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Kathryn and Shane Photography Gallery. Wedding and Reception at Somerville College Oxford Oxfordshire
© Ashton Lamont Professional Wedding Photographers and Videographers

Wedding favour or gift ready to give to guest at wedding reception at Somerville College Oxford

Browse the Full Gallery (483 photos) n.b. if using a touchscreen tablet or smartphone you may find it more convenient to browse the highlights on this page.

Background Information and Highlights:

Thanks so much for the galleries. They are wonderful and really capture the whole day!

I love the fact that you shot the ceremony photos from two levels. I particularly love all the candid shots and the fact that you captured all of the tables of guests during the wedding breakfast and guests in small groups or individually too at some point during the day. I love the lighting of the shots in the dining hall-it makes it look really opulent and all the backdrops for the formal group shots were excellent choices, particularly as some of the foliage/ flowers in the background match the wedding flowers! We'll circulate these with our guests so they can see how incredibly glamourous they all look! And the video is brilliant!

Thanks so much - an amazing momento and it's great that you incorporated the (violin) music from Robin and Paul, so many different camera angles and so many great photos from the day. Many thanks again - you did a really excellent job!

Kathryn and Shane

Kathryn and Shane flew all the way from New York for their English wedding ceremony at Kathryn's old Oxford University college - Somerville College Oxford.

The college also hosted the wedding breakfast in its sumptuous Dining Hall and the evening reception in the Flora Anderson Hall.

Our couple booked a combined photography and video package starting shortly before the ceremony in the Somerville College Chapel and finishing mid-evening when the first dance had been completed and the live jazz band entertainment was well underway.

We were blessed with decent weather on the day, in fact very bright and sunny in the afternoon. Fortunately the college grounds have some areas of shade suitable for the posed portraits, which always look better when shot in areas of even lighting.

There is a limited amount of car parking within the college which can be reserved for the various wedding vendors who might otherwise have difficulty with heavy equipment.

Needless to say, in the city centre, you bump into an Oxford University college at every turn. Former Somerville College students are bound to feel nostalgic at the sight of the photo below - the low-rise front and entrance to the college from Woodstock Road:

Somerville College Oxford University front of building as seen from Woodstock Road Oxford

Somerville College Chapel's sandstone exterior also looked very inviting in the warming afternoon sunshine:

Somerville College Chapel exterior at its entrance

The interior of the Chapel is long and narrow. An extreme wide-angle lens is great for capturing a real feel for being there. Here is the view from the entrance towards the altar:

Somerville College Chapel Oxford University inside looking towards the altar

And the view inside the Chapel, this time looking from the altar towards the entrance and the balcony. Photography and video mid-ceremony is challenging in Somerville Chapel because the altar area is narrow and highly visible to all the guests, making the presence of an operator with gear potentially intrusive. Peter set up a compact video camera unattended to one side near the front and shot the ceremony from the rear of the chapel, utilising the balcony at some points for both photos and video:

Inside Somerville College Chapel Oxford as seen from the altar looking towards the entrance and balcony

Once Peter had completed the establishing shots around the Chapel he headed off to the Dining Hall to capture some photos of the room dressed and decorated ready for the wedding breakfast. On very bright afternoons such as this one sunshine streams through the huge hall windows making for very large differences between the lightest and darkest areas of the hall. Peter used a technique called high dynamic range photography to ensure that as much detail as possible was captured in the extremes to show the room in all its glory. The next photo shows the hall as seen from the rear looking towards the high table:

The Dining Hall at Somerville College Oxford prepared ready for wedding breakfast

Often the preparation of the reception rooms at civil venues is not completed until a few minutes before the guests pile in, but Somerville's Dining Hall was finished much earlier. So Peter was able to shoot some of the details without time pressure or staff wandering into view. Great! Here we can see a lovely personal favour prepared for the guests:

Wedding favour on table at Somerville College ready for wedding breakfast

All too soon our bride and her entourage arrived:

Bride and her wedding party make their way to Somerville College Chapel before her marriage ceremony in the chapel

Backlit subjects such as our pageboy and flowergirl in the next photo can look great as they wait nervously for the signal to go:

Pageboy and flowergirl at the entrance to Somerville College Chapel Oxford

Then our bride made her grand entrance with her father on her arm:

Bride enters Somerville College Chapel Oxford with her father at the start of her wedding ceremony

The narrow "business end" of the chapel was fully occupied by our couple (of course!), our celebrant, two world class violinists, pianos, and some large flower arrangements, so Peter shot the ceremony from various angles at the rear. Its still possible to capture lots of detail using the right tools, such as the exchange of rings:

Bride and groom exchange rings during their wedding ceremony in Somerville College Chapel Oxford

Our violinists had to fight with the flowers for attention - but the point of course was to hear them not to see them! And they were terrific. Peter videod their performance from the balcony and recorded the audio using a special device attached to a music stand just a couple of feet away from the instruments. Its the sort of moment on a wedding day when video really excels over photos:

Violinists play during wedding ceremony in Somerville College Chapel Oxford

Once the ceremony was over we adjourned to the College's beautiful quad near the main entrance for a big group photo. Peter was able to take advantage of some scaffolding on the opposite side to shoot from height, thereby including as many guests faces as possible:

Wedding guests pose for group ohotograph after wedding at Somerville College Oxford

The main quad which is more towards the centre of the college grounds was tricky for photos because of extensive building work taking place on one side. We were able to find some photogenic shade on the opposite side for some of the essential group photos:

Guests pose with bride and groom for group photo after wedding at Somerville College Oxford

Peter always shoots all the photos in full colour and then converts some into black and white versions. You can see both versions in the main galleries above. The next photo features a guest who's wedding Peter also shot around ten years earlier!

Guests enjoy relaxing in the cocktail hour after wedding ceremony at Somerville College

A receiving line before the wedding breakfast gives you the opportunity to exchange a few words with all the guests in turn:

Receiving line before wedding breakfast at Somerville College

The speeches during the wedding breakfast can be a great opportunity for character shots:

Guests laugh during wedding speeches at Somerville College Oxford

No one is going to claim that the Flora Anderson Hall, which hosted the evenings entertainment, can complete with the olde worlde charm of the chapel and dining hall; it is after all there for scruffy hairy students to hang out in during their evenings! But it served its purpose well and the jazz band put on a terrific performance:

Bride and groom perform their first dance after their wedding at Somerville College Oxford

And the honeymoon? South Africa. Lucky things!

See lots more photos in the complete click-through gallery

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