An Intimate London Ceremony

A couple of summers ago I was both guest and photographer at the wonderful wedding of Nick and Pip in Somerset and had the pleasure of sitting on a table with both a friend Lisha and also newly engaged couple Charlie and Tetyana.  Now, Lisha is one of my biggest supporters, for which I am eternally grateful!  I've covered a number of weddings recently on the back of her glowing reference and she didn't hesitate in recommending me to Charlie and Tetyana there and then.  Following the wedding I picked out this sweet moment between them from the wedding: 2012-06-11_001

Disappointingly I was already booked for their full wedding in the Ukraine this month but I was able to join them for the more intimate ceremony at the absolutely stunning Temple Church in central London (which is featured in The Da Vinci Code); one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London.

The warden closed off the church to the visitors and there was an incredible sense of calm and quiet anticipation in this vast space as Charlie waited at the end of the intimidatingly long aisle.  There was pure joy in their faces and it was very emotional to have been a part of such a wonderful occasion.  And Charlie and Tetyana were the perfect couple to photograph after the ceremony; so happy, easy and relaxed with one another.

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Sophie & Tim's Wedding at Dillington House

Sophie has quite a talent for under promising and over delivering.  At our first meeting (see engagement shoot here) she talked me through the details of the wedding venue and whilst it sounded lovely she described it as a conference/education centre and so I was overwhelmed when I arrived.  It helped that it was a glorious day, but Dillington House has fabulous grounds and has the grandeur you would expect of the former Somerset home of George III's Prime Minister, Lord North. They had also told me about the fancy dress element so I was intrigued as to how that would play out but this has to have been one of the most highly detailed and well planned out weddings I've attended.  Sophie and Tim's attention to the finest detail was impressive.  Each table, spread across 4 different rooms within the house, had it's own theme including The Great Gatsby, Royalty, Birds and the Bees and Fairy Tales and every guest had come prepared to dress up after the ceremony according to their table.

After the humanist ceremony in the barn all guests went off to change and reassembled at the back of the house for lawn games with the bride and groom making a grand entrance as a Bumblebee and White Peackcock - looking absolutely fabulous.  I was so impressed at the effort everyone made to fully embrace the dress code and it made for a wonderful spectacle.

(Engagement photos from Columbia Road Flower Market here).


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37 years of marriage and counting...

It was my dear parent's 37th anniversary a couple of days ago.  The traditional gift for this number of years of marriage is alabaster, a white gemstone. I was at their house and so asked to see their wedding album again and mum and I were marvelling at the changes in the industry.  Back in those days a photographer whom you had never met before would turn up for the ceremony.  Capture the signing of the register, the walk down the aisle and then a handful of family and couple line ups.  They would be there for no more than an hour or two.  Here are a few images of my beautiful parents looking rather amazingly young!

The church was in a little village in Somerset and was a typical Royal Naval wedding with  Dad's colleagues forming a sword arch to honour them as they came out of the church and 3 Wessex helicopters did a fly-by back at the reception at Yeovilton Air Station.  They headed off for a road trip around Europe for their honeymoon.


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When I think about the wonderful relationship I am able to develop with my couples I think that this very much reflects in the intimacy of the images I am able to capture.  By the time of the wedding I have had one or maybe two pre-wedding meetings to discuss the couples details and requirements, a pre-wedding shoot so that the couple are comfortable in front of the camera and then I will be with my bride from the preparations on the day right through to the first dance.

My couple will receive at least 500 images in colour and black and white both in an online gallery that can be shared with friends and family but also on a disc to keep and print images as they wish.

Portraits are about capturing subtle emotions between the couple, moments of love and laughter, and of course plenty of portraits of all the friends and family so that when the images are looked through the story is told from the start of the day to the end of the day with all the little moments that the bride and groom may have missed.  The expressions of their family as the bride walks down the aisle... the laughter of guests at a table, the delight of a confetti throw.  Every couple gasp at how quickly the day has flown by when I say goodbye at the end of the evening.  A set of images that allows them to relive the day over and over is priceless.

But back to my parents... I love them so much and thank them from the bottom of my heart for always encouraging me to follow my dreams and for never doubting my abilities and potential when I decided to become a photographer; for giving me the tools of independence and strong work ethic to be able to follow through on this wonderful journey.




Rosie and Brad's Somerset Wedding

Rosie and I have been friends from when we were about 13 and I arrived at her school in the middle of the second year.  Everyone else had already found their friends and I was all gangly and shy and awkward.  She took me under her wing and became my best friend.  We both ended up going to university in York; she to study philosophy, politics and economics and me to study english and history of art.  In the first year we lived together, partied together and rowed together - getting up at the crack of dawn to hit the river. We've always stayed in touch but our lives took very different directions as we got older.  Whilst I headed for London for a somewhat frivolous career in marketing and events, travelling around the world putting on parties and encouraging people to drink more of my client's brands, she took a more serious direction into the RAF and our meetings became less.

But she has always been a true friend and it made me so happy to be able to photograph her wedding to Brad (whom she met in the RAF eight years ago) as they were married in Somerset at St Peter's Church, between their new home in Pylle and her family home in Barton.  The sword party as they exited the church was pretty exciting - I've not photographed one before - the men were super handsome in their uniforms.

The reception was back at their home - a newly extended farm cottage with a field for her horse, and chickens in the garden.  The marquee was beautifully decked out and the surprise show was Morris Dancers (very west country!) who entertained the guests who had to huddle in the marquee away from the rather extreme winds and then torrential rain than let loose after the ceremony.

I was rather lucky to have my partner Christian second shooting with me for part of the day - we've recently started doing more work together and it's really quite exciting to see how complementary our styles are....


Flowers by Mundy's Florist

See the full link to the gallery here.  Password is Brad's surname.

Nick + Pip's West Country Wedding

It gets a little difficult to take pictures when you are wiping an emotional tear or two away but that's what I've undertaken the past few weekends when a couple of dear friends have finally tied the knot (although not to each other...). I met Nick about 6 years ago and have many happy memories that this blog doesn't have room (or licence) for.  I was so excited that he asked me to photograph the wedding - I hadn't even met his fiancé at this point as it had all been a rather whirlwind affair starting on the dance floors of the London Scottish reeling clubs.  I was utterly charmed when I met Pip - she lights up the room with a smile that seems unending.  And that smile, along with Nick's stayed firmly put from the moment I arrived at her mother's house in Tisbury to the final twirls on the dance floor back at Nick's beautiful family home at Milton on Stour.

The ceremony took place at the spectacular Palladian style New Wardour Castle which discretely houses a rather grand and cavernous Roman Catholic chapel.

After the ceremony the guests went on ahead Nick and Pip had some time together with me for photos and then a leisurely drive back to the house, after a quick champagne stop, where the guests were waiting for the car to pull in and shower them with confetti.  With the sun out everyone was able to mingle on the lawn over champagne and canapés for a couple of hours before heading into the marquee as the sun dropped.  The speeches were, and I know I am biased but, nothing short of excellent.  Heartfelt, honest, funny and utterly endearing.  Cue more tears...

The full album of images with all the guest pictures are here.  The password is Mason.

I can't wait to see the new Mr and Mrs Mason back in London very soon xxx