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TONY & KATE'S HERTFORDSHIRE WEDDING

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TONY & KATE'S HERTFORDSHIRE WEDDING

Sometimes you meet a young couple and there is something so generous about their spirit, and so serendipitous about the day, that everything just falls into place.  I won't ever forget how Tony's simple and humble recommendation "I think there's a field just up here with quite a nice view when the sun goes down"  would result in a red gold glory of poppies and the sunlight.  Possibly the most dramatic and beautiful sunset of the summer of 2016 and we were right there.  But enough about us, this is about them.  Tony and Kate, and the story of their day.

Which started off in brisk and elegant fashion at the Sun Inn in Hitchin, a beautifully, tastefully restored 16th century coaching inn located in the heart of one of Hertfordshire's many charming market towns.

While you can arrange to have your whole wedding ceremony and reception at The Sun, Tony had opted for reception only.  And a little groom prep. 

One of my favourite ring shots ever, achieved in a couple of minutes with the help of some optics behind, and a purple shot glass to balance the bands on.  Look close enough and you can make out a ring-reflection selfie.

But enough about me, meet the boys.

Tony and his best man, looking suave, dapper and handsome, as they tog up for the big day ahead

with of course, the help of a stiff drink, a good pair of cufflinks...

...and...er... a couple of goes on the roundabout in the market square!

Meanwhile, down the road at Kate's house, the mood was surprisingly calm and serene

with ample time for me to capture some of the lovely bridal details

Dad's garden had been carefully and lovingly tended, with a bit of extra attention, knowing that we might well have time to grab a few shots out there.

Beautiful Kate, elegant and modest as a true English Rose, was the perfect model, allowing me to experiment a little with the light and grab these portraits, which, because we had that little extra bit of time, I could make look a little like paintings.

It's a curious irony of wedding photography that often has to be explained - most weddings are summer weddings when the sun is bright and high, and yet us photographers take to the shade.  These shots show why a little.  See how the light reflects back onto the girls, so that even though they are shaded, their skin seems to have this lovely glow. 

A nervous moment for Tony when a car identical to the one driven by his father-in-law-to-be turned up twenty minutes early.  When he'd finally recovered from a close encounter with a near heart attack, it turned out of course to be the bridesmaids arriving just on time. 

St Mary's Church in Hitchin is the largest parish church in Hertfordshire and is remarkably large for a town of the size of Hitchin.  This has been cited as evidence of how Hitchin prospered from the wool trade. The present church stands on the site of two previous churches and dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, with its tower dating from around 1190.  As well as being generously proportioned and impeccably restored, it is also wonderfully light inside.  No gothic gloom here.

As Tony's expression testifies.  The vicar, by way of a bonus, it should be said is a lovely, warm, generous and good humoured priest, welcoming all with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

While every photographer will strive to capture the bride arriving...

... I think we all treasure those delicious candid moments of apprehension as the groom waits inside

Owner of the highly successful production company HitchinTV, Tony has a keen eye himself, and was eager to try all kinds of different portrait shots.  I think I may have gone a little over-gothic with this one, but it was the one overcast moment of the day, so I like to think at least we were being in some way true to the day.

Back at the Sun Inn, meticulous preparations had seen the reception room beautifully decorated with restrained good taste.

While the party got started, Tony was keen to see if we could grab the sunset shot we had talked about.  We jumped in his car and he showed his true Italian heritage by racing across town with all the speed and dexterity of a Formula 1 driver keen to get home for his champagne dinner.  And boy was it worth the pedal to the metal.  

When we arrived at the chosen location, we were greeted by this stunning field of poppies. Capturing a sunset is always a matter of luck - will cloud cover ruin it?  Will there be too little cloud to make it truly dramatic.?

On this occasion we were blessed with one of the loveliest and most dramatic summer sunsets.  

And as dusk quickly settled in we even had a go at a Gone With the Wind moment.

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ERICA AND TOM'S ROMANTIC EASTBOURNE WEDDING

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Another last minute phone call from my pal Kirstie Blake: "My dear friend has just been let down by her photographer, can anyone help?"   And the next morning, I am hurtling through Sussex on a glorious sunny July Saturday to the rescue. 
 

I instantly fell in love with Tom and Erica's cool, retro Peacehaven bungalow, and it wasn't long before I'd fallen for them and their friends and family too!

Some weddings are all about the planning, some are all about the style, and some... some are all about the warmth of feelings, the strength of commitment and love from friends and family. 

Wanting nothing but the best, Dad booked a classic chauffeur-driven Daimler to drive Erica to the town hall.

And who couldn't help but be totally smitten by the Britain's youngest best man!?  Aw... so cute!!

and while the groom waited nervously...

a romance appeared to be blossoming between the best man...

... and one of the ladies in the congregation.

though nothing could distract from how beautiful the bride looked as Dad lead her down the aisle

There were tears and smiles at Eastbourne Town Hall.  With more than their share of challenges, this young couple came through for each other in a big way.

with more than a little help from the littlest, cutest best man ever ever ever

the signing of the register

the walk down the aisle, with a littlest best man now a bit grumpy and no doubt in need of some sugar

 What is lovely about Victorian Town halls, like the classic one in Eastbourne where Tom and Erica held their wedding ceremony, is the mix of colours, the wonderful architecture, the mix of natural and modern lighting and the melange of municipal rigour with a gentle, relaxed local atmosphere.  

Of course nothing expresses the joy and excitement following the wedding ceremony than confetti

and while a lot of wedding photographers won't use a wide angle, I can never resist squeezing in that little bit of extra action, because it is as much the guest's day as it is the bride and groom's.

After the formal shots, we had a little bit of time to run off for some romantic photo down time at Burling Gap.  And no trip to the south downs in the summer would be complete without... an ice cream.

as the saying goes, what's yours is mine, and ... erm... well that's it really..

Birling Gap and Crowlink, near Eastbourne in East Sussex, are part of the world famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast.  One minute you can be walking on ancient downland, the next you could be rockpooling below towering cliffs of chalk. Spectacular, unspoilt views of the sea can be seen from all angles. The beach below is ideal for seaside picnics with its rock pools and areas of pebbles and sand. It is a great example of a marine nature reserve.

Also, great for a bit of a snog, after your wedding.

but the fun didn't end with just one ice cream and a bit of a snog...

... and we were off to East Dean for a full-on Hog Roast.  Just look at the delight on those kids' faces...

then of course there were the speeches...

... the cake....

.... the cake down the bride's cleavage....

... the cake in the groom's face...

and then a proper, bonkers knees-up party

and also, thankfully, a beautiful South Downs Sunset 

Do please feel free to leave a comment, if you enjoyed these pictures, and thanks for reading. 

x

Adam

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