As a wedding photographer, I like to make sure I know where I am going for my clients’ ‘Big Day’ in advance - so I can plan and prepare those perfect photographs in my head before the hustle and bustle of the ceremony. So you can imagine my surprise when the lovely Ben and Amy told me they were getting married in… a field.
Luckily, I am never one to shy away from a challenge! So myself and Rachel (my fabulous second camera for the day) took off in search for this field on Ben and Amy’s wedding day - giving ourselves plenty of time to do what we call a ‘scout’ for great shots.
Good thing we had given ourselves lots of time too - we couldn’t find the place! Until we came across the father of the groom hoisting up a sign that said ‘Wedding this way.’ Edward is a good friend of Paul Wilkinson Photography - he and his family have been to our studios many of times, so I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked to take photos at his son’s wedding.
Edward directed us to said ‘field’ that his son would be wed in - and oh my goodness. It was stunning. In the middle of this beautiful meadow - surrounded by woodland and rolling greenery - stood a magnificent cluster of yurts. They were complete with soft fairy lights, hay bales for guests outside, it was beautiful - even in the morning sun.
The interior was also fantastic, with chandeliers and stunning table displays. There was a hole at the top of the yurt - covered in plastic in case of a downpour (which thankfully never came) - that was letting in the soft natural daylight. And with delicate lights all the way around the side - as a photographer - you know it’s going to be incredible. It’s just going to be absolutely beautiful to photograph. I couldn’t wait to get started.
So with the much needed scout of the stunning venue complete, we headed over to the hotel in which the bride Amy and groom Ben were getting ready for the biggest day of their lives. To my surprise - their rooms were literally exactly opposite each other in the same corridor. While this meant we had to be super careful not to allow the bride or groom to catch a glimpse of each other - it did open the opportunity for me to be in two places at one time!
Thanks to this, we managed to get these great pictures in the rooms - and some of the funniest groomsmen pictures that I have ever taken (Ben ironing his shirt...) And then there are these beautiful pictures of the bride getting ready. There was a real quality to the light in the room that just made it enchanting.
Then just as we were about to leave for the yurt, I got them into the entrance lounge of the hotel. As a wedding photographer, you’re always looking for something that is different to anything you’ve done before. And I believe these shots are exactly that. It really was the most magical start to a wedding.
Then, the usual panic ensues. Getting from the hotel to the yurt where the ceremony would be held was tight on time. Thankfully this is where Rachel, my ‘second camera’ for the day, comes to our rescue! While I am taking the last one or two shots of the bride before she sets off to marry the love of her life, Rachel is already at the venue - taking snaps of guests arriving, mingling and capturing the excitement of the day ahead.
I’ve been in the wedding photography world for 10 years now, and I have learned many little tips and tricks that have really helped me be the best photographer I can be for my clients’ big day. One of these (I won’t be divulging all of them!) is that I always, always make sure I introduce myself to the vicar, priest or registrar who is in charge of the wedding ceremony itself.
This way, they know who I am, and I can ensure they are happy with what I will be doing during the procedures. It’s important there is a mutual respect in this - so they can do their job and I can do mine! (But we’ll come back to this in a second…)
Then, just behind me, the bride arrives in a camper van with her mum in the driver’s seat. Talk about a unique entrance! It was perfect - there was a palpable excitement in the air. The congregation are seated and you can tell they are just beside themselves with anticipation. It was a lovely moment to be a part of.
Then as Amy comes in, you can see the look on the Ben’s face - and it’s at this moment that you really feel a part of something special. The day they’d both been dreaming of for months and months was coming true. So in all of these pictures you’re just collecting these precious moments, and it was just a mesmorising ceremony. So beautiful, so gentle. I like to think we captured the essence of it in our photos.
Then of course, it all erupts into confetti and cheers and laughter and music. We took our group shots which was a lot of fun - especially when the vicar pulled out his professional SLR camera and started to steal my shots! Laughter from myself and the groups was hard to contain I swiftly reminded him of our previous conversation about not treading on toes! It was just hilarious and meant we got some fantastic, natural photos of genuine smiles and laughter - so I guess I owe the vicar one after all.
Something that really stood out for me - and something I would recommend to anyone getting married and looking for a high-end wedding photographer - was that Amy and Ben had made time and arrangements for their photos as a newlywed couple.
Too often at a wedding, although the couple have paid a lot of money for you to be there and to get the magical once-in-a-lifetime shots, they don’t necessarily want to set aside loads of time to do it. Your wedding day is very compressed, there so much going on. But it makes a huge difference when a couple utilise the short amount of time we do have well - and that’s exactly what Amy and Ben had done.
So they lead me to this beautiful woodland scene, which they had already dressed it with fairy lights, had a swing on the branch of a tree and it was just a privilege to have that kind of access. We didn't take an awful lot of time, but we sure made the most of it. We scooped them away from the crowd and took the most glorious pictures using the fairy lights in the backdrop - it was everything you could wish it to be. This one has to be my absolute favourite - possibly from the whole day.
The day just evolves from here and it is just wonderful. It was one of those unforgettable experiences as a photographer. Then our time with Ben and Amy had come to an end. Rachel and I got put everything back in its bag, said goodnight to everyone, and walked back to our Land Rover, pack everything away - we were officially done for today.
But then, I look out of the windscreen, just about to turn the engine on. I am looking back across the field and the yurt is just breathtaking. It was like something out of a fairytale. All the lights that are inside it, all the fairy lights around it were glowing in this perfect evening sky.
And you just know that if you drive away and don’t take a beautiful picture of that final scene, you will forever regret it. So, sure enough, I made poor Rachel wait while I climb back out of the car, open up the boot, open up the bags, put the camera back together and took just a couple of night time pictures of this exquisite scene glowing in the September sunset, unbeknownst to the celebrations and festivities happening inside. It really was a spectacular day - just perfect.
I have to say, this wedding really was an absolute joy to photograph. When shooting such a momentous occasion in someone’s life, to capture the memories in photos that will be passed down through generations, it pays to take that extra bit of care. By having two cameras present, by getting that ‘something different’ shot - and by never being off the job... even at the end of the shoot! It makes such a difference and can result in some fantastic photos your family will look back on forever.
Are you looking for a wedding photographer? Please get in touch with me and my team today to learn more about the services we offer to make your big day timeless.
Until next time,
See more photos from Ben and Amy’s Wedding...