Jani & Ben’s elopement at The Council House and Boringdon Hall Hotel was the perfect, intimate way to celebrate their love for each other. 

I first met Jani in the March of 2022 at an NCT Bumps and Babies group which she attended with her, then 3-month-old, daughter. I love attending these groups and meeting lots of mums, and sometimes dads, in that early stage of parenthood. Even for second or third time mothers, these days can be tough and so getting out of the house to chat to others in itself is a huge success, and I like to be able to ask how they are doing, listen to them and remind them that they have got this! I have been there twice myself and know how much it means for someone to just let you know you are doing ok! 

bride and groom exchanging vows in Devon wedding
Bride and daughter at Devon wedding
Dinky bridesmaid at Devon Wedding
Bride and Groom Signing register at Devon wedding
Groom waits for Bride at Devon wedding
Bride and Groom exchange first kiss at Devon wedding

Jani is a beautiful example of this. On meeting with her for a coffee before her wedding day, we discussed the first time we had met just over a year ago and how looking back it was the first time she had left the house on her own with baby Amelia on that day. And I am so glad she did leave the house, as it led me to being able to photograph her and Ben’s elopement, accompanied by a now one year old Amelia and just a couple of very close friends who have been a huge part of their lives since becoming parents. 

It was clear from the very first moment we started talking about Jani & Ben’s wedding that their marriage was the final piece of their puzzle, them becoming a family unit, sharing the same name and declaring and confirming their absolute love for one another. The day was to be bespoke, uniquely theirs, focusing on only the things that mattered to them, which I loved! Jani had done found her dream dress, then found it again on vinted, unused and in her size for a fraction of the price that she was going to pay. She has jazzed up her faux flowers with some gems that were on the first bunch of flowers that Ben had ever bought her. Ben wore cufflinks gifted to him by Jani and Jani’s bracelet had also been a previous gift from Ben. 

Groom portraits at Devon Wedding
Bride portrait at Devon wedding
Groom photos at Devon wedding
Dress shots at Devon wedding
Couples shots at Devon wedding
Natural shots Bride and Groom at Boringdon Hall wedding
Groom portraits at Devon wedding
Bridal shots at Devon wedding
Couple shots at Devon wedding

The ceremony at The Council House was perfect. It was so special and intimate, emotional too. It was clear that the words that were spoken by the bride and groom were heartfelt and for each other only. The service was streamed via iPhone for those that wanted to witness the ceremony from afar but the notion of this being an elopement and ultimately about the two of them was not lost. 

Jani, Ben and Amelia, and their five guests, travelled across Plymouth to the historic Boringdon Hall Hotel. They were greeted and led through the impressive wine cellars to a bookshelf, which on finding the correct book to pull, opened a secret doorway to a small reception room. The champagne was popped, Jani’s best friend spoke a few emotional words about the newlywed couple and then I managed to steal them away for their couple shots on the grounds of the hotel. I felt like a child in a sweetshop! There are so many stunning and distinctive features with the hotel’s building and grounds that I was spoilt for choice for backdrops. The weather was dry but with the threat of drizzle so we made the most of the outdoor locations while we could, with its intricate stonework and beautifully manicured gardens and headed inside to a quieter part of the hotel.

Cake cutting at Devon wedding
Bride and groom shots at Devon wedding
Newlywed shots at Boringdon Hall wedding
Bridesmaids speech at Devon wedding
Drinks raised to the Bride and Groom at Boringdon Hall Wedding
Wedding cake shots at Boringdon Hall Devon wedding
Wedding cake shots at Boringdon Hall wedding

Every corner of the hotel was a photographer’s dream. So many elaborate doorways, characteristically different furnishings and décor. Jani and Ben were in their element and it was lovely to leave them both to have some time to themselves and shoot from a distance. They needed very little encouragement and snuggled up, laughing and chatting away in the stunning surroundings of the hotel as if on their first date! There was background music on as they sat on a chaise lounge under a medieval wrought iron window frame. After the suggestion of having a little dance together, they both leapt at the chance and shimmied, twirled and dipped their way through the next couple of songs at the bottom of a remarkable wooden stair well.

At one point, I asked them if they always laugh so much and have this much fun all of the time when they are together and in complete harmony they answered ‘Yes!’ And I absolutely believe that they do have that much fun and they will continue to do so for many, many years to come, now as Mr and Mrs Bouston.