First Wedding of 2016
Steph & Dave - Thames Rowing Club - 13th February 2016
So, the first wedding of the year is always a great one to do, and this wedding for Steph & Dave was no exception. I first met the lovely couple when they came for a family portrait shoot with Steph's family in 2015 where I had the honour of meeting her whole family including her charming father. I was so very sad to hear that a few months before the wedding he unfortunately passed away which left me feeling extremely determined that I was going to give Steph and Dave the best wedding memories I could. Dave's grandfather had also passed away a few weeks before the wedding, so it really was one of the most emotional weddings I've photographed and I was blown away by the family's strength and unity on this special day.
The wedding ceremony took place at the stunning All Saints Church in Putney. It was one of the most beautiful churches I've ever had the pleasure of photographing, the colours and the light made it a spectacular place and a photographers dream! After the ceremony all the guests boarded a traditional London Red Bus for the 10minute drive to the venue, The Thames Rowing Club. This was my first time photographing at this venue and it was such great fun. The place was alive with rowers, club members and race watchers. As we arrived there was a race just starting which added a huge buzz to the area. Steph & Dave arrived soon after the race had started in their black taxi, another homage to their beloved London life. We set off straight away to do the bride and groom shots and, given David's love of Pinterest, we had a big board of suggestions to work through. Steph and Dave used to live around the corner to the rowing club and this was their local haunt, so we absolutely had to get a photo of their favourite bench where they'd sit for hours just watching London go by. Despite the rain and extreme coldness Steph and David were great sports and we got all the shots we wanted. We even managed to sneak a couple of shots of the groomsmen in the rowing club boat house before the rain really started to come down... whether we were actually allowed in here I'm still not sure.
The outlook from the rowing club was just beautiful with uninterrupted views of The River Thames giving us a great background for the formal family photos which were taken upstairs on the balcony.
The reception room where the wedding breakfast was held had wall to wall photos, plaques and paintings celebrating the history of the rowing club. Stephanie and David added their own stamp by adding fairy lights, beautiful white flower centre pieces and tables names that were named after countries that Steph and Dave had travelled to together. Dinner was a good old traditional pie and mash which I was lucky enough to enjoy myself, an absolute delight on such a cold and rain day!
The speeches as predicted were extremely emotional but also very funny. I always love photographing the speeches as this is where you can get some great reaction shots - especially when the best man starts to reveal some secrets about the groom, which he obviolsy did, much to the embarrassment of the groom.
Time flew at this wedding and before I knew it, the cake had been cut and the first dance was taking place. Again, a very emotional and beautiful moment for both Steph and Dave and one that I, along with the guests, were honoured to be part of.
Steph had organised for glow sticks to be given out after the first dance to get everyone on the dance floor. One of my highlights of the wedding was seeing Steph's mum Belinda putting numerous glowsticks onto Dave's 90 year old Nan's arm!
Although the weather was damp and cold, it didn't affect anyone's spirit. I knew this was going to be an emotional day given the fact that Steph's father wouldn't be there, but the love, strength and spirit of Steph and Dave's family and friends meant the day was full of fun, laughs, great memories and glowsticks!