Hotel Cromwell Wedding - Jenny and Aidan
All my wedding blogs of late have followed a similar theme. "So this wedding was originally planned for 2020" And Aidan and Jenny's wedding was no different. In fact their original wedding date was right at the beginning of the Covid lockdown. But patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. Now, where this day was slightly different was that Jenny and Aidan had already got married ahead of the rescheduled date. Getting married at The Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage last summer, this would be their celebratory day with their wider family and friends. And as you can see this Cromwell Hotel Wedding celebration was every bit as fun as a regular wedding day.
On an overcast September Saturday I made my way around the M25 to Stevenage. I'd done my little sunshine dance all morning. The plan for today was for the "ceremony" to take place outside. However the threat of rain hung in the air and every weather app gave a different forecast for the day. So any decision on whether we'd be in or out would be made at the last moment.
Upstairs at the hotel Jenny was getting ready. Now, last time I saw Jenny and Aidan was February 2020. A lot had happened since then. Global pandemic, a scaled down wedding.....and a baby! Theirs, not mine! So while baby slept we did our best not to make too much noise. However everyone in the room were chatting and catching up. It was all very relaxed.
Downstairs, the staff kept their eyes on the skies. The stringed quartet arrived and set up by the doors and rehearsed their pieces. With 20 minutes to go the decision was made....we're going outside. And that was perfect as it replicated the actual wedding day almost 12 months earlier.
Guests arrived, took their seats and the quartet struck up their tunes. Under grey skies Jenny made her way through the doors and to the pergola where the celebrant was ready to guide us through the ceremony. It was humid but it was just right. A couple of readings and renewal of vows in front of their friends and family later and they'd done it all over again!
After the ceremony, whilst mingling in amongst the crown I spotted two familiar faces. Jayne and Graeme who's wedding I'd shot up in Newcastle at As You Like It several years earlier. I love catching up with old couples of mine and seeing the journey they've been on. In this case with two little ones in tow.
This was a wonderfully relaxed day. This was replicated in the speeches. Short, relaxed, funny, touching, emotional. And they included a speech by Jenny too. A bridal speech doesn't happen often but it's always a lovely twist on wedding tradition.
To break the day up, Jenny, Aidan and I headed out over the road to the village green to get some shots before heading back in for the cake cutting and first dance. Dancing to Toploader with their closest folks surrounding them, Jenny and Aidan swayed in the darkness of the disco for their first dance before the floor gradually filled up with guests. And then the tunes cranked up. There's nothing better than leaving a wedding at the end of the day seeing a dance floor packed with people.
An hour and bit later, I arrived home in Kent, transferred the images from the memory cards to the Mac, opened an ice cold beer and put my feet up. A great day with great people. I love my job.