Pip and Ben’s warm and wonderful wedding at Homme House in Herefordshire
Pip is an incredible food stylist who works with amazing photographers on a daily basis, so it was hugely flattering when she and Ben booked me to photograph their wedding at Homme House. They were an absolute joy to work with; warm, welcoming and open, and their wedding day was an absolute delight to be a part of.
With a beautiful outdoor ceremony in a walled garden, drinks in the sunshine, a surprise Cèilidh and a family singalong around the fire, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Homme House in Herefordshire (which is now super close to me, now that I live in Birmingham, so I’d love to photograph more weddings there!).
Homme House wedding photography
Here’s what Ben and Pip had to say about working with me as their wedding photographer:
Laura was incredible to work with from beginning to end. From our initial chat to the wedding day and beyond, we couldn’t have been happier with the results. She’s brilliant at organising groups and wrangling everyone together in such a great way. We both really enjoyed her photographing the two of us, which is something I never thought either of us would say!
We looked for months to find the right photographer and we knew from seeing your bright, happy website full of joyous wedding photography that we had to go with Babb Photo! The quality of your photography is just outstanding! Thank you!
Keep scrolling for more
Wanna see more of this beautiful wedding day at Homme House? Sure you do, so keep scrolling. You’ll also find more about the day in Ben and Pip’s own words below.
How we met
We met at a gig in London about 4 and a half years ago. After a few weeks, we went on our first date and have been together ever since. It was such a relaxing date, we felt like we’d known each other forever. I have to say Ben did pull out ALL the stops for our second date treating me to not only his finest Jaja Binks impersonation but Gollum too, right there in a packed-out fancy restaurant!!!
After a few months we moved in together and bought our first flat in Walthamstow, East London. A place very dear to us because of the lovely friendships we made there. We went on a few holidays together and fell further and further in love with Italy. Benedict proposed in Sept 2016 in a little terraced garden overlooking Lake Como.
Planning the wedding
It took just under 2 years and lot of work to build our wedding day. I wanted a small wedding and Ben wanted a big do, as he has a large family. We decided to look at venues and make our minds up from there. We fell in love with Homme House as soon as we clapped eyes on it and we just as quickly fell for the lovely owners Charlie and Sarah. After having tea in library (Benedict’s favourite room, he knew he wanted his wedding day to finish there with a sing-song and glass of good whiskey) we saw the beautiful walled garden and gothic summer house. We knew that was where our ceremony would take place. We’re both from the Midlands originally so having the wedding “back home” felt right.
It was really important for us to plan the wedding ourselves but we knew it would be hard work (that’s why you can hire a wedding planner!) Homme House offered us a beautiful setting that we could dress and enhance with flowers and trimmings, it was ours for the wedding weekend and it felt fantastic to play hosts to our guests there. We loved being able to pick out everything we wanted as a couple and we planned every step together. Our amazing family and friends helped us out massively with my Mum’s friend and amazing florist Liz wowing everyone with her eye-catching displays, our beautiful friend Cass coming all the way from Australia to make the stunning and delicious wedding cake and family members showing off their musical talents throughout the day.
Choosing Homme House as our wedding venue
Homme House is stunning, warm and inviting and is run by the most amazing couple, Charlie and Sarah. We can’t describe how incredible they were in helping us plan and execute everything. As I mentioned before, when we arrived a warm handshake and pot of tea were there to welcome us. We marvelled at the imposing but comfortably gorgeous rooms that would be home to our wedding. The house (and on-site church) have been in Charlie’s family for generations and the incredible collections of furniture, heirlooms and china gives the house the feel of a family home.
We fell further and further in love with Homme House as Charlie spent a good few hours telling us about how his Grandparent’s struggled to fund the upkeep of the house. They had to close rooms off and live in a small part of the building. The walled garden had been turned over to a Christmas tree plantation, totally ruining the grounds. Charlie and Sarah, along with his parents, have spent the past 15 years bringing Homme House back to life. All the proceeds from the weddings go back into keeping the property ticking along and funding new projects. We visited a few times in the nearly 2 year run-up to the wedding. Every time there was something new and exciting to discover.
