The beautiful Danson House, Bexleyheath has become the official registry office for Bexley Borough. Its a beautiful Georgian Grade I listed building with various different ceremony rooms. All looking out over the beautiful grounds of Danson Park, its lake and the 200 year old Oak tree. The perfect wedding venue.
For years it was derelict and, growing up in Bexleyheath, I’d always wondered what was in side the creepy old run down house other than pigeons! Who’d have thought that years later I would be Kent Wedding photographer photographing weddings there. It really is a gorgeous house, steeped in history and being a bit of a geek, I decided to have a look into its past.
Fellow history geeks read on………or, if not just have a nose at some of the photos that I have taken of recent weddings here alongside some old photos at the end of the blog, that I found in the archives….see I told you I was a geek.
It was built in 1766, designed by the same architect that designed the Bank of England, Sir Robert Taylor. It was built by Sir John Boyd for him and his wife to be, and to celebrate their love, Boyd commissioned an artist to paint romantic wall panels for the Dining Room. Thankfully, when the house started to deteriorate, they were put into storage and have now been restored to their rightful place in the house.
After Sir John Boyds death in 1800 the home was sold onto the Johnston family in 1807 and it was Sarah Johnston’s watercolour paintings of the home in the 1860s, that helped the English Heritage experts massively with the restoration project.
In 1862, Alfred Bean bought the house and all its land (582 acres at this point) He intended to transform the whole estate into a residential area/suburb. His will shows that part of the land was sold off for this purpose, but the remaining 224 acres remained in his family until his death and after the death of his widow in the 1920’s. When it was bought by Bexley Council in 1924 for £16,00.
Having not been lived in since the 1920s, the house deteriorated and the council couldn’t afford the up keep and so it was left in ruins.
In 1995, just months away from being demolished, English Heritage stepped in recognizing that Danson House was the ‘the most significant building at risk in London’. They bought the 999 year lease for £1 and spent the next 10 years and £4.5 million restoring it.
Finally July 2005 the Queen officially opened the stunning house to the public.
Every room in the house is unique and beautiful.
The Library – also known as the music room, over looks the lawns. It also has a fantastic old and original organ that was kept at Hall Place, Bexley until the Council invested in restoring it.
The Dining Room – Light and airey, with those romantic paintings and gold finishings. Very romantic.
The Salon – With its gorgeous vivd wallpaper. Tiny flecks of silk and flakes of paint discovered on the walls by the English Heritage experts enabled them to recreate the Georgian wall paper that was once there. This is one of my favorite rooms.
Sir John Boyds Room – A cosy room located on the top floor, with stunning views over Danson Park
Even the beautiful spiral staircase in the middle of the house is perfect for photographs.
As for photographs on your wedding day, the 200 acres of grounds give you plenty of options. Although its worth noting that you need an extra permit from the Civic offices if you want to have your photographs in the park itself or the ornamental gardens opposite. Although the lawn and grounds to the side of the house and the stairs are equally pretty.
The ornamental Gardens opposite the house
The Bean Family (of Danson), 14th April 1889 – Alfred Bean is 2nd from the left Sir John Boyd with Danson House in the distance. A painting from the house that is now on display in Hall Place. The Beans at Danson House. 1800s (Bexley Archives) Danson house pre 1862 (Bexley Archives) The Library/drawing room 1800s. (Bexley Archives) No date known. But I love this photo of a wedding at Danson House. THIS is why photographs are so important! (Bexley Archives)
Get in touch to find out about having me photograph your wedding day. I’d love to hear all about your plans.
Flowers by http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/ Flowers by http://www.chicweds.co.uk/
It’s a minefield right? Where do you begin?! There are so many beautiful options ….. Being a wedding photographer all over Kent, I get to see so many beautiful designs. So I thought I’d share a few tips and ideas that may help along with a few pictures (probably far too many, but I just couldn’t choose) of some of the gorgeous flowers I have photographed in the past. Note the florists contact details underneath each picture and the links to their websites at the bottom of this blog.
Flowers by http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/ http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/ Flowers by http://www.mrs-bouquet.co.uk/
This is probably the most important point as it determines the type of flowers that you can choose. Decide where you want flowers? Would you like flowers as your center pieces. Do you want flowers at your church? Or your ceremony? Think about button holes, bridesmaids bouquets? What will the flower girls hold? Are you going to give bouquet gifts for mother of the bride/groom?
Don’t be afraid to discuss figures with your florist. Be up front, let them know how much you would like to spend and stick to it as much as possible.
