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Marshmallows &  Manhattans at Matfen Hall

A crisp march morning and off I went to Matfen Hall to meet Jaclyn for wedding preparation shots, a dress reveal and then the church in Whickham, ending the day back at Matfen for the wedding breakfast.

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When I got to Matfen I found Martyn fully dressed and pacing outside. When someone is pacing and looking pensive or nervous, its my instinct to step back and not push a camera in their face, capturing the candid moments. It may have been nerves in Martyn's case or may maybe, just maybe, it was to get some fresh air from the night before rum? It’s all about trust and making sure the day is documented vs forced.

A sneak upstairs and I find Jaclyn getting the final touches of her make up, then she informs me that her bridesmaids have not seen the dress yet. She would like to a reveal to them, once they're all ready. I’m thinking this is an amazing idea to chuck them out and catch their faces, at this point the only person to see the dress is her mum, I'm waiting for someone to copy her again.

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Here come the girls, ready set, open. Many moments later and a few tears from maid of honour Paige. The presents are handed out and then the popping on the glasses to read the smallest card I've ever seen but alas even they weren’t good enough, roll on the youngest bridesmaid needed to read it out

After the big reveal I wandered to meet Martyn and the boys, a few formal shots and Martyn may have made a few jokes about which set of Jimmy Choos Jaclyn was going to wear due to her love of shoes and then of course the ring shot with the custom box outside. Then off he went to head down to the church in Whickham.

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The last person to see Jaclyn in her dress was her dad, I caught him nervously pacing outside of the reception area (I'd also been sent to get him). It was one of those moments I won’t forget, the feeling that the photo captures is that of the nervousness of the whole situation waiting for his little girl, it is as the mastercard advert says... Priceless.

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After all the girls were in the wedding cars, it was my turn to shoot past them and get down to the church in Whickham before them and catch their arrival and walk down the aisle. With all eyes on the door it was Jaclyns turn to be the centre of attention and walk up to meet her husband to be.

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A set of group shots later, how cute do the parents look? a little wander with the bride and groom, before jumping back in the wedding car and off to Matfen. Thankfully the old rolls only had the top speed of 45mph, so it wasn’t too much of a struggle to get past them and back up to Matfen. This even allowed me the opportunity to use my co pilot to good effect and take a photo of the pair of them in the back of the wedding car while on the move (and no I wasn’t brave or silly enough to hang out of a moving car window at 45mph).

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When we arrived at Matfen, Jaclyn and Martyn wanted to make a proper entrance and use the beautiful stairs. So all three of us sneaked upstairs and around and back down to a full announcement of people. Candids galore as we smoozed right up to the meal, with their magician stealing the show

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Next came the entrance into the wedding breakfast and a speech to remember, from stories about pasta and their first date, to Martyn sitting down and going off script, it finally wrapped up to a magnificent heart warming head bridesmaid speech.

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After the meal we took a quick nip outside for some photos as the speckles of rain came down, we grabbed our vintage umbrella's and made some rain drop magic. This is something I always ask in advance, are you willing to go outside and get a touch wet. If it’s horizontal sideways rain, I might think better of it, but if it is a little drizzle or snow, lets go.

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For the evening, and none of the guests knew this, but Martyn and Jaclyn had been doing dancing lessons in their spare time in order "in their words" not to be a boring sway.  They danced gracefully with even the finish being a low dip performed, to shouts of "10" from the crowd.

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Their cake at the ready well in Martyns words.... A F***ing Hard Cake, then came a little bit of casino entertainment and a final photo of toasted marshmallows.

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Rocking her frock!

A few months after the wedding, I met back up with Jaclyn, Martyn and the Chief Bridesmaid Paige for their rock the frock. A fresh summer evening down by the beach in a wedding dress, definitely the way to do it. Here are a few shots from their sunset rock the frock.

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Testimonial from Jaclyn and Martin

I don't even know where to begin!

just wow!

Chris was absolutely perfect from the very first meeting, right through the pre shoot, throughout the entire wedding and now we cant wait for the rock the frock shoot.

Chris's style is just amazing....very relaxed, non invasive and there are no long stints of standing around posing spending lots of time away from guests. for most of the day we didn't even realise Chris was there taking photos, he didn't pull focus at all but captured more than we could ever have hoped for.

We couldn't be more happy with the final photos, they are just stunning. The only problem we have is trying to decide which ones we like best for the album!

Thank you Chris!

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