New Forest Wedding Photography : Sara & Paul

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If you took a multitude of rays of light reflected off multifarious manifestations of human decency and passed them through a convex lens that converged all of those rays towards a single point and then arrayed them onto a surface, you’d likely be presented with an image on that surface that looked something very much like Sara & Paul.

I was blessed with the good fortune to be able to simply photograph them as they were.

Sara & Paul had plans to marry in a castle on the Dorset-Hampshire border and to celebrate in a tented village set upon a tree-encircled meadow near the New Forest village of Boldre. They were looking for a photographer that would blend in and capture the day’s story as it naturally unfolded – sounds familiar! – and it was lucky for me that Sara came across one of my weddings featured on a wedding inspiration blog and she and Paul felt that my way of seeing things fitted the bill. We spoke via email, we spoke over the ‘phone, they booked, I looked forward with excitement to their wedding day. This is the story of that day…

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Paul stayed the night before and started the day with his groomsmen, at The Pig near Brockenhurst. It really is a picturesque place and serves picture-perfect food that I really must try myself, one day. Even their log-piles are the most photogenic that I’ve come across…

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Might I recommend…

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Paul appears doubtful, though I’m certain it’s not with regards to the food on offer but perhaps regarding his ability to eat breakfast, what with the wedding morning butterflies fluttering about :~)…

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Off for suiting and booting…

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Meanwhile, Sara and her entourage were making ready at Passford House Hotel, near Lymington. Geese stand guard at the door. I wondered if those boots went walking at night, in the mode of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice passage in Fantasia. Ummm… Don’t mind me!…

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Sara asked me if I’d been able to photograph Paul receiving the wedding gift she had sent to him; a watch. Briefly freezing as I experienced a rapid flashback – a package had arrived in the dining room of The Pig, addressed to Paul, placed by a member of staff on the table next to his breakfast plate (I had briefly wondered what it contained) whilst he was moving about elsewhere, hither and thither, jangling with endearingly nervous excitement; everyone departed the dining room to move to nearby cottages where preparations would be completed, a groomsman gathered up the package along with an array of other materials, I thought no more of it as I was swept along in the excited throng – I responded, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see it!” Well, I had briefly seen it but I’d had no idea what it was that I was seeing. It does happen.

As though the universe had registered my plight, a message arrived on Sara’s ‘phone; a series of photographs – taken by a groomsman – of Paul opening the package from Sara and donning his new watch. I photographed Sara looking through the photographs and thus I was indeed able to photograph – even though by proxy – Paul receiving her gift :~)…

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Absolutely everyone was excited about the day ahead and it was all to live up fully to excited expectations…

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Sara’s marvellous mum sported a piece of marvellous millinery…

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Sara’s two brothers served as her bridesmen…

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Sara’s dad, whom I very much enjoyed interacting with throughout the day (as I did all of the parents, and the siblings, and the host of friends and family on board for the adventure)…

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The ceremony was set to take place at Highcliffe Castle

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Paul’s brother ushes family members in the direction of other family members, a plethora of reunions in the making…

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Then… the incident… the thing… the thing with the rings. A groomsman clasps his own between thumb and forefinger; Paul mirrors the gesture, wondering what will fill the space that was soon meant to be filled on his ring finger; each contemplates the question… the question of the rings… where are the rings? (A heart-sinking moment and more for Paul!)…

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“Oh… dear”…

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“Hmmmmmm!”…

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“Well!”…

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The rings had been left back… somewhere. Somewhere not too far but also somewhere not that close. Having encountered a similar situation at a previous wedding where a beautifully symbolic temporary solution had been found, I suggested to Paul that it might be nice if they borrowed wedding rings from their parents to use during the ceremony. Sara’s mum offered use of hers and Paul’s dad offered use of his, though in the latter case it was so firmly attached to his finger, it couldn’t be taken off so Paul took temporary possession of his brother’s thumb-ring instead.

