Fawley Hill in Henley-on-Thames is a fabulously unique wedding venue boasting a working steam railway and restored station, ‘Ironhenge’ composed of carefully preserved columns from St.Pancras Station in London, and not forgetting an animal sanctuary of free-roaming beauties! I am very proud and lucky to be their recommended photographer and I just love the wonderful people that make up Fawley Hill.

So, one thing we do with our elite supplier venue partnership is have regular reviews with them I get to see how we can further working together and share our industry knowledge, (usually with a glass of fizz in hand!) One particularly beautiful day I was sat with Lady McAlpine reminiscing on the weddings we have done together and she mentioned she had a couple coming in to view the venue and I should stay and talk to them. Now, this immediately made me feel super awkward as the last thing I want is to pounce on an unsuspecting potential client and make them think it was a blatant set up! After some debate, it was clear I was staying, so the glass was topped up and in walked Cat & James.

Cat had been longingly looking at Fawley Hill as her dream wedding venue long before a hint of proposal, and James was well aware of this. So unbeknownst to her, and us, he had set up the venue viewing for the afternoon, and had proposed in the morning!!!

Over to Cat for the rest of the story…

“We had been doing ‘alphabet dates’ for a year or so, taking it in turns to plan dates themed to letters of the alphabet and it was James’ turn. We had been really busy so James suggested booking a day off work, played it super cool in the lead up, ensuring I had no idea. He took me to Caversham Court Gardens, where we went on our first date (I had told James this was the spot I had realised he was ‘the one’!) and said we were there as ‘N was for Nostalgia’. I had no idea until he got down on one knee, with a ring he had deigned and made exactly to my taste!

Following this, we recreated the first date by heading back to a little barge boat for afternoon tea in Reading, and then the surprise continued when James took me up to Fawley Hill to view it! This is where we met Venetia and after getting on so well with her, booked her to document our big day for us!”


It felt like such an honour to be a part of Cat & James’ romantic day and hear right from the beginning of their wedding journey how they felt, what was important to them and their next steps. This is gold dust information for me to be able to help future clients going forward.

Fast forward to their engagement / pre-wedding shoot!

We headed down to Portsmouth where Cat & James first met and captured some absolutely gorgeous memories for them and I am now sooooo excited for the big day in September, being back at Fawley Hill and celebrating these two, their journey and their future!



Venetia NorringtonComment