An Andover Hawk Conservancy Wedding

I really love unique wedding venues and I love the kind of couples that choose to have their big day at one of them, so I’d been looking forward to this one for quite some time.

Serena and Scot chose the wonderful Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover for their wedding and, as always at the Hawk Conservancy, it was absolutely fantastic.

Serena arrived while her guests were still waiting outside, but luckily the Hawk Conservancy has a secret entrance so she was able to take a few minutes to compose herself… and take a quick selfie!

While Serena was talking with the registrars, her bridesmaids were waiting outside, standing in the most perfect light (which was hard to come by on such a bright sunny day), so I took the opportunity to grab this quick shot - and I love how it came out.

Before long though, it was showtime. Serena took the short walk down the aisle to where Scot was keenly awaiting her arrival.

There are lots of really cool things that happen when you have your wedding at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, but at the very top of that list, is that this beautiful barn owl delivers the rings!

She was very happy hanging out with Serena and posing for pictures - how amazing is that!?

And then before we knew it, Serena and Scot were officially married and it was sealed with a kiss!

After some bubbly and lots of congratulations, the newlyweds and their guests were treated to a VIP Wings of Africa display, including a very close encounter with the vultures.

Then it was time for the confetti, and let me tell you, their guests absolutely pelted them! I chose this shot for this little sneak peek but there are some other great shots of them getting hit directly in the face, complete with evidence of who did the throwing! 

Next on the ‘really cool things you get to experience if you have your wedding at the Hawk Conservancy’ list was a Woodland Owl display. While Serena and Scot’s guests were lucky enough to get reeeeeally close to the beautiful owls… 

The couple themselves got even closer.

At this point I want to mention that it was a really hot day. Really hot!
The sunburn on my bald head reminded me that applying sun screen just once during a wedding day doesn’t always cut it.

I’m pleased to report that both the happy couple and their guests seemed much better than me at avoiding sunburn though - particularly these two legends that I found hiding in the shade using cans of soda to cool themselves down.

There was still one more amazing thing to tick off the list - all of Serena and Scot’s guests got the opportunity to get up close to a Harris Hawk! 

The Hawk Conservancy has the most amazing wild meadow on it’s grounds, so we headed there for the couple’s portraits.

Now, I have a lot of really romantic first dance pictures from these guys, but I can only edit and post so many shots on these little sneak peeks, and I just love this one. Look at those reactions!

Okay, so I’m going to let you into a little secret now.
I get that for most people, having lots and lots of pictures taken is a bit strange. It can make you feel awkward and a little uncomfortable. In an effort to make things more relaxed (which is a big deal for me), I often find, or invent a reason to bring one or two of their best friends along with us for the pictures. 

So at sunset, we headed back to that beautiful meadow for some more pictures. I had already enlisted the help of Claudia, one of the bridesmaids, to be chief ‘dress floofer’ throughout the entire day, so naturally she came along again. This time I also asked best man Brandon to come along too, to help manoeuvre the flash. I had noticed throughout the day that both Claudia and Brandon were great at making Serena and Scot laugh so they were the obvious choices. Scot was also able to make Serena laugh at any given moment too which was great.

So a potentially nice but slightly uncomfortable photoshoot, became the couple having a great time and a good laugh with some of their best friends.

Meet Claudia and Brandon - it was only fair to get them involved in the shoot too - and they opted for the power pose all on their own!

As you can see, they did a great job (with the dress floofing and the flash manoeuvring, but moreover, helping to make everything fun and relaxed) and with their help, we got these lovely sunset shots of Serena and Scot to finish the day.

Serena and Scot booked a highlight video with their package, which was super fun to shoot with all the birds flying around! To find out more about highlight videos and how I shoot them at the same time as I take photographs, click here.

That’s all for this little sneak peek, folks. I’ll add one or two more pictures from this wedding to the Facebook and Instagram pages as I edit them, so feel free to follow along over there. 

Big thanks to all at the Hawk Conservancy Trust for being so great. Particularly Jemma and Emily who do such a great job making sure everything comes together and runs smoothly, and always take such good care of me every  time I’m there. And to Ben for basically being a bird whisperer and for making it so easy to get amazing shots.

Thanks too to all of Serena and Scot’s guests for being amazing, extremely photogenic and making sure I was well taken care of (and well hydrated) all day. 

Lastly, a thousand thanks to Serena and Scot for choosing me to capture your special day. You guys are wonderful. Massive congratulations to the both of you!

I’m off to apply some After Sun to my head! ☀

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