For an elegant, stress-free, metropolitan wedding, there are few venues better than the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane. It’s a great venue for a smaller wedding: there’s something about having 40 people around a single table for dinner which just means you know your going to get photographs that capture a great, relaxed, laid back wedding vibe. With a small wedding, the focus is all on the people in the moment. It’s really important that your photographer is comfortable blending in and becoming an unobtrusive but friendly part of your day. The great thing about all London weddings is that we can sneak off to take a few shots of the two of you at an iconic location. The outside of the Dorchester itself, with its stream-lined, evocative architecture, and its plane tree (named one of the great trees of London) is an amazing urban backdrop in itself, but we are also close to Hyde Park corner with its iconic arch. My team and I are very experienced at lighting these shots quickly, so we can go get the image and sneak you back into the fun before your guests even realise you’ve been gone! And, of course, there are beautiful corners of the hotel, both inside and outside, where I’ve found a well-shaped shot. So, below are some of the favourite shots of weddings, both intimate and grand scale, which I’ve taken at The Dorchester.
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The venue: The Dorchester Hotel opened in 1931 and despite being refurbished and renovated multiple times over the years, the designers have been really successful at maintaining its 30s and art deco appearance and vibe. The ballroom suite is particularly glamorous and conveys the glorious, hedonistic ambience of Oliver Ford’s original design while being bang up to date. I’ve also photographed many weddings (as you can see, above) focused in the Penthouse and Pavilion Suite, which has a fairy tale, baroque feel, perhaps no surprise as it was created by the theatrical and ballet designer Oliver Messel. The terrace allows you to hold an outdoor drinks reception with sweeping views across Park Lane, Hyde Park and the romantic roof tops of Belgravia.
Because everything is on-site, including the option of your prep space and your and your guests’ overnight accommodation, the logistics of a wedding become much easier. Of course, you can take for granted that the people behind the scenes, from the event designers to the florists, are some of the most on-the-ball in London. And the executive chef and his team. who prepare the canapés and wedding breakfast, are ultra-experienced at grand scale meals for the larger wedding in the spectacular, gloriously art-deco Ballroom, one of the most luxurious, sophisticated spaces for a reception in the city. With the bigger weddings in the ballroom, the lighting throws up new challenges, which, being a lighting fiend (some might say nerd!) I absolutely relish.