THE BEACON WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells is a wedding venue like no other. Set in 17 acres with stunning views over the aptly named ‘Happy valley’. It features a picture postcard country house with oodles of rustic charm and endless gardens you can lose yourself in. It truly is a breathtaking place that I had the pleasure of covering for Hannah & Abu’s big day. I love the fact that you get exclusivity at the Beacon wedding venue too. Once you park up, everything is at your disposal for the whole day.
The groom, however, chose to get ready a good 20 minutes from the venue, so I made this my first port of call. They were already on the whisky when I arrived so the spirits were high as you can imagine. Groom prep rarely takes longer than 20 minutes so I was pretty much in and out before they knew it.
WEDDINGS AT THE BEACON, TUNBRIDGE WELLS
I arrived at the Beacon in good time and when the ladies were in the later part of having their hair and makeup completed. There’s always a hive of activity during bridal prep and this is where I like to spend a majority of my time in the lead up to the ceremony. There’s just so many places you can go that look magical for a photo. I spotted a dark wooded fireplace as I walked around in awe at this Tunbridge Wells gem. This was always going to be the place where I photographed the dress as soon as I saw it.
Dress shots completed and now I scanned the room where everyone was getting ready to start telling the story of their day. Hannah and Abu went for a silky grey look for the bridesmaids that oozed class. It’s been grey and a subtle green that has lead the way for most popular colours chosen at weddings in 2021. It just looks amazing to photograph so I was in dreamland at this point. Even the kids looked super classy in their well thought out attire. Weddings at the Beacon were already starting to grow on me and we hadn’t even made it to the ceremony yet. Here’s a look at how the morning session went with the ladies. It ended with a touching embrace with dad seeing Hannah for the first time. Love this!
THE BREATHTAKING CEREMONY AT THE BEACON
Now, I’ve shot hundreds of weddings in my time as a full-time wedding photographer but this location for a wedding ceremony has to be right up there as one of the most amazing places to get married. You work your way down to what looks like an outside auditorium from the main country house via a natural rock pathway. It’s a long walk down the aisle with incredible views. The guests are seated on wooden benches with cushions either side of the aisle and the groom stands at the end on a wooden veranda. It was perfect for me because I could easily access multiple vantage points throughout the ceremony. It was spacious, classy and emotional. Here’s a snippet of how the ceremony went down.
We have a new Mr & Mrs and I couldn’t be happier for them. It was time to utilise yet more of the grounds that the Beacon wedding venue had to offer. Just at the top of the stairs next to the ceremony was a well kept garden for the guests to enjoy drinks and canapés. This is always a good time to kick back and capture candids of everyone enjoying themselves. You can be really discreet at this time and capture the true story of the day without interrupting the flow. We had decided that we were going to leave the couple shots until after the speeches so that we could have the place to ourselves while others were seated at the reception. I did the groups shots and covered the inside of the reception room before anyone sat down. Take a look at how the next part of Hannah & Abu’s day went.
THE BEACON RECEPTION
Time literally flew up to this point and we were preparing for the arrival of the bride and groom into the beautifully designed reception marquee. Guests had to make their way past the ceremony location and head towards the lowest section of the wedding venue. The decor inside was in keeping with the rustic charm that the Beacon had. Vines and greenery crept through the wooden tables and surrounding the marquee. The bride and groom entered and the speeches began. They were really heartfelt and meaningful as they were a close bunch of friends and family.
While the guests were still tucking into their desserts, I saw an opportunity to whisk the couple away around the venue. I had scouted out some places while everyone was seated for their meal. I had to mix it up best I could so the couple felt that they had utilised as much of the area as they could on their big day. It made sense to me to start at the top where the country house was and then work our way down until we were back to the reception room. I was honestly spoilt for choice and the couple were up for anything I suggested – pinch me now lol.
I caught some amazing shots of Hannah and Abu. They were some of my faves from the whole year. Take a look.
THE COUNTRY HOUSE AT THE BEACON
The wedding entered its later stages which meant we all headed right back up to the very top where it all began this morning. Just one floor lower than the bridal suite was the evening reception dance floor where the DJ had already setup. Guests enjoyed balcony views as they drank into the night. It was a kind of open plan where the dancing area merged with the seating area outside. Hannah and Abu wasn’t fussed with the first dance so they had some fun with their friends and family and did things their way.
The wedding guests were right up for having a good time so I got some fantastic photos before leaving them to it. I finished with a cigar shot for the lads and my time had come to an end.
I’m Chris Woodman – Wedding Photographer at the Beacon. Thank you for reading and be sure to catch up with some of my other adventures here. You can catch me on 07746134504 or email me to [email protected] if you’re looking for a wedding photographer or have any question for me. I’m always happy to help.