Barmbyfield Barns Wedding Photography – Cat & Ali Pt.2

So the wedding of a thousand speeches continued along the same lines during the wedding breakfast. As well as the bride, father of the bride and the groom (who managed a 50 minute speech himself!) we had a toast from one of the groom’s uncles, complete with Finnish vodka on dry ice. Then it was the turn of the maid of honour, bloke of honour (or chief bridesbloke?), best woman and finally the best man! I know!!

Joking aside, it made such a pleasant change for the wedding to be filled with genuinely great stories from the friends and family of the couple rather than the ramblings of a registrar or vicar that the couple barely know. Or the same readings that I hear week in, week out. I love it when a couple make it personal and treat their wedding day as a celebration of the events and people that have made them what they are.

The guests had brought their own booze, which resulted in a lot of shot-downing. This resulted in a full and bouncing dance floor overseen by yet another friend on the decks. The perfect end to a fantastic day.

Click here for Pt.1

Barmbyfield Barns Wedding Photography – Cat & Ali Pt.1

Cat & Ali’s DIY wedding at Barmbyfield Barns in Yorkshire holds the title of my first ever wedding ceremony without a celebrant of any kind. A week or so after their legal ceremony at Lambeth Town Hall they chose to have a ceremony conducted by their family and friends, so we had four speeches from the bridesmaids and another four from the grooms people. These were followed by some emotional vows, a sing-song and the cutting of the cake (made by the maid of honour).

After the ceremony everybody gathered outside for drinks and a piece of the aforementioned cake. Back in the barn a group of guests got stuck in with rejigging tables and chairs before the guests returned for the food and speech marathon that awaited. Click here for Pt.2!

Humanist Wedding Photography in Shropshire – Holly and Rich

The arrival of September brought with it some of my favourite weddings of the year. Holly and Rich’s big day combined a number of my favourite features of a wedding. The venue was a field adjoining Holly’s parents’ house, there was a Humanist ceremony, the couple had taken a completely DIY approach to everything, there were fireworks, and Rich is a big heavy metal fan. The stars truly aligned!

As guests deposited their contributions to the cake table, and set up their tents to the side of the house, inside the wedding party were preparing hair and make-up, and making headwear. In the garage some friends were putting together the wedding cake and decorating it with flowers picked from the garden. In the camper van that had been his and Holly’s home for the last few months (as they travelled around Europe) Rich was writing his speech, only emerging to give the freshly constructed ceremony stage a sweep.

Soon it was time for the ceremony, and like all Humanist ceremonies it was carefully crafted and very personal. I (and the guests) always enjoy these ceremonies immensely, and hopefully if current machinations in parliament are successful they’ll get the same legal status that they have in Scotland. After a brief detour to the bottom of the field with the congregation in tow we all headed to the garden for drinks, etc. then it was time for food, speeches, cocktails and a bit of football.

As darkness fell there was a bonfire for a bit of warmth, before the dance floor opened and the shape-throwing commenced. Holly and her sister took to the decks (well, the iPad) for a short set before my night ended with a splendid fireworks display, courtesy of Holly’s dad of course.

Yorkshire Wedding Photography – Lizzie and Roly

About 15 hours after taking my last image at Kirstie and Jon’s wedding in mid-Kent, I took my first image of Lizzie’s preparations for her marriage to Roly in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Yet another of those days that had rain forecast, but which never materialised. Had a few of those this year!

Once ready we all headed to the nearby village of Nidd, home to Roly’s parents and the location of St Paul & St Margaret’s Church where the ceremony was held. Turns out Roly is a bit of a singer, with his voice heard loud and clear during the hymns, and with him leading a small choir of ushers for the final singalong.

Whilst the happy couple went for a drive around in their vintage car, everybody else walked and drove down the road to Roly’s parents’ house for the reception. There was a (very popular this year) naked wedding cake courtesy of the mother of the groom, a bit of croquet, a few family groups and some bubbles (champagne and soapy). After the meal the kids dressed as super heroes, the adults drank shots of limoncello, and after the speeches we were treated to Roly serenading Lizzie on the dance floor before they officially opened what turned out to be one of the livelier dance floors of the year.

