Markshall Estate Wedding Photography - Katie and Mark
Back to Essex. Back to my old stomping ground. I spent a lot of my childhood in this part of Essex close to Chelmsford. So it's always nice to get back there. And the weather for Katie and Mark's wedding was stunning. More on that later. Markshall Estate is a venue I've wanted to shoot at for some time now. It's got a mixture of walled gardens, lakes and woodlands as well as a barn where ceremonies can take place. So along with a story of the day I'm chuffed to bits to show off some Markshall Estate Wedding Photography.
I've known Mark and Katie for a few years. I've known Mark's brother for a lot longer via our mutual love of West Ham United. James is one of those lads who would do anything for his friends and family something I know all too well when he stepped in to help me a few years back. As housemates we would regularly go to the London Stadium to watch West Ham and Katie and Mark would often come along. There would often be a small group of us who would meet up for drinks before and after the matches. So when Katie contacted me to ask about me potentially shooting hers and Mark's wedding I jumped at the chance.
So let's fast forward to March 2022. A gorgeous hot sunny day and not a cloud in the sky. Which meant one thing. Shades on, tunes on and a lovely 2 hour drive with the windows down. It felt like summer. I got to Markshall and found the staff getting the Coach House ready for the ceremony, putting a lace partition up to separate the ceremony space from the reception space. I was pointed in the direction of The Cottage where Katie, her mum, bridesmaids and kids were getting ready. The flower girls were running around chasing each other. Katie was sipping bubbly and checking her phone to check on music and other details for the day.
Chatting to Katie she said the night before Mark and James were having a few drinks in the sun at their hotel. Now, it should be pointed out at this stage that Mark has ginger hair and fair skin. So when Katie saw him the night before he was bright red. "I know they say "He's my lobster" but it looks like I'm actually going to be marrying a lobster". Katie asked if I can do anything to tone the redness down on the images. However, as I soon found out, the redness had died down. We were now just pink!
By now the girls were absolutely hyper so they were ushered out to allow Katie to get ready and into her dress. Her and her mum had a moment together in peace before calling the bridesmaids and girls in one by one. Naturally the flower girls went mad! Excitement level 100!!!!
It was now fast forward to the ceremony. Katie is an interpreter for deaf people and there were several people here today who are deaf so we also had an interpreter relaying the ceremony today. In the subtly lit Coach House, lit mainly by fairy lights and the sunlight bleaching through the top windows Katie and Mark exchanged vows.
Ceremony done, we headed out to the gardens. I kept Mark in the shade of the gazebo whilst we undertook family shots before heading out on a golf buggy for a trip around the grounds getting some shots. In the woods we found a patch of eucalyptus trees. With the sun streaming through, you could have been forgiven for thinking we were in Australia. Getting out and about on the buggy was good fun, if a little bumpy at times. On the back of the buggy Mark and Katie nibbled on canapés and sipped bubbly.
From here on in it was full steam ahead for the meal and speeches. Katie's mum began the speeches before her maid of honour stepped up for a surprise speech. Mark did his bit and did really well. And then James took the floor. You'd be forgiven for thinking James is a TV presenter the way he delivered his speech. However, he did highlight something that Mark forgot.....highlighting that I hadn't been thanked. Not that I expect thank yous in the speeches. Oh and James decided to take advantage of having an interpreter in the room relaying the speeches by starting his speech "So the penguin and the giraffe were on a jet ski...." Just to see how it was signed and to see the reactions! I have to admit, that was a first for me.
We headed back out to the grounds for some more photos and a breather. Katie and Mark had provided the guests with bags of duck food to feed the ducks and geese. We stayed by the lake to get some shots and watched a duck and her chicks swim towards the stream that is fed by the lake. Never let it be said I don't go to extremes to get shots. I saw an idea and went for it which saw me hanging over a retaining wall with my head inches from the water. A huge fish decided to come up for a closer look scaring the life out of me! I almost went in.
We went back for cake cutting. On the face of it, this was a "normal" cake. However turning it around there was a superb addition of DC and Marvel superhero logos, almost as if the icing was being peeled away. This matched the theme of the tables and the groomsmen's cufflinks.
The lights dimmed, the band piped up and Mark and Katie entered the dance floor for their first dance before quickly encouraging their guests to join them. For the remainder of my time at the wedding the floor was packed. I packed up and caught up with James and friends Barry and Daniel, grabbed a Diet Coke and then hit the road.
What a day. The staff at Markshall were amazing and so chilled all day. And that matched the general feel of the day. A relaxed fun day in the sun with lovely people.
Thank you Katie and Mark for giving me this opportunity. :-)