The Olde Bell in Hurley is a beautiful venue for anyone based in Berkshire looking for somewhere to host their wedding. It is a really classic old English venue, full of oak panelled nooks and crannies and low ceilings. This makes it a very cosy, lovely venue to get married in, but quite challenging for any wedding photographer. If the wedding is in March that makes it even more challenging! March weather in the UK can veer from a balmy 15 degrees to snow, and I’ve shot weddings in both conditions!
Alice was staying at the Olde Belle, which made covering bridal prep breeze, as everything was under one roof. There were a nice mix of people taking part in the preparations, including Alice’s mum and dad, and her young nephew.
The wedding ceremony room at the Olde Belle is a beautiful oak panelled area with a lovely window at the back. It’s a lovely room for a civil service, but quite dark for photography in the winter ( in the UK, March can count as either Winter or Spring depending on the weather!!!). Luckily I have cameras that can basically see in the dark, so it was not a problem.
The Reception and Formals
After the lovely ceremony there was a drinks reception, meal and speeches. The Olde Belle is a very cosy pub, which was just as well as at this point it started snowing and I had to send my second shooter home in case his car got stuck! We also had to do the formals indoors with an additional complication…Karl has epilepsy and had asked me not to use flash. This is where the garage full of lighting gear I happen to have comes in handy. I have some big video lights that I brought along precisely for this scenario and I set them up in one of the backrooms.
In between snow showers I managed to get outside to grab some shots of Karl and Alice at the back of the Olde Belle. I can imagine in the summer this would be a wonderful place for the afternoon wedding reception. Even on a cold March afternoon there were some spring blossoms around to add some colour to the couple’s shots.
Towards the end of the evening the snow really started to fall and Karl and Alice asked me if they could get a quick portrait done in the snow. I always try and help with last minute requests like this. I grabbed a smaller light source, an icelight, and stuck it on a stand and we braved the snow.
The Olde Belle in Hurley is a fantastic Berkshire wedding venue. It has oodles of old English charm and room to spare. I hope to shoot many more weddings there. Thanks for reading!