Updated: Jan 1
So after just over 2 years of living in Hornchurch I'm finally starting to see the fruits of my labour and the Essex Weddings are now starting to come in. Lisa and Alan's wedding was my first wedding at my local venue; Langtons Registry Office in Hornchurch...a 5 minute walk from home! I had well and truly become a Hornchurch Wedding Photographer.
The day started at Lisa and Alan's house where Lisa, her daughter Paige, mums of the bride and groom and the bridesmaids were getting ready. It was all relaxed as the bridesmaids sipped champagne and the kids ran around playing hide and seek. It was a warm sunny day, so the doors and windows were wide open with a lovely breeze coming through to cool us all down. In between each person getting their hair done, Paige needed to have her hair re-pinned as a result of the playing. There were no sign of nerves here. Just a lot of laughter and chat.
I headed over to Langtons House. This is a stunning registry office set in Langtons Park in the middle of Hornchurch. At the top end of a large lake where geese, ducks and turtles swam about is the imposing red bricked building of Langtons. There was already a wedding taking place when I arrived complete with a couple of high power sports cars to ferry the wedding party around in. Over in the corner of the car park I spotted Alan and his stepson Reece. They were mingling with some of the early guests. As the previous wedding left, Alan moved forward and started pacing around by the main door before being ushered in. Meanwhile guests were arriving and getting a quick cuppa in the café next to Langtons.
As the guests were filing in, two pristine white London Taxis arrived containing Lisa, her mum and the bridesmaids. She was a little early so Lisa opted to sit in the air conditioned taxi. Good idea. Eventually though she was ushered into a side room inside the building to go through the details with the registrar. In the ceremony room the 40 or so guests had taken their seats. At the front Reece and Alan sat chatting. Like me, these guys are West Ham supporters. Here we had a big clash of priorities. Wedding at 3pm. West Ham United v Leicester City kicks off at 3pm. Alan suggested putting the commentary on during the ceremony so he could keep up to date with the match before giving me a cheeky wink.
Inside this room with a gorgeous pale blue Georgian feel complete with ornate white mouldings the temperature was rising. The air conditioning wasn't doing much. The registrars were in and Alan was asked to take his place. Any second now Lisa would make her entrance through the door at the back of the room.....any second........any second now. After a few minutes waiting one of the registrars stepped forward to see what the delay was....I think it a quick nervous toilet break. But eventually after her bridesmaids walked down the short aisle, Lisa and her mum made their way forward.
The ceremony was short, but packed with laughter. The sun was streaming through the windows and was perfect for capturing all the looks and glances. I was warned I wouldn't be allowed to use a flash. Not necessary in these conditions. With the "I do"s done and the first kiss came the signing of the register. It was here that the emotion got to Paige who sobbed whilst being comforted by her big brother Reece. But these were happy tears! Very happy tears.
Outside in the Park the guests mingled whilst I captured the happy couple. Over by the mock bridge we looked over the wall to find 10 or so turtles basking in the sun. It did feel like we were somewhere tropical. It didn't take long to get all the shots we needed, so after a quick break for some confetti throwing we all made our way up the A127 to The Lodge Inn at Battlesbridge.
Set off the main road amongst fields, the venue with it's neighbouring marquee (where we'd be based for the rest of the day) was a hive of activity. Waiters were dashing about putting the finishing touches to the tables and out on the green a bouncy castle and bucking bronco were being set up. There was no hanging about here. It was just after 4:30 and the staff wanted us all sat down by 5. The run a tight ship here! We were served a scrumptious carvery of turkey and gammon followed by white chocolate cheesecake before settling back for the speeches. This was an emotional part of the day where tributes were paid to Lisa's dad and Reece broke down as he delivered his bestman speech paying tribute to Alan who had brought him up as his own son.
By now the sun was beginning to set, turning the sky a beautiful golden colour. Perfect for some more relaxed shots of the newlyweds. By this time the evening guests were arriving. Again, bang on time the cake cutting took place before the happy couple took to the shimmering white dancefloor and swayed in each other's arms to Luther Vandross' "Always and Forever". Most of the guests congregated outside in the warm evening air being entertained by the brave souls tackling the bucking bronco. And I made my exit.
Lisa and Alan has promised a relaxed, no fuss wedding day....and that's exactly what they had. This was a joy to capture and a portfolio I'm proud to show off.