The build up to this weekend has been exciting! My first documentation of a wedding within the quirky setting of a Tipi…yes you heard that right! It all began as Paul and Jenny wished for me to start with photographing the wedding ceremony at St Andrews C of E in Longton. I arrived nice and early so I could get some shots of the exterior and interior of the stunning church whilst getting ready to document the arrival of the wedding guests. Paul arrived with his Best Man Joe and I briefly spoke with him regarding the formal groups that we were to conduct later after the service, other than that he was smiling away and welcoming friends and family.
The Bridal party were early as the Bridesmaids were excitedly waiting inside and Jenny and her Dad were enjoying some time together as the Vicar wanted to make sure that everyone had arrived for the 1pm service. The time eventually came with Paul at the front of the aisle and Jenny making her way up the path and inside the church. It was lovely to see Jenny and her Dad smiling away as they slowly made their way to the alter.
It was a very enjoyable service which included a few hymns, prayers, a reading from a close friend and once rings were exchanged it was onto the official part of the service, the signing of the register! Congratulations were in order and after the formalities of the photos I placed myself near the entrance/exit of the church where the newly weds were to make their way hand-in-hand past their family and friends. We didn’t exit straight away as the decision to do the formal group shots inside was made after talking it through with the happy couple. I gathered who I needed and the process begun, although we didn’t take too long and soon we were off up to the Reception venue for afternoon celebrations!
As the weather was a little off I had this time before the wedding breakfast to concentrate on capturing those natural shots of folks enjoying themselves…drinking, laughing and playing games before everyone was invited to take their seats from a member of the wedding party, food was brought out and enjoyed. Paul and Jenny were on a table which I believe is called the ‘sweetheart’ table where they enjoyed time alone and looked to really enjoy themselves.
After some time, plates were removed and glasses were topped up with fizz ready for the beginning of the speeches. To begin with, the Father of the Bride. To follow was Joe, Paul’s Best man and finally the main man himself, Paul who offered thanks to those who had traveled from all corners of the planet!
My pre-planned weather report had told me that the conditions were to calm down and eventually clear after the wedding breakfast (which they did) and so this time was taken for those more intimate shots of the new Mr & Mrs Gratton outside and around the venue’s grounds. I loved their energy during this time and how natural they were once they became comfortable with the presence of a camera. I do appreciate it can be very unusual and uncomfortable for most because let’s face it…it’s not everyday we have our picture taken but I do believe that it is the person behind the camera who should create a relaxed and fun vibe which in turn produces the images that reflect positive energy…They were fantastic!
The evening soon came and so did the preparations for the final formality of the day…the cutting of the cake and first dance. This is usually done in conjunction with one another, where the cutting of the wedding cake brings folks up and onto the dance floor where they create a circle around the happy couple, they are then led into the First dance. It was beautiful but to follow was some absolute ‘bangers’ with tunes that had most guests really going all out swinging those hips and waving those arms.
It was such a memorable day and I hope Paul and Jenny along with their family and friends also had an amazing day! I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding photographs and I wish them a blast as they head over to Italy for their Honeymoon. Please enjoy these sneak peek shots from the day…