What a weekend! Easter weekend means two banks holidays, which means that the wife gets two days off work for free, and on top of which I had the weddings of two friends to photograph, which I was quite excited about, one on Good Friday, and the other on Easter Sunday, separated by the Saturday where we had arranged to meet up with some friends. The first wedding, on the Friday was based at a hotel that I used to go to as a child, when it was known as a leisure centre. There was a golf driving range, and a bowling alley… but it is a very different place now, much more upmarket. It was a nice venue for a wedding, although the weather didn’t want to give me much of a break. The day started, as it often does, at the house of the brides parents for the getting ready photos, I then moved on to the hotel to meet the groom and discuss what I was allowed to photograph with the registrars, who can often be sticklers, but on this occasion were pretty relaxed and allowed me to get plenty of shots during the ceremony. The group photos after the ceremony were a little slow due to the layout of the hotel and people disappearing, which sadly meant that the outdoor photos were cut short as the rain set in and stayed with us for the duration. This means getting a little creative with indoor photos, and puts a photographer to the test. I managed to get a good selection of photos and after the first dance I headed home. The photos can be seen here.
Saturday was a day for the family and we had arranged to meet friends in the quiet little Cotswold village of Bourton-On-The-Water. Very popular with tourists, but still quiet enough to enjoy a day out. When we arrived after 1hr 10min of driving, it was dry, but a little colder than we’d expected and so we decided to take lunch at one of the pubs on the high street while we thought about what to do with the rest of the afternoon.
We took a walk around the local church, checked out a few shops on the high street including a traditional sweet shop and then headed for the model village. It was a lovely afternoon, and we were lucky to make it through as Olivia had missed out on her usual 2hr nap, and had only got half hour of sleep in the car on the way down. She powered through and we managed to get her back in the car for the journey home just before she ran out of steam and slept for most of the drive back.
Sunday marked the wedding of a friend I had worked with a few years back, who also happened to have gone to school with my wife when they were kids. As part of the planning, we had them over for dinner and I also went to visit the venue last week with them. It was beginning to become clear that a lot of thought had gone into this day… but even I wasn’t prepared for exactly HOW MUCH planning had gone in, although I was about to find out. I started the day with the bridal preparations, although everything was all based at the hotel today, the preparations, the ceremony and the reception, so once I was there I had nowhere else to go. This worked out well for me and Clare, as she only had to drop me off and the car was hers for the day, which worked out perfectly as she’d been invited back for the evening reception. The preparations were fun and relaxed, and with the weather fast becoming warm and sunny, much to everyones surprise, the mood was fantastic! The ceremony was fantastic with two very relaxed registrars again, allowing me to capture lots of shots of the ceremony. The day itself was filled with so much energy and enthusiasm that it was hard not to get caught up in all the excitement. The weather was perfect with just enough cloud cover to allow me to get all the photos I needed without people squinting. The couple were very relaxed in front of the camera, and just seemed to pose naturally and comfortably, and the venue offered plenty of opportunities for some great shots. I was fast filling up my memory card, and even burnt through a set of batteries… its a good job I always come prepared and had plenty more memory cards and batteries on hand to keep me going! The day was flying by and soon we were onto the meal and speeches, although I have to say that after all the weddings I’ve ever been to, these particular speeches were nothing less than epic and possibly the longest I’ve ever heard, although even the sheer length of time that people were sat listening didn’t detract from the content and the fact that everyone was captivated, and the laughs were followed by tears, which were followed by laughs… and so on. Eventually the night was over for me in terms of photography, allowing me to become a guest, and when Clare had turned up I could relax and enjoy a drink with her before we said our goodbyes, wished the couple well and headed home to relieve the in-laws of their babysitting duties. The photos are not on my new website yet, but can be found here on my facebook page.
Monday was a chance for us to slow down a little, with no real plans other than heading out to the park and then popping round to see our friends on the way home.
We stopped at the park to give Olivia lunch and grab ourselves an ice cream while she sat on the swing. It was also a chance for Olivia to do a bit of walking outdoors on an uneven surface, as I figure its good for her balance and building her leg muscles up a bit. The flat of the pavement when she’s walking outside the house is good, but its not the same as walking up and down hills on the grass. She was captivated by the dogs in the park and the daisies growing on the ground, and it was lovely to see her exploring her environment… although we did have to try to make sure she didn’t explore the duck pond!