Well what a bonkers year THAT was. Like a lot of people, I saw the business which I've built up over the last 25 years, drop off a cliff in 2020, nobody's fault, nobody saw it coming (or if they did, they didn't tell us!) and I ended up shooting one wedding, with 21 being cancelled or postponed. I'm going to stop here in terms of the negative aspect of 2020. There's no more to be said there. What DOES need to be discussed a little more, is the following. It's a fairly long Blog but this was no ordinary wedding and I felt that this would be really helpful for anybody who is going through the same turmoil whilst trying to arrange their wedding at the moment. These are crazy stressful times for anybody planning to get married at the moment so if this will help settle anybody's mind, then mission complete. I would urge anybody in that situation to get in contact with me, I'd be more than happy to discuss anything below so feel free to reach out if you think I can help.
I knew Rebecca and Jake were absolutely my kind of client when we met up back in February 2019. We met for a consultation (chat) in a beautiful pub/restaurant and it was clear to me that these guys were full of excitement and anticipation for their upcoming wedding in 2020. We chatted for ages about options, ideas, likes, dislikes and the paperwork was signed. Everything was running to plan and then of course, we all know what happened then with COVID-19, these guys had to postponed their wedding 3 times in total whilst we all battled to guess at the start of 2020 what the next few weeks/months/years would bring, trying to plan things, changing dates and details as we went along. As I am with every one, I was 100% committed to this wedding, I could see that Rebecca and Jakes were NOT giving up and were determined to make this thing happen and I was with them all the way.
Due to the current government restrictions, just 15 people were allowed on the day, close family and friends, the registrars and myself. For obvious reasons, Rebecca and Jake wanted slightly shorter coverage time to reflect how many guests were present but they still wanted me to tell the story of their amazing day. Social distancing measures were in place every step of the way and the day started off with the bridal preparations and ended at the first dance which was slightly earlier so everything which happened in-between was photographed. For me personally, this was literally a perfect little wedding. I don't mean "little" in a patronising way, I mean that with only there being 15 people present, I just felt like a guest (like I do at every wedding) but even more so here, it was great! I got to chat to all the guests, we had and laugh and a giggle together (albeit socially distanced, masks on and all!) but I got to know the guests individually, I was on first name terms with most of them, it had a great feeling to it, so relaxed, so personal and so intimate, I absolutely loved every moment of it. All this said, this is all from my perspective, my thoughts and how I personally felt on the day. Before I blogged this wedding, I wanted to speak with Rebecca and Jake to see how they felt about me doing this type of blog. I was really interested to see what their experiences were, before the day (and the chaos which ensued), how they felt on the day itself and then what their thoughts were looking back at the day, the feedback from guests etc., so I arranged a video chat with Rebecca, it was great to catch up again, to talk over their photos, the day, the whole thing. I wanted to get an idea of if looking back, they had the day they wanted, or otherwise. Did they love it, did they feel it was a disaster, too low-key, did they feel "weird" doing what they did, how they did it? Did it feel like a "proper" wedding where 2 people declare their everlasting love for each other? I wanted to include Rebecca's thoughts on here for anybody experiencing the same dilemma, so here goes......
They felt like the day was a complete success. They loved every moment of it and it felt every bit like a wedding, they 100% enjoyed the intimacy of it, they got to speak to all of their guests (which although it sounds bonkers, some clients actually struggle to do that) and those conversations were meaningful, i.e. not a quick "Hello, you look lovely!" kind of thing. Rebecca also said that it all felt very relaxed and chilled due to the number of guests and things were able to be done in their own time, rather than having to check watches every 5 minutes to check the schedule. In terms of the COVID-19 restrictions, every aspect of that was adhered to, they had previously worked out their bubbles and households so when it came to photographs being done, there was no reason why it couldn't be business as usual. Rebecca loved the fact that all of their close family and friends were there, but, of course missed those who were initially invited but couldn't be present. Like a lot of families, theirs are spread far and wide and it's a familiar situation that it's only on occasions such as this that they all get together. She also said that one of the aspects they missed was of course the party, the dancing, the singing, those "tie around the head with a knee slide" on the dance floor moments but as she rightly said, there's always time for that when we get back to normal which is 100% correct, it's just going to be great excuse to have the party of all parties a little further down the line. Are they glad they did it? Yes, absolutely! The feedback from their guests was fantastic too, they thoroughly enjoyed everything for the same reasons (hey, some of them even said "how nice the photographer was and that he made the day all the more enjoyable"). Joking aside, I guess if the Bride's Mum sends you a friend request on Facebook after the wedding, you know you've done something right!
So, hopefully all of the above will be of some reassurance to those in a similar situation, having to deal with the whole shall we, shan't we dilemma. Your wedding CAN still go ahead and you can love every moment of it. Will it be the day you always dreamed of, possibly not but will it still mean the world to you looking back, yes I'm sure it will. A wedding does not have to be a massive show, it's all about you two, exchanging rings and it's about saying those words to each other.
Huge thanks to Rebecca and Jake for allowing me to photograph and document their beautiful wedding and for spending the time afterwards, allowing me to put this Blog together. Yes, it's a chance for myself, Rebecca and Jake to show off our lovely photographs but I very much hope that it of some help to those who are considering their options right now.
Big Love x
Hair: Cassie Weller
Bride's Shoes: www.rubyshoo.com