Great Fosters Wedding Photographer

Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer Zoe Cooper

“Zoe was very inconspicuous and yet knew exactly what she was doing. Our families both loved her, and she was such a pleasure to spend time with on the day. Thank you so much Zoe, we couldn’t recommend you more highly!”

I first met Claire and Richard when I photographed Claire’s sister’s wedding at Hatfield House two years earlier. I was thrilled when Claire asked me to be her photographer for her Great Fosters wedding.

The Venue

Great Fosters is a Grade 1 listed hotel set in 50 acres of gardens in Egham, Surrey. Being close to Heathrow, the M25 and M4 it is certainly ideal for weddings with guests travelling from all sides of the country (and potentially the world). Claire and Richard were living in Australia, therefore all communications were by email until they returned back to the UK in time for the wedding.

The Ceremony

Claire and Richard had hired a beautiful property near Windsor overlooking the River Thames. Claire spent her wedding morning there with family and bridesmaids, before jumping in the bridal car (the family VW Campervan) and heading to Great Fosters. The wedding service was held in The Orangery at Great Fosters. A room filled with natural light from the large 18th century styled windows looking out over the south terrace. It is quite a contrast to the beamed Tithe Barn where their reception was held.

Claire walked down the aisle to string quartet, who later provided their evening entertainment. After the ceremony guests headed out in glorious September sunshine to to the drinks reception on the terrace of the Tithe Barn.

Getting the Right Light

The gardens and grounds at Great Fosters is a wedding photographers dream. However, the bright sunshine and clear skies that most couples hope for on their wedding day, can be less than ideal for photos if there aren’t enough shaded areas around. We want to avoid nasty shadows across your faces and squinting eyes. To avoid the above, the planned area for photos was scrapped, and off I went on the hunt for a new location with a flattering light for our formal family photos. Flexibility is so important on a wedding day. Later on, the sun had lowered and the light was more forgiving, we got the photos we wanted from the garden areas that had earlier been a sun trap.

The Reception

Claire and Richard’s wedding reception was held in the 14th Century Tithe Barn at Great Fosters. The speeches showed off the wicked sense of humours from both families. And the best man double act ensured Richard did not get off lightly. Ceilidh bands are always a winner to get the party started. The band ‘Licence to Ceilidh’ had everyone on the dance floor from the first dance onwards, as we headed back to The Orangery for the evening reception.

My camera poised ready for the guest’s expressions as they tried to work out what move came next before eventually giving up and free-styling on the dancefloor. I left the party late into the night, with the dance floor still full and no doubt some very sore heads in the morning. As grand as the venue may be, Claire and Richards wedding was laid back and so much fun, exactly as they had wanted it to be.

The Details

Wedding Ceremony held at The Orangery, Great Fosters, Surrey. https://www.alexanderhotels.co.uk/great-fosters/

Wedding Reception:The Tythe Barn, Great Fosters, Surrey. https://www.alexanderhotels.co.uk/great-fosters/

Wedding Reception Band: Licence to Ceilidh  https://www.licencetoceilidh.co.uk

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