Wedding Number 1 of 2020. And I didn't have to go far for this one! And what a start to the year!! Back on familiar territory at Top Meadows Golf Club. Sadie and Danny's Top Meadows Wedding was outstanding. So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy this wonderful wedding in words and pictures.
My first wedding of the new year coming so soon after my final wedding of 2019 meant I really didn't have much chance to reflect too much on things. I was straight into what I love best and at a venue I know well. However, this would be the first winter wedding I've shot at Top Meadow Golf Club having previously shot summer weddings there. So there were a few challenges to overcome. Not least the impending threat of Storm Ciara.
I got there nice and early just to familiarise myself with things again as it had been over year since I was last there. Right at the back of the venue, tucked away in the bridal suite was Sadie. Here was a scene of complete serenity. No hassle. No fuss. And one very relaxed bride.
Now I always say I'm not just there as a photographer. I've been shooting for 20 years now and have seen it all. So I like to help out in other ways. So when there was a lot of uncertainty about fastening Sadie's dress, well this was bread and butter stuff for me. To ease the stresses, I stepped in and did the honours ensuring the dress was perfectly set. This is what we like. No dramas.
Outside, Danny was gathering his thoughts ahead of the ceremony whilst a couple of pipers played traditional Scottish tunes....and Oh When the Saints go Marching in...Danny is a Spurs supporter in a room full of West Ham supporters.
The room upstairs was ready for the guests complete with a stunning arch at the head of the aisle. People were stopping to get photos done in the arch before taking their seats. The heating was on full blast so it was a bit toasty in there and a few of the guests near the windows were opening them to let some cool air in.
Along the long dark corridor, lit intermittently by downlight, Sadie made her way to the base of the stairs that would lead her to her hubby-to-be. All smiles and no sign of nerves.
So, onto the ceremony. After Sadie arrived her and Danny grinned all the way through the ceremony. Packed with laughter owing to nerves kicking in and words being jumbled up here and there, the ceremony was otherwise smooth and done and dusted within 20 minutes.
It was starting to pick up slightly outside. I found a sheltered spot for formal shots and then we had a stroll to get some shots of the happy couple. Owing to the downpours of recent days were we somewhat limited to where we could go as the ground underfoot was so wet and muddy. But nonetheless we got shots done and had a giggle in the process.
Now, I was in for a very pleasant surprise here. I was completely unaware that two of my good friends would be guests. It was so good to see Laura and Chris and catch up for a bit of a natter. We'd not seen each other for months!!!
With everyone sat down in their places dinner was served. I was lucky enough to sample the food myself, sat at the bar in the back room. Absolutely sublime!!
Suitably refilled I picked my spot for the speeches. True to form of recent weddings we were in for a treat with the best man's speech with Danny getting royally ribbed throughout. As a photographer, I do get caught up in the emotion and fun of the day. So it was no surprise that during the best man's speech I found myself crying with laughter behind the camera.
What I love about Top Meadow is the speed of turnaround from day to night set up. However there was just enough time to get out into the dark, cool down and get a few more shots and play around with the light. With the weather closing in we dashed back inside in time for the band who by now had set up and completed their soundcheck.
The lights dropped and on a sparkling dance floor the happy couple swayed about the floor before being joined by family and friends. And then the band cranked things up a notch. The floor was packed and jumping, with me in the middle capturing it all. To say it was a bit warm in there was an understatement. But it was a hell of a lot of fun!!!
Wedding number 1 of 2020 was done. And what a superb way to start the year!! Thank you Sadie and Danny!!!