When Mike and Emma told me where they were getting married I had to go look it up on the map. The middle of nowhere turns out to be a beautiful little village hall about 10miles past Wooler on the way to Scotland, in between some hills and with no phone signal . Today Cuddystone with its dark and brooding skies looked more like “Game of Thrones” than “picnic blankets and pints". Luckily for us the rain stayed away (well almost and only when we didn’t need to be outside) and the dancing mayhem continued. Accompanied by handpicked wines and cheese combinations, locally sourced ale and two wedding cakes
Mike and Emma wanted a documentary style of wedding, capturing the drunken dancing, merriment and general unruly behaviour that can follow. From the moment I arrived I could tell this was going to be something where everyone was going to have a good time and fit into exactly what I'd been asked to capture and really suits my style. From all the friends being involved in putting things together, from the flowers to the floor sweeping, the seating arrangements to the groomsmen organising the music (for the ceremony).
Queue guests being bussed in and then Mikes tension level visibly going up, he wasn’t running round like too much of a crazy man (honest). So how do you let the bride know it is time to arrive when they are waiting at the far end of a valley? With secret waves of course! No smoke signals for them yet. A few questions later and Emma was entering to a piece of Star Wars music, no not the Darth Vader one although Emma did mention she would have preferred that one, but the groom had put a stop to it.
I must admit, I really enjoyed the sci-fi reading of “The Day The Saucers Came” in the ceremony which was about zombies and aliens. However, moving back to more earthlike times, the bride and groom came outside not to confetti but to lavender buds, of which I’ve only recently found and removed from my jacket pockets.
After the one big group shot, more informal wanderings came, and then I whisked the bride and groom outside for a few shots together with their Game of Thrones scenery (albeit with a proper road). Rolling fields, big hills and a stream in the distance, it makes such a good and huge backdrop for any photo. Big backdrops often make a great picture as long as the light is right be it cityscapes, beaches or in this case hills with rolling fields. I think Mike saying "I hope I don’t drop Emma" when I lean her over might have actually made a better photo as they were both laughing so much. What do you think?
We then headed on inside the marquee for the first introduction of Mr and Mrs Groombridge, some very heartfelt speeches even a mention of yours truly! Whoop my first speech mention
Prior to the day, Emma had asked me what semi spectacular things could be done, so to a set of excited "ooohhhhhh" and then a "are you sure puzzled look" I’d suggested to Emma that it might be cool to explore blowing up some smoke bombs, since she'd said no to climbing up the hills. She did want assurance that it was not going to stain her dress or set fire to it. But after that was well up for it, even if she a little nervous. However, this was all news to Mike, when I went "I've brought the smoke grenades" but his groomsmen through this was an amazing idea and even volunteered to help! (if you could only see around this photo) While the wind was a touch against us. The results are very cool, only to be outdone by later in the night when the wind had died down.
Bringing the groomsmen outdoor, all I needed was the reservoir dogs theme playing and we'd be set. Then to be proceeded to pick up Mike and carry him like a pencil, this just to me sums up the fun of the day, where everything is done for the smiles. Were the ladies more reserved? Yes very much so, apart from the name calling and then Emma’s sister stealing a smoke bomb and setting it off (then wanting to move it).
I always try to incorporate a request from someone else to grab a photo, this time was no exception but I got bumped by a little photographer and her polaroid camera for Emma & Mikes first official printed wedding photo (I might have more competition soon).
Did I capture some crazy dancing? Yes but I'm just going to leave you with a couple and a first dance one too. After the official cake cutting, came a surprise “naughty” second cake, so that had to be cut to. Which definitely took Emma by surprise and may have been a preview of their wedding night?
As the night was getting late, and after the consumption of much wine and cheese, I got the bride and groom outside for the last photo of the night. This was one of the photos that I'd planned through with the smoke bombs and came one exactly how I wanted. Which completely hit Emma's love of Sci-fi and her brief of spectacular shots.
It was such a pleasure to photograph these two and their guests on such a fabulous day!