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Black Mountains Wedding Photography : Sadie & Paul

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There’s something, a really rather significant something, in a couple’s choice of location for their wedding day and the manner in which they choose to set the stage upon which their commitment is observed and the occasion is celebrated. Whilst amidst this setting I will find myself observing – with my eyes and with my ears – the actions and interactions of people, trying to encapsulate the social essence of the day and the spirit of those people that make it what it is, I will also be mindful of the fact that setting and decor can speak volumes about the inner spirit of the people at the very heart of it all. I travelled to the locale of Sadie & Paul’s wedding the evening before it would all take place and set about checking that my SatNav would take me to all the right places come the next day. On arrival at Great Campston, in the Black Mountains, I found Sadie & Paul and family members hard at work bringing together the finishing touches of a piece of magic; I felt as though I had walked onto the stage for a gathering of elven-folk, a yurt decked with fresh hops about its supporting poles, tables adorned with an abundance of fresh flowers grown in the garden of Sadie’s mum and dad – arranged by her mum that day – eclectically colourful papier-mâché animals roaming across each table with spirit breathed in to them by Sadie’s artistic temperament, a plethora of objects and items of decoration that sang together in harmony. A great deal of work, very hard work, the results of which resonated beautifully throughout the ensuing wedding day.

The yurt sat atop a hillside, a hillside that I could quite happily have spent a holiday perched upon, that I could quite happily have settled to live upon. Simple, powerful, environmental perfection. That environment, that decoration, reflected a great deal in the combined natures of Sadie & Paul and it gave me great pleasure to see all of that and to experience what they were as people.

I’d been lucky to meet them some months earlier, in the Midlands, stopping off from my journey back to Dorset from a wedding in North Yorkshire. They treated me to a lovely lunch and we took photographs in the rubble strewn extremities of a car park at the rear of the pub we’d met in. The photographs worked well. The setting for their wedding day made composition all the easier again :~) It was a real pleasure to leap from that stepping stone into the crystal waters of their wedding day and this is what I saw and what I experienced, this is the story of Sadie & Paul’s wedding day…

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A perfect set of waistcoats were expertly tailored by Sadie’s mum, using tweed made in the Yorkshire town where Paul was born…

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Whilst ensuing celebrations would largely take place back across the border into Wales, Sadie & Paul’s marriage ceremony would take place in Herfordshire, in Clodock Parish Church, an eminently characterful piece of Norman religious architecture.

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“All borders are scars.” I’d found a particularly lovely bed and breakfast establishment to stay at not too far from where everything would be taking place come the wedding day; the evocatively named Trout Cottage in the no less evocatively named hamlet of Llanvihangel Crucorney. The landlady of the B&B, in chatting with me about what I was in the area for, said that she hoped that the Reverend Nicholas Lowton would be conducting the ceremony I’d be photographing as she rated him as a highly erudite and engaging character. Indeed he did. Indeed he was. As guests started to arrive, I found him in discussion with one of the party regarding the location of the church in relation to the border between England and Wales. “All borders are scars,” I heard him say. I wrote it down. A simple statement that resonates powerfully.

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A little architectural addendum blended in perfectly with the surrounding architecture :~)…

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“This is the first time we’ve had a photographer come in here!” All part of the story :~)…

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Paul’s mum and dad were enjoying their front seat view from the medieval roller-coaster that ran down the centre of the church…

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There being two aisles, I really needed to be getting my positioning right at this moment in time :~)…

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Straight from the airport, to the wedding (true story :~)…

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Handily located right next door to the church…

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Thence across the border, a scar not easily detected in this locale, to Great Campston…

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Sadie & Paul did me the great honour of seating me as a guest for dinner. I was doubly honoured and more-so again that a little icon of a camera had been placed next to my name on the seating plan :~) I was sat at a table populated by Sadie’s friends from her student days, a particularly warm-hearted bunch. They’ve maintained contact down the years and sometimes even manage holidays together. When I am sat for food at a guest table, I do tend to be up and down a little to take photographs of people interacting, between courses. It stuck resolutely in my mind how on one of my returns from one of those departures from the table, this group of good friends in the middle of recounting a tale of a shared past experience, they paused briefly so a summary could be related to me of what was being discussed. I was touched by such a potent gesture of inclusivity.

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Whoops! :~)…

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Congratulations Sadie & Paul and thank you so much for having me along on your really very beautifully stated wedding day, for treating me so right royally well along the way and for the marvellous company amidst which to go about doing that which I do :~)

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

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