Lisa & Jack
The second of our three wedding weekend leads us to the amazing Lisa and Jack. Having known Jack for a few years through my parents, I already knew how fun and relaxed this wedding was going to be, as well as how easy they would be to photograph. This is part two of the most hectic and exciting weekend of my wedding photography career so far. You can find a link to part one at the bottom of this post.
Lisa and Jack chose the beautiful Spread Eagle Hotel in Thame for both their ceremony and reception, the perfect location for me as it is only a 10 minute drive from my house. I visited the venue a couple of times before their big day, including once with the couple themselves to make sure that I knew where all the key moments would be happening, as well as where everyone would be getting ready and to give myself a mental checklist of locations that would work for photographs of the couple and their guests. This was another venue that I had not previously photographed, so I was looking forwards to the challenge.
An Early Start
Although the ceremony wasn't until 13:00 in the afternoon, I had agreed with Lisa to get to the venue early as there was a lot of ladies getting ready for the wedding day as part of the bridal party. So, I woke up super early, demolished some breakfast and got to the venue for 08:00 to start snapping away.
When I entered their room, the bridal party were already well into getting their hair and make-up done for the day ahead. Now I've met lively bridal parties before, but I was not prepared for how hilarious these ladies really were. I won't repeat anything that was said here, but the jokes and comments being made had me in tears of laughter. It's always nice to see a group of friends just having a great time and not taking life too seriously, it also made my job a lot easier as it gave me lots of genuinely happy expressions to capture.
Once I knew I had captured a good selection of photographs, I moved on to capture some images of the groom and his best man getting ready. The situation was the same as with the bridal party, Jack and Alan had clearly been best friends for many years. This was also the perfect time to grab a couple of shots of the rings before the ceremony started.
With all of the preparations complete, the guests sat in their seats, and the groom stood nervously waiting for his soon-to-be bride to appear, the ceremony was ready to begin. The bridal party made their way down the aisle, much to the adoration of the wedding guests. Finally followed by the bride and her father, both looking absolutely amazing and being admired by all in attendance.
When Lisa reached Jack at the end of the aisle, you could see the excitement on both of their faces that it was finally time for them to become husband and wife. This is always my favourite part of every wedding I have had the privilege to photograph, getting to witness the love radiate between two people before any words are even muttered.
Once their marriage was confirmed, the most important and nerve-wracking part of their wedding day was over. Lisa and Jack were walked down the aisle together as husband and wife before being whisked away to a quiet area to have a few moments together, followed by a glass of champagne.
The afternoon was well underway, with the newlyweds speaking to their guests and enjoying a well deserved drink or two. Both Katie and I made our way around the venue capturing photographs of everyone mingling and having a great time. After a little while, I sneaked off with the couple to capture some photographs of just the two of them.
Lisa and Jack preferred not to have an engagement shoot, so this was the first opportunity I'd gotten to photograph them together away from the rest of the wedding party. As they only wanted a handful of images of just the two of them, I chose a small selection of poses and we got straight into capturing the images. I focused on simple, beautiful images that focus on the couple looking into each others eyes like the rest of the world doesn't matter.
Once we were finished, we gathered the wedding guests together to capture the group shots that the couple wanted, including a couple of hilarious images of the bridesmaids carrying the groom. After the newlyweds had mingled a little bit more, it was time for some food. Lisa and Jack welcomed their guests back into the Fothergill Hall room of the venue for the reception and then we all sat down to eat.
With the food all consumed and the guests enjoying the comfort of their seats, it was time for the speeches. The father of the bride gave his wonderful speech first, followed by a beautiful, thoughtful speech from the groom, once again showing the love he has for his wife. Then it was time for the best man. The best man's speech will usually go one of two ways in my experience, either their jokes flop and the wedding guests give a nervous laugh, or, as was the case with this one, every joke that is told has the guests in fits of laughter. I have never seen a room full of so many people laughing outside of a comedy show. It was also one of the most unique challenges I've had photographing a wedding, trying to capture photographs whilst your sides are sore from laughing too much can be a tad difficult.
The First Dance
Once the speeches were done, the guests made their way back to the bar and beautiful gardens of the venue to continue the celebrations for an hour before nightfall moved everyone back inside. With their guests back in the room, it was time for the part of the day that all newlyweds and their guests look forward to, the cutting of the cake.
The cake was cut, the lights dimmed, and Lisa made her way onto the dance floor for the father-daughter dance. Even in the low light, you could see the pride and joy in her dad's eyes. With the dance over, it was the grooms turn to embrace his bride for their first dance as a married couple.
I stayed for a while after the partying started and captured more pictures of the evening, before grabbing a piece of wedding cake and making my way home.
Day Two Done
Like I mentioned at the start of this post, this is the second 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.
When I got home at around 10pm, I had convinced myself that I wasn't tired so I got straight into backing up the photos and then working through the edits. I think I got through ten or so photographs before I felt stopped myself face-planting my desk. Clearly, I was exhausted. This was my longest day of photography so far, 14 hours in total, and I was definitely feeling the effects of it. I was happily reminded by my wife that I could have a slight lay-in the following morning before heading to the third and final wedding of the weekend.
I was very happy with the photographs I captured during the day, as well as those captured by Katie. The couple were over the moon with them, as well as their bespoke memory box and wedding album. Once again, I was full of confidence for the wedding the following day.