London Wedding : Sarah & Ben : Part One

Just follow the shoes. Or ask for directions at reception.

The last time I found myself on this same roof, admiring this same view, contemplating a wedding I was due to shoot the following morning in London, a different wedding, I realised I’d left my suit behind.

So here I was again, back on Sarah & Ben’s roof, admiring their view over the city, contemplating the arrival of their wedding day. I was wearing my suit, only this time I’d forgotten my cameras!

Just kidding.

How else would I have taken these photos, silly?

Hey! Pesto! And yes, indeed, that roof door!

Peekaboo! Playful synonyms.

I rely on you, like an acrobat needs... ice cold socks? Like a hairpin needs a... svither supur, like an HGV needs... almond bits, like a photographer needs a basic command of aperture settings.

+ Stella

Taking an avowedly photo-journalistic approach to wedding photography, I never set things up. Quite why Sarah had hung her dress in the doorway that linked the sleeping and bathing quarter of her apartment to the living, dining and cooking quarter was a mystery to me. Surely there'd be a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing going on between the two? Now I think of it, they're not really quarters in the mathematical sense. As I think further, I recall that the dress wasn't much use to my documentary needs safely hung in the wardrobe. So, I present to you my photo-journalistic record of the result of Sarah agreeing to removing the dress from the wardrobe; a honest picture. Anyway, about this dress. Sarah bought the silk and delivered the material along with a design of her own making to the dress-maker, Silvia at Beau Monde. She found the buttons at Button Queen and Silvia and her team put them on for her.

Ann. Cooking up a fine breakfast. She kindly offered me a serving but regrettably I'd already eaten at the hotel I'd found just around the corner. My regret doesn't solely extend to having turned down the offer but in large part surrounds the fact that I had actually consumed what the hotel presented me with (though I will be leaving the place a good review on Booking.com) Invigorating colour scheme, takes me back to that stay in Dom's flat in Lewisham all those years ago. Unforgettable! Ever get the impression I'm not always tailoring my words to a broadcast market?

Terry. In the white room. Sarah had initially contemplated getting ready at a hotel. I'm really glad she chose to do it all at home, for the colours and the light; I adore her and Ben's apartment. Sarah's really glad likewise; she'll have a record of a significant moment in her life immersed in an environment of great personal meaning.

The first time I met Sarah I was taken by a keen intelligence, enveloped in sharp wit and delivered with compassion. She is the product of Ann & Terry, and marvellous people they are too. I was really very honoured to be afforded the experience of their interactions as a family on this morning.

Fridge stuff. Remember?

And she made her own hat.

Pre-living the big day.

Lover of the written word as I am.

Ben spent the night before at the Hoxton Hotel. He and Sarah put me up there the night of the wedding too (a profuse public thank you to back up the personal one). I could have stayed there forever, or at least for a while longer. Than one night. Not a while longer than forever. Marvellous place. Fantastic attention to detail. I can imagine how the conversations went, "Room 650 has a somewhat uninspiring view; let's do something about it" and a great many others about the little things that go a long way in making a guest comfortable.

Binary Ben and his fine suit. Good effort sir, well rewarded.

There's only one Viv though. Viv. Andrew. Ben's Best Man.

Double Dutch Courage.

"Have you seen the trailer for that film where these people get stuck in a lift and one of them is the Devil? Well..." and this week's answer to the existential crisis of wedding photography.

The look on Ben's face? With his commensurate directorial vision he knows before even I do that I've framed with the lunking big yellow safety sign in shot.

Ben's brother Matt lets slip a sigh of relief as I rectify the problem. Viv... Andrew... Viv isn't phased in the slightest. Not by what I'm doing anyway.

And there we all were, waiting for a taxi.

Part two, same time, same place tomorrow…

Contact London wedding photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com : 07870 696248

Tony Good - Phill, only you could have come up with serialising a wedding day! Perhaps the next move is a tv wedding soap; then movie adaptations perhaps – who knows? Despite being in the middle of London, managing to find a suitable cliff to hang your readers off doesn’t seem to have bothered you in the least either. Great work Phill, looking forward to the rest of the series.
Cheers
Tony

sarah - These are wonderful! I’ve been so excited to see these – have been hovering over the refresh button waiting for them to appear. Completely took me back to the moment – and it’s magical to peep into the morning Ben was having, while I was wrestling with my bouquet and heels. As usual your photos are amazing – beautiful, funny, true and touching. It’s such an honour that this time, it’s our day. Thank you.

Will be hovering again tomorrow.

Mark Kalkwarf - Always a treat to go through you blog posts, the way you tell the story and link the images to one another is something quite amazing. The image of the Bride’s Mother watching as she walks away is epic, beautiful moment.

John Parker - Another epic set of images – looking forward to the rest of the series.

It’s also nice to see that you’re tackling the thorny issue of whether or not a photographer should simply be a passive observer as far as wedding dress storage is concerned. :-)

Rhian - Smiles. Big smiles. Cannot wait to see the rest.

James Pearson - Oh Phill, when you said you had five blog posts to publish, one each day, I didn’t know it was going to be this epic and wonderful! I’m loving every frame of it so far and, of course, every word. Looks to be an amazing wedding already, I adore the scenes you’ve captured in Sarah’s home in particular. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapter!

ben - Wow .. these are amazing, I’m very excited about tomorrow’s instalment.

I’d echo Sarah and say it’s fantastic to see her preparations. Viv and I mostly drank scotch.

HayleyRuth - Oh wow!! Although I missed the morning sessions I needn’t have worried I feel like I was there with these images! As always, Stunning story telling both in words and images, can’t wait to see the rest of the wedding as told by you! :)

sam hurd - firstly, the colors in these are just incredible. secondly…well, i can’t wait for the second part :)

Lyn Ismael-Bennett - Wow, what a stylish looking couple. Love the bride’s dress!Plus, you were able to capture that radiance you only see with people that are truly happy. Great job!

Luis - Amazing job. I love the colors.

Razvan - Your storytelling abilities always amaze me – both through words and imagery. I love how your eye sees and presents a wedding day from the most minute details to the big moments and emotions.

Drew - Gorgeous set of images! crisp clean, Love em all!

Steve Koo - Lovely work, and some fantastic storytelling. Great work!

Emily Porter - Truly breathtaking set of photos. I can’t wait to see more.

gabe aceves - well its awesome. what else is there to say really.

Jakob - Love it. Big fan of how clean your photos are.

Eric Yerke - You are good. I also, like your gentle narration with the words. I’m inspired

stacey kinkaid - your style is so unique – it’s truly refreshing – and I can’t wait for part 2!

ed peers - Super stuff Phil… great job!

Heather - I love the “getting ready” shots- I feel like I’m a ninja sneaking around seeing everyone getting ready. :D

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