As a boy I breakfasted on a diet of toasted Hovis and thick wedges of Hartleys strawberry jam; it was a part of my youth, a part of my history. It’s also, and I’ll tenuously inject the association with Silchester now, history belonging to this fine English home, for it was once owned by Thomas Hartley of Hartley Jams. Hartley extended the house in the 1920s to incorporate a music room, specifically made to celebrate his daughter’s 21st birthday celebrations.
So to me, it seems fitting that a large part of the house having been built for a family occasion, now plays host to one of the most intimate of family gatherings; wedding celebrations.
This is the story of Emma and Simon’s Silchester House wedding in July 2014, and I hope the accompanying Photofilm relays the gentle nature of their celebrations. I’ve also included some stills below, featured in the film, a selection of my favourites.
Silchester House is owned by Bijou Weddings and though they boast four venues in total with a further retreat in France, the family that own the company used to live in this house. Bridal preparations usually take place in ‘Ma and Pa’s’ room.
It’s customary to ‘lop the head off’ the top of a croque-en-bouche, though this one was firmly attached by rod all the way through the display of pastries. Watch where the groom’s hand is though, and if you view the Photofilm, you’ll see what fate awaited this French dessert.