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We received our wedding photos and video at the weekend, thankyou very much again. We are delighted with the photos and the video was wonderful to watch reminding us of our day! We would like extra copies of the video to send to our mums.
Jess and Rich
Jessica and Richard travelled a long way for their wedding day in deepest rural Wiltshire - from Perth Western Australia. Our couple are in fact expats but they have for sure adopted many of the attributes for which the Aussies are famous - if indeed they did not have these attributes already - and the whole day was informal and relaxed. No sign of a barbie though but it was the depths of the English winter!
Jessica and Richard knew each other from a very early age as their parents used to socialise when the kids were knee high to grasshoppers. So it was a nice touch that they returned to their village church - St Marys Church Wingfield Wiltshire - for their marriage ceremony.
St Marys Church Wingfield is the archetypal English village church set in picturesque countryside. It is on the borders with Avon and Somerset and is easily accessible from nearby Bristol and Bath and of course the M4 motorway.
The church was of course built before the needs of photographers and filmmakers might have been any consideration so if the internal layout of such buildings is conducive to shooting then that is purely down to luck.
St Marys is a hard church in which to shoot, especially when it is packed to the rafters with guests - which it literally was as even the rear balcony was heaving! But our celebrant was well disposed to the needs of professional photographers and videographers and Peter was able to obtain a good selection of stills and movies during the ceremony.
The churchyard is reasonably large and has some decent shaded areas in which to shoot the important groups of guests.
Parking is problematic on the narrow approach to St Marys Church Wingfield. The church does have a small car park and there is also an arrangement with the adjacent farm whereby it can be possible for some guests to park in their courtyard.
From the church we made the short journey to Cumberwell Park Bradford on Avon. This did involve getting through Bradford on Avon and its always a good idea to allow a safety margin if your journey includes this hop - but its a delightful town and there is plenty to admire if you do get stuck in a jam!
Cumberwell Park is first and foremost a golf club. But whereas many golf clubs host weddings and other events somewhat as an afterthought, Cumberwell Park has terrific resources which are well up to the job. Large reception rooms and bars with attractive affluent decor, efficient experienced staff, and areas outside designed for and dedicated to wedding photography - you aren't going to find yourself "invaded" by golfing members in loud trousers!
Jessica started her day at another delightful rural Wiltshire retreat, The Moonraker Hotel Trowbridge. The hotel is itself a wedding venue for smaller a la carte styles. You can see the approach to The Old Manor Hotel here:
From there it was just a few minutes drive to St Marys Church Wingfield Wiltshire. The next photo illustrates the olde worlde English country village appearance, seen from the adjacent farm's courtyard:
You can view the interior of the church in the next photo, taken from the rear balcony. This was shot as the guests were arriving and once everyone was in place there was no room to swing a cat - never mind a professional photographer. But Peter was able to shoot a comprehensive coverage from the balcony. There is also a small video camera tucked away at the front and so the combined video coverage includes movies from the front and from the balcony:
Another view of the church from the balcony, this time shot during the ceremony and with an ultra wideangle lens giving you a feel for the whole interior:
Winter weddings benefit from having some sunshine for sure, but the low angle of the sun can make the shooting of technically correct professional photographs quite a test because of the extremes of tones between brightest and darkest. However in the right circumstances the results can be very appealing even if the tones are way beyond the "dynamic range" of what cameras can record. Here our bride and her companions approach the church:
Professional photographers must always work quickly and efficiently whilst not causing distractions at weddings. This is particularly demanding if coverage includes ground floor and first floor / balcony vantage points and if space is restricted by the layout and numbers of guests attending. This is why couples should never ever take a chance on well meaning amateurs or pros whose normal specialities do not include weddings, regardless of their technical knowledge or impressive equipment. Peter was able to capture the all important processional of the bride and her father and moments later continue shooting from the packed balcony above:
The groom's first look at his bride is a very difficult shot to obtain partly because of the sheer number of guests heaving into view with their own cameras at that point. Just about got it here:
With the right lenses professional photographers can shoot right from the back of the church and still obtain good detail as in the next photo showing the rings being exchanged. This shot simply would not have been possible at ground level at the front of the church because of the confined area. Amateurs would of course walk up the centre aisle, block the view of the guests, and degrade the ambience of the event - something Peter has seen countless times.
The first kiss is not something that figures in all English weddings by any means but it is making a bid for fame no doubt because of the influence of American TV and films; it does not even officially feature in many ceremony regulations and guidelines. Always good to capture as below:
Our couple arranged for musical accompaniment by one of their friends whilst the civil registers were being signed. How much better is that than attaching your Iphone to the church's PA system!
Peter shoots all photos in colour - there really is no point in doing otherwise now that we have mature digital technology. But black and white is not forsaken and you'll always find a selection of converted photos alongside the colour versions in the full galleries. Any colour photo can be converted on request and other special effects applied if required. Here we see our couple departing the church in their Rolls Royce, armed with champagne of course:
Then it was off to another wedding venue for the wedding breakfast and reception, to Cumberwell Park Bradford on Avon. Cumberwell Park is a very large and well presented wedding venue. The next photo shows it as seen from one side of its golf course. A blue sky with fluffy clouds and sunshine would have been nice but hey this was the English Winter!
Jessica and Richard had an impromptu receiving line at the main entrance to Cumberwell Park:
This was a large wedding and the Cumberwell Park staff made an excellent job of keeping on top of things. The main reception room was finished ready for the wedding breakfast in good time for our arrival and looked splendid:
As far as the weather was concerned the good news was that it remained dry. The bad news was that it was bitterly cold. Cumberwell Park has very good facilities for outside photos, well maintained, varied, and separate from the golfing members. But there is only so much you can do when guests start to feel the cold and mutiny. We managed to grab this photo of everyone before most fled back inside. These types of photos will never be works of art, especially if the weather conditions are against you, but Peter always recommends that couples try to have a shot which features all the attendees:
There was plenty of time for drinks and catching up with old friends and family during the "cocktail hour" at Cumberwell Park - great for our couple as they live half a planet away from most of their guests. Some the the semi-formal group photos were postponed until after the wedding breakfast as it was not possible to go outside and this would enable us to do things at a relaxed pace in the evening. The next two photos show typical shots from the afternoon:
Peter recommends that you don't overdo it with black and white photos - after all weddings are all about colour schemes and styles - but the fellas in particular can look good when converted. Here we see the groom making his entrance into the wedding breakfast at Cumberwell Park:
The speeches are always a great photo opportunity. Lots of characterful shots of the VIPs and the guests to be had. The longer the speeches the better as far as Peter is concerned as there really is no better time to capture natural unposed images of as many of the attendees as possible as they laugh at the jokes and tales of misdemeanours:
Many couples like to have group shots of the stag and hen parties but this is not always possible earlier in the day as some may be evening guests rather than allday guests. Somehow it seems to work better in the evening anyway - can't imagine why but the fella on the right may be holding a clue!
Its great to finish all day photographic coverage with a closing shot of the bride and groom outside their wedding venue after dark. And here we have Jessica and Richard in front of Cumberwell Park. Shortly afterwards they commenced their very circuitous journey back to Australia, via New York and numerous other inviting destinations:
See lots more photos in the complete click-through gallery
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