“Oh wow, this is amazing! thank you so much! They’re such cool photos! They’re just great, Andrew, thank you! ……………..they tell a brilliant story of the day, from start to finish, with so many lovely moments picked out along the way” – Polly and Sophie
Someone asked me the other day what I thought made the perfect wedding. It was a bit of a tricky question and I have to admit to scratching my head for a little while and skirting around the issue a bit. It’s a bit like asking someone what makes the perfect partner or what’s the perfect film or piece of music. Imagine trying to describe the perfect beer or the perfect holiday – everyone’s idea will be different!
Finally, with a stroke of rare and all embracing wisdom, borne out of years of answering searching questions posed by my children (such as do dogs go on dates, do nits live in families and why do men have nipples?) I came up with a rather convincing and long winded answer:
Basically, I think the perfect wedding is one where the couple are just themselves, they celebrate the day in a way that is just “them”. There are so many ridiculous traditions and expectations around weddings and it’s so refreshing when couples just plan a day that feels right for them. Many manage to create a reflection of themselves in the celebrations, their friends and families naturally feel right at home and there is just a sense of authenticity.
Polly and Sophie’s wedding at The Missing Sock had this sense of individuality in spade loads and for me, the image above just encapsulates the spirit of the whole day, and of Polly particularly perfectly. It tells you so much about the atmosphere, about Polly’s attitude and the mood of the moment.
This was just before the actual ceremony. Polly’s making her final preparations in only the way that Polly can. Her friends are fussing over her hair, another is photographing her and Polly is just blissfully basking in the calm that only a cigarette and a pint can bring. Just look at the colours and the expressions, the shapes and the moment of poise – there’s so much of Polly and also the atmosphere of the wedding day as a whole caught in that one moment.
The icing on the cake for me is the faint “no smoking” sign in the background – magic!
I love days like these. Venues and dresses, cakes and cars are just the packaging of a wedding and it’s the heart and soul that I look for. Sometimes the authenticity and individuality can be all the more telling if it’s set against a more traditional or conventional backdrop and sometimes it’s just out there shouting in your face. It doesn’t really matter. The best weddings are when people are true to themselves, where they let themselves go a little, when they are are a little vulnerable.
Even after 14 years as a wedding photographer that still gets me. I still stand there sometimes photographing a couple exchanging vows with a lump in my throat and a welling of tears.
Whatever you are planning for your wedding just make it real – it’s so much better that way!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer who looks for the heart and soul of every wedding, and still, despite being a hardened professional, sometimes gets a bit emotional at a wedding then GET IN TOUCH – I would love to hear from you!
You can also download a copy of my detailed client guide “Planning Your Wedding Photography – Everything You Need to Know” by clicking the image below – enjoy!