They had me at hello.
Back in April I got an email from Anya, enquiring about my natural style of wedding photography. Our conversation started in the usual way, and I asked for more information. Anya was able to give me such a clear idea about who they both are, what they like to do together, and how they wanted to celebrated their wedding. She was so passionate about her wedding day that I simply couldn’t say no, and knew I had to be their wedding photographer.
We met for coffee a few months before the day itself, and pored over the details. A traditional white cake but with a twist – a Legend of Zelda cake topper, and the elvish writing from the ring of Lord of the Rings fame in edible gold around the base layer, flowers cascading down the front. And a gift for Nick from Anya, about which he knew absolutely nothing.
Like most people, Anya and Nick are not comfortable in front of the camera. It’s ok, I reassured them. Everyone hates having their photo taken. Everyone relaxes on their wedding day though, once the adrenalin is carrying them through and they’re walking on air. I know how important it is that the wedding day runs smoothly, so I made notes about all the really important details that they wanted coverage of, and set about working out how to capture this warm, friendly couple. I also had a mission to fulfil – a photo of Nick’s mum and Grandad together, who’ve been estranged for some time.
Armed with my to-do list, I set off for their wedding. The ceremony and reception were both at the Cathedral Quarter Hotel in Derby. I cannot rate this venue highly enough. The interior is simply beautiful, and the staff are wonderful too. They also do an amazing lemon tart.
You know it’s going to be a good wedding when you rock up to the bride’s suite and she’s trying to decide between two pairs of superhero underwear. That pretty much sums up my day with Anya. She’s funny, friendly, and a true geek.
Shortly before the ceremony I caught up with Nick. I’ve rarely been able to take photos of the groom before the ceremony so this was a nice moment for me. He was really nervous, but had some amazing support from his groomsmen and the hotel MC.
“I’ll be your Player 2”
And so the ceremony began. There was such a buzz in the room as everyone took their places and waited for Anya to walk in. The bride and groom both beamed at one another. They’d written their own vows, with plenty of little jokes and perfect promises to one another. And the most perfect of perfect promises – to never again tell Nick he’s playing the game wrong, but to be his dependable player 2.
After the ceremony we heading off to a small patch of grass by the cathedral. Anya and Nick wanted to be back with their guests as quick as possible, so we had about 15 minutes to do a quick couples session and get them back. This was a great little spot, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city on a Saturday afternoon, but you’d never know it from the photos.
And then – the gift. An illustrated dictionary of Tolkein, leather-bound and gorgeous, with a wedding invitation hiding inside, signed and illustrated by Ian McKellen.
I wish Anya and Nick all the best in their lives as a married couple. From our brief time working together I can attest that they are a true match for one another, and it was an honour to be chosen as their wedding photographer.