Being asked to shoot Claire and Christopher’s spring wedding was a real honour. Having photographed Claire’s 30th birthday party a few years ago, I know the family well and it was exciting to be retuning to the same beautiful Oxfordshire village of Farnborough for the wedding. Claire was already busy getting ready with a houseful of family and friends when I arrived.
Claire had chosen a stunning satin gown with a Bardot shoulder and diamanté waistband. I loved this dress, simple yet glamorous and with the unusual feature in a wedding dress of secret pockets. These came in useful later for storing some sneaky doggy treats for the ring bearers in the church.
The house was buzzing as the ceremony drew closer. Claire was ready bang on time and it was breathtaking to see her dad's face as he saw her in her wedding dress for the first time. Capturing those wonderful moments of emotion are one of the things I love most about my job and I love this photo below of Colin as he see's Claire in her dress.
Farnborough is a pretty village and we didn't even have to leave the house to grab a few gorgeous shots of Claire and her bridesmaids before they set off for the main event!
I ran up to the church to catch a few shots of the groom and was greeted by the hairy, long eared ring bearers bounding towards me excitedly. I had a feeling that they know exactly what was going on. The weather was amazing and beautiful sunshine blazed down on the church, everything was just perfect.
The ceremony was beautiful, you could feel the love in the church. And with a special cameo appearance from Ruby and Merlot delivering rings, I think everyone enjoyed it, despite the tears.
And what could be better on your wedding day than leaving the church as a newly married couple to glorious sunshine. I just had to get my flash out to do those intense blue skies justice!
After some quick family shots we all headed to the beautiful Manor House at Sulgrave for a champagne reception and a tour of this fascinating National Heritage site. I managed to get some quick shots of the room before everyone arrived and I was impressed with how the couple had designed the reception around the theme of travel, it was beautifully put together and the flowers, specially grown by Claire's mum Liz added a lovely personal touch.
Whilst the guests were enjoying the surroundings, I grabbed the chance to get some romantic portraits of the bride and groom and Sulgrave Manor is one of my favourite places for bridal shots as it has so many different and pretty backdrops. Now it's always amazing to have sunshine at a wedding and it's true that it makes everyone feel even extra happier! However it can confuse the hell out of the cameras light meter and with little shade available, I opted for a mixture of backlighting and off camera flash to make the most of the gorgeous weather!
Having been booked for just a half day, I finished on a high. Catching the speeches just before I headed home and left them to the party. Speeches are another of my favourite parts in a wedding, it's a great opportunity for a photographer to catch interesting expressions and it's always really entertaining to hear the stories that are shared.
A wonderful end to a wonderful day and a rare early finish on a Saturday.