It looks a little incongruous, a groomsman stood alone on a Hampshire lane. It would look a little incongruous in any county. A van pulled up, a window wound down, a driver asked, “Is there a wedding?” Yes there is. It’s Sarah & Tim’s. They’re ten foot tall apiece don’t you know?
A bit of context, a somewhat significant bit of context at that, can be found in Part One of Sarah & Tim’s wedding day.
I’m a people person, photographically speaking. If I could spend all day simply documenting the dynamic of a group of people, their interactions and individual nuances I’d be more than happy. I do of course pay attention to material details; a great deal of emotional investment will have gone into their selection and deployment and they do add meaningful brush-strokes to the picture of the day. My usual practice is to devote around 15 minutes to documenting all the details in a banquet room before the guests are seated; it’s an important thing to record but in all honesty I do find myself itching to get back out amongst the crowd where I can do my thing, so to speak. Having photographed the layout and the details in Sarah & Tim’s wedding marquee I stopped to review all the images on the LCD screens on the back of my cameras, to ensure that I had everything I needed. As I scrolled through the images I realised that I’d photographed everything, twice over; having traversed the marquee I’d continued to do another lap, I was that lost in the splendour of it all. Even though I was now conscious of what I’d done, I still had the urge to continue once more around the floor. It’s the first time I’ve ever had to drag myself away from an uninhabited space to continue photographing in a space full of people.
I’ve noted a growing trend in recent times for the speeches to be delivered before the wedding breakfast is served. In most cases I sense this decision is driven by a desire to dissipate the nervousness people have at having to stand and speak in front of a crowd. Get them out of the way so everyone, not least the speakers, can then enjoy their meal. It’s a perfectly natural thing to feel, though never in my experience a problem come the delivery; it’s from the heart and everyone is on your side. I do find though that speeches delivered prior to the breakfast tend to be dispensed with expediently – everyone’s hungry by this stage – whereas those delivered at the end of the breakfast tend to be digested with relish. Were my advice asked I would always suggest not rushing to get them over and done with; they do serve an important function as part of one of the most significant rites of passage in two people’s lives. Sarah & Tim, I believe, hit upon the perfect balance for this aspect of the wedding day. Starters were served and consumed so the edge was taken off everyone’s hunger, then the speeches were delivered prior to the main course and they were consumed with relish (both the speeches and the food!) I’m not certain how easy it would be to negotiate such an order of events when one’s special day is being celebrated at a traditional wedding venue however; one certainly has a great deal more control when it’s all being done at home.
I don’t actually know if the order was underscored by any sense of nervousness at speech making in this case; as a listener myself, I didn’t sense that to be the case but it certainly serves as a great example on approach, as did many aspects of Sarah & Tim’s wedding day.
To say that Sarah & Tim’s wedding blew my socks off might be considered hyperbole but there are now two new craters on the Moon with a piece of cotton footwear buried in the base of both of them. A remarkably inspiring day, it was a beautiful thing to witness. I’ve enjoyed reliving the story enormously.
Thank you Sarah & Tim for having me along on this part of the journey.
Roll call of remarkable service and delivery:
- Moodies – wedding and event catering and management
- Edwin Brooks and The Burning Glass – live acoustic music and song
- The Flying Toads – ceilidhs and barn dances
- Dylan’s Ice Cream – producers of sourced artisan ice-cream and sorbets
Contact Hampshire wedding photographer Phillip Allen : firstname.lastname@example.org : 07870 696248