The wonders of wedding photography at the breath-taking Butleigh Wootton
Butleigh Wootton is one of the stars of Melbourne wedding photography; it is distinctive, elegant and perfect for bringing together that fairy-tale wedding style. Serendipity Photography has been shooting weddings at Butleigh Wootton now for almost twenty years and photos taken at Butleigh Wootton have always been a major aesthetic highlight of any wedding album. Butleigh Wootton is an integral part of Melbourne’s social and architectural history. At Serendipity Photography we’ve been lucky to have had the experience of photographing brides who are the third generation of women in their family to have had their receptions there. Butleigh Wootton’s opulent style is now as much an Australian –and a Melbourne – tradition.
Butleigh Wootton is an Italianate villa, a style that above all seeks to instill beauty in every element of design. Every aspect to the construction is amplified with details, rather than disguised. Such villas follow on from the Palladian revivalist style of the early 1800s lead by John Nash and Charles Barry. Italianate style evokes images of temple columns, pedimented windows and balustrading – functional and also beautiful. Italianate style became hugely popular in Australia through the mid 19th century. Government House, designed by William Wardell is a prime example of the new Italiante style in Melbourne.
Italianate villas were a perfect way to visually express the newfound glamour and luxury of the Gold Rush-era Melburnites. So much of Melbourne's architectural fame comes from this era, and wedding at Butleigh Wootton can really tap into Melbourne's tradition of beauty and excellence. Thomas Maidment finished construction of Melbourne’s Butleigh Wootton in 1885, which he named after his hometown in Somerset, England, on the then Barkly Road. Butleigh Wootton was built as a two story 26 roomed Italianate mansion boasting rendered walls, with superb applied decoration, brackets to the eaves line and engaged ionic columns under a broken pediment at the front entrance.
Wedding couples at Butleigh Wootton are spoilt for choice – there are romantic balconies replete with balustrading (pomegranate blossom-shaped columns), lush gardens and regency pastels in the bedroom (a nod to Australia’s colonial heritage). We love shooting through the golden wrought-iron staircase and adore the magnificent chandelier. In regards to the staircase, a unforgettable feature of Butleigh Wootton, while it’s elegant curves make for incredible photos they also are one of the most complex areas to photograph. Creating lighting solutions without harsh shadows ringing the figures, which is characteristic of on-camera flash. Harsh shadows and lighting will spoil the soft, lustrous lighting effect typical of a chandelier. At Serendipity Photography we’ve perfected using a combination of ambient light and well-positions off-camera flash to maintain that soft light and depth, which is ideal for achieving the most stunning effects on the couple and the bridal gown. It also allows for greater accuracy when positioning the lighting for portraits. Being able to really maximize the gorgeous features of Butleigh Wootton is one of the advantages of having spent so many years as wedding photographers.
As a wedding photography location Butleigh Wootton is unparalleled; it’s stunningly preserved Victorian detailing, and exquisite style makes it a dream for photographers and brides.
Serendipity Photography - Melbourne Wedding Photography
45 Waverley Rd, Malvern East, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9569 3299
This article has been reproduced on Wedding Central Australia with permission. ©Serendipity Media and Sally Newell 2010. All Rights Reserved.
This article has been written by Sally Newell and Grace Riddell of Serendipity Photography, check the Serendipity Photography blog for more great wedding photography location ideas.