Katy & Matt’s Chawton House Library wedding was one of the highlights of my career thus far. Their total faith in me and complete subscription to a documentary approach was a real joy. A few portraits, zero groups and coverage focused wholeheartedly on a storytelling narrative of the day. Bugger all intervention, no artifice; instead the freedom to let things flow and shoot what happens. Quite literally a photojournalist wedding photographer’s dream come true! Katy & Matt are also quite simply superb. Down to earth, intelligent, warm. Quality people. Not to mention that Matt’s a photographer himself, and bloody talented too. His view camera and bookshelf stuffed chocked full of Salgado, Capa, Avedon et al are testament to his deep commitment to photography. Always an extra level of pressure shooting for a knowledgeable cameraman!
Katy & Matt were married at Chawton House Library near Alton. Chawton is most famously associated with Jane Austen – she spent her final eight years in the village – and her work is one of the library’s particular areas of speciality. Chawton House Library was new to me as a venue, and that’s always something I love, but I was especially struck by its authentic nature. It felt, first and foremost, like a grounded, working, purposeful place with a broader existence and palpable history. I always prefer that over the ‘wedding factory’ sensation that some venues generate. It makes the day feel that much more special and gives a wider context to what is already an individually historic event. Corrine, who looked after things, was an absolute pleasure to work with and made everything run exceptionally smoothly. Hats off to her for being a real pro.
Following the ceremony, the new Mr & Mrs joined their guests for drinks in the Old Kitchen before we headed off to the rather lovely Rotherwick Village Hall for the afternoon reception. Rotherwick is a traditional village hall and I love the fact that Katy & Matt stayed really true to that with the way they dressed the place. It felt quintessentially English in a really genuine way – afternoon tea, bunting, trestle tables, pretty as you can imagine without once trying too hard. Perfectly done.
A gloriously bright late afternoon and evening unfurled itself, speeches followed and then masses of dancing. The owner of the best moustache I’ve seen in eons appeared and every person present had themselves a riotously good time. It was full of love and laughter and it was excellent! Katy & Matt, thanks so much of having me to your wonderful wedding. It was an honour to shoot and an absolute treat to be a part of.