Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Kerry and Chris' Wedding - Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire (aka The One with the Best Friend)

I've known Kerry since we were 11 or 12 and have been best of friends since day one.  So when she told me Chris has proposed I insisted that I did her wedding photography...luckily she was also insistent that I did it too!  Any photographer will tell you that shooting your friends wedding brings about a huge amount of pressure.  I always feel nervous before shooting a wedding but with Kerry and Chris, I have never felt pressure or nerves like it.  You don't want to screw up for a friend.

I had been involved in the planning of the wedding from an early stage and knew just about all the plans for the day...I even attended the open day in York that the teepee company Papakata staged so that I could get a feel for their teepees and how Kerry and Chris' teepee would look and feel on the day.  I'll come back to the teepee later.

On the big day, the venue, Rufford Old Hall, was bathed in sunshine.  Despite the light breeze, it was still a very warm day.  The purples and whites looked amazing in the sunlight as did Kerry and Chris.  Kerry's dress was one aspect of the day I didn't know about.  I had the opportunity a few weeks earlier to see the dress but asked not to see it....I think I wanted to get the impact. But my God, I was blown away when Kerry got out the car.  She looked amazing.  As she got out the car, the dress unfolded to reveal a flowing train.  It glowed in the sunlight.  

Inside the hall, I found Chris waiting with their little boy, Luke (who was a star all day).  Chris was starting to look nervous.  As he puffed out his cheeks the registrar asked everyone to stand, he turned and Kerry walked in bathed in the sunshine that was shining through the windows.  I don't know why but it was only really at that point that I realised I was watching my best friend of just over 20 years getting married and I was right there at the front of the room with her.  I've never seen Kerry look so happy and I couldn't have been prouder to be playing such an important part.  My nerves evaporated.

I looked up from my camera at one point and had a quick scan across the front rows to see that there wasn't a dry eye there, the emotion broken slightly by some giggles as Luke did his best to climb through Chris' legs.  I'll admit now, I had a wobbly chin moment.  I thought I had got away with it, but Kerry later collared me to tell me she saw me wiping a tear away. 

Ceremony over and photos taken in the stunning gardens surrounding Rufford Old Hall, the guest moved onto the stunning teepee where the reception would take place.  This was one of the things I couldn't wait to see.  Seriously, Papakata's teepees are amazing.  The atmosphere under the canvas was electric and the light inside had a strange orange glow caused by the sun beaming through the canvas.  

But the teepee had to be seen at night.  Lit by fairy lights, a mirror ball and a huge fire pit, it looked spectacular.  I've never seen anything like it.  It was a photographers dream.  

It was a long day, but a fun day set in spectacular surroundings.  As a photographer, they day was about as perfect as you get (Kerry's dad's words of advice must have worked "Point and click").  Chris and Kerry are a great couple and I hope they have a wonderful time on their honeymoon in Australia.  

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