The Royal Lodge Wedding Photography
Natalie and Dave
The Royal Lodge Wedding Photography
As locations go the Forest of Dean is beautiful, and Symonds Yat is just stunning. So for the wedding to be sat by the river it was an exciting prospect for me, the view over the River Wye is breath taking, especially where the horseshoe part of the river is and by the river crossing. The Royal lodge is located by the most popular part of Symonds Yat (as well as the viewpoint) between where the boat crossing is and the rapids where all the kayaks tend to gather. When Natalie and Dave contacted me I instantly knew this was going to be a fantastic wedding, relaxed and not your usual day. Wedding day here, I met Natalie about midday, the weather forecast was a little hit and miss and we were all hoping for the gods to be kind to us. The wedding was to be held outside under a lovely looking marquee on the grounds of the Royal Lodge, the ceremony was to be held on the upper lever and has a incredible view down the River Wye.
Natalie was getting ready in the bridal suite which has a lovely four poster bed in, the room overlooks the area of the ceremony and not forgetting the fantastic view across the river too. I arrived to my surprise that Natalie’s hair and make-up artist was Claire, a girl I went to school with… uh hum… over.. cough…25 years ago! Anyhow, as I started capturing the smaller details such as the dress, flowers etc I couldn’t help notice the walking boots by the dress, Natalie and Dave are both very much outdoor people, so this was very fitting for their wedding, not just any old walking boots though, her trusties with white lace instead of the standard laces for that extra touch. This pretty much set the precedent of the day, quirky, fun, rustic and loving with friends and family very much being part!
The settings outside were fabulous, from the Arbour with all the wooden hearts, logs, flowers, table setting for the register and the wheel barrow (more on that in a bit!), the marquee with the wooden benches dressed rustically and to the brilliant wellies with flowers all up the stairs to the ceremony area, the whole area looked just perfect! When Natalie was ready she met Dave and their two sons downstairs for a happy and emotional ‘rendez vous’. They then made their way to the centre stage together as everyone gathered under the marquee. The vows were read, repeated and sealed and it was all with a very happy, cheerful and loving group. After the official bits were finalised, it was time for a few congratulations, photographs, and bubbles, lots of bubbles before heading down to the boat for a little trip along the river!
With the sun still shining it was all aboard for a celebratory glass of bubbles and a canapé or two for the guests. The boat journey was a lovely relaxing ride allowing everyone to enjoy the sunshine and a fresh breeze to cool everyone down as well as soak up the views and the wedding atmosphere.
When we arrived back on firm ground it was time to head back to The Royal Lodge for food, fun and fancy dancing! First the cake had to be cut and as Dave works with wood (lumberjack/foresty position I think) what better way to cut the cake with an axe, actually it was there but wasn’t used in the end, a knife was, but to be fair the cake looked amazing and it would of been a shame to take the axe to it however appropriate! As dessert was now off to be prepared it was time to head for the BBQ before the after course caught up with the main. The food was all cooked outside and was extremely good, it was such a relaxed atmosphere and I sat on the top table with the Bride and Groom, now that is a first from me, it was lovely to chat to Natalie, Dave and the boys. The rest of the day sailed by quickly (excuse the river pun) we had the occasional shower which added to the fun of the day and never dampened the day. Before the dancing begun it was time to grab a few extra group shots, I would say formal shots but they were far from formal and that was where the wheel barrow came in! With these captured the party mood was getting up to full swing, and when I say full swing, it was grabbing your partner and swinging them by the hand! The folk band cranking out the music and the marquee was energised with Barn/line/folk dancing, it was such fun and everyone got involved.
The day was starting to come to an end for me, but before I was to leave we had to make the most of the incredible view, especially as the sun was setting with a final red glow, so with a quick rest bite from the dancing with grabbed a few more romantic photos before I headed off in to the sunset! It was an incredible day, the weather proved to be kind, the venue and staff were amazing, and most of all Natalie and Dave had a gorgeous, fun filled, quirky, relaxed and picturesque wedding, it was full of so much love, I don’t want to sound like a hippy when I say that but it really was, they were so incredibly happy that all the people there were there to share the special day. I am extremely grateful to be part of their day, it’s one I won’t forget for a very long time. I would like to wish the new Mr and Mrs Buck a huge congratulations and all the best for the future .