I'm a country lad at heart. Having grown up in a small village, surrounded by rolling Sussex countryside, my heart was set a long time ago. And it seems fitting that the majority of my weddings tend to be countryside based, usually at old manor houses, castles, and barns that have extensive grounds to explore around them. I love the openness of these venues, the views, and the foliage to work with. However, there is a lot to be said for city weddings, and Kate and Jay's wedding at The Swan at The Glove is a prime example.
This was my first time as a wedding photographer at The Swan, and I found inspiration in every direction. The leading lines, the amazing city views, the urban features (both old and new), made my heart beat with excitement at all the opportunities for portraits.
Kate got ready at the Mondrian Hotel, based on the south bank of the Thames, and overlooking Blackfriars bridge. As soon as I arrived, I was inspired. Of course it helped, that it was a stunning hotel, Kate and her bridesmaids had matching stylish dressing gowns and other beautiful details, and the light in the room was amazing.
I then joined Jay at The Swan for the ceremony. I'd been to visit the venue with Kate and Jay before the day, so knew what to expect, but was still constantly in awe of the view of St. Paul's there. I couldn't help but think that in some ways, its a better ceremony view here than actually at St. Paul's, as there, you would be too close to see it as you can from The Swan. In addition to that view, I really liked the angles of the ceremony room, and the light was perfect. Kate and Jay were smiling ear to ear from the moment they first saw each other, and I think barely stopped smiling the whole day.
After the ceremony, I took the bride and groom and their immediate families along the Thames to the Tate Modern, to use some of the trees there for the backdrop of the family portraits. It was then time for some portraits of the bride and groom and to take advantage of some of those incredible views and features I mentioned, including the Millennium Bridge, The Tate Modern, and Blackfriars bridge.
Back at The Swan, it was time for speeches and Jay's certainly stands out as one of the most emotional I've scene. He and Kate were clearly much loved by all of their friends and family, and he returned that with thanks to them all. It reminded me of my own wedding, where when writing it, saying a few "thank you"s didn't seem particularly tear inducing, but when the moment came, I felt the emotions hit me like a train and had to take a few deep breaths to get through. Jay's best women also did a great job. Especially considering the emotional rollercoaster Jay had taken everyone on beforehand.
After the meal, Kate and Jay, and their guests could mingle, drink, and chat, moving between a reception room and the balcony overlooking the Thames. It was a perfect summer evening in London, and everyone enjoyed it fully. When it came to say goodbye to Katie and Jay, I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends, and Jay gave me a huge hug. It was so nice photographing their London wedding, and even more special for me, as I had previously photographed a wedding where the bride's brother was the best-man, who subsequently recommended me. I look forward to the next time that I photograph a wedding from this group of friends and family.
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