The Bell Hotel
, in Sandwich, is a lovely 19th century building on The Quay by the River Stour, adjacent to the Barbican Gate and Toll Bridge. It's a very friendly, intimate venue with a relaxed style (and extremely good food!) Sandwich itself is delightful and is frequently described as the most complete medieval town in England - notable features include the historic Guildhall (another location for civil ceremonies), Fisher Gate and the Toll Bridge. But then being a local resident I'm probably somewhat biased! The Bell Hotel is my local venue and is only a very pleasant 5 minute stroll from my house. It has extensive facilities, with a number of rooms capable of hosting ceremonies, and the Regency Room, with its high ceiling and minstrel's gallery, can seat up to 100 guests for the wedding breakfast. It also has 37 bedrooms - so all your guests can really let their hair down!
Amy and Bruce got married at The Bell Hotel in April 2009 and booked me for 4 hours coverage. I started just before the ceremony and had a quick opportunity to take some candid shots of the guests. After the ceremony there were more candid shots whilst drinks were served and then everyone walked down the road for the group shots in the grounds of The Salutation, known as The Secret Gardens. After this Amy, Bruce and I wandered around the gardens (which were full of beautiful spring flowers) for the bride and groom portrait session and we also got some shots at The Fisher Gate on the walk back to the hotel. This was followed by more candid shots and then the speeches. I departed as the wedding breakfast was served.
Jenny and Paul got married at The Guildhall in Sandwich in November 2010 and held their reception at The Bell Hotel. They booked me for 6 hours coverage. I started off the day with Paul and his groomsmen at a local cottage and then joined Jenny and her bridesmaids at the hotel for the final stages of their preparations. I then shot the ceremony at The Guildhall, followed by candids outside, and then we all walked back to the hotel for group shots on the entrance steps. I then whisked Paul and Jenny off for a walk through the streets of Sandwich for their portrait session and we also visited The Secret Gardens. We then returned to the hotel for candids with their guests. I departed as the wedding breakfast was served (and went home for my dinner!) and then returned for the evening's festivities which included lots of candids and the first dance. Paul's 'friends' had kindly put a large print of him dressed as a woman in the Regency Room for everyone to enjoy - highly amusing!