So let's take a stroll back to just before Christmas on a wet, windy and chilly Saturday. This would be a wonderful day shooting a Ye Olde Plough House Wedding and amongst a great bunch of people. Gemma and Adam's wedding would put the seal on my 2019 wedding calendar and what a way to finish the year off.
Gemma and Adam wanted a relaxed chilled out day and from the outset that is exactly what we had. Gemma was getting her hair done when I arrived whilst people were coming and going from the room getting button holes delivered to various parts of the hotel and making sure all the final details were in place.
Amongst it all, Gemma sat cool as a cucumber, sipping a glass of fizz whilst giggling at the commotion going on around her. Over in the main building Adam was getting a quick pint in at the bar before the guests arrived. One for the road!!
This wasn't going to be a massive wedding. Probably no more than 50 people. The ceremony room was set up and ready for the guest's arrival. It was gorgeous....check out the images below.
Everyone was now in place and Adam paced about nervously. A couple of nervous laughs and puffed out cheeks. From the back of the room and down a small flight of steps the bridesmaids made their entrance followed by Gemma.
Everyone was open mouthed, not least the gobsmacked groom. Definitely the cat the got the cream. The ceremony was really short but again this was all part of the plan. Nothing over the top. Just nice and straight forward and simple. There was plenty of laughter though throughout the ceremony.
With the register signed and the I Do's done the newlyweds left the room and headed to the patio area outside the bar to welcome their guests and have a celebratory drink. When we got outside there was snow!! Well, not quite. A snow machine was blowing white foam and bubbles across the garden. But in the chill of this December day it was very realistic and looked perfect. It's the closest I've come to shooting a snowy wedding!
I kept the formal shots to a minimum as I swear everyone was going blue!! Back in the warmth of the hotel, the drinks flowed. Like me, a vast majority of the guests were West Ham supporters so there was a definite divide in the room. Those checking out the wedding rings and flowers and those who were listening intently to West Ham's progress against Southampton (for the record we won 1-0).
So as the light began to drop, the guests were ushered in to get their food. In between courses Adam modified his speech and carried out several rehearsals. When it came to the speeches at the end of the reception, they didn't disappoint. Last and by no means least, the best man's speech did not disappoint. When you're given the task of ribbing the groom, this lad took on the challenge with glee. There were a few gasps with some of the more risqué moments but in general the guests were in pieces. Adam had his head in his hands.
By now the sun had long since set and the temperature had plummeted. So what better thing to do than to gather people outside to play with sparklers. This was a monumental task trying to sort the logistics of lighting 50 odd sparklers, in the wind, with a couple of lighters. But through gritted teeth and determination, all the sparklers were lit and everybody went nuts.
By now the tables had been cleared and the DJ was ready to welcome the happy couple onto the dance floor for their first dance. For all the nerves they had about the dance, these two owned the floor. Despite beckoning people onto the floor desperately to join them most people stood and watched, opting to join in on the second song.
I finished the night happy with a good job well done. Not bad having been in a plaster cast up until 3 days before from breaking my arm and being burgled and having my car stolen that week. It was the perfect end to the year....a tough year with many challenges. But through it all I got through and drove home feeling that I was producing the best photography of my life.
So thank you so much Adam and Gemma for the perfect end to 2019. Here's to 2020.