On Saturday I was photographing the wedding of Jo & Alan at Parklands Quendon Hall – this was a new venue for me that required an adventurous drive north of the Dartford Crossing & into deepest Essex. It’s not often I venture this far away from home for weddings, but it was certainly a nice change, and a lovely wedding to be a part of.
Both Jo & Alan got ready at the venue, so I could swap between rooms and get prep shots of both of them before the ceremony. Despite the heavens unloading (what must have been) a month’s worth of rain in the days leading up to the wedding, and a few threatening dark clouds sweeping past on the wedding morning, they were able to enjoy a beautiful outside ceremony in the gardens. Their two Dachshunds were the official ring bearers and lived up to the responsibility perfectly by carrying the rings from one end of the aisle to the other – much to Alan’s surprise.
After the ceremony, Jo & Alan enjoyed drinks and canapes in the gardens, before moving to the marquee for the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations. They’d mentioned to me before the day about a secret staircase at the venue as a potential location for a wedding portrait, and so after a bit of planning, I set up some lights and took them there after their dessert for a few photos. I always enjoy using interesting features of each wedding venue for portraits and this wooden staircase was quite unique.
Then it was time for the wedding speeches, from the father of the bride, the bride, the groom, and the two best men. They were all lovely, with some mentioning current events, lovely sentimental stories, plenty of Alan’s dry humour, and a few shocking and hilarious anecdotes from the best men. There were tears, laughter, and tears of laughter.
For their first dance, they’d planned something a bit special. They started off dancing to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”, and then as a surprise, one guest started singing opera in the 2nd half of the song (search Ed Sheeran Perfect Symphony to see how this sounds). It was sang so perfectly, and done so with the singer standing at the side of the dancefloor that I think some didn’t even realise that it was coming from a guest in the room. Those that did, had their jaws on the floor though. It was a lovely variation of a beautiful song.
Congratulations to Jo & Alan and wishing you all the best together.