Surrey Wedding Photographer Jason Leaman at Ramster Hall
I want to talk about Ramster Hall in Surrey. There are a couple of things or more that I want to talk about.
Back in 2004 Carrie and I were planning our own wedding. At the time we were living in London and Carrie’s parents’ house and gardens was the first location idea for a marquee wedding with all of the quirks and excitements that can bring. They lived in Hindhead, just down the road from the Devil’s Punchbowl, which was still the A3 at the time.
That all looked good, but it was also logistically difficult, with access and deliveries and the enduring “where do we put the toilets?” Question, which can so easily be the downfall in such planning adventures. (I’d only been photographing weddings for about a year at this point, so I was no doubt still a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to what’s possible. It wasn’t just me though. The whole wedding DIY thing was relatively non existent. No Pinterest, no instagram, no smartphones – no real mobile internet! I know – I’m so old!).
So we dug in and started looking at venues, and Ramster Hall was just around the corner so we quite quickly got around to a viewing. We did see other venues, good venues, but I’m not going to get into that here – I don’t think it’s fair to mention them by name…
The thing is, that for us Ramster was perfect. Full of rustic charm and history. Dark in all of the right ways, and bright and full of spring in the gardens. The first time we popped in to Ramster we were just passing, and we didn’t know that we should have made an appointment, so we just drove in to check it out. I remember it well because it was really heavy on the weather, and there was nobody there to let us in (why would there be?) but we felt like we loved the venue even in the pouring rain. It felt like this was the perfect fair weather venue that could handle the opposite! I now know that this is so true.
Our wedding changed location – we actually shifted the whole operation up to the midlands where my parents were living at the time, and held our wedding in a big top marquee in their garden in the end. The only thing we couldn’t do was move Ramster Hall!
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way that you think they are going to, I guess.
At the time I was still fairly early in my Wedding Photography career and things were starting to get busy. We’d just moved to Godalming in Surrey and I resolved to get myself down to Ramster. Back then booking your wedding photographer was a completely different game than it is today, and with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and perhaps a little green, I went about introducing myself to venues across Surrey. Sometimes I just found myself in venues naturally, and for a while I did get enquiries for Ramster Hall but I would be already booked for the dates and it was looking like I’d have to work a little harder to get a break into the venue.
Eventually I did get booked and over a few years I quietly got on with exploring the possibilities of the building and the gardens, really just trying to see if I could fit in and conjure up some kind of formula. It turns out that it’s a strangely complex venue, photographically speaking, and a place which gradually reveals it’s magic over time. (I became obsessed with booking weddings at Ramster and stretching my creative goals – it’s a bit of a playground for photography, and I couldn’t get enough. I think there was a period there where I kind of became a part of the furniture, though possibly not as classy!)
Something happened along the way and I’ve built a really lovely working relationship with Rosie and the team of caterers, florists, DJs and Bands that all come together to make weddings work well. Ramster have been recommending me as their preferred supplier for about 8 years (I think) and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Even though I didn’t get to host my own wedding here, I kind of get to see amazing love stories unfold at one of my favourite soulful wedding venues on a regular basis.
And that’s a great place to be.
If you’re getting married at Ramster Hall – I’d love to hear from you. We have some incredible new offers lined up for 2019 and 2020 – it’s all over on our VIP Page. Please get in touch via our Contact page or use the form below.
Surrey Wedding Photographer – Ramster Hall