Saturday 26 September
- Mansion House Shuttleworth
I've known Jonathan and Billy for a while
now as have photographed several of their cousins' weddings,
so I was greeted as part of the family when I arrived at The
Mansion House. The venue looked amazing in the late September
sunshine and now that I've moved house its only 15 minutes
down the road!
The boys got ready separately and with
a 4pm ceremony you'd think this would be plenty of time. But
with Jonathan running around making sure everything was 100%
perfect it was still a bit of a dash. Thankfully Billy's room
was much calmer and I'm so glad that I spotted his new tattoo
of their initials and wedding date.
The Ballroom was all set up and full
use of the space used as the couple had invited the maximum
number of guests that could be seated. With it's ornate ceiling,
chandeliers and paintings it's a really grand venue but the
registrars were lovely and I knew that they wouldn't make
the ceremony overly formal.
Jonathan and Billy met up briefly before
the ceremony got underway and chose to walk down the aisle
together. I know that this was the bit that Jonathan was most
worried about but by the time he arrived at the front the
humour took over. He even kept Billy deliberately hanging
when saying his 'I will' and on exiting they acually ran down
the room towards me!
With the weather still mild it was great
that everyone took their drinks outside and mingled around
the house. Being right next to Shuttleworth airfield, I normally
expect to see the odd vintage plane - even some aerobatics
on occasions - but the hot air balloon take off was a complete
surprise to everyone.
Getting this couple to be serious - even
for a minute - is a tough job! I've never laughed so much
when photographing. I'd like to think that's part of the reason
they asked me to capture the day as knew they could be themselves
in front of me and the cameras.
Jonathan had made sure that the Garden
Room setup was to be a surprise for Billy, but we made sure
he got a sneak preview before all the guests. With a black
and white theme the room had been transformed to almost Vegas
like style. The top hat wedding cake was a complete work of
art and 'hats off' to the maker as she also turned out 120
cupcakes, on extremely short notice, after the couple were
let down by another supplier. In a change to the usual confetti
or bubbles I loved the use of party poppers to greet them
as they entered.
One of the main reasons for the late
afternoon ceremony was that, after the hog roast had been
served, the celebrations flowed straight into the evening
party. With the sparkly dancefloor all lit up the guests certainly
got into the spirit. However, note to self ... don't leave
any belongings up at the main house (especially your car keys)
as the building gets locked up. Thankfully the team called
in a key holder otherwise I would have been crashing there!
I honestly could have stayed all night
at this party as the moves (Jonathan doing the splits an absolute
classic) just kept coming. Obviously I may have also joined
in - I'm just hoping there's no photos of me on the dancefloor.