2019 was a pivotal year for me as a wedding photographer. It has taken 3 years of hard work to get to where I am now since my move from the North East to the South East and fully establish myself as an Essex Wedding Photographer. Leez Priory has been on my bucket list for a long time and Ellie and Lee provided me with the opportunity when they asked me to capture their Leez Priory Wedding.
On a blustery showery day I made my way to this historic venue linked to King Henry VIII. This place oozes history and has a particular aura about it. You can feel it. And here I was, pulling up outside ahead of capturing what would be a stunning day and working closely with some new found friends in the wedding industry.
In the Fisherman's Cottage Ellie and her bridesmaids were prepping. In the Kitchen, Ellie was having the curlers taken out of her hair and the finishing touches made to her hair and make up.
Within the group we had a mixture of folks from Essex and folks from the North East. My accent was going all over the place depending on who I was speaking to. But for most of the day I naturally eased into my native Geordie(ish) accent eening going as far as teaching Ellie's dad some Geordie phrases to use. This resulted in some hilarious moments through the day.
Now as I said earlier, it was windy and showery but the plan was to have the ceremony outside in front of the tower. Somebody must have been smiling on us because for the only time in the day the sun came out was just at the right time for the guests to arrive and the ceremony to take place.
Round the back of the Priory a stunning white carriage pulled by horses had arrived to take Ellie and her dad for a ride. Have I ever mentioned that I'm terrified of horses?? Off they went for a ceremonial trip before returning to the Priory for the ceremony.
One by one the bridesmaids made their way across the huge lawn towards the Tower. What a stunning backdrop. From inside the Tower a harpist played and Ellie and her dad made their entrance. Lee's grin was huge. Ellie's was even bigger.
Throughout the ceremony Ellie and Lee giggled their way through their vows which was so infectious with everyone around them. This was the most relaxed ceremony I'd been to for some time.
Once the ceremony finished Ellie and Lee headed off in the carriage for a ride around the lanes before returning for some shots by the lake. And not a moment too soon. As we were finishing off the heavens opened.
The wedding breakfast was in the Coach House. It was stair-rods outside so the guests huddled under brollies as they made their way over. Once inside we went straight into the speeches. As the speeches were underway I noticed a few gentlemen muttering to each other. Turns out I was in the presence of fellow West Ham supporters and West Ham had just gone 2-0 up against Manchester United.
Once the wedding breakfast was finished the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped. Which was a perfect window for us all to head outside and explore. The grounds of Leez Priory are huge and there is so much to explore. So that's what we did. I think the images speak for themselves.
It was at this point I found a little surprise for anyone new to Leez Priory. A cellar, painted white with mirrors used for the disco. What a contrast to the rest of the venue. First dance was undertaken in the entrance hall before guests made their way down to the cellar to dance the night away.
WHAT A VENUE!!! WHAT A WEDDING!! WHAT A DAY!!!! Thank you Ellie and Lee.
Venue: Leez Priory
Videograper: Axis Video Productions
Hair: Clare Louise Hair
Make Up: Elaine Marie Make Up