An English, a Welsh and a Scots wedding…
Not the start of a bad joke, simply a description of my July. A reminder though of how every wedding I shoot ends up being unique in some way. City, village, countryside… Quaker, Anglican, Civil… Posed, Reportage, Contemporary… Band, Disco, Ceilidh… definitely avoiding falling into the trap of treating all jobs as the same, as is always the danger with some schools of wedding photography.
First up was Emma and Gregory in Edinburgh. Emma and Gregory’s was an interesting one in
that they had two ceremonies. The first was a very low-key Quaker meeting in their local
meeting house before the official ceremony, a much grander Church of Scotland one. They asked for no photography at all during the actual ceremonies and so instead the start of the day was their
reception venue at the Mansfield Traquair… and what a venue! While I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “The Sistine Chapel of Edinburgh” as the bumf goes, this recently renovated old church is a staggering and vast space, covered with some truly remarkable murals. It also has a shockingly high minstrel’s gallery which is where I spent many of the quiet moments of the evening clutching white-knuckled to a single bar of scaffolding while trying to do some justice to what was going on below.
And, what better way to finish a Scottish wedding than the timeless
tradition of a Ceilidh. With a wedding party that was mostly English and French, there were always bound to be a bit of confusion with some of the dances, but they didn’t do at all badly and I managed to get some pretty good picture from it too.
Straight after that came Paul and Elen in the Brecon Beacons. The reception was in a Georgian spa with a splendid view out of the rear balconies down a steep river valley. I made the drive across to Wales the day beforehand to get a proper look round the venues and get myself fully prepared. It really makes a difference to wake up right in the place where a wedding takes place instead of needing to catch an early morning train.
Despite the usual protestations of being unphotogenic, Paul and Elen were a dream to shoot and very keen to take some time out from the bustle of the day to make sure they had some really stunning portraits. One of their requests was to get photos which captured the scenery and we were able to use a disused coach-house on the main road to the reception to get some great vistas down the valley. They were also certainly not going to let a little thing like a stile after rainy weather get in the way of some good pics.
Finally, Harvey and Sarah were married in the village church a few hundred yards from their newly rennovated house and garden in Essex which iswhere their reception took place. When I visited them a month earlier everything was still in chaos but on the day you could see the love and
hard work which had gone into making both their wedding venue and their home. The day was almost completely reportage owing to a distinct aversion to cameras from both bride and groom, but I think I managed to catch the spirit of the day while letting both Harvey and Sarah enjoy themselves.
Got a short trip away next week but back again for the tail end of the season in September.