2014 was an amazing year for me - my first full wedding season since relocating to the UK from Florida in the summer of 2012. So having fallen off the blogging bandwagon a little last year (OK, well more than a little), I was planning on doing a sort of 'best of 2014' post to start the new year and show you all what I've been up to for the past six months. But as I started selecting images, I got so excited about this particular wedding, that I just had to blog this instead.
I love all my weddings - each one is unique, and the fact that the couple has chosen me, out of the gazillions of wedding photographers out there, makes it even more special and strives me to keep pushing the boundaries to deliver the very best memories I can. But this particular wedding was, quite simply, the most fun I've had photographing a wedding. Why? Because the wonderful bride, Catherine, simply refused to sweat the small stuff (and even some really large stuff - more on that later), and just laughed her way though the day.
For a start, she did things her way. No bridesmaids, no make-up artist, just a trip to her regular hairdresser at Centre Stage in Worthing, then back to her room at the Burlington Hotel, just her and me, plus a family member who popped in for a few minutes to tie up her gorgeous dress. Oh, and a visit or two from Steve, her husband-to-be. Having lived together for some 20 years before deciding to tie the knot, this couple felt that enforced separation the night before was not a tradition they wanted to slavishly follow. Bravo!
The shoes summed it up really. Awesome, individual and perfectly suited to Catherine, from Irregular Choice in Brighton. She loved them, so chose her outfit to match - calf-length dress to show them off, and a navy bolero (it was the end of October), clutch and vintage broach to complete the look. From there-on in, the day was about having fun. Any day that starts on the beach is bound to be amazing, and my only real photographic instruction to the couple was "simply be yourselves". And they were. Well, at least Steve was as soon as he'd conquered the much-feared groom's speech. They truly are a wonderful couple.
Here's the story of their own perfect wedding day, as told through my images. Please take a look and get to know Catherine and Steve a little, and then I'll tell you about 'the really large stuff' they had to deal with, and why these photos became even more cherished.
Excited to deliver their photos, I later called Catherine to arrange a time for me to pop over. "Can't wait to see them - and you! - was her lovely response, but we have a new, temporary address".
As Catherine and Steve relived their day through my slideshow, they told of how their brief honeymoon had abruptly ended to the worst news of a house fire. Presents and cards all gone. But as I welled up, they told me it was OK, no one had been hurt, and they still had each other. And their family and friends (many of whom I chatted to at the wedding, and who clearly adore the couple too) had rallied round to help, and even the insurance company had been excellent (must find out who that was). So really, they still had everything they truly held dear. Plus their wedding day was exactly how they wanted it, and now they had the photos to remember every moment. I cried anyway. Not out of pity, but of admiration for a couple who are so genuine and selfless. I'm just glad I could do my part to help too.