This week we head into the lush green hills of Chorleywood, to join Joe and Sophie for their super chic country-garden wedding. And this was no wedding venue or stately home.. it WAS home. Everything was full of personal touches, from the chalked trees which led the guests back to the house, to the chocolate coins sat on top of their delicious desserts. Having your wedding reception at the family home is ever more popular, and with the way these guys did it, it's easy to see why.
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You can plan your wedding for months and months, but the one thing you cannot plan, is the weather. And as a wedding photographer, who mainly shoots in the uk, it's something I've learnt to accept. I still cannot resist the temptation to repeatedly refresh the forecast though, and I still hold out hope for sunset every single time.. But it is what it is.
You have to fully embrace whatever weather fronts are cast your way; crazy wind, heavy rain, cloudy skies.
The weather was not on our side for Joe and Sophie's day, but it didn't matter. We got out there and took photos anyway. Holding the umbrella in one hand, and pulling his new wife in close with the other, Joe kept on smiling; always making Sophie giggle.
Around them, flowers in all colours were pulled this way and that in the wind; raindrops landed in puddles with gentle splashes and the dark clouds felt heavy and low above us.
But they kept smiling.
Those smiles were rewarded too, because right before dusk, the clouds broke. Miraculously, with only 15 minutes left of light, the rain stopped and the wind dropped. I couldn't believe it. I stood there in disbelief. I had just made this lovely couple have photos in the rain, and now that they had finally returned to their party, the rain stopped. Before I could even decide what to do, I heard Sophie's voice come beaming out of the marquee
"Gemma, Gemma it's stopped raining!! Let's go, let's go!"
Sophie was like a ball of energy, excitedly leading Joe and I around the garden for photos. We even crossed the road into the woods, stepping over wet muddy ground and under dripping trees. Carrying the skirts of her dress in her arms, she sidled up to Joe and completely relaxed. That moment for me, was magic.. The party as far enough away that they could be alone together, but close enough to hear the laughter. I asked them to stand under a small pool of light in the trees, and left them there.
As always, they were utter sweetness and giggles, with moments of quiet and closeness.
Follow these guys' example, and trust your photographer. Embrace whatever the weather throws at you, and don't worry about the wedding dress in the mud or the hair in the wind. Get out there and let the weather be as dramatic in your photos, as it is on your day. Given half an opportunity, I'd shoot in any weather conditions if the couple would join me.
There's a real euphoria when you give into the weather, dancing in the rain or kissing in the howling wind.
If that's what your wedding day is, don't hide from it, dance in it!
Check out Joe & Sophie's pre-wedding shoot, shot in a striking carpet of bluebells. The photos actually featured in the Best Man's speech, even if it was to rib the Groom for losing 'Man Points'!
Huge congratulations to this wicked couple, and big thank-yous and high fives to the Jennings family. Was wonderful to photograph you all again, for another of your beautiful daughters' weddings!