Loathing the idea of staring into each other eyes all day for your wedding photographs?
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If I sit and think over the last 10 years of photographing weddings, and I try to sum up what is the most important parts of it, there are a few moments throughout the day that tend to play themselves out in my mind over and over again.
Not the first kiss, but possibly the exchanging of the rings.
Definitely not the portraits, although I consider them essential and we enjoy and work hard at creating some mind blowing artistry for you to hang in your home.
As a younger photographer I used to roll my eyes at family portraits, but I have learned that they are essential, and people who are older (i.e have lost loved ones) really value them, so there must be something to it. However, they still fall into the category of “have to be done”. They don’t really make the wedding day for me.
The times that really speak to me at weddings are the following.
The getting ready stage. The anticipation, the final arrangements, the strength of a bride overcoming a disappointment with joy (the cake never arrived). A mother and daughter spending a quiet moment together. It’s really so much more than a make up session, and I love spending time in the bridal suite before she enters through to a new season of her life.
Father or mother handing over the bride. This is a fleeting moment and over so quickly, but it often packs a momentous punch. I often find that the greatest moment is just as they start walking together, rather than at the moment of handing over.
Signing of the register. Yes, as unromantic as it may sound, this is often a very powerful moment. I think it is because of both the timing and the gravity of the event. You have just experienced the excitement of being joined in marriage and often the guests are now gone and you have a little moment together where you can talk and smile and kiss and hug, but you are also completing a serious legal agreement together, your very first as husband and wife. It’s new, and it’s final. It also seems like the time when the families often really come together as being joined to some degree. Before this moment they were separate in the pew, now they shake hands, congratulate, and sign an agreement. Take your time with this, we certainly enjoy photographing it.
The time right after confetti. It depends on the wedding, but this is often a time of immense joy and happiness. Tears flow, the hugs are long and intense, conversation is bubbly. When planning your wedding day, schedule some time for this, it’s worth enjoying it.
Look, times are a changing, we get it. People are probably more self obsessed than ever, and if not a bride on her wedding day, then who, and when? However, there are still many couples out there who see the wedding day as a sacred ceremonial, something that holds value in and of itself, that should be celebrated with or without fanfare. The dress and the flowers are absolutely essential, yet absolutely peripheral at the same time. It’s about the people, whether few or many, and the rest is there to set the stage for the banquet of the century.