A relaxed, rustic, spring wedding at the beautiful Post Barn in Berkshire.
I love a wedding where I know the Bride and Groom personally, because as the photographer, I get all the details before the wedding! I also get to be behind the scenes on the day, getting to see my lovely friends throughout all the stages of the day, including the getting ready room, plus the bonus of being at the party beyond the first dance. The extra special added bonus at Sian and Tom's wedding was being married to the best man, so I even got insider knowledge on the speech - I actually knew more about the day than any single person at the wedding!
I have known Tom since I started dating (and later married) his best friend in our 3rd year of University. Sian came along a few years later, and they even came to visit us when we were living in Shanghai. It was such an honour to be asked to photograph their wedding, and I really loved having a great excuse to take lots of photos of my husband!
Sian's bridesmaids were gorgeous and lots of fun, and I really enjoyed spending time with them in the getting ready room. Sian had her somethings old, new, borrowed and blue and even the six pence to go in her (fabulous) shoe!
The flowers were very Spring-like, with sunflowers, daffodils and lots of greenery, with thistles too as a nod to Sian's Scottish roots.
The Post Barn is a really pretty wedding venue, filled with lots of natural light and lovely high ceilings. It is in the middle of a golf course, so there is plenty of greenery all around, and lots of space for group photos and Bride and Groom portraits. We had nice weather for the day, so were able to get all of the photos outside, including some great confetti throwing shots. I did have to spend a full 5 minutes fishing confetti out of the brides dress before the B&G portraits though - never done that before! At least we're already friends!
I always have a little wander around the grounds of a venue before the wedding to get an idea of where the best light is for photos. Sometimes, a particular spot will call to me, and I can instantly picture what those photos will look like, what pose will look the best and what emotions I will try to capture. Often, these random, spur-of-the-moment (and not always easy to get to) spots end up being my favourite photos of the day. I knew I had found this wedding's spot when I saw a wall covered in beautiful purple wisteria. The photos did involve moving a bin, blocking a drainpipe with some clever posing, breaking my usual rule of not shooting from below and climbing a small wall, but thank goodness Sian and Tom were so relaxed and happy that they were willing to trust me and go with the flow! I'm so glad they did, because the wisteria photos are without a doubt my favourites from the whole day.
I must admit that I really enjoyed taking photos of the speeches too at this wedding. We had speeches from the Bride, the Bride's brother and the best man (who says you have to be 'traditional!'). I was in on the plan for my husband's best man speech, and knew that he was starting off with a surprise game of Mr & Mrs, which went down very well with the Bride, Groom and guests.
For anyone looking for speech inspiration, Mr & Mrs is a game where the Bride and Groom sit back to back, each holding one of each of their shoes. They are then asked questions, such as 'Who is the best cook?' and they hold up the shoe of the person they think is the best cook. They can't see each other's answers. It's funny to see which questions are answered the same or different, and which are answered quickly or need a bit of time to think about. The game can be as clean or embarrassing as you choose, and there are some great websites that have ideas for questions that I will link below.
Give it a go. It's guaranteed to get the crowd warmed up for some laughs!
The best bit about this wedding was that after getting to spend the day watching two of my lovely friends get married, I got to join the party afterwards! This happens so rarely it was such a treat. Usually I head off after the first dance, but this time, I put my camera away and put on my heels to dance the night away. This turned out to be a huge error, since I realised I haven't actually worn heels since before lockdown! My feet were killing me, but I was determined to keep those heels on, and I managed it... just!
A great day, celebrating the love of two great people. Definitely one to remember.