Castle Combe Wedding Photography – Lucy and Erik

If this wedding seems familiar, that’s because Lucy and Erik saw how successful Lucy’s older sister Annabel’s wedding in 2011 was (flashback here) and recreated it! So it was back to Britain’s prettiest village, Castle Combe in Wiltshire, for preps at the Manor House Hotel, a ceremony at St. Andrew’s Church, afternoon tea in Lucy’s parents’ garden and finally a reception in the field next door.

One noticeable difference were the blue and yellow flowers and the blue and yellow decorations all around the marquee to recognise the Swedish contingent (the groom and his family). Plus, Lucy and Erik’s wedding took place the day before my son Eric’s birthday, which was an interesting coincidence!

Essex Wedding Photography – Marcelle and Lukas

After photographing their very glamorous engagement party on the walkways above Tower Bridge, I was expecting similar glamour at Marcelle and Lukas’ wedding at the family home in Essex. It goes without saying that I wasn’t disappointed, from the Vera Wang dress and Louboutin shoes, to the convoy of Rolls Royce cars and the largest marquee I’ve seen in a long while. Plus, some not so glamorous shoes owned by the groom that ended up in the lake.

Lyndon Top Wedding Photography – Sally and Paul

The first of two-in-a-row at Rutland Water for me, and Sally and Paul had chosen a campsite on the south shore with some amazing views, helped by weather that just got better and better as the day went on. The ceremony at All Saints Church in Stamford got proceedings underway, and with a lap of honour around the church completed the party really got going at Lyndon Top Campsite.

Yorkshire Wedding Photography – Miranda and Jonathan

As my great record for sunny September Saturdays rolled on, I found myself in the village of Bolton Percy near York for Miranda & Jonathan’s wedding. They were the proud owners (well, for a week anyway) of the first Tentipi I’ve seen for many a year, and they’d plonked it in Miranda’s parents’ garden for a good ol’ DIY wedding.

Miranda arrived at All Saints Church for the ceremony in an old Morris Minor, and after some confetti throwing (during which Jonathan was very nearly punched in the head by his own mother) everyone headed back to the house for drinks and nibbles. Before taking their seats in the tent the guests got a second bite of the confetti cherry, and Jonathan’s mother got a second swipe!

Speeches led on to the meal, and before we knew it it was getting dark. Despite my encouragement the happy couple were determined they would not do a first dance, but then surprised everyone by doing one anyway, prompting a dance floor invasion.

Essex Wedding Photography – Kate and Tom

What’s a wedding without a wedding ceremony? Well I found out at Kate & Tom’s wedding celebration. (The answer is all the fun of a wedding without the stressful bit!) The happy couple wanted to have their big day on Kate’s parents’ farm in Helions Bumpstead in Essex, so they did the legal bit near their home at Islington Town Hall in London (see my friend Julie’s blog for that) and then got all their family and friends to hang out on the farm and let their hair down.

Kate is the sister of fellow wedding photographer Tom Catchesides and work colleague of his other half, family and children’s photographer Helen Bartlett, so it was like being amongst friends for most of the day. There was a real garden party atmosphere, with tents and a hog roast, and cake. So much cake.

Speeches were funny, emotional and ended with a Take That tribute by the best man and two willing assistants. Arms in the air! NEEEEEEEEVVVVVER….

Watford Wedding Photography – Alex and Sam

Another DIY wedding, and Alex and Sam even had their ceremony at Alex’s mum’s house! Not the legal ceremony obviously. That happened at the register office during the week, but they just had two friends as witnesses so that their home ceremony felt like the real thing.

Alex is a graphic designer, and that was quickly apparent from the incredible attention to detail that had gone into all of the different bits and bobs at the wedding. Little tags, signs, posters, personalised napkins, etc. etc. She was also very particular about the balloons used in the garden quickly removing some stray heart-shaped ones that appeared!

Other highlights of the day included gospel singers, emotional speeches, a post-dinner raffle, a window into their lives on a cake, ice cream for all, a magician, a smoke machine (yay!) and even a costume change.

