BETTER THAN THE QUEENS GARDEN PARTY
On the morning of Mike and Louise’s wedding, I arrived 15 mins before they said (the traffic being a little lighter than I’m used to). I am now standing on the doorstep and knocking. Well this is interesting, no one is answering. I'm standing on the opposite side of the A19 to where the garden party of the year is to be. A text later to find out it’s not that house I’m meant to be at but the one next door, whoops. I always make sure I’m early just in case something like this arises. First on the plan is to catch the Groom and his best man and also to photograph the rings, a beautiful engraved pocket watch and cuff- links. I Love the fact on virtually every wedding morning I’ve been offered something to drink. It is such an amazing feeling to get brought into the celebration for the day and such a perk of the job. This day was no exception. Getting offered a 10 year old slow gin (which smelled amazing) was tempting, however I’m working and driving so I’ll pass on that one, clear head and all needed.
A quick run over the A19, which I was told, "it's fine just pick a spot with no traffic" and I was in the back garden of Mike's parents, where later that day we’d be celebrating the wedding garden party. I stood looking out over the big marquee, band stand, beer tent and sweet stand were already in place. I'm thinking, this is going to be amazing later with a full band and (fingers crossed) a great sunset off in the distance. This was the perfect time to see Louise looking totally beautiful as she comes out into the garden for a few photos of her and the family ahead of me heading to Preston Park Museum for the ceremony.
With all the guests in place and Mike waiting expectantly at the front, commence the most emotional service I've been to so far. Sometimes it isn’t the bride that steals the show, but thankfully when it is the daughter of the bride and groom, you can forgive her. The brass quintet started playing and little Evie-May walked through the door, took two steps and started dancing and smiling and stealing that moment. This not only brought the ‘Awws’ from the whole congregation but tears to the eyes of the groom. The tears continued as Louise came down the aisle and I’m sure that Louise even may have had one too. The registrar later shared with me that she also did (although I don't have a photo of that).
The Nerves were in full swing with an early "I do", followed by a big laugh. This is another reason I totally love my Job. The amount of happiness that just brims out of Mike and Louise was truly amazing. So yes a few more tears and a big kiss later, they were husband and wife.
After the ceremony we grabbed a few shots on the lawn, before letting the guests head back off to the garden party to allow some alone time (well with me being pesky with photography) before they arrived for the party
We headed from the museum to the river (I love a good reflection), dodged the boats that were being cleaned and then to the play park, with a few bemused looks from the resident children that we kicked off the swings and climbing frame, just so Mike and Louise could have some fun. Yes Louise actually climbed up a climbing frame in her wedding dress and then had way too much fun on the swings.
Off we go to the garden party, from the kids trying to fill up wine glasses with pond water, sweets from the sweet stall and more swings, this had such a family and fun atmosphere. There were pictures from Mike and Louise growing up and even one or two from their Pre-wedding shoot around the place.
A beautiful speech from the fathers, and then a great best man speech (despite professing he was no good at public speaking). With the fear of incriminating Mike, I’m not going to say anything about it, but it did bring a red face and a lot of laughs.
After the food the band really started to get into its element with music from Queen to Pharrell and lots in between. The dancing started and everyone a little merrier. The band were truly amazing and the regular conductor allowed the lady of the day to guest conduct for one song. It might have been the best conducting of the night.
A first dance on the grass to a 30 piece brass band, what a way to start the dancing. With the shadows becoming longer, the sunset came and went, and I managed to prise the Bride and Groom out of meet and greets for a few quick photos before it got way to dark for natural light.
With the drinks really flowing it was my time to say goodnight, so that more folks could let their hair down and cap off their truly emotional and awesome day. All that was needed for Louise was to find out where Mikes planning had them going on honeymoon (He planned it all and kept it a total secret from her, Awesome Idea!)
That was me done for the night, and ready for a few weeks time on their post wedding shoot, which you can find below.
Post honeymoon and ready to rock her frock, or should it be pop on the glad rags for the post wedding shoot at sunset in Saltwell Park? It was however nearly called off due to rain, however with the skies clearing up everyone donned their outfits and we went for a wander around the park. We were graced with an amazing sunset on the night, which brought a little sparkle of shimmer if we didn’t already have enough.
Half way through the shoot and Louise announces… I want to climb a tree? I’m answering yes as there is a perfect and pretty safe one in the park to climb. Time it just right and the sun pops through the trees in the distance and hey presto, awesome photo.
We spend a little more time hunting for the sunsets in the tree lined, bridge laden surrounds, finally on our walk back Mike and Louise grab the umbrellas and start sword fighting along the way. Just when we are saying our good byes the sun breaks out for one final time and we capture the last of the sun for the day. A true and utter pleasure it has been to photograph the pre/post and full wedding day of these two absolutely amazing people.
Good luck Mike and Louise!