When a couple comes to you about their wedding and they've chosen a venue outside of the usual area in which you work, its an exciting prospect. New venues (well, new to me) are so much fun to photograph. So when Emme & Paul mentioned they were holding their reception at Lainston House Nr Winchester, i was as excited as a very excited person, who's got a very good reason to be excited.
When we visited the venue for the engagement shoot, i could see immediately why they had chosen such a place. The building's facade is full of character, the grounds are well kept and various in their forms... and it looked like the perfect place for a good knees up in the evening.
With Emme's arrival to the church a tad later than expected, there was a bit of a knock on through the day but it was all taken in their stride. The ceremony (in a church 15 minutes away from Lainston House) was perfectly performed by their vicar, carried along by superb music from 'Evertide' who happen to be friends of the couple The guests were not only great fun but were superb at being where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.
When we arrived at Lainston House the staff were very good, the 'Birds of prey' display was ready, the canapés were chomped and people chatted; sipping wine whilst music was provided by a string quartet. Emme, Paul, myself and their videographer, Elissa, went for a bimble.
I keep saying it, but i love these moments. A few minutes away from everyone for the couple to gather themselves and enjoy the occasion. They both did great, they looked phenomenally happy and more attractive than an all expenses paid, 5 week holiday in Jamaica - Rum included.
Once we had taken the 'signature shots' and everyone had been ushered into the barn for the wedding breakfast and speeches, it was time to have a bite to eat. It would have been at this point that i'd have used my drone for some aerial footage, however due to bad wind... (outside)... i was unable to 'send her up', which was a shame as its such a remarkable location and setting.
Now, I hear alot of speeches - most of which are very good, delivered confidently and always well received. However, Paul's groomsmen thought they'd do things a little differently - overhead projector, costumes, the lot - in order to try the groom for his actions over the years. Dressed in Judges garb and a Policeman's uniform, the Hon Mr Stockley & PC Rideout took to the stand to bring forth witnesses via pre-recorded videos. My god it was funny. All whilst Paul was handcuffed to the wall, grimacing in knowing recognition of the acts they brought forward...and at those he thought they might dig up... but didn't. Its testament to someones cheeky character when you hear people around the room saying 'he got off light', when he's received quite a roasting. Good man!!
Beyond that, the evening ran smoothly, set to live music which preceded the grooms own performance. Along with his dad, his friend and his fathers friend, Paul got up and entertained the crowd with a few numbers - before everyone carried on enjoying themselves into the night.
The first dance, before the 'first dance' was between the bride and her father, something that usually has me a little choked up as i think about my daughter and her wedding one day. Then, as he handed her over to Paul, you could just see how happy they were together - it's truly heartwarming... and a nifty little dance to boot!
It was a genuine pleasure and honour to have been there that day - i'd like to thank them for having me take their photos and to their guests for being a) so much fun and b) so responsive when being ushered here and there - it makes a huge difference.
To Emme & Paul, have a beautiful life together xx
Darren Lovell Oct 2016
Videographer - Films in Bloom
Music Duo - Evertide
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