Wedding photography is a strange profession where you dip in and out of people’s lives. Sometimes just for a day, sometimes you end up becoming friends and keep in touch. I love seeing marriages blossom, often seeing children come into the family as well, or two families coming together and thriving. Sometimes though there are sadder moments, and also some tragic times too.
A few weeks ago I put this blog post together and put it online, feeling really happy revisiting Bev and Stuart’s amazing day and remembering the fun and laughter it entailed. Later that very evening I was given the absolutely devastating news that Bev had passed away to very aggressive cancer during lockdown. After passing my condolences to Stuart, I asked him if he’d mind me putting the post back online as a tribute to Bev, their wedding day, their marriage and their love for each other, to which he kindly agreed.
From the very first time I met Bev at our initial meeting, her energy, enthusiasm and joy for life were something to behold. She was a force to be reckoned with – in a good way. No shrinking violet, but we just had such a great first meeting about their wedding – her smile was so infectious it lit up the room and just made me happy and so looking forward to covering this one as I knew these guys were a great fit and would be so cool on the day.
We spoke a few times prior to the wedding, and even a last minute small hitch couldn’t stop Bev. On the wedding day – as you can see – she just loved every minute of it, getting married to the man she loved.
I hope these photos bring joy and convey a sense of the happiness of Bev and Stuart’s day rather than any sadness.
My thoughts are with Stuart and all of Bev’s family and friends.
One from the archives – Bev and Stuart’s epic wedding at Belair House in East Dulwich, London. This wedding was just so much fun to photograph with a great couple, beautiful location, amazing entertainment and a really hot summer’s day!
Bridal Prep & pre-ceremony
Such an easy start to the day for me as everything was all in one place. So myself and Ben could capture all the ceremony and reception setup details before I started bridal prep with Bev and the girls, who were getting ready upstairs – surrounded by the amazing quirky portraits in the bar area. Once all the details were captured (and I’d taken Bev’s shoes on a little tour of Belair to photograph) it was time to photograph hair and makeup.
As guests started to arrive I waited for Stuart and the boys to get to the venue and then spent time documenting the guys putting the finishing touches to their get up and general guest arrivals. One of the special guests was Stuart’s uncle, who was going to lead the wedding as Bev & Stuart were married the day prior in a civil ceremony. So great to have a family connection with the service, which also usually gives me a little more freedom during the service!
As Bev got into her dress next door, the guests made their way upstairs to the ceremony room, to their first surprise – an amazing steel band set up and playing to welcome them to the ceremony. Once Bev was ready she made her way through for the start of the ceremony. As mentioned, when you have a family member conducting the ceremony it makes everything even more special. I think it’s fair to say Bev & Stuart enjoyed the ceremony, so it was great fun for me to photograph.
After some amazing audience participation, Bev and Stuart made their exit to enjoy a glass of champagne whilst the guests made their way outside to form up for confetti.
Wedding breakfast and speeches
After the confetti the guests enjoyed canapes, drinks and entertainment on the lawn in the sun, while we quickly fired through a few group shots. After capturing the rest of the reception room details, it was time for the guests to be seated and then Bev and Stuart make their grand entrance to the wedding breakfast.
After some absolutely amazing food, it was time for the speeches – Bev’s aunt, Stuart and then the best man. Some great fun but also emotional moments, which as always was great for me to photograph!
I then grabbed Bev & Stuart for a few quick portraits in Belair and then out in the park – still very, very hot but thought I’d use the direct light rather than avoid it – there wasn’t much shade around!
As the weather was so good, the guests all enjoyed the evening sunshine (even a huge game of football going on for the younger guests) before guests gradually made their way upstairs to the very top of Belair house for the cake cut and first dance – some epic moves on show! I then set up one final flash shot to finish the evening off!
All work copyright David Burke Photography 2020