Gemma and Craig’s wedding day started with a bit of a personal milestone for me, as it was actually my son’s 1st birthday! Fortunately he was too young to really know that Daddy was going to work (and that’s the amazing thing about my job – it’s so much fun that it doesn’t really feel like “work”!), and I was up early to celebrate with him and my wife, giving him lots of presents and cuddles, and watching him blow out the candle on his birthday cake! After our mini celebration, I got my photography gear together and set off for Gemma’s parent’s house in Leighton Buzzard, where the bridal prep was to take place…
Bridal prep was a joy to photograph, as the atmosphere was so calm, happy and relaxed. Gemma had a great hair stylist and make-up artist working away to create her perfect wedding look, and her two little flower girls were super cute and excited about the big day! I was struck by how calm and in control Gemma was throughout the whole process – often bridal prep can be a bit manic as there’s so much to get done and so many last minute pressures which can leave you feeling a little flustered, but everything was so well organised she could just sit back and enjoy the morning, which is exactly what you want and need on your wedding day.
Once Gemma was all prepped and in her wedding dress (isn’t it stunning?!), it was time to show her Dad her final wedding look, and it’s fair to say this was such a special and perfect moment! He was very emotional, and the look in his eyes as they misted over just said everything about how proud he was of his little girl. Moments like that make me feel so happy to do what I do, and I was so glad I was able to capture those photos for Gemma and her Dad to look back on for years to come.
After the bridal prep I drove off to Dodford Manor to meet Craig and the boys (who were equally relaxed and calm, and looking very sharp in their suits!), and take some shots of them at the venue before the ceremony, as well as a few photos of the venue itself which was looking beautiful in the pale spring sunshine. Gemma and her bridal party then arrived in two gorgeous vintage cars so it was a great opportunity to get some photos of them all as they made their way in, and I love the shot of Gemma getting out of the car with her beautiful bouquet looking so happy and stunning. I got one final snap of Gemma peeking through the little hole in the wall between the bridal prep room and the ceremony room (a fantastic little area for the bride to do a bit of last minute make-up and take a sneak peak at the room before she walks down the aisle), and then it was off to the front of the ceremony room to prepare for the big entrance.
It was another big moment for Dad as he walked his daughter down the aisle, and I love the photo of him shaking hands with Craig at the end of the aisle – all of them looking at one another and smiling – there’s a lot of love, trust and pride in that shot, and it’s a really special moment for them all which I was honoured to photograph.
After the beautiful ceremony, which included some wonderful music from a professional harpist, the couple left the room to a sprinkling of confetti, as man and wife.
Then I was lucky enough to steal them away for some couple’s shots with their car (if you’ve hired a special car for your wedding I really would recommend doing this – the shots we got really give the wedding photos that extra something special!) After the more formal family shots and some more couple’s portraits (during the drinks reception) we headed indoors to the second barn, which was perfectly set up for the wedding breakfast, and I took lots of photos of all the little details which Gemma and Craig had spent time preparing.
After the meal, I took Gemma and Craig back to the other barn for a few more shots of just the two of them, and I’m really glad I did, as not only did it give them a few minutes breathing space just the two of them, but we were able to get some great shots of them on their own with the stunning barn interior as the backdrop. A bit of time on your own at this point is really nice as it gives you a chance to step back and reflect on everything that has happened so far, to just get a few minutes to talk to one another properly and chat about how perfect the day has been so far!
Back to the second barn for the cake cutting (an amazing 4-tiered cake adorned with flowers), and then the first dance. This was made extra special as the singer for this was Gemma’s cousin – needless to say, her voice was just beautiful, and the family connection made this moment really moving and personal.
I have nothing but amazing memories of Gemma and Craig’s wedding – it was just perfect from start to finish!