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Fun and games with Polly and James

November 30, 2011

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since it happened, but on November 5th 2011 I finally had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Polly and James, two of my nice friends from my days of working at Virgin Megastore/ Zavvi in Cardiff.

We visited the Matara Centre in Tetbury a month or so before so I could get a feel of the place and an idea of where I’d be shooting from, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful the place was, inside and out. I think as a venue it just about wins my favourite wedding venue of the year award.  The website says Matara was “built upon organic and earth friendly principles” and as soon as you set foot inside the place it all makes sense.  Each room themed differently yet still as calming as the next, and any food not grown in the grounds is locally sourced.  It goes further than that, it really is a lovely place.

Anyway, this isn’t about the Matara Centre, fast forward to the morning of November 5th and James’ dad was ringing me to give me a lift to the venue. If ever I’m getting a lift off someone I don’t know, I always ask what car to look out for. I didn’t really need to ask my second question (what colour?) as I knew there wouldn’t be another Porsche in the Premier Inn car park. If you love fast cars like me and are wondering what sort of Porsche it was, it was a fast silver one. So, childhood dream fulfilled and I wasn’t even at the wedding yet. I knew it was going to be a good day.

Polly and James are pretty laid back, so when it came to sorting out group photos it went fairly smoothly as we managed to get pretty much all of them done before the other guests arrived. I cannot begin to tell you how much this arrangement relieves the stress of shooting a wedding. Going into a ceremony knowing that it’s the only specific thing left to shoot is a fantastic feeling.

All registrars are different and have different rules, and it’s always best to get in touch with them before the ceremony so you can establish boundaries. For Polly and James, the only part of their wedding I was allowed to shoot was the exchange of the rings. I’ve only done 11 weddings in my life and have never come across this particular arrangement before so was quite taken aback, but sometimes you just have to respect the rules of the house. It’s hard listening to a conversation about 40 feet away with a water feature gargling away between you, but you just have to use your best ear and try to lipread! On the plus side, this means that people don’t have to put up with constant clicking away, and can actually enjoy the ceremony with their eyes, rather than through the back of their camera/ phone screen. People really should go back to actually being IN the moment, rather than living life through the back of a screen.

There wasn’t a first dance planned (though this soon changed when James’ mum found out!) so Polly and James disappeared briefly to get something off their ipad to give the DJ and it was up to…. the smashing pumpkins, maybe(?) to start the night. I’d normally have these sorts of details written down.

The rest of the day had everything you could ask for;  a stunning buffet (I know those two words don’t usually go together, but it even beat the lovely buffet from Gregg and Alida’s wedding the week before) great dancing, a 3 tier cheese “cake” next to the actual 3 tier wedding cake, and being bonfire night… FIREWORKS! Woooh… Aaaaahhhhhh…. Oooooohh…. Eeeeeeh etc. Oh, and a special shout out to Ben Potter, the DJ for the night. He played a perfectly weighted set for everyone across all genres that had everybody dancing until the fireworks, then almost a chillout set after some people left later in the evening. Perfect for the mood of the day.

So massive congratulations to the newlywed Reichelts – I wish them a long and happy life together and hope to get to see them a bit more! x


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