Champagne, Martini and Jimmy Choos

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It is a beautiful sunny morning in Northumberland, and I'm heading to Newton Hall, where I’m meeting Carlie for makeup and preparation photos, ahead of Nick arriving a short while later.  


During the week preceding the wedding, the weather had been awful with torrential rain most days. Today though, the sun is most definitely here and it’s warm enough to wander about through this crisp spring morning. 

Carlie had prepared so many details for the day, from the gifts for her bridesmaids, to her shoes, to the details for her hair, to her being maybe a touch overzealous with the perfume, which one of her bridesmaids said “ this is perfectly normal”.

The next thing to arrive was Carlies mam, with a card from Nick. Then her mam asked me, “should I give it now?” The words that followed from Carlies mouth were ….. "He's a complete bugger, as we said no gifts”.  Carlie read the first three words and then, handed it to one of her Bridesmaids in order to finish it with the words of “too emotional for me to read that” as she headed to the mirror to dab her eyes.

I ran through to the main house to meet Nick who had arrived a touch early, I caught him sipping a coffee while the nerves were clearly showing. Then I caught up with the guys putting on their button holes. 

Ahh the young Archie, I was told he wouldn’t like to be in a photo and that he never plays up to the camera.  I don’t know if they were joking, but, he seemed to be well up for his photo being taken and did his best Frodo impression as the ring bearer.

Lets pop some more champagne before we head across the courtyard to put on "The Dress".  I ran across the Courtyard, closing all the days on the way to allow Carlie to run unseen up to the room where a final touch up on the hair style and then she gracefully jumped into her dress and her much talked about "Lance" Jimmy Choos.

The graceful slipping on of the dress may not have been as graceful as I suggest, as the yank of the petticoat, to make sure the hoop was in the right place, was followed by the proclamation of “maybe I should have gone to the loo”.

After a final few photos with her girls, it was a down the stairs we go, a quick pause for one or two photos, then down and out the front door and those beautiful front steps of Newton hall

A step, a walk, then heading down the aisle with her dad.  Carlies' nerves finally gone and in place monster smiles spread across their faces.


Standing watching and taking photos of these two, exchange their vows was beautiful, even if I do say so myself. I think I’ve said it before, but you can always see the point in the day where people go from being nervous to the change in stance as they relax. Today it was the point at the ring exchanged and before coming back down the aisle.  

A splash of confetti, then a large group shot, then the cocktails and more smiles and laughter. At this point, for me its important not to get in the way and disrupt the day so letting them mill, capturing candid moments of all the guests and Nick and Carlie is the most important thing. I love seeing the side conversations that are going on all the time during the celebration of the actual wedding

As all the guests were ushered by the Master of Ceremonies to await the arrival of the Bride and Groom, I caught a quiet moment with them both. I found them sitting chilling by the bar with their Pornstar Martinis complete with a shot of prosecco.

These precious seconds are utterly amazing. I love being able to step back a touch and to capture these memories. Just letting the two of them be, without me being in the way,  so every little bit of emotion is  100% genuine.

A meal, an entrance and a welcome to the family, a bottle of champagne for a 21st present (its only six years old, its ok, Nick you can pay me later).


Happy smiles, a five course meal, and an utterly set of elegant speeches follow. Beautiful candid moments throughout the celebrations. I love these moments and being able to capture the guests when they aren’t looking and are utterly focused on themselves in Mid-selfie, until after I get the photo, adds to the genuine moments of the day.

An afternoon wander across to the main hall for some afternoon cups of tea . The three of us decided to have a short stroll around the gardens (as it’d be rude not to).  We pulled up some chairs after checking for dirt. Carlie even was fine to put her Jimmy Choos into the grass and let them sink in.

A few more drinks later and dusk was almost upon us, with a tiny sprinkle of rain in the distance, Nick and Carlie came to the doorway and made one of my favourite shots of 2018.

From there we all walked down for the first dance and to cut the cake. Frivolities and fun ensued and the Photobooth really did make people let their hair down.

We finished the night off with one more photo "in love".

Nick and Carlie,


Happy first Anniversary!

@2017 by ChrIs Rennison-Rae

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