Kent Wedding Photographer...in Northumberland. Charlotte and Matt's Wedding
This is the story of Charlotte and Matt's wedding. The one where this Kent Wedding Photographer went from one end of the country to the other via Shropshire to shoot one hell of a spectacular wedding! It was a long time coming but as they always say, good things come to those who wait! And boy was this worth waiting for.
I was driving up the M54 towards Shrewsbury revelling in the novelty of driving my car. I'd only had it back in my possession a few days after it had been stolen a few months before. It had been raining constantly for the last week but that wasn't going to stop me meeting up with Charlotte and Matt and do their pre wedding shoot at their place in Shropshire. It was touch and go. All week I'd seen on the news that Shropshire had been ravaged by flooding after the River Severn had burst it's banks. The scene as I was driving through the countryside was horrific and I managed to head down a flooded road that was only just passable. But I got there, spent an hour or so with the happy couple, `Taff (their dog) and a flock of sheep. It was February. It was cold. It was windy. But this would be a complete contrast to their wedding in June. After a quick cuppa, I hit the road back to Kent. I popped the news on which continued with the flooding emergency that was happening in the North West and Wales. "And finally, the number of people infected by the new virus in China has risen and has now been detected in Italy"
On a gloriously sunny day in Northumberland, I headed to Alwinton the Cheviot Hills. It was August and 18 months had passed since that grey day in Shropshire. It was still windy though. I was fully back in the swing of things with weddings. The energy, creativity and fun I'd craved during the dark days of the Covid Lockdown was well and truly back. And something I have noticed with weddings since the return; they are a lot more relaxed! And this one was no different.
As I arrived at Charlotte's family home, I passed the field which contained the marquee surrounded by seats and festoon lighting. I love these weddings. I've done so many up here for the farming community over the years and I was looking forward to seeing the familiar faces once again.
The views of the Coquet Valley were stunning and would be the perfect backdrop to the wedding celebrations. The sun streamed in through the windows while Charlotte was getting her hair done. Everything was very chilled. People were making trips back and forth from the house to the marquee and the church. Bridesmaids were running errands and checking with Charlotte if there was anything that needed doing once done. Taff was ambling around the house checking everyone out but eventually settled in his basket in the utility room.
Down at the church the ushers were setting out the orders of service and welcoming the guests. Now, this was a sunny warm day. This is a farming community. It's harvest. As guests were arriving I could see people on the phone checking on how harvest was going. I was overhearing conversations along the lines of "Yeah, moisture levels are perfect....." Gradually everyone was settling in and were waiting for the arrival of Charlotte and the bridesmaids.
Charlotte arrived in a Range Rover, made her way up the hill to be greeted by the waiting vicar, adjusted her dress and made her entrance. I was at the front of the church in the chancel, which in Alwinton is quite unique as it is up a flight of steps. This gave me a wonderful view of the ceremony.
After the ceremony and confetti, we made our way to the River Coquet to get some shots. However we were hampered somewhat by a biblical swarm of flies! We battled on but eventually gave up the ghost and headed back to the marquee where guests were waiting and canapés dished out. As with the previous few weddings there was a certain sense of relief that everyone was back in the same room as each other for the first time in months. There was a lot of catching up to do.
After the meal and speeches, we took the opportunity to take advantage of the low sun and the golden sky and have some fun in the corn fields. We were having so much fun at one point Charlotte said "shall we not just stay here?" I was having an absolute blast and capturing the sort of shots I've wanted to get for years. Everything came together for this moment. Light, backdrop, dress, bride and a bit of a breeze. Perfection.
We went back to the marquee and behind a curtain the band had set up and were waiting for the newlyweds to come back in. They took their place on the dance floor, the band started playing and the curtain was lifted. Beautiful choreographed to the delight of the guests who before long were soon on the dance floor partying.
What a day! Just sublime! Laughter and smiles throughout. And a hell of a lot of creativity. I loved it!!! Thank you Charlotte and Matt.