When I first knew that on Toya and Craig’s wedding day there would be a solar eclipse, my mind went into overdrive planning possible shots. However, when the day arrived, two factors put a stop to this. Firstly, the eclipse was at 9:30 in the morning and so before the wedding day properly started, and secondly, some pretty thick cloud cover across most of South East England meant it wasn’t viewable. However, I still think it’s a pretty cool event to occur on your wedding day.
I’ve been a wedding photographer at Cooling Castle Barn many times over the last few years and it was good to be back. It’s such a nice venue mixing the history of the castle ruins with beautifully renovated barns. On Toya and Craig’s wedding day, what started out as a very grey cloudy covered sky, turned, largely in the course of the ceremony to total blue skies giving beautiful sunshine for the afternoon and a stunning sunset in the evening.
I’d met Toya and Craig a couple of times before the wedding – once when we first discussed their wedding plans, and the later, for their pre-wedding portrait session. They struck me as a very nice outgoing couple with an obviously strong bond between them. It was lovely reading through the information they sent out to all guests before the wedding about themselves and with comments from their nearest and dearest. I also liked seeing the Polaroid bunting they had made to decorate one barn with photos from all their experiences together over the last 10 years.
One sad aspect of the day was that Craig brother was unable to attend the wedding due to starting his pilot training in possibly the farthest place on earth from them, in New Zealand. However, because of this, there was a real first for me in wedding – using a life size cardboard cutout of the brother for all the important photos. Judging by some of the comments during the day and speeches though, I suspect it may have been used for less formal and more questionable photos in the evening.
Before the wedding, we discussed the prospect of popping outside for photos at sunset, even if it meant delaying the speeches slightly, and wow, we were greeted with a stunning one.
The speeches were a real stand out for me at this wedding. It was great hearing stories from both the fathers of the bride and groom, a recorded video from the groom’s brother, the groom’s speech, the best man and also the bride. I think I’ll always remember the story about the groom and his father playing golf and the dad being struck by lightening. Another speech that was rather special was the best mans. It’s always nice hearing about the bond between the best and groom, but in this case, the best man had also known the bride for just as long so was able to include s few funny stories (and videos) about her as well.
And any wedding at Cooling Castle Barn wouldn’t be complete without some pictures in front of the castle turrets out front. It’s one of my most requested photos being a Cooling Castle Wedding Photographer and I’m always pleased to shoot it.
Toya and Craig have obviously travelled lots and had some amazing experiences together and I have no doubt their marriage will see lots of adventures together I the future. I wish them lots and lots of happiness together