So, this is how the original call went… Ally – “We would like you to photograph our wedding as we really like your style” – to which, Jo shouted out in the background “No! We LOVE it!!” It was at this moment that we knew Ally & Jo were going to be an unforgettable couple, as their enthusiasm and happiness were second to none!
The day started with Sophie and I travelling to “the girls’ house” in Rochford for the bridal preparations. It was really calm and Jo was sitting gracefully in a very tall window looking over the huge garden. Sophie started photographing the details and I stayed with Jo getting shots of her getting her make up done, while her bridesmaids and flower girl finished getting ready themselves.
After about an hour, I drove back to Shoebury to “the boy’s house”, where Ally, his best man, the ushers, and of course their little boys were getting ready. The decision for everyone to wear kilts was proving a bit taxing, and was at times hilarious. Luckily Ally’s brother, Rob, was totally in the know with the whole kilt thing. I never knew there were so many different things you have to get right; like where the buckles go, how much of their socks to turn over, how to tie the traditional shoes and what they should put in their sporrans!
Sandy and Angus looked proper handsome in their teeny kilts, and were so well behaved, considering the men were all flapping over their clothes. All apart from Ally, who was as calm as Jo. I had to laugh when two of the guys realised they had each other’s kilts on!
Once ready, they all walked to St Andrew’s Church, with me in front taking more pictures. Thank goodness the bin lorries were just ahead of us, otherwise there would have been a whole street full of black rubbish bags in shot!
I stood up front of the church watching it fill up, and could see Ally looking round at Sandy and Angus. All that was left was for Jo to walk down the aisle, and I could tell that Ally couldn’t wait to see her. Luckily he didn’t have to wait long, and after arriving in a white vintage Jaguar, Jo came floating down the aisle like an absolute angel. Her vintage style lace dress and very long veil glided behind her, and I was so glad I got shots of Jo’s happiness at seeing her gorgeous boys. Ally stared back at her and his face was a picture, it was so obvious how much they love each other.
The ceremony went really well, and there were of course tears from the guests, as well as from Jo, who found it really hard to even get her words out. Giggles ensued when Jo’s ring wouldn’t go over her knuckle and she looked so worried, I thought she might cry again. A little word from Louise the vicar assured her that it sometimes happens due to the heat and nervousness.
Wow, the joy in that place when they were finally pronouced Mr and Mrs was ecstatic and I nearly had a couple of tears myself.
Once outside, we saw that an ice cream van was waiting to cool everyone down… How brilliant was that! We got some great pictures of everyone licking ice creams and lollies.
We walked over to the Garrison for photographs by the clock tower, as this location was special to Jo and Ally. And then we walked to The Shoeburyness Hotel, where the most beautiful reception was waiting. The decor was so fitting for them. Homely, classy and quirky too. The wild flowers in jars which adorned every table was my favourite.
We loved how they planned their reception, with the speeches between each course of the meal. And what made it even better was that we got to eat the same as the guests! So we were then free to photograph the speeches – which were hilarious!
Around 8:45pm, Ally led Jo to the circle of awaiting guests for their first dance. The song they chose was “What the World Needs Now”, played and sung by live guitarist, the amazing Nathan Abbott! I have to say this was the best first dance I have ever watched. You could just tell how much love they have for each other, and we got so many pictures that captured just that.
We certainly didn’t expect Nathan’s version of Ray Charles’ “I’ve Got a Woman” to follow straight away, but it was fantastic! The guests joined Ally and Jo, dancing and singing along… The mood was electric and was a great way for us to finish our time with them.
It was a fabulous day, which we are still talking about now. And once again, we have made friends with some truly wonderful people.
As an addition to this blog post, we would like to say that this wedding shows again how much better it is to go ‘reportage’! Please think again if you have lists of group shots planned for your special day… These are not the pictures you will find yourselves looking back on with tears and laughter, it’s all the natural shots that tell a complete story of your day!
♥ Congratulations Mr & Mrs Gavin! ♥