It was a wonderful Summer wedding at the Doubletree by Hilton in Chester despite the occasional downpour, but that is British summertime weather. Did not have a chance to meet the couple before hand as they both worked overseas.
Glamour seems a good word for the day, a quality of someone or something that causes excitement and admiration because of its style or attractive appearance. There was definitely excitement and admiration for the bride and groom who carried of the wedding with style and looked great. The bride was demour and shy. and I had to coax her to have a portrait done.
Seven bridesmaids made a statement on my arrival and that this was going to be big and glamorous. The bride had given each a memory box of images and gifts which made a great picture. I never press for pictures, there is a lot of getting ready and if it happens it happens. They are clearly all a team although the bridesmaid on the right is giving that cheeky wink!
Watching the bridal preparations was a challenge with so many getting hair, makeup and dressed! Men usually have an easier time as and the seven groomsmen made sure the groom was in the right place at the right time. these men wee relaxed and enjoying the day supporting in hansome fashion the groom.
And then back to the more serious stuff of what it means to get married. The bride was self-assured despite her declared shyness clearly had the whole ceremony situation well under control. There were clearly some appreciative eyes among the women in the walking up the aisle shot, fabulous bride in a fabulous dress.
Love those fairy lights at the Doubletree, and the added blossom mad for a busy background for the ceremony photographs. This is a special moment when rings are exchanged and capturing the exact moment is important.
Oona Linnett, harpist, was there to create a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere as people arrived and for key moments of the ceremony whether it was the bride walking down the aisle, or for the signing of the register.
The weather kept us inside to begin with enjoying that first drink, helping everyone to relax. I usually don’t go into group shots straightaway giving people that fist few minutes to relax, I just reportage the hugging and the smiling and the congratulating.
However there came a break so we did the group shots, confetti and bouquet throw before then organising a set of newlywed portraits. I like to get up high if I can and catch more faces. Also doing a walk down for the confetti shot means I can take a series of images and again more people are in the picture. Once the walk is over I stop the bride and groom and gather everyone around for a confetti shot while the newlyweds kiss, adding value.
Always like the bouquet throw, bit of silliness but another chance to celebrate! It is a bit of a cliché but done well it gets lots of people involved in a relaxed and fun moment. Just notices that one gentleman in the background of this picture. There are no rules so why shouldn’t he get involved!
And then down to some serious bridal photography and considering the bride was shy and didn’t think she would look good in any images she was a natural when it came to some simple posing. I don’t like to overdo the poses, there is not time, and when couples specifically ask not to e posed I concentrate on encouraging good posture and for them to hold each other as they normally do. This couple clearly wanted some relaxed images of themselves on their wedding day and i most the most of the minutes i had to get shots I liked and thought worthy of blogging!
I had to include the groom so we went down to the lake but the slipway wasn’t open so we stuck to the trees which gave us some shelter from the inclement weather, love trees! they werte happy to talk and make each other laugh and smile and I did my bets to capture the moment without interfering too much. it is often a matter of working on the posture and letting the emotions and thought about the day come through.
I always do some wide angle as well as closeup. Context in one and intimacy in the other. i think the couple were relaxing here and I had just about got the atmosphere right for the newlywed portrait session. You often only have minutes withe the bride and groom so getting that ‘keeper shot’ of them can be a pressure moment. these two made it easy though.
Doubletree work hard to turn the ceremony room around for the wedding breakfast adding candles and uplighting for a glamorous effect. There are those fairy-lights again. I remember as a child being mesmerised by them when we went to seaside. Low light photography brings out the atmosphere and the detail of candles, place settings and seating can be brought out still.
Then onto the receiving line for more hugs and kissing. After which it is a candlelit meal and speeches! Not everyone does a receiving line, some allow their guests to be seated and then make an entrance. Receiving lines do slow the proceedings down but it’s all in the planning, no-one needs to have to wait for their meal then.
Good to see everyone feels it is possible now to give a speech. Usually done at the end of the meal I always suggest doing them first so that once done the food and drink can be properly enjoyed without anxiety about speaking. Speech timings should be when the bride and groom want them and the venue should accommodate as long as it has plenty of warning and is part of the planning.
The reaction to speeches is as important to photograph as the people giving them, This is particularly so with the bride and in this case it was mum saying things that brought out the handkerchief. Catching moments like this is very important for the bride and groom who remember what they were thinking when the tears were flowing.
Generally speeches go off without a hitch and as long as someone has not tried to be too clever or rude everyone can enjoy them and laugh along and toast the happy couple. I have heard a number now and as long as they are not too long and avoid being to obvious and detailed they usually go down well. My advice, especially to grooms, is to remember that everyone in the room is there to have a good time and to celebrate you getting married and everyone wants to hear that you love your new partner in life.
It is often with the photographer that brides and grooms can have a few relaxed moments away from their demanding guests. I try to ensure there are moments either side of a photo session for them to have some private moments.
With this couple I finished the photography after the wedding breakfast and the speeches. I tend to tailor my coverage to those parts of the day the couple want rather than specific packages. These were fun to be with and had the glamour thing going in spades. Considering they were pretty shy in front of the camera I thought there was a strong sense of the glamorous about the whole affair.