I love weddings that are a little bit different – as much as I love all of my weddings, it’s nice when you remember them either for being different in style, or setting, or weather. Sometimes what makes the wedding different is when things don’t quite go to plan. With a cool couple, I think this can in a way make a wedding special – it gives you a story to look back on in years to come and (hopefully) laugh about. Gemma and David’s wedding at The Orangery, Maidstone (formerly known as Turkey Mill) was one such day – a beautiful summer’s day, lovely setting, a lovely family to photograph, with perhaps just one hiccup – I’ll explain later….
I started the day at Gemma and David’s house where Gemma, the bridesmaids, Gemma and David’s two lovely children and Gemma’s parents were all getting ready. The lovely open plan kitchen was letting in plenty of light for hair and makeup and everyone was enjoying themselves – the girls getting ready, the boys having a good old kick about in the back garden.
Gemma and David had gone to a lot of trouble with the little details for this wedding – personalised dress hangers with lovely messages, a beautiful bespoke ring box, and, half way through the bridal prep, another lovely touch. David had organised a surprise treasure hunt for Gemma, with clues for her to follow – great fun to photograph, but it also kept me on my toes as I wasn’t quite sure where we were going on what I was going to photograph! The first clue led Gemma up the garden path (well, across the lawn) to the shed, where an Easter Island figure held the next clue – back into the house, upstairs into their bedroom. David’s briefcase held the actual present – a beautiful watch!
It was then time for Gemma to put on her dress and apply the finishing touches – I’m sure you’ll agree she looked absolutely stunning! More surprise time-pieces as Gemma’s dad was presented with a fantastic personalised pocket watch.
After a quick car journey, I joined David at The Orangery. Normally I’d photograph the boys prior to the service, but we had a bit of an issue….
Gemma and David had set their hearts on an outdoor ceremony in the fantastic surroundings of The Orangery. The only slight issue wasn’t the weather (the usual problem with outdoor ceremonies) – The Orangery is right next door to Mote Park (although usually you’d never know) which was hosting an event that weekend. Saturday was dance music festival day. So imagine the repetitive baseline from most dance music tracks thumping away, very loudly…. much frantic discussion was had about whether to move the ceremony indoors, or just go with the flow and see what happens.
I’m glad to say that go with the flow won out, and the ceremony went ahead outdoors (with mics and a PA of their own, although probably not quite as big). Once the ceremony got started, you hardly noticed the beat anyway (the organisers held to their promise and lowered the volume – a bit – for the duration of the ceremony.
After the lovely civil ceremony, another change from the norm – it was the Registrars who walked down the aisle as they made their exit, and one of Gemma and David’s friends then led them through a touching blessing ceremony in front of their family and friends. After the ceremony, it was finally time for Gemma and David to make their way back up the aisle (they didn’t dance down the aisle unfortunately!) past family and friends.
Come back soon for part 2 – in the meantime, here are my favourites from the first part of Gemma and David’s wedding day – enjoy!
If you’re getting married at The Orangery and want to discuss your wedding photography, please get in touch.
All photographs copyright David Burke Photography 2016