The Orangery at Holland Park and River Café Wedding Photography Ottilie and Paul’s Relaxed and Chic London Wedding

A vibrant and joyful city wedding full of candid documentary moments

The wedding of Ottilie and Paul was, without a doubt, one of my favourites of 2019. The couple, who both work in the art world, were very clear that they didn’t want to pose for lots of photographs for their wedding. So, they booked me to do what I do best, record the day in a natural, relaxed and candid way while they got on and enjoyed it! And what a day it was, flitting across London from prep to ceremony to reception and being able to work in some of the most beautiful locations. Are you ready for this super-relaxed, chic and happiest of London weddings ever?!

The couple planned an evening wedding, so preparations didn’t get started until mid-afternoon. I arrived for bridal prep at the stylish Stafford Hotel right next to Green Park at 3 pm, where I found Ottilie and her family and friends all slowly getting ready for the wedding. The hotel is gorgeous, and all the exquisite décor and details made this part of the day a lot of fun to capture. I was able to capture loads of natural moments, totally fly on the wall, as the fizz flowed and the sushi lunch arrived.

I loved the amazing styles and varieties of outfits being worn. But Ottilie’s stunning and elegant feathery wedding dress blew them all out of the water when it came time for her to put it on. Coupled with her gorgeous Lily of the Valley bouquet, it was simple but so, so classic and chic.

Elegant Wedding Ceremony at the Organgery in Holland Park

I had a second photographer, the lovely Soven Amatya working with me for this wedding. He was there to capture alternative angles and moments, as there were lots of logistics in moving from location to location. Soven had already arrived at The Orangery at Holland Park to capture photos of the groom greeting all the arriving guests, of which there were many! Their guests had the perfect warm, but not too hot, English weather to walk through the park to the venue. They were then greeted by the sounds of the cellist playing.

I arrived with Ottilie’s family and was able to capture some photographs of her walking through the park, arm in arm with her Dad, which was adorable.

I’ve photographed weddings at The Orangery before, so I knew it was a beautifully lit conservatory. With its high windows on both sides, drenching the space in light, it’s such an elegant venue. Two statues greet guests as they arrive. High above hang those glorious gold chandeliers and the added touches of greenery really did finish the space beautifully. It looked like the most perfect sophisticated spring wedding.

The wedding itself was an uncomplicated ceremony, with readings from a sibling on both sides of the family. There was plenty of emotion and happy tears flowed. Then, once the vows were exchanged and the paperwork was done, Ottilie and Paul walked outside to cheers from all their friends and family.

We had the shortest amount of time for formal photographs and some couple shots. As I said before, posed photographs were not a priority for this couple. So, I kept it quick and we got them done in record time. After that, the couple was showered in flower petal confetti to loud cheers from an enthusiastic confetti-throwing crowd, before we all made our way to the reception.

Wedding reception at the uber stylish River Café

And what a venue the River Café Restaurant is! As its name suggests, the River Café is located along the banks of the River Thames. As one of Hammersmith’s most trendy and prestigious restaurants, it’s also the couple’s favourite London restaurant, hence their choice to eat and celebrate there. So, it was the most perfect space for them to have their evening reception and dinner! The food here is absolutely exquisite, so I can totally see why this place is their favourite.

The couple spent lots of time mingling on the terraces with their guests, drinking vibrant cocktails while a four-piece brass band got everyone going. The band were pretty spectacular actually. They had a great vibe and worked super hard to get the crowd up and dancing around.

The evening became all about dinner and speeches, with speeches continuing through all three courses. Ottilie’s parents both made a speech and her Mum’s was incredibly moving and emotional. Part French, part English to honour their French speaking guests. There were lots and lots of tears and even a standing ovation for her at the end. Always lovely capturing so many emotions.  Then came speeches from the two best men , the bride and one of the groom’s good friends too. So many thoughtful speeches, full of love and admiration for this couple.

Through it all, the enthusiasm and joy of everyone was wonderful to see. This was a crowd of people who totally knew how to celebrate in style and without holding back at all. It was a wonderfully lively and vibrant wedding and incredibly good fun to capture. And while the couple wasn’t all about the posed photographs, it was lovely to see how much time they spent together throughout the day. They are a couple clearly very much in love and it’s that emotion that translates in all their photographs, throughout their day.

If you’re looking for a documentary photographer to capture your relaxed wedding, look no further! Send me a message and let’s talk about how I can help capture your day. Want to see a few more weddings? Here are two gorgeous city ones you might want to look through, Liv & Charlie’s winter London wedding, and Lauren & Greg’s summer city wedding.

 

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks Maria, it's a stunning venue isn't it!

  • What a great wedding captured so naturally and also loving all the detail shots. Cracking work indeed.

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks Dominic, it was such a fun wedding and what fab locations! Appreciate your kind words, thanks!

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks Robin!

  • Wow - I love that orangery! And what a wedding - you seem to have captured every moment. Lovely work!

    • Mona Ali said:

      It's a stunning venue isn't it! Thanks for your kind comments Alex!