S&L had a wonderful wedding at Aubrey Park in Hertfordshire – Classic real wedding featuring a helicopter ride (obviously)
I had first met S when I photographed her sisters wedding way back near the beginning of my career, then I was lucky enough to get to know her family more during various shoots over the years. I was absolutely delighted when I heard she and L had become engaged and even more so when I discovered I would definetly be shooting it!
This couple wanted a classy and classic wedding with some less usual twists and both of them are not only gorgeous, but actually enjoy being in pictures and wanted some extra special shots (I love shooting everyone, but it is a little more fun when the couples love it equally!). Single shooter wedding again, but all at the one venue, the only tricky element was that I knew the groom was arriving by helicopter and dashing in and out to try and time that correctly was considerably more difficult that it sounds.
Amazing atmosphere in the hotel room with one of my favourite hair and make-up artists Holly from The Beauty Lounge in Dunstable busy with the already beautiful S. The bride had already requested a lot of detail shots and I busied myself initially with making sure I had included everything, the highlight of the morning being S opening her wedding day gift from her groom L, a rather wonderful pair of Christian Louboutin’s, classic and black and perfect for so many occasions, her expressions were priceless!
Making an Entrance
L is not just a handsome face, he is also a skilled helicopter engineer and that comes with, shall we say… a few perks?! Like, for example ensuring that you and your boys arrive in supreme style for your wedding day. The couples boys were there with so many of the guests who had come out to see the spectacle, with all three gents looking very smart indeed as they made their way into the venue for the ceremony.
A traditional registrar wedding with a few little delays in the morning pushing the schedule just a touch. S had decorated the venue so tastefully for the ceremony, gorgeous blossom trees lined the aisle and flowers accented throughout. They personalised the service with readings before saying their I-do’s and leading their guests outside for a celebratory drink.
Celebrations and Group Photos
The gardens at Aubrey are lovely and the guests quickly found a person to hug, or a place to sit with a drink. I worked as subtly as possible weaving in and out of the busy area and between the chatter capturing natural shots and interactions (this is usually my favourite opportunity at most weddings). Then, as per usual, the group photos had discussed at length with the couple to ensure that we could get them done as efficiently and with minimal fuss.
The Wedding Party
If you have read any of my other blogs, I will try not to be to repetitive, but LOVE these shots always. I love the banter and complete lack of decorum and then somehow making the best shots from this kind of combination.
Into the skies… what me too!?
If you arrive in a helicopter, then it would be quite rude not to take your new bride for a ride in it. That is exactly what L&S did next, taking to the skies and taking me with them for some great photographs of them enjoying themselves. I am delighted to report that I am not afraid of heights, this is often lucky in my job when I frequently have to hang out of windows and over bannisters to achieve the desired angle, but this was new heights even for me!
Not massively helped by the following conversation with the pilot as soon as I got into my seat:
Pilot: I dont really want you coming along. You have too much stuff
Me: Ah, sorry, my bosses *gestures to the couple* have requested that I come, I will behave I promise.
Pilot: Do you know that recent helicopter crash in the US, where everyone died?
Me: Umm… vaguely
Pilot: Well that happened because they had a photographer with the,, in the front seat and his camera straps got tangled in the controls
Pilot: So sit still and be out of my way
Me: *nods vehemently and ties up all of my camera straps and behaves
The rest of the flight went great, with gorgeous views for the couple and some wonderful photo opportunities of them, and possibly a cheeky selfie, because, well why wouldn’t I?
Singing waiters and speeches
The room was set up beautifully, keeping in-tune with the rest of the wedding, the couple opted mostly for understated decoration, adding a touch of bling here and there. S had hired a group of Singing waiters as a complete surprise for L, I had leased with them already so that I could spot them in the crowd and be ready when they began their set. It was wonderful to see the expression on L’s face (and all the guests!) as it dawned on him what was going on and their set last about 15 minutes with everyone, young and old getting involved in the fun. Particular mention to the fact that not only was everyone singing along, but many were up and dancing along too! Then on to the speeches, I do love the toasts as an opportunity to shoot some brilliant moments and expressions.
The Couple Portraits
I love doing natural stuff, I really do. Being in the right place at the right time and all of the ingredients coming together is a genuine thrill , but in reality ‘magic’ natural shots are not every moment of the day. Having worked with me before S&L knew about my more dramatic side and wanted some standout images of the two of them. Aubrey is wonderful, but not huge in terms of structural potential, so we disappeared into the meadow adjacent to the venue to capture these.
The merriment continued whilst I we were out utilising the sunset, and S&L were keen to get the dancing underway. They cut the cake whilst everyone snapped pictures before leading their guests directly over to the dance floor. They chose not to have the first dance all to themselves and called their guests to join after around a minute, confetti cannons certainly added to the atmosphere and everyone joined in the fun on the dance-floor.
As S&L had specifically selected me partially down to the dramatic style of images that I enjoy creating alongside the natural ones. After dark really lends itself to the dramatic and we used the modern glazing at the venue to create some city-like, dramatic scenes at the country hotel. I stayed a little while longer to catch up with the other couples that I knew at the wedding and to capture some more of the evening merriment before heading off.
I hope that you got some great ideas from this lovely wedding, you can discuss your own here – Esmé