The run up to the wedding
In the lead up to the wedding Charlie kept in close contact. No matter what silly question I had, he would get back to me with the answer in no time at all. He checked in regularly and made sure we came back 2 months before the wedding to walk through everything in detail.
The day before the wedding he and Sarah were there helping in every way possible, making sure our stay was the best it could be. It was a very busy day of unpacking, checking, sorting, greeting members of the bridal party as they arrived throughout the day and then a rehearsal in the evening.
A wedding venue with onsite accommodation
The accommodation at Homme House is perfect. Amazing sized rooms with beautiful period decor and stunning views from every window. There is also a beautiful newly renovated Coach House next to the main building with 4 double rooms, a large kitchen, 2 lounges and a separate courtyard. We even had a couple stay in the beautiful summer house in the walled garden. 26 guests stayed with us on Saturday night and it was such a treat!
Charlie and Sarah were poised again on the day of the wedding, making sure everything went as smoothly as possible. Every aspect was covered. We even got a lovely home-cooked breakfast for us and all our guests staying over on Sunday morning. I could go on and on but I think you can tell how smitten we are with Homme House and it’s amazing hosts!
The wedding food
Offering good food and wine to our guests was a really important part of our day. We were incredibly lucky to have found wedding caterers that tailored their menus to our day. Kemp and Kemp offer so many amazing foodie options and not a chicken breast in white wine sauce in sight! Karen and Richard Kemp are such a great team with Karen designing and developing menus to our specifications, in their style and with flair. The catering team had a lot to deal with on the day that was outside their control but they pulled off an amazing feast. Ben curated the delicious wine and bar menus and worked so hard getting it just right.
Two wedding dresses
I was very lucky as I got to wear 2 wedding dresses and have 2 weddings! We got married in a small Catholic ceremony (13 guests including ourselves) the week before the ‘big do” at Benedict’s family church. I wore a fitted floor-length ivory coloured gown with a little detail on the waist and simple layered sleeves. Quite demure and fitting with the service.
For the Homme House wedding, I knew that I wanted a tea-length dress so I set about trying to find the one. ‘Brides by Solo’ in Newmarket were doing a trunk show of the ‘Brighton Belle collection by True Bride’. Tea-length dresses are super easy to get into (another reason I love them!) so I could try 10 on in an hour. That’s when I found my dress and it just felt so right. I loved that I got to wear 2 very different styles.
Due to the mid-calf dress length, I had to make sure my shoes were spot on. I went for a pair of mint green (almost light blue) Amalia suede t-bar heels by Rachel Simpson with a matching clutch. They had lovely subtle crystal and pearl trim and fitted like a dream! I had so many compliments about them!
A Hugo Boss Suit with William Morris Ties
Ben – I loved the cut and colour of my suit (I wore a different one to the church wedding) both were Hugo Boss. I’m normally a tweed man but it was just too hot. I bought William Morris fabric ties for all the Groomsmen, they got a lot of compliments!
Blue hydrangeas and William Morris
We decided that we should embrace the style of Homme House. We didn’t go with a colour theme as such but we chose blue potted hydrangeas to line the aisle and the steps of Homme House. These were reflected in some of the stationary too. Ben wore a blue suit (along with a lot of the wedding party in similar tones and grey) and the bridesmaids were in a dark lavender-blue so they all worked together beautifully.
Homme House already features a lot of William Morris designs in upholstery and decor. As we were living in Walthamstow (his birthplace and home to his museum) we thought it was only right to reflect some of his designs in our wedding,
The ties were Morris designs, our table plan was backed on to Morris fabric and lots of the printed elements of the day including the menus, order of service and table names all had a William Morris influence.
