Chris & Katherine’s marquee wedding in Weldon, Northants
Chris & Katherine had their ceremony at St Mary’s church in Weldon, Northamptonshire. Being there brought back lovely memories of photographing Cliff and Beth’s wedding there a few years ago. In fact it was Beth’s parents who recommended us to Katherine’s Mum.
Our good fortune with the weather so far this year finally caught up with us. But there’s something about wet weddings that sends everyone’s enjoyment sky rocketing. Maybe it’s a British carry on regardless thing. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.
About Chris & Katherine
Chris & Katherine are very easy going and lots of fun. They planned their wedding to be the same.
Most of all they wanted everyone to feel comfortable and have a great time. They wanted the day to have a non-stop flow without any breaks to keep their guests continually
entertained. So they planned to marry later in the day at 3pm.
This meant they sat down for dinner early evening and had their first dance as soon as the speeches ended. And gosh, by the time the dancing started everyone was ready to rock! The fast pace made an exceptionally upbeat atmosphere.
Katherine got ready at her Mum’s, in walking distance of the village church and the marquee reception was in the paddock next-door to the church. There was a charming atmosphere, with the tradition of a church ceremony and an intimate village based feeling of warmth and familiarity.
Chris & Katherine wanted the minimum of fuss and formality to their wedding photography. They wanted to enjoy themselves, not be away from the party. So we put a plan together that allowed them to spend the maximum amount of the relatively short time available with their guests.
Chris & Katherine’s wedding style
Fitting with the homely feel of the venues, Chris & Katherine’s decor was very home spun with family and neighbours in the village helping to decorate the church and marquee. The day before the wedding it had been all hands on deck hanging bunting and arranging flowers.
Chris & Katherine’s wedding photography
I started the day photographing the marquee decor. I’d normally do this during the drinks reception but an empty room is best for these photos and because we needed to do group photos and portraits at the church (for space) it meant the guests would be in there when I got back. Since Katherine didn’t want any photos while she was getting ready this was the perfect time to do them. Then it was off to the church to meet Abby and capture pictures of Chris, his Groomsmen and the guests arriving.
Katherine had dreamt of walking to church with her brother and bridesmaids. It was looking a bit 50/50 as to whether the rain would hold off long enough for her to do this. Katherine must have been chomping at the bit to get to church before it rained and arrived almost 15 minutes early! I heard them laughing their way down the road and had to run to not miss the photos!
Wedding photography at St Mary’s church in Weldon is restricted to the bride’s entrance and the first hymn, which can be photographed from the back of the church only. So Abby and I planned our coverage carefully during those moments to cover as many angles as possible to get some good variety. Whilst I was inside ready for Katherine’s entrance, Abby held back outside to capture the scene of Katherine and her Bridesmaids going into the church.
Almost as soon as we came out of the church the rain started. Just a little at first but it quickly became heavy and the umbrellas went up. But if you could plot the amount of rain and the amount of fun on a graph there would be a positive correlation. The rain brings out the best in us Brits!
As it turned out the rain was a blessing in disguise because it helped us motor through the group photos in no time. Nobody wants to hang around in the rain! This was great for Chris & Katherine because it gave them extra time to enjoy chatting with their friends and family.
So we were soon through the group photos, all but ran down the church path to throw confetti and then it was back into the church for Chris, Katherine and I to shelter for some quick portraits of the two of them while everyone else headed off to the marquee.
Chris and Katherine had been realistic about the British weather and were prepared with some wonderful rainbow umbrellas …
The drinks reception was held in the marquee since it was so wet outside. It can be a challenge to get discreet documentary wedding photographs in that situation because of everyone being packed into a small space and there are fewer places to hide too. I usually hover some distance away, people watching, see someone I want to photograph, wait for the right expression and then take my shot. Usually without anyone knowing. Today my plan of attack was to listen for the laughter, head to where it came from, swoop in (like an eagle in my head but probably more like one of those cheeky monkeys at Woburn Safari Park that try to pinch your bag), get my shot and make a hasty exit!
Chris & Katherine’s wedding was particularly fast-paced once the meal ended. Usually there’s a bit of quiet time after the speeches when I change batteries and set up lights for the first dance. But today there was no gap so everything was set up during dinner and flash batteries changed on the fly. But the breakneck speed created a real buzz!
Chris and Katherine’s first dance was to ‘Together in Electric Dreams’. A really upbeat choice which they clearly enjoyed throwing each other around to. They danced their socks off and all the guests sang along, loudly. As did I, badly!
Tips for couples planning a similar wedding
- Work closely with your wedding photographer to make sure your list of formal photos is realistic for the time that you have
- Have plenty of good-looking umbrellas to hand in case it rains. There’s nothing more distracting than umbrellas with corporate logos in your photos
- Choose venues that are close together to minimise travel time and maximise socialising time
- Make sure your marquee has enough space for everyone to be inside if it’s wet. The tighter the squeeze, the harder it is to get plenty of nice photos of your guests