Hythe Wedding Photography - Debbie and Colin
2020 has been a weird year. We started the year with so much optimism and the Covid-19 pandemic has blindsided us all and dashed so many dreams. For a lot of the time, business and work seems insignificant compared to the loss and suffering so many have had. From a diary absolutely obliterated, there have been some glimmers of hope in the gloom and some weddings have gone ahead. I went from almost 30 weddings planned in 2020 to 3. Debbie and Colin's wedding was a last minute booking. A wedding that was on, then off, then on, then off and then back on again. Kent has become my hunting ground and it was so lovely to capture some Hythe Wedding Photography. And in particular wedding photography at The Imperial Hotel.
So a bit of background then. I'm an active member of a group on Facebook called Walk the Mind. A superb group set up by Oliver Bowers at the start of Lockdown to promote the benefits of getting out and walking to support mental health wellbeing. With all the downtime and limited opportunities to get out and work with the camera, this group help encourage me to get out and capture the world around me in what has been a mad year. And it's through this group Debbie found me back in the summer. The rest they say is history.
With me relocating to Kent in 2021, shooting weddings in the county is important so I was so grateful to Debbie and Colin for giving me the opportunity to capture their wedding. The day itself was bright and sunny but really windy! I made my way to their house in Rainham Marshes where Debbie was getting ready. In the short time I have known Debbie I have seen her artistic side and this was reflected in the house. What was also evident was the love of butterflies. So it was somewhat appropriate that when sat on the doorstep out to the back garden I was surrounded by butterflies feeding of the buddleia bush by the door.
Compared to the wedding I shot in July under strict Covid-19 restrictions, this wedding was a little bigger with 30 guests. But still it was quite a strange day with so many regulations and restrictions still in place. At Hythe Town Hall we gathered outside as the registrars provided me with how the ceremony will work and where I can stand. Hythe Town Hall is a gorgeous building on Hythe High Street; bright white amongst the red brick buildings on the street. The ceremony would take place in the council chamber on the first floor. It's wonderfully ornate and full of character. Seats were set into "Bubbles" and distanced to ensure social distancing.
Colin arrived and looked amazingly calm. He quietly welcomed the guests before making his way upstairs to the chamber and wait for Debbie to arrive. The car pulled up in the lane behind the Hall leaving Debbie to make the short walk down the hill, through the Undercroft and to the front door. Shoppers stopped and shouted "Good Luck" and "Congratulation" whilst taking photos on their phones. Debbie was electric with a smile stretching from ear to ear.
With everyone in place upstairs, I took my place on the stage at the front and waited for Debbie to enter the room. The music started ("At Last" by Ella Fitzgerald) and in she came. There was a mixture of emotions; laughter and nerves and relief! With the restrictions in place this was a shortened ceremony but lovely none-the-less.
Now anyone who regularly reads my blogs know how important music is to me. And it's one of the things that has connected Debbie, Colin and myself. As they signed the register, Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" started. One of my absolute favourite songs by one of my favourite bands. We'd have more Zeppelin before the day was out including when the newlyweds walked back up the aisle.
After some confetti on the steps of the hall with shoppers once again stopping to watch, we all made our way to the seafront to the stunning Imperial Hotel. In the Ballroom tables were set up distanced apart from each other. Debbie and Colin wanted a relaxed chilled out day. The restrictions in place did help with this. After a drinks reception and more confetti we made out way down to the beach. Remember I mentioned the wind? Yeah!!!! It was REALLY windy. There were dozens of kite-surfers zipping about the surf just offshore and they made a brilliant backdrop to the shots we were doing. We definitely got the windswept look!!!
After 15 minutes we headed back for food. What can I say.....it was gorgeous!!! As we ate everyone chatted. Unlike what often happens at weddings, there was no rush. No rush to get courses finished and cleared so it helped with the wonderfully relaxed vibe of the day.
The speeches followed and they were hilarious yet heartfelt. Colin spoke in soft tones and we hung on his every word. The look of love between them was so wonderful!
Now in a twist to the norm owing to social distancing there wouldn't be a first dance so the evening would be a simple affair of music, buffet and chat. And with the sun setting and the sky lighting up we went back to the beach to capture more shots and reflect on a stunning day.
And that was my lot on the day. I've made great friends with Debbie and Colin and I can't wait to catch up with them once Lockdown 2 - The Sequel finishes. Not the most conventional wedding I've ever shot, definitely one of my favourites though.