Mike & Anna

If I could write only one word to tell you about Mike & Anna’s wedding it would be ’emotional’. Emotion is my favourite thing to photograph but it’s rare to see such visible sincere feelings as on this day. Being able to instantly fit in and work in a sensitive way that doesn’t influence how people are around my team and me, and our cameras, is an important part of how we work. That way people are more likely to openly show their feelings. The challenge is that we don’t know what’s going to happen so we have to rely on experience and intuition to think ahead and be ready.

It was these unpredictable photos, the spontaneous ones, that Mike and Anna wanted most of all. They’re very close to their families so some group photos were important and they wanted some romantic pictures of the two of them, but most of the photography was planned to be ‘in the moment’.

Mike & Anna are warm, open-hearted, and ready to have fun at a moment’s notice. They have a knack of drawing you in and it’s easy to get completely lost in conversation with them. In fact, I think we spent most of our hour’s planning meeting merrily chatting about weddings, families, and crazy bike rides before we realised the time and thought we’d better make some plans! But this inside scoop is what really helps me create unique and personal wedding photography. Going beyond the practical plans and more into the ‘story’, to get an understanding of the why as well as the what, means I can look for those subtle little things that are your big things.

Mike & Anna’s wedding photos

Mike started his day by reading ‘Don’ts for Husbands’ and generally larking around with his Best Man and Ushers. They got ready at The Talbot Hotel in Oundle. My second shooter Steve tagged along to photograph this part of the day while I was with Anna. It all got a bit Top-Gun for a while because it was so hot but Steve made sure they had shirts on at the right time! Once suited and booted the boys headed off to the Kings’ Arms in Polebrook for a quick drink to cool off and relax before the ceremony.


Anna got ready at her parents’ home in Polebrook. Anna and her bridesmaids were sooo excited and made me feel very welcome too – thank you all! I loved your rendition of ‘We’re going to the chapel’! It’s now stuck in my head and I’m singing it to myself while writing this blog post!

The ceremony

Mike & Anna chose All Saints Church in Polebrook for their ceremony. Anna’s parents’ home, where she grew up, is just a few yards from the church. Anna used to sit on the wall outside the church after school and thought to herself that this was where she would get married one day. Such a beautiful connection.

Anna arrived early at the church which no-one expected! So there was plenty of time for candid photos of her, her Mum & Dad, and her bridesmaids waiting outside the church. There were some beautiful moments that might not have happened if there had been more more time pressure.

Catherine, the Vicar, was incredibly lovely. She had obviously spent a great deal of time getting to know Mike & Anna and made the ceremony really personal for them. I loved how she based advice for their marriage on their careers (Anna is a solicitor and Mike a Structural Engineer); things like building solid foundations and fighting for each other, with a good dose of wit to make people smile. It’s rare to witness such personalised ceremonies.

The reception

You’d be hard-pushed to find a venue as romantic as Exton Park. The grounds are stunning in a relaxed way – unstructured but well-tended, and peaceful – except for the birdsong.

After the drinks reception, everyone headed to the marquee for dinner. And just look at that blue sky!

Mike, a self-confessed emotional introvert, made a very romantic speech. Cue more tears from Anna and her Dad. Two peas in a pod! Mike led all the guests in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of his Ushers – who cried. Obvs. And there was some very close to the knuckle humour from the Best Man!

Mike and Anna love cocktails so planned a cocktail hour after dinner, which was topped and tailed with their cake cutting and first dance.

Are you planning a wedding at Exton?

You might like to read more about wedding photography at Exton Park or check out details about my documentary wedding photography.

And whenever you’re ready, I’d love to hear from you – I can’t get enough of Exton!