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  • Writer's pictureSianP Photography

My First Wedding and a Happy New Year !

Well, with all the hassle and bustle of Christmas, I also had the overwhelming joy of photographing my first wedding, believe me I did not take this lightly, although I was doing it for free almost as a training exercise, I still wanted to capture the best shots, the most important shots, and the most heartfelt shots. The day started off about 8:00 - I dropped Isabelle off at nursery as I would do every Friday, came home and got ready (first issue was deciding what to wear to a wedding as a photographer, to look smart without looking like a guest) I had arranged with the couple that I was going to be meeting the bride and her bridesmaids at Pendley Manor whilst they were all getting ready, an easy location for me to have a play around with my camera and lenses and settings without too much pressure. I arrived there about 9:00 - all the ladies had been up since 6! So they were all ready wide awake and buzzing for the day ahead! This gave me a great vibe and they were all so lovely I settled well and felt at ease photographing them whilst they were getting ready.

The main shots I wanted to get here was:

The bride having her hair done

The bride having her make up done

The bridesmaids getting ready

The bride having her veil put on

The bride seeing her father for the first time in her wedding dress

And the other little extras like the brides shoes, the dresses hanging top and little details.

These images are simple yet beautiful and a lovely addition to any wedding album. The other photographer came for a short section of them getting ready so did my best to stay out the way and watched what he was doing that could have been differently to me, and if there was anything I could learn.. its always interesting to watch another photographer at work. Once the other photographer had left I carried on snapping away till they were ready to leave. I prefer a non intrusive form of photographer, and had I been the main photographer arranging all the group shots I would have previously met with the couple and arranged a list of all group shots and special shots they had wanted on their day so they could have just enjoyed their special day knowing that I was capturing everything they wanted.. And I would only step in to arrange group shots (because its impossible to get a group shot without taking charge). Once we were ready to leave Pendley Manor, the next stop was the church for the ceremony. Now with lack of car space and the fact it was raining I also trippled up as a bag transporter, a photographer and an umbrella holder.. I had spare space in my car, and tbh, I had been prepared with an Umbrella and would rather I got wet and making sure the bride and bridesmaids didn't.

I made sure I left Pendley Manor before the Brides Team because I wanted to capture their arrival at the church. I hadn't quite realised how much pre-thought there would be for 'the next photograph' however luckily I am used to trying to keep one step ahead so this wasn't actually too hard.

On arrival at the church the vintage cars looked beautiful, spectacular even. Once I had captured the cars arrival, I then made my way back up the path to capture photographs of guests arriving into the church, everyone is so beautifully dressed at weddings everyone is almost ready to have their photograph taken.

In the church due to the privacy of the couple I wish not to post any pictures of their ceremony, however all I can say that the coming together of two families is moving, I had my challenges as I was asked to stay at the back of a dimly lit church with all round low lighting, so I had my longest zoom lens on and slowed down my shutter speed and whacked up the ISO and fingers crossed. The groom when he first sees his bride, the bride walking in with her father to give her away, the beautiful little flower girl who was dropping the petals infront of the bride, the couple holding hands at the alter, the vows, the putting on of the rings, and the first kiss, these are all important things for a photographer to capture because they are the most heart touching and important parts of the ceremony. These are the parts the couple will want to look back apon and be reminded how special their day was.

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

Once the ceremony had finished the guests all left the church and gathered outside for the throwing of confetti, so I made my way down to end of the path to capture the photographs of the couple walking down through the isle of people.. captured a few of them covered in confetti - captured the kiss at the end, and then it was time to move on to a pub just down the road that had been chosen for the next location, a relaxed atmosphere where everyone could have some downtime for an hour or so before moving onto Notley Abbey.

On arrival at the pub it was made aware that the bride and groom had met over one pouring the other a pint, which made for an iconic photograph to remake how they met, which was entertaining yet romantic at the same time.

I quickly noticed their wasn't much for me to part of at the pub and as people were having some down time I didn't want to go round disturbing guests and the bride and groom who were spending it with their family so I notified them and took of to Notley Abbey where they were having the final part of their wedding and reception so I could get set up for their arrival there (and I could grab myself a snack and a drink!)

On arrival at Notley Abbey the staff their were lovely and welcoming, I waited outside chatting to them whilst waiting for the bride and groom to make their way here, due to the weather conditions I had already called ahead and advised them to not take certain roots to make their journey easier, no one wants to get stuck in a flood, especially bride and groom and 2 busses full of guests!

If any of you know it Notley Abbey has a long and beautiful drive leading down to it so I had made my way over to the bottom of the drive to capture the arrival of their vehicles, which made a beautiful artistic shot:

Once the bride and groom had arrived I captured a few more of their arrival shots, then once everyone had got inside their main photographer took charge of taking their group photographs, so I did my best to remain out of his way whilst he was doing his job but just took a close eye what he was doing so I could learn from what he was doing, and whether there was anything I would do differently, which to my surprise with my style I did find there were some shots I would have done differently which I played round in my head and planned to do them later on in the night.

Which I did!

Shots of the I had taken:

Next on the agenda was dinner, whilst all the guests made their way so the main dining room myself and the other photographers and videographers were in a little seperate room. I was so excited for dinner, that's nothing new I must admit but by this point I was glad I accepted the kind offer of being given dinner, and it was delicious! It also gave a good opportunity for me to speak with the other photographers and videographers about their experiences and any tips they had which is always nice to share opinions and points of view.

So my job as photographer after dinner was starting to come to an end, next we had the speaches, then arrival of reception guests and then the reception which always involves a lot of drinking and dancing at by which point I think most people hope there isn't a photographer around!

So the speaches - without knowing the families overly well, they were still touching, hilarious and embarrassing all at the same time! This made it such a good opportunity to get photos of people's reactions!

Stories came up about how they met, their lives together up till now, the places they had visited (the wedding had a traveling theme incase any of you were wondering) stories about their childhoods, the meeting of the families, I could go on.

After the speaches was the arrival of guests for the reception, the cake cutting and the first dance. These were 2 more important events for me to capture.

After these it was then the reception took place, at which point after getting a few photographs of getting slights more drunk and dancing there wasn't much more for me to do, so after speaking to the bride and groom they were happy for me to leave.

Now, as a photograph new to weddings, one piece of advice people gave me was to go as an assistant or go as a trainee with another photographer as its 'a lot of pressure' which it is, it's a day hopefully the couple will only have once. So I took that advice onboard however decided to dive in head first, and I'm so glad I did. Learning my own capabilities, finding my own wedding style, and also my own confidence 🙂

So I want to say a huge and massive thankyou to Kim and Robs who's wedding it was for letting me attend ad their extra photographer.

A thankyou to the bridesmaids and family who were so accommodating and friendly.

It was lovely to see some old school friends aswell and have a catch up.

I honestly had the best experience photographing this beautiful couples wedding and I cant wait for those booked in 2020.

Here's to you guys the newly wed couple for a beautiful 2020! 💒❤️🎉🥂

And to everyone else on here.. Here's to making 2020 a good one!

If any of you are interested in a photoshoot, or in me photographing an event for you, please don't hesitate to contact me on

Happy New Year Everyone 🎉🥂

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