It's just after 6pm on the 2nd January and a message request comes in from Geraint asking if I have availability for their wedding for the coming Saturday as their original photographer had unfortunately been taken ill. We immediately chatted about how I could help and being realistic I said 'I know you'll be inundated with messages from Herefordshire wedding photographers so don't panic, take a good look at options and styles then let me know if you'd like to chat further'. We met up at my home on the Thursday when Alison & Geraint confirmed they'd like me to join them on their wedding day!
I don't think I've ever had such a late booking before and initially it felt like a shock to the system as, subconsciously I guess, as a photographer you psych yourself up a little knowing you have a shoot coming up. On the Thursday we discussed timings and the plan for the day and it soon became apparent that there may not have been as much time set aside at various points to get what they'd like done as perhaps I'd have liked. We broke down what was needed and how long it would take and came up with a plan ensuring the day flowed and family and friends could catch the bus organised for them at the right time and Alison & Geraint still got the shots they were looking for.
St Anna’s Church at Thornbury is a beautiful Norman Church with a solid defensive tower set in stunning views beside the old Church House and was the perfect spot for a wedding. Due to the Normans not being too hot on carpark considerations Alison & Geraint's guests were dropped off by coach having left their cars at Green Farm in Felton where the reception was to take place.
The Revd Elizabeth Sidwell took the ceremony that included heart felt readings from friends and family with the bride and groom clearly on top of the world. The temperature had dropped significantly when we came out of the church so it was a speedy confetti aisle then, as the guests made their way to the waiting transport, Alison & Geraint took the opportunity to have photos in and around the Church.
In my view being a wedding photographer is as much about management of the day as it is about taking photographs and on arrival at Green Farm we needed to take advantage of the little daylight we had left and cracked straight on with the requested group photos before everyone became too settled. With these quickly done Alison & Geraint remained with me for portraits as the sun began to set and their guests were invited to take their seats for the wedding breakfast.
Alison & Geraint had expressed a wish to have photographs with the sunset in the gazebo at Green Farm and so I planned out the shot while food was served. Unknown to the majority was the fact they had a singing waiter in their midst so I liaised with him to ensure stealing the bride and groom away for five minutes wouldn't affect anything and set the flash up ready. With the main course finished and the sunset perfect we got the shots and Alison & Geraint sat back down unaware that a waiter was due to have a nasty accident with a tray! I'd already planned for the unknown so had off camera flash set up around the room ready for the singing waiter and it also lent itself well to the speeches shortly after.
The speeches naturally moved into cake cutting, the room was turned around and their DJ Richie Palmer set up ready for the first dance. Naturally enough couples are full of smiles on their wedding day but I have to say the way Alison and Geraint held each others' gaze throughout was a joy to see and their first dance was no exception. With the first dance finished the dance floor filled until the evening food was served at which point there was a request for photographs of the stag party with cigars and my time with Alison & Geraint was complete.
Thank you to all who made me feel so welcome and to those who expressed gratitude that I'd been able to help out, it was a real joy to spend the day with you and be part of Alison & Geraint's story.