Here’s part one of the wedding of Gemma and Dan at St Nicholas Church, Boughton Malherbe with a reception at Chilston Park Hotel.
Ever since this wedding, I’ve been thinking about how to approach blogging it. Us Brits are renowned for our ‘stiff upper lip’. Even at weddings, any emotion is usually of the reserved ‘handshake for the groom, kiss for the bride’ type, with maybe the odd tear in the speeches. This wedding was different. Although a fantastic day, it was tinged with many emotions – happiness of course, but also sadness, and amazing strength, courage and determination.
I’d been speaking to Gemma and Dan throughout the lead-up to their wedding, and we’d arranged to meet up in London for their pre-wedding shoot two months prior to their wedding. The day before the pre-wedding, the guys contacted me asking to reschedule as they’d just found out that Ed, their bestman, had been told he had cancer. Rightly, no-one was in the mood for attempting to look happy, so of course reschedule we did.
When Gemma and Dan contacted me to discuss the final plans for the wedding, I was shocked and saddened to be told that tragically Ed had passed away just prior to the wedding day. In (what I hope she won’t mind me saying) an amazing act of courage and bravery, Immy, Ed’s fiance, was going to step in and take on a number of the roles he would have fulfilled on the wedding day by becoming the ‘best woman’.
I must admit I had made extra mental notes to myself that on the day I needed to be really vigilant for any signs that Immy wasn’t comfortable with being photographed, or Immy, Dan or Gemma were finding the day a bit too much – I like to capture emotion within reason, but this would simply be inappropriate.
So with those thoughts in mind, on the wedding morning I made my way to meet up with Dan, Immy and the boys at his hotel, to photograph a surprise present giving – Gemma had organised for him to receive a fantastic watch. After spending a few minutes with them I made my way to Chilston Park (bringing Gemma’s surprise present from Dan with me) to photograph the bridal preparations. After photographing hair, makeup, the cute baby who everyone had a cuddle of, Gemma eating a banana sandwich, a few bridal portraits and finally Dan’s present to Gemma, it was time to head to the church!
Leaving the bridal prep, I made my way to the church of St Nicholas, 2 minutes drive away from Chilston in the village (not even sure it’s that, it’s so small!) of Boughton Malherbe. I always drive past this church to and from Chilston but it was a first for me to photograph in the tiny church – very, very cute and nice to finally see inside after wondering what it’s like.
I met up with Dan and Immy and decided that I’d just go through the shots that I’d traditionally do, albeit now with a best woman – and they both were superb! Smiles all around, even looking at my ugly mug.
After getting everyone inside due to the drizzle, I waited for the brides arrival. Like a trouper, Gemma even got the top taken down on their amazing convertible, so we could get a bit more light onto the scene!
And so onto the ceremony – inside the intimate church, I shot from the back simply due to space. Being professional musicians, music is obviously important to both bride and groom, so it was nice that their friends and colleagues played during various parts of the wedding.
The weather had eased slightly after the service, so everyone made their way out for an awesome confetti line as Gemma and Dan left the church to make their way back to Chilston Park.
Please come back soon for part two of Gemma and Dan’s day – in the meantime, here are my favourites from the first part of their day.
If you’re getting married at either St Nicholas Church Boughton Malherbe or Chilston Park, please contact me to discuss your requirements.
All images copyright David Burke Photography 2014