Alicia and Jenn's wedding in the Russell Suite at Pembroke Lodge -elegant dresses and flowers, a fun life size dog cake (!) and a relaxed day with friends and family on the lawn. And that beautiful light we photographers so love for those all important couple's portraits...
Above is a selection of wedding photography from August 2015 at Pembroke Lodge, Richmond by London wedding photographer Minna Rossi. Pembroke Lodge is a magnificent listed Georgian Mansion that has been lovingly restored to provide public tearooms and first class facilities for weddings. It is tucked away amongst large, old trees at the highest point of Richmond Park -tranquil, quiet and very romantic. Despite the cafe being open to the public, it is actually quite an intimate venue and have a very experienced and dedicated weddings team. It is also conveniently situated a stone's throw from The Richmond Gate Hotel and The Richmond Hill Hotel, both popular venues for bridal prep. These are literally just outside the gates to Richmond Park.
I arrived a bit early at Pembroke Lodge on the beautiful, sunny August afternoon to make sure I have plenty of time to capture lots of details of the venue, rooms, decorations and the picturesque gardens. Alicia and Jenn chose the smaller of the two wedding suites at Pembroke Lodge, The Russell Suite, for their wedding ceremony and reception. The Russell Suite is situated on the first floor of the Georgian wing, combining elegance with privacy and spectacular views. The large period windows provide an abundance of natural light. A family member had prepared the flowers and it was just beautifully decorated. It is a really lovely, light room with stylish, classic decor.
Joanna from "Cake Magic" had just delivered their products and was setting up. Even though I had "met" the couple's dog when we Skyped to catch up about Alicia and Jenn's plans for the day and their wedding photography preferences, I didn't know to expect the surprise of the SECOND cake, one modelled on him! The guests loved it and it was a great way to incorparate him in the day.
Friends and family had arrived from all over; the US, Ireland and across continental Europe. I did a few candid and naturally posed portraits of the early arrivals whilst I captured the decor. Alicia and Jenn wanted their wedding photographs to be classic, but contemporary, very natural and relaxed. Alicia and Jenn arrived together and we did a few more posed photographs of them as a couple and with their bridesmaids in front of the cars before they were interviewed by the registrars. After the ceremony the guests headed outside to make the most of the late summer sunshine and enjoy canapes and drinks on the South lawn whilst we did the group photos.
The landscaped grounds of Pembroke Lodge are planted all year round and offer plenty of photographic opportunities for a couple's portrait session. On a sunny day it is simply one of the best venues in West London: Pembroke Lodge is a magnificent Georgian Mansion, set in Richmond Park with spectacular views across the Thames Valley to Windsor on the right and almost the whole of Surrey can be viewed from the nearby King Henry’s Mound. There are lots of old trees, little paths and flowers. We were very lucky with the light as well; we could capture the girls in different scenarios with bright sun light, against the sun to get a romantic feel and sitting in the shade just the two of them. Pembroke Lodge is a stunning venue for a wedding, but also a great location for engagement photos.
After the wedding breakfast, there was only a brief speech by both the girls before they cut the more traditional of their wedding cakes. It was a really relaxed evening and there was plenty of time for guests to mingle over coffee and drinks before some of them heading for the "The Phantom Room" for a boogie. The girls didn't want a traditional First Dance, but everyone to join them on the dance floor of to show off their Irish dancing moves and enjoy pop and rock classics.
It was a lovely wedding day for me to capture: Alicia and Jenn were just such a genuinely nice couple, so down to earth. Pembroke Lodge is also one of my favourite West London wedding venues so despite this being my first wedding there, I hope it’s not the last!
Pembroke Lodge -postal address: Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 5HX
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