How the story begun……
Ed and Rachael met just over four years ago, they were teaching in classrooms next door to each other. Ed surprised Rachael and all their friends and family by taking her away to Venice and performed a not only an incredible feat of romanticism but also of balance – as he got onto one knee to propose! In fact no one believed them when they called with the news – so well done Ed. Before they went Ed had asked Rachel’s sister about whether he should choose the engagement ring, she advised probably best not, so they were engaged with a symbolic Venetian ring and then Rachael and Ed chose the ring when they returned home and started planning their Tylney Hall wedding
Planning their special day…..
Tylney Hall wedding coordinator Garry Sampson guided the couple through every detail of their day. For Rachael and Ed the most important thing for their day was to spend it with their family and friends. A lot of their family live abroad so it was important to be with them and celebrate their marriage together. They wanted their day to be a relaxed and happy day.
They chose a Tylney Hall wedding because it has a lot of family importance to Rachael; she grew up locally and had spent many important family occasions there, including her brother’s 21st birthday. Both Ed and Rachael love Tylney for its relaxed atmosphere combined with its grand and elegant gardens and house.
The day starts….
I photographed Rachael getting ready in one of the lovely suites at Tylney Hall. She wore a stunning bridal gown designed by Suzanne Neville, with a heavy lace bodice and simple skirt with button detail at the back and ribbon sash around the waist. Rachael loved Suzanne’s designs so she knew exactly what she wanted and they created the perfect dress that made her feel stunning on her special day. She wore her hair in long waves and had her makeup beautifully applied by a local makeup artist.
Rachael’s sister was her bridesmaid in a simple long gown of dusky pink, a younger bridesmaid in pink and a flower-girl in a white floaty dress tied with a pink ribbon and pink ballet shoes. The bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses had hangers with ‘Rachael and Ed’ and the date of their wedding on them – great detail shot.
Ed got ready in a separate room with his best man. Although he didn’t have any getting ready shots we took a few shots of the parents and the groom with his best man and usher. Ed looked every inch the gentleman in his tailored suit from Saville row designer Gieves and Hawkes.
Rachael and Ed decided they wanted to take some ‘first look’ photographs, just a few moments together before the wedding, so we went outside to get some stunning, natural portraits of the two of them.
Details of the day….
The couple were married in the main hotel in the Tylney Suite, the room was draped with a white curtain and the chairs had white covers with pink bows. ‘A Wedding Tale’ bespoke book was on each of the guests chairs including the order of service designed by Rachael and her friend. As they are both English teachers, the ‘book and literary theme reflected something personal about them, and they had chosen readings from their favourite poets alongside special messages.
Either side of the registrar were stunning standing arrangements of white cream and pink roses. All the bouquets and floral arrangements were supplied through Longacres. The ceremony and order of the day was kept to time by long time Tylney Hall wedding Toastmaster Alan Coxhead.
Outside there was a basket of confetti and the guests crowded round the couple, and I was ready to capture the special moment of them being covered in a shower of white and silver confetti hearts. There were some group shots of the bride and groom with their guests with the backdrop of the hotel and garden and some informal pictures as Ed and Rachael and their guests enjoyed a glass of champagne and canapes on the terrace.
For the wedding breakfast the guests moved to the Chestnut Suite. The round tables were arranged with matching flowers, lit with candles and the chairs were covered in white and tied with café au lait bows. Ed and Rachael selected a three course meal.
There were some special details, including a table of photographs of special loved ones, and a basket of flip flops for the girls so they could kick their shoes off and dance the night away later. The couple had an elegant two tier wedding cake with a piped design and large sculptural flower made from icing, and a ‘cheese’ cake topped with fresh fruit and two heart shaped cheeses on top. The cake was designed by Dominio Purchas , who started her career in design in architecture, before becoming a cake designer.
During the wedding breakfast Ed and Rachel walked around to talk to each table of guests so I captured some lovely natural group shots that showed them interacting, laughing and smiling
The First Dance
The couple took to the floor for their first dance to Peter Gabriel ‘Book of Love’ and then the DJ asked couple to join them in order of the length of time they had been married. This was a wonderful celebration not just of Ed and Rachael’s wedding but of the marriages and relationships of their loved ones. Then everyone stayed on the dance floor late into the night having a wonderful time to the music played by the Wedding Music Company, who also supplied the string quartet that had performed during the wedding breakfast.
As Ed and Rachael are both teachers, the honeymoon will be later in the year. So after the Easter break they would be heading back to school, and I’m sure their pupils and the school staff were all keen to see some pictures and hear about their special day.
Documentary wedding photography is about making memories and capturing emotions; I asked Rachael and Ed what were the special moments of their day, and for them the moments spent together before the ceremony was really important, a quiet oasis of togetherness before the roller coaster of the wedding day swept them up and away. Also Rachael’s sister’s speech was really emotional and meant a lot to the couple.
When I asked Ed and Rachael what they wanted from their photographs they were very clear that they wanted to have a wonderful relaxed wedding day with their family and friends and that they were ‘confident’ that I would photograph everything totally naturally, recording the ‘spirit of the day’. Following the wedding I create a slideshow for each couple with their wedding song, and Rachael and Ed told me their mum’s have been in tears (happy ones!) from watching and other members of the family have watched it on repeat! It is really important to me that my couples love their photographs and have a beautiful record of their day to share with their friends and family.
I asked them what advice they would give their friends when they plan their weddings and Rachael said to make sure ‘you enjoy every bit of it’ even the stressful chaotic moments of the day, and if you can ‘slow it down’ because ‘it goes in a flash!’ However Rachael and Ed have said that they have been able to relive all the special moments by looking at their wedding photographs, and because the day was captured naturally, with documentary storytelling images they can retell their day and share all those special moments and emotions that happened so quickly.
Ed and Rachael were such a lovely couple, I was really honoured to photograph their Tylney Hall Wedding and I wish them a long, loving and very happy marriage, with lots more stories to write together along the way.