Devon Wedding Photography – Rowena and Mark

With extra holidays for the Diamond Jubilee, the first week of June was always going to be busy. I was facing five weddings in nine days, all as different as the next.

First up was Row and Mark’s DIY wedding at Row’s family home in Devon. I’ve done a lot of DIY weddings in my time, but this is the first one I’ve seen with no caterers. Row’s mum even found time to make the wedding dress. The family pulled together in grand style to host one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever attended.

I could waffle on forever about what was involved, but it might be easier to write a list: hair flowers from the garden, ceremony at St Petroc’s in Lydford, Mark’s hand-built Mustang as the wedding car, afternoon tea, rain, dogs running amok, marquee repairs, rain, Gran’s wedding cake, cake-cutting by sword, cross-dressing guests, rain, one of the family pigs on the hog roast, bubbles, polaroids, rain, fire, smoke-machine (yay!) and more fire. And some more rain. And NO group shots.

If Carlsberg made weddings…

Hambleden Buckinghamshire Wedding Photography – Lucy and Evan

This wedding featured what is fast becoming my annual boat trip on the river Thames. Lucy had been a bridesmaid at Sarah & Morgan’s wedding just down the road near Henley in 2009, and it was good to be working with familiar faces.

Following preparations (and great bacon sandwiches) at Lucy’s parents’ home we all headed into the nearby village of Hambleden to meet up with Evan and his kilted ushers (Welsh ones these, kilt fans) at St Mary the Virgin church. Time for some mingling and a spot of confetti throwing, then everyone followed the bride and groom to a secret location where the surprise mode of transport awaited.

An hour or so floating up and down the river came to an end at the mooring at the end of Lucy’s parents’ garden. It had been cleaned of silt from years of flooding and was looking very grand for the occasion. Time for another drink or two, then it was into the marquee for the usual meal, speeches and haka. Yes, big rugby fans these Welsh folk.

You can see more of this wedding in my new galleries!

Castle Combe Wedding Photography – Annabel and Tristam

Annabel and Tristam chose the chocolate box village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire as the location for their wedding. Of course it helped that Annabel’s parents live there and had access to a large field behind their house for the marquee!

After getting ready at the Manor House Hotel the bride and her bridesmaids walked over to St Andrew’s Church for the ceremony. After the marriage they collected their young daughter from the babysitters on the front row, and headed outside for meeting and greeting. Then they jumped in their car for the short drive up the hill to the reception.

Afternoon tea was followed by a wander over to the marquee for the wedding breakfast, a full set of speeches and then some crazy dancing complete with dressing up!

Wiltshire Wedding Photography – Lois and Peter

From a local wedding, to one miles and miles away! After spending many months landscaping the huge garden at their home near Salisbury, Lois and Peter (yes ‘Family Guy’ fans, Lois and Peter!) were ready to host their own wedding reception.

Lois got ready with her sisters at The White Horse hotel in Romsey before heading to St. Mary’s Church in their home village of West Dean. The female vicar not only let me take photos of the ceremony, but let me perch in the pulpit! Regular readers will be aware that female vicars tend to be the wedding photographer’s nemesis, so a welcome surprise this one.

After the ceremony it was a short walk up the hill to Lois and Peter’s home, where guests were entertained by a string quartet and a magician. Then everyone took their seats in the marquee after finding their name on the first bunting tableplan I’ve seen!

Woodbridge Suffolk Wedding Photography – Andi and Sam

It’s been a while since I posted (again) so there’s some catching up to do (again).

Andi & Sam joined a growing list of my couples who were married by one of their parents, as Sam’s dad is the vicar at St. Johns Church in Woodbridge. After the very personal and emotional ceremony everyone headed to the house of a family friend (a house that happens to have a few acres of gardens!) for afternoon tea, boules and bouncing.

After the longest receiving line I’ve ever seen, everyone enjoyed a BBQ wedding breakfast followed by speeches, before a band made up of the couple’s friends provided the music for a very full dance floor.