The chaos of Christmas may have been in full swing, but the moment I stepped out of my vehicle and walked into Bowood Hotel, my wedding photographer hat was on and it was all go full of excitement. You may know I love weddings and when I wake up I am literally bouncing out of bed to head out because I just love the fact every wedding is so very different.
The girls were in full swing, the Christmas music playing, the trees dressed and the dresses hung ready to be dancing around all day.
As a wedding photographer in Gloucestershire, I get to travel around my beautiful county photographing many different wedding venues, fields and… well… more fields (I spend a lot of time in marquees in my Dubarry’s!)
I met Sam and Vanessa at the Bowood Hotel and Spa wedding open day where I am happy to be a regular wedding photographer. Bowood Hotel offers so many different areas and “feels” to its clients that it makes for a very happy photographer.
Sam was very clear on meeting that he really wanted a documentary approach to the wedding photographs; so minimal staged pictures. This was perfectly well suited to the style of the day and as a documentary wedding photographer, it made my job very easy.
When the sun is shining, what better place to say your vows then in the open, fresh air of Eastington Park, Gloucestershire. As a Cotswold wedding photographer, Eastington Park is one of my favourite venues to photograph outdoor ceremonies at. The long sweeping walk from the walled garden, down to your friends and family gives you plenty of time to soak up the moment of just what is happening on your wedding day.
It is hard sometimes to just let go of expectations and dreams and just let life unfold before us. We like our ducks lined up in a row and want to know what comes next. But sometimes life doesn’t unfold that way and we have to embrace what we are given. Rachel and Lee are a couple that are loved by so many people. Their beautiful boys and their zealous smiles are infectious and you can’t help but smile with them.
With only a few days notice to plan a wedding, what Rachel and Lee thought would be a small family affair involving the registers office, their boys and a small dinner to celebrate, was instead turned into as close as possible, the wedding of their dreams. As their friends came together to create a surprise wedding for them, it was better than any “Don’t tell the Bride” episode on TV.
Rachel bought her gorgeous Tiffany Rose dress and the boys were all dressed in their dashing navy suits, ready to leave in Grandma’s car to go to the Registry office, but there were surprises in store for them. In order to not put Rachel into labour early (Her sister having a baby the day before was enough of a wonderful drama as it was — and can I say she not only did Rachel’s make up on the day but also rocked up in a stunning bridesmaid dress less than 24 hours after giving birth!!! I know all us mum’s are sighing and crossing our legs at the same time!)
The first knock on the door came from me turning up to photograph their wedding, the next came from the beautiful Georgia, carrying the bouquets and buttonholes made as close to Rachel’s’ original wish. The family gathered and prepared for the special day together. As they were about to leave, walking outside, they were greeted by a smart looking chauffeur, owner and operator of Ken’s Kars, Wayne Smith in his vintage 1937 Austin 18hp York. Rachel had again originally booked Wayne for her wedding but cancelled due to her sons health. The look on her face as she walked out was worth it all.
As the family piled into the Austin, Wayne drove them to the Kingswood Registry office where the intimate ceremony between a small family became official. When they came out there was only smiles and laughter amongst them all.
Back in the Austin, they were then off to Rachel’s aunts pub Ye Olde Inn, Westerleigh where they were to go (someone gave the secret away — not saying names!) to have a meal with the rest of the family — or so they thought. As the car swept up the drive, the Cooper’s were greeted by cheers and smiles of many of their friends and family. The pub was decorated in vintage bunting and sweet carts, banners and delicious cake, all waiting to help celebrate the love of this family unit.
Completely overwhelmed, the day continued to get better and better with music, dancing, lots of beer and wine and love all around them. Rachel and Lee, I wish you all the best in the good times and hard times. You are so loved by so many people and that is what is the foundation to a good marriage.
It was a pleasure to capture your magical day and I hope that these photographs will remind you of a little wish that came true. You are proof that magic can happen in a matter of days.