Happy New year! Here are some things we loved about 2014
So, that's the end of 2014, and the beginning of 2015, and we both thought we should show some of our best moments in what was our first year as wedding photographers, maybe we've been a bit quiet on the blog front, and there have been so many happy experiences we've shared with clients, their family and friends - It'd be nice to share some here.
A perfect wedding, a perfect start.
Though we'd met and booked several weddings earlier, our first shoot as a new business was for a lovely couple we met on a warm June evening in Kensington; Graeme and Yulia immediately came across as a warm friendly couple and over coffee we all discussed their plans which seemed to firm up some ideas and timings, leaving us all really excited about the big day. In less than a month we traveled from Suffolk down to Rivervale Barn in Hampshire. The venue was perfect and Lisa went to find our Bride and I spent time catching the atmosphere and details in preparation for the event. Unfortunately the hairdresser and Bride had a difference of opinion and the bridesmaids took charge to dismiss her whilst starting again with the Bridal hair-do. It could have been a disaster, but Lisa and the Bridesmaids kept everything upbeat and reassured the Bride, who found her smile again.
Once the hair disaster was behind them the atmosphere became really fun and Lisa was able to catch lots of beautiful moments and laughter which came over so well in her photographs. Bridal preparation varies from wedding to wedding, but all have their special moments and are a really important part of the days coverage. Lisa has a great balance of being there at the right moment but not getting in the way.
With all the preparation and planning falling into place it's wonderful for us to see Brides and the closest friends and family relax and begin to really enjoy the big day. Add a little sunshine and every bride looks a picture as they head to the ceremony.
Meanwhile of course, guests had been arriving and the Groom and his two best men had booted and suited, it became clear just how international the event was, with friends and family from Zimbabwe, The United Arab Emirates, Russia and Latvia. This gave the event a great energy as people mixed and met for the first time, or after having not seen each other in a while. I was struck by how happy everyone was to be there and to share in the day, and how easily different nationalities and age groups seemed to get along. And then, it was time for the ceremony!
The venue was beautiful and bright, a great blend of traditional and modern architecture which seemed a great match for the wedding party and gave us great light to catch all the important moments from 'first look' through to leaving the ceremony covered in smiles! After everyone had shook hands and hugged the newly married couple, and grabbed a drink, we were able to spend some time with just Graeme and Yulia as we'd planned, and get some really nice portrait type shots. We always suggest it's a good idea to carve out a little time after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast for these sorts of shots, for more than one reason too. With all the busyness and effort of arranging a wedding, then the getting ready and the nerves of a ceremony, it's quite likely the day becomes a bit of a blur for many couples, and for us to catch them at this time is a chance for them to be out of their guests view for a little while, to chill out, grab a cold drink and just relax with each other. It's a lovely time and a great privilege for us both to work with couples like this, after their adrenaline drops a little and we spend some time just taking some pictures of them as newly married folk. Plus of course, everyone else can go for a wee, or a cigarette, the little 'uns can blow off steam and the older folk take a breather. Anyway, whilst all that was going on, we had a giggle and great fun with our lovely couple and came up with loads of pictures, here's a few...
And so, after a lovely photo session our couple joined their guests refreshed and ready to celebrate. It was in this next phase of the day that we started to learn more about other cultural approaches and traditions in weddings and it was so much fun to photograph. The first was a Russian tradition in which any guest can shout the word 'Gorko' and the bride and groom must immediately take a drink of Vodka, then remove the taste of the fierce drink with a kiss. Luckily the guests went easy with this one or everything could easily have finished up before the speeches!
The next tradition involves the Mother of the Bride making a ceremonial loaf of bread , the couple are invited to take as big a handful as possible, and whoever takes the most will be granted the decision making position for the couples married life... As you can imagine, there really had to be a twist to the story as it's not a very modern way to run a marriage (and anyway, the Groom usually has bigger hands). Having grabbed a big piece (You'd guessed that might happen yes?), he then has to eat it and finds the bread is loaded with salt to make it taste horrible! We got the impression that Yulia knew all about this before the event, Graeme however was pretty surprised.
The last of these cute traditions was that each Mum of the couple would bring a hot coal from their home fireplace and place these together to start the new couples home fire burning. We were intrigued as to how this one would play out since one Mum was from Southern Africa and the other from the former Soviet Union - and airlines take a pretty dim view of passengers carrying burning coals in hand luggage. Anyway, the tradition went ahead with tea lights being used as a substitute. It was genuinely heartwarming to see these cultural traditions being shared and so happily accepted. After the speeches and the cake the couple prepared for their first dance where I got maybe my favourite picture of the day.
So, all that remained was for the guests and family to join in the dancing, and they did, though only a small party in numbers the dancing was incredible, so many different style and so much enthusiasm. Truth is we stayed long after we'd said we would as we were having so much fun.
And, just 16 hours later after we left, we were back home in Suffolk, exhausted and happy, it had been an incredible day. That there is the point really, when we started our web page and said we LOVE weddings, we did really mean it, neither of us could wish for a more positive and happy way to live and work. We both hope you've enjoyed seeing a more detailed view of a day in our photography, and will share some more soon. Meantime, if you're planning your big day, please do give us a shout, we would love to hear from you.