Confetti, Rain, Flipflops and climbing out of a window
Welcome to a rainy Saturday lunchtime in August. I am arriving at the Mansion house in Jesmond to photograph the wedding of Sarah and Gary . For those of you who don’t know the venue, it’s an large exquisite Victorian mansion and that was the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle. I think today though, Lady Sarah will be presiding over the proceedings, being centre stage and calling the shots.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.Meeting Sarah in her room while having her make up applied and sipping on some bubbles, she is indeed 100% going to be the lady of the day. While looking totally in control, Sarah kept looking at the window, watching the stair rods of rain bouncing off it. For me this is not an issue as I’d brought brollies, lights and I don’t mind getting a little wet. Sarah though, was not pleased at all. I'd checked my three weather apps and it was meant to clear up just after her wedding breakfast this afternoon, so lets keep my eyes peeled for that.
This was a spot where Sarah wanted to get her makeup retouched and explore the Mansion a little more. This gave rise to the a couple of amazing photos in the Lords room and with some of the most stunningly lit spots you can imagine.
At this point, I decided to have a run around and capture some of the details that Sarah had planned. I do find it utterly amazing the lengths that are spent on weddings, and today was no exception. From the S&G’s in the candle holders, to the “I do” on the bottom of her shoes, the flipflop box for the guests and little cupcakes for all and a full blown sweets shop too. What amazed me more were other little details that throughout the day appeared as one thing was cleared and the next was brought out.
At this point, I had a quick run downstairs to the room below, I caught up with Gary who looked slightly apprehensive. He did say he had the easy job on the day, which was just to say "I do". I think the nervous laughter might have given away the feelings, but I think even more laughter would pour out later at the speeches.
On heading back up into the room, I found Sarah looking utterly stunning having just put her dress on. She was totally in control but getting a touch nervous. Next came one of my favourite moments I captured of the day. It was when her son Josh came into the room and gave her the look, "Oh wow Mam" He’d even shied away from photos earlier in the day. I love these tiny little moments that you have to keep a watch for.
After the ceremony a glass of Champagne was awaiting and into the meet and greets and a few photos inside with everyone. Sarah had told me she didn’t want to get the dress wet, so instead we used the huge big windows amazing effect, casting beautiful natural light to onto the two of them create something truly special, while everyone is standing before me watching what is going on. It was time for me to step back and let a few photos to be taken by others. Then it was the Sarah who kicked Gary out of the way in favour of her friends so he obliged and let me do my thing to and take every opportunity.
As everyone was starting to get in position for a grand entrance, I headed back upstairs for a few last shots, before Sarah's stairway walk. It was time, the music came on and Sarah entered and walked down the aisle. There is a definite expectant Gary at the end of it, but if you can spot Josh too, he is one cool cucumber.
Through candid shots of everything happening then came the introduction of the bride and groom for their wedding breakfast, and then into speeches. Adding onto that there were some amazing photo moments in the grooms speech, non other than mentioning when the groom first met the bride and the associated story. The bride may have been a little shocked at the full description of the story though.
From there we went into the a hilarious best man speech might have caused a bit of stir out there too maybe a little too "risqué".
Since the group shot, a number of people got relayed the window story, and due to that the interaction went up, the candid shots and interaction with the wedding party went through the roof. Although as the night was progressing it was time to cut the cake, including Gary trying not to get arrested in a room of police while pretending to threaten Sarah with a rather large knife.
After the meal the rain had subsided and when Sarah said "lets get the confetti thrown and the bouquet." I utterly love a good confetti shot
Then it was time to get the group shot, and from the balcony roof. Something I never want to do as a photographer, is take ages to get one shot, or remove the bride for an hour while trying to work on getting "the shot". Any time you see one of those big shots from me, always keep in mind, that this is most likely shot in a 10 minute window where I've borrowed them due to conditions being perfect.
Then it got me thinking out of all the weddings I've photographed this is only the 2nd time someone has wanted to throw the bouquet. It seems a tradition that is falling a little by the wayside, at least for the bespoke weddings that I've been fortunate enough to photograph. So with that in mind, I'm always trying to find a new angle, a new spot, something different to do. With that, I still cant believe how high this bouquet went, at least I’d managed to catch it on camera though (just). I honestly thought I was going to miss it. Brides, not so high next time please.
From there it was a monster big first dance. To which there were quite a few video's going on around the room, giving such a cool photo and with that I left the happy couple to enjoy their night.
Good luck to the happy couple
The three of us then managed a wander around the beautiful gardens, while trying to dodge the puddles and wet leaves, but it is totally worth it to get some of the photos.
Anyway, back to the group shot, If you've ever seen the video floating around facebook of what photographers are doing to get the shot. This time I was standing with the wedding coordinator who was thumbing through keys trying to get the balcony door open. . On the fourth key I went… "Well what about the window?". So we got the window open within a minute, I was taking the camera off the straps and grabbing a chair from the other side of the room, ready to climb out of it, as I was looking at my watch and thinking... This is taking too long (4 minutes since I had everyone standing below). Just as I was about to climb out of the window the maintenance man appeared and opened the door. Thankfully no climbing out of a window for me (this time at least). I did get a massive cheers for the congregation below, which was worth it for their group shot.