The video of Phil’s proposal to Jonathan at London Pride in 2016 went viral! We had so far, not had a same sex wedding. So Sophie had the idea of finding them on Facebook and putting us forward as their wedding photographers. We knew they would have offers flying in, as their video was reaching news channels all over the world.. But a few weeks later, we received a message saying they had checked over our work and would love to book us!
We were so happy, knowing that they loved our style and knowing that they would be such a pleasure to photograph, being such a handsome couple! When they told us the wedding would take place at The Gherkin in London, with an ‘Oscars’ dress code, we were literally screeching with excitement!
The day started with us meeting the guys in their suite at the brand spanking new hotel, Dorset City, to get pictures of them getting ready. We really like this part of a wedding as it’s very relaxed. We also get to meet a few more of the wedding party, and have a giggle with them to break any nerves. I certainly did that, when I unknowingly sett off an alarm with my hip, leaning against the wall! We had the hotel staff knocking to see if everyone was okay! I’m such a klutz!
After cracking open some champagne, and doing the final adjustments to each other’s bow ties and cuff links, we all went down to the bar for last minute drinks and met with some more family who were staying in the hotel.
Walking to The Gherkin was great fun… The Grooms in front, the wedding party behind, and us running alongside like paparazzi snapping away! We got some great shots of them with the cool urban look of London and the odd red bus.
After going through security at The Gherkin, we were shown to the upper floors by Emily their wedding coordinator. While the Grooms went in their private room to meet with the registrars, we went to the 39th floor to get pictures of all the guests as they were arriving, they all looked amazing! They had read on the wedding website about the ‘Oscars’ dress code and had gone all out with their choices of outfits! The instruction was that they should come as glamorous as possible as there was no Bride to upstage!
Most of our pictures at this point were of the guests taking selfies once they had greeted each other… They were loving the views and the architecture… It really did photograph well, and we got some brilliant shots of them!
The ceremony began with the registrars doing the official part of the day. With some lovely readings by Phil’s Mum, Heather-Ann, and Jonathan’s friend from New Zealand, Courtenay.
Then Phil’s Dad, Rev. Nicholas, took over to do a religious blessing… This was so meaningful and he had everyone gripped with his beautiful words!
Then, just when Phil thought it was all finished, the screen at the back opened, and a gospel choir (Incognito) in purple robes walked in one by one, singing ‘I Will Follow Him’ from Sister Act. This is the surprise that Jonathan had been planning for ages. It brought tears to Phil’s eyes, as well as quite a few of the guests and me! It was SO good and SO moving!
They then sang some more songs whilst everyone hugged and congratulated the happy couple. The mood in the place was electric!
The choir moved to the spiral stairs, while the guests moved up to the top floor for champagne and canapés. I asked for just five minutes with the guys alone while they just took in the views and had a few moments together.
Then the choir came up to sing their last song before receiving the hugest round of applause before they left. They were absolutely brilliant, and I’m so happy that it stayed a surprise for Phil because it was SO worth it!
The top floor of The Gherkin is a photographer’s dream with light coming from every single direction! And this is where we got some of our favourite pictures, when the guests were enjoying the champagne and canapés. The cute teeny cheeseburgers seemed to be a favourite with everyone!
There were some lovely speeches from Jonathan’s sister Fiona from New Zealand, Phil’s Best Man and Uni roommate Marc, Jonathan’s very good friend and work colleague Wayne, and a very moving one from Phil’s Dad…. Yep I was crying again, along with a lot of others!
At around 5.30pm everyone went back down to the 39th floor for the Wedding Breakfast. Each table centre was filled with sand from different places around the world which Jonathan and Phil had visited. And the Wedding favours for each guest were miniature shots of salted caramel vodka infused with 24 carat gold leaf – hand made by the guys themselves!
We left them all to have their meals and went downstairs to have our own meal, in a beautiful members only area with the most stunning views of The City of London.
Before we knew it, it was time for Phil and Jonathan’s speeches. The light was now fading fast and the whole look of The Gherkin changed. Our newest cameras and lenses were now about to show their full potential!
These guys are so in love and are also surrounded by love. Their speeches were emotional, touching and at times funny… With lots of eye contact between them. We learned that there were 21 guests which had travelled from different countries for the wedding. How amazing is that?! They even presented us with a luxury hamper which was so thoughtful of them!
After the wedding breakfast was over, everyone moved up to the 40th Floor again, for the evening. There was music from The Gherkin’s very own DJ, and the wine was flowing.
Phil and Jonathan had chose a wedding cake made entirely of cheese which you can see was a bit more of a struggle to cut than a traditional cake! But it certainly got everyone talking and taking pictures.
Once the cake was cut, the Grooms went to get changed into something a bit more comfortable and to greet their celebrity guest. Then they came back upstairs, took hold of the microphone and introduced the amazing Joss Stone! She sung her own song ‘Right To Be Wrong‘ while they had their first dance. What a fantastic end to our time with them!
Phil and Jonathan, you certainly showed everyone how much you love each other, and we are so happy you chose us to document such a special day in your lives!
♥ Congratulations Mr & Mr Adlem ♥