Floral displays created onsite!
Pip’s mum is a houseplant specialist and was able to introduce us to our fantastic florist Liz Nicholson. Liz has been in the floristry game for years working as a lecturer and is incredibly skilled. Liz turned up with buckets of blooms the day before the wedding and created a stunning mantlepiece display, urns for the entrance hall, 10 table displays, 2 smaller displays for the library and ceremony, 4 bouquets and many buttons holes and corsages all on-site! A superwoman! We wanted to reflect the season in the flowers, peony roses and lilies took centre stage with lots of greenery like ivy and scented eucalyptus.
We decided not to go too crazy with table decorations as we were serving an antipasti starter on boards and lots of wine! So we wanted the flowers to act as a pretty accompaniment. White crisp linen and classic uncovered bamboo back chairs kept everything looking clean and fresh.
The Wedding Ceremony
Our ceremony was incredibly personal to us and our families. Benedict’s father, Liam conducted the blessing and gave his own thoughts on marriage and the circumstances that brought us together. Both of our mothers gave readings that we had chosen. We were also treated to the musical talents of Benedict’s cousin Laurie playing an Irish Air on the violin (it was just beautiful).
There was a a group song (‘Bring me sunshine’) accompanied by the Unity String Quartet, and lead by our sister in law Gina. We since found out a few of the party including Gina thought we meant ‘Always Look on the Bright side of Life’ from The Life of Brian and practised this but luckily they pulled it out of the bag and everyone was none the wiser.
We wrote our own vows and kept them a secret until we read them to each other. It was such a special moment. And we were so lucky the rain bypassed Much Marcle for most of the day so we could be married in the sunshine!!!!
Words of Wisdom
My favourite part of the day was sitting back and observing the happy chatter and clinking of glasses and cutlery as everyone enjoyed their dinner! Ben loved everyone gathering in the library for singing and drinks at the end of the night. Our advice to other couples is to do your research and keep checking your budget. Don’t get drawn into gimmicky things and be prepared to spend like a demon a couple of weeks before!!! Make sure the ceremony is true to yourselves and reflects everything you want.
If you’re looking for Homme House wedding photography, a photographer in Herefordshire or the Midlands (or anywhere else for that matter!) get in touch. You can check out my latest wedding photography work on my blog.
Bride – Dress – Designer – Brighton Belle (True Bride). – http://www.truebride.co.uk/733/Brighton-Belle
Bridal Boutique (Brides by Solo) -https://www.bridesbysolo.co.uk
Bride shoes and clutch – Designer – Rachel Simpson via Lace and Favour – https://www.laceandfavour.com
Groom’s outfit: Suit – Hugo Boss – https://www.hugoboss.com/uk/men-suits/
Ties – Fox and Chave – https://www.foxandchave.com
Groom’s shoes – Oliver Sweeney – https://www.oliversweeney.com
Florist – Liz Nicholson – no website
Venue – Homme House – https://hommehouse.co.uk
Cake Maker – Cassie Davison – friend of bride and groom
Caterer – Kemp and Kemp – https://kempandkempcatering.co.uk
Bridesmaids dresses – Chi Chi London – https://www.chichiclothing.com
Stationery (for invites and place cards) – Papier – https://www.papier.com
Printers – Paper and Print (The Groom Benedict designed our menus, table names, table plan, orders of service) – http://www.paperandprint.co.uk
Entertainment – Day – Unity Strings – http://unitystringquartet.co.uk
Entertainment – Night – Ringerike Ceilidh Band – http://www.msmusic.co.uk/Band/0003.1.html
Videographer – Hannah Roberts – friend of the bride and groom – website coming soon
Confetti – The Real Flower Petal Confetti Co – https://www.confettidirect.co.uk/flowerfields/
Transport – Mid Hire – (Pip’s Bride Mobile – Transit Van) – http://www.midhire.co.uk