The Bear of Rodborough hotel engagement photography
I met up with Carla and Dan at The Bear of Rodborough Hotel in Gloucestershire for their engagement photography session. They had come all the way from London and so I wanted to give them a true countryside experience. I recommended a few places for them to stay; we’re lucky to be spoilt for choice in this area. Set in a beautiful landscape in the heart of The Common where rare breed cows roam free and with it’s open fire, cosy decor, fine food and great beer The Bear really fit all their prerequisites for a weekend stay in the Cotswolds. Did I mention it was Dan’s birthday? Perfect! This is where I write- well it would have been perfect had it not rained, and rained, and rained some more. That, I am not going to say. Why? Because it was perfect. It was wet and horrible yes, but we laughed and put on our best of British smiles. I had such faith in them. The fact these guys trusted me enough to take them out in such horrible weather to do their much anticipated photo shoot meant the world to me. Having that belief and willingness from a couple is a great feeling. It’s proof that this photography thing is absolutely a collaboration between me and my couples. Thank you Carla and Dan for putting 100% in. I hope you’ll come back to visit the area again (maybe in the Summer next time, although it’ll probably still be raining.)
Carla and Dan – their story so far
I just love the story of how Dan proposed. Carla was kind enough to write it all down:
We’d gone away just after I’d (Carla) turned 30, we’d gone to Croatia. On the way out we were on a transfer with 2 other couples, one married, one engaged and ourselves. We’d stopped for lunch whilst we waited for our ferry crossing and as we chatted about the wedding plans of the engaged couple, I mentioned that I was going bridesmaid dress shopping when we got back. Daniel was quite hasty to point out it was for my sister’s wedding and the group asked if we had any plans to get married. Daniel said ‘NO……no, no, no, no no….’ a little too enthusiastically for my liking.
So we enjoyed our holiday, chilled out that sort of thing and towards the end of the trip Daniel suggested we go for a walk around the island we were staying on, ‘lovely said I, but i’d like to go to the spa this afternoon’. So off we trotted, pottering around the island and after a while stopped on a bench looking out at the sea, all very romantic, until a Croatian fisherman in speedos and flippers walked past, stopped and decided he’d like a chat with us. He told us about the squid, ‘The squid love me’ he said as he made hand gesture to show squid attaching themselves to his bare chest. ‘stick onto me whilst I swim…’ We nod along, he continues to tell us about his wife, that he loves his wife, his other friends have girlfriends and mistresses but not him, he just has his wife. ‘Great’ we say a little bemused and eventually he toddles off in his flippers, only to return a few minutes late to continue the conversation. After he leaves the second time I say to Daniel let’s continue our walk before he comes back and off we go. What I know now, is that just before Mr Fisherman came along Daniel had taken out a ring in his pocket and put it in his hand which he had clenched into a fist whilst Mr Fisherman was chatting, waiting for the right moment. Said moment never came and he had to sneak it back into his pocket when we started walking again.
No such moment presented itself on the rest of the walk although I pointed out to Daniel that he seemed rather quiet and pensive. We get back to the hotel and I start to get ready to go to the Spa. ‘Why don’t we go far a walk around the other side of the island this afternoon’ says Daniel to which I say no, I’ve said I wanted to go to the Spa. ‘oh come on the weather is meant to turn for the rest of the week lets do it today whilst it’s still good’. Eventually I agree, but very grumpily. So there’s Daniel coaxing me around the other side of the island whilst I’m dragging my feet and generally being rather unpleasant. ‘Why don’t we go and look at the beach down their’, ‘don’t want to’, ‘oh come on it will be lovely’, ‘fine, hurumph’, and Daniel leads me down to the beach, lays down his jacket for me to sit on and is generally being very charming and romantic. When I get cold I tend to put my hands in Daniel’s pockets to warm them up, so as I was feeling a bit chilly I did just that. ‘Why don’t you put them in the other pocket’ says Daniel. ‘ok….’, now I was expecting something rude, pretty standard, but when i put my hand in the other pocket I jerked it out very quickly as I felt a ring. Asking Daniel ‘what’s that??’ and asking him many many times if he was serious as I was pretty certain he was joking. He wasn’t however and produced a slightly warm bottle of champers that had been in his backpack since the morning for us to have a slurp on.
We were with the same people on our return transfer back to the airport, leaving at 5am in the morning, I think they were as astonished as me at the news given Daniel’s response to their questions on our outward journey!
Carla and dan’s wedding day vision
Vintage glam to put it super simple. There is a picture called ‘La Lune’ by Double Merrick we have hang up at home and we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from that and old Fred and Ginger movies, stars and moons are featuring throughout, a lot of sparkle and old Hollywood glam. We want to try and make sure everyone is chilled out and has an awesome time, that what happens happens and we all have a blast along the way.
For me I’m most looking forward seeing Daniel at the top of the aisle before I walk down it. I’m also super excited about having everyone there, all the people you care about in one place, all looking fab, all hopefully having a great time.
Planning is a slow process that can be pretty overwhelming when you start, people ask a lot of questions you don’t know the answers to and you can feel swamped.But breaking it down helps and once you’ve got the big items out of the way you can focus on the more fun stuff.
The most stressful thing for me it’s been the idea of ‘getting married’. I hadn’t given too much thought to getting married or what ‘my/our’ wedding would look like before Daniel asked me to marry him. So when you start out on the wedding planning journey and you’re looking at different venues, meeting friends and family and answering questions you don’t really know the answer to it can all get a bit much and not at all like they play it in the movie; Ladies skipping around with a journal they’ve had since they were 5 full of ideas,deliriously happy with apparently no day job to do at the same time. They find the perfect venue instantly, the dream dress, the ideal florist who can do just what you want and what seems like an unending budget. It took me a while to realise that that was in fact movie reality not actual reality and to not judge myself too harshly for not recreating this idyllic scene.
Not too long after Daniel and i got engaged we went on a trip to Scotland, just the two of us and we were talking one day and joked about running off to Gretna Green and coming back married and foregoing all the planning. I think it was then I realised that what made me very happy was the idea of Daniel and I getting married,the rest of it is a lovely bonus. If I turn up, Daniel turns up and so does the vicar we’re onto a winner, everything else that goes right on the day will just be a lovely bonus. Once I started thinking like that and stopped fretting over what other people would think and what other people have done, the whole things a lot less stressful!
The engagement shoot details
I was pretty nervous beforehand. I wasn’t actually worried about the fact it looked like it was going to pour with rain, in fact I thought that would actually be pretty awesome, I like it when things are a bit different. I was more nervous as I don’t think I am particularly photogenic and tend to look very awkward if I know someone’s taking my picture, I slouch a lot and don’t really do serious. Jonny was fantastic at putting us both at our ease and the fact he wasn’t phased, or at least didn’t let on that he was…. by the weather was great. I think we both felt we were all on the same wavelength. I think Jonny is someone all our guests will love, he can blend in when needs be, but he’s got the charm to crack a smile and capture a great picture. The composition of the images sent through is what really caught me. He’s got a real eye for this sort of thing!
Check out Carla and Dan’s Dorney Court wedding photos!
Thinking of getting married at The Bear of Rodborough? If you like the look of these photos then please get in touch with Jonny – I’d love to hear more about you, your wedding day plans and what you want from your Bear of Rodborough wedding photographer.