I’ve shot a few Anglo-American weddings in the past, but Mark and Marissa’s day was my first time shooting an Anglo-American wedding at Farnham Castle. They’re an absolutely lovely pair and they unreservedly smashed it. Mark is an Englishman, from Essex, and Marissa is a New Yorker. They met via Tinder while Mark was working in the US – that’s right folks, my first Tinder wedding (how very modern) – and despite the complexities of the Atlantic Ocean, they fell head-over-heels with each other and decided that three thousands miles of rough water wasn’t going to get in the way! Before too much time had passed Mark had relocated to New York and been fully inducted to life in the Big Apple, including of course, Levi & Kaia, Marissa’s two Havanese pups (check out their awesome 3D printed cake topper!).
Marissa got ready with her Mum and bridesmaids in the Gatehouse at Farnham Castle. She was looked after by Natasha Wiggins Hair & Makeup and despite having seven bridesmaids and a flower girl to get through, everyone was ready bang on time. Kudos to the hair and makeup team! Meanwhile Mark got ready in the bridal suite in the main part of the Castle. In time honoured fashion, the boys were merrily writing speeches, ironing shirts and polishing shoes right up until kick-off. I expect no less and it always makes for brilliant pictures as the gents scramble to attention.
Mark & Marissa decided to have a civil ceremony, but as Marissa is Jewish, to include a few elements from her tradition. Christina Walker, their lovely celebrant did a wonderful job tying their bespoke ceremony together into something that felt honest yet deeply meaningful. Christina has a really lovely tone about how she does things and I’d be happy to recommend her to anyone seeking a civil celebrant. The wedding chuppah looked really incredible, featuring a beautiful wood and floral ensemble by Jay Archer Floral Design. Midway through the ceremony, Marissa spotted a ladybird fly past her and land on her bridesmaid’s hand. This obviously had inherent meaning for Marissa as she immediately pointed it out. She told me later that after she lost her Grandfather her family have often said that he returns occasionally in the form of a ladybug. Clearly Grandpa had impeccable timing! After the traditional breaking of the glass, which Mark handled with aplomb, and the conclusion of the ceremony, the new Mr & Mrs K were greeted on the Castle steps by their cheering guests. Confetti on the Foxes Steps at Farnham Castle is always good. The descent makes a very energetic part of the day even more dynamic and the varied light makes it far more interesting than usual.
With the light beginning to fade, we snuck away for a few photographs in the incredible grounds. Farnham Castle is, quite frankly, a wedding photography playground and although I approach weddings primarily as a documentary photographer, it’s hard not to enjoy creative portraiture when you’ve got a fun, relaxed couple, countless different locations and great light. Still, we try and keep portraits fairly brief as ideally I want my couples to hang out with their guests as much as possible. Once we were back inside Marissa’s Mum and bridesmaids bustled her dress, one of my favourite pictures of the day as it happens, and following the receiving line it was time for dinner and speeches.
Marissa & Mark’s evening reception was off the friggin’ hook. Amazing doesn’t come close. After the Bride & Groom’s first dance there was the juxtaposition of Marissa’s beautifully heartfelt dance with her Dad and Mark’s rather less earnest, more comedic boogie with his Mum. One moment everyone in the Great Hall was genuinely touched, the next an impromptu phones-in-the-air slow-wave had started on the balcony! There was also a large contingent of what I call HVDAs ‘High Value Dancefloor Assets’ – these are people who either can seriously dance, or really don’t care that they can’t and throw-down with wild abandon nonetheless. From my point of view as a photographer, both are awesome. The dance floor at this wedding generated so many good pictures!
Anyway, that’s enough from me. It’s time for some photographs. Here are a selection of my favourites from the day. My huge thanks to Mark & Marissa for being wonderful people and having me shoot their day. It was a pleasure and I look forward to my next Anglo-American wedding at Farnham Castle. It’ll have a lot to live up to!
If you’d like to consider booking me for a wedding at Farnham Castle or elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 2018 is filling up fast!
If you’re looking for supplier details, those can be found at the end of the post, after the photographs.