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Still thinking about something…

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Anyway! The excitement of a ceremony to come…

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Always one! :~) Sometimes four. Quite often more, in my broader experience…

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It adds to the excitement, really :~)…

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As if by magic… magic! (I’m laughing to myself remembering just how much ‘fun’ Sara’s driver had manoeuvring the limo into the final stretch of driveway, but anyway…)…

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I so enjoyed observing Paul at this point (and many others)…

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I loved how Sara locked on to Paul the instant she rounded the corner…

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… and all the way up the aisle :~)…

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Time for the exchange of rings…

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Now, the very last thing any marrying couple wants is for somebody to burst in and come running down the aisle, calling everything to a halt mid-ceremony! Or at any point during the ceremony, for that matter. Well, almost any marrying couple. Sara & Paul welcomed the ‘intrusion’…

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Rings heroically retrieved…

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I’ve no doubt that Paul was horrified on initially realising that the rings had been left behind but ultimately this is what wedding legends are made of; a tale to be told for many years to come; one with a humorously happy outcome.

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“With THIS ring I thee wed”…

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They came from far and wide to photograph… me!…

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I thought that I’d best get out of the way, though…

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Hugs ‘n’ kisses…

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Then on to Sara & Paul’s veritable tented village in a meadow; a somewhat exclusive venue, a wedding Brigadoon of sorts though it reveals itself a little more often than once every one hundred years; maybe as often as two or even three times in any one year. It goes unadvertised but somehow calls out to certain people. I’ve no Web site to link to as there isn’t one. I do though still have the GPS coordinates!…

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Absolutely must! :~)…

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I believe Paul was off to talk some guests in to landing. Our wedding Brigadoon was a tricky place to find…

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Allsorts of hors d’oeuvres :~)…

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Sara & Paul laid on a cigar and whisky cave. Lots of great cigar action ensued…

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In all honesty, I don’t think I’m that good at delivering jokes…

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Sara’s uncle, whom had just snuck up from behind and tickled me as I photographed the group… I have this notion, perhaps similar in fashion to fantasy football, whereby I get to collect guests from various weddings that I’ve photographed, ones that have performed especially well in bringing joy to each occasion, and then I can take them to further weddings that I’m photographing, setting them loose to do their thing (so I can photograph them in action all over again). Sara’s uncle is on the bus for that venture :~)…

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G…O… A… you know the drill :~)…

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I took Sara & Paul for a walk…

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They fell in love…

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That was terrible. On my behalf. They didn’t fall. That would have been calamitous. It was perfectly evident that they were already in that state. Not a calamitous one… It was too hot for me to have brought a coat.

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Waving to a passing villager…

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It was all constant interruptions :~)…

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

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The speech from Sara’s dad was that funny, it even brought him to tears :~)…

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Is this thing on?…

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Paul’s best men screened a series of deeply embarrassing images of him…

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… but he was highly relieved when I said that I’d likely not blog any photographs of those :~)…

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An energetically humorous speech from Paul’s dad…

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He included me in a list of thank you’s (which was touching) then asked if I was actually there, or had I gone (which I took as an accolade, of sorts :~). So I de-cloaked for a brief moment…

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This week’s dance-floor off-camera lighting test model. Job symmetrically well done!…

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They all fell in… I’ve tried that one already… it’s more next to than in, anyway :~)…

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G… O… A… as previously :~)…

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Don’t stop me now!…

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The band were having such a good time…

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Sara & Paul didn’t stage a first dance but there was a first time they danced together, and to what would have been their first dance track, had they staged a first dance…

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The shadows…

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Someone’s been dancing particularly energetically!…

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Everyone decided to throw Sara a party…

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It’s all around…

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On the burgers, too…

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Paul’s mum checks to make sure he’s cleaned behind his ears…

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And then the party drew to a close…

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And then it didn’t…

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And then it didn’t draw to a close some more again :~)…

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And…

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Then…

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The party began!…

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Welcome to the rave cave. An utterly marvellous little construction hidden within the forest…

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With its own resident proper professional DJ…

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I bade my farewell at around one in the morning. The party continued on until three, I am told. I would dearly have loved to have stayed on to join in fully myself but alas I had a journey to Somerset ahead of me, for another adventure come the light of a new day.

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Congratulations Sara & Paul! I’m so, so glad that you came across my work and delighted that you chose me to tell the story of your wedding day. You’re both fantastic examples of humanity and it was a thorough pleasure spending time with both you and your superb abundance of friends and family.

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