Mojito’s, Mr & Mrs, a Mermaid and a Touch of Magic
When Toby and Amie booked me 20 months ago, I was a bit wowed by the detail that Amie already knew about the day. I was thinking to myself, this is going to be an immense day. The three of us sat down and talked through a sunset set of shots, smoke grenades on the lawn, a large fireplace and staircase. (Before you continue reading if you are on your mobile this is best viewed on a bigger screen)
My prep started a year ago with a visit in august to newton hall, to get a feel for the direction of light and venue as it would be on the day of their wedding. I then returned a week before the wedding to chat with the staff, see what was going on and take a complete run through of events (walk the trail if you like). Always good to plan ahead and plan on back up plans in case it's raining.
With 2 days to go, and it might be sad, but I always like to lay out all my gear on the table and make sure its all working. Camera time stamps matched and all cleaned and checked. Early on the Thursday morning my car was packed with the normal…. three cameras, a bunch of lenses, tripods, smoke grenades, umbrellas and a backup battery charger and off I went on y hours drive to Newton Hall to meet Amie and the bridesmaid squad for about 8:30am.
As I'm driving up there, I'm putting the sunglasses on thinking… "This day has been planned to perfection, Amie has even planned a bright summers day, which might have been a touch too bright". That sun however, added to the atmosphere and helped give me the best smiles and laughs from everyone (I've even had it noted that I got natural smiles from had Amies Dad).
I arrived before breakfast to meet Amie and her bridesmaids in the courtyard suites, all decked in dressing gowns and hair rollers. This was a perfect start to documenting the morning. Catching all the details on the brides and bridesmaids dressing gowns, the shoes and even the presents of champagne.
I darted from one place to another. Seeing Amie meeting her mum at the front steps to the start the room preparations, including a sweet shop delivery. The flowers followed a short while after. I even grabbed Amie with her cup of tea while getting her make up done by the extremely talented Kelly Vaughan.
I had heard Toby had arrived so headed over to see him and the ring bearer (Elmo the pug). A quick handshake from Amie's dad, a final trot around for an Elmo walk (looking a little bit like Crufts). I loved the next moment when Toby was given a pre wedding present, he seemed find himself lost in a his own world for a moment (if you look closely he was starting to get a bit emotional).
Heading back to the Amie and her squad, who was just about to open her present, which again gives one of those moments( and the bridesmaids certainly felt it to). From there to an excited jump on the bed and then a more sensible one with all of them for their final photo pre dresses.
Before heading to the main house I managed to sneak the squad outside for a few quick photos before heading over for “the Dress putting on”. With all her bridesmaids around her it was time to step into the dress. Quick pose for a few more quick shots and one last fix of the hair, and the moment Amies dad saw her (go on give me an aww).
In full stride the we were all headed downstairs, and pausing for a moment on the stairs and then out in to the sunshine.
For me this now becomes the most critical part of the day. A chance to say good luck to the groom before it all starts. The ceremony was perfect with even an emotional pause from the Toby that made everyone gather their breath, before Elmo stepped forward bearing the rings.
The first kissing of the bride and then the pair walked up the aisle under a shower the confetti, If you look closely you can see Toby avoiding getting confetti into the hair. The happy couple paused at the end of the aisle for their photo as husband and wife (even looks a bit "hello" Magazine if I do say so myself).
Roll on the candid shots, the wandering out into the gardens, a cheeky Mojito and a great number of people congratulating the pair of them .(the real smile from Amies dad too)
The formal photo time, injured shoulders was not something I had planned on, so a quick swap round in order to take the photos and we were rolling with smoke grenades.
Announcing the newly weds to their seat to a great round of applause and let the speeches commence. I've been to quite a few weddings now, and this was a the first time that I've seen the Best Man, bring one of the grooms childhood toys along (Ariel the Little Mermaid). Then into a fun game of Mr & Mrs, bringing both Toby and Amie in front of everyone to ask a few questions about each other and answering from who does Elmo love more (this was split 50/50) to (and everyone burst out laughing) when watching Toby trying to cheat as Amie raised the "its Toby" about who spends more time on their hair.
One last photo before dinner of the beautiful cake from the Great British Cupcakery and I took a short break as photographing food only works if you are photographing the food and not people stuffing it in their mouths.
The arrival of the Magician (Chris Cross) signalled the start of the after dinner party. He managed to get so many moments of "how on earth?", "what the??" and a few surprised faces all round.
A few more photos with that club feel and the crazy dancing starting and that was my queue to head home for the night.
Congratulation to the newly weds
I'd then see both of them again for their "Rock the Frock". Amie had given me the brief of forest and tangled . So we picked a spot and headed up there. I think I totally nailed the brief and here it is , a few of my favourites from the shoot (wellies might have been used for a number of shots, but hey its still magic)
Following dinner we headed to the front steps for the epic bouquet throwing. Congrats to Holly on the amazing catch . I'm not sure if it was the shock of catching between her Elbows or thinking "I'm next" that was more surprising, but the look on her face was priceless. (Holly I'll be available for your wedding when you need a photographer).
Just before I headed upstairs for the boys chilling, I caught Amie giving hubby a cheeky bum squeeze. The sun was starting to get low and I joined the boys having a few drinks on the balcony, before catching Amie and chief bridesmaid having a little fun on the tyre swing, but I'll leave that photos out as being in a wedding dress on a tyre swing isn't the most graceful.
With the final introduction of the evening for the Happy Couple for a cake cutting and then a first dance with dry ice and some amazing singing from the band Switch. The night was in full swing.
The night wouldn’t be complete without me grabbing the lovebirds and dragging them out for the sunset. Toby even carried Amie into the field and out again, a true gentleman.