Ritchie and Sarah’s fantastic wedding at Hanbury Manor Hertfordshire
It was in 2002 that I first met Ritchie, he was working at Hanbury Manor and we immediately got on and became friends. When he left in 2008 I was disappointed and Hanbury Manor lost a great guy.
I then met up again with Ritchie when i walked in to Village wines in Ware and saw him.
To photograph his wedding to Sarah was a privilege.
The day started beautifully, Ritchie was getting ready in the Poles suite at Hanbury Manor, it was at this point that I met James ‘Ritches best man”… I recognised James straight away as he and Ritchie worked together at Hanbury Manor before they both left and headed to Cambridge for new jobs.
They opened a bottle of Vintage Champagne and started the day in absolute perfect fashion. We went outside and did some pictures, I then said my goodbyes and headed to Broxbourne to see Sarah (the bride).
When I walked in to the house I met Jade Sarah’s bridesmaid and her parents. Everyone was really relaxed and Sarah was having her hair and make-up done. It was lovely to see Sarah again she also worked at Hanbury Manor and i have known her many years as well.
I left the house and went over to St Edmonds Of Canterbury Church which very close to St Edmonds College, the weather was wet and windy but there was some clear skies heading in our direction so I knew it was going to brighten up.
Ritchie arrived in a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom which was driven by one of his closest friends and also an ex Hanbury Manor staff member. When Ritchie got out in his Kilt with James he was looking very good indeed.
Guests were arriving, the priest came out and saw Richie, they then went in and the guests followed into the little quaint church, it was full to the max.
The ceremony was lovely and the priest delivered a beautiful service. Ritchie and Sarah came down the aisle and headed straight out, the guests all joined the couple for a big group shot before heading off to Hanbury Manor. We all arrived, the guests were all having their drinks and the couple joined them.
After about an hour James (best man) called all the guests into Poles Hall for the wedding breakfast. James is a very good public speaker and he did a great job as master of ceremonies. It was at this point that I was about to see something that I have never seen before…Something that not many people get to see. Ritchie by profession is a trained and very knowledgable sommelier. He drew a sword from a beautiful case and held a bottle of vintage Champagne for the toasts.. the room was quiet and people were fascinated with what they were about to see, he gently scratched the blade of the sword up and down the neck of the bottle .. this created vibrations and with one fantastic, very accurate and precision motion took the neck of the bottle clean off. On inspection of the bottle afterwards it was like it had been cut with a razor blade, like you see in the film Goodfellas when Paul Cicero is making the pasta sauce and uses a razor blade to slice through a garlic bulb . See the video of Ritchie do it here Ritchie Somellier.
The couple decided to break from tradition and have the speeches before the meal, so Michell Betts “beautiful and interesting lady in charge of the function” got the staff to get the champagne poured and the speeches started.
All the speeches were good but I have to say the best man delivered a speech worthy of the title of “The Ultimate best mans speech I have ever heard in 25 years”. He spoke about their friendship, Ritchie’s character and how they’ve become very close in the last ten years. The thing struck out with this speech particularly is that it was genuine and not printed off the internet, it was articulate, witty and funny.
We then had a fantastic meal in Poles Hall, when you sit in this magnificent chapel and you look around the Ambience is second to none (all 136 sq metres of it). As you sit you can imagine the Hanbury family in there in the 18th Century. The house, built-in the Jacobean style in red brick with blue brick reticulation and stone mullioned windows, was the first in the area to boast not only electricity but a central heating system…the Hanbury family sold it in 1914.
After the meal we went into the assembly hall so that the Entertainment could set up. It was at this point I was taking some pictures in Cloisters (a courtyard at Hanbury Manor) with Ritchie and Sarah this made for a beautiful finishing shot that later I will use as the finishing picture in the storybook album.
The evening guests started arriving and the room was set. The cake was made by Ritchie’s mum Ellen, she made a cake at both her children’s weddings of which I have had the honour and privilege of photographing both (Donna got married 9 years ago and her and Keith looked amazing and have had three beautiful children since ( Erica their 3 year old was Flower girl ) and looked very beautiful in her dress.
The cake was cut and the DJ (Dave from Mr H) announced in his perfect and professional manner that everyone was in for a great party so get around the dance floor for the couples first dance. Sarah is a professionally trained dancer so Ritchie had it easy.. he moved well and Sarah naturally danced beautifully.
After taking these pictures I knew that I had all the photographs I needed, so I said my goodbyes and left the couple to enjoy their wedding party with their family and friends but not before having a quick beer from the Bar in Poles Hall with Ritchie.
The couple are now about to set off on the honeymoon of a life time.
Ritchie and Sarah Wedding Hanbury Manor of Hertfordshire, great couple and friends for life.
If you are planning a wedding, take a look at their website it really is a fabulous hotel…click here
Wedding of Ritchie and Sarah Hanbury Manor Hertfordshire.
Here is a selection of images that I have selected to display, I hope you like them. If you do please click on the links below and share so that I get as much exposure as possible.
Images ARE NOT TO BE COPIED OR USED IN ANY MEANS Protected by the 1988 © COPYRIGHT act.Hanbury manor wedding pics 03 Hanbury manor wedding pics 15
I want to say a personal thank you to the couple for allowing me the honour and privilege of photographing their wedding .. they probably know probably every photographer that’s ever worked at Hanbury Manor and the fact that they chose me over everyone else, means the absolute world and makes me realise that I am obviously doing something right.
Hope that you have enjoyed reading this and looking at the pictures.. please like and share. John Paul ODonnell.