It’s great to be back at it after a couple of weeks away from the office and there was no better way to hit the ground running than being part of such a wonderful wedding between to fab people of whom are close friends 🙂 I have known Sophie and the Williams family since I was a spotty teenager when I lived in Birmingham and even though I moved around due to work and family we still kept in touch for the most part, I was immensely honored to be asked to document the whole day!
So after an initial consultation (basically a good catch up in a pub) a year before their big day it was soon all happening and I found myself travelling down south from little Wigan. I had all of my equipment all packed up in the boot including overnight gear as I decided I wanted to ensure I arrived at the venue with no unforeseen issues. I charged my batteries and made room on my memory cards.
I woke up to a crisp, extremely sunny Saturday morning and from that moment I knew it was going to be a good day. There was not a cloud in sight and as I headed from one side of Birmingham to the other I found myself cruising nicely along a very peaceful M5 motorway. I only went a couple of junctions down near Bromsgrove area where I arrived at the stunning venue which was to hold the entire day’s events. Redhouse Barn was to conduct the Wedding ceremony, Wedding reception, Wedding breakfast and finally the evening’s celebrations. I turned up at around 8.30am with a strong black coffee in hand to begin the day and once I introduced myself to the Bridal party I captured some shots of the venue itself walking around the grounds. The morning was very relaxed as the girls had their hair and make-up done by Ruth whilst enjoying plenty of banter. After a couple of hours I began photographing all the smaller details including their Wedding bouquets which were arranged by Harriet Joseph before heading outside with both dresses to hang up around the grounds as it was so beautiful. Sophie’s Mum, Maxine arrived followed a little later by Sophie’s Brother, Jack. I hadn’t seen them both for quite a while but it was just like good old times and they hadn’t changed a bit 🙂 With the Ceremony soon approaching Sophie and Nicky who were getting ready together then separated to get dressed into their wedding dresses as they hadn’t seen each others wedding attire beforehand.
It was 1.45pm and I was getting myself prepared whilst all of the wedding guests were arriving and enjoying pre-drinks. I spoke with the registrars and finally waited as everyone took their seats. The Ceremony room was set out so both Brides were to exchange words to one another in the centre of the room. The Bridesmaids entered the room at the rear which is the main entrance to the room and after a short delay Sophie and Nicky along with their Brothers were walking towards each other and entering on both sides of the building and threw the large sliding windows. The Ceremony was beautiful with one reading made by Maxine and after vows were exchanged and rings were securely placed it was time for the newly weds to officially sign the register. Once photos were complete I waited at the entrance to the room where they were to walk past their family and friends as Wife & Wife and have a celebratory drink.
A VW Camper was waiting outside which was to become a prop for the couple to have their photos around which we managed to squeeze in before the formal group photos and the confetti photo. Once all done I left them to enjoy a little time with their guests whilst I captured photos of the Wedding breakfast room looking fab with very unique centre pieces. Time was flying and I was thinking further into the day and photos of them together outside especially with the daylight slowly shortening due to the time of the year. Thankfully we were pretty much on schedule and started with the wedding coordinators getting guests inside to take their seats around 4pm and ready for the arrival of the Brides which led into the Wedding breakfast.
The speeches were to begin after coffee was served and fizz was poured, first up was the Mother of the Bride, Maxine. Now traditionally it is the Father who offers words about his Daughter but Sophie and Jack’s Dad, John sadly passed away a couple of years ago so both Maxine and her Son, Jack offered loving words and funny stories on behalf of John. Sophie was to say a few things but mainly included thank you’s to everyone who could share her’s and Nicky’s big day. There was also other close family members who sadly couldn’t witness the happy occasion and one of those special people was Nicky’s Dad, Tom. Nicky’s Brother, Spencer shed a few tears but proudly stood up to offer words on behalf of their Dad. Finally Bridesmaid Julie made her way to the top table to pass on some hilarious items which touch base on how the newly weds met etc. All of the speeches were amazing which included mixed emotions of primarily absent family but everyone knew they would have been immensely proud!
The sun had set and I asked Sophie and Nicky to quickly head outside when they were ready so we can catch the remainder of the days light. The sky was something else, I have only seen it sooooo beautiful on a handful of occasions. The sky was on fire and so were the girls, even though they weren’t hugely photogenic they did great and seemed very relaxed. I could have spent ages walking around the venue’s grounds capturing the happy couple but unfortunately we only had around 15-20 minutes outside.
I had a short while of documenting guests enjoying themselves whilst supping on very fine brewed ale produced by the couple’s very good friend, Mark. Guests were finally invited back into the room which had been turned around for the evening and as I finished setting up my flash stands it was soon time for Sophie and Nicky to be announced onto the dance floor for firstly the cutting of the cake which was created by the very talented ‘Iceability’ and then their first dance as Mrs & Mrs Clark-Williams.
Now as the lyrics came on singing…”Now I’ve….had….the time of my life, No, I never felt like this before” you would think were heading into a gentle and heartfelt moment between two people but we were certainly in for a surprising treat as the DJ mixed into……The Macarena!!!! It was absolutely amazing and I just wanted to jump right on in there and join in but someone had to take the photos, haha! They were immediately joined by those who may have known about it prior but certainly there were folks like myself who just wanted to dance to a bit of quality 90’s cheese! This was
It was a memorable day and one which I will never forget! I truly hope Sophie, Nicky and their lovely family and friends had a superb time taking it all in and also capturing photos of such a happy occasion. They are away on Honeymoon which I’m sure they’ll thoroughly enjoy and I can’t wait for them both to see their sneak peek shots. I personally can’t wait to edit the remainder of the images but until then enjoy and take care 🙂