Sometimes your personal and professional life collide, but in a good way and Emma and Sam's church wedding in St Nicholas' church in Studland was one of those joyful occasions!
I've known Sam since we were young teenagers and I was so pleased and proud to be asked to capture their beautiful wedding day.
I got some really lovely photographs of bridal preparation at Emma's childhood home. I love the photograph of the mother of the bride I got where she stepped in to make a last-minute adjustment to one of the beautiful bridesmaids' outfits.
These are the moments that, in between taking the traditional photographs, tell the real story of the day and document the detail of each unique wedding.
At the church wedding in Swanage, during the signing of the register, I took some photos of bridesmaid Fiona, who doubled up as a fantastic wedding singer and gave a beautiful acapella performance of the “Wonder of You” by Elvis.
It was a really emotional moment when partway through the song, the church choir spontaneously joined in. Sam's friend Ben followed it up with an uplifting sax number. I am proud I managed to get some really evocative, natural photographs despite my eyes being pretty blurred, blinking back emotional happy tears!
After the wedding and a quick ferry trip, it was on to the wedding reception at the Harbour Heights Hotel in Poole. I always take photos of the reception venue, set up almost like a stage just before a show. I especially want to make sure the wedding couple have memories of all the special extra details they have incorporated to make their wedding a special day for them and their guests.
For example, Sam, who is an illustrator, designed the orders of service as well as working his artistic magic creating the wedding breakfast table settings and place names. I’m a bit of a bird lover, so I absolutely love these illustrations!
While everyone was relaxing I blended into the scene and captured moments such as Emma's grandparents enjoying some special moments together, clearly still in love after so many years. Romantic weddings bring out the best in us all!
Taking photographs of a wedding breakfast is often the time when you get some good fun shots of people when they are totally at ease. You also get some more unusual wedding photographs! The shot I got of a coin being extracted from one of the wedding guest's nose gave an unexpected insight into the antics of the friends and the fun they had on the day.
I really love being able to take time over the wedding couple's photos. It is the calm part of the day when the couple can actually begin to enjoy some time together as spouses. We were lucky enough to be able to make the most of the local coastline; I love having the opportunity of getting to do some beach wedding photography.
I think my favourite moment of the wedding day was when Emma and Sam picked up a piece of beach glass together. Emma’s wedding jewellery was made from beach glass and all around Emma’s family home are framed pieces of beach glass. As a family, each time they go to the beach they collect a piece of glass and frame it with a note of the date and occasion it was found.
This piece of glass is a continuation of that tradition as well as a symbol of the wedding couples' new life together. For me, as a wedding photographer, to be a part of times like these is an absolute privilege.
Congratulations Sam and Emma!