Carla & Mark are the most wonderful couple and their wedding was the perfect reflection of this. Their Rotherwick Village Hall wedding included a number of locations – which always makes for an interesting day – and used a yellow colour scheme to perfectly evoke the spring/Easter atmosphere. Bizarrely, this wasn’t the first time I’d met Carla & Mark. A few years ago, they’d looked at buying our old house; it is indeed a small world!
Carla got ready at home in Fleet with her bridesmaid and Mum. It was a really lovely morning, sunlight streaming in and an atmosphere of excitement mingled with calm. Carla’s brother’s girlfriend Hollie works at The Elvetham Hotel as a wedding co-ordinator and it was lovely meeting her in the morning and having her around throughout the day to help things run smoothly. She was a pro. Once Carla was into her dress, I took my leave and headed across to Tylney Hall Hotel where the wedding ceremony was to take place. Mark & Carla were married by one of Mark’s family friends, who is a wedding registrar, which made things even more special than usual. Following the ceremony, which was beautiful, and showcased just how widely these two can smile, Carla & Mark were greeted by their guests (and a large quantity of confetti) on the steps of Tylney’s Italian Gardens before we stepped away for a few portraits in the sunshine.
The reception was held at the wonderful Rotherwick Village Hall, which I’ve shot at in the past, but enroute Mark & Carla stopped at St Mary’s in Old Basing to visit the grave of Mark’s father and lay Carla’s bouquet beside it. It was an incredibly poignant and touching moment in a monumentally moving day. It’s rare to photograph an element such as this during a wedding day, and hard to know how to approach it really – it almost feels too intimate to witness, let alone document – but Mark was keen for me to join them and I hope the pictures go some way to evoking the character of the moment. Quiet and tranquil, sincere yet not overpoweringly sad. Mixed emotions certainly, but in the sunshine, with the flowers in bloom, the mood felt wistful rather than downcast. Mark & Carla spent ten precious minutes at St Mary’s before they headed back to the car to rejoin their guests.
This is the second Rotherwick Village Hall wedding I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. It’s such a beautiful little venue, filled with English charm and, if you could ignore guests with smartphones, then it’d be only a trifling leap of imagination to picture this as a wedding of the 1940s. Mark & Carla, along with their families and friends, had gone to such lengths to decorate the place. It’s beautiful in its own right, but with the tide of yellow and spring hues the hall looked remarkably pretty. Long trestle tables were the order of the day with buffet style food and a cake table to die for. Mark & Carla’s friend Sam played guitar during the reception and the kids took part in an easter egg hunt!
After the wedding breakfast and speeches (and the first dance) Mark & Carla were joined by fantastic cèilidh band Three Penny Bit who got everyone dancing – even the shy ones – and basically ensured that the party didn’t cease! At the end of the night, things wrapped up with Carla & Mark making their leave through a tunnel of merry sparkler-sporting guests. Throughout the entire day they smiled broadly and were an absolute joy to photograph. I’ve rarely seen a couple so deeply and happily in love and it was a genuine pleasure to be a part of it. My thanks to Carla & Mark for having me and many best wishes for the future. Enough from me, time for some of my favourite images from the wedding!