Jessica and Christopher were married on the elegant Middleton Lodge Estate in early 2019. They chose the Fig House on the estate for their reception and evening celebrations after their ceremony at St Joseph’s Church in Coulsdon in County Durham.
It was a multi-venue for shooting as we attended no fewer than five locations to film their wedding film. Starting off early in the morning at Harpers Salon in Shildon where I went to film all the bridal preparations. When I arrived the hair and makeup was in full flow as Jessica was already in the chair as were a few of her bridesmaids. It was such a lovely and vibrant atmosphere in the salon for me to film in.
It was here I met photographer Chris Randle for the first time who had been asked to shoot the photographs of the wedding. Chris and I had gone to the same university in Sunderland though I left many years before he started his studies so we had a little chat about our backgrounds.
The Salon was in a large converted workshop and was done out beautifully with, as you’d expect from a salon, lots of mirrors which I love shooting through to capture some of the film.
Once the girls were finished with their makeovers we headed to Jessica’s parent's house in Coulsdon for the final preparations and to shoot the detailed shots including the dress, the rings and some lovely pieces of wedding decor. It is these moments where things start to pick up the pace and the momentum really gets going as everyone is getting in their dresses. One of my favourite moments, once the bride is in the dress, is when there is a reveal to the father of the bride.
Chris talks about getting Adam and Keith to film their wedding film.
Whilst I was filming the bridal party, Keith was with the groom Chris and his groomsmen at his house capturing their morning preparations and their banter before he headed to St Joseph’s Church to set up for the ceremony. For this particular wedding we went for a four-camera set up with one static camera on the balcony overlooking the congregation and three at the front.
When we do ceremonies and service we try to pick positions to film that capture all those moments at the same time not getting in the way of people who are there to enjoy the wedding day. People’s experiences are the most important thing to us and we don’t want an Aunty getting upset that she cannot see her niece getting married.
It was a lovely ceremony and the vicar was helpful in allowing us to pop one of our little microphones on his which captures a more clean audio of the ceremony. We never know how vicars will be as some don’t let us do this whereas registrars for civil ceremonies are very accommodating.
So after the ceremony, there was the confetti shot outside the church before we made our way on a 45-minute journey to the Middleton Lodge Estate. Chris and Jessica had decided to hold their ceremony in the Fig House part of the estate. Middleton Lodge is one of my favourite venues as it is so peaceful.
Surprisingly there can be one or two other weddings taking place there on the same day however each wedding venue has its own location in the wooded estate and own car park so you’d never bump into another wedding party which makes this such a unique venue. The staff at the venue are so helpful too which makes working there a really enjoyable experience.
When we got to the venue it was straight to the drinks and canapes for the guests as they started to arrive. Chris and Jessica had arrived in a stunning vintage VW Camper Van from Canny Campers and we took the opportunity to do some filming around the vehicle.
It was then onto film the formal group photographs in the Fig House’s walled garden. It was the first time we’d been asked to do a Middleton Lodge Wedding Video here and what an amazing place it is. The two-acre garden has an endless amount of areas for you to film both the formal photographs taking place and also the more romantic couple shots.
Chris and Jessica's 'Our Story' feature
During this period we also had the opportunity to film Chris and Jessica’s story. We call this ‘Our Story’ and a lot of people ask what it is. What we do is take the bride and groom to one side individually and have a little chat. Keith speaks to the couple so they are not looking at the camera so it makes it more like a conversation. We ask them how they met, fell in love and some little quirky questions. It is a really nice personal video for the couple to keep and look back on.
After we filmed the ‘Our Story’ feature it was time for Chris and Jessica to take to the dance floor for their first dance before their guests partied the night away.
If you are getting married at Middleton Lodge and are interested in a wedding videographer I’d love to hear your plans for your special day. Please contact me for a little chat.
We offer an add on called Social Photographs for couples. Our social photographs are selected and edit screen grabs from the wedding film so you can use them on social media. We also take the formal group photographs too so you get all those important family and friend photos.