a nice balance despite the limitations.

I have added a handful of select images below as a taster…

Some people adore the magic of winter weddings, and it is easy to see why people love the romance of a beautiful snow filled landscape – it is indeed a thing of beauty and tranquility and can offer some stunning images.  However, for all it’s beauty on the flip side it can reap havoc, and that was evident at Vanessa & Peter’s wedding in the respect that it thwarted quite a few of their relatives to attend thanks to what was an impossible journey from Essex. A great shame, and you do feel for the couple – all the month’s of preparation and money spent on planning and booking the venues and the catering – and then the weather robs you the opportunity to enjoy and share your big day with some of those you hold dear.

It must be said that despite that and the events of the day, Vanessa and Peter were great fun to be around – a truly happy and jolly couple – they were constantly smiling, laughing and beaming throughout, and that rubs off on you the photographer.  I thoroughly enjoyed their company, and I think that many of their images reflect the happiness that I speak of.  Thank you for being great sports!

Please feel free to view Vanessa and Peter’s full wedding images here should you wish to have a further look.

St Mark's Church, Staplefield

St Mark's Church, Staplefield

Vanessa Carson-Frost waiting in car

Vanessa awaiting in the car

Vanessa on her mobile

Vanessa remained incredibly calm and in good spirits whilst waiting for Peter!

Bride's bouquet

Vanessa's bouquet

Vanessa and her wellies

Vanessa dons the wellies - a much needed bridal accessory in the snow

Vanessa big smile

Vanessa is all smiles during the ceremony

St Mark's Church interior

The fabulous interior of St Mark's Church

Peter and Vanessa at the sheltered gate

Peter and Vanessa at the sheltered gate entrance to the chuch grounds

Intimate Sheletered gate portrait

Tight crop of intimate portrait under the sheltered gate entrance

Peter and vanessa at the front side of the church yard

Vanessa and Peter in the church grounds

Vanessa & Peter at the main entrance of St Mark's church

Vanessa & Peter at the main entrance of St Mark's church