Horsely Park Hotel, Surrey

Horsely Park Hotel

In Surrey Weddings, Wedding Stories by Stephen Cousins

November 3rd was to be a long but ultimately very rewarding day. I had met up with Tamarin and Aaron in the summer to reccie Horsely Park Hotel as the venue for their big day.

I arrived at around 9am to find Tamarin and her bridesmaids in a huge bedroom already having their make up done by the stylist. I set to with my lovely new Canon 5D MK II capturing the preparations.

Wedding Preparations

I photographed flowers, rings, shoes, trinkets, as well as taking posed and candid shots of the girls. I took some time mid morning to walk round the grounds and gardens of Horsely Park Hotel, taking various establishing shots and to get a feel for the venue.

There had been a plan for me to go and meet with Aaron at their home to take some shots there, but as it turned out there wouldn’t have been time so I stayed put.

Tamarin was relaxed initially but nerves did start to play a part once the ceremony drew closer. She was very well organised and credit also has to go to the maid of honour, who looked after me as well as Tamarin and probably others too, brilliantly.

There were around 100 people at the ceremony and I managed to get a shot of the newlyweds signing the register with all 100 behind looking on.

Horsely Park Hotel

Horsely Park Hotel looked beautiful in the summer when we came to visit and it would be lovely to photograph in the gardens on a warm summer evening. As it was, on this occasion, it was really rather cold outside. All but one if the posed group shots was taken indoors. We did the huge ‘everyone’ photograph on the steps outside and then I took bride, groom, ushers and bridesmaids for some pictures in the chapel and basement corridors of the hotel. These corridors are very pretty but I imagine quite scary at night. They would have been used by servants of the house which became Horsely Park Hotel, years before.

The reception was in the grand hall which has wood paneling, huge chandeliers, an enormous stone fireplace and a handy balcony. Sometimes I cringe at wedding receptions when it comes to speeches. They are more often than not, ill considered, ill prepared, poorly executed and generally embarrassing. This cannot be said of Tamarin and Aaron’s wedding speeches. Especially that of the best man, or two best men as it was in this case. Well planned, funny and well delivered by two guys who have obviously known and loved Aaron for many years.

Staying Late

The evening entertainment rounded off the day in the warm, friendly and fun way it had begun. Everyone let their hair down and really went for it. No inhibitions, no awkward empty dance floor. I had sone problems with my flash during the evening and may consider upgrading as and when I can afford it. But I got plenty of usable and funky shots. I stayed until midnight, not because I was paid to do so, but because it was a pleasure. I would love to photograph Horsely Park Hotel again. Perhaps in the summer next time!