1/24/2017 0 Comments
It's true that there are some days that will stick with you for the rest of your life, and Bryn and Tamsin's wedding was definitely one of those magic days for me. I wholeheartedly admit that this wedding knocked my socks clean off for so many different reasons, but mainly because this couple are by far some of the nicest, most genuinely lovely people I have ever had the pleasure of having in front of my lens. I could talk about this wedding for hours (and have at great length to whoever would listen!) and I'm delighted to finally get to share it with you all here on the blog. So here goes (you might want to make a brew, it's a big one...).
Enormous thanks to my second shooter on the day, the wonderful Birgitta Zoutman. Without her help shooting this wedding would simply not have been possible.
I met Bryn and Tamsin one very hot May afternoon where we wandered and talked for a good couple of hours about all their plans, and internally I was dancing for joy, just so excited to have the chance to make beautiful pictures in an amazing place for this couple. The Shropshire village of Hodnet is one of those gorgeous gems of the British countryside where not a lot has changed since those beautiful old streets were built, and everyone knows everyone. There was a real sense of anticipation as I chatted away to the shopkeeper and florist by the church, that Bryn from the village was getting married!
Hodnet Hall has 60 acres of stunning tranquil landscaped gardens and is not a wedding venue. However Bryn's dear late father was a gardener there when Bryn was a boy. When he died, the family at Hodnet Hall asked if they would like a tree planted in his memory, but instead they asked if they could have their wedding there, and the rest is history! What a wonderful way to have the spirit of a loved one with them such an important day, by having a celebration in a place that he would have spent so many happy hours. I was truly touched.
The wedding ceremony was original and heartfelt, proving that just because you are having a church wedding that doesn't mean you have to conform to a rigid structure. They chose not one, but two superb musical performances by their very talented families and friends, as well as non-religious readings from their favourite literary works. As both of them live and breathe the arts working in music and theater, it was obvious every word had been carefully hand picked and meant more to them than any wedding poem lifted from Google. There wasn't a dry eye in the house (myself included).
As the guests strolled leisurely through the impressive stone archway and hydrangea lined driveway towards the marquee for welcome drinks, the newlyweds went for a short wander down to the lake for a quick "we did it!" glass of bubbly, and a couple of pictures. Too photogenic for words I could have snapped them by that water for hours, and they were so lost in newly wedded bliss I'm not sure they would have noticed me if I had!
The speeches were like a show in themselves, each one utterly superb. We had genuine hurting belly laughter as Bryn was forced by the best man to wear a series of props ranging from a lion mask to a violin to represent the stages of his life, and when Tamsin told the room how she had always imagined her wedding day to be like the end of the movie 'Titanic' (the part where everyone is in the room smiling, not the sinking ship!!). We also had awe inspiring messages of love and loss, obviously feeling the heavy absence of Bryn's father, which had the entire room in bits. I remember looking over at Birgitta, tears streaming down my face, to find she was exactly the same. I'm amazed either of us could see anything at all through our viewfinders, there was so much emotion filling the air. Last but not least, the couple took to the stage to sing a personalized song to the tune of Jack Jonson's 'Better Together' as a thank you to their guests! Just brilliant.
After such an epic outpouring of emotion and a bit of pudding and tea, it was back out into the sunset to make the most of this most unique of places. The gardens have endless photo opportunities with all the varying terrains, plants and landscapes, it was like a dream come true. As a gentle breeze flecked through the trees and tall grasses, Bryn and Tamsin were just so happy to be stood together as husband and wife and they simply glowed and radiated with happiness. It was mesmerizing.
The perfect Summer's evening drew to a close and everyone really let thier hair down and danced to their hearts content to the sound of folk musician Jackie Oates and her brilliant band. Anyone who knows me knows I am bananas about folk music so this was another real treat for me! The happy pair and thier families and dear friends jigged, stomped and twirled their way well into the night.
From the bottom of my happy heart, thank you Bryn and Tamsin for having me and Birgitta feel like the luckiest photographers on earth. We enjoyed your day as much as if we were your guests and were positively beaming on the drive home.
Second Photographer: Birgitta Zoutman
Marquee: Forecast marquees
Cake: Sarah's Boutique Cakes, Wem.
Fresh Cut Flowers: Combe Dingle Nursery in Somerset
Extra Flowers: Mulberry Bush Studios, Hodnet
Evening Band: Jackie Oates
Hair and Make-Up: Carly from the Secret salon
Signage and Photo Frame Booth: Stuart Allston Designs Ltd
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