LOOKING FOR A LUXURY WEDDING EXPERIENCE AT ONE OF LONDONS MOST ICONIC HOTELS?
Engaged? Well what now? Let me throw the charming Dorchester Hotel London into the hat for your consideration. It won’t hurt to look & you could do plenty worse than starting right here (take it from me).
Firstly, you don’t have to book your entire wedding at the Dorchester Hotel. Emily & Ike (B&G), decided to have their reception there so they could get ready near their home in Canary wharf. Full day options are available, give them a call – the wedding planner is so helpful & that makes all the difference.
My coverage started at the lovely Novotel hotel in Canary wharf with Emily & her bridal party. As you can imagine, it was nerves mixed with excitement as we listened to spotify on the portable speakers while the ladies got themselves wedding ready. Ike had opted not to have his getting ready session captured so I first saw him at the church.
There are not many weddings where you’re left twiddling your thumbs and waiting for the time to pass before you marry the partner of your dreams. In fact, using up every ounce of time (and more) is pretty much the norm on the big day and this was no different.
I’m not going to lie, when the clock is ticking and the dress should have been on 20 minutes ago, I go from wedding photographer to super helper to prepare for the imminent departure and ensure we stay on track. In the past, I’ve packed cars, tidied rooms and even driven bridesmaids from one location to the next. I actually think it should be that way. We’re all in it as one and I love how everyone pulls together to really make the day something special for the couple.
This time, I had planned to ride with the bride and her father, which can be a special moment in itself, but the real reason was my fear of not beating the bride to church and having to navigate through the weekend drivers.
We were heading to the Hinde Street Methodist church, which is situated in an exclusive corner of the capital, and just a stones throw from opulent Mayfair. The ceremony went without a hitch and we found ourselves walking to the Manchester gardens for the formal group photographs.
**TIP ALERT – A really cool way to get your guests from A to B during a London wedding is to consider hiring a double decker bus. A good ol’ world famous red one to keep your favorite people together. Emily and Ike did just that. The guests went straight to the Dorchester and we went to a few nearby locations to mix up the scenery a little.
We were fighting against the clock somewhat so we had to be fairly swift with the couple shots. Luckily, I knew exactly what they wanted and we were able to capture a lovely set of images both in the surrounding areas & back at the Dorchester Hotel.
By now, the light is fading fast as we arrived at our final destination, but we were told that if nobody had booked the penthouse suite at the top when we arrived, we could enjoy a few moments in the Dorchester’s finest abode. Our luck was in and Emily in particular was over the moon. There are plenty of places to take beautiful photographs at this wonderful hotel. We had time to visit the penthouse suite, the iconic staircase with the piano and the impeccably decorated dining area. Also consider spending some time in the ballroom where there’s marble pillars, stunning textured walls and floor to ceiling mirrors.
So the couple enters the reception room in spectacular fashion with freestanding fireworks greeting them as they make their way to the head table. Service (as you would expect) was swift from the Dorchester staff and it was time to put down the camera for a breather and leave the wedding party to eat in peace. I don’t think there has ever been a flattering photograph of a person consuming food before and for that reason, I never do so 🙂
Here’s a lovely surprise that the couple had in store for their guests and it might be something for you to consider too. Have you heard of ‘singing waiters’? Well they pretend to be part of the service, sometimes pouring wine and even delivering food to the table so nobody suspects a thing. Once the service has come to the end, they make an announcement and start performing in front of everyone much to the surprise of the guests. They’re actually really good and very entertaining – well worth checking them out to raise the spirits of the guests after a 3-course meal.
We had a huge wedding cake to cut next before the couple took to the dance floor to steal the show. The fireworks once again added that wow factor to the choreographed performance, which in turn led to close friends and family joining them before the party started.
My coverage ended after the couple had made one final change into their Nigerian outfits. African music took over the Orchid room & that’s when everyone let their hair down.
Weddings at the Dorchester hotel London are a luxury experience and if London is where you’re thinking of getting married, I would highly recommend popping down to see the wedding planner there and seeing if this wedding venue ticks all your boxes.
Of course, there are so many more wonderful venues to consider. I’ll be adding to my wedding blog in the coming weeks, which will give you some other options to look at. Check out more inspiration here: https://chriswoodmanphotography.co.uk/blog/
Thanks for reading guys