This particular Crazy Bear wedding started out, well, dark and moody - the weather that is, not the wedding - though this amazing venue near Oxford would fit the description pretty well too! As I arrived to capture some images of everyone getting ready, there was sufficient depth of water on the flag stones to warrant that tip-toe walk people do when trying to keep their feet dry (all that seems to achieve is wet toes but still) and it was still pouring with rain.
But I am lucky enough to work at The Crazy Bear throughout the year and know that it photographs well in any weather - I had also checked the forecast which made little mention of the monsoon we were experiencing and so, correctly as it turned out, figured things would improve.
And so it was, I met up with Susanne and Paul who were getting excitedly preparing for their big day and, as is so often the case when a couple are both staying at the same venue the night before their wedding, were desperately trying not to catch sight of each other before the ceremony. This involved a fair bit of choreography and the judicious use of sophisticated techniques such as hiding the bride (the makeup artist favoured the light in one of the ground floor doors) behind an umbrella. OK, so not particularly high-tech but, apart from a view of the brides feet, seemed to avoid an inadvertent groom-sees-bride-too-soon faux pax.
The ceremony was at Great Milton church which is a glorious tribute to the architects of the time (and they had a trumpeter too which added a degree of volume to the proceedings!) and then the sun came out. We went in in the rain and came out in eye-watering sunshine, glittering and glinting off every wet surface that it glanced!
I don't know if it's because we had started the day with such terribly different conditions to those we finished with or whether it was just that Susanne and Paul are one of those couples that you just love to be around but the afternoon and evening seemed particularly stunning, full of laughter (I don't know what possessed the boys to grab the Maid Of Honour and unceremoniously give her the bumps) and romance. And weaving my way through it all, it was a pleasure to capture some absolutely wonderful moments.
A beautiful day, a beautiful venue, a beautiful couple. Weddings don't get much better than this!