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Congratulations Simon and Katie, Mr and Mrs Baines!

December 26, 2011

Back in 1998 I moved into halls of residence in Tottenham, as I started my degree at Middlesex University. Three of us lived in the flat, Paul from Deal, Hadyn from Wolverhampton and Simon from Desford, a village in Leicestershire. We still all keep in touch thanks to the wonderful worlds of Twitter and Facebook though we don’t see each other that much. In fact, I haven’t seen Hadyn since we left Uni in 2001- something which we hope to rectify in 2012.

I hadn’t seen Simon for a couple of years, then about five years ago I was stood eating a vegetable samosa from the shop in departures at Victoria Coach Station, as you do, killing time by the entrance to the Greenline station when I heard the person next to me say “Siiimon?”

As I turned around, there he was with his girlfriend, having taken her to see Madonna the night before. We kept in touch in and out, then they invited myself and another university friend to stay for the weekend earlier this year. It was great to have a catch up and properly meet Katie, who by the way, is just a female version of Simon. An absolutely perfect match. It was this weekend they asked if I’d be interested in photographing their wedding. Over the course of this year I’ve stayed with them a couple of times and been with them to photograph the Ultrasound Festival in Tamworth which I blogged about a few months ago. Getting to know Katie properly and catch up with Simon has been one of my favourite things about this year.  I also feel like I’ve made a few friends from their hag/ joint stag and hen do and wedding, rather than just meeting a few nice people who I’ll never see again.

Friday 9th December was the date of the big day, and what a day it was. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Beaumanor Hall in Loughborough, to be honest I was initially really worried that the venue was too big and grand for me to do it and the wedding any justice. Being  157 miles away from my house and unable to drive, it wasn’t somewhere I could easily scope out before the big day, and as a 4pm wedding I was worried about the light. I went there in the morning to have a quick look at the place and luckily the place where I was to do my formal photos was away from any windows so I could control the lighting myself with my new triggers. Excellent!

Anyway, enough boring stuff about camera thingies. We arrived at the venue just after 2:30 and I made my way to Katie’s room- she looked stunning in her dress, as did her five bridesmaids. I think it was five. I’m counting on one hand while typing with the other. The guests arrived and Katie made her way down the lovely staircase with her Dad, Bridesmaids in tow and everyone downstairs -including Simon- watching, before entering the room for the ceremony.

The ceremony went really quickly, with a fantastic piece of singing by Mary,one of the bridesmaids and a lovely reading by Penny, Simon’s oldest friend. And in what seemed like a flash, they were husband and wife.

Speeches (with a video from Simon to Katie including a message from the Wanted!) were held at the bottom of the stairs before the lovely, varied buffet, then a band playing some easy listening classics to get everyone up dancing before the DJ finished off the night.

It was a fantastic day and so nice to see one of my oldest friends happily married to such an awesome girl. I wish Simon and Katie a long and happy life together. Lucky devils!

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