London South Bank Centre wedding photo | Claire + Sean | A single

Claire and Sean came to London from their Surrey home with three of their friends to get married at Westminster Register office then have some wedding photos and champagne around the South Bank Centre.  The joy of a midweek wedding is that places like the South Bank Centre are a little less busy and we were able to get some photographs near this summer’s installation of beach huts with just Claire and Sean that would not have been possible on a busy weekend.  Here is just one from their wedding portrait session – the back of a beach hut as part of the South Bank Centre’s 50th anniversary of the Festival of Britain.
South Bank Centre wedding photo

Claridge’s wedding | Rachel + Andy

Rachel and Andy chose to have a Claridge’s wedding for their intimate midweek ceremony a few weeks ago. They live in Norfolk and chose to come to London for their wedding on a Friday with their two best friends, before spending the following evening seeing Take That at Wembley for Rachel’s birthday.
First up – the boys.  They looked jolly smart with Andy wearing a shirt that Rachel had given him for his birthday.  We were in the Claridge’s boardroom – with Amanda and Barbara – Westminster Register Office registrars waiting for Rachel.

Claridges wedding details

Yes – we’re ready to go – we have the rings.

Claridge's wedding ringsThe groom and best man wait for the brideGroom and best man at Claridge's have a drink before wedding ceremonyGroom waits for his bride at Claridge'sBest man check his watch for late brideBest man and groom wait for bride at weddingBride arrives at Claridge's Boardroom week day wedding ceremonyFriday wedding at Claridges Mayfair hotelClaridge's wedding ceremonyBest man holds rings ready for wedding ceremonyClaridge's wedding ceremonyClaridge's wedding ceremony

After the ceremony, we moved to the mezzanine floor for some wedding portraits of Rachel and Andy.  Wedding photographs at Claridge's stairsBride chats at wedding ceremonyClaridge's wedding photosClaridge's wedding photos
Claridge's wedding photos

Wedding portraits at Claridge's hotel, Mayfair, London



Chandos House wedding | Stephanie + Gareth

Stephanie and Gareth’s Chandos House wedding a couple of weeks ago was full of love, warmth and giggles.  The giggles were mostly coming from Stephanie, although not far behind was her father’s more manly laughter.  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.

Bride getting ready for wedding at Chandos House

Stephanie’s bridesmaids see her for the first time in her dress.

Chandos House wedding bridesmaids

Stephanie’s father has a last-minute traditional touch – a coin for her shoe – what a gallant gentleman he is.

Father of bride puts silver coin in bride's shoe

Stephanie and her bridesmaids pick up their bouquets from their layers of tissue …

bridal bouquet for wedding by Scarlet and Violet

… and after a last bit of lip gloss, we’re off.

Make-up artist Melanie Crump at Chandos HouseBride, her father and bridesmaids ready for wedding ceremony at Chandos House.Chandos House wedding ceremony - groom and best man waiting for bride

Chandos House wedding ceremony

Chandos House wedding ceremony - exchange of ringsChandos House wedding ceremony - bride and groom kissChandos House wedding ceremony - bride and groomChandos House wedding signing of register

Chandos House wedding - signing of register

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.  The flowers were by Scarlet + Violet, which apparently did Kate Moss’ bouquet for her Gloucestershire wedding – and one of my favourite designers Celia Birtwell 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).

Cakes 4 Fun wedding cake at Chandos House

Now – back to Stephanie and Gareth – we took about 15 minutes for some portraits about Chandos House.

Chandos House wedding portrait of bride and groomChandos House wedding portrait of bride and groomChandos House wedding portrait of bride and groom

Chandos House bride and groom photo

All too soon, it was time for Stephanie and Gareth’s wedding breakfast – starting with a grand entrance.

Bride and groom enter Chandos House wedding breakfast.

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.

Chandos House reception details - table plan

Stephanie’s father had everyone in stitches with his speech.

Father of bride speech at Chandos House reception

Groom gives speech at Chandos House

Westminster Register Office wedding | Jenny + Phil

Hull couple Jenny and Phil chose London’s Westminster Register Office and Notting Hill pub The Mall Tavern for their wedding reception because it was where they first met.  Or rather, Phil chose it as he organised all the wedding – all Jenny had to do was choose something to wear and turn up (in his words).   Jenny and her bridesmaids started their day by getting ready at the Grand Royale Hotel, which was once the home of actress Lilly Langtry.  The hotel had offered the use of the hotel’s ornate theatre for make-up and hairdressing, so it was rather grand. It was also an area for storing luggage, so alongside the opulence, there was a huge assortment of suitcases surrounding us.
Bride and bridesmaids getting ready for wedding

Bride getting ready

Back in Jenny’s room, we looked at some fabulous shoes: hers in black and her bridesmaids’ in red.

Black Prada wedding shoesVivian Westwood red shoes for bridesmaidsBride getting ready for her wedding.Bridesmaid getting ready for weddingBride and bridesmaids getting ready for weddingBridesmaids on their way to wedding

Not often you see four brides at once – and certainly not ones wearing such a fabulous birdcage veil. Jenny’s necklace was a birthday present from Phil.

Bride with birdcage veil in lift

Jenny and her father just before they headed for Old Marylebone Town Hall.

Bride and her father portrait

When Jenny arrived at Westminster Register Office, one of their registrars Amanda asked her to twirl – it seems Jenny’s skirt DOES swirl out a long way.

