I first met Neil and Emma in the early spring of March 2016 for their engagement shoot at Pooh Corner in Sussex. A relaxed, loving, and very together couple, it very quickly became clear that they had what all successful couples have, very real shared interests. In their case, this included a love of Rock and Roll, a love of the countryside, and a love of aeroplanes and cars. So what better venue could there be than Goodwood, just a little down the road in Sussex, home of the aerodrome, the race track and the beautiful sprawling Chichester countryside and grounds of Goodwood House.
The Goodwood Hotel , set in the heart of the glorious 12 000 acre Goodwood estate is the perfect mix of high class modern comfort and style and classic rural English charm.
And what became very quickly apparent on arrival was that Emma and Neil had two other traits in common. Firstly, exceedingly good taste...
... and secondly a love of the colour blue.
There was blue...
....and a bit more blue on top of that!
Joking aside, what Emma and Neil had created was a brilliant, styled rock and roll event, which didn't even for a minute go over the top. I confess my jaw dropped a little at how impeccably they had paid attention to detail and good taste, whilst still incorporating the rock and roll into each corner of the venue and the day.
But it wasn't ALL rock n roll....
This was after all, a wedding, first and foremost, and a chance for the beautiful bride to be made even more beautiful.
Meanwhile, down the other end of the hotel, the blue theme was being continued as Neil the groom and his best man got themselves ready.
With a little help from Mum.
Meanwhile, back at the bridal suite, excitement was mounting as Emma's family and entourage came to gee her on.
Because time waits for no bride... well it does a little bit, but you know what I mean...
With literally a couple of minutes to spare, we grabbed a moment to snatch a couple of hasty portraits. Much as it may sound like the last thing you want to do when the clock is ticking, a moment to look out of the window and gather your thoughts, your breath, your earings, is something every bride needs.
That, and a sixpence in the shoe...
... and the last minute check that everything is perfect
and relax, ladies, relax. Breathe in. You're all beautiful. It's going to be wonderful.
Meanwhile, not so relaxed, Neil was waiting dutifully, expectantly for his gorgeous lady to appear
...preceded by the most adorable flower girl sprinkling a trail of blue petals. We mentioned the blue theme, right?
and then the bride was there, on time, resplendent in white, escorted by dapper Dad
There's nothing quite like seeing the excitement and joy when a groom slips the ring on his bride's finger
... and the slightly phased reaction of most grooms when the favour is reciprocated!
Joking aside, I can remember the butterflies of my own wedding, and it always gives me so much pleasure to capture these unique moments
After the confetti line, Neil and Emma were super keen to zip away to Goodwood Aerodrome, just a mile or so down the road. Big fans of planes and cars, they got permission for us to grab a few quick shots out by these fantastic planes out on the airstrip.
Caption: "I told you it would have been easier to book a car"
Formerly a wartime RAF airfield, Goodwood Aerodrome has grown from a tiny satelite airfield to a flying school and centre for flying excellence. The fantastic choice of buildings and planes left us a bit breathless given we only had a few minutes to grab some fun shots.
We got as far as the motor circuit and race track, but as grey clouds loomed and the clock ticked ever closer to party time, we reluctantly turned back to the venue.
All too soon it was time for us to whizz back to the hotel for the Wedding Breakfast and speeches
although some of the younger guests had already peaked early
others were just getting into their stride
All the frivolity was put aside for a few moments, as Neil and Emma wanted very much to do a balloon launch tribute to a dear departed family member.
It was an emotional moment for everyone, with tears and hugs. But the couple, family and friends were so supportive of one another, that the mood of togetherness and celebration soon returned.
So much so that in amongst the formal group shots, there was space for a little bit of horseplay
"Do Dean Martin"
The superb wooded private driveway of Goodwood Estate was the perfect setting for a romantic walk. I love how the wind catches Emma's veil...
And I love how the trees so perfectly frame this young couple's tender moment.
...not to say it was all soppy kisses and tender moments... this was after all a rock and roll wedding as well
with room, sure for some cute stuff
... and some more kissing as the guitar amp cake was cut with a sword
but as the first dance got underway
it was clear that rock and roll
was here to stay
and things got a little wild on the dancefloor
as the band rocked out
taking the mood up a few notches, along with the volume
oh, and pants. Did we mention pants?
All in all, a glorious, fabulous, splendid rock and roll wedding occasion. Congratulations and love to Emma and Neil.