Sophie & Simon’s Great Fosters wedding was an absolute cracker. Sophie’s bridal preparations began at Great Fosters with a room absolutely chocker with Bridesmaids (she had eight, plus a flower girl!) and much excitement. The weather was cold and crisp and the sun was shining – never something you can guarantee on a deep winter day here in the UK. One of my favourite memories of the day was Sophie’s emergence, in her dress, looking a million dollars. Her bridal party got ready in two interconnecting rooms and when it was time for the dress, Sophie got changed in one room whilst the bridesmaids waited next door. I just love the moments we captured when she walked through that adjoining door. Sophie, radiant, full of joy, beaming, sunlight streaming into the room behind her with all her friends and family going nuts. So good.
Sophie & Simon’s wedding ceremony took place at St Mary’s Church in Thorpe, a short drive from Great Fosters. St Mary’s is a fairly unique church in that it has a mixed Anglo-Catholic identity – an Anglican church with a catholic heritage – sometimes described as ‘High Church’. Simon, who is just the most lovely bloke, did an excellent job of gathering a band of groomsmen to rival Sophie’s entourage. Including the Best Man, and Simon himself, the gents numbered seven. I think it’s always a sign of great people, and great friendships when the Wedding Party is a large one!
Following the service it was back to Great Fosters. I shot my first Great Fosters wedding in 2009, my first full year as a professional wedding photographer, so it’s always good to get back there. Being a winter wedding, light was in short supply but we managed to get out into the late afternoon light, for a few portraits, including one of my favourite from the whole year, a black and white frame of a kiss. Simple but somehow endlessly compelling.
Sophie & Simon, as huge foodies, had The Oystermeister join them for their drinks reception. Not something I’d seen before and very cool it was too. I love Oysters but they are generally a bit of a faff, so having someone do the taxing bit looked pretty cool! The wedding breakfast in the Great Hall was simply beautiful. The big oak beams lend themselves particularly well to Christmas decoration. The speeches were all fantastic, particularly Martyn, Simon’s brother who, as you’ll see from the photographs, did a solid character assassination job! The night finished with a sparkler send off, which is always dynamic and eminently photographic, into a crisp and admittedly VERY cold night!
Thanks to Sophie & Simon for having me and for being tremendous. It was an absolute pleasure to get to know you guys. As always, here’s a (rather long) selection of my favourites. So bloody hard to pick! Here’s looking forward to my next Great Fosters Wedding. Roll on December 2017 for Christie & Chris!