A family wedding

 …and my favourite photograph as a parent

 

My pre-thoughts a month and longer before the wedding

A busman’s holiday after 1500 of my own weddings

I wanted to do the pics myself

I also wanted to be in the moment with my son on his day

He was worried that all I would do was take pics and not relax and be Dad at his wedding

I couldn’t get excited about the wedding although I was involved with the planning from a been there done that perspective

Getting mum organised, she’s 78 years young, is the best mum in the world but takes forever to get ready

I now see what every couple who get married go thru with wedding planning and what’s important to them

 

A week before the wedding

I’m getting super excited and can’t wait

I’ve decided I need my camera as my mask but won’t take lots of pictures

I’ve taken out the Triumph TR6 to polish it and give it a little run as it’s the wedding car.

I’m nervous. My ex-wife Sarah will be there with her husband her family and a few friends and although I know there won’t be any issues .. its over 18 years.

The day before

The lawn is cut, and I get help making the garden look great, we set out in the garden three large tables laid with Indian cotton tablecloths as my three boys, their partners, best man and all the ushers are coming around for pre-wedding english breakfast prior to the wedding ceremony cooked by my partner Karen. Preparation takes most of the day at the house with the final touch of putting cream ribbons on the wedding car that James and his best man will travel in.

The big day.. The first of two this year!

I drive to mums at 9.30 and I’m chuffed, she looks amazing in her wedding outfit and is ready and on time. James my son and groom arrives with his best man and friend Sean followed by all the ushers along with Alex my youngest son and Jonny with his fiancé Stevie.

Breakfast is served for 14 people with vegan options for some, I don’t think any of us realise what a task this is feeding so many hungry mid 20 year old guys. Karen does a superb job but has still to get ready herself!

The time is ticking, and the guys use my lounge to change and get ready, I’ve already decided I will photograph bits of the day and start at this point with the guys but leave the main stuff to my best friend Frank who is already at Emma the brides house.

Once ready James and Sean jump in the TR6 and roar off for the short drive to their wedding venue The Tudor barn

I arrive 15 mins later with Karen, all is great the weather is kinda perfect, not too hot as of recent weeks and a beautiful blue sky to boot, perfect for an outdoor wedding.

The Ceremony

I decide not to take my seat in the second row behind all the ushers but stand alongside Frank my main photographer, I just wanted to be there and knew from experience that as wedding photographers we always have the best view in the house.

I take the odd snap but am emotional seeing my eldest marry his soul mate, she looks amazing and has the happiest smile on her beautiful face, my son also sheds a tear as he sees his future wife for the first time.

The Drinks Reception

Frank organises our groups quickly and efficiently whilst I use my camera as a prop to go talk to people I don’t really know as father of the groom.

All is well, I talk to my ex-wife, her sister and friends, it a lovely atmosphere. A perfect day sipping champagne and nibbling a canape or two but before we know it we are being called in to the barn to enjoy the wedding breakfast…. a deliciously simple sausage and mash meal followed by sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream…. every plate in the house clean.

The reception went at a hundred miles an hour  with great conversation and being entertained by industry friend Fil Straughn, he really had the whole of the room in the palm of his hand with his amazing voice.

A lovely moment happened at the bar…. Kevin my ex-wife’s husband came up to me and said “I’d just like to congratulate you on having and raising three amazing sons” to which I replied “thanks that’s really appreciated but I should also be thanking you as you’ve also been a part of their lives helped bring them up and whenever they talk about you it’s always in the highest regard”

We shook hands, and both shed a tear.

Dancing the night away

James and Emma opened the dancing to a Lionel Ritchie number sang by Fil and his band Strong Sensation. We danced, we drank and we all had an amazing and perfect day.

My favourite picture

With the pictures all processed I’m looking at the pictures from two differing viewpoints, one as a documentary wedding photographer and the other as a father and if I were to pick two they would be the reflection shot of Emma getting ready from a photographer’s view point but from a father and family the one image I have had printed is a family group with the Bride and Groom, Mum, my three boys and Stevie Jonny’s fiancé, Go figure ….

And the rest of the pictures