Roza and Zryan’s big day, although on paper a summer wedding, coincided with some of the coldest, wettest June weather I can remember. They and their guests arrived bundled up in coats and battling with wind-blasted umbrellas, but the unusually bad conditions didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits on this happy occasion.
The Coventry Register Office encompasses Cheylesmore Manor House, a wonderful medieval gatehouse right in the middle of Coventry. There’s a stark contrast between the newer, more functional part of the building and the older side where the wedding ceremonies are conducted. The challenge to any wedding photographer working at Cheylesmore Manor House is to try to achieve a consistent look across the two parts of the venue, as the lighting, background detail, and general mood of the place varies considerably. It has to be said that the newer part is less attractive than the older section, as it’s almost impossible to line up a shot without a background full of unwanted details like the various safety notices or fire extinguishers, or the not-terribly-aesthetically-pleasing features like the staircase or security grills on the windows. But, with the rain lashing down outside, it was the only option for capturing the pre-ceremony imagery, so I tried as best I could to work with those features rather than against them.
For the ceremony, we moved upstairs and into the older part of the building with its lovely beams and panelled walls. The marriage vows were read in the Manor Room, the smaller of the two spaces available for wedding ceremonies at Coventry Register Office (The Black Prince Room is about twice the size). While it’s a beautiful room, it is fairly small and as the wedding photographer you do end up jammed into one corner while the ceremony takes place. This is something to bear in mind if you are considering getting married here - the room is lovely, but the only way to get a shot of the whole place would be to use a very wide-angle lens, which would leave anyone close to the camera (e.g. the bride and groom) looking quite distorted. So, instead I concentrated on the small details of the service, and the little looks and gestures between the couple as they made their vows.
After the ceremony, we headed back out of the Manor Room for some group shots (as well as a few candid, unposed photos of Roza and Zryan and their guests). The rain even stopped for a few moments, so we rushed outside to get some pictures of everyone outside the venue.
Although by some standards this was a small wedding it was still a big occasion and it was a real pleasure to photograph - even though the weather was pretty dire. I wish Roza and Zyran a long and happy future together. Above is just a small selection of the photos I sent to them, but I hope it gives a flavour of the day, and of Chesylesmore Manor House as a wedding venue.
If you’re considering getting married at Coventry Register Office and are looking for a wedding photographer, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Both the Manor Room and Black Prince Room make gorgeous settings for the ceremony and when the weather behaves the outside of the building offers many great options for group, couples, and individual portraits. I have some slots still available for the remainder of 2019 (particularly for weekday weddings), and if you book now for a 2020 wedding you can lock in the cost at this year’s prices.