three weddings in a Weekend
Like everyone else that isn't classed as an essential worker, I'm at home struggling to find ways to keep my mind occupied and stop myself from endlessly scrolling through social media and watching YouTube videos. I suddenly remembered that I have a blog that I should probably start using more like I had originally planned but never found the time or enthusiasm to do.
After a little brainstorming, I thought of the perfect topic - the busiest weekend of my wedding photography career so far. Over the next few blog posts, I'm going to write about September 6th, 7th and 8th of last year, a weekend where I had three weddings in a row. I'm going to cover each of the weddings individually and include a little summary at the end of each on as to how I was thinking and feeling at the time, which I remember all to well.
The first of our three weddings starts with the wonderful Laura and Greg. I had a chance to meet with them a couple of months before their big day for their engagement shoot, captured during a beautifully evening . It was a great opportunity to meet the couple and get to know them better, as well as giving them the chance to become more relaxed with both my camera and myself ready for their wedding day.
Laura and Greg chose the stunning Steventon House Hotel for both their ceremony and reception, allowing them to remove the stress that comes with changing venues in the middle of your big day. Having never shot at this venue before, I made sure to visit before their big day to get a feel for the place, something I always do where possible. It definitely proved helpful when the day came around.
The day started out with Laura and her bridal party being glamorised by the lovely ladies at Mill Street Hair in Wantage, spending roughly two hours making sure everyone's hair was looking it's best ready for the events to follow. We moved on to the wedding venue a little while later, allowing me to wander around the grounds photographing the beautiful venue and the small details that Laura and Greg had laid out to give the venue a little zap of them. The couple had agreed to not have any photographs of Greg getting ready, so this allowed me to spend a little more time focused on the bridal party.
Once I was given the all clear by the bride, I headed up to the room they got ready in (with an alcoholic drink or two for them by request) and unobtrusively captured photographs of them all getting ready. I really love this part of the wedding day, especially from a story telling perspective. You get to see all of the work the brides and grooms put into making themselves look even more amazing for one of the most memorable days of their lives. The ladies were very easy to photograph, and my presence didn't bother them at all. With the bridal shots done, I headed downstairs to greet my second shooter, Katie, and wait for the groom to arrive.
The groom arrived in an eye catching vintage car with his best man, allowed us to capture some photographs of them both and then went to meet some of the guests that had already arrived. Katie and myself spent some more time capturing the guests arriving, mingling and then taking their seats ready for the ceremony to start.
With Greg stood waiting for his beautiful bride to walk down the aisle, you could feel his nerves and anticipation to lay eyes on his soon-to-be wife for the first time that day. If Greg isn't husband goals, I don't know what is!
Then the music started.
The flower girls made their way down the aisle, followed by the maid of honour and last, but certainly not least, the most important lady of the day walked towards a very emotional husband-to-be. I don't think I know of a word that can accurately describe how heart-warming it was to see them both together, both clearly so overwhelmed with happiness at the vows they were about to undertake.
With the ceremony over, the guests eager to celebrate and the newlyweds finally able to breathe, we moved on to the mingling part of the wedding day. Laura and Greg had already requested during the engagement shoot that they did not want any group shots of their guests, and only wanted a handful of photographs of just the two of them, which I was all to happy to oblige! After about twenty minutes of mingling, Laura and Greg were ready for the pictures of just the two of them. Leaving Katie to continue to photograph the guests while they chatted and drank, we headed into the beautiful hotel gardens for about ten minutes, with five of them being Laura and Greg spending some much needed time just spending some much needed time with each other.
We captured a good variety of photographs, mostly of Laura and Greg interacting with each other but also with a few of poses that they liked too. As we had already done an engagement shoot, I knew they were both easy with position instructions, meaning they weren't away from their guests for too long.
Speeches & First Dance
For most people, this is the most nerve wracking part of any wedding day and Laura and Greg were no different. With everyone full to the brim after eating delicious barbecue food, it was time for the speeches. Greg handled his speech like an absolute champion, and it was even more clear by his words just how much his lovely wife means to him.
With the speeches complete, it was time to cut the cake. Greg had arranged for a really cool surprise with the cake that Laura knew nothing about. Have you ever seen a beautiful white wedding cake with the Batman logo and cityscape emerging out of the other side? I certainly hadn't before this wedding. It's safe to say that Laura was over the moon at her wedding day surprise, and in all honesty the cake was delicious!
The last part of the wedding day, before everyone got extremely drunk and danced all night at least, was the first dance. Laura and Greg had practised a really elegant, but also fun, dance which they pulled off effortlessly, weaving around each other like a tapissier creating tapestry. Once all of their guests started joining in, the evening soon descended into organised chaos, with a fantastic soundtrack playing behind it.
With all of the photography finished and the evening well into swing, it was time to call it a day and make my way home. I said my goodbyes and well wishes to the newlyweds, grabbed the memory card from Katie and left.
Day One done
Like I mentioned at the start of this post, this is the first of a three wedding weekend and I wanted to end each post with a short summary of how I was feeling and my thoughts after each shoot.
I wasn't tired at the end of the shoot, which certainly surprised me as it was quite a long day with the prep shots starting earlier than usual, so when I got home I started editing a handful of my favourite shots for the couple to share with family and friends. I felt the day itself went really well, I loved the photographs I captured and thought Katie's were fantastic too, I was certainly confident and excited for the Saturday wedding! Laura and Greg also loved their wedding album and memory box that came with their wedding package.