Wedding photography in Chichester is easy and pleasurable when you have so many fantastic venues. Crouchers Hotel was the venue for Shane and Lauren’s wedding.
Crouchers Hotel is one more in a list of beautiful locations in and around Chichester, which include Southend Barns where I filmed a wedding Fashion Show, Upwaltham Barns where I filmed Emily and David’s wedding, Farbridge where I photographed Jonalyn and Daniel and filmed Chris and Rachael, and the Chichester Park Hotel where I photographed Hannah and Mark and Paul and Katie.
Crouchers is a collection of farmhouse buildings converted in to a small but cosy hotel. It is very near to Chichester but set in very pleasant fields and woodland. Perfect for a small to medium sized wedding.
I arrived quite early so as to get lots of the morning sunlight whilst photographing Lauren’s wedding preparation. It was a delightfully relaxed morning and I think Lauren and her bridesmaids felt perfectly comfortable with me snapping away around them. I got some lovely shots with the sun glinting through the trees on to Lauren’s dress.
Whilst Crouchers Hotel is lovely, it is definitely a squeeze to get a full wedding in to the venue. To set up the ceremony room required the moving of rather a lot of furniture and very cosy seating arrangements! There was just enough room for Lauren and her father to walk down the aisle side by side. However, they did and at the end stood a very proud husband to be.
Men Crying Is Good
Shane was rather emotional during the ceremony, which is always touching to witness. Plus, from a wedding photographers perspective, it’s better for the groom to cry than the bride. Far less makeup to smudge!
I don’t recall any slips during the vows and, as is often the case at civil weddings, it was over in a flash. I managed to get some good shots without flash because the room was well lit and it was bright outside. With the ceremony over the room was quickly turned round to become the wedding breakfast room.
Flash Bang Wallop
It was at this point that my morning took rather an unfortunate turn. Luckily I had managed to take most of the important group photos. It was spitting on and off with rain now so we had taken some shots inside and some outside. As usual I spent a long time arranging groups and when I do this I often set my camera down. Because there is a huge flash and diffuser on the top I put the camera down on its side. Well, on this occasion I set it down rather heavily on a table and the base of the flash snapped off! Aaaaaarrgh!
I have a spare camera, but at this point I did not have a spare flash unit. Happily, this event means I now do have a spare flash unit as, during the wedding breakfast, I was forced to drive to Chichester to Sussex Camera Centre to purchase a new one. I handed the broken one in for repair and collected it some weeks later.
With a new flash I was able to photograph the remainder of the day without incident. Once the meal had concluded and the toasts had been given, the room was once again converted by the Crouchers Hotel furniture removal team, in to an evening reception venue.
The set up was s little odd because the DJ had to set up in the conservatory with a dividing wall between him and the main dance floor area. It’s hard to describe, he wasn’t completely cut off as there were two archways to the left and right. But where he set up he was effectively looking at a wall 6 feet in front of him.
Work by Recommendation
Despite the set up, the evening went very well. I even met a couple whom I had previously photographed at their wedding. Paul and Katie married at the Chichester Park Hotel and they in turn are friends of Hannah and Mark whom I have also photographed. Much of my work comes by recommendation.
I really enjoyed my day at Crouchers Country Hotel and Shane and Lauren are a lovely couple. The weather was generally kind to us and despite my flash unit disaster we got some fabulous photos. I look forward to photographing at Crouchers Hotel again in the future.