*Thank you to the couple for giving me permission to use this selection of photos*
Islington Town Hall wedding
Where do we start with this brilliant couple? When I met them in Soho I really hoped they would book me for their Islington Town Hall wedding ceremony and epic weekender Widcombe Grange wedding in Somerset. We chatted about the festivals they'd been to and I could see very quickly that they love to laugh together and have a real zest for life. I met them for their civil ceremony to do the legal bits with some of their friends. They held the legal ceremony in the Mayor's Room of Islington Town Hall, which is suitable for smaller wedding parties. I've shot so many Islington Town Hall weddings but in five years I think this was the first time I'd shot in this room!
Widcombe Grange wedding welcome drinks
Days later, I headed down to Somerset to shoot the three days at Widcombe Grange. We started with some relaxed welcome drinks and as the couple's immediate family were staying on the grounds, their family enjoyed some pool time. Some of the guests had a go at lawn croquet and some other games like frisbee, table tennis and badminton. This is the upside of weekender weddings for me, getting to shoot interesting and creative family portraits in a documentary style. It is so so important to tell the fuller story around the wedding, as weddings are about the people! I love seeing people practising their speeches, seeing the dynamics between couples... it all means I get a good understanding of how to shoot the main day's action.
Widcombe Grange wedding: The bohemian outdoor ceremony
On the main day, the couple got ready on site: Widcombe Grange is an old private estate. The groom and his friends set up the ceremony space in the morning- the beauty of having a personal ceremony on private land is that you can choose exactly where you want to share that special moment. They decided to set up a gorgeous heavy wooden frame, decorated with gorgeous flowers, in front of a stunning warm Autumnal tree. The couple bought several persian style rugs in red and blue and laid these out to form the ceremony space and the aisle. They then completed the look with decorations of wicker love seats and Moroccan lamps.
The bride wore a simply stunning diamante backed dress, with a very delicate light floaty skirt. The groom got ready in the living room downstairs with a few of his closest friends.
The ceremony was conducted by two of the couple's dearest friends, and personal words were read by friends, the groom's niece sang a song which reduced some of the guests to tears, and the bride and groom exchanged touching vows.
After the ceremony the couple were congratulated by emotional loved ones and all the guests moved to the front of Widcombe Grange for drinks, traditional lawn games and amazing canapes provided by Milkshed Catering.
The couple has also provided a temporary tattoo station for their friends to enjoy! Which definitely got more utilised as people got more drunk towards the end of the night.
After a short drinks reception, the couple headed to the white open sided marquee for dinner. The couple, best man and bride's father gave speeches, followed by an impromptu bride's speech where she shared a fun story of a skiing holiday she and a guest had gone on.
After dinner they had a surprise for the guests of DIY coffee martinis, which added a bit of fun action as each table tried to up the stakes on the cocktail shaking!!
By the time dinner had finished it started to get darker so everyone moved towards the barn where two bars and the DJ were set up. There was also a vintage photobooth in a camper van, the temporary tattoo and glitter station and marshmallow toasting by the fire to make smores!
Widcombe Grange wedding... The morning after
So after what can safely be described as an epic wedding day, the guests came back to Widcombe Grange for the most obvious activity for hungover and potentially still drunk people... archery. That's right, pointy dangerous things. Let's do this! Bloody Marys, more pool time, a burger station. What a way to end a totally unique, incredible wedding of two truly free wonderful humans!