I was contacted by Sammy and Jamie to cover their wedding at Dodmoor House, Northamptonshire and that is where we met for the pre-wedding session. I like to do my free pre-wedding shoots at the venue, as it gets us acquainted with the location and staff before the big day. I like to scout out the best places for photography and best poses, then the bride and groom can decide what they do and don’t like beforehand, making it less stressful the day of the wedding.
Dodmoor House is a privately owned residential property that has had their barns converted especially for weddings. It has retained most of its original features and is set in some lovely grounds, it is also just over the hedge from the Grand Union Canal. Unfortunately, although the weather was good on the day, I think we had made a conscious decision that it would be too muddy to go down there in January.
Sammy and Jamie had chosen the full day wedding collection, so I met Sammy, her bridesmaids and her family for the bridal prep beforehand. Her flower girls are friends with my children at school, so they were up for having their photo taken, which always makes my job much easier. With the house, church and venue all being a short travelling distance between them, it meant I could stick around while Sammy got into her dress before I shot off to the church.
Once at the church I met up with Jamie and his groomsmen and had plenty of time to take some family photos and more detailed shots like rings. Jamie was so calm he managed to get the rings standing up together, which made for a cracking photo. It was bitterly cold this day and my hands were shaking too much.
Standing outside waiting for the bridal car I was freezing, my poor fingers had a job to work the camera dials and buttons. Thankfully the bridal party travelled together in a classic Ford Limo, so once it arrived we headed straight into church for the ceremony.
Sadly, the vicar wouldn’t allow a confetti shot in the grounds, so we made a last minute decision to return straight back to Dodmoor House to do the confetti and guest shots there. It was the first (and probably the last) time a bride and groom had been early to their reception, so we took the time to get the guest photos out of the way so they could relax and mingle in peace.
I did take Sammy and Jamie off briefly for some lovely creative photos, by this time the sun was low and the golden hour had arrived. Part of me likes the fact you have so many different scenarios at winter weddings. When you shoot in the summer the sun is strong and still up till late at night, which makes night time photography and sparkler shots a whole heap harder and your day so much longer.
After the wedding breakfast, it was completely dark so I took them off again for a couple of night time images before the evening guests arrived. Dodmoor is beautifully lit at night and provided a completely different backdrop to the day time. There were fairy lights everywhere making everything sparkle.
I set up early for the first dance and had a couple of little models to test the settings on. As soon as the disco arrived they were getting into the swing of things dancing around the floor and having a lot of fun. Sammy had decided just before the first dance she would throw her bouquet from the mezzanine, which proved a challenge as my kit was already set up for the dance floor. But I love a challenge and it all worked out in the end.
Until next time!