For me the 2015 wedding season started in the middle of June, however the unseasonably poor weather – persistent drizzle until an hour after the ceremony – didn’t put a dampener on the day, and didn’t stop me getting some great shots to help Jo and David remember their wedding day in Tewin, Hertfordshire.
Tewin Bury farm, just to the north of Welwyn Garden City, was a new venue for me but proved to be a really good location. Just a few minutes from the A1M the farm has a series of barns, rooms and bars which can combined and used to host different events. Even though there was another wedding going on at the same time, the 2 parties were completely independent and the venue provided everything that was needed.
As always when I cover a wedding my day started with a few shots of the bride’s dress, shoes and jewelery. In this case Jo had assembled a series of items for the old adage “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”, so I quickly took the opportunity to assemble these into a little still life shot. I always believe that the small details of a wedding, including things like the jewelery and table favours are really important since so much time goes into choosing and preparing these and in the excitement of the day they can be easily overlooked.
While Jo was getting dressed, I took some time out to catch-up with the groom, and found the groom’s men and ushers outside in the pouring rain directing traffic and sending the guests to the correct location. Part of my brief had been to shoot some reportage shots, so the combination of morning suits and umbrellas was simply too tempting…
David and Jo had chosen a short simple wedding service, but I was still able to get all the shots I needed, including the exchange of rings, signing of the register and of course the “Kiss”, however because of the rain I asked to do a group photo indoors immediately after the ceremony, just to be safe.
Having covered the Stag do a few weeks earlier (see David’s Stag do photos here) I’d had the chance to meet and talk to many of David’s friends therefore it was easy for me to call upon them to clear a space. I always like to see the venue with the couple beforehand and my plan had been to use the balcony that over looks the barn for this shot, however a net of fairy lights had been strung across the room making this impossible. So I called upon a technique I’d used for Lenny and Becky’s wedding (see those photos here) where I set the camera on self-timer and held it high above my head using a monopod. By describing this set-up as a “proper” selfie-stick I was able to get the reaction I required with everyone smiling, laughing and best of all looking at the camera.
About an hour into the reception the weather improved and I took the opportunity of the confetti shot, to get everyone outside so I could start on the formal portraits. Jo and David had done the homework I’d set them a few weeks earlier and had prepared a shooting list which I was able to work through quite quickly. I pride myself on working quickly since I always remember the wedding is about the couple’s day and not about the photography.
With an early wedding breakfast, and the light summer evening I was able to get a little time after the meal to take David and Jo aside to a quiet area away from their guests for some portraits. Again Tewin Bury farm delivered the goods with a river front garden, hexagonal summer house, and a decked area we could use that allowed me to create several different looks within just a few steps.
David and Jo’s wedding had a really relaxed leisurely feel, and having spent time with the groom’s men, and shot David’s bother’s wedding the previous year (see Michael and Rachel’s wedding shots here) I recognised many of the guests which helped me identify the key people and of course gave them confidence in my work. Incidentally Michael and Rachel have booked me for a photo-shoot for their forthcoming first child – I’m just waiting on the delivery date!
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