Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire (A Country House Like No Other In The World)
3 Day Wedding Film // Pure Story // Pure Love
Where to start on this incredible journey with these two beautiful humans. Martin called me and simply put "you need to Film our Wedding please" at that point I think I knew I would be. From speaking with Martin on the phone I gained much more of understanding of what they were looking for. They had plans for me to Film the evening pre wedding drinks reception, the wedding itself and then join them down St Ives for a walk at one of their favourite places in the World. Firstly the Wedding, I was so excited. Aynhoe Park Oxfordshire is one of the stand out venues across the UK. Aynhoe Park was originally built in 1615, but it has been rebuilt, remodelled and embellished many times since then, as time, tragedy and the imagination of its owners changed its face across the centuries. James Perkins is a restorer of historic houses, a music-industry veteran, a collector and an aesthete. In the beginning, Aynhoe Park was supposed to be just one of his restoration projects – A CHANCE TO RETURN A CLASSIC GEORGIAN COUNTRY HOUSE TO ITS FULL GLORY BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT CHALLENGE. HE HAS NEVER LEFT... I drove through those famous gates and you are just taken aback by what you see in front of you. Set on 250 acres Aynhoe is a wonder!
I arrived the evening before the Wedding, the venue was lit up with these incredible balloons outside. We had just heard Little Mix had held their album launch party at the venue the evening previous. Martin & Al gathered with friends and family who had travelled from abroad and across the UK. The drinks were flowing and a rendition broke out for their beautiful niece who ironically was celebrating her birthday (cue birthday cake arrival from nowhere). I managed to document this lovely gathering and then slip away for an early night as I knew we had a wonderful Wedding in store. I woke up to crisp blue winter skies with a hint of light showers but in truth it doesn't matter what the weather is like when you are at a venue like Aynhoe Park. Literally you woke through the doors of this place and you are surrounded by opulence and extravagance. A Lion there, zebra, giraffes with hats on oh yes and another hanging from a ceiling. Ancient history of mammals, some incredible piecing from the swinging 60's and motorsport. The place is a treasure house, you are mesmerised walking through its corridors at every turn you are blown away.
This Wedding was unique know two ways about it. To add to the uniqueness Martin & Al decided to get ready together with all their bridal party upstairs. Martin an award winning hairdresser conducted proceedings. I am not sure I have ever seen so much hair spray fill the air like in that suite. The Florist downstairs were lining the room with Gypsophila honestly I have never seen so much. It was incredible the room was spectacular. As Martin & Al proceeded down stairs with their bridal party the room waited and were given a live performance by opera sensation before the service. I was accompanied by photographer Alan Law on the day what a great person to work with. We waited at the bottom of the aisle and watched as one by one slowly the party made their way down including the dogs. The service was centred on the word Love. Some of the incredible words said by the registrar hit a chord with me listen to the Video to hear more.
I wasn't sure I was ready for this exit from the Ceremony room at Aynhoe Park but all of sudden the incredible The Function Band emerged, music turned on and they strutted down the aisle to collect Martin & Al, the party immediately went into overdrive. Cue whoops and cheers as they made their way back into the bar and into the lounge. The doors flung open and on podiums were the Function Band and sooner rather than later guests/Martin & Al & I am sure a dog at some point were dancing/singing on the podiums/chairs and tables. This wasn't traditional, it was about Love and loving life. Party started and never stopped.
At around 10pm I looked at my watch and realised wow where has the time gone! I was so in love with this Wedding and the vibes! I left with a beaming smile knowing that I get to tell more of this story the following week.
The following weekend I made my way to St Ives, Cornwall. St Ives is a town in Cornwall, England, known for its surf beaches, like Porthmeor, and its art scene. The seafront Tate St Ives gallery has rotating modern art exhibitions, focusing on British artists. Nearby, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, in the modernist artist’s former studio, displays her bronzes and other works. Boat trips go to Seal Island, just west of town, to see the seal colony. The town is a world away from their hectic lifestyles and Aynhoe Park but what a beautiful contrast to have. I met Martin & Al in their cottage and over a cup of tea we chatted about their feelings with each other their honesty was so wonderful. I wanted them to tell me their story and they did with no hesitation. We walked the beach where they got engaged with their little babies (I mean dogs) we watched the crashing waves smash the rocks as the evening drew in. It was wonderful to document all this.
I left St Ives that evening with a long drive ahead of me but a drive which was a rewarding one. I knew I had an incredible story to tell. x