A traditional, classical London wedding on a rainy end of Summer day is something that never goes out of fashion. After all, despite the glory of a sunny day, what would London be without a cloudy sky and a few drops of rain?
Christina and Chris are this kind, charming couple. They're also really cute. Christina has this lovely middle eastern appearance with dark, silky hair; Chris is a really kind guy with an honest look on an amazing ginger beard. But above all, they're are really good people. On the run up to the wedding Christina explained things to me to the tinniest detail; during the wedding day they made sure if we had been fed and that we were happy with everything. This shows nothing but respect and that people value your work. And that's fulfilling.
One of the many self-fulfilling things about this job is definitely what we learn every day - either with regards to our craft or related to our clients or their lives. As it turns out, a significant part of the Lebanese population is Christian Orthodox. Sure enough, the wedding ceremony was nothing but a beautiful, solemn Orthodox ceremony. In purely photographic terms, it's visually far more attractive to us - imaging pros - than the Anglican or Catholic ceremonies, as you can see from the images. The minister was really accommodating with regards to the photography. He almost made me part of the service.
The wedding day started with the bridal preparation. They all got ready at Christina's parent's house. It was a very swift and quiet affair. Men were very efficient as they made their way downstairs. It was time to greet the guest. The guest. It was almost a reception before the actual wedding. The house was decorated with wedding favours, traditional sweets, food and drink for everyone.
As the stream of guests arrived, families and groups gathered for pre wedding photographs in the living room. When we were done, girl and fully grown women gathered for some dancing over traditional music. What a lovely surprise this was. At this point, I was already joined by my colleagues in charge of the wedding videography, the Filmmakers of London.
After the ceremony in St. Barnabas Church, I got to the hotel where we did a lovely couple session before setting Christina and Chris free in the reception with the wedding guests.
We didn't have normal long wedding speeches, just some brief words by Christina's father.
Their first dance was a lovely surprise, though. Because the dance floor was in the middle of the tables, most guests didn't stand for it. So I had the full dance floor to myself and the images clearly show a lot of "breathing space" for the dancing couple with the photographs. Some of my best dance photographs ever were captured that nice.
I had these new set of lights I have been using for quite a while now I wanted to use for the dance floor. The effect is quite edgy and energetic, as you can see from the images.
If there's one thing I have learned from shooting weddings in Britain - where you have a very diverse society - is that a good wedding photographer has to be accommodating and do their homework so they can shoot any kind of wedding. Long gone are the days of professionals who only do one kind of wedding - either Asian, Jewish, British, gay, transgender, whatever.
Another thing I'd like to mention is the seamless and professional role of Bettina Sandners, as the events coordinator at the Royal Garden Hotel. Despite having never worked at the Hotel before, she did everything to make our work easier and also made sure we were always on time.
If you are looking to get married at the Royal Garden Hotel or anywhere in Kensington High Street, please let me know as I'd love to help you out with wedding photography and/or wedding videography.