This blog is part love letter to one of my favourite luxury Shropshire wedding venues, Hawkstone Hall, and part a love letter to one of my favourite couples ever, Claire and Greg.
Ever since they enquired with me, I was so excited to photograph Claire and Greg’s wedding day. I love a Hawkstone Hall wedding, because it’s a super luxurious venue with THE best floor-to-ceiling windows ever (and you know what that means – gorgeous light, the stuff of all documentary wedding photographer’s dreams.)
And as soon as I met Claire and Greg, I knew their day was going to be epic – they’re a total joy to be around, with a happiness that was totally infectious and a really laid back attitude. None of us could have predicted just how necessary this outlook would be, though, because: the week before their wedding, their home burnt down and they lost everything. With this in mind, Claire said she now had zero anxiety about anything because she was just happy to be there with her most fave people; the fact it could have been a totally different story had their daughter not woken them both up in the night changed their perspective on everything! If at all possible, this made their joy and their love even more prominent on the day, which was gorgeous from start to finish.
A stunning Hawkstone Hall wedding
Hawkstone Hall wedding venue is one of my favourite Shropshire wedding venues because it is luxurious to the max. The 18th century country house is a Grade I listed building nestled in 88 acres of glorious garden and countryside, meaning there’s so many different rooms and spaces to make the most of on your wedding day/weekend.
I fell in love with Hawkstone Hall as soon as I visited, and Claire and Greg felt exactly the same. When I asked them what they loved about their venue, they replied, “Everything – the whole place is just amazing, so we knew that’s where the wedding would be before we were even engaged. We didn’t even visit any other wedding venues!”
On the morning of the wedding Claire and her bridesmaids got ready in the sumptuous bedrooms at Hawkstone Hall, while Greg got ready at the nearby Bear Inn. Here, he accidentally ended up swapping trousers with one of his (ahem, taller) groomsmen – which I mention not to embarrass him, but because Claire told me it ended up creating one of her favourite photos of the day. “To say I laughed would be an understatement and quite frankly it is one of my favourite photos – the joy on Ed’s face whilst not realising he looks like an early year 2000 style icon is priceless!” I love this, because it just goes to show how great documentary photography is, capturing all the in-between moments just as they are.
After travelling to a local church for the ceremony, Claire, Greg and their guests returned for the reception. Thanks to the warm July weather they had this on the lawns outside, with the adults occupying themselves with drinks and the children occupying themselves with the ingenious Disco Dome (as an honorary kid with a camera I got to go in there later to get some snaps and…it was just as fun as you’d think.)
I also took this opportunity to whisk Claire and Greg away for some couples’ portraits. Hawkstone Hall isn’t short of amazing photo opportunities – especially considering you also get a golf buggy with a special JUST WED numberplate so that you can properly explore the grounds! We made use of this time taking shots in the glorious gardens, in the woodland, and inside too, making the most of the stunning arched windows in The Saloon.
Pastel green colour palette
Then, it was time for the wedding breakfast, which took place in the Ballroom. Though it’s hard to pick favourite spaces at Hawkstone Hall, the Ballroom has to be high up there, with its intricate ceiling and ornate gold decor adorning the pale green damask walls.
I loved that Claire and Greg picked up on and accentuated this detail in their wedding theme, which was pastel green and botanicals. As such, Claire’s bridesmaids all wore sparkly sage green dresses, and the flowers were white and cream with gorgeous foliage.
Classic club bangers
After the cake cut – framed, again, by the jaw-dropping architecture of the Saloon – it was party time, with a sparkly dance floor to boot. This was a huge consideration of Claire and Greg’s, proving that luxury doesn’t have to mean stuffy or boring. “We just wanted everyone to have a good old party,” they explain. “After the whole covid saga our main focus was to make sure everyone could finally be together and let their hair down. We had everything from Whitney Houston to Oasis to some CLASSIC CLUB BANGERS!!!!!”
As you can see, Claire and Greg’s wedding was an epic celebration – so, naturally, I asked them how they planned it. Claire’s brilliant advice is to “Make yourself a timeline. So basically list off all the things you need to do and then set 3 tasks per month to complete. I found that this way I could focus on a small number of things, get them done and I wasn’t overwhelmed as much.”
Claire, Greg – thank you so much for having me as your Shropshire wedding photographer. It was such a special day to be part of, and one that I’ll treasure forever. Don’t just take my word for it, though, here’s what the happy couple had to say about working with me…
“Thank you sooooooooo much, we LOVE our photos!!!!!! You and Charlotte were an absolute pleasure to work with and I will 100% be recommending you. It’s so true that the day goes by in such a whirlwind to the point where your photos have reminded me of times during the day that I had completely forgotten and not just that, I can’t even remember you capturing the moment! You are a genius!”
Shropshire wedding photographer
If you’re planning a Hawkstone Hall wedding and are looking for a relaxed, natural Shropshire wedding photographer; or maybe you’re getting married elsewhere but love the look of these photos; I’d love to chat. You can get in touch here and tell me all about your plans – I can’t wait to hear them!
Venue: Hawkstone Hall, Shropshire
Wedding Dress & Veil: Jessica’s Bridal in Shrewsbury
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Suit: Moss Brothers
Make Up Artist: EH Makeup Artistry
Disco Dome: Shropshire Inflatables
Florist: Jasmine’s Floral Fancies
Wedding Cake Designer: Tori’s Cakery