Its been a little while since I’ve been a guest at a wedding as I usually tend to photograph them rather than relax. Today was the wedding of our friends Mike and Liz and thankfully the photography was already sorted so I could kick back and completely relax. Our only consideration was that the couple had requested no children, which is a much more common theme these days, as couples are spending so much money on their big day and don’t want everything to go as perfectly as possible. Kids can tend to be unpredictable, running up and down the church aisle, and sometimes even stroppy when it comes to group photos (there’s always one!), but I guess the big factor is that as weddings become more and more expensive, the seats become limited and a child, as nice as it would be to have them there, is taking up a seat that another friend or family member could have. I know with our wedding, we had a very limited number of seats available for the meal and a huge list of people that we wanted to invite that we just didn’t have the room for, and you have to be fairly brutal in your selection process. Some people, as much as you’d love them there, are never going to get an invite as you just don’t have any seats left! Yes, there is the consideration that some may be offended by not being invited, but when your seats are full, they’re full, and everyone thats there has to be there for a reason. We were both very grateful to be invited to this wedding for the day, and it was lovely to be a part of their ceremony, watching them start the journey of building their future together. I was especially grateful that Clare was feeling a bit better today, enough to be able to join me. I wasn’t concerned about going alone, as I had a lot of friends going, but the fact was I really wanted my wife there, as primarily I didn’t want her missing out as well as the fact that I can tend to get a bit sentimental at weddings and its nice to have her there when I think back to how magical our big day was.
The service was in a lovely church in Birminghams Jewellery quarter with the wedding party moving on afterwards to Moxhull Hall Hotel for the meal and evening reception. Even with all the weddings I’ve photographed, I have never been to this particular hotel before, although I had heard its name mentioned many times, and it didn’t disappoint. The hotel looked amazing, the grounds were a wedding photographers dream and the food was spectacular, on top of which there was plenty of it. All too frequently fancy hotels present fancy schmancy food which tends to leave the majority of the plate empty and yeah yeah I get the whole quality over quantity thing, but when its got to 5pm and you’ve only had a piece of toast all day, you certainly don’t want a half empty plate of posh food making you wish you’d stopped off for a McDonalds on the journey over from the church.
It was a wonderful day, spent with a lot of friends, knowing that Olivia was happy being looked after by Clare’s parents. It meant that we couldn’t stay over at this lovely hotel, but at least we didn’t have to rush back early. The evening featured a live band, and even a burger stand, as well as plenty of wine on the tables to keep everyone happy. We went home feeling like we’d had a great day that will be remembered by everyone for a long time to come!