Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | London wedding
Stephanie and Gareth’s Chandos House wedding a couple of weeks ago was full of love, warmth and giggles. Â The giggles were mostly coming from Stephanie, although not far behind was her father’s more manly laughter. Â During their getting ready they play-acted some of their father-daughter roles: walking down the aisle to a 1-2-3 beat, him kissing her on both cheeks (Mwah! Mwah!) and giving Stephanie’s hand to Gareth. Gareth simply beamed throughout the day.
I started with Stephanie in the latter stages of getting ready, while make up artist Melanie Crump was adding the finishing touches and putting on Stephanie’s veil.
Stephanie’s bridesmaids see her for the first time in her dress.
Stephanie’s father has a last-minute traditional touch – a coin for her shoe – what a gallant gentleman he is.
Stephanie and her bridesmaids pick up their bouquets from their layers of tissue …
… and after a last bit of lip gloss, we’re off.
At this point I should explain how much I love Chandos House – it’s incredibly pretty and the paintwork and other features have been kept in great repair. Â The flowers were byÂ Scarlet + Violet, which apparently did Kate Moss’ bouquet for her Gloucestershire wedding – and one of my favourite designersÂ Celia BirtwellÂ is also a fan. The floral arrangements, buttonholes and bouquets were perfect: the buttonholes exquisite and not too large, the bouquets looking generous without overpowering Stephanie and her bridesmaids and the arrangements around Chandos House were stunning and in balance with the colourful paintwork.
Stephanie and Gareth’s cake was from Cakes 4 Fun – and chosen after an arduous tasting session sampling orange, banana, cinnamon and chocolate. (One of the lesser-known hazards of being a wedding photographer is that chatting with clients about their plans can often make you hungry).
Now – back to Stephanie and Gareth – we took about 15 minutes for some portraits about Chandos House.
All too soon, it was time for Stephanie and Gareth’s wedding breakfast – starting with a grand entrance.
Stephanie and Gareth had spent many hours putting together their detective themed table plan with a book from each of the featured authors on each table.
Stephanie’s father had everyone in stitches with his speech.
Monday, July 25, 2011 | Surrey Wedding
Michi and Chur’s Oaks Farm wedding was a really thoughtful day with a bringing together of European and Chinese customs and showing off Chur’s design talents and patience.
The day started with Michi getting ready at Oaks Farm in the cottage with her family and friends.
Michi’s parents chose to sit calmly outside in the sunshine while most of the getting ready was going on.
Meanwhile, in the Victorian barn, the harpist was practising Michi’s entrance music and Chur’s family were putting finishing touches to the floral arrangements.
Everything was in place for the ceremony – a nervous groom and a nervous best man, who is also getting married this summer.
After their ceremony, Michi and Chur went outside for confetti and family congratulations.
Chur’s Hong Kong family heritage came into play as he and Michi took part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Â In this, the couple show their respect for their elders by serving tea to their parents and grandparents. Â It’s also a time for the older generations to give gifts – traditionally in red embellished envelopes and sometimes precious items – in this case a necklace and bracelet for Michi.
Chur’s mother mentioned at this point that she would like a grandchild – and a few seconds later, this wish expanded into wanting perhaps four grandchildren – hence Michi’s giggles.
Another of the Chinese traditions at Michi and Chur’s wedding was a red tablelcoth that guests signed as well as a more traditional message book.
Michi and Chur took time out for champagne and chatting to their guests while I captured reportage photographs of their family and friends. Some of the youngest guests were especially keen on the garden games that had been organised for them.
Michi’s mother had made endless metres of bunting for the wedding, using many materials that were familiar from her childhood. Â It was strung around the Oaks Farm grounds for drinks and the orangery throughout the day.
We spent about 20 minutes around Oaks Farm for some wedding portraits.
Michi and Chur had spent countless hours working on their details, including a birdy table plan and using a combination of circus-style fonts for signage. Table names had a theme of childhood desserts.
Chur’s mother put together this array of cakes and wedding cupcakes – teaching herself how to cook and decorate them especially for the occasion.
The day had its speeches before the wedding breakfast.
Throughout the meal, Michi’s father kept a close eye on his sleeping grand-daughter.
Chur jokes with his friends – he had written the Chinese part of his speech phonetically so he could read it easily.
The day was also Chur’s father’s 60th birthday – so it was time for more cake.
Michi’s brother and sister-in-law sang “More than Words” as their contribution to the day.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | Register Office, Westminster Register Office
Rachel and Matthew married about two months ago at Westminster Register Office with a reception at The Fellow in north London and I’m now able to post some photographs from their wedding. Rachel and Matthew wanted their day captured as it happened with virtually no staged portraits or groups – so here you are.
Friday, January 14, 2011 | Greenwich, Wedding
When Louise and Charlie planned their Star of the Sea Church wedding in Greenwich, they chose a red and white Christmas theme, but could not have imagined how much snow would fall, in keeping with the ‘white’ part of the theme.
Louise started her day getting ready with her family and bridesmaids at Devonport House, just a short distance from the church. Louise’s red rose bouquet was by Rachel Morgan Wedding Flowers. And her fascinator was by talented milliner and similarly named Rachel Trevor-Morgan.
Star of the Sea Church
A 15-minute snowstorm (OK, a blizzard, in Greenwich terms) had Charlie sheltering under an umbrella outside Our Ladye Star of the Sea Church so he didn’t get too wet or cold and ushers busy with brooms, clearing snow from the steps.
Louise and Charlie had arranged for a dog walker to bring along their boxer Lily for some photographs outside the church – very carefully, so Lily didn’t jump up on Louise’s dress.
The Routemaster vintage bus that Louise and Charlie had arranged to transport guests to their Trafalgar Tavern wedding reception backed down Crooms Hill beautifully without slipping in the snow and made its way carefully through Maritime Greenwich and past the Old Naval College.
While we had such crisp snow and clear skies, Louise, Charlie and I went for a walk along the river for some wedding portraits. We also sneaked a few couple portraits inside while guests were filing through to the Christmas-themed reception, complete with presents for the children.
Friday, January 7, 2011 | Christening
I have just finished editing a Greek Orthodox Christening from last month and although don’t have permission to post photographs of the family, really wanted to share some images of the stunning Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia in Moscow Road, W2. I have worked there before and it’s dark – so tricky to photograph and definitely somewhere to use specialist equipment – the rich woodwork, mosaic tiles and precious metals and stones glint with a dull beauty. This collection includes perhaps my favourite photograph from 2010 – can you guess which one it is?