Weymouth Wedding Photography: Gina and Brett
Back in the 90s when I was at high school I became friends with Brett. Years later we were still in contact via Facebook but hadn't seen each other since our teenage years in Northumberland. Knowing I was a wedding photographer and having followed my career including weddings I'd captured for mutual friends Brett was keen for me to shoot his wedding. Early in the planning process we spoke on the phone and spent more time having the "Do you remember when...." conversation than actually talking about the wedding. Rather unfortunately, events would throw several curve balls into the planning of this Weymouth Wedding.
Grabbing my kit on the morning of the wedding, I loaded the car, put my sunglasses on, put some tunes on and set off for Weymouth. Rehearsing the day in my head, I set off for the drive down to the Jurassic Coast. Over the next couple of hours I made my way through the Easter Bank Holiday traffic with my 90s playlist blasting out. Very soon I was skirting the top of the New Forest before arriving in Weymouth. Even though it was a bank holiday weekend, surprisingly the traffic heading towards Weymouth wasn't bad so I arrived a couple of hours early giving me time to find my bearings.
Now, the booking for this wedding was made back in January 2019. Unfortunately we had the small matter of a global pandemic and wedding venues going out of business to contend with before we got to this date 4 years later. I actually lost track of how many changes to the dates and venues we went through. Eventually though we were here at Hotel Rembrandt close to Weymouth seafront.
Over the next couple of hours I caught up with staff to finalise the running order of the day, worked out where everything was and even managed to squeeze in time to have a walk down to the seafront to get some ideas for the photos later on. When I got back to the hotel I made my way through to the ceremony room. I spotted Brett and made my way over. Only it wasn't Brett. It was his son who is a double of what Brett looked like at school. From the back of the room I heard "PENFOLD!!! THAT was Brett. 30 years had passed but you wouldn't think it. We chatted for a bit and ran through the day. "This is Gina's idea of hell being the centre of attention" he said.
Down at reception the staff were waiting for Gina's arrival. Traditionally a few minutes late the car arrived. It was a large black Mercedes MPV. Bridesmaids got out and from the back Gina shuffled forward, stuck her head out, looked at me and said "You'll be Jamie then!" I think the camera gave it away. She stepped out, adjusted her dress and took a deep breath. "This is my idea of hell. I hate being centre of attention!" she said. I laughed and explained Brett had literally said that about 10 minutes earlier.
Despite the nerves and apprehension of being the centre of attention Gina chatted to the staff and the last couple of guests who hurriedly made their way through to ceremony room which was set up with floral arch, lanterns and petals. Sipping on a glass of water, she met the registrar and talked through her details. Brett was joking with guests in the room. Was this a sign of nerves. The registrar stood at the front and asked everyone to stand. There was a hushed silence and then the Top Gun theme started. What an amazing tune to walk down the aisle to!
You'll have to go a long way to find a wedding ceremony filled with as much laughter as this one. That definitely reflected this couple. A couple totally at ease with each other, who have fun and aren't afraid to poke fun at each other. "Who gives this woman to be married?" the celebrant asked. "I do............" Gina's dad said before turning to Brett and saying "Sorry". That set the tone.
After a short ceremony, the deed was done. Gina and Brett posed by the "certificate" pretending to sign it whilst guests got their photos. To conclude the ceremony, the registrar announced the new Mr & Mrs Adams. There was a pause and then the theme to the Addams Family started. Another great alternative song for a wedding.
Out in the garden, everyone congregated in the sun for drinks and to catch up with the newlyweds. Amongst it all there was the drama of a phone being dropped down between a wall and a fence. It was like a military operation trying to fish it out! It was a good 6 feet down. A litter grabber was used but that didn't work. There was also the suggestion of dangling a small child down between the fence and wall. That was vetoed before one of the men jumped the fence into the neighbouring garden, lifted the panel and grabbed the device. He just needed to clamber out and back into the pub garden which was done rather unflatteringly. But it was eventually styled out.
A five tier cake was the centre piece within the function room. It was massive! As guests made their way in there were gasps and "wows" when it was spotted. Gradually the room filled up with the soundtrack of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" filtering through from one of the 3 retro arcade machines that would entertain everyone later in the day.
We had two speeches; groom and best man. Brett's was filled with funny stories and heartfelt thank yous. I was floored when he mentioned me. It's rare that I get a mention in the speeches. And when I do I come over all British and apologetic. And then we got the story of the wedding plans. If you think waiting 4 years to finally get to this day was bad it was actually a lot longer for Brett and Gina. We're talking a couple of decades!! But the best things come to those who wait.
After a stunning meal, the three of us jumped in my car and headed to the sea front. The sun was still out but it was now early evening and there was a bit of a chill in the air as the wind came in off the sea. We spent some time getting photos done as passers-by offered their congratulations. Getting natural shots wasn't a problem here as Brett and Gina chatted and joked with each other and completely ignored me. That is the best way!!
The room had been turned around and was now set for the evening's entertainment. The DJ was blasting out some top quality cheese from the likes of Steps, S Club 7, Westlife, Point Break and Backstreet Boys. Once the cake was cut it was time for Brett and Gina to take to the floor. Swaying back and forth they appeared completely lost in the moment seemingly unaware of all their guests surrounding them on the dance floor. As is tradition after a couple of minutes the guests were invited to join them.
And that was that. A great day in the sunshine with a great bunch of people. And I got to catch up with an old friend too. Thank you Brett and Gina for a stunning day and for making me feel so welcome.
Amazingly I've got through this whole post without mentioning Brett played Noddy in Byker Grove.....or have I??
Weymouth Wedding Photography 2023