Perfectly Elegant Wedding at Offley Place – Cara and James

If you’re planning a wedding in the Autumn, you’ll love having a little look at this couple’s gorgeous day for inspiration!

When Cara and James first got in touch with me about their wedding, I was so happy. They were planning the most beautiful celebration with an intimate ceremony, all on a short timeline of around 6 months. (Thank goodness that they didn’t hold off until 2020 and have a longer engagement!) Cara and James are just the nicest people and SO in love. I got to know them in the months leading up to their wedding, including on their summertime pre-wedding shoot. (You may also recognise a few images from their wedding from my Top Instagram Posts from last year!). By the time October came around, I absolutely couldn’t wait to shoot their wedding!

The preparations

I started my morning at the venue with Cara and her 6 bridesmaids, and the girls were relaxing before the big day. There were definitely some nerves around, but everyone was sipping bubbly and having a lovely morning. Cara decided to do her own make up, but entrusted her hair to her regular hair-dresser which made everything more personal.

I was so excited to see Cara’s bridal look coming together. She wore a stunning lace gown by Morilee and incredible bejewelled Giuseppe Zanotti shoes. Her flowers looked amazing in stunning autumnal colours. They were created by Cara’s incredibly talented new mother-in-law who put together all the floral arrangements for the day.

Meanwhile, the boys were just downstairs and getting everything ready for the day. James and his ushers and best man had a few drinks in the bar to steady their nerves. My good friend Damion was there to second shoot for me that day and capture all the action.

The anticipation was building before the ceremony and as I captured Cara making her way down the grand staircase with her dad, the excitement and nerves were tangible.

The ceremony

The wedding took place at in the beautiful Conservatory at the venue, and was an intimate legal ceremony. One of the things I love the most about James and Cara is just how clearly in love they are. There are so many little glances, smiles, giggles and squeezes of hands during the ceremony, and it really did seem like the two of them had eyes for nobody but each other.

The couple had invited a smaller number of guests to the actual ceremony, and others arrived just as it finished, ready to shower the couple with confetti as they made their exit!

The afternoon

Whilst the weather was on our side, we powered through the group photographs just outside the impressive frontage of Offley Place, and then it was time for mingling and canapés with friends in the main house.

Once it was time for the guests to be seated in the stunning Ballroom, I whisked the couple outside for a quick portrait session in the grounds of the venue. There are some lovely hidden spots in the grounds of this beautiful venue. One of my favourite places has to be the wall on the side of the main building. It’s covered in green leaves for most of the year, but Cara and James had timed their October wedding perfectly to coincide with the absolutely stunning autumnal colours. Check it out below!

The Ballroom Reception

The wedding reception took place in the brand new and absolutely stunning Hester Ballroom, which is a newly opened wing of the incredible Offley Place. It has a huge capacity for larger celebrations, which fitted perfectly with Cara and James’ plans for their day. It looked absolutely gorgeous decked out with more incredible flowers put together by James’s Mum. As favours the couple bought everyone scratch cards – I’m not sure if we had any winners in the room though!

For dinner, the food was incredible, as it always is at this venue, and it went down really well with all the guests. Afterwards came the speeches, with laughs and tears aplenty all the way through.

Once the speeches finished and whilst the venue team transformed the space for party time, I pinched the couple one last time for a few evening portraits – one favourite of mine was by the gate to the rose garden.

Party time

Cara and James had booked a live band to help them party the night away. I honestly couldn’t recommend their band, Salut, highly enough. Such an amazing group of musicians who kept the dance floor full all evening long! There was even a little surprise solo dance performance for Cara from James in the middle of the evening which was a huge shock for her and had everyone in stitches!

An incredible celebration

This really was one of my favourite weddings from 2019. Take a look at Cara and James’s wedding story below.

If you’re planning your wedding, I’d love to chat to you about your ideas for the wedding day. You can see more Offley Place weddings here, but drop me a line if you have any questions or would like to enquire about my availability.

Dream team

Offley Place –

Andrew Collin Videography –

Morilee –

Giuseppe Zanotti –

The Boutique –

Maya (Bridesmaids Dresses) –

Florist – Mother of the Groom

Blush and Berry Cakes –

Salut –

Frontage of Offley Place in the autumn taken by Becky Harley Photography
Bridal bouquet At autumnal Offley Place wedding taken by Becky Harley photography
Wedding rings At autumnal Offley Place wedding taken by Becky Harley photography
Groom laughing with ushers At autumnal Offley Place wedding taken by Becky Harley photography
Bride and bridesmaids getting ready At autumnal Offley Place wedding taken by Becky Harley photography