Arriving at Morpeth Registry Office I was conscious of the cloud cover, a dark grey mat across the sky. It looked threatening and although the weather forecast hadn't forecast rain until the evening, I kept a close eye on the skies. This was also one of the hottest days of the year. Behind the clouds you could see the sun trying it's damned hardest to break through which created an uncomfortable, humid atmosphere. Even before Jonny arrived I could feel the sweat pouring down my back.
I've captured a couple of weddings in Northumbrian Registry Offices so I was familiar with their relaxed approach to wedding photography. My biggest challenge was the set up of their room and the apparent uncertainty about who would be going through which door and when...that kept me on my toes.
When Lyndsey arrived the tears started. My abiding memory of the day was the constant stream of tears. Everything set Lyndsey off. It got to the point when I was starting to get concerned that her eye make-up would start running and she would start looking like Alice Cooper. But top marks to the make-up artist as it all stayed in place.
As the reception was to be in Amble I suggested taking the shots of Lynsdey and Jonny on the old medieval bridge in the stunning village of Warkworth over looking the tree lined River Coquet. The sun had now come out so I was feeling a lot more comfortable and back in Warkworth, I was feeling back at home seeing the pub I used to work in, my auntie's house and some familiar faces from my past. I love Warkworth...if you've never been there before, trust me, go there, you'll love it.
The reception was at The Masonic Hall in Amble which for me was a bit of a surreal moment as this was where I had staged my wedding reception 10 years earlier and the memories started flooding back. I remember the pride I had at seeing the portrait of the Queen behind the top table, which my family (all East Londoners and passionate Royalists) loved; the humid conditions on that day back in 2000; the smell of the hall. I realised I was drifting and quickly snapped myself back out of it and back to the job in hand.
At the Masonic Hall the kids started running around with the boys being told NOT to skid on the wooden floors on their knees, bubbles were blown and the merriment began. The tears started flowing again during the speeches. Looking around the hall I couldn't help thinking that this year the vast majority of weddings I had attended had been small, intimate, no fuss events and Lyndsey and Jonny's followed the pattern for this. These weddings, I find, are often the most difficult as there is nowhere to hide.
In the evening, soon after the guests arrived, the heavens opened. I have never seen rain like it. It was torrential! Against the backdrop of the sound of the rain pounding down outside the first dance began with giant balloons, hanging form the ceiling, being popped over the happy couple (more tears) and then the band began (a talented young quartet) blasting out covers by the likes of Kasabian...definitely my sort of band!
On my drive home to North Shields, the trip down memory lane continued as I passed my old schools, friends houses and the local sweet shop where I spent most of my childhood! The day had sapped me of my energy thanks to the humidity, but I arrived home happy with a job well done after witnessing and capturing one of the most emotionally charged weddings I have attended to date.
Best of luck with the future you guys. Thanks for giving me the trip down Memory Lane!
|The tears start...|