I've done it again: I've given myself the seemingly insurmountable task of selecting my highlights from a year that was jam-packed with fond memories. I'd like to thank all the couples that I photographed this year for making my experience of their big days enjoyable and I feel I've made a lot of new friends along the way.
Here's the tricky bit. I choose to limit the number of weddings I do in a year to about a dozen - this way I can approach each one with fresh eyes. I could write (and probably should have written) a full blog on each of these weddings but here's a glimpse into my favourite moments...
Mark & Jenny
Mark and Jenny got married in Bedford Registry Office in May and showed that you don't need hundreds of guests to make a day memorable... or throw a party!!
I don't think it's possible to take a bad picture on Bedford's embankment - I think the town planner who designed it must have been a photographer!
Ben & Hannah
Ben and Hannah tied the knot in Eversholt near Milton Keynes in May. Their village fete themed reception (with alcohol prizes on hook-a-duck) led to some very amusing photos!
The big reveal...
The heavens opened mid-afternoon but I wasn't going to let a bit of rain spoil a group photo!
Stephen & Tiffany
Stephen and Tiffany tied the knot in July at the Priory Barn, Little Wymondley, Hertfordshire. It was one of the smiley-est weddings I've ever covered... I think there were probably some achy cheek muscles the next morning!
I know this photo made it into my full 2014 highlights blog but every time I see it, it makes me laugh. If you're going to be a successful photo-bomber, you need to start young...
Dan & Mair
Dan and Mair are friends from my days playing rugby for Bedford Blues. They got married in Felmersham, just north of Bedford, and the day was full of familiar faces. Very rarely do I see Dan or Mair out of muddy shorts or tracksuits but I think we can agree that they both scrub up pretty well!
I love the facial expressions in this first photo. When months of planning all of a sudden becomes reality...
Chris & Ruth
Chris & Ruth told me they were disappointed they didn't feature in my 2014 highlights blog. I told them not to worry as they would be in this one... and to be honest, it would be very difficult to leave them out! The big day was in Ongar, Essex, and was not short of emotions. Chris arranged a treasure hunt for Ruth on the morning of the wedding culminating in a beautiful ring which silenced a room of bridesmaids (not an easy feat!). The emotional spectrum was completed by speeches overflowing with dad jokes (Chris won't mind me mentioning that!), Chaz and Dave for the first dance and Ruth being dropped on her head while Chris used her for an air guitar solo (what are wives for, eh?).
Ric & Julia
I met Ric & Julia few years ago through working for Movember and they have become good friends. Having spent a bit of time on the road with Ric while on moustache tour, I knew his wedding would have to be something a little bit different... and I wasn't disappointed! Aynhoe Park near Banbury is an old stately home, owned by an ex-promoter from the 90s rave scene. To say that the interior is quirky is an understatement. It's full of taxidermy (often in fancy-dress), sculptures and antiques meaning it is often used for fashion shoots and TV adverts as well as weddings and events. I could have spent a whole week photographing in there!
My most "liked" facebook picture of the year. I spotted this room in the morning and shuffled a few bits and bobs about with a rough idea of what I wanted later in the afternoon. I asked the bridal party to "look busy" and we managed to get a load of pretty unique group shots in under 5 minutes. Now if only I could have a library like this in my flat...
Tom & Soo
Tom & Soo tied the knot twice on the same day in September: first with a registry office ceremony then with a full Hindi service at St Katherine's Docks in central London. It was a very full and rewarding day and great to see both Welsh and Mauritian culture intertwining in harmony!
I do find the Hindu ceremonial attire fascinating with so much attention to detail. I'm really looking forward to doing more in the future...
Gareth & Charlie
My final wedding of the year was spread over 2 days at Hengrave Hall near Bury St. Edmunds. I had photographed Gareth's sister's wedding 2 years earlier so it was lovely to catch up with some familiar faces and meet some new ones too! Day one was a registry office service with day two seeing a full white wedding. I'm in the process of putting topgether an album for Gareth and Charlie at the moment and it's frustrating that I only have space to post a handful of photos and not the 150 that they've chosen for their album. Hopefully this gives you a sense of the big day(s)...
Hang on, I seem to have more pictures of the father of the bride than the bride herself!!
First dances are often romantic but the last dance normally shows just how perfectly matched a couple is. A great end to my wedding year!
Firstly, if you're reading this, well done for making it through to the end of one of the longest blogs ever published! If you're planning on getting married, or know somebody who is, please get in touch with me to chat about the services I can offer. I still have space for a few more bookings in 2015 and I've started taking them for 2016 already too. I cover weddings all over the UK and abroad. For more details, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also check out the weddings page of my website to see my work from previous years.
My next blog post should be a little bit different as I'm off to Kenya this week for a safari in the Masai Mara - Africa's answer to Richmond Park!