I’ve recently had the great experience of photographing another wedding. My client Beverly had seen details of my first exhibition and contacted me back in March to see if I would like to be her wedding photographer. Beverly and Joel got married in August at the Plough Inn at Alnwick. The Plough is a lovely intimate setting and really close to the couple’s chosen reception venue – the Treehouse at Alnwick Garden. When I first heard Beverly and Joel had chosen the Treehouse I was just a teeny bit excited! My mind was in overdrive thinking of all the unique photo opportunities we could find.
Beverly was keen to have some relaxed and spontaneous photography of the day, starting with getting ready on the morning. It was so lovely to see how excited everybody was as they prepared for the ceremony, and it was great to be able to capture the candid moments like the wedding dress being buttoned up, and the bride being handed her bouquet for the first time.
This is one of my favourite photos from the day as it shows the bride being helped to the ceremony room by her bridesmaids. It’s the kind of thing the guests don’t get to see, and I laid it out like a cartoon strip to show how Beverly made her way down the stairs. If you look carefully on the final one, you can see the awaiting guests, unaware of the bride going past!
The room that the ceremony took place in was a really interesting set up, with a balcony all the way around the sides, the guests in the centre, and gave Beverly a really dramatic entrance down the stairway and then down the red carpeted aisle.
After the ceremony the happy couple greeted their guests in the reception area of The Plough. This was a great opportunity to capture the genuine emotions and expressions that were taking place, rather than staging shots where people can feel a bit uncomfortable. The guests were then left to enjoy themselves for a little while so that I could walk with Beverly and Joel from the Plough to the Treehouse via Alnwick Garden. It was really helpful that we had scheduled half an hour in the day to ensure we had some photos of the couple in the beautiful surroundings.
A great coincidence was the fact that Alnwick Garden was holding a fairytale event and we noticed the magnificent wrought iron gate that had been put up for this. It made a fantastic backdrop, and really suited the shape and style of Beverly’s dress. She really did look like a princess!
As well as the shots we had planned in advance, I really enjoyed capturing the more candid photo opportunities of the couple taking their first walk together as man and wife. I think this really is a case of not just having the best equipment, but having an eye for a good composition, and also being able to anticipate being in the right place at the right time. In reality this translated as a little bit of running and jumping around!
At the Treehouse we made sure we had the family group shots done in a quick and effortless way which means the guests have more time to enjoy the day. I think a good photographer should be like a good waiter or referee – if you didn’t notice them then they did a successful job! One thing we did have to choreograph with the guests however, was throwing the bouquet. I got this shot by climbing up to pretty much the highest point on the Treehouse – one of the turrets at the top of the dining area. I’m really happy with it as I think it’s a great angle to get all of the guests in.
I also made sure I documented all of the lovely features of the Treehouse, and all of the effort Beverly had put into things like the table settings, flowers, name cards and most importantly – the cake! As well as the guests at the wedding (of course!), these are the little details that make the whole day.
I stayed until Beverly and Joel’s first dance together, which was really lovely to photograph. It’s obvious what a fantastic couple they make.
When I sent Beverly and Joel their edited photographs they were over the moon with them, which is a really satisfying part of the job. Beverly has said “We are so so so chuffed!! The photos are stunning, you’ve captured everything we hoped for and more – thank you so much.”
I had a really great day and felt like I was in my element. I’m taking bookings for more weddings next year and beyond. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your plans, or you can check out my photography packages at http://www.helentaylorphotos.com