And so the list goes on. It's already strange looking back at some of these weddings as many of them I could have sworn took place a lot more recently! In a way, I take that as a good sign - it means that I already felt quite comfortable shooting weddings even after shooting so few!
I first met Sarah when I was studying for my PhD in Dublin (which I never did finish - but that’s another story!). I felt really honoured to have been asked to photograph her wedding to Kevin, especially because I had never even been to an Irish wedding before.
I don't think it's something you would be able to do in the UK but Sarah and Kevin were able to personalise their bridal car (an Austin Cambridge) with their names. The cars for the Bridesmaids and the Groomsmen were also similarly kitted out!
This marked my first international wedding and it was really interesting to see how it differed from the weddings I had photographed so far. It was BIG for one - with at least 200 guests it is easily one of the largest weddings I have photographed. The ceremony also included Mass, which meant that it was also one of the longest ceremonies I had been involved with. Also, in contrast to almost all of the weddings I photograph, discretion didn't seem to be required by the photographer and videographer. I was a little taken aback when I watched the videographer approach and then shoot the vows and exchange of the rings from what seemed like mere inches away from the Bride and Groom. The priest had no problem with either of us getting in close and then wandering around the church and across the altar throughout the ceremony.
Fay and Rob were one of the first couples to book me that hadn’t know me already. In fact, they may have been the very first! I can vividly remember arranging to meet them for the first time at their venue and being worried and anxious about how they would recognise me (and me, them). They were married at Tracy Park Hotel on the outskirts of Bath just before Christmas.
Despite both the ceremony and the reception taking place at Tracy Park, Fay and Rob had decided to make the most of the bridal car and head off for a bit of a drive immediately after the ceremony. This may very well be the first ever time I managed to clamber inside a wedding car to get a shot of the couple in the back seat and I'm glad I did. It definitely helps to tell the story of the day and captures the Bride and Groom during one of their happiest moments.
As this was one of my first ever winter weddings, there were a number of considerations that had to be taken into account. An early sunset and the cold (and potentially wet) weather meant that I was battling low light conditions all day. Luckily, the lack of natural light was made up for by lots of candles, fairy lights and even Christmas tree lights!
Jo and Craig were married at the picturesque village church in Heddington followed by their reception at the amazing Grittleton House. Still feeling like I was relatively new to this wedding photography lark, I was quietly amazed that Jo and Craig had trusted me to capture their special day. Grittleton House itself is grand enough to make most wedding photographers take a step back and say "wow"!
Oh my goodness - the church, the venue, the dress, that window! I was spoilt for choice with regard to the photos to choose (so much so, II may have to go back and re-blog this entire wedding so that I have an excuse to re-live it all over again!). Having restricted myself to just one photo, I have chosen this one, taken in front of the amazing window on the grand staircase. I really want to go back and photograph more weddings here in the future.
I’m actually booked in to exhibit at Grittleton's next wedding fayre at the end of the year which I am SO excited about!
Wedding number 14 actually saw me photographing my own Mums wedding which was, admittedly, a little surreal! At the time, Mum and Dave were living up in Shropshire which is where the wedding took place.
Another confetti shot -initially we weren’t,t going to do a confetti photo but a few of their grandchildren had brought it along especially and so after the wedding breakfast we stepped outside so that they could have a bit of fun. I’m not sure how much Mum and Dave enjoyed it but the kids certainly had a good time!
Not being married myself, this wedding gave me the opportunity to peek behind-the-scenes a little more than normal. I ended up turning my hand to a little bit of wedding planning to ensure the reception was set out correctly (essentially the venue had messed up and I had to request for it to be moved around and oversee to ensure it was correct - I still don't know if Mum and Dave realised that had happened!). I was also required to sneakily rearrange a few things in the run up to the day as we were expecting surprise guests to turn up from America.
For Sarah and David’s wedding I found myself back out at Bath Guildhall. It was a bit of a surreal experience - they had called and booked me and I had offered to meet up with them to go over all of the details. However, as they only wanted photos of the very intimate ceremony (plus a few formals afterwards) then they had declined. That meant that I found myself in the position of arriving at the wedding not knowing what either the Bride or the Groom looked like! Not that it really mattered - it was a lovely relaxed and intimate ceremony after which we wandered through the streets of Bath down to the Parade Gardens where I left them to head off for their celebrations.
During this wedding I took two portraits in front of iconic doorways. I chose this one over the one in front of Bath Abbey simply because I like it better! The one in front of the Abbey includes the large doors but fails to do the Abbey justice - for that, you really need a wide angle lens and a lack of tourists!
Special mention needs to be made of these two, Kirsty, one of David’s daughters and Owen, her boyfriend, as they crop up later on in the countdown!
Missed part 2 of this blog series? Find it here. Part 4 will be available next week.