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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sarah and Laurent's Aynhoe Park Winter Wedding

I shoot 25 weddings a year - that will sound like a lot to some people and not many to some photographers.  It is the right amount for me and keeps me loving weddings because the minute you don't enjoy photographing them you need to stop.  I had shot my 25th wedding by the middle of October.  And then the phone rang in November and I spoke to Sarah about shooting her wedding.  On December 8th.  I began the conversation with Sarah thinking that I wouldn't be saying yes and then she told me where it was taking place.

Aynhoe Park.  "Aynhoe Park is the creation of one man and his passion for collecting and entertaining. Housing treasures from his Grand Tour of the world in a striking 17th Century Palladian house sitting in 250 acres of Capability Brown gardens".

I actually believe it is probably the most visually rich backdrop for a wedding photographer in the UK.  It is only 11 miles from where I live and I have always wanted to shoot a wedding there. After meeting Sarah and chatting about their plans I was even more excited - this was going to be an exceptionally beautiful, stylish and happy occasion.

From my perspective there were technical challenges - the ceremony was at 4pm - just as it gets dark and they were going to be inside for the entire wedding.   I always want to produce beautiful images of the couple on the day - away from their guests and utilising the backdrops of the venues that they have chosen.  I warned Sarah that in order to produce beautiful quality images I was going to have to bring lighting kit with me - both for the images of her and Laurent and for the group shots.

The day dawned with amazing blue skies and sunshine - perfect winter weather.  Aynhoe Park was flooded with sunlight all day and then just as Laurent was waiting for Sarah in the Orangery the sun was setting outside bringing with it a palette of pinks and oranges.  Just incredible.

The things I remember the most include the sheer happiness of everyone and the abundance of family love on both sides.  Sarah's incredible beauty and elegance in her Phillipa Lepley dress.  The humour and friendship I witnessed whilst the men were getting ready.  Sarah's mum who was just so happy all day. The flowers - utterly amazing - by John Carter Flowers.  The shafts of sunlight.  The speeches - which were funny and genuine and full of love. And the backdrop which just became more beautiful as the light went and the candles and fires were lit.  

 I want to thank Sarah and Laurent for trusting me to capture this incredible wedding and Nikki Sheffield for being such a lovely assistant all day long.

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