This week we escape the UK heatwave, with a little sea air. Harry & Grace were engaged on the south coast, and brought all their favourite people back with them, to get married. Wait till you see them out on on the little jetty together, with swirling seagulls and those famous Mudeford beach huts out in the distance behind them. What.. a.. place. Be sure to flick through to the end, for the couple shots in low sun... sigh.
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Christchurch Harbour Hotel was quite a setting. Full of coastal touches in the decor, and an incredible view across the sea to match, it was easy to sea why the groom picked this place to propose. When we were about to take the couple shots, Grace pointed over to a seat right by the water and sweetly said, with a huge smile on her face "That's where Harry proposed, you know". Does it get much more romantic then taking everyone you love back to that place, to get married?
It was just steps away from this spot, that we took their couple photos; taking advantage of the sweet little jetty which reaches out from the back of the hotel's grounds. Stretching out across the horizon in the distance, past a huge expanse of shallow water, you can see Mudeford; it's cute little beach huts standing shoulder to shoulder in the distance, with seagulls flying and squawking across the water in between.
As a couple, these two are effortlessly and undeniably gorgeous. Harry's three piece suit was 'classic Saville-Row dapper', and Grace's Pronovias dress cut a stunning silhouette next to him. Grace told me how she chose the dress with her bridesmaid:
"I went to the Pronovias store on New Bond St in London. My bridesmaid Sarah saw another girl around the corner trying on a dress. It wasn't one I had picked out but she shouted "Grace there is a girl down there wearing a dress, and it's just so you, and you need to try it on!!" Turns out, it was the one!"
Often, you can plan and plan and plan your wedding day style, right down to the finest details, but the location and the weather will set the tone. I sort of love that about wedding days.. The real narrative can't be planned, it can't be designed as much as you think. As photographer, my job is to see the wood AND the trees, simultaneously, all the time (part of the reason I always shoot to two camera bodies!) but the setting and the weather will always scoop all of that up, in a giant embrace, and hold the entire day together.
Here, harry and Grace chose a place that was special to them. They chose a setting which felt like a home from home. For me, being by the sea does something to us in-land folk; sea air feels different; it feels different on your skin and fresher in your lungs, as if it's breathing new life into your whole outlook. Plus, I still get excited when I get that first glimpse of the sea. Imagine me walking through this venue, to see it open up at the rear, to sea views, sea air and seagulls..
I don't know if everyone felt this way at the wedding, but the wedding party certainly felt relaxed and happy. Sipping their champagne and looking out across the views, who wouldn't be?
I managed to sneak the bride and groom off at last light, to grab a few extra frames at my favourite time of day. The sun had hidden behind the hotel already, but it left behind its soft warm glow across the water. It's dreamy isn't it? That light just after the sun sets; the golden glow of low sun is diffused suddenly, into a soft radiance. There was something about Harry's sharp suit, and Graces slim and graceful silhouette, which set off the background perfectly. Simple, modern and stylish.. but still utterly romantic.
The suppliers and team on this day were ace, so I'd like to mention a few that Grace also raved about (as I may have photographed your work, but not met you!) The hair and make up team worked their magic, making ALL the girls look beautiful, and creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere in the build up. Michelle Ingram-Tedd was on make up, and Laura Mackenzie on hair. The gorgeous flowers, with uniques touches of succulents, were designed and installed by Jennifer Poynter. Our camera crew team were, even if I do say so myself, sort of awesome. Huge thanks to Kyle Johnston and Dan McKenzie-Cossou who were wicked fun to shoot with. Mention also goes to Brendon Mills on entertainment and sax, and Cinemattag who set the scene beautifully with their lighting designs.
I aim to big-up suppliers at each of my weddings now.. I wouldn't have such gorgeous things to shoot, if is wasn't for these talented people and their hard work for the couple. Pats on the back all round .
The biggest thanks go to Harry and Grace, who are currently enjoying a much deserved honeymoon. Thanks for choosing me to record such an important day.. it was a pleasure to be a part of. (And thanks to your mother Harry, Tracy for her hospitality!) I have a new found love of Christchurch.