Bride at Westminster Register OfficeBride and bridesmaids in waiting room of Westminster Register Office, Old Marylebone Town Hall

 It was time for Phil to see Jenny in all her loveliness – he and the guests had been waiting patiently in Westminster Register Office’s Blue Room.

Westminster Register Office wedding ceremony - bride arriving

The boys had made sure their socks matched the day’s red theme.

Westminster Register Office wedding ceremony

As well as the legal part of their ceremony, Jenny and Phil added their own wedding vows, with Phil promising to keep Jenny in shoes, vintage dresses, holidays and mocha coffees and Jenny promising to look after Phil even when suffering from man flu, accept his being late and to make him a cup of tea every morning for the rest of her life.

Westminster Register Office wedding ceremonyWestminster Register Office wedding ceremony
Westminster Register Office wedding ceremony

Westminster Register Office wedding photographs on steps

After a couple of photographs of Jenny and Phil and their bridal party on the famous steps of Old Marylebone Town Hall, they and their guests hopped onto a Routemaster bus for a tour of London.

Westminster Register Office wedding guests wait for RoutemasterRoutemaster bus London tourRoutemaster bus London tourRoutemaster bus London tour

When we got to the London Eye and South Bank Centre, the bus stopped for a break and some wedding portraits on the South Bank. Jenny and Phil were thrilled with the idea of riding on a carousel for a few portraits.

Bride and groom wedding photos on carousel on London South BankBride and groom wedding photos on carousel on London South BankBride and groom wedding photos on carousel on London South Bank

If you see Mickey Mouse, you just have to, don’t you?!

Bride and groom with Mickey Mouse at South Bank, London

And an ice-cream!

Bride and groom with red Routemaster in London

Upon arriving at The Mall Tavern, Jenny and Phil had a few drinks then a couple of portraits nearby.

Bride and groom outside The Mall Tavern
Bridal portrait in Notting HillWedding photo in Notting HillWedding photo in Notting Hill

My part of the day finished while everyone sat down for a delicious looking menu in the late summer afternoon sun.

The Mall Tavern wedding receptionThe Mall Tavern wedding reception

Oaks Farm wedding | Michi + Chur

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.

Oaks Farm wedding dress detailWedding veil or vail at Oaks Farm

Bride getting ready at Oaks Farm

Michi’s parents chose to sit calmly outside in the sunshine while most of the getting ready was going on.

Outside Oaks Farm cottageBride getting ready at Oaks Farm

Bride getting ready at Oaks Farm

Oaks Farm wedding bridal portraits

Oaks Farm bride and maid of honour

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.

Harpist plays Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon by Handel at Oaks Farm wedding


Oaks Farm wedding flowers

Everything was in place for the ceremony – a nervous groom and a nervous best man, who is also getting married this summer.

Oaks Farm wedding ceremonyOaks Farm wedding ceremonyOaks Farm wedding ceremonyOaks Farm wedding ceremonyOaks Farm wedding ceremony

After their ceremony, Michi and Chur went outside for confetti and family congratulations.

Family throws wedding confettiGroom's grandmother congratulates groom at weddingGroom and mother at Oaks Farm weddingGrandfather congratulates groom on marriageGrandfather congratulates bride on marriageChur’s Hong Kong family heritage came into play as he and Michi took part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.  In this, the couple show their respect for their elders by serving tea to their parents and grandparents.  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.

Chinese tea ceremony at Oaks FarmChinese tea ceremony at weddingChinese tea ceremony at weddingChinese tea ceremony at weddingChur’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.

Chinese tea ceremony at weddingChinese tea ceremony at weddingChinese tea ceremony at weddingChinese tea ceremony at wedding

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.

Red Chinese tablecloth for signing at Oaks Farm wedding

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.

Wedding guests play in grounds.Wedding guests play garden games at wedding reception.

Michi’s mother had made endless metres of bunting for the wedding, using many materials that were familiar from her childhood.  It was strung around the Oaks Farm grounds for drinks and the orangery throughout the day.

Home-made bunting strung around wedding reception in garden.Wedding guest father and baby

We spent about 20 minutes around Oaks Farm for some wedding portraits.

Oaks Farm wedding portraits of bride and groom Oaks Farm wedding portrait groom Oaks Farm wedding portrait of brideOaks Farm wedding portraits of bride and groom Oaks Farm wedding portraits of bride and groom Bride and groom wedding portraits at Oaks Farm

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.

Circus fonts on wedding signs

Chur’s mother put together this array of cakes and wedding cupcakes – teaching herself how to cook and decorate them especially for the occasion.

Home-made wedding cupcakes at Oaks Farm, Surrey

The day had its speeches before the wedding breakfast.

Father of the bride speech at Oaks Farm.Father of the bride speech at Oaks Farm.Father of the bride speech at Oaks Farm.Father of the bride speech at Oaks Farm.

Throughout the meal, Michi’s father kept a close eye on his sleeping grand-daughter.

Grandfather watches over grand-daughter

Chur jokes with his friends – he had written the Chinese part of his speech phonetically so he could read it easily.

Grooms chats with friends

The day was also Chur’s father’s 60th birthday – so it was time for more cake.

Oaks Farm birthday celebrations

Michi’s brother and sister-in-law sang “More than Words” as their contribution to the day.

Brother sings wedding song to bride and groomBrother congratulates bride and groom on marriage.