With the UK in the depths of ‘snowmageddon’ I thought I’d post up a lovely sunny (but also cold!) wedding from a few weeks ago – Laura and Pete’s stunning wedding (with a hint of a Scottish theme!) at Rye Town Hall, followed by a reception at The George in Rye. If you’re getting married at either venue or in the beautiful town of Rye, do please get in touch to discuss your wedding photography.

I’ve known Pete and Laura for quite a few years, from my previous incarnation as an IT Manager for a large finance company, so it was a great pleasure and honour to photograph their wedding and to see them – and a few other familiar faces – again after all these years! This was a lovely wedding as it was the merging of two families – both Laura and Pete have three boys each so there were lots of kilts and jobs to keep them busy during the wedding prep.

Bride & Groom Prep

Everyone was getting ready at The George, so I started the morning with Laura and the girls who were just in hair and makeup when I arrived. It’s great when everything’s in one place – it gives me the ability to cover a bit of groom prep as well, and a bit more time for things – like taking Laura’s shoes on a mini tour round the hotel!

Midway through preps, Pete’s present to Laura arrived (a beautiful pair of earrings) so it was great to capture and photograph the moment she opened it. In a first, when I went to shoot Pete getting ready I took his present to him and ‘delivered’ it at an opportune moment!

Once Pete was ready, it was time for him to open his gift – a beautiful watch!

I then photographed as he helped Laura’s youngest get into his attire – it was a small room with a few of us in there, but mirrors always come in handy! Once the boys were ready, we headed out into the hotel to find the distant sound of bagpipes coming from the Ballroom as the piper warmed up. Once he’d finished, the boys, mums and dads got their button holes on in readiness for the ceremony.

Then it was a run back through the hotel to capture Laura’s dress and veil going on, before a run up the hill to Rye Town Hall (lots of running around on this job).

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The Ceremony

A quick run up the hill (luckily, Rye Town Hall and the George are a minute’s walk apart) to capture the scene and then photograph the boys arriving to greet guests. Pretty soon it was time for Laura’s dad to head back down the hill to see Laura in her dress – always such a lovely moment.

A quick sprint up the hill for me, as I captured the bridal party on their way back up the hill to the ceremony – Laura looked so happy to see all her boys! As Laura went off to speak to the registrars, I photographed some of the bridal party as they waited nervously outside, before making my way to the front for the start of the ceremony.

The ceremony took place in the stunning Council Chamber, which has a raised area which was great for me to get a bit higher and get some slightly more unusual angles of the ceremony once it was underway.

I’m sure Pete won’t mind me saying he was pretty emotional at times, which is always great to capture and really brought home how much this meant to him.

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Post Ceremony

After the touching service, the guys made their way outside for group shots and then confetti, before being announced to the town by the Town Crier. After this ceremony, the trusty bagpipes were brought to life as the piper lead the newlyweds down the hill, followed by their guests. Myself, Laura and Pete stopped halfway down as we were going to stay out – the piper lead the rest of the guests down the hill (after a few impromptu congratulations). One thing I loved about photographing in Rye is that it’s so friendly and cozy, there were quite a few interested spectators looking on from various windows so it’s always nice to capture these documentary moments.

Once the guests had made it back to the George, I took Laura and Pete off for a quick explore around some of the amazing cobbled streets of Rye whilst we photographed some couples pictures – we didn’t take too long as although it was sunny, it was still pretty chilly.

We soon wandered back down the hill and into the George for a drinks reception and canapes.

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I must admit it was great to be back in the warmth, with the groups and couple shots in the bag – this allowed me to really concentrate on the pure documentary moments going on, before heading into the ballroom to photograph the stunning Scottish-themed details – lots of whisky references I noted (although sadly no mention of my favourite – Laphroig).

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Wedding breakfast

Once everything was ready, the guests made their way into the ballroom to find theirs seats, before the piper piped the couple into the room – well, we did have a younger interloper inbetween but you get the idea!

When Laura and Pete had taken their seat, it was time for a lovely Scottish surprise in the form of the Quaich Ceremony – with some words from Pete’s Brother, Pete’s dad filled up the Quaich with some lovely Talisker before the bride and groom took their symbolic first drink together before the Quaich was handed round the top table.

Then it was time for food (and a short break for me) – during one of the breaks in the meal though, I quickly grabbed Laura and Pete for some outdoor shots on the hill in the twilight, before it was time to head back in for the speeches.

Laura’s dad gave a lovely speech before an emotional Pete took the mic, followed by his bestman – his eldest son. There were some amazing, touching, emotional moments so great for me to photograph.

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Evening Reception

Whilst the Ballroom was turned round, the bride and groom made their way back into the bar to greet their evening guests, before it was time to return for the cake cutting and first dance. In keeping with the Scottish theme though – no disco, but a Ceilidh of course! These are fantastic fun to photograph – you think no-one’s ever going to get the hang of it, but once they get going it all seems to fit into place. As a wedding photographer you do have some hairy moments with people charging towards you, but like I say always good fun and run really smoothly by Licence to Ceilidh who did a great job on the calling, demonstrations (where necessary) and music – plus they mixed traditional with a few new songs as well – highly recommended!

Congratulations once again to Laura, Pete and all their boys – such a great family unit!

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If you want to see Laura & Pete’s images set to music, you can now watch their slideshow!

All wedding photography copyright David Burke Photography 2018