Sopley Mill Wedding Photography : Nicola & Simon

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One might say that I’ve been photographing Nicola & Simon since 2010, albeit with an interval of some years between encounters. Back in that year I was commissioned by Nicola’s sister, Julia, to photograph a multi-generational birthday party starring three members of Nicola’s family and an effusive supporting cast, sixteen people in total plus one family dog so by a whisker slightly smaller in population than even the smallest wedding I’ve photographed thus far. It wasn’t a wedding then, of course, but I went about my work in exactly the same manner since I photograph weddings as though they are family gatherings, just more often than not particularly big ones. What had struck me most about that occasion (other than the fact that it was laden with exuberance and provided me with constant opportunity to make photographs of people at the height of happiness, because it was full of people at the height of happiness; it’s a simple equation :~)… what had struck me most about the occasion was the potency with which the positive strength of family manifested itself amongst this group and in addition to that, how they all might equally have just been the very best of friends.

So come the time for me to photograph Nicola & Simon’s wedding, whereas normally I would only know the couple at the centre of events before actually arriving for the event itself, I was very much looking forward to experiencing the interplay of this family once more and indeed it made for an enriching celebration to participate in all over again by virtue of that family dynamic. Unsurprisingly, the broader array of guests in attendance added to the tone of the day in a similar vein, a host of animated and happy folk that were a pleasure to spend time amongst. Come December of this year I’ll be photographing the wedding of Nicola’s sister, Julia, too so I’ll look forward to more of the same then.

I particularly enjoyed getting to know Nicola & Simon all the more through their wedding day, an erudite and warm hearted couple that took great care of all that joined them in celebrating their marriage. Their natural efforts in this respect were repaid in full by those that joined them on this day; a couple clearly respected, loved and valued by their friends and families. They married at Christchurch Priory in Dorset, a place that Nicola enjoyed childhood connections with, and celebrated at Sopley Mill just across the county border into Hampshire. This is the story of Nicola & Simon’s wedding day…

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My introduction to the day started with Simon’s arrival at the Captain’s Club in Christchurch where his groomsmen had gathered to take him for a ride. A cruise, more accurately speaking…

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Always happy to add a new location type to my list of places I’ve photographed grooms getting ready! Simon was helped by… Simon, who will officially become… Simon’s brother-in-law come December when he marries Nicola’s sister, Julia…

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Existential crisis of being a wedding photographer firmly put to bed; I just become part of the fabric of any environment I find myself taking photographs in*…

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(*caveats apply.)

The seeds were planted for a personal retirement plan…

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Or maybe if I sextuple my pricing between now and old age, I’ll be able to upgrade :~) Actually, my heart would be more in the one above…

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As I’d forgotten to bring my water-wings, I left Simon and his entourage to embark on their river adventure and made way, overland, to see how Nicola was enjoying the build up to the ceremony and to catch up with her splendid family…

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On to the Priory…

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Having a sister that happens to be a professional wedding planner certainly has its advantages when it comes to marrying. A day perfectly smooth in the running, as a foundation, was built upon with an array of poignant details; an aisle made into a tree-lined avenue, one of numerous additional delights…

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I suspect that Simon was fit to pop with happiness and excitement at this juncture; Nicola likewise…

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A bit of a stiff breeze eddying around the Priory made confetti throwing an unpredictable task…

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To the Mill…

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A morn of wedding gift from Nicola to Simon…

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Simon, something of an enthusiastic artist, created the table plan for dinner…

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Nicola & Simon were very kind to seat me as a guest, amidst fantastic company at that. My heartfelt thanks to them for that and for the truly superb food.

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Quite a bit of artistry in evidence, as it happens…

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I particularly enjoyed this abstract take on millinery presentation…

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Marvellous shot, I must say :~)…

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Something that frequently occurs at weddings, I was suddenly reminded of my daughter and in this instance years back, the very first days that I’d taken her to nursery :~)…

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Speeches as happy as they look…

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Winner of the speeches-duration sweepstake…

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Sopley Mill provides a marvellously relaxed environment and plenty in the way of engaging interior space should the weather prove not as favourable; full use made of the grounds on Nicola & Simon’s wedding day though.

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This week’s first-dance-off-camera-lighting-test-model; job executed with flourish…

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Congratulations Nicola & Simon and thank you for such a heart-warmingly enjoyable experience, and to your families and friends for being the best people one might hope to find oneself amongst. I look forward to seeing you both again come December!

Contact Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com : 07870 696248