After filming countless weddings, there is rarely a moment that can take us by surprise; but Michelle and Alexey’s Graydon Hall Wedding seemed to have something fresh and fun around every turn. The day was an absolute film-maker’s dream. With spectacular events, dramatic surprises and THAT first dance. Michelle and Alexey’s fairy tale wedding was the perfect blend of splendid grandeur with a chill, laid back vibe.
A Graydon Hall Manor Wedding: An Oasis in the Middle of the City
We love filming at Graydon Hall Manor. Upon entering the grounds you feel like you’re transported to another time and place. You can see from the opening drone shot, how close the venue is to the city. When we were setting up for the ceremony you couldn’t hear any of the hustle and bustle of the city. Just the birds singing in the trees and the water fountain running.
Michelle had such an easy breezy way about her the whole day and I think a lot of it had to do with the relaxing bridal suite they have on site at Graydon Hall Manor. Such a huge open room with beautiful natural light pouring in, and an adjoining room giving her bridesmaids space to spread out as they prepared for her big day. The men got ready downstairs in the library which gave us some nice contrast between preparation scenes.
There’s a great flow to the way the venue is laid out. At first, you’re greeted by a courtyard and the historic architecture of the building. The rooms inside are full of classic decor, high ceilings and big windows with plenty of natural light. As you walk into the main garden the entire wedding is laid out in front of you. Cocktails in the courtyard with the ceremony behind. We loved the way the the veranda is set up for dinner, with guests surrounded by trees, fairy lights and gorgeous florals.
A Perfect Backdrop for Romance
Michelle and Alexey’s photoshoot will be one to remember that is for sure. Although we only had a quick 30 minute portrait session, we were spoilt with so many great locations in such a small area. We worked quickly with Mango Studios to set up some great poses with motion. The pathway, stairs and balcony all made for great backdrops.
Of course, it also helped that Michelle and Alexey were complete naturals in front of the camera. We loved how they danced, laughed and fell into each other’s arms.
Three Magical Moments for Two Unique Souls
Thinking back, there are three distinct moments that stood out to us. The first were Alexey & Michelle’s vows. We hear a lot of personal vows over the wedding season, but Michelle told a story that was personal, emotional and revealing. We felt like we learnt so much about her story and how meeting Alexey was such a defining point in her life.
Alexey’s vows were also super personal. But what impressed us the most was how everything came from the heart. He didn’t need a piece of paper to read from. He just looked at Michelle and told her how he felt. It was so refreshing to hear words spoken so candidly. So many times we see couples keep their head in their paper. Eye contact is so important and Alexey nailed it (by the way, we have some great vow writing tips HERE)
The second big moment we want to mention is the first dance. Alexey & Michelle’s choreographed routine was so elegant and we were blown away at how effortlessly Michelle moved around the space. We’ve seen a few weddings at Graydon Hall Manor where couples dance in front of their guests at the bottom of the steps. It’s almost like a mini amphitheatre. That image of Alexey & Michelle dancing in front of all the guests, carrying sparklers will forever be etched into our memories.
Finally, we can’t not mention the fireworks. We’re HUGE fireworks fans (we had then at our own wedding). They were actually a surprise from Michelle’s mother. We’d already had margaritas with sparklers, epic speeches and first dances, but the fireworks were absolutely the pinnacles of the reception. The perfect segue into a night of dancing and good times.
4 Tips for an out of this world Graydon Hall Manor Wedding:
1) Make sure to have you cocktail hour in the courtyard. Nothing is more beautiful than sharing drinks over the cascading sounds of the water fountain.
2) Have your first dance on the steps. It allows your guests to surround you as you move through your first dance. As we said, it’s like a mini-amphitheatre. Given that there are no trees nearby, you won’t need to worry about a fire-ban so get those sparklers prepped. It’d be rude not to right?
3) We can honestly say that the catering at Graydon Hall Manor is top notch. This is not an exaggeration. Top 5 wedding meal of all time for sure.
4) One of the best things about Graydon Hall Manor is the proximity of all the rooms but the ability to feel something fresh and new when you enter each one. Allow your guests to move through the spaces and experience as much of the venue as possible.