I’m not supposed to have favourites but I’m going to come right out and say it. I loved this wedding. And that shot is probably my favourite wedding picture of the year. One shot, one chance. Just like 90% of what I do…..
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I’ve wanted to work at Westenhanger Castle since the day I moved to Kent. It’s such a beautiful venue with a chilled feeling about everything that I was overjoyed when Victoria and Ashley asked me to photograph their wedding there. And what a wedding! There are quite a few pictures to get through and I had a hard job pruning it to this number.
Here’s flower girl Ella very carefully getting Victoria’s veil ready for her.
Which is, to be honest, quite a nice veil. But wait until you see the dress. Karen and Rosie have just reached it down from the incredibly high peg it had to hang on and are carefully spreading it on the bed. It’s a gorgeous gown by Maggie Sottero in Bordeaux taffeta called Hampton. But most people who saw it just called it “wow”.
Speaking of “wow”……
And how’s this for a gorgeous idea for flowers? A beautiful posy of pink and white roses – and one yellow one from Victoria’s grandmother’s garden to remind her of absent friends on her wedding day. Beautiful.
And then it was time for a few last minute checks before dashing off to the church almost on time.
A quick sprint down to Brabourne and I found the ushers outside the church and managed to tick another shot off Tor’s list.
I’d been briefed on how to find the right church (Brabourne has two!). Good thing I got the right order of service too…
Inside, Ashley was sitting patiently waiting. And looking just the tiniest bit nervous.
And then just a few minutes later he got his first glimpse of his beautiful bride. For a moment he couldn’t even look any more.
And he wasn’t the only one. That’s one proud father looking on as his son gets married.
Let’s fast forward through the wedding (there’s a LOT to get through). One of the tricky bits of the day for a wedding photographer is the exit from the church. Not only are you walking backwards with plenty of trip hazards but on a day like Saturday it goes from pitch dark to glorious sunshine in a couple of seconds. There’s a bigger risk for brides though – that gorgeous veil we started with catches every gust of wind!
Fortunately Pip was on hand to handle the flowers while everybody threw confetti everywhere.
Now summer appears to have been a little late here in Kent. Or as some people would have it non existent. I’ve been waiting all July for a gorgeous photo shoot in a field of corn. It never happened. But we made up for it in August. As we came out of the church, I mentioned that there was a field of wheat just 200 yards away – though of course we’d need to be a little careful in case it got trampled. “No problem, we know the farmer” said Tor. And we dashed off to a golden field.
Then we were back in the vintage Rolls to get back to the castle where Victoria wanted a picture with her two “maids of dishonour”. (Seriously, you should have heard these guys – I reckon the castle walls were blushing….)
Now the food at Westenhanger is fantastic (seriously among the best I’ve tasted at a wedding) and Victoria and Ashley chose lobster and steak for their guests. So I’ll probably get in trouble with the chef if I call it fast food. But the waiting staff don’t hang about either.
After dinner, there were a few minutes to, you know, run around the castle grounds. In a gorgeous wedding gown. With plenty of helpers.
And then everybody had to take their places for the speeches. Flower girl Ella May’s place was pretty easy to spot….
Now, I really can’t tell you what Ian said to me when he realised I’d got a sneak preview of his father of the bride speech…..
And then all too soon it was time for Beauty and the Beast on the dance floor. That was their song by the way. Sadly not sung by a singing tea pot.
Don’t even ask where Victoria and Ashley have gone on honeymoon. You will be so jealous. But they will be back soon and there will be loads more pictures! (We didn’t even talk about the magical rainbow yet…). And they will be able to see your comments here wherever they are so please leave your thoughts below.
Oh yes, did you seriously think I’d leave with out one last night portrait?
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