This award-winning country house hotel is set in 55 acres of land in the heart of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by countryside walks and inspiring views, Cowley Manor is a stunning wedding venue, with a tranquil and magical charm.
As a Cowley Manor Wedding Photographer, I love exploring the gardens with adventurous couples, Alice and Mathew even ventured into the Victorian cascade (which was very chilly!). Who knows, maybe these will join the gallery of award winning wedding photographs one day!
Rumour has it that Lewis Carroll, who regularly visited Cowley) wrote his best-known book, Alice in Wonderland, inspired by the grounds of Cowley Manor. It’s not hard to imagine the book coming to life amongst the secret pathways, follies, little hideaways and the magnificent Victorian cascade. I love this fact… especially as I was photographing Alice and Mathew!
Weddings at Cowley Manor
Alice and Mathew fell in love with the venue when they visited, even though it was the middle of winter and pouring with rain they knew it would be the perfect place for them to get married and celebrate with their family and friends.
We all recommend exploring the grounds ahead of your wedding day, there are some beautiful places for portraits I can explore with you as your Cowley Manor Wedding Photographer… it can take a bit of searching to find the awesome but elusive swing!
Cowley Manor Wedding Photography
The Italianate exterior of Cowley Manor was designed by R.A Briggs and is based on the Villa Borghese in Rome. Built just over a hundred years ago on the former site of the historic house, Cowley Manor was then beautifully restored between 1999 and 2002. The venue is timelessly stylish and creates a stunning backdrop for Cowley Manor Wedding Photography.
Alice and Mathew’s Wedding at Cowley Manor
Alice’s gorgeous dress ‘Rosanna’ by Anna Kara was an amazing find from a sample sale at Miss Bush Bridal Boutique. It was then expertly altered by superstar dressmaker Caroline Arthur Bridal. As Alice got ready with her mum and her bridesmaids (all wearing matching custom printed dressing gowns!), experts Lauren Gosling Hair and Make Up Artist Louise Jackson were on hand to add the finishing touches. The lovely bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast.
The flowers for the day came from The Real Flower Company A mixture of delicate blooms, roses and soft green foliage. Alice’s lovely mum arranged the button holes in the coolness of the bridal suite bathroom – a job well done!
Alice wore her mum’s pearl earrings (something borrowed) and her grandmother’s engagement ring (something old), and there were some beautiful moments between Alice and her mum as she prepared to get married – this is something I love capturing, it’s those little looks of love that really create an emotive visual record of your wedding day.
Mathew and his Best Man (also his brother!) wore suits from Gibson, with Ted Baker ties and pocket squares. They got ready for the day together, diligently ironing and checking speeches before heading off to the ceremony. Mathew’s brother is also a keen photographer so he had plenty of film packed for his camera!
Alice’s father came to collect her and they walked together down the wooden staircase to the ceremony room, where Mathew was waiting.
Alice and Mathew were married in the Garden Room. With double height ceilings, the Garden Room is the perfect setting for light and bright, intimate ceremonies like this one. Alice’s Mum and Mathew’s sister provided some heartfelt and beautiful readings for the couple; there may not have been many guests, but it really was a room absolutely jam packed with love for these two!
Just as we reached the hottest part of the day Alice and Mathew were showered in confetti on the lawn of Cowley Manor under a gorgeous blue sky. They enjoyed drinks and canapes on the terrace with their guests and I captured some group portraits indoors out of the blinding sunlight.
We took a wander around the gardens to explore the trees, hidden follies and secret walkways – sneaking some snuggly portraits in the cool shade along the way. I managed to convince Alice and Mathew to take off their shoes and tip toe across the very chilly Victorian cascade, they were such great fun and after a few hops and shrieks they were in!
The Wedding Breakfast
Held on the terrace overlooking the impressive Cowley Manor gardens, Alice and Mathew’s wedding breakfast was a beautiful celebration with their close friends and family. With some touching words in the speeches there was hardly a dry eye in the house (do you really need to ask if I cried… I ALWAYS CRY!), it was a privilege to join them and capture those special memories and loving gestures.
The cake (OMG such chocolatey goodness!) was bought from Waitrose, decorated with a cake topper from The Letter Loft on Etsy
Alice and Mathew
Once the sun had gone down a little, I took Alice and Mathew for another quick wander through the grounds.
We went on a bit of a mission to find the woodland swing… “is it this way?”… “Maybe its.. hmmm”… we found it eventually and it was definitely worth it! Particularly the shot of the amazed children watching the ‘grown ups’ laughing and playing on the swing on their wedding day!
Then the newly weds cuddled up in a giant hammock and watched the sun go down – what a gorgeous way to end the day!
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you as your Cowley Manor Wedding Photographer Alice and Mathew! I hope you enjoy these highlights of your day and I can’t wait to share the full collection of images with you soon!