Somerset Wedding Photographer : Chanel & Phil : Part One

I’ve photographed four weddings in Somerset this year, all but one of them involving couples that don’t live in Somerset nor indeed were they born nor grew up in the county. Albeit a small statistical base to derive any conclusions from I get a strong sense that an increasing number of people are discovering that it’s a beautiful part of the world with some fantastic locations and venues to throw a wedding at and whilst marrying close to home has manifest attractions and benefits to it, the world is indeed your oyster. Such was the case for Chanel & Phil.

They chose The church of Saint Mary the Virgin and Gants Mill in Bruton, Somerset for their marriage ceremony and ensuing celebrations, bringing together a gregarious band of guests for an energetic wedding with an Afro-Caribbean theme. I must say I enjoy travelling to Somerset for weddings; it seems (certainly so in my experience) to attract an adventurous type of couple to marry there and Chanel & Phil’s wedding day certainly was a blast to photograph.

I started the day wending my way through the evocatively charming lanes and alleyways of Bruton, much evidence of a pace of life increasingly less common in the world at large (though the pace of local drivers through its narrow main streets seemed to have a consistently more space age velocity to it, thus in part why I found myself preferring to explore those lanes and alleyways; I remain intrigued by the widespread hurry!)…

With this summer’s wedding photography season drawing to a close (albeit taking me up to the end of October, though for the past few months I’ve experienced a fantastic run of good summer-like weather on the wedding days themselves with distinctly shabby weather being the norm during the preceding or succeeding days and in some cases during both)… I digress, uncharacteristically. With this summer’s wedding season drawing to a close I could do with looking in to this New-Tex system myself. My suits do take something of a beating over the months…

Maybe all those drivers were heading for the shelter…

Phil had set out on a door to door mission to bring sartorialism to the great untied…

To those in need of order in their habit (verb)…

Tiedings of great joy*…

*I’ll get my keyboard. Feel free to take it from me.

That kept them tied up and out of trouble for a while…

On to Chanel’s local abode for the duration, where proceedings were following a more precise and focused pathway and hopefully there was far less room for me to get tongue-tied with overly worn and threadbare puns…

Get me to the church on time. Actually, Chanel was ready to get to the church – just down the road and around a sweeping downhill corner – in good time but this was to turn out to be a marriage ceremony with an unexpectedly flexible timeline…

I really like it when the best man (or one of three best men in Phil’s case) isn’t deliberately looking at his watch for the benefit of a passing photographer, that is to say, he isn’t deliberately looking at it for my benefit, here. There are times when you want to check the passage of time, as it’s passing beyond a stage you expected it to get to. I’m over-explaining and under-explaining all at the same time. On with the photographs…

Father Louis explains the light reactive properties of the lenses in his glasses (as he’d been waiting outside in bright sunlight) and that it’s not just down to his being the coolest priest in town…

…before he pardons the key players from the church and advises them that they might as well enjoy the glorious weather outside too…

…wherein potential drama, but there was nothing amiss. Well, except that half the guests were missing. A coach load had set off from London in the very early hours of the morning and would have made the church in good time had they not got stuck in traffic, somewhere along the way, made heavy by a population enthused to get on the sunny roads after days of meteorological gloom. Mobile ‘phone communications suggested at one point they were but fifteen minutes away, at yet another maybe as much as half an hour. Father Louis was in no great hurry and was very laid back and good natured about the whole thing. Chanel’s entourage were contacted and she was advised to sit tight until the rest of the guests had arrived…

…which after a further while they unfortunately didn’t (though good news to come a little later in our day’s tale) so down to the business of marriage it was…

Father Louis certainly delivered a passionate lesson…

How the remaining half of the guests managed to fill the rear portion of the church without my having heard or seen them do so, I’ve no idea. A discrete mass entrance to say the least. Father Louis later related to me having seen them arrive and that thankfully they’d made it to their seats before the exchange of vows and of rings so they did certainly get to witness Chanel & Phil marry. Hooray!

Somehow I had a feeling that I might be looking in the wrong direction…

Particularly thrilled to see they’d made it, I dare say…

All bliss and relief and elation and bliss some more…

‘Twas rather windy as well as sunny…

Someone with a good grasp of wind direction and the aerodynamic properties of confetti, this week…

Sat in a gentle valley, Gants Mill is simply the bees knees when it comes to relaxing, beautiful environments…

I don’t think I’ve danced my way through photographing a cocktail reception before…

The last time I observed a game of boules being played at a wedding I was able to create an energetic image placing myself beneath one of the throwers. Having observed the first throw on this occasion, something told me I might be better off playing safe and sticking to the sidelines…

Dude…

More sun-kissed fun and relaxation to come in Part Two (followed by something of an energetic night) >>

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