Before the Wedding

Waking up at 06:30 and being unable to get back to sleep, I decided to continue editing the photographs from yesterdays wedding. But, as the saying goes, there is no rest for the wicked (or in this instance, the tired idiot). I followed my usual morning routine; wake up, shower, brush my teeth, make a cup of tea and toast, apologise for waking up my wife and then proceeded to procrastinate for an hour before finally getting started on my editing.

After spending three hours culling through the pictures I didn't like, I decided to take a break for an hour before leaving to photograph my final wedding of the weekend. I was extremely grateful to Tracy and John as they only required me to do a half-day wedding, this usual means that I cover the bridal-prep, the ceremony and then capture photographs of the couples and their guests for an hour. Why was I grateful? Because I was beginning to realise that 3 weddings in a weekend was an energy sapping experience, both physically and mentally. Oh, and also because Tracy and John didn't want any bridal prep photographs so my day didn't start until a little later.

Driving to the venue, Voco Oxford Thames, I was so happy with how beautiful it was outside, blue skies with a few fluffy clouds floating by. Tracy and John had opted to get married underneath the riverside gazebo, so the fantastic weather meant that their dream wedding day setting was 99% guaranteed.

The Ceremony

After capturing photographs of the venue, guests arriving and the small details that were put into making their day special and unique to them, I headed back into the main courtyard waiting for Tracy and John to arrive arrive together in their wedding car, a Jaguar Royale. They both looked fantastic, Tracy's dress was gorgeous and John looked very dapper, perfectly complimented by the amazing choice in wedding car.

Tracy and John spent a little while greeting their guests and checking over the final details before the ceremony began. Once they'd spoken with the registrar and were ready for everything to start, everyone headed towards the gazebo.

This was probably the most challenging wedding ceremony I've ever had to capture, because underneath (inside?) the gazebo was covered in harsh shadow, whereas the guests were being lit by beautiful sunlight, leading to a rather strong contrast between them. Thankfully I had already anticipated this during my venue photographs and previous visits to the venue, so aside from a few tweaks here and there to my settings and in the edits, it went smoothly and the pictures came out beautiful.

Unknown to any of the guests, Tracy and John had arranged for a very unique surprise during the ceremony, an owl (courtesy of Apollo Falconry) flying the rings down the aisle! This is the only wedding I've captured where the couple have arranged for this and the reaction from the guests was incredible.

The Owls

Following the ceremony and a much needed glass of bubbly for the lovely couple, the guests mingled and had their photographs captured with the selection of birds as well as group shots. Tracy, John and myself then sneaked off to capture a few photographs of just them, as well as giving them a few moments alone together before their evening celebrations got underway.

My favourite thing about the couple photographs is how relaxed they both came across in front of the camera, despite airing their dislike of being photographed normally. After capturing a selection of pictures, the owls were introduced, adding to an already unique selection of photographs from their big day.

With all the photographs captured and food about to be served, it was almost time to head home. I packed up my gear, said my congratulations and goodbyes to the wonderful couple and headed home, happy with another successful wedding captured.

Day 3 Done!

By the end of this wedding, I was mentally and physically exhausted. It was certainly an amazing experience and a great way to test my skills and endurance, and to be fair I would definitely consider doing it again if the opportunity ever arose. It took me just over a week to get all of the wedding photographs from each wedding edited and delivered to the couples, followed by and albums and memory boxes that they had ordered through me.

This was the final part of my "Three Weddings in a Weekend" series of blog posts, following my first experience of a hectic weekend photographing a wedding each day. A special thanks to each of my wonderful couples for allowing me to capture their big days and eat lots of cake!