Kate and Jesper wrote on their couple's questionnaire that they wanted to ride fake cows outside The Red Barn and that they'd brought their own Western fancy dress... that's always a good start to a photographer-client relationship! Kate got ready with her bridesmaids at a hotel down the road, she wore an amazing black sequin dress from Macy's whilst her bridesmaids wore dresses from Maids to Measure, with her bridesmen wearing their own suits. Jesper got ready in the same hotel, which I love because it gives me that rare chance to shoot the groom prep alongside the bridal prep, telling a much fuller story of the day!
Their ceremony was full of tears and emotion from all parents and Kate's mum gave a short reading. As Jesper is Swedish, they themed their tables at The Red Barn after various Ikea ranges! The Red Barn itself is a great little venue as it's already well decorated with vintage airplanes hanging from the ceiling, an entire wall of old school books, shelves of vintage quirky nic-nacks... it's ideal for those who want a low key wedding as it doesn't need much decor added.
After the ceremony the guests all had drinks in the sunshine whilst Kate, Jesper and I took some group shots and as per requested, we took some photos atop the fake cows!
Kate and Jesper gave their guests favour boxes which included flavoured vodka and giant lollipops!
Instead of a wedding cake they had a Krispy Kreme doughnut cake!
During the speeches the guests raised vodka toasts as per Swedish tradition!
The sweetie table was supplied by Jesper's family, a whole range of traditional Swedish favourites like Plopp and (AWFUL) salt covered liquorice. Quite a few of the the guests and one unlucky photographer got tricked into eating the liquorice. Don't do it people!
As soon as the music started everyone hit the dancefloor and the photobooth which was stocked with lots of fancy dress hats
Anna and Stu had their wedding day on Chinese New Year, which was a fitting nod to Anna's maternal heritage! Hampton Court House's infamous red room was perfect as red is a lucky colour for us Chinese, and Anna's family decorated various parts of the main ceremony room with oranges, sweets for the children and CNY signs and lucky blessings. As it was the year of the rooster they also decorated the steps with a rooster! As a surprise for the guests Anna and Stuart organised a dragon dance with the help of friends and family.
Anna got ready just down the road at Lion Gate Mews, she wore a second hand dress from Preloved and Stu wore an old suit from House of Fraser. Anna wore her grandmother's pearl necklace and a borrowed veil, the bridesmaid's dresses were from Phase Eight. After their ceremony in Hampton Court House's stunning foyer, the guests enjoyed a range of canapes and CNY sweet treats whilst Anna, Stu and I took some group and couple shots. Everyone then went through for dinner where the table centrepieces were named after places Anna and Stu had travelled to or lived in, with the top table named after the place where they got engaged. After dinner the Supertones, a fab wedding band specialising in indie and rock covers provided the evening entertainment, with the guests enjoying a range of masks and fancy dress bits and bobs collected by Anna and Stu. They ended the evening with sparklers at midnight!
Here's my roundup post! I did my first ever "best of" post last year and it's been quite tough to put this one together because inside it feels a bit like a annual exam at school. If you didn't step up your game from last year, you've failed. What I've since realised, having opened and closed this draft about 8 times now, is that with each year of wedding photography I focus on something different. I remember in my second year I spent the whole year mastering my flash work, both on and off camera- I did a heck ton of night time portraits and although they're what we call a "money shot" I realised I didn't love them as much as I loved the kooky and humorous documentary. Last year was a fab turning point for me because I really started to find my voice and having spent a year getting lost in what was expected of me from wedding blogs, I circled back round to what made me original from the start. This year, I feel my focus has been a mix of the kooky angles, but also I'm looking a lot more closely at people. Like literally closer. This is probably due to my move to the Fuji system from Nikon. It's way more discreet to shoot with so you feel a lot more confident to get right into the thick of the action. I think I've also been blessed with some truly wonderful couples, I've seen goats and been on planes and climbed on shoulders on groomsmen several times, I've seen my first arm ladder throw thing (dunno what it's called) several times and I've seen A LOT of PARTAY!! So I guess last year was about me and showing off my style, whereas this year, I'd like to raise a glass and make a toast to the couples. Thank you for getting married. Thank you for letting me shoot you.
P.S I don't know why at some point I changed my sizing for the width of my blog post images, sorry to the OCD peeps out there.
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I was really honoured to shoot Mark and Ruth's wedding all the way over in Singapore! It'd been quite a few years since I'd shot a Singaporean wedding so I was keen for that rare experience of shooting the pre-wedding games. For those of you who don't know, one of the Singaporean wedding traditions is for the groom and his groomsmen to face a series of "challenges" to be allowed to meet the bride. I'm pretty sure it started off mildly but over time it's evolved into genuine torture. Mark and his bros pulled out the stops and came dressed as Mario and his turtles, they weren't asked to by the bridesmaids, this was just their choice :D When they got to Ruth's their first challenge was to eat their way through a frozen bowl of wasabi, chilli and who knows what else, to get the key inside for her room. The funny thing was half way through the bridesmaids realised maybe they'd made the frozen sculpture too thick, and it would take too long to get through, but Ruth's actual room key was inside so someone had to get it for real! The next challenge for Mark was guessing Ruth's body parts from a board of others. Everytime he got it wrong there was a penalty of eating Oreo's off that specific body part, off his groomsman or vice versa. After that they gave him a phone with an open amazon page and said he either had to order Ruth's favourite snowboard on the spot, or face a drinking penalty. Mark chose the drinking penalty, which resulted in some genuinely ill groomsmen!
After their ordeals, they were allowed in and got changed out of their turtle suits to head off to the wedding. Their ceremony was held at Ruth's local church in Dhoby Gaut, followed by food and drinks at the church. The guests were then given a few hours to head over to the Amara Hotel on Sentosa Island whilst Mark and Ruth got changed before their Chinese tea ceremony which was held during their drink reception. The eight course banquet ensued with lots of auspicious dishes, with speeches and choir performances (from Ruth's friends) in between courses. Singaporean weddings don't have a party after dinner as it usually takes until midnight to nom through the whole banquet, so after the dinner Ruth and Mark hugged their guests goodbye and had an after party with friends in their hotel villa!