BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE
New Years Eve wedding? No problem. I was starting off at the Vermont Hotel in the middle of the day to capture the wedding of Matt and Natalie. Themed as 1920's with Tuxedos, Champagne and a good bit of swing music. This was going to be amazing. The weather had stayed dry and just a hint of winter in the air.
When I arrived I met an emotional Matt pouring himself a brandy before getting stuck into the hello hugs with relatives followed by his wander upstairs to check the ceremony room. Roll on his bottles of Verve Clicquot. For those that don’t know the Vermont, you can choose to get married in the Skybar, a room 14 stories up from the Quayside and with access to the roof terrace. It must be one of the highest place in Newcastle you can possible get married in. Now also a word of warning for photographers, never do leg day (exercises) on the morning of a wedding at the Vermont. As in this case, 20Kgs of camera gear added to you moving up and down, the ceremony was on the 14 floor, the reception on the 9th, the wedding breakfast on the 5th floor and the bathroom on the 7th. Just be wary of how many stairs that can be when you are constantly chasing the lift up and down.
With Matt greeting keeping a watchful eye on the skybar and the guests making starting to make their way up, I headed downstairs (there are a lot of stairs) to meeting the beautiful bridesmaids, who looked stunning in their 1920's style dresses. They were only to be outdone by the bride herself (looking incredible) while she stepped out of the Rolls and onto the red carpet. A few minutes later and we were all standing waiting at the bottom of the steps to the Skybar. Queue both the bridesmaids and ring bearers bringing crazy faces before walking down the aisle, tongues out, grumpy faces at the ready. A little pre-wedding ceremony tear from the groom, and the music was on for the walk down the aisle. The unity candle was lit and the boys handed over the rings to complete the Ceremony. These are the happy moments I love to see, the total outpouring of emotion that I can capture forever. Its what makes this job worth while.
Matt and Natalie danced back down the aisle, as I managed to grab one of my favourite photos of the day when they came out and hugged each other. The mirrors placed just in the right spot to get both, the hands on the back of the hug and smiles on the faces too. Then it was the guests turn to pour out and congratulate the bride and groom. I love the meet and greet of the day, its one of those points that everyone gets a smile and a hug. From there we headed out onto the terrace of the skybar which (thank god for the weather) wasn’t too bright, wasn’t too cold, and for December the 31st was just about as good as you can get. The Skybar gives youa stunning place to take photos from the roof top, which gives you an amazing skyline of: The Tyne and Millennium bridges, The Sage, The Baltic and with the River Tyne acting as a ribbon that times them all together.
At the drinks reception it was the ringbearers (not like Frodo and Sam) that stole the show, armed with their brand new pocket watches and saying hello to everyone. Including another of my favourite photos, A fist bump that would make Obama proud. Then it was the turn of the best man to bring tears from the bride and groom, especially with the comment of "brother from another mother" comment. The festivities continued with some more champagne and a touch of silliness before making their way downstairs to the gold room and their wedding breakfast.
Do I or don’t I mention the dress, (no not the bride's, but that one that caused a lot of laughs, a few amused photos and a little bit of pain) , well yes, for those reading this at the wedding, there are photos (Natalie has them) of the blue plasters and the mending kit. For all else reading this not there at the day, that will make no sense. But as a word of warning, sequins on dresses may act like a Brillo pad.
Once everyone was moving up the stairs again, for the room turn around, I managed to steal Matt and Natalie for 10 minutes. One of my briefs from the day was not to take time away from the guests, so 10 minutes was what I had. We walked up to the High Level Bridge for something just a little bit special. I love it when you are visualising the shot for a month or so before (or in some instances when you're having the initial conversation with the Bride and Groom) and it turns out exactly how you think its going to. While pose with Natalie's looking up at Matt wasn’t planned (you need that natural element to every photo) this is one of those perfect shots that you always want to land on a wedding day. I'm just so pleased when I suggested it, They'd agreed as long its not raining or snowing was the answer (yes I'm very pleased with myself).
Back into the warmth of the hotel and it was time for me to mingle with the guests a little more before catching the climax of the evening. Natalie and Matt sang and danced "Baby Its Cold Outside" in front of all their guests to top off their amazing day. If your wondering can they sing? The answer is yes and I'd hire Natalie to sing at weddings as she was amazing.