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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Anthony & Amy's Wedding At Home

I wish there were more hours in the day - I have so many lovely shoots from this year that I would like to blog and I haven't managed to feature every wedding that I have photographed. However I definitely wanted to share this wonderful wedding - not because of the beautiful details (although they were) or the great setting (which it was).  But because this wedding represents the best part of being a lifestyle photographer - it is about the relationships you build and that grow over time.

The story begins with me photographing a 21st birthday party at the end of 2009 which led to an enquiry from one of the guests, Sarah, about a portrait shoot with her siblings Rachel and Anthony.  Here are a couple of the images that were given to their mum, Julia, as a present.

When Sarah got engaged to James she was in touch again and I shot their brilliant, happy wedding at the Bell's home in June 2012.   This is where I first met Anthony's girlfriend Amy.

So when I got the email from Anthony this year to say he was engaged (and his sister Rachel was a mum) I was delighted.  Until he told me the date - I was already booked - this is absolutely the worst part of being a wedding photographer and I was so disappointed.  Then followed another email with another date which I was already booked for.

A few weeks later another email to say the best man couldn't make the date so could I do October 12th?  Yes!!  I was so happy to be available that I ignored the fact that I was shooting a wedding in Hertfordshire on the 11th and would need to drive to Abergavenny the same night to make sure I was there safely...

My last blog post was all about the logistics and challenges of those two days due to the British weather, the lack of light so if you are interested to know more you can read all about it here.

And so to this lovely wedding.  The church was St Teilo's in Llantilio Crossenny and I think the flowers were the most beautiful I have ever seen.  The boys had a drink just down the road at Warwick's and Amy got ready at home which is where the reception was held.

I've said it before and I will say it again - I just love to shoot weddings that are at the bride's home - it's always so personal and such a team effort.  I loved the way that Amy and Anthony had decorated the barn - hanging swathes of material, foliage and twinkly lights to form a bar at one end and a stage for the band at the other.  Attached was the marquee for dinner which was decorated with a mix of jamjars of seasonal flowers and mini bottles of homemade Calvados.   Amy and her mum had also spent weeks sourcing teacups which were used for the puddings. 

Amy's gorgeous dress was by Lusan Mandongus and I adored how she wore her hair plaited with some fresh flowers. As we were leaving to go the the Church I stopped Amy at the bottom of the stairs because I knew how stunning she would look against that peachy wall.  Amy was driven to and from church in her mum's Morris Minor which they decorated with flowers on the outside and blankets on the inside.

The ceremony was beautiful and intense with friends of theirs singing throughout key moments.  The only mini drama was when one of the paige boys kept letting go of his helium balloons during the signing of the register.  I shan't forget his little face of anguish in a hurry.

As we all set off back across the hill to the farm the weather turned and we had about an hour of flashes of sunshine followed by torrential downpours.  Luckily  we managed to get some shots of Anthony and Amy in the garden before the rain came.  Couldn't resist a shot of Mr and Mrs Bell under the bell and have to admit that on the day I didn't notice the gnome perched in the apple tree!

The group shots were constantly interrupted by the downpours and we finally gave in and finished them off by the fire in the snug.  Guests were sheltering in the wood shed and the stables but it didn't stop the smiles.  Once it really started to rain it didn't stop but by this time guests were seated for speeches and dinner.

I had seen Anthony and Amy in action on the dancefloor at Sarah's wedding so I knew we were in for a treat and that the band would be amazing.  About half way through the first dance the guests were invited to join in and the party kicked off with brilliant moves from all age groups on a packed barn dance floor.

Amazing - despite all of the challenges I loved shooting this wedding.  Thank you to Niki Wright who was a star assistant for the 2 days and kept me awake on the journey home.

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