Another week, another beautiful wedding. This time it was Abbie and Luke’s wedding at Weston Park in Shropshire.
Weston Park is a stunning venue set in parkland, it’s home to the V festival (but I am way too old to go to such things). It’s described as “One of England’s most stunning park and gardens”, the grounds themselves extend for 1000 acres. The house is run by the Trustees of Weston Park foundation. The walls contain the largest collection of Van Dyck paintings in the country.
I arrived to photograph Abbie getting ready in one of the upstairs rooms, at this stage the weather looked rather threatening with dark clouds and later rain, luckily this cleared up later in the day allowing full use of the beautiful gardens. Luke got ready in one of the rooms on the opposite side of the house which made it easy for me to photographs his preparations as well, before he did the fairly traditional task of heading to the nearest pub for a quick drink along with many of the guests. Luke’s room was amazing, decorated to look like the inside of a (posh) tent.
My next stop was at the pub to catch a few photographs of the guests before the ceremony in nearby St Mary and St Chad church in Brewood. This is where I have to mention about photography during the ceremony, the rules vary so much from place to place and not just with church weddings, registrars too all have different rules. I had been sent a form to sign which said no photography at all was allowed during the ceremony, it’s the first time I have had to sign something to say I wouldn’t take any photographs although not being allowed to take photographs is nothing new. I can understand that not all photographers are unobtrusive and that moving about, using flash and generally being seen can be distracting during the ceremony. The way I work is to move during the cover of the hymns and stay in one place for the rest of the ceremony, I don’t use flash and my cameras have quiet settings for the shutter which is barely audible a few feet away. After some discussion t was agreed I could take a couple of photographs of the entrance of the bride, one from the back during the exchange of rings and one of signing the register, which is much better than nothing at all. As a documentary wedding photographer I want to capture what the day is all about, what it is all about is getting married so it is such a shame when photographs of this are not allowed, these moments can never be recreated.
After the ceremony it was back to Weston Park for the wedding reception. After dinner the sun made an appearance and everyone enjoyed the gardens.