Don’t be afraid of expensive flowers, Peonies or Hydrangeas can be a bit pricer but are larger and cover more space. More for your money
If you are having floral table centres, how about having these as “thank you” gifts for friends and family.
Flowers by http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/
YOUR COLOUR SCHEME & STYLE
So there are a million types of flowers and you have no idea of their names. Just familiarize yourself with a few popular wedding flowers; roses, peonies, hydrangeas, lilies, and ranunculuses, gerbera to name a few, and then you can chat with your florist to help you build on that.
If you can’t decide on a colour; find your bridesmaid dresses first and co-ordinate to these.
You don’t have to be all one colour – contrasting colours can look beautiful. Or hues of all one colour such as peaches with corals. Or lilacs with blues.
Or why not just green and white – classic and timeless.
Add some sparkle or bling to your bouquet. A diamond on each rose? A sentimental brooch on the stem?
Start with your bouquet as this is your centre piece, and will be in most of your wedding photographs – you can then co-ordinate the rest of your flowers with this.
Think about the size of your bouquet. The flowers have to be in proportion to the bride’s height and size and also to the style of the dress. The more intricate the dress – the simpler the bouquet should be.
Make a Pinterest board of some ideas that you like and take them with you when you meet with your florist.
Try to match your flowers with your venue – for example robust Gerberas or Cala Lilies for a modern, city wedding or pretty delicate Roses and gypsophelia for a vintage rustic wedding.
Think about your venue’s over all colour. If the ceremony room or reception room have strong bold colours (ie the carpets and curtains); a simple pastel theme may be a little lost.
If in doubt ask your florist. They love to put their creativity to the test and know all there is to know about flowers.
FLOWERS WITH MEANING
So you really can’t decide on which flowers to choose. Lots of flowers have superstitions and meanings, so you could use this as a starting point.
ROSES – Probably the most used of all flowers at weddings and the meaning is Love. However different colours symbolise different things;
Red – A red rose represents longing, desire and love
White – A white rose shows purity, chastity and innocence.
Yellow – A yellow rose symbolises friendship and caring.
Pink – Pink roses represent emotions, joy and gratitude.
Orange – An orange rose symbolises passion and energy.
CALA LILLY – If you choose white Calla Lilies for your bridal bouquet then this will symbolise purity and innocence.
FREESIA -Much like the Daisy, Freesias represent innocence, they also represent thoughtfulness.
PEONY – The peony represents happy life, happy marriage, good health and prosperity, all perfect ways to start a marriage!
TULIPS Tulips signify the declaration of love – what flower could be more perfect when you are saying your wedding vows.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FLORIST
Have they worked at your venue before? If they haven’t don’t panic – it may be an idea that you have a wander around the venue together.
Can you see examples of her work? Its not always possible but some florists can provide a mock up of your bouquet. If not ask to see some example of their recent work.
Who will be delivering my flowers on the day? Decide where you would like them delivered. Will the button holes need to be at a separate address?
When will the final balance be due?
How will you return any rented items, such as vases etc. Make sure you have agreed on how many rented items you have and how you go about returning them.
Flowers by http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/ Wedding flowers by http://www.chicweddings.co.uk/
ALTERNATIVES TO FRESH FLOWERS
Silk flowers are very realistic these days. They are robust and won’t wilt in the heat. Although there is not a great deal of difference in the price to fresh flowers – you will have your bouquet forever. Examples of silk bouquet below.
For those who like a bit of bling – how about a bouquet made of jewellery. You could include some pieces of jewellery with sentimental value. See examples below.
Silk Flowers by https://www.facebook.com/Angelkweddings/ Jewelled bouquet https://www.facebook.com/UniqueWeddingbyAndreea/ Jewelled Bouquet https://www.facebook.com/UniqueWeddingbyAndreea/
Flowers by Freelance Florist Www.florilegium-london.co.uk Flowers by Jennifer Usher Munn of https://www.facebook.com/enchanting/ Www.florilegium-london.co.uk Www.florilegium-london.co.uk Flowers by https://danny-watchorn.squarespace.com/ Flowers by http://www.thelittleviolet.co.uk/ Flowers by http://www.highflyingballoons.co.uk/
So you want to arrive in style right?!…..
For my big day, I had a beautiful white 1920’s Rolls Royce that took my dad and I to the venue, The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich. I loved how passers by stopped and waved and cars tooting as we drove along….
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your